January 11, 2007

Fests and events, 1/11.

Looks like it's Jury President Announcement Day. The AP reports that "Stephen Frears will lead the jury at the 60th Cannes Film Festival in May."

Rotterdam 07 "The heart of the International Film Festival Rotterdam: this year 15 features compete for the three equal VPRO Tiger Awards. Each film must be a director's first or second feature and must also have its world or international premiere in Rotterdam. The complete selection of competition films will be announced in early January." Also: The 25 films competing for the Tiger Awards for Short Film.

European-films.net editor Boyd van Hoeij has more on the features at Cineuropa.

"To label [Béla] Tarr, co-subject of this week's micro-retro at the Harvard Film Archive, as a downer is merely a philistine's impatient way of saying he's an existentialist, a modern-film Dostoyevsky-Beckett with a distinctly Hungarian taste for suicidal depression, morose self-amusement, and bile," writes Michael Atkinson. "In this he's not sui generis, but his mise-en-scène - his capacity to limn out entire environments in long one-shot sequences that encompass breathtaking coincidence and natural phenomena without seeming gimmicky or over-planned - is moviemaking at its bravest and movie watching at its most galvanizing." Related: Tim Wilkinson in Hungarian Literature Online on László Krasznahorkai's Satan Tango, the novel on which Tarr's Sátántangó is based. Via the Literary Saloon.

Also in the Boston Phoenix, Peter Keough considers, on the one hand, last November's elections, but on the other, Bush's Iraq policies and global warming... "How do the films in the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, which usually represents the cutting edge in doom and gloom, read the situation? Their outlook is surprisingly rosy: repressed truths unearthed and confronted; evils and injustices redressed; the guilty identified, victims vindicated, both reconciled. Glad tidings, in many cases, but that does not always make for great movies."

transmediale 07 The Film & Video program for this year's Transmediale (January 21 through February 4 in Berlin) is up and browseable. Even if you can't make it, a browse is recommended.

For SF360, Dennis Harvey previews Berlin & Beyond, opening today, running through January 17 and featuring new films from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. "As ever, the weeklong event underlines the real diversity that exists but isn't widely exported in those nations' screen output."

"Called simply Overlooked and Underrated, the series culls nearly three dozen feature films dating from as early as 1938 to as recently as 1981, united only in their relative obscurity and (with a handful of exceptions) their unavailability on DVD," writes Scott Foundas in the LA Weekly. "It is, to my mind, a program that cuts to the very fiber of what an organization called the American Cinematheque should be doing - namely, giving moviegoers a chance to see movies that deserve to be seen and which are virtually impossible to see by any other means. It's also a necessary corrective to a video-retail industry that has duped consumers into believing that 'everything' is available on those shiny little discs, and a direct challenge to the studios' home-video divisions, whose decisions about what (and what not) to release can seem absurd bordering on the perverse."

Speaking of the American Cinematheque, Susan King previews a two-day tribute to Helen Mirren. Also for the Los Angeles Times, Robert Abele checks in on the Scandinavian Film Festival LA.

"While not complete, International House's four-day retrospective offers a thorough overview of [Peter] Whitehead and the era he captured, if always from a slight distance," writes Sam Adams in the Philadelphia City Paper. "The highlight of the series is 1967's Tonite Let's All Make Love in London, known in the US as The London Scene and subtitled Pop Concerto for Film. As that rather pretentious subhead would indicate, Whitehead was not himself a London swinger, and he referred to Tonite in later years as 'a spoof,' which may explain why he includes footage of Mick Jagger opining that in 20 years, most work will be done by robots, and Vanessa Redgrave warbling 'Guantanamera' and rrrolling her rrrrs in solidarity at a pro-Fidel rally."

The Reverse Shot's marathon coverage of the Essentially Woody series forges on: Eric Kohn on The Front, Michael Koresky on Everyone Says I Love You, Cecilia Sayad on Crimes and Misdemeanors and Robbie Freeling on Deconstructing Harry.

At indieWIRE, Brian Brooks previews the Miami International Film Festival, March 2 through 11.

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Posted by dwhudson at January 11, 2007 4:46 PM