March 31, 2007

Weekend shorts.

Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark "This little box I'm holding contains 32 years of my life and 65 years of Mario Bava's." Go take a look at Tim Lucas holding the makings of Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark, "1128 pages, full color, 12 pounds per copy."

DK Holm launches a new project at ScreenGrab. He'll be writing up "brand spanking new director summaries and evaluations, geared for adaptability into Andrew Sarris's template," that is, the one you'll find in the 1968 classic, American Cinema. "Fellow fans of American Cinema are encouraged to print out these dispatches and paste them into a scrapbook that can sit on the shelf next to Sarris's book, looking like its long-lost patchwork cousin." Doug begins with Lucky McKee.

"So, consider this: There are upwards of 70,000 streets in the Greater London area and Alan Conway, who is impersonating Stanley Kubrick, lives opposite a girl who knows someone who works for him. Could Conway be a bigger loser?" For Stop Smiling, Anthony Frewin, Kubrick's personal assistant for over 30 years, recalls the series of events to led to his writing Color Me Kubrick. It all happened around the time "he was working on a Holocaust project that was subsequently abandoned ('Schindler's List is a hard act to follow,' he said), as well as the film that would eventually be bequeathed to Steven Spielberg as AI: Artificial Intelligence."

John Walsh has a good long talk with Cillian Murphy about Sunshine. Here's Murphy on his character:

While Capa would be, I'm sure, an atheist and would believe only in science, at the end of the movie he's overwhelmed by the beauty of the universe and it becomes to him something other than science. Einstein talked about "God," and a lot of theologians latched on to that, but he wasn't talking about religion - he was talking about the way science and physics work coherently, in a beautiful and delicate system. I think Capa suddenly sees his place in the universe like that. It's not a religious thing. It's more a communion with nature.

In a similar vein, Andrew Mueller has a piece in the Guardian, a Sunshine tie-in that isn't really about Sunshine at all, on what happens to astronauts, psychologically and otherwise, once they get out there. And when they come back.

Cammell, Hopper, Jodorowsky, Anger

Also in the Guardian: One of John Patterson's favorite photographs shows four filmmakers in Cannes in 1971 "on the cusp of what should have been majestic, transformative, transgressive careers in cinema that by and large never came to fruition":

Kenneth Anger radicalised mainstream cinema from his burrow in the avant garde underground; Dennis Hopper gave great service in the form of Easy Rider and the underrated The Last Movie, and Donald Cammell's Performance is one of the four or five most challenging and audacious movies ever made in Britain.

The fourth is the Argentinian-Jewish-Mexican-French visionary-film-maker-comic-book artist-psychotherapist Alejandro Jodorowsky, the one who promised the most, but found himself battered and broken by many of his film-making experiences.... The evidence of El Topo, The Holy Mountain and Fando Y Lis suggests that we have lost three decades of a truly brilliant and demented genius - and really, that's the only kind of genius worth knowing.

"While occasionally succumbing to contrivances, Hilary Brougher's second feature (her first is The Sticky Fingers of Time, an ultra-low budget sci-fier from 10 years ago) is all movie, but more intriguing is how it tells a distinctly (sometimes wrenching) feminine tale without making it only relative to Oprah watchers and talk-show bingers." Jason Clark at Slant on Stephanie Daley.

Cría cuervos "Critics have been summarily referencing Spirit of the Beehive (1973) in reviews of Pan's Labyrinth, but [Carlos] Saura's [Cría cuervos] - at once a sister work to [Victor] Erice's classic in theme, tone, even shared actress (Ana Torrent) - is no less rich a reference point," writes Doug Cummings.

"Part elegy on the dying of a rural village, part exposition on mortality and obsolescence, and part exaltation of quotidian grace, Mercedes ?lvarez's El cielo gira (The Turning Sky) is a serene, contemplative, and indelible rumination on the permanence of landscape, the transitory nature of existence, the imprint of history, and the eternal cycle of natural transformation." Acquarello.

Three new reviews at Koreanfilm.org:

  • "If Korean society often portrays itself as being homogenous, Dasepo Naughty Girls explodes that notion in favor of diversity," writes Darcy Paquet. "Ultimately Dasepo becomes an odd and fascinating sort of utopian vision of modern Korea, though not the utopia that most Koreans would imagine for themselves."

  • 200 Pounds Beauty is "just an entertaining comedy with nothing particularly new to say," claims, again, Darcy Paquet. "Nonetheless, Korean audiences were certainly charmed, as they bought a stunning 6.5 million tickets, for a box office take of about $45 million. It may be 'hard to be a beauty' (the original Korean title of this film), but it certainly doesn't hurt ticket sales."

Hanbando
  • "There is hardly any doubt that Hanbando is the worst Korean film of 2006," writes Kyu Hyun Kim, "and possibly the worst Korean film to deal with a historical subject made in the last ten years (Yes, it's worse than Heaven's Soldiers!). What makes Hanbando such a bloated turkey is actually a question many times more interesting than the movie itself."

"Simply put, Fist of Legend is Jet Li at the very pinnacle of his career." And now, Jason Morehead is pleased to hear that "Dragon Dynasty, the Asian-focused branch of The Weinstein Company, will be releasing a two-disc 'Ultimate Edition' of Fist of Legend in December."

Matt Bartley ushers Hammer into the Hollywood Bitchslap Hall of Fame.

At Cinematical, Ryan Stewart has news of an adaptation of Anne Rice's Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt.

IndieWIRE interviews The Hawk is Dying director Julian Goldberger.

"Despite having [Harvey] Weinstein's roomy shoes to fill, [new Miramax head Daniel] Battsek not only has held the company together, he also has it flourishing and attracting top talent." A report from Claudia Eller. Also in the Los Angeles Times, Jeffrey Fleishman profiles the wildly successful Russian painter Nikas Safronov. "He recasts his country's tycoons and politicians as dukes, earls and other nobility from the past." Pop and movie stars, too. A gallery.

"The struggle for faith and financing are universal themes in the global film industry, but directors in Germany say they find it especially hard in a country known for being risk-averse." Andreas Tzortzis reports in the International Herald Tribune. Via Movie City News.

Resnais: Herzen Talking with Alain Resnais in German: Michael Mönninger in Die Zeit and Margret Köhler in film-dienst.

Offline reading tip. Geoff Manaugh in the Next American City: "Citing Andy Warhol, John Cage, Bernard Tschumi, William Whyte's 'film analyses of corporate plazas, urban streets, parks and other open spaces,' Chris Petit, and a variety of other sources, the article makes the claim that 24-hour surveillance of urban space is a tool being used by the wrong industry: it shouldn't be private security firms installing these cameras in the name of public safety - but architects and urban planners, putting them up for the purpose of spatial research..."

FishbowlNY finds Michael Showalter and Paul Rudd reenacting the I ♥ Huckabees meltdown.

Online viewing tip #2. "The American Cinematheque had a fantastic showing of the film Bangkok in the historic Hollywood Egyptian Theatre." Jerry Lentz has video. "I had a blast seeing old friends I haven't seen in years!"

Updated recently: "Grindhouse, 3/28.," with full reviews from Jeremiah Kipp at Slant and Jürgen Fauth.

Also, "The critics. Yet again.," "Chicago and docs.," "Mr Bean's Holiday." and Interview. Charles Burnett."



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Posted by dwhudson at March 31, 2007 3:09 PM

Comments

I am super delighted to hear that Lucas' Bava book is now one step closer to my hands. I've been eagerly awaiting it for a while now. Hell, my girlfriend owes me it as a gift from my LAST birthday!

Posted by: Ju-osh at March 31, 2007 7:48 PM