March 20, 2008

Fests and events, 3/20.

California Video For the Los Angeles Times, Christopher Knight reviews California Video, an exhibition on view at the J Paul Getty Museum through June 8: "Assembled are more than 50 single-channel videos and 15 installation works made in the four decades since Sony introduced the first portable video recording device in 1967."

Geometry of Motion 1920s/1970s, on view at MoMA from Wednesday through June 23; e-flux: "Taking cinematic experience as its point of departure, this exhibition uses 14 historic works to trace the transformation of the art object from static image to fluid light projection within two artistic lineages: the unconventional optical techniques of the 1920s Neue Optik, or 'New Vision,' generation of artists, among them El Lissitzky, László Moholy-Nagy, Hans Richter and Marcel Duchamp; and the situational aesthetics advanced by Robert Irwin, Gordon Matta-Clark, Robert Smithson and Anthony McCall in the 1970s."

"Time to expose the greatest conspiracy of contemporary cinema," declares Christopher Huber in the LA Weekly. "Although film historians and critics have spent decades trying to conceal the truth, the auteur theory was really invented for the vindication of Mario Bava, an Italian maestro of the macabre, who mostly made disreputable yet genial genre pictures on a budget for which mere mortals like us couldn't be bothered to videotape our brother's wedding." Mario Bava: Poems of Love and Death runs through Sunday at the Egyptian.

"[I]t's not too early for a little Cannes gossip, is it?" Salon's Andrew O'Hehir's been hearing about films that that may - or may not - be in the lineup.

Thessaloniki Documentary Festival "[T]he hospitality that Thessaloniki extends to its guests is as good as any fest in the world," writes David Wilson in a dispatch for indieWIRE. The Documentary Festival runs through Tuesday. Also, Kim Adelman reports on the winners of the Independent Lens Online Shorts Festival and Howard Feinstein looks back on the Cleveland International Film Festival.

David Bordwell's in Hong Kong. So is Todd Brown.

Mike Everleth has the full lineup for the Boston Underground Film Festival, running Thursday through Sunday. Peter Keough has a preview in the Boston Phoenix.

"A poetic spirit of perseverance is to be sifted from Lu Zhang's Mongolian sandscape Hyazgar (Desert Dream, 2007), the follow-up to his much-acclaimed Mang zhong (Grain in Ear, 2005)," writes Michael Guillén from the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival.

Maria Komodore and Max Goldberg revisit Last Year at Marienbad for the San Francisco Bay Guardian; it's at the Castro for a week starting Friday.

"Uncompromising in technique and unwavering in his humanism, [Thorold] Dickinson (1903 - 84) mined the tense dramatic relationship between identity and action with unwavering clarity, compassion, and invention," writes Bruce Bennett in the New York Sun. "For the next week, in its program called Thorold Dickinson's World of Cinema, the Film Society of Lincoln Center will survey the brief but brilliant career of this rarely revived yet central figure in British cinema." Through March 25.

Also: "In the six decades since the bitter wartime enmity between America and Japan climaxed with the atomic bomb attacks at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Japan's subsequent surrender, America's 'image of the Japanese has completely changed,' said the filmmaker Risa Morimoto, director and co-writer of Wings of Defeat, a new documentary making its American premiere tonight at Japan Society. 'The image of the kamikaze has not.'"

And S James Snyder previews New Directors / New Films. March 26 through April 6.

NYUFF 08 Then, for the L Magazine, Snyder previews the final edition of the New York Underground Film Festival.

"Oscar Micheaux (1884 - 1951) and Spencer Williams (1893 - 1969) are the two titans of America's 'race' cinema," writes J Hoberman. "Anthology's three-day celebration (notably scheduled a month outside the traditional ghetto of Black History Month) includes two Micheaux silent films and a quartet of Williams talkies, all archival prints."

Dan Sallitt in the Auteurs' Notebook on Eyes Without a Face: "It would be half true to suggest that [Georges] Franju wants to make the audience uneasy. The other half of the truth is that he wants us to be calm and accepting in the face of this uneasiness, and even to find beauty in the unsettling object." Tonight's the last night of Le Grand Franju at the Anthology Film Archives. Related: Tim Lucas on Judex and Nuits rouges; more from Alex Perry in the Tisch Film Review.

"Again: it's the sound design in later [Pedro] Costa films that dictates the space, that colors the image, that roots the film in the tactile present," writes Ryland Walker Knight in his latest entry from Still Lives: The Films of Pedro Costa at the House Next Door.

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Posted by dwhudson at March 20, 2008 10:50 AM