“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
~ James Gray
Movie City Indie Archive for February, 2008
… and will report back soon.
In Jean-Luc Godard’s peppy, pop-art i>Pierrot le fou, made between Masculin-Feminin and Alphaville, is a boldly colored lark of an outlaw couple-on-the-run movie, starring an impish Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina. It’s remarkable how modern some of his 1960s tossed-off feuilletons remain into this century. Oh, and there’s the party scene with Sam Fuller, behind big sunglasses (the kind fashionable even this week and available at Urban Outfitters) and a fat stogy, who Belmondo says to, “I always wondered what movies were,” and Fuller replies, “Film is like a battleground. Love, hate, action, violence, death. In one word… emotion.” And, Godard, from a 1965 Cahiers du Cinema interview, about one of the movie’s loveliest, most hypnotic effects: “When you drive in Paris at night, what do you see? Red, green, yellow lights. I wanted to show these elements without necessarily placing them as they are in reality. [This effect was created by flashlights being rotated across the windshield of a car sitting still in a dark room.] Rather as they remain in the memory—splashes of red and green, flashes of yellow passing by. I wanted to recreate a sensation through the elements which constitute it.”The Criterion DVD: out two days after seeing La chinoise in 35mm: pictures, moving. First clip: Samuel Fuller.
Buried in the trailer below: Anna Karina, bowling.
David Carr catches up to Glen Hansard, post-gold man: “Hansard was effusive walking into the press room and saying “I just got a text from Bono. That is the biggest thing in the world that can happen to an Irishman.” And for one last round, drawn from the Academy transcripts. Glen Hansard: “Tanks! This is amazing. What are we doing here? This is mad. We made this film two years ago. We shot on two handicams. It took us three weeks to make. We made it for a hundred grand [euro]. We never thought we would come into a room like this and be in front of you people. It’s been an amazing thing. Thanks for taking this film seriously, all of you. It means a lot to us. Thanks to the Academy, thanks to all the people who’ve helped us, they know who they are, we don’t need to say them. This is amazing. Make art. Make art. Thanks.” And, brought back to the stage after being cut off, 19-year-old Markéta Irglová of the dazzling smile: “Hi everyone. I just want to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we’re standing here tonight, the fact that we’re able to hold this, it’s just to prove no matter how far out your dreams are, it’s possible. And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don’t give up. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are. And so thank you so much, who helped us along way. Thank you.” And in the immortal words of Bob Hope (via Frank Tashlin), if you’re driving home tonight, be sure to use a car.
From a posting at the Frameworks list by Nellie Lozano of NYUFF: “This will indeed be the last official NYUFF, but the organization is going to live on. We’ve been going through a lot of changes in the last few years and have decided to make a fresh start. We hate seeing that lots of cool festivals are dying off too, that’s a big reason why we’re going to be working on developing year round programming and building our organization into something that will be able to sustain itself in the longrun. We’ll be making an official announcement soon, so stay tuned.”
“From a set of 67 cards, published in 1988 for the 20th movie anniversary.” Chewy.
Over at the Guardian, Stuart Jeffries looks back with Bernardo Bertolucci, who still says ‘Films are a way to kill my father’. “One rainy night in Paris in 1970, Bernardo Bertolucci was standing outside the Drugstore Saint Germain. It was a quarter to midnight. He was waiting for his mentor, the great New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard, to arrive from the French premiere of the Italian’s new film, The Conformist. “I haven’t talked about this for dozens of years,” says Bertolucci, “but Godard was my real guru, you understand? I used to think there was cinema before Godard and cinema after – like before and after Christ. So what he thought about the film meant a great deal to me.” … At midnight, Godard arrived for the rendezvous. Bertolucci, 37 years after the event, recalls exactly what happened next: “He doesn’t say anything to me. He just gives me a note and then he leaves. I take the note and there was a Chairman Mao portrait on it and with Jean-Luc’s writing that we know from the handwriting on his films. The note says: ‘You have to fight against individualism and capitalism.’ That was his reaction to my movie. I was so enraged that I crumpled it up and threw it under my feet. I’m so sorry I did that because I would love to have it now, to keep it as a relic.” … Why do you think Godard didn’t like The Conformist, I ask Bertolucci. It was, after all, partly a trenchant diagnosis of a fascistic mentality. “I had finished the period in which to be able to communicate would be considered a mortal sin. He had not.” But there might be another reason Godard didn’t like the film. In it, Clerici asks for his doomed teacher’s phone number and address. “The number was Jean-Luc’s and the address was his on Rue Saint Jacques. So you can see that I was the conformist wanting to kill the radical.”
[Lots more at the link.]
Torontoist : “Massive Fire Guts Queen West Block“: “Transit vehicles are being diverted and streets have been closed near Queen and Bathurst as firefighters battle a six-alarm blaze this morning. The fire broke out about 5 a.m. and spread through eight low-rise buildings on the south side of Queen, consisting of fourteen addresses between Bathurst and Portland. The destroyed block contained commercial properties Suspect Video, Duke’s Cycle, National Sound, Preloved, the Jupiter head shop, Room Furniture and Accessories, Pizzaiolo, and Organize By Design. Second and third floor apartments have also been wiped-out. All residents were safely evacuated.” [More at the link, including photos.]
… as a way of promoting his new novel, “The Learners.”
From the shelf: A long unseen, very funny predecessor to the comic, self-centric documentary essays of Nick Broomfield and Michael Moore is a topical DVD again, Australian-Canadian filmmaker Michael Rubbo’s very funny Waiting for Fidel (Facets). In 1974, Rubbo set out with Joey Smallwood, the septuagenarian socialist former premier of Newfoundland and Geoff Stirling, a broadcasting millionaire-“”he’s not coming down here to swallow this Communism”– to get a day to interview Fidel Castro on his own turf. Castro leaves them waiting… and waiting… They take the sun, drink, prepare lists of questions at the beach or around the pool. The seemingly informal give-and-take on politics in Cuba and Canada, as well as their perceptions of the contrasts between socialism and capitalism, are digressive but telling. (Extras include the now-older Rubbo and Stirling’s amusing reminiscences.)