Movie City Indie Archive for June, 2011

“Lens Flare: A J. J. Abrams Joint”

[H/t Vulture.]

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First DVD Edition Of Rivette’s epic OUT 1 Out In November

Out 1

Jacques Rivette’s 12-hour-nine-minute Out 1: noli me tangere is coming to DVD in November for a mere 70 euro, with German subtitles from absolut-medien.de. So where’s the English subtitled version! One go among worshipful viewers was not enough. Rivette talked about Out 1 to Bernard Eisenschitz, Jean-Andre Fieschi and Eduardo de Gregorio in April 1973. (Translation: Tom Milne.) This passage seems to speak to this hardly-seen “text.” “A film is always presented in a closed form: a certain number of reels which are screened in a certain order, a beginning, an end. Within this, all these phenomena can occur of circulating meanings, functions and forms; moreover, these phenomena can be incomplete, not finally determined once and for all. This isn’t simply a matter of tinkering, of something mechanical constructed from the outside, but rather… of something that has been ‘generated’ which seems to entail biological factors. It isn’t a matter of making a film or a work that exhausts its coherence, that closes in on itself; it must continue to function, and to create new meanings, directions and feelings.

“Here one comes back to the Barthes definition. I refer to Barthes a good deal, but I find that he speaks more lucidly than anyone else at the present time about this kind of problem… and he says: there is a text from the moment one can say: things are circulating. To me it is evident that this potential in the cinema is allied to the semblance of monumentality we were just talking about. What I mean is that on the screen the film presents a certain number of events, objects, characters in quotes, which are closed in on themselves, turned inward, exactly as a statue can be, presenting themselves without immediately stating an identity, and which simultaneously establish comings-and-goings, echoes, among one another.” Let the echoes begin.

Out 4
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Chicago Screenshots

After the first Mayor Daley’s practical ban on filming on Chicago locations ended, the city became a canvas for filmmakers fascinated by solid urban vistas that could also embrace human scale. (Paging Andy Davis…) A new Tumblr account, Chicago Screenshots, collects widescreen captures of movies shot by Lake Michigan. (Photographer Noah Vaughn is behind the collection.) The shots from Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer make an Edward Hopper-style suite of images of loneliness of Bucktown circa 1984. The first two: “Crime Story” and The Monitors.

Slightly more romantic than the third image, a frame grab from a recent trailer of a blown-up downtown Chicago from Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. The Marina Towers, seen in less crowded quarters in Bernie Sahlins’ 1969 science-fiction production, is among the casualties in Michael Bay’s 2011 epic.

Doc-Maker Adam Curtis Gets A Tender Slap

Here’s a playful nudge at Adam Curtis’ pile-on documentary style. (Embedding is disabled.)

“In a landmark new documentary produced for YouTube, Adam Curtis has not examined his career and laid bare his style in the light of some confused academic papers he stumbled across on the internet. Instead, I have plundered various video archives and ripped him off, up, down, left, right and back again,” japes “Psychonomy.” Entertaining commenters join in the to-and-fray.

“I Work For Documentary”: Sean Farnel Leaves Hot Docs After 6 Years

Sean Farnel, John Grierson

Since its inception, Hot Docs has become the second largest documentary festival in the world, after IDFA in Amsterdam. (I consider it a privilege I’ve attended the past four instalments.) While now-former programming director Sean Farnel doesn’t offer a roadmap to what comes next, his blog entry about leaving Hot Docs offers much about what’s come before: “I’ve watched over 4000 documentaries over the past twelve years. I still have notes on most of them. That’s a lot of reality. Another reality is that there comes a time to change course.” I like what Cameron Bailey tweeted tonight: “Sean Farnel worked 6 years at TIFF, 6 years at Hot Docs. One of the best in the business: taste, grit & humility. A Canadian.” [More at the link.]

[Photo: Sheffield Doc/Fest, November 2008; cradling Margaret Brown’s Youth Jury Grierson award for The Order Of Myths. © Ray Pride]

Why Ants Travel In Groups (0’30”)

Cahiers du Cinema’s cover image for TREE OF LIFE

What If Mountain Goats Had Been Around To Score THE WARRIORS? (3’38”)

[Via @mattfraction.]

Peter Greenaway’s “Nine Classic Paintings Revisited” (89 min presentation)

From autumn 2010, but his fixations haven’t waned.

All The Other Woodys In Under 90 Seconds

[Edited by Oliver Noble. Via Filmdrunk.]

Werner Herzog Reads “Go The F— To Sleep” (4’26”)

Jim Henson Animating (0’39”)

“Jim Henson working at his animation stand in Bethesda, MD around 1961. The footage is silent.” [Via The Henson Company.]

Teasing DON’T CLICK (미확인동영상) Korean Horror

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPI2J3XdWfE&feature=player_embedded

Frames within frames and variable screen ratios… A good start.

Movie City Indie

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“Film festivals, for those who don’t know, are not exactly the glitzy red carpet affairs you see on TV. Those do happen, but they’re a tiny part of the festival. The main part of any film festival are the thousands of people with festival passes hanging on lanyards beneath their anoraks, carrying brochures for movies you have never and will never hear of, desperately scrabbling to sell whatever movie it is to buyers from all over the world. Every hotel bar, every cafe, every restaurant is filled to the brim with these people, talking loudly about non-existent deals. The Brits are the worst because most of the British film industry, with a few honourable exceptions, are scam artists and chancers who move around from company to company failing to get anything good made and trying to cast Danny Dyer in anything that moves. I’m seeing guys here who I first met twenty years ago and who are still wearing the same clothes, doing the same job (albeit for a different company) and spinning the same line of bullshit about how THIS movie has Al Pacino or Meryl Streep or George Clooney attached and, whilst that last one didn’t work out, THIS ONE is going to be HUGE. As the day goes on, they start drinking and it all gets ugly and, well, that’s why I’m the guy walking through the Tiergarten with a camera taking pictures of frozen lakes and pretending this isn’t happening.

“Berlin is cool, though and I’ve been lucky to be doing meetings with some people who want to actually get things done. We’ll see what comes of it.”
~ Julian Simpson 

“The difference between poetry and prose, and why if you’re not acculturated to poetry, you might resist it: that page is frightening. Why is it not filled? The two categories of people who don’t feel that way are children and prisoners. So many prison poets; they see that gap and experience it differently. I’m for the gap!”
~ Poet Eileen Myles