Movie City Indie Archive for July, 2016

Pride, Unprejudiced: Almost There

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I’ve seen Almost There, Aaron Wickenden and Dan Rybicky’s splendid, elusive minor miracle of northwest Indiana nonfiction a few times in the past year or so, and I’m still not sure why it carries so much power. That it’s specific yet elusive, its dense range of fear and hope? There’s much to consider about outsider art, loneliness, mental illness and brightly colored graphomania in its innerworldly portrait of now-eighty-three-year-old Peter Anton, an elderly artist living in squalor in the wet, fetid basement of his parents’ house, moldering atop his art-stuffed living-dying quarters. There’s a delicate and beautiful dance in this seven-years-in-the-making engagement with an elderly Northwest Indiana outsider artist. The movie transforms before our eyes, as it did for the filmmakers over its protraction production. One of the most luminous, evocative choices made was to incorporate images not only of Anton amid his art inside his moldering dump, but of the surrounding landscape, often industrial, at all hours of day and night (captured by photographer David Schalliol). But primarily, it’s a dance between a willful subject and filmmakers who intend not to stray too close but ultimately can’t help themselves. Anton lives not only in poverty, but also in squalor, in a falling-down house left to him by his parents, and the ethical question of how involved the filmmakers ought to be, in light of his circumstances, grows uneasy. ‘I’m not your subject,’ Anton bursts out at one point, ‘I thought you were my friend.’” [More here, including on Schalliol’s techniques.]

Almost There plays through July on PBS stations nationwide.

Two Poems From Kiarostami’s “A Wolf Lying In Wait”

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The full moon
reflected in water,
the water
contained in the bowl,
and the thirsty man
deep in sleep.

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What a pity
I was not a good host
for the snowflake
that settled on my eyelid.

Via.

UA: The Company We Keep (12/6/78)

Cme4bxXXEAMbdeAClick until largest size. [Via Sean Howe.]

Hal Hartley’s Got A Sale

Hal

Three offers, each $9.99 (with free shipping), while they last (U.S. only):

Three DVDs: – Ned Rifle; Meanwhile; and The Unbelievable Truth: 20th Anniversary Edition 

Five Soundtrack CDsNed RifleMeanwhileFay Grim; The Book Of LifeHenry Fool 

Ned Rifle Pack: Ned Rifle DVD, scenario, soundtrack and t-shirt.

Beginnings… And Endings: Michael Cimino

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[The Deer Hunter, Shooting Draft, 1978; Heaven’s Gate, undated.]

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Trailering Albert Brooks’ Real Life (2’59”)

With Brooks’ back catalog landing on Netflix today (for those too mean to own them), a short film in its own right for his 1979 first feature.

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Movie City Indie

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“Don’t work with assholes. Ever. No matter what they’re offering, no matter what they bring to the table. If they’re the sort of person where the phone rings at 10 o’clock at night and you wince because you see that it’s them, then don’t do business with them. One asshole will ruin your life. I’ve managed my entire TV and filmmaking career to work with people I like and respect. If the point comes where I don’t like or respect someone, I don’t work with them anymore.”

– Anthony Bourdain

The Atlantic: You saw that the Academy Awards recently held up your 2001 acceptance speech as the Platonic ideal of an Oscar speech. Did you have a reaction?

Soderbergh: Shock and dismay. When that popped up and people started texting me about it, I said, “Oh, it’s too bad I’m not there to tell the story of how that took place.” Well. I was not sober at the time. And I had nothing prepared because I knew I wasn’t going to win [Best Director for Traffic]. I figured Ridley, Ang or Daldry would win. So I was hitting the bar pretty hard, having a great night, feeling super-relaxed because I don’t have to get up there. So the combination of a 0.4 blood alcohol level and lack of preparation resulted in me, in my state of drunkenness crossed with adrenaline surge. I was coherent enough to know that [if I tried to thank everyone], that way lies destruction. So I went the other way. There were some people who appreciated that, and there were some people who really wanted to hear their names said, and I had to apologize to them.
~ Steven Soderbergh