Movie City Indie
1. Carol (Todd Haynes) Haynes may have crafted his best feature, merging intelligence and emotion in a rich, immersive canvas. A society woman in an unsatisfying marriage, Cate Blanchett’s Carol is matched for emotional perplexity by Therese, Rooney Mara’s younger shop clerk and photographer manqué. What does it mean when the two of us are in the same room, they venture in a succession of gestures, ventures and setbacks. Hayne’s lapidary precision embraces the fall, the fear, the luxuriant allure of longing and maybe lasting love.
2. Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson) All too human.
3. Taxi (Jafar Panahi) A film about films and filmmaking and a filmmaker barred from making films by a filmmaker who worships films and is barred from making films, Jafar Panahi’s blissfully kind, effortlessly wise third feature since being sentenced to silence by the Iranian regime is an elegant, minor-key masterpiece. [More.]
4. It Follows (David Robert Mitchell) “Your disease… it’s inside me,” to appropriately appropriate words from David Lynch.
5. The Mend (John Magary) Magary’s directorial debut is dauntingly, tumultuously, blindingly, batshit great. In modern-day New York, a figure arrives in our consciousness, after the shattering shards of a hopeless, hapless shrieking match of a breakup. He has had a drunk or a few. Then we find him, Mat (career-best Josh Lucas), on a couch, at a party, he’s all-but-homeless, a couch surfer, someone’s brother, kind of a ruffian, certainly a hairball. And a talker. He does not chat. He holds forth. He’s an American parallel to the bleak wisecracker named Johnny at the center of Mike Leigh’s apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic Naked, beyond offensive, from bullshit beyond shibboleths, articulating misery or misgivings to everyone reluctantly around him, repellently magnetic. (Netflix Instant.) [More.] Read the full article »
1. The Look Of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer) While promoting The Act Of Killing, his punchy, audacious, madly performative, deeply troubling masterpiece about the legacy fifty years after the genocide in Indonesia of political opponents, Joshua Oppenheimer didn’t much let on that there was a second, complementary feature in the works. While editing the first film, before his secondary subjects in the government and paramilitaries, knew what a bold, damning document he had fashioned, Oppenheimer shot a round of elegant, formally restrained interviews with his earlier subjects through the offices of his collaborator, Adi Ruken, an optometrist whose older brother had been murdered. Among a range of substantial achievements, Oppenheimer formally anticipated the critique some purists would lodge—veteran documentary commissioner Nick Fraser among them—and embodying Godard’s dictum that the only true criticism of a film would be to make another film, even if it is self-critique. The Look Of Silence responds lucidly to those who found revulsion rather than revelation in his depiction of the gaudy cinema-fashioned fantasies of petty gangsters who still terrorized their neighbors decades later. Of his film about the eddying damage visited upon the victims, he’s talked about the impunity under which he and Adi were able to challenge the still-proud killers, from a strikingly different angle than their earlier interviews; what differentiates the “authentic” from the “typical” in documentary; how The Look Of Silence is like a poem as well as the films of Ozu; and how the metaphor of willful moral blindness and literal myopia, as demonstrated through eye exams performed by Adi while he gently prompts their subjects to once more describe their worst exploits, became a powerful and mysterious metaphor even though it began as a pragmatic choice to maintain their safety in the face of unapologetic murderers. [The link is to my Filmmaker cover story interview with Oppenheimer, which is behind the subscriber paywall.]
2. Amy (Asif Kapadia) Kapadia’s enveloping, harrowing, even revelatory second documentary with a posthumous subject is a musical, a tragedy, and a major mash-note to the too-soon-gone talent of Amy Winehouse. “Amy” also portrays a woman who was not so much an addict as someone consumed by feelings, the need to express them, and by brutally intense sensations of love. [More.]
3. Heart of a Dog (Laurie Anderson) “Hello, little bonehead. I’ll love you forever.” Laurie Anderson’s “Heart of a Dog” opens with the identifiable twinkling cadences of her voice, a wonder-struck performative instrument. She’s saying goodbye to someone she loved: her rat terrier Lolabelle. It’s a winsome, plainspoken, concrete, elusive wonder of an essay film about loss and grief. Lolabelle is the second lead, after the murmurs and venturing of her voice, but that’s not all. Someone named Lou is at the heart of it, even when his presence is only in our consciousness. Heart of a Dog invokes Buddhism and 9/11 and living in Manhattan afterwards and the modern surveillance state and many matters both earthbound and otherworldly, and it’s also a stream of consciousness that literally invokes water and rain and snow and bodies of water, writing atop writing, layerings of images, a palimpsest of inscribing atop inscriptions, as well as splendid sound, overlapping strands of music of polyphonic charm, as well as her voice, always her voice, insistent as ragged memory. [More.] [Portrait © Ray Pride.] Read the full article »
NOW AVAILABLE IN A RESTORED 2K FULL VERSION!
. IN THEATERS STARTING NOVEMBER 4, 2015
. SPECIAL COLLECTOR’S EDITION BOX SET (DUAL FORMAT DVD/BD, 13 DISCS) OUT ON NOVEMBER 24, 2015
. ON VOD NOVEMBER 24, 2015
Theatrical Distribution and Dvd/Bd Publisher: CARLOTTA FILMS US
“IN THE ANNALS OF MONUMENTAL CINEMA, THERE ARE FEW OBJECTS MORE SACRED THAN OUT 1 … THE CINEPHILE’S HOLY GRAIL.” — THE NEW YORK TIMES
“RIVETTE’s GRANDEST EXPERIMENT AND MOST EXCITING ADVENTURE IN FILMMAKING.” — JONATHAN ROSENBAUM
DVD/BD & VOD Distribution: KINO LORBER
JEAN-PIERRE LÉAUD | MICHAEL LONSDALE | BERNADETTE LAFONT | ÉRIC ROHMER | BULLE OGIER | BARBET SCHROEDER | JULIET BERTO | FRANÇOISE FABIAN | JEAN-FRANÇOIS STÉVENIN
Paris, April 13, 1970. Two theater groups each rehearse avant-garde adaptations of plays by Aeschylus. A young deaf-mute begs for change in cafés while playing the harmonica. A young woman seduces men in order to rob them. As a conspiracy develops, the protagonists’ stories start to intertwine…
Jacques Rivette, co-founder of the French New Wave along with Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Éric Rohmer and Claude Chabrol, has always been that group’s most free-spirited and aesthetically radical member. This is very much on display in Out 1, his fourth feature film and magnum opus, in which a whimsical young man (Jean-Pierre Léaud) receives anonymous notes that put him on the trail of a mysterious group of people who might or might not be conspirators.
Based on an utterly unique concept that includes the absence of a script and nods to Honoré de Balzac and Lewis Carroll, Out 1 has been near-impossible to see for more than forty years. Both the complete eight-part series, Out 1: noli me tangere (1971), and the shorter theatrical version, Out 1: Spectre (1974), are offered here in newly restored 2K presentations supervised by the films’ director of photography, Pierre-William Glenn (Day for Night). The colorful characters that Léaud encounters during his quest are played by Juliet Berto, Michael Lonsdale, Bernadette Lafont, Bulle Ogier, Françoise Fabian, Jean-François Stévenin and other New Wave icons, with special appearances by directors Éric Rohmer and Barbet Schroeder.
Out 1, an immensely involving, almost addictive blend of film, literature and theater, has rightly been hailed as the Holy Grail of modern French cinema!
— Robert Fischer
// AN INVISIBLE FILM FOR OVER 40 YEARS! //
CARLOTTA FILMS US is absolutely thrilled to announce the full digital restoration and upcoming release of French New Wave director Jacques Rivette’s epic, legendary and iconoclastic masterpiece OUT 1, on all formats: in theaters, on a Special Collector’s Edition Box Set (Dual Format DVD/BD), and on VOD.
Building on their precedent and succesful collaboration on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD (previous releases such as the two Léos Carax films, Boy Meets Girl and Mauvais Sang), CARLOTTA FILMS US and KINO LORBER are joining forces once more for this amazing event.
“A FILM IS AN ORGANIC ENTITY. IT IS AN ORGANISM JUST LIKE ANY BODY…” JACQUES RIVETTE
When Jacques Rivette and his producer, Stéphane Tchalgadjieff, began the OUT 1 project, they did not set a time limit on the work. The final cut, divided into eight episodes, is 12 hours 55 minutes long and the ORTF (the national agency charged with providing public radio and television in France) refused to buy it, fearful of the extraordinary and unclassifiable nature of the film. OUT 1 was shown in its full working version at Le Havre in September 1971, which is now considered a legendary projection, but was shown neither in theaters nor television. Jacques Rivette spent the entirety of 1972 on editing another version of the film, reducing the running time to just over 4 hours. This cut of the film, called OUT 1 : Spectre, which proposes a different vision from the original film, was released in French cinemas in 1974.
The public had to wait until 1989 for the long version to finally be shown in its entirety at the Rotterdam Film Festival, followed by various other European festivals, and finally on French and German television in the early 1990s. From this point on, the original film was called OUT 1: Noli Me Tangere, and was a slightly different cut from the version shown in 1971. After this, Jacques Rivette’s monumental film virtually disappeared from the silver screen.
OUT 1 has remained particularly rare and nearly invisible in its complete version since its creation. Restored in 2015, OUT 1 : Noli Me Tangere and OUT 1 : Spectre are finally available in 2K!!
IN THEATERS STARTING NOVEMBER 4, 2015
CARLOTTA FILMS US will release OUT 1: Noli me Tangere in its full 12-hour-55 minute original version, newly-restored and digitized for nationwide theatrical and home release. This legendary film, that has rarely been shown on the big screen and shrouded in mystery for decades, will finally get to be seen on the silver screen in both the U.S. and France, for a truly unique experience that many film-lovers have only dreamed of until now.
The world premiere will be at BAMcinématek in NYC on November 4, 2015, where it will play for an unprecedented two-week run. We are excited about this special collaboration with BAM and see it as a perfect start for the US tour for OUT 1, as it will continue to be screened in theaters nationwide.
There are already confirmed bookings starting November 4 from THE SISKEL FILM CENTER in Chicago, INTERNATIONAL HOUSE PHILADELPHIA in Philadelphia, CINEFAMILY in Los Angeles…
SPECIAL COLLECTOR’S EDITION BOX SET (DUAL FORMAT DVD/BD, 13 DISCS) & VOD OUT ON NOVEMBER 24, 2015
LIMITED EDITION DELUXE BOXSET
DUAL FORMAT 6 BLU-RAYs & 7 DVDs + 120-PAGE BOOKLET SUPERVISED BY ROBERT FISCHER, DIRECTOR AND FILM HISTORIAN —————
NEW 2K RESTORATION SUPERVISED AND APPROVED BY PIERRE-WILLIAM GLENN, DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY —————
AVAILABLE FOR THE FIRST TIME
BOTH VERSIONS OF “OUT 1”:
“NOLI ME TANGERE” (1971, 8 EPISODES – 12H55)
“SPECTRE” (1974, FEATURE FILM – 4H24)
A NEW FULL-LENGTH DOCUMENTARY
THE MYSTERIES OF PARIS: JACQUES RIVETTE’S “OUT 1” REVISITED
directed by Robert Fischer and Wilfried Reichart (2015 – Color – 106 minutes approx.)
Forty-five years after Out 1 was made, documentary filmmakers Robert Fischer and Wilfried Reichart interviewed cast and crew members and revisited some of the film’s most significant locations. The Mysteries of Paris features new contributions from actors Bulle Ogier, Michael Lonsdale and Hermine Karagheuz, cinematographer Pierre-William Glenn, assistant director Jean-François Stévenin and producer Stéphane Tchal Gadjieff, rare archival interviews with actors Jacques Doniol-Valcroze and Michel Delahaye and, most prominently, illuminating statements by director Jacques Rivette himself.
AN EXCLUSIVE 120-PAGE BOOKLET
“OUT 1 AND ITS DOUBLE”
FEATURING A NEW ESSAY BY JONATHAN ROSENBAUM (FILM SCHOLAR AND JACQUES RIVETTE SPECIALIST)
ILLUSTRATED BY NUMEROUS ARCHIVES
AND ORIGINAL STILLS BY PHOTOGRAPHER PIERRE ZUCCA
6 DUAL-LAYER BD • MASTERED IN HIGH DEFINITION • 1080/23.98p • AVC French 1.0 PCM • English Subtitles
1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio • Color + B&W
Total Running Time (Noli me tangere): 775 mn
Running Time (Spectre): 264 mn
7 DUAL-LAYER DVD • MASTERED IN HIGH DEFINITION • NTSC • MPEG-2 French 1.0 Dolby Digital • English Subtitles
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio • 4:3 • Color + B&W
Total Running Time (Noli me tangere): 775 mn
Calm, bearded, loquacious, Wes Craven is such a smart, soothing professorial presence, you almost want to, well, scream. That’s the name of the newest thriller by the creator of Freddie Krueger, the “nightmare” hero of the most successful series of slasher movies. Through the years, Craven’s tried to get beyond stock genre movies, but with little success. In fact, he turned down neophyte writer Kevin Williamson’s teens-in-peril script at first, fearing that its twisty, knowing riffs on horror staples like Halloween and A Stranger is Calling and the gags among its teenage cast about “the rules” to follow in order to be a horror film survivor, would be yet another nail in his artistic coffin. (Ironically, Miramax is pleased enough with Scream to have promised Craven the chance to make an arthouse movie after the untitled werewolves-on-wheels movie he’s shooting for them now.)
Craven deconstructed horror once before, in his commercially unsuccessful, but sophisticated franchise-killer, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare two years ago. But Scream‘s virtue is that it toys with both the clever and the visceral in a way that could potentially satisfy a larger audience. “I’ve clearly had this impulse to get away from genre,” Craven says. “When I read this script, I said this is too hardcore. If I do this, I’ll never do another kind of film, ever. But at a certain point, I had this feeling that I could go back to my roots, because the script is smart, the characters are well-drawn and interesting. It takes a look at horror from the point of view of the audience, and Drew Barrymore was already attached. We were also hearing that agents around town were reporting a lot of interest from their young clients.” (Eventually, Fox sob-sister Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, the sharp and funny Rose MacGowan and up-and-comer Skeets Ulrich joined the cast.) “So I just had this feeling, screw it, man, I know how to do this, I can make a good picture, and it never hurts to make a strong picture. I kept thinking of Pacino in Heat, what was it he said? ‘I do what I do best!'”
Craven credits his knack for horror to his Southern Baptist upbringing, which forbade movies, dancing, drinking and card-playing. After grad school, while teaching college, he discovered filmmakers like Fellini, Buñuel, Bergman, Antonioni, and Polanski. “I borrowed a lot from those films for the American genre of scary movies,” Craven says. “Obviously, I think the horror genre could be served by more thoughtful writers and directors than it has been.” I wonder aloud why the thoughtful Craven didn’t wind up in a more “respectable” line of filmmaking. “That’s a question I’ve asked myself so many times I don’t have a flip answer. I think there was a lot of rage in my background. Things I didn’t know were there until I made Last House on the Left. Maybe there’s some level of self-assassination to make people think I’m somebody completely different than who I am. That’s why they don’t offer me a film like The English Patient! But then I think, I’ve made fifteen films, and as many television films. I’ve worked steadily my whole career.”
And it’s a career Craven is not at all ashamed of. “There’s something valuable in horror. Typically, kids comes out of a scary movie bubbling over with energy. There’s a very salubrious release, a deep sense of tensions and fears that get exorcised. I think laughter is a natural release for unbearable tension. I think the audiences unify in a way that’s unique in our culture, when they’re all scared together. The old buffaloes turn their backs to the wind and get the young ones in the middle. Boyfriends protecting the girlfriends, you know.”
And the most obvious question of all: What scares you? “That question!” After a moment, he adds, “What scares Wes Craven? My release date! It’s better than Halloween, but I wonder how we’ll do with the number of films out there. But what scares me, really? My standard answer is that I’m scared by what scares the audiences, which is why I can do what I do. The core fear is what can happen to you, personally. Your body. That’s what horror films deal with, precisely. We are a very thin skin wrapped around a pumping heart and guts. At any given moment it can come down to that, be it diseases, or somebody’s assault, or war, or a car wreck. You could be reduced to the simple laws of physics and your body’s vulnerability. The edged weapon is the penultimate weapon to disclose that reality to you. That’s why the O. J. Simpson trial was so compelling. It’s because the crime was so primal. It had to do with that fact that three human beings, whoever they were, were locked, literally, in a cage, with somebody with a knife. I think horror also deals with the outskirts of paranoia and trust. Literally, who can you trust? Can you trust your perceptions, or trust your family to protect you? Will your boyfriend or girlfriend be there for you, instead of against you? It’s all the mind-body paradigm. Is my mind giving me accurate enough information that my organism will survive, or do I have an erroneous concept that will cause something calamitous to happen to me?”
Does that leave Craven with any philosophy to live by? He clicks a throat lozenge, smiles a little. “I run a friendly set. People get along. Around our office, we like to say, life is too short, get rid of the assholes.”
Originally published 19 December 1996.