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.]
Kino Lorber and Carlotta Films’ Blu-ray/DVD OUT 1 Box Set,
originally scheduled for release on November 24, 2015, will now become available on January 12, 2016
New Street Date: January 12, 2016
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 26, 2015 – Kino Lorber and Carlotta Films US announce that the Blu-ray/DVD release of Jacques Rivette’s OUT 1, originally set to street on November 24, 2015, will now become available on January 12, 2016. The SRP is $99.95.
As previously announced, this release of OUT 1 is presented in a new 2k restoration supervised and approved by director of photography Pierre-William Glenn, and includes both the original 8-part series (Noli Me Tangere) alongside the shorter theatrical cut (Spectre), in a 13-disc, dual format (Blu-ray/DVD) special collector’s edition box set.
Special features include a new 120-page booklet, “OUT 1 and its Double” (bilingual English/French) featuring a new essay by film scholar and Jacques Rivette specialist Jonathan Rosenbaum, illustrated by numerous archival photographs and original stills by photographer Pierre Zucca, and a new full-length documentary, The Mysteries of Paris: Jacques Rivette’s OUT 1 Revisited (2015, 105 minutes), directed by Robert Fischer and Wilfried Reichart that includes interviews with the cast and crew and revisits some of the film’s most significant locations.
OUT 1 (13-disc Blu-ray/DVD Box Set)
Director: Jacques Rivette
Street Date: January 12, 2016
UPC: 7 38329 20158 6
6 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): 760 Minutes Running Time (Spectre): 255 Minutes
7 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): 760 Minutes Running Time (Spectre): 255 Minutes
New Full-Length Documentary – The Mysteries of Paris: Jacques Rivettes’s “Out 1″ Revisited
directed by Robert Fischer and Wilfried Reichart (2015/Color/105 minutes)
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” (Bilingual English/French)
Featuring a new essay by Jonathan Rosenbaum (film scholar and Jacques Rivette specialist)
Illustrated by numerous archives and original stills by photographer Pierre Zucca
About Carlotta Films:
As an independent company, CARLOTTA FILMS has been promoting heritage cinema in France for 18 years: re-releasing restored classic films, cult films from the 70s & 80s, and also working specifically with young audiences.
Since its creation, CARLOTTA FILMS has steadily developed and supported every technological evolution, and released or re-released heritage films, using every medium: theatrical distribution, festivals attendance, DVD and Blu-ray editions, its own VoD platform (www.carlottavod.com), VoD distribution on major platforms, and more recently also an International Sales Section specialized in Independent Heritage Film.
With its work on Cinema History, the discovery of new horizons and new audience, CARLOTTA FILMS has decided to create its own company in the US, CARLOTTA FILMS US, in order to develop, with the same spirit as in France, an active distribution, specialized in revivals, with releases in theaters, as well as on DVD, Blu-ray, VoD, and TV in North America.
CARLOTTA FILMS US wishes to position itself in a complementary way as the already-existing independent American companies, who are doing a great job on Cinema History (both in theaters and DVD/Blu-ray). To do an important work on independent revivals and more especially, but not only, French films, especially from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, and to work on all media, starting with theatrical releases, festivals, then DVD/Blu-ray/VoD and TV.
And to create, from one side of the Atlantic to the other, bridges — links about Cinema History between France and America, with similar, different and new audiences.
About Kino Lorber:
With a library of 1,000 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent art house distribution for over 30 years, releasing over 25 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Classics, and Alive Mind Cinema banners, including five Academy Award® nominated films in the last seven years. In addition, the company brings over 70 titles each year to the home entertainment market with DVD and Blu-ray releases under its five house brands, distributes a growing number of third party labels, and is a direct digital distributor to all major platforms including iTunes, Netflix, HULU, Amazon, Vimeo, Fandor and others.
“Film criticism as a business operates like the film industry itself: The people in charge like to hire people who remind them of themselves, and those people at the top are by and large straight white dudes (baseball caps are an option). That’s not to say they can’t have wildly diverging opinions on a variety of topics, but privilege comes with blinders that are often hard to acknowledge and even tougher to remove. The past few months have seen some of the most prominent film publications taking on new writers who are for the most part white men: Rolling Stone, Film Comment, Indiewire, and of course, Owen Gleiberman at Variety. Many of them have championed underdog filmmakers, but you can’t get over the sense of gatekeeping going on. Film criticism often feels like the treehouse girls are banned from entering, and it’s not hard to assume the conversations we’re missing out on aren’t exactly centered on women in the business… Our world and our art suffers when we limit the number of perspectives allowed to not only tell the story but to discuss it. Women are no better or worse in their opinions than men, but the key differences we bring allow further dimensions in the narrative. Whether they’re conscious of it or not, the ingrained biases of white maleness will continue unchallenged without contrasting voices under the banner, and the commodification of women’s faces and bodies will exacerbate to increasingly damaging levels.”
The next thing that really changed my world and thoroughly influenced my writing were the films of Robert Bresson. When I discovered them in the late seventies, I felt I had found the final ingredient I needed to write the fiction I wanted to write.
What was the final ingredient?
Recognizing that the films were entirely about emotion and, to me, profoundly moving while, at the same time, stylistically inexpressive and monotonic. On the surface, they were nothing but style, and the style was extremely rigorous to boot, but they seemed almost transparent and purely content driven. Bresson’s use of untrained nonactors influenced my concentration on characters who are amateurs or noncharacters or characters who are ill equipped to handle the job of manning a story line or holding the reader’s attention in a conventional way. Altogether, I think Bresson’s films had the greatest influence on my work of any art I’ve ever encountered. In fact, the first fiction of mine that was ever published was a chapbook called “Antoine Monnier,” which was a god-awful, incompetent attempt to rewrite Bresson’s film Le diable probablement as a pornographic novella. So I came to writing novels through a channel that included experimental fiction, poetry, and nonliterary influences pretty much exclusively. I never read normal novels with any real interest or close attention.
~ Dennis Cooper Discovers Bresson