By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Bela Tarr

“I’m not a teacher. I believe there are no rules. Everyone has to find their own way. In the 21st century, you can make a movie with an iPhone or other devices. There are really no rules. You have to liberate students. That’s my role. To see that people are free and powerful. That they are brave enough. I want to remind them that life is hard. I want to show them that they can’t be provincial They shouldn’t just think about their homeland or their own monolithic culture. The world is so big. Our students come from Japan, Korea, Singapore, India, Argentina, Columbia, Mexico, the U.S., all corners of the world. When they are working together they learn from each other. We don’t have teachers. I just invite some interesting directors. In the last semester, I invited Pedro Costa and Carlos Reygadas. Victor Erice has visited us. I was working with them. If you are a young filmmaker and have the chance to work or meet with these people, it’s wonderful. For example, Carlos is from Mexico. He has a completely different vision from other filmmakers. We wanted to talk about human beings and respecting life. My role is to be a liberator and some of the students are doing very interesting stuff. Making films nowadays can be very cheap. In Sarajevo, we didn’t have very much money. Sometimes we were shooting with an iPhone. It was low budget/high energy. I like life, it brings me joy. When I’m shooting it also helps. You have to wait patiently until you see a take that works. Then it’s really done, it’s happened. Filmmaking is like hunting. You have to wait and wait until the situation really transmits life and it’s there. If you’re lucky you can get it into the can, take it to the lab, and watch it, and it’s okay.”
~ Bela Tarr

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“Most of these women were in their early twenties. Most of them refused to go any further with him, but a few went to dinner, or to some sort of casting situation, or to someplace private… if the stories were just about some crazed sex addict who approaches thousands of women on the street trying to get laid, I wouldn’t be posting this now. I don’t want to be attacking every Hollywood douchebag who hits on countless women. That type of behavior isn’t cool, but I think it’s important to separate douchebaggery from any kind of sexual coercion. But the women I talked to who DID go someplace private with Toback, told stories that were worse than the women only accosted on the street… So I did what I could do in my impotent state – for over twenty years now, I’ve been bringing up James Toback every chance I could in groups of people. I couldn’t stop him, but I could warn people about him… I’ve been hoping the Weinstein/O’Reilly stuff would bring this vampire into the light (him and a couple others, frankly). So I was happy today to wake up to this story in the L. A. Times.”
~ James Gunn

“BATTLE OF THE SEXES: Politics and queerness as spectacle/spectacle as politics and queerness. Pretty delightful, lovely, erotic. A-

“Not since EASY A and CABARET have I seen Emma Stone give a real sense of her range. Here, she has pathos and interiority and desire. I love the cinematography and the ways in which the images of the tennis icons are refracted and manipulated via various surfaces/mediators. Also, wild how a haircut is one of the most erotic scenes in cinema this year. Spine tinglingly tactile that feels refreshing. Proof that *cough* you don’t need to be ~graphic/explicit~ to be erotic *cough*. Also, it made me want to get into tennis. Watching it, at least.

“There are interesting touches and intimations as to the cinematic nature of sports, & unpacking the formal approach of broadcasting sports.Also, I was here for Sarah Silverman smoking. And also, hi Mickey Sumner!! It’s a really interesting film about the ways in which public spectacle is never apolitical, and how spectacle is prone to assignation.

“There’s this one other scene from BATTLE OF THE SEXES that I love, and it’s the one in the bar. You see Billie looking after Marilyn as she dances. Through a crowd. There’s a paradoxical closeness and distance between them. In the purple light, and the kitschy decor, everything is distorted. But Billie catches a glance and you can feel the nervous swell inside.”
~ Kyle Turner