The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for week of May 4
The only links page that matters… except for all the others.
“Right now, I’m revolting against the conventions of movies. Who says a film has to cost a million dollars and be safe and innocuous enough to satisfy every 12-year-old in America?” Fifty years after her debut feature screened, fifteen years—sadly—after her death, Shirley Clarke and The Connection are making headlines again, courtesy of a restoration and return to theaters. Manohla Dargis offers a career retrospective, shot through with disbelief that such a game-changer remains a marginal figure in the histories. At Indiewire, Ann Hornaday and David Sterritt discuss how forward-thinking, and mischievous, the director truly was. Glenn Kenny takes exception to the glibness of that latter description in a fine appreciation. Milestone Films, for whom this is merely the first step in restoring many of Clarke’s films, also deserve a nod for their informative press kit, source of the opening quote and well worth a read. [this last link is a .pdf]
That last link above was spotted by David Hudson, as all of them are eventually. Hudson’s film roundups, which render efforts by others (yes, even Your Humble Aggregator) superfluous, have a new home at Fandor, which partnership is kicked off with a marvelous find: Trevor Stark’s history, from October Magazine, of Chris Marker and the SLON film cooperative’s partnership with workers from the Rhodiaceta textile factory in France. A revolutionary effort—admirable in its intentions, stymied by fractionalism and mistrust—that Marker, inevitably, viewed through the lens of the cinematic past, in this case Medvedkin’s ciné-trains. [.pdf]
“Michael Jai White is a badass motherfucker who gets out of prison, rents a room and enters an underground fighting circuit on a mysterious mission of revenge. He’s every bit as badass as he was in Black Dynamite but in a non-parody context.” Outlaw Vern, of course, interviewed by the Morlocks’ R. Emmet Sweeney on the merits of Blood and Bone, among other direct-to-video action movies.
Mubi’s Ehsan Khoshbakht sees in Minnelli’s overwhelming sense of design a belief that his characters’ inner lives are more brilliant than drab reality; at Sight & Sound Keith Uhlich doesn’t deny this brilliance, but worries it leaves many of his movies offbalance and uneven.
“You’ve just had a bad day, that’s all.” “That’s a masterpiece of understatement.” David Thomson can’t quite laugh at Bringing Up Baby anymore; the subtext has “risen to the surface.”
“We mustn’t underestimate American blundering.” A discussion at the Home Theater Forum about digital screenings of Casablanca offers dispiriting evidence how far from acceptable the format remains. Passed along by Jim Emerson.
Should’ve Been: The Playlist’s Oliver Lyttleton charts five unrealized film projects by Sergio Leone, from Cervantes’s knight to The Ghost Who Walks.
Could’ve Been: Ron Miller shares with io9 some of the concept art he and his wife, under the supervision of production designer Pier Luigi Basile, created for David Cronenberg’s Total Recall, which would indeed have featured something morphing into “a kind of phosphorescent vagina.” Be sure to click through the comments for some more illustrations from Miller.
“I have decided to let your family make me rich! It turns out they are wonderful material for a film. A quite serious one, although one of the three sisters is a fool and a clown.” Four charming, playful little letters from Woody Allen to Diane Keaton are offered at Letters of Note.
Near the end of a series of subway scenes, photographed by Stanley Kubrick in 1946, comes an atypically tender moment: a woman’s crossed leg playfully brushing the back of her (husband’s? boyfriend’s?) ankle. The rest are as captivating but unsentimental as you’d expect.
Audio: Ubuweb hosts the Voices of Haiti, as recorded by Maya Deren. Scroll down at the same page for a 1953 symposium featuring Deren, Amos Vogel, Dylan Thomas, and others on the links between poetry and film.
David Hudson, newly ensconced at his new home at Fandor, reports that Portuguese director, writer, producer and actor Fernando Lopes died in Lisbon at 76.
Patricia Medina, the British-born actress turned Hollywood leading, passed away at the age of 92. She made scores of mostly second-tier movies, like Fortunes of Captain Blood (1950), Aladdin and his Lamp (1952), and Drums of Tahiti (1954), before marrying Joseph Cotten and joining him on stage. She is likely best known to cineastes for her superb performance in Orson Welles’ Mr. Arkadin (1955). Ronald Bergan considers her life and career at The Guardian.
The weekly links page is compiled and curated by Bruce Reid in collaboration with the editor of and contributors to Parallax View.