The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for week of May 25
The only links page that matters… except for all the others.
“A black friend of mine, after seeing Henry Fonda in The Grapes of Wrath, swore that Fonda had colored blood. You could tell, he said, by the way Fonda walked down the road at the end of the film: white men don’t walk like that! and he imitated Fonda’s stubborn, patient, wide-legged hike away from the camera.” At Kino Slang, Andy Rector posts James Baldwin’s excellent, provocative reading of Lang’s You Only Live Once, from The Devil Finds Work.
Say this if you’re looking for a silver lining: Who ever thought Kathryn Bigelow would be mainstream enough that one of her films would be helped along by classified leaks from the White House? Yet that’s exactly what happened during the preproduction of Zero Dark Thirty. Here’s your links, helpfully sorted in order of outrage. If this strikes you as, ok, odd, but honestly no big deal, The Playlist has you covered. If you’re somewhat troubled by the implications, try The Guardian. Sputtering indignantly at the confluence of statist arrogance and Hollywood propaganda? Glenn Greenwald’s your man. And if you’re barely even upset because really, what did you expect after we placed a socialist traitor in the Oval Office, join the conversation at Judicial Watch, the organization which (admirably, in all sincerity) obtained the government records and has posted them online to sort through yourself.
“Creating something beautiful and becoming beautiful oneself are indistinguishable.” John Bailey recalls one of the highlights of filming Mishima: working with the incomparable Eiko Ishioka.
At the Cannes halfway point, Film Comment convenes a roundtable of Amy Taubin, Gavin Smith, Scott Foundas, and Todd McCarthy to discuss the festival so far. Which is worth it for the most accurate transcription of film critics chatting that I’ve ever read: three successive participants tossing in just one more (lengthy) thought about a film they’ve all agreed to move on from.
In the latest of their fine, perceptive Conversations, Ed Howard and Jason Bellamy revisit all of Michael Haneke’s films, so you don’t have to.
Mónica Delgado briefly surveys the experimental cinema of Soviet controlled Eastern Europe, a group of films still underappreciated, being a walled-off genre from a walled-off land. At desistfilm, a new journal noted by Adrian Martin.
Another excellent behind-the-scenes read at Ted Fendt’s blog: his translation of a passage from Antoine de Baecque’s Godard Biographie detailing the visits to Palestine that Godard and Gorin made for Until Victory, and the political impasses and tragedies that led to the project being abandoned until the footage was repurposed for Ici et ailleurs.
“Painting, sculpture, music, architecture, the writing of a novel—all of these art forms take years of apprenticeship. And I didn’t have time for any such apprenticeship; I had wasted too much of my life already. But I knew I could write and direct a movie!” Kim Morgan looks back at Rob Devor’s deserving-of-a-cult The Woman Chaser, and its excellent, dryly unhinged, and marvelously in period lead performance by Patrick Warburton.
The Schroeter retrospective and Alex Perry’s The Color Wheel have J. Hoberman reminiscing on the unique texture and special legacy of 16mm film.
“She was a blonde with squinty eyes and a broad nose and a mouth that kept puckering contemptuously, like a Ginger Rogers who refused to play nice; she had a curdled kind of face, like she was always smelling a rat.” Dan Callahan on the unique, whipcrack genius of Glenda Farrell.
It’s one thing to be a fan of an oft-derided filmmaker, quite another to stick up for a film even his other fans dismiss. Ben Haggar makes a lovely show of it defending no one’s favorite Jean Rollin effort The Escapees (aka The Runaways).
“Everyone is disappointing the more you know someone.” The Kind of Face You Hate’s Bill R. amusingly takes down Charlie Kaufman’s smart-ass smugness, then no less amusingy has to reverse himself when he finally catches up to Synecdoche, New York.
Kimberly Lindbergs offers another collection of Cannes photographs, running through the 1960s. There’s only a couple of tense, harshly lit pics from the ’68 standoff, and things come back in high style the very next year, with Hopper and Nicholson high-stepping down the street and Charlton Heston sharing a laugh with Ustinov and Robards.
Video: A Therapy, Roman Polanski’s latest film, is available for viewing on web, in its 3:30 entirety. Okay, it’s an ad for Prada, but it premiered at Cannes this week and it is distinctly Polanski.
Video: John Huston’s Let There Be Light, suppressed by the American military for decades, has been restored by the National Film Preservation Foundation and is available to stream free from their website through August. Some background via Videodrone here.
The weekly links page is compiled and curated by Bruce Reid in collaboration with the editor of and contributors to Parallax View.