The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for week of November 9
The new issue of Bright Lights Film Journal has arrived, wherein J. D. Markel provides a 9-circle tour of Hell via cinematic Los Angeleses, our guides including Albert Brooks, Michael Douglas and Keanu Reeves (twice); Graham Daseler, in a piece that ironically could be better organized, salutes the oft-overlooked work of editors; A. Loudermilk explores slasher films to attempt a queer reinterpretation of the Final Girl (naturally Sleepaway Camp is discussed at length; but there’s also the intriguing suggestion that the only gay-positive “sissy” Final Girl the genre has to offer is Halloween‘s astutely paranoid sixth-grader Tommy); and an interview with Todd Haynes (conducted by Julia Leyda) that reminds you he’s as conversant with the theory stuff as the academics who write about him.
“‘I’ll kill him!’ Brando told Logan when The New Yorker profile came out. ‘It’s too late,’ Logan shot back. ‘You should have killed him before you invited him to dinner.’” Douglas McCollam looks back at how Truman Capote, attempting to create something new under the sun from the disreputable genre of celebrity profiles, came up with a notorious, unprecedentedly revealing, and maybe even factual interview with Sayonara star Marlon Brando. And if you’ve never read it, here, engrossing as ever, is the New Yorker article itself. Via Longform.
“You have to set an example even in the face of stupidity. Everybody who reads comic books knows that the Kirby Silver Surfer is the only true Silver Surfer. Now am I right or wrong?” Gavin Smith looks back at the career of Denzel Washington, finding a throughline of moral integrity, unglamorous professionalism, and personal remove—almost withdrawal—pretty much without peer.
John Bailey discovers the low-rent but explosively ambitious Nigerian film industry known as Nollywood through the photographs of its low-end stars taken by Pieter Hugo.
I’ve not yet had the chance to read Belén Vidal’s Figuring the Past: Period Film and the Mannerist Aesthetic. But who needs my two cents when the emphatic recommendation comes from Film Studies for Free’s Catherine Grant, and the book itself is free?
Flicker Alley’s Jeff Masino explains how a professional fundraiser came to run one of the finer boutique video labels, in an interview with Fandor’s Brian Darr.
Michael Brook reminds us that every solution is only another, different headache waiting to happen in a brief look at the problems of presenting silent films, with their variable frame rates, on Blu-ray.
At the Smithsonian blog, Mike Dash debunks some long-held myths about Pancho Villa’s contract with Mutual Films, and the practice of filming wars on location when cameras were too bulky and clumsy to allow much “you-are-there” immersion.
There are completists who pore over every bit of ephemera by their favorites searching for auteurist threads, and then there are Jerry Lewis fans. The Filmsaurus does a favor for all of us thus self-identified by hunting down Lewis-directed episodes of two forgotten ’80s tv series: Super Force and Showtime’s Brothers.
The Times’s Eric Pfanner reports on Luc Besson’s latest attempt to play the Hollywood game as good as the locals: Cité du Cinéma, the $230 million 9-stage-studio-cum-film-school that only needs France changing some tax laws to become competitive in the market.
“It’s a welcome meeting of the two filmmakers’ sensibilities: Griff is one of Sirk’s emotionally vulnerable male protagonists, crossed with one of Fuller’s typically extreme personalities.” Bilge Ebiri finds more to admire than most in the seemingly-so-promising matchup of screenwriter Sam Fuller and director Douglas Sirk in Shockproof.
After surveying the films of Andy Sidaris, it’s only natural the crew at Not Coming to a Theater Near You should now cast their spotlight on Angelopoulos. Ian Johnston handles the introduction; reviews for Reconstruction, Days of ’36, and Voyage to Cythera are already up.
Paul Elliott shivers when he contemplates Harpo Marx, and the “muteness that renders him inhuman and therefore horrific.” Thought-provoking or the source of some unintended chuckles, depending on your attitude toward Lacanian readings of movie stars. Via Criterion.
“As he had already told me the end, I didn’t want to read the book. He wanted me also to read Dostoevsky’s The Idiot, which is what Delphine reads on the beach. But I don’t think I read that either.” At Mubi, David Jenkins interviews Marie Rivière on working with Rohmer to make The Green Ray.
Denis Rouvre’s celebrity photographs shine with a playful—hell, goofy—intimacy, as you wonder what blandishments he used to get Tim Roth to wail, Cécile de France to go cross-eyed, and Matt Damon to threaten to swallow the lens.
San Francisco’s Spoke Art gallery presents its latest annual showing of works inspired by the films of Wes Anderson. As you’d expect from such a crowd, portraits of fur-clad, thick-mascaraed Margot Tenenbaum predominate, but even in her first year of contention Suzy Bishop makes a strong showing, especially dressed in her bird costume. Spotted by Movie City News.
A wider, altogether more cheerfully crass, set of film influences lies behind the fake VHS boxes made by cartoonists for Scarecrow Video, with imagined sequels ranging from Howard the Duck to Holy Mountain. On display at the store till November 20th, the images are being posted to this tumblr. Via Mike Everleth.
Hump!, the festival of DIY porno shorts sponsored by The Stranger (and the inspiration for Lynn Shelton’s breakthrough film Humpday), plays at the Uptown through Saturday, November 10. Needless to say, this is adults only, 21 and over. More here.
Maurice Pialat’s autobiographical We Won’t Grow Old Together from 1972 is revived for a week-long run at NWFF. Showtimes here.
Also getting revived is Daisies (1966), Vera Chytilová’s freewheeling farce made in the excitement of the Prague Spring, playing for a week at Grand Illusion in a new 35mm print. Showtimes here.
Couchfest, the annual home-hosted film festival, is back on Saturday, November 10, with four Seattle homes hosting screenings. Schedule and locations here.
It’s competing with another festival that day: Seattle Shorts Film Festival: The Best of the Briefs, playing three programs at SIFF Film Center. Details here.
The “Universal Pictures: Celebrating 100 Years” series continues at NWFF with new prints of Jaws (Friday, November 9), Francis the Talking Mule (Saturday, November 10), The Sting (Saturday, November 10), and Pillow Talk (Sunday, November 11), as well as screenings of Do The Right Thing (Monday, November 12), Magnificent Obsession (Tuesday, November 13), and The Incredible Shrinking Man (Wednesday, November 14), arguably one of the greatest American science fiction films ever made. Showtimes here.
Steve James’ documentary Head Games plays three days only at SIFF Film Center.
Three Imaginary Girls sponsors a screening of Hype!, along with clips of 90s Seattle music, at Grand Illusion on Saturday, November 10. More here.
SIFF presents a double feature with a Hitch. Two Hitches, actually: Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) shows with a special advance screening of Hitchcock, the new film about the making of Psycho. Details here.
Seattle Art Museum’s Film Noir Cycle continues with Female on the Beach (1955) on Thursday, November 15. On 35mm, of course, in living black and white. Passes are sold out but there are always some single tickets available at the door.
Also opening for regular runs this week: Skyfall, the latest installment in the James Bond franchise (multiple theaters); Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln with an Oscar-favorite performance by Daniel Day-Lewis (multiple theaters); A Late Quartet with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken (Egyptian), This Must Be the Place with Sean Penn (Varsity), and the documentary Brooklyn Castle (Harvard Exit).
The weekly links page is compiled and curated by Bruce Reid, with Seattle Screens curated by Sean Axmaker, and other contributions from friends of Parallax View.