Hollywood, a viper’s nest of competitors each hard scrapping for the top of the heap, has nevertheless managed to work in marvelous concert when their interests are mutual. One such extended period of cooperation has come under more scrutiny of late: the deferential attitude shown to Nazi Germany throughout the 1930s, when the country might have been descending into madness but was still first and foremost a market for films. The Hollywood Reporter offers an excerpt from Ben Urwand’s new book on the subject, The Collaboration, describing some of the projects cancelled or bowdlerized by the team of studio heads, Will Hays, and Georg Gyssling, the Los Angeles-based German consul to the United States. The Reporter also provides some dissent from Urwand’s portrait (“slanderous and ahistorical”) from Thomas Doherty, author of this year’s earlier book on the subject, Hollywood and Hitler.
Indian cinema’s been around for longer than 100 years, of course; but as Pamela Hutchinson explains in her look at the nation’s earliest filmmakers, the 1913 premiere of Dadasaheb Phalke’s religious feature Raja Harishchandra has been selected as the industry’s symbolic starting point. Which, officially if however inaccurately, makes this the centennial year for one of the world’s great movie industries. Hutchinson’s is one of a clutch of articles the Guardian has posted to celebrate. Elsewhere, Rachel Dwyer and Rahul Verma offer their top ten lists of Hindi movies and soundtracks, respectively; Nosheen Iqbal interviews the actor Irrfan Kahn (“I always object to the word Bollywood…. Because that industry has its own technique, its own way of making films that has nothing to do with aping Hollywood.”); and novelist Amit Chaudhuri describes how his disdain towards Boll… uh, populist Hindi cinema was eradicated by the discovery (“just as Bollywood seemed to become all gloss and syrup”) of the remarkable films of Vishal Bharadwaj, among others.
Among the highlights in the new DGA Quarterly are Alfonso Cuarón explaining how, for good or bad, each of his previous films has been a learning experience, including the long period it took him and Emmanuel Lubezki to figure out how to stage the scenes in Gravity that depend upon its absence (“I said to Chivo, ‘We can do this very quickly. There are only two characters, so we’ll finish fast.’ That was four-and-a-half years ago.”); Noah Baumbach explaining his love for Jules and Jim to Rob Feld; John Badham breaking down his best action sequence, the dance contest from Saturday Night Fever; and a gallery of Harold Michelson’s vivid, energetic storyboards for the Red Sea sequence in The Ten Commandments.
Gathering together all previous attempts, supplemented with a new interview with Jan Harlan, Nick Wrigley collates a “master list” of all the films Stanley Kubrick’s on the record as admiring. The composite picture doesn’t really do much to solve the mysteries of Kubrick (though it’s more compelling and idiosyncratic than the list of recommended viewing from Spike Lee); but then neither does the revelation that Woody Allen was the director’s first choice for the role that went to Tom Cruise.