Monday, April 30, 2007

Oberhausen launches Sherry Millner's restored Disaster

One of the highlights of the 53rd edition of the International Short Film Festival Oberhaunsen that starts this week (3-8 May) is a restored print of Sherry Millner's seminal Disaster. In 1975/76, while living in San Francisco, Millner produced what has been deemed the first situationist film made in the U.S.

Disaster, a two-screen, 30 minute, b & w Super-8 film, scripted and shot by Millner and Ernest Larsen, won a major prize at the Ann Arbor Film Festival. At the time, Hollywood was producing all-star blockbusters that depicted overwhelming disaster--like The Towering Inferno and Earthquake. Millner felt that the films exploited audiences’ ardent if repressed desire to see the present day metropolis torn to bits. Buried under such spectacular ruins was the real arena of disaster--so difficult to face--everyday life.

The quotidian--that panoply of humiliations (beginning with the alarm clock’s imperious summons each morning), routines, disciplines, distractions, and fantasies which sooner or later reconcile all of us to a regimen of delayed gratification. This was the site that needed to be excavated. Millner decided to take back the cinema for her own ‘cheapskate’ cinemascope disaster epic and to use two screens to animate the gulf that yawned between the two sites of catastrophe.

Further info +


An excerpt from the video 41 Shots by video Millner and Larsen.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Interview: Julie Christie

(Embassy Pictures; Michael Gibson/Lionsgate Films)

Julie Christie comes out of hiding for Sarah Polley's debut feature Away From Her and gives an interview to the International Herald Tribune.

Read +

Monday, April 23, 2007

Reading tip

"The result is an utterly charming comedy of sexual manners that should do very well wherever audiences appreciate savvy dialogue and smart, observational filmmaking."

Full article +

Saturday, April 21, 2007

David Lynch Paris show

An article about David Lynch's show, The Deformation Man: David Lynch's Chimerical Universe of Metamorphosis, at the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain to 27 May.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Trailer: Tell No One

I'm not really the biggest fan of police chases, but I have to admit to having enjoyed quite a lot this manhunt shown in the trailer of the upcoming French film Tell No One, based on the thriller by by Harlan Coben. The film is a due for a 15 June UK release.

Tell No One trailer +

Tell No One French site +

Cannes announces line-up for this year's festival

The line-up for the 2007 edition of the Cannes Film Festival was announced yesterday. "My Blueberry Nights" starring singer Norah Jones -- the first English language film from Wong Kar-Wai -- will open the 60th Cannes Film Festival. The singer stars in the story of a young woman who travels across America to find answers to her questions about the true meaning of love. Now, such a storyline sounds really boring, especially with the Starbucks-friendly voice that comes out of Jones' mouth. The festival takes place between 16 and 27 May and it will include the world premiere of Michael Moore's latest crockie, "Sicko."

Full list:

In Competition

"My Blueberry Nights," directed by Wong Kar-Wai
"Auf Der Anderen Siete," directed by Fatih Akin
"Un Veille Maitresse," directed by Catherine Breillat
"No Country For Old Men," directed by Joel & Ethan Coen
"Zodiac," directed by David Fincher
"We Own The Night," directed by James Gray
"Les Chansons D'Amour," directed by Christophe Honore
"Mogari No Mori," directed by Naomi Kawase
"Breath," directed by Kim Ki Duk
"Promise Me This," directed by Emir Kusturica
"Secret Sunshine," directed by Lee Chang-dong
"4 Luni, 3 Saptamini Si 2 Zile," directed by Christian Mungiu
"Tehilim," directed by Raphael Nadjari
"Stellet Licht," directed by Carlos Reygadas
"Persepolis," directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
"Le Scaphandre et le Papillon," directed by Julian Schnabel
"Import Export," directed by Ulrich Seidl
"Alexandra," directed by Alexandre Sokourov
"Death Proof," directed by Quentin Tarantino
"The Man From London," directed by Bela Tarr
"Paranoid Park," directed by Gus Van Sant
"Izgnanie" (The Banishment), directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev

British director Stephen Frears will serve as the president of the Cannes competition jury and will be joined by actress Maggie Cheung from Hong Kong, actress Toni Collette from Australia, director and actress Maria de Medeiros from Portugal, director and actress Sarah Polley from Canada, director Marco Bellocchio from Italy, writer Orhan Pamuk from Turkey, director and actor Michel Piccoli from France, and director Abderramane Sissako from Mauritania.

Out of Competition

"Sicko," directed by Michael Moore
"Ocean's Thirteen," directed by Steven Soderbergh
"A Mighty Heart," directed by Michael Winterbottom

Midnight Screenings

"Boarding Gate," directed Olivier Assayas
"Go Go Tales," directed by Abel Ferrara
"U2 3D," directed by Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington

Special Screenings

"11th Hour," directed by Leila Conners Petersen and Nadia Conners
"The War," directed by Lynn Novick and Ken Burns
"Retour en Normandie," directed by Nicolas Philibert
"He Fengming," directed by Wang Bing

Un Certain Regard

"Le Reve de la Nuit d'Avant," directed by Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi
"Calle Santa Fe," directed by Carmen Castillo (first film)
"Munyurangabo," directed by Chung Lee Isaac (first film)
"Et Toi T'Es Sur Qui?" directed by Lola Doillon (first film)
"El Bano del Papa," directed by Enrique Fernandes and Cesar Charlone (first film)
"Bikur Hatizmoret," directedd by Eran Kolirin (first film)
"Mister Lonely," directed by Harmony Korine
"Magnus," directed by Kadri Kousaar (first film)
"Mang Shan," directed by Li Yang
"Mio Fratello E Figlio Unico," directed by Daniele Luchetti
"California Dreamin' (Nesfarsit)," directed by Christian Nemescu (first film)
"La Soledad," directed by Jaime Rosales
"L'Avocat de la Terreur," directed by Barbet Schroeder
"Les Pieuvres," directed by Celine Sciamma (first film)
"Am Ende Kommen Touristen," directed by Robert Thalheim
"Kuaile Gongchang," directed by Ekachai Uekrongtham

The Un Certain Regard jury includes head Pascale Ferran, along with Jasmine Trinca, Cristi Puiu, Kent Jones and Bian Qin and the Camera d'or jury for a film by a first time director will be headed by Pavel Longuine along with Julie Bertucelli, Clotilde Courau and Renato Berta.

Short Films in Competition

"Run," directed by Mark Alston (New Zealand)
"The Oate's Valor," directed by Tim Thaddeus Cahill (United States)
"The Last 15," directed by Antonio Campos (United States)
"Ah Ma" (Grandma), directed by Anthony Chen (Singapore)
"Resistance Aux Tremblements," directed by Olivier Hems (France)
"Ark," directed by Grzegorz Jonkajtys (Poland)
"Ver Llover," directed by Elisa Miller (Mexico)
"To Onoma Tou Spourgitiou," directed by Kyros Papavassiliou (Cypress)
"Spegelbarn" (Looking Glass), directed by Erik Rosenlund (Sweden)
"Het Zusje" (My Sister), directed by Marco Van Geffen (The Netherlands)
"My Dear Rosseta," directed by Yang Hae-hoon (South Korea)

La Cinefondation

"Aditi Singh," directed by Mickael Kummer (Le Fresnoy, France)
"Ahora Todos Parecen Contentos," directed by Gonzalo Tobal (Universidad del Cine, Argentina)
"Your Younger Daughter Rachel," directed by Efrat Corem (Sapir Academic College, Israel)
"Chinese Whispers," directed by Raka Dutta (Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, India)
"For the Love of God," directed by Joseph Tucker (NFTS, U.K.)
"Goyta," directed by Joanna Jurewicz (NYU, U.S.)
"Hable Stunden," directed by Nicolas Wackerbarth (DFFB, Germany)
"Minus," directed by Pavle Vuckovic (Fakultet Dramskih Umetnosti, Serbia)
"Pathways," directed by Hagar Ben-Asher (Minshar School, Israel)
"Imprudence," directed by Alexander Kugel (VGIK, Russia)
"A Reunion," directed by Hong Sung-hoon (KAFA, South Korea)
"Rondo," directed by Marja Mikkonen (Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Finland)
"Way Out," directed by Chen Tao (Beijing Film Academy, China)
"Saba," directed by Therezaa Menezes and Gregorio Graziosi (FAAP University, Brazil)
"Triple 8 Palace," directed by Alexander Ku (NYU, U.S.)
"Vita Di Giacomo," directed by Luca Governatori (La femis, France)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Video Links at the Tate

More on video art: the event I curated for the Tate Modern in London went really well and after a very busy spell, I managed to compile a few links to some of the works on display at the show.

Artist: Carlos Nader

(click on the video Carlos Nader)

Artist: Lucas Bambozzi

(Click on Works - Videos - I Have No Words)

Artist: Maria Lucia Cattani

(Click on 4d)

Artist: Roberto Berliner

(Click on Assista ao Filme, top right corner)

VideoBrasil in London

VideoBrasil, the country's leading catalyst of video art from the southern hemisphere, is coming to London for a one-day programme of electronic art and discussion (28 April at the ICA).


Monday, April 16, 2007

Hibernator: prince of the petrified forest - final screening 29/4

This sounds like an interesting experiement.

Working with the legacy and personal myth of Walt Disney, cryogenically frozen at the point of death, London Fieldworks proposed his reincarnation and have created the animatronic Hexer, to stand in for his alter-ego and to star in their film prince of the petrified forest.

In the Upper Space at Beaconsfield a green-screen environment provides an installation and working animation studio for London Fieldworks. There sits the animatronic sculpture, a monstrous hybrid of Disney and his iconic characters, Bambi and Thumper. The chimera is called to perform for camera, the power of his actions modulated by light cues reported from the window on the back wall of the gallery.

The animation in progress draws inspiration from Felix Salten's anthropomorphic novel Bambi: A Life in the Woods, first published in 1928 and the source for Walt Disney's iconic 1942 animated feature film Bambi. But realised through the combined expertise of specialists in prosthetics and robotics, Hexer is a creature of his time and the landscapes he encounters are far from Disney's idealised forest.

Over the exhibition period of twenty eight days, Hexer's activity is digitally recorded by the artists and incorporated into their film, the process exposed to the public. The final day of the exhibition will culminate in the premiere of the completed film, and Hexer will return to slumber.

Closing Event: Final Film Screening
Date: Sunday 29 April
Time: 2pm

Full Screening followed by panel discussion with collaborators Steve Beard, Paul and Laura Carey, Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson

Free entry but booking advisable. Call Beaconsfield on 020 7582 6465.

Beaconsfield Gallery +

London Fieldworks +

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Solta O Frango - Bonde Do Role

This Baile Funk music phenomenon has spawned its first brilliant act: Bonde Do Role. Their songs are great, irreverent, funny and prone to very imaginative use of Brazilian street Portuguese. And their videos are good too, like this City of God-ish Solta O Frango:

Friday, April 13, 2007

Clip: The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai

"A riotous amalgam of political satire, apocalyptic comedy and steamy erotica, The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai is an insanely entertaining example of the Japanese pink film (pinku eiga) genre, a popular form of erotic softcore cinema. Titillation is, of course, a primary goal, but due to Japan's censorship codes (no depiction of genitalia or penetration is allowed), creative storytelling is also important. When both factors are present, as in this memorably nutty offering, the result is particularly pleasurable. Sachiko Hanai (Emi Kuroda) is an escort who specializes in teacher-student scenarios (the film's delightfully apposite original title is Horny Home Tutor: Teacher's Love Juice). One day, after an energetic tutoring session, Sachiko adjourns to a nearby café. An argument between two men escalates, and she is shot between the eyes. Miraculously only dazed, she grabs a mysterious cylinder from the café floor, thus making off with a clone of George W. Bush's finger. And then things get really weird. Sachiko discovers odd psychic abilities and begins imagining various theories of the universe and multivalent philosophical speculations, all to the throb of techno. While she pursues arcane poststrucuturalist knowledge—and has intellectual intercourse with a political philosopher—a consortium of bad guys chase her in the hopes of recovering the cylinder. Raunchy and hilarious in equal measures, with a dash of smart political commentary, Mitsuru Meike's memorable feature will undoubtedly tickle you pink."

(From the notes of the San Francisco International Film Festival 2006 by Rod Armstrong)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


..."like Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, it’s post-cinema, and not created for the purpose of traditional entertainment, let alone edification. It’s onslaught filmmaking, the new form that’s self-defeating in its cacophony and nearly religious in its zealotry for its own form and mythos."

Read more +

YouTube tip: Fassinder's second short film, Das Kleine Chaos

Via Expanded Cinema: "Rainer Werner Fassbinder's second 16mm short--made while still a theatre director in Munich---shows the young filmmaker clearly under the influence of the French nouvelle vague [complete with a poster of Juliette Greco], yet already hinting at the recurring themes of his mature work. Theo (played by Christoph Roser, who financed the film in return for a staring role), Marite (Marite Greiselis), and Franz (played by Fassbinder) turn their love of American noir into a crime spree, even if one reflecting on the moral nature of violence and crime, and in typically Fassbinder fashion, the chaos of postwar culture [after breaking into a woman's house to rob her and putting a Wagner record on the phonograph, Fassbinder's character asks his hostage: "Do you love the Fuhrer?"]. Fassbinder himself appears under his frequent character alias of 'Franz'---inspired by his love of Alfred Doblin's novel 'Berlin Alexanderplatz.'

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Call for entry: OK.VIDEO MILITIA

The OK.Video Militia festival in Jakarta is accepting submissions until 15 May. Check out the regulations as there are some interesting categories.

OK.Video Militia

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Berlin Alexanderplatz on a loop

Those lucky enough to be holidaying in Berlin should pay a visit to the KW Institute for Contemporary Art at the famous Auguststraße 69 to see the exhibition of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz, the monumental film he made for television and based on Alfred Döblin’s 1929 novel. The film consists of thirteen episodes and an epilogue, and runs to fifteen hours and thirty-nine minutes. When it was first screened in Germany in 1980, it triggered heated debates and gained international recognition as one of the film masterpieces of the past decades. The show is a follow-up to the screening at the last Berlinale.

The episodes and the epilogue of Berlin Alexanderplatz will be screened in permanent loop in fourteen separate rooms. In addition, all the episodes are shown in chronological order and full length on a central big screen. Visitors can thus decide how they approach Berlin Alexanderplatz: they can divide its unusual length up into pieces, watch episodes several times, or return to the exhibition whenever they like, as the entrance ticket entitles holders to repeated visits. The exhibition also presents stills from the film’s 224 scenes. A further, highly personal document are the tapes on which Fassbinder himself recorded his script for the film and which have never previously been made accessible to the public.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue (in German; English edition planned; approx. 600 pages), edited by Klaus Biesenbach, with essays by Susan Sontag and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The show runs until 13 May 13.

KW +

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Saint Etienne at the South Bank Centre

In association with Agnès B, Saint Etienne present tomorrow an evening called Paris in the Spring, whose flyer alone makes the visit to the often un-spring-y South Bank worthwhile.

South Bank +

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Curzon launches magazine

Curzon cinemas has launched a bimonthly magazine and issue one is available for free from Chelsea, Renoir, Richmond, Mayfair or Soho. The issue puts the focus on the German film The Lives of Others, soon to be reviewed on The Filter. You can listen to a podcast featuring an interview with the film's director, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck +