Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Antonioni dies at 94

Just as we were all mourning Bergman's death, we found out that Michelangelo Antonioni (Blow Up, L'Eclisse) died at 94 last night. Alongside Bergman, he was one of the last living cinema greats, a beacon of Italian cinema when it was the forefront of artistic invention. He will be much missed.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ingmar Bergman dies at 89

Reuters has reported that Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman died today at the age of 89 at his home on Faro Island in the Baltic Sea.

What can we say? The film world has lost of one of its greatest and kindest maestros and he will be much missed by film lovers world over.

Limite: close reading and clips

Limite is a film by Mario Peixoto, who was twenty-two years old when he made it in 1931. Influenced by Soviet cinema at the time, Peixoto was looking for an aesthetic of pure cinema and created one of the great masterpieces of poetic cinema, perhaps not so well-known like its European equivalents because it was made in South America. Here's a link to a close reading of the film with lots of pictures which gives a good idea about its content. Brazilian film director Walter Salles (Motorcycle Diaries) gave a masterclass about Limite at the last Cannes festival to celebrate the film's print restoration so hopefully it will be getting a DVD release in the near future.

And here are some fragments of Limite found on YouTube:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

YouTube: 100 Movies, 100 Quotes, 100 Numbers

Alonso Mosley is a librarian and media aficionado, the man behind the entertainment web directory, The La-La Land Library. Sourcing from his amazing archiving skills and knowledge, Mosley constructed this parody of all the "100" list specials that the American Film Institute keeps putting out, which finds in Britain its equivalent in Channel 4. Have fun trying to guess which films the clips are from.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Valkyrie's shooting starts in Berlin

The long-standing, unabating cinematic fascination with Hitler gains a new lease of life as the shooting of the Tom Cruise-starred Nazi flick Valkyrie started in Germany last week. United Artists Entertainment LLC describes the film as "a suspense thriller based on the true story of the daring German officers’ plot to assassinate Hitler in 1944."

Directed by Bryan Singer (“The Usual Suspects,” “Superman Returns,” “X Men,” “X2: X-Men: United”) and written by Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie (“The Usual Suspects,” “The Way of the Gun”) and Nathan Alexander, “Valkyrie” reunites Singer and McQuarrie for the first time since their 1995 thriller “The Usual Suspects.”

Tom Cruise, who hasn't looked this good (see pictures) in quite a long time, heads an international cast as Col. Claus von Stauffenberg, the aristocratic German officer who led the attempt to bring down the Nazi regime and end the war by planting a bomb in Hitler’s bunker. Also starring are Kenneth Branagh (“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”), Bill Nighy (“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End”), Tom Wilkinson (“In the Bedroom”), Carice van Houten (“Black Book”), Eddie Izzard (“Ocean’s Thirteen”), Christian Berkel (“Black Book”), Thomas Kretschmann (“King Kong”), and Terrence Stamp (“Billy Budd,” “Superman,” “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace”).

The “July 20 Plot” on Hitler’s life is one the least known episodes of World War Two. Severely wounded in combat, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg returns from Africa to join the German Resistance and help create Operation Valkyrie, the complex plan that will allow a shadow government to replace Hitler’s once he is dead. But fate and circumstance conspire to thrust Stauffenberg from one of many in the plot to a double-edged central role. Not only must he lead the coup and seize control of his nation’s government, he must kill Hitler himself.

The film is slated for a summer 20008 release.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Manda Bala (Send a Bullet): interview with producer Joseph Salomon Frank

The hype has been building for a while and Manda Bala, a documentary about corruption and kidnapping in Brazil which won Sundance's Grand Jury Prize this year, is slated for a 17 August release in the US - no other dates scheduled yet, according to IMDB. The film has been translated as Send a Bullet, which is a literal translation from the original Portuguese title, but a more precise translation would be 'bite the bullet'. Never mind. Chief magazine has published a lengthy interview with producer Joseph Salomon Frank, which you can read here.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Screening: Glauber Rocha's A Idade da Terra (The Age of Earth)

Rare screening alert! Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni said that in Brazilian Cinema Novo director Glauber Rocha's The Age of Earth ‘each scene is a lesson in how modern cinema should be made.’

After stints in Cuba, the United States and Europe, in 1980 Rocha returned to Brazil to make the film, which was his last. This monumental culmination of his career is an urgent ‘anti-symphony’ intended to reinvent Brazilian cinema. Originally, the 16 reels of the film were to be presented in a random order. The frenzied feast of allegories and symbols defied rational reality and sought to ‘resist the classification of colonial anthropology’.

The Age of Earth will be screened at the Tate Modern in London tomorrow, 21/7, at 7pm.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Free film screenings: South London Gallery

As part of a season called THE WEASEL, which runs until 29 July at the South London Gallery, there's a free programme of films, which are:

60 mins, shown daily at 1.30pm
Maxi Geil!’s ‘porn-rock opera’ Nausea II is a humorous musical based around the sex industry, and the amusing similarities between the glamour and shock of both the art world and porn industry. The film combines disenchantment with contemporary desires with a wistful return to old-fashioned song and dance routines.

30mins, shown daily at 3.30pm
Make Me Yours Again is an unscripted portrait of young people talking about love and loss, using homemade ‘mix tapes’ as a trigger. Made during a residency in New Zealand, this work continues Forsyth & Pollard’s Precious Little series.

20 mins, shown daily at 5pm
The River, inspired by Pare Lorentz’s script for a film of the same name, began with the commission of several New York bands to create music to accompany Lorentz’s poetry. The resulting documentary shows gritty footage of the studio sessions.

South London Gallery

YouTube: Clip of Todd Haynes' Bob Dylan bio leaks to the web

The much-anticipated Bob Dylan film Todd Haynes has directed with Cate Blanchett, among many others, playing Dylan, I'm Not There, seems to be finally upon us. It was completed last month and is due for a September U.S release. A clip showing Blanchett's Dylan having a conversation with Allen Ginsberg through the window of a car is on YouTube:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Lesbian attack US epidemic

Not even Russ Meyer or John Waters could have thought of a plot like this - but Fox News can. Apparently the United States are ridden with gangs of lesbians attacking people in the streets. Let's hope they kick the ass of all those bullies who gave sissy boys a bad time at school.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Woody Allen starts shooting in Barcelona

Woody Allen's New York films are definitely a thing of the past. After London, the American director has moved on to Barcelona, where he started shooting his new work, 'Midnight in Barcelona'. The financiers must have been keen on capitalising on the city's frothy reputation and made sure its name got into the title!

According to a press release that arrived through The Filter's wires today, crowds gathered in Barceloneta 'hoping for a glimpse' of cast members Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

At a press conference held in Barcelona on 02 July, Allen expressed his enthusiasm for the project, having spent previous weeks location scouting in the city: 'I hope I can present Barcelona to the world as I see it, the same way I presented Manhattan to the world as I saw it with my eyes', he said.

Cruz and Bardem are old film mates, having starred together in the 1992 film 'Jamon, Jamon' directed by Bigas Luna.

Allen's latest Hollywood muse Scarlett Johansson, who has previously worked on projects including 'Match Point' and 'Scoop' with Allen, arrived in Barcelona early last week for filming.

While details of the film have been kept well under wraps Allen has said of his latest project 'I want to write a love letter to Barcelona and from Barcelona to the world.' Very vague indeed. I personally won't hold my breath for anything coming from Allen, whose films I always found a tad too middle class for my liking, as well as wordy but without much to say.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Streamfest 2007

If you happen to be near Galatina in Italy, check this out:

Monday, July 09, 2007

Slowtime publishes list of selected artists

The list of artists selected to take part of Slowtime 2007, including yours truly, has been published. See it here.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Reminder: Screening of Stella Polare

Hello everyone, just a quick post to remind you all of tomorrow's screening of Stella Polare, Kamera's first public screening, which will take place at the Fleapit in Columbia Rd, E2, London. Hope to see you all there. Entry is free.