Activity-wise, a customary double whammy arrives in early September with the kick-off to the new academic year coinciding with the Toronto film fest. Given that I'll be juggling teaching and film-festivalling, the prime challenges over the next couple of weeks will be smart time- and sleep-management. I don't know for sure if I'll be able to file any dispatches from the film front, but I will try to check in here every now and then. Do keep an eye on Darren's TIFF blog, 1st Thursday, for impressions and interactions of TIFF-goers during the festival.
Some recent reading:
-- At the TIFF site, the Future Projections symposium has interesting essays by Andréa Picard, Marc Mayer, and others, on the relationship between film and the visual-arts world.
-- Michael Sicinski on Straub/Huillet's Europa 2005, 27 Octobre; and anticipating TIFF.
-- Dan Sallitt: "I saw Bringing Up Baby 12 times in my first 15 years of film-buffery, and then let 20 years go by before my 13th viewing last week. My first impression this time around is that there are two films in there, fighting with each other."
-- We know that modernism influenced cinema. But did cinema influence the development of modernism? Malcolm Turvey at Artforum reviews two art exhibits that juxtapose early painting and film.
-- Steven Shaviro on Abel Ferrara's Go Go Tales: "As is always the case in Ferrara’s films — and as almost nobody seems to understand — the real libidinal force of the movie lies, less in the (often sleazy, and here somewhat de-sleazified, but still, let us say, “provocative”) content, than it does in the force field of intensities created by set design, lighting, and especially camera movement. [...] Ferrara himself was in attendance. Introduced before the film, he looked out over the auditorium (in which there were many empty seats) and said, “Every empty seat is a knife in the heart of the director.”"
-- At Zach's: post+comments on an essay by Régis Debray called "Socialism: A Life-Cycle" in the New Left Review.
-- J. Hoberman: "Mumblecore’s compulsive navel-gazing, paucity of external references, and narrow field of interest is not for every taste—as Sam Fuller told a French journalist who asked him about Rebel Without a Cause, “I hate these adolescents and their problems.” Like, who doesn’t—although, seeing these films, I regret no one was on hand to fashion art from the stoned blather or communal shenanigans of Viet-era twenty-somethings."
-- Emmanuel Burdeau from Venice at Cahiers du Cinéma: On the new Arnaud Desplechin film; and Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited.
-- Kevin Lee on Sam Raimi's Evil Dead 2.
-- Several recent posts at Jason Sperb's place, Jamais Vu.
-- Steve Erickson on Johnnie To at Gay City News.
-- Several pieces in the current issue of Screening the Past.
-- Online viewing at Expanded Cinema: Alexandr Hackenschmied's Aimless Walk, which "in many ways inaugurated the avant-garde film movement in Czecholovakia, while also proposing early ideas of 'psychogeography' later developed by the Situationist movement."
-- Phillip Lopate at Bookforum: Literary adaptations into film. (via Sachin.)