Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Season

A new season begins this week at Cinematheque Ontario. In addition to retrospectives of Jacques Demy and Edward Yang (the links are to essays by James Quandt and Andrea Picard respectively), there are a number of one-off screenings that also look very attractive, e.g., the short films of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, James Benning's Casting a Glance, Serge Bozon's La France, Vittorio de Seta's Bandits of Orgosolo, and one of the few Sam Fullers I've never managed to catch, China Gate. Finally, R. Bruce Elder's The Book of all the Dead looks daunting (at 42 hours!) and interesting, although it's highly unlikely that I'll be able to see any of it.

At George Eastman House, I'll finally be able to catch up with Jerzy Skolimowski's Deep End. Also: a second shot at seeing Pedro Costa's films on the big screen.

Comments or suggestions on the above film listings are most welcome.

* * *

So, I'm back home in Buffalo, juggling the new semester, jet lag, and a fearsome cold I caught on the 15-hour flight from Dubai to New York that was transporting a battalion of bawling babies. The good news is that there's lots of interesting reading to catch up with in the blogosphere:

-- Michael Guillen's great and large Val Lewton Blogathon at The Evening Class.

-- Jonathan Rosenbaum on Jeannette Catsoulis' "ugly, xenophobic, tossed-off" NYT review of Opera Jawa.

-- David Pratt-Robson has been blogging up a nice little storm: John Ford; Colossal Youth; Ken Jacobs, etc .

-- Two meaty 2007 round-up posts: David Hudson at Greencine, and Ryland Walker Knight at The House Next Door.

-- Dave McDougall at Chained to the Cinémathèque: "Crimen Falsi Redux, Part 1: The Theory of the Image".

-- Dan Sallitt on Henry Hathaway: "Part of the problem in reevaluating Hathaway is that auteurism has never completely shaken off its allegiance to the practice of valuing directors according to their themes - no matter that themes are generally created on the level of script or story conference."

-- Among other things, Joe Bowman's blog, Fin de Cinema, is a good source of upcoming DVD info. Recently revealed: Alain Resnais' Melo and L'Amour à mort; La Chinoise; Grant Gee's Joy Division documentary; Alea's The Last Supper; Sissako's Bamako; Peter Delpeut's Diva Dolorosa; Lynn Hershman-Leeson's Strange Culture, etc.

-- via Aaron Graham: Larry Gross on Zodiac at Movie City News.

-- Some recent J. Hoberman: Last Year at Marienbad; Still Life; and Woman on the Beach.

-- In the new issue of Film Comment, "Terra Incognita: 18 Films to Look Out For".

pic: Edward Yang's The Terrorizers.


Blogger Darren said...

I pore over the Cinematheque season program whenever it arrives in the mail. I was hoping to make it up for a long weekend this winter, but it looks like I'll have to wait until late-spring or early-summer. Any rumors about what James has in the works?

January 17, 2008 8:31 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Darren, James has a large Oshima retro in the works, likely for the spring season, which'll begin late March. That'd be great if we could rendezvous in Toronto over a Cinematheque weekend.

January 17, 2008 8:36 AM  
Blogger Tucker said...

glad to hear you made it back intact.

January 17, 2008 9:24 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

China Gate and Deep End on the big screen? You don't need my encouragement.

January 17, 2008 9:26 AM  
Blogger Dan Sallitt said...

Girish - Bandits of Orgosolo is quite good, well worth your while. De Seta is a very interesting, artistically ambitious guy: this is probably his best work, maybe because his subjective impulses are expressed indirectly, under the cover of neorealistic ethnography.

January 17, 2008 10:59 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Dan -- Thanks for the De Seta tip. Some of his shorts have just been added to the screening, which makes it even more attractive...

Peter -- It just dawned on me that of all of Fuller's features in his peak period (1949's I Shot Jesse James to 1964's The Naked Kiss), China Gate is the only one I haven't seen. And I hear it's a Scope film to boot...

Tucker -- I didn't realize that on international flights these days, not only do you have your own personal TV screen but also access to dozens of films that you can schedule, start up, rewind, etc at your own discretion. A big change from a few years ago. The Hollywood films they had playing were mostly super-mainstreamy and not very interesting but the Bollywood channel was pretty cool.

January 17, 2008 1:02 PM  
Blogger aaron said...

I know this is wayyyyy in advance, but TCM is showing Fuller's UNDERWORLD USA on March 12at 5pm (Central).

Also on that day: the Tony Curtis-Jerry Lewis buddy film BOEING BOEING -- the first time TCM has shown it, I believe.

January 17, 2008 3:49 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Great, I can finally upgrade my crappy VHS dub of Underworld USA with something better...

January 17, 2008 5:26 PM  
Blogger Flickhead said...

Fuller’s Park Row is on TCM January 22 — click here.

January 17, 2008 5:52 PM  
Blogger weepingsam said...

Does anyone know if that Edward Yang retrospective is going to tour? or is it a one off? If those films aren't coming to Boston, I may need to make the trek... Terrorizer and Brighter Summer Day have not played here in the 10 years I've been paying attention...

Ditto on the Oshima retrospective - there are quite a few Oshima films that haven't shown in these parts either.

January 17, 2008 6:30 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Sam, the Yang series was organized by Cinematheque Ontario and I have no idea if it will tour. If you like, you could try the box office (416-968-FILM); they're usually pretty helpful, and if they don't know the answer, they might be able to put you in touch with someone who does.

January 17, 2008 6:58 PM  
Blogger Tourist said...

Some of Edward Yang's films are not on DVD yet, this is a great chance to take a look at his early works.

btw, I'm a longtime reader of this extraordinary blog, learned a lot from Girish's erudite knowledge of cinema.

January 18, 2008 4:47 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Thank you, Tourist. You're too kind.

-- Kevin Lee's year in images, as he offers screen grabs from the 20th minute and 07th second of films I saw in 2007.
-- Walter 'Quiet Bubble' on Cibo Matto's Yuka Honda.

January 18, 2008 10:26 AM  
Blogger Maya said...

Girish, welcome home!! I hope you kick your cold pronto. And thanks for your kind references to the Lewton blogathon, which wrapped today. Kiyoshi Kurosawa next.

As for Yang, I know that San Francisco's Asian American Film Festival (in March, I believe) will be screening several of his films. I was going to do an essay for their program but they didn't send me the materials until I was on my way to Palm Springs.

January 19, 2008 3:03 AM  
Blogger Bob Turnbull said...

I've already booked 5 of the Demy films (the previously seen - and loved - Umbrellas and Rochefort, plus Bay Of Angels, Lola and Peau D'Ane) and "The Tracey Fragments" and "Dracula". I'm hoping I can squeeze in "China Gate" and maybe "Muriel".

We just packed off my in-Laws to India earlier this week. With the additional 2 hours wait in Frakfurt, it took them close to 22 hours from Toronto...Ugh. It's been a few years for my wife's Mom, but her Dad was there just last year visiting his brother.

January 19, 2008 8:16 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Michael, your blogathon was a smash success and with zero exaggeration I can state that you are the hardest-working filmblogger we have. One day I will come closer to learning how you do it....

Bob, I'm also a big fan of Demy's underrated Model Shop. And I had no idea your wife was from India.

January 20, 2008 8:24 PM  
Blogger Bob Turnbull said...

I was curious about "Model Shop", but the timing just doesn't work out for me that evening.

I just noticed that "Casting A Glance" is playing which has been getting some good write-ups of late, so I'll have to clear some time for it...I don't why I missed it initially as it looks right up my alley.

My wife's folks are from Bengal. She was actually born in Ghana and came to Canada when she was a teenager (after bouncing around Zambia, Liberia and Michigan). I'm hoping we can make our way out to India in the next 5 years as I've never been and it's been almost 20 years for her...

January 21, 2008 6:09 PM  

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