I made an eventful weekend trip to New York for the “Responsibilities of Criticism” seminar/conference at NYU featuring Jonathan Rosenbaum and Adrian Martin. The indefatigable Kevin Lee has documented the sessions at his blog.
I own—and have read—more books by Jonathan than by any other film critic, and given the regularity with which I draw from Adrian’s writings for material on this blog, I should be mailing monthly tuition checks to Melbourne. So it was a rare pleasure to meet and hang out with them both at the conference and off-event, talking cinema non-stop for hours at lunch, dinner, and late-night outings in the Village.
All over, a generous, infectious enthusiasm was circulating this weekend and I’ll remember one funny, touching moment that crystallized it: at the screening of Doomed Love, Adrian slowly and silently raised his fist and punched the air when the opening credits unrolled “Um Filme de Manoel de Oliveira”…
Living more or less in isolation in cinema-indifferent Buffalo, I constantly yearn for trips to large cities to socialize with cinephile friends. And so it was deeply satisfying to see and spend time with Zach Campbell, Dan Sallitt, Kevin & Cindi, Andrew Grant, Danny Kasman, Steve Erickson. And I was fortunate to make new friends: Paul Fileri, Elena Gorfinkel, Liz Helfgott, Amresh Sinha, Fred Veith. I wish I’d been able to spend more time with Paul Grant and Martin Johnson (organizers of the NYU event), Gabe Klinger, David Pratt-Robson, Dave McDougall, and Drake Stutesman.
I warmly record an inventory of these names here because this is one of those few times when, in a reckless moment, I feel like uprooting myself from my comfortable, tenured life and migrating to some giant metropolis with a teeming cinephile-social life (all the while knowing that I probably never will).
-- You must read this fabulously epic double post on Renoir's Elena et les hommes by Craig Keller and Andy Rector.
-- Dave Kehr on Georges Méliès in the NYT; and at his blog, remarking on issues raised at the NYU conference. Also: Zach on the conference.
-- New issue of Senses of Cinema.
-- The Auteurs' Notebook is a new site put together by Danny Kasman. In addition to pieces by him, it also features Dan Sallitt, Acquarello, David Pratt-Robson, Dave McDougall, Matthew Swiezynski, and others to come.
-- via Jen: Stan Brakhage's last interview, recorded two months before his death, in The Brooklyn Rail.
-- Two blogs I've been checking recently for upcoming DVD release info: Fin de Cinema and Filmbo's Chick Magnet.
-- At 12th Street Books in the Village, they were selling a trove of books that belonged to Annette Michelson. It was pretty picked over when I got there but I scored a copy of Eisenstein's writings (1922-1934) and Joel Magny's French-language book on Chabrol.
pic: Philippe Garrel’s wonderful J’Entends Plus La Guitare (1991).