I’m in the final week of classes this semester. Soon, summer will be here and along with it the chance to step up the pace of cinema-related activities—watching, reading, writing.
I’m generally a DVD renter rather than buyer, but I just purchased a big batch from Europe to fire up as soon as the semester ends:
-- Godard’s Histoire(s) du cinema. I saw one of the earliest North American screenings that were part of the comprehensive JLG retro assembled by James Quandt about 6 years ago. But they are now a blur in my head, and more than any other movies I can think of, these demand repeated re-viewings.
-- Godard/Mieville shorts: De l'origine du XXIe siècle, The Old Place, Liberté et patrie, Je vous salue, Sarajevo, plus a hardcover book.
-- Bresson’s The Devil, Probably, finally on DVD. I've seen this once, on videotape.
-- Satyajit Ray’s Abhijan. Upon graduation from college, I joined a computer company in Calcutta. Right across the street from my office building in Ballygunge, I saw my first-ever retrospective, the complete films of S. Ray. I haven’t seen Abhijan since.
-- Rossellini’s Era notte a Roma. Also, great news: Criterion is releasing some of his made-for-TV history films in the fall.
-- Terence Davies’ Distant Voices, Still Lives. I've seen just two Davies films: The House of Mirth and The Long Day Closes. Home Film Festival used to carry a videotape of his shorts that I'm sorry I never got around to renting.
-- Jean Vigo collection: L’Atalante, Zero for Conduct, A propos de Nice, Taris. I’ve been waiting years to see the latter two films.
-- Renoir’s Toni. Renoir is one of my all-time favorite filmmakers but I've never immersed myself in his films intensely over a limited time period. I'd like to do that this summer. And alongside, I look forward to reading the critical writings on his films by Andre Bazin, Raymond Durgnat, Christoper Faulkner, Leo Braudy, etc.
-- Mizoguchi’s Crucified Lovers and The Woman of Rumour. I haven’t seen the former but I loved the latter. Here's David Bordwell's entry on the film, and mine.
-- Godard’s Sauve qui peut (la vie) a.k.a. Slow Motion.
I'm wondering: any recent or future DVD releases you're excited about or would like to recommend? To jog your memory, here's the release calendar page at DVD Beaver.
-- Best wishes to the indefatigable Matt Zoller Seitz, who is moving from print journalism to filmmaking.
-- Craig Keller on João César Monteiro. Also, Craig has an amazing DVD wish list at Glenn Kenny's place. Many others chime in with their suggestions as well.
-- New issue of Reverse Shot.
-- Adrian Martin's monthly column at Filmkrant begins thus: "With Cahiers du Cinéma - both in its printed magazine and internet (www.cahiersducinema.com) versions - now in crisis because of being dropped by its Le Monde publisher, it seems as if the book 'Gilles Deleuze et les Images' (edited by François Dosse and Jean-Michel Frodon) may well be, alongside the updated French edition of Nicole Brenez's 'Abel Ferrara', among the last books to appear under the famous Cahiers banner. And, ironically enough, it is in the Deleuze book that we find a striking reflection by the American film scholar Dudley Andrew about how the globe of film culture is changing."
-- Robert Koehler at Film Journey: "Thierry's Cannes, Olivier's Quinzaine."
pic, courtesy DVD Beaver: Bresson's The Devil, Probably (1977).