Saturday, October 03, 2009

Catching up on Interweb Reading

I spent a week at the Toronto film festival--more on that in a post coming up next week--and then came down with 'festival exhaustion'. Now I've now been catching up on all the Internet movie reading I missed in the last few weeks. Let me collect some of it here:

-- At Slow TV, a terrific debate on the new Tarantino film featuring Adrian Martin and three other critics/scholars.

-- Zach Campbell: "Mad Men is good, but it's not even close to Tashlin's critiques. It remains exquisitely tasteful, on the surface, and ultimately middlebrow. Therein lie a few of the problems." Also: Zach on Inglourious Basterds: "Quentin Tarantino has an incredibly unphilosophical mind, and this is both his strength and his problem. Not even in his most mature work (Jackie Brown) does he really question anything. The root of his cinema is pleasure, a deeply tactile, visceral, and memory-based pleasure for which, presumably, there are no limits worth abiding (in quantity or quality)."

-- Several pieces at Jonathan Rosenbaum's: Sally Potter's The Gold Diggers (that appeared in Camera Obscura); Fatal Attraction ("Fear of Feminism"); Paris Journal for Film Comment (1971) on Demy, Pollet, Franju, Tati and Rivette; two Alan Rudolph films, Remember My Name and Mortal Thoughts.

-- New issues of: Cinema Scope; Senses of Cinema; Film Quarterly.

-- From the Toronto International Film Festival: Darren Hughes at Long Pauses; Richard Porton at Cineaste; B. Ruby Rich at SF360; Also: David Hudson collects a master index of TIFF reviews at The Auteurs.

-- Recent Dave Kehr writing in the NYT DVD column: "Tradition of Quality" films; Jacques Demy's Model Shop, Nikkatsu Noir; The Wizard of Oz.

-- A wealth of links from the valuable, indefatigable Catherine Grant, including this post on classical cinema.

-- Igantiy Vishnevetsky is among the most thoughtful of today's film bloggers. Here, at his site, Sounds, Images, are links to his recent writings and posts.

-- At Moving Image Source: Kevin Lee's two-part essay on Chinese cinema of the Cultural Revolution; Joshua Land on "The female Christ figures of Lars von Trier's films"; Jonathan Rosenbaum on Manny Farber.

-- Jeffrey Sconce on the Rotten Tomatoes' "worst of the worst" films of the decade.

-- Frieze runs a series in which artists and filmmakers talk about films that are important to them. Latest in the series is Tacita Dean; other entries can be found in the sidebar.

-- Matthew Flanagan's Landscape Suicide is one of the most original and stimulating places in the film blogosphere. See this recent post on forests.

-- David Bordwell on summer movies: one, and two.

-- Sally Potter's Rage is the first film made for cell-phone release. Here's an interview with Potter.

-- Marc Raymond on melodrama in Korean cinema.

-- Danny Kasman's review makes me eager to see the new Rivette film.

-- At Dennis Cooper's: David Ehrenstein presents "Rainer Werner Fassbinder Day."

-- Newly discovered blogs: the Indian site The Edit Room (at the Wide Screen Journal); Putney Debater, run by filmmaker/scholar Michael Chanan; Iranian cinephile Ehsan Khoshbakht's Notes on Cinematograph.

Any other recent, good reading you'd like to recommend? Please leave a link in the comments.


Anonymous Corey Creekmur said...

Bahut shukriya, Pandit-ji! Between you and Catherine Grant, I may never read anything printed on paper again ... Oh, wait, the mail just arrived. Film journals! Cinema Journal, Sight and Sound, Cineaste ...

October 03, 2009 6:16 PM  
Blogger Tucker said...

Girish, thanks for the links. Tons of great stuff here.

October 04, 2009 11:03 AM  
Blogger Ignatiy Vishnevetsky said...

Great links (and thanks, as always, for linkin' to me). Chachan's a really interesting figure. I recommend his writings on music (especially the recorded variety) over his writing on film, though. Repeated Takes and Music Practica are both really fascinating books -- especially the former. I think there's more in relation to cinema there than in any of his books on film. Which is not to say that his writing on film isn't good -- actually quite so, since it happens to be influenced by his ideas about music.

October 05, 2009 1:34 AM  
Blogger Ignatiy Vishnevetsky said...

I'd like to add that the most recent post at Chachan's blog (entitled "Soundtrack Thoughts," and dealing, like all of his best writing, with sound recording) is excellent, and everyone here should read it.

October 05, 2009 1:39 AM  
Blogger Gareth said...

The latest issue of Screening the Past surrounding the re-discovery of an early feature shot in Africa, Rose of Rhodesia, is well worth checking out.

I haven't read all of the articles yet, but the first three were all very good. Best of all, the movie is available in a streaming version; it's a very rare opportunity to see a film from that period shot in Africa.

October 05, 2009 12:06 PM  
Blogger Marc Raymond said...

Welcome back, Girish, and thanks for the link. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Toronto. I'm heading to the Pusan festival this weekend and will be seeing some films that also played in Toronto. I'll be posting about it the end of next week.

October 05, 2009 10:07 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Thank you, Corey, Tucker, Ignatiy, Gareth and Marc!

Here are a few more links:

-- This looks like a must-read: the new Bruce Jenksins-edited collection of Hollis Framption writings. (Shukriya, Corey.)

-- An interview with Pedro Costa at Sight & Sound; and an article on him ("Pedro Costa, the Samuel Beckett of Cinema") by Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian.

-- "The Separateness of Things" by Victor Burgin at the Tate site. Also at Tate: Robert Bird on Tarkovsky.

October 09, 2009 1:46 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Also, Filmbrain posts a soundtrack for download: songs heard at the New York Film Festival, including Mirabela Dauer's great tune from POLICE, ADJECTIVE and Jeanne Balibar performing "Johnny Guitar."

October 09, 2009 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Jeux said...

I love to visit your blog at weekend. You have done great yet and hope you will continue with same here. Thank you so much for posting such nice links again.

October 13, 2009 6:23 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Watched Powell/Pressburger's I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING! (1945) again. The abstract (fable, myth, symbol) blends with the brute concrete (rocky Scottish Hebrides, the angry, choppy sea, the ripping wind). One great image among many: Wendy Hiller lying in a strange dark bedroom counting beams on the ceiling--and making a wish.

October 17, 2009 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Christian Keathley said...

I watched IKWIG! again recently as well. Watch closely the scene where Joan, arriving at Catriona's house, is greeted by Torquil and the Colonel. Powell stretches continuity to the breaking point, it seems, to suggest Joan disorientation in this strange place. Wonderful.

October 21, 2009 8:34 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Chris, I didn't notice that!
Here's one startling cut: Torquil, looking toward the camera, recites the first two lines of a song to Joan (we see him in medium shot), then a CUT (unexpected, since he is in mid-lyric) to a close-up of him, in which he turns 90 degrees to his right and upward (Joan is on a ladder, a couple of steps above him), and recites the next line of the lyric directly to Joan (something like "I want you to be my maid"). A small, wonderful moment which gets its charge from the jarring edit.

October 22, 2009 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Larry Gross said...

Vis a vis your recommendation of Robert Bird's stuff on Tarkovsky at the Tate, I would hazard the opinion that his book, ANDREI TARKOVSKY: Elements of Cinema, is the best most thoughtful single-director monograph published in the last decade or so, and if there's a better one I'd be curious to know what it is.

yours sincerely,
Larry Gross

October 26, 2009 4:08 AM  
Anonymous Debojit Ghatak said...

One of my favorite blogs of all time. I would like to add the new issue of Indian Auteur too:-

October 30, 2009 9:53 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Hi Larry, I have Bird's book on Tarkovsky but haven't had a chance to read it yet. Your praise makes me particularly curious to do so.

November 01, 2009 11:19 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Debojit, I enjoy reading Indian Auteur. I've been negligent about updating my blogroll lately--but I will do so soon, and add the site to it.

November 01, 2009 11:20 AM  

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