Recent Web Reading
Returning from Easter break, I've been catching up on some recent online cinema reading. Let me gather a few links here:
-- Chris Fujiwara interviews Japanese New Wave filmmaker Kiju Yoshida on his "anti-cinema" at Moving Image Source: "The common rule is that when you make a close-up, the focus of the shot should be at the center of the frame, so that for most people it's easy to look at, it's comfortable. Which also means that as part of the set of rules of cinema, the person at the center is often unconsciously defined as the protagonist. So I very often frame only half of the face of the actor. It's a kind of resistance, telling the audience, "Don't trust so blindly what you see on the screen. Please try to find by yourselves what is really important to you as the audience, in what you see within this frame.""
-- The new issue of Senses of Cinema includes three interviews by Darren (Claire Denis, Lisandro Alonso, Albert Serra) and this essay by Tag Gallagher on Samuel Fuller. An excerpt: "A gunfight in Forty Guns is parsed into isolated body parts, which Robert Bresson will copy in Lancelot du lac (1974), having already modelled Pickpocket (1959) on Pickup on South Street, not only for its pickpocket who works the subways using a newspaper, but in the Dostoevskian fantasies of a would-be hero compulsively clever and self-deceiving, wherein fragmenting montage alternates with long-take claustrophobia [...] Fuller’s last four films, all French productions, no longer look for solutions. They flee into cynicism and indulgence. Always his Hollywood movies had profited from avant-garde techniques, but toward telling a story. And if some of his projects began as theses, they had ended up, like Shock Corridor, centred on individual personalities, as did the abstract montage during the gunfight in Forty Guns. In the last films, in contrast, experiment is for its own sake, characters are mannequins and all is farce, pedantically reflexive."
-- On Gerald Peary's documentary For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism: David Bordwell and Jonathan Rosenbaum.
-- At Film Studies for Free, Catherine Grant, in memory of recently deceased queer theorist Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, has assembled a webliography "of links to high quality, freely accessible, scholarly writing (or recordings/videos) on the web on the topic of queer/glbt films and/or queer film theory, a number of which, unsurprisingly, employ her critical insights."
-- Adrian-watch: An essay on Aki Kaurismaki ("Poetic Realism and a Few Drinks") at a Finnish website; his new Filmkrant column ("Cinema Has Never Existed"); a new blog from Monash University on film festivals; and a tribute to Ritwik Ghatak's Meghe Dhaka Tara at Indian Auteur. Also available at the latter site is a Mani Kaul essay ("Beneath the Surface: Cinematography and Time").
-- Via Sudhir Mahadevan: Bioscope, a terrific blog on "the world of early and silent cinema."
-- Robert Koehler has been covering two film festivals (Buenos Aires, Guadalajara) at Film Journey.
-- Via Walter at Quiet Bubble: Ted Gioia has a new website and an essay on Conceptual Fiction. "Did sci-fi writers from the 1940s and 1950s anticipate the future of serious literature better than the so-called "serious writers" or, for that matter, the highbrow critics?"
-- Adrian Curry at The Auteurs on posters for Satyajit Ray films.
-- Dan North at Spectacular Attractions has an interesting links round-up.
-- New issues of film journals: Film Quarterly; Film-Philosophy; and Wide Screen (via Corey Creekmur).
-- More reads: Snippets from an interview with Serge Daney; an interesting "Top Ten" from Michael Almereyda in Artforum; and Andrew Patrick Nelson on "the recurring appearance of stereoscopes in Westerns."
Any recent good web reading--and not only cinema-related--that you'd like to recommend? Feel free to do so in the comments.
Satyajit Ray-designed poster for Devi (1960), courtesy satyajitrayworld.com.