Cinema links

10th March 2019

John Wyver writes: following recent clutches of Links concerned with Photography, with Television, and with the Visual Arts, today’s offering draws together a few of the essential articles and videos about film that I have enjoyed recently. I’ll be adding to these across the day and in the coming days, as I have been updating the other posts.

Reinventing Hollywood in paperback: Extra-credit reading and viewing: David Bordwell’s richly detailed and frequently revelatory book about Hollywood filmmaking in the 1940s is now available in paperback, and to mark this the author has written three essential blog posts with additional information and links that update his book. This first reflects on aspects of the social and economic context for the book, discusses the Warner Bros melodrama Confession (1937) that anticipates some of the formal devices Bordwell locates in the cinema of the 1940s, and praises the first volume of Gary Giddins’ biography of Bing Crosby….

Reinventing Hollywood in paperback: Welcome to the Variorum: … while the second muses on what he calls the ‘variorum principle’, and the third… Reinventing Hollywood in paperback: Artisans and artistry: … discusses in detail films by Michael Curtiz and Orson Welles. Apart from the individual fascination of each of these posts, it’s wonderfully refreshing to see an author engage with his own work in this way.

Closing credits – the battle to save 1930s Odeon cinemas: a Guardian essay by Jason Sayer, with some gorgeous photographs, both from the archive and from today, by Philip Butler.

The films of Márta Mészáros: power, feminism and transindividuality: a wonderful discussion by Ela Bittencourt for Sight & Sound of the Hungarian director’s profoundly humanist work, prompted by a retrospetive at the Berlinale. Above, Katalin Berek as Kata and Gyöngyvér Vigh as Anna in Márta Mészáros’s 1975 Berlinale Golden Bear winner Adoption.

The spying thing: another good festival retrospective report, this time from Rotterdam by Leonardo Goi for Mubi.com. He discusses some fascinating, little-known titles that were grouped around the theme of ‘espionage as a way of filming and the camera as a spying weapon’.

Jonas Mekas: for Artforum Amy Taubin pays tribute to the great late filmmaker:

He changed so many lives. He gave people a way to identify themselves: as filmmakers or film viewers or film scholars or film critics who care most about films that are in a world apart, a world that Jonas Mekas built.

In conversation: Peter Bogdanovich – the director on his films, marriage and infidelity, and the deaths he didn’t mourn: Bogdanovich invariably gives a great interview, and this is no exception, with Andrew Goldman for Vulture.

The all-seeing eye: Eric Hynes for Film Comment on Carlos Reygadas’s autobiographically drawn feature Our Time:

Though their uses of editing are diametrically different, Reygadas’s work here—along with preceding projects Post Tenebras LuxSilent LightBattle in Heaven, and Japón—at least conjures that of recent Terrence Malick. Both have sought to net the truth behind the truth, refining a discipline with which to honor the innate integrity of the moment. Where Malick offers up fleeting fragmented glimpses, Reygadas dwells. He pans, follows, pushes in, and waits. A dialogue plays out, the characters then exit the frame, and yet the shot continues. 

Is Steven Spielberg’s Netflix crusade too little, too late?: one of the best pieces about the recent controversy, with some thoughtful points about streaming services along the way, by Nicole Sperling for Vanity Fair.

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