Check out Leos Carax’s Holy Motors at MIFF, it’s got a great look the premise sounds promising. A very promising premise indeed.
From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the life of Monsieur Oscar, a shadowy character who journeys from one life to the next. He is, in turn, captain of industry, assassin, beggar, monster, family man…
Chris Marker RIP
29 July 1921 - 29 July 2012, the same day!
Guardian: Marker’s creative use of sound, images and text in his poetic, political and philosophical documentaries made him one of the most inventive of film-makers. They looked forward to what is called “the new documentary”, but also looked back to the literary essay in the tradition of Michel de Montaigne. Marker’s interests lay in transitional societies - “life in the process of becoming history,” as he put it. How do various cultures perceive and sustain themselves and each other in the increasingly intermingled modern world?
He was probably most famous for the short film Le Jetee, which 12 Monkeys was based on, (it can be seen in full here) but I prefer this one Sans Soleil. Also, if you can manage to find it The Case of the Grinning Cat is a really fascinating take on post 911 French politics.
These brilliant Pompeian graffiti quotes reminded me of this scene in Life of Brian.
JK: A big list of Pompeian graffiti proves that the writing in bathroom stalls and tourist attractions hasn’t changed much in a few millennia. You know, there’s a lot of, “Antiochus hung out here with his girlfriend Cithera.” There’s some, “To the one defecating here. Beware of the curse. If you look down on this curse, may you have an angry Jupiter for an enemy.” And then my absolute favorite, “Weep, you girls. My penis has given you up. Now it penetrates men’s behinds. Goodbye, wondrous femininity!”
Don’t forget this one either
Here’s a six minute trailer for Cloud Atlas, with trailers like this you kinda don’t need to see the film. I read this book recently and really enjoyed it, hopefully the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer haven’t bitten off too much to chew.
“I hate when art becomes a religion. I feel the opposite. When you start putting a higher value on works of art than people, you’re forfeiting your humanity. There’s a tendency to feel the artist has special privileges, and that anything’s okay if it’s in the service of art. I tried to get into that in Interiors. I always feel the artist is much too revered——it’s not fair and it’s cruel. It’s a nice but fortuitous gift—like a nice voice or being left-handed. That you can create is a kind of nice accident. It happens to have high value in society, but it’s not as noble an attribute as courage. I find funny and silly the pompous kind of self-important talk about the artist who takes risks. Artistic risks are like show-business risks—laughable. Like casting against type, wow, what danger! Risks are where your life is on the line. The people who took risks against the Nazis or some of the Russian poets who stood up against the state—those people are courageous and brave, and that’s really an achievement. To be an artist is also an achievement, but you have to keep it in perspective. I’m not trying to undersell art. I think it’s valuable, but I think it’s overly revered. It is a valuable thing, but no more valuable than being a good schoolteacher, or being a good doctor. The problem is that being creative has glamour. People in the business end of film always say, I want to be a producer, but a creative producer. Or a woman I went to school with who said, Oh yes, I married this guy. He’s a plumber but he’s very creative. It’s very important for people to have that credential. Like if he wasn’t creative, he was less.”
From interview at The Paris Review, 1995.
Though I think the filmmakers let Woody off the hook regarding his personal life, if you’re a fan you’ll enjoy Woody Allen: A Documentary
Aussie filmmaker Cate Shortland’s follow up to Somersault, is Lore.
PL: An adaptation of Rachel Seiffert’s novella The Dark Room, the German-language post-WWII road film stars newcomer Saskia Rosendahl as the daughter of an SS officer who must take her four siblings on a 900km journey across war-ravaged Germany.
Here’s episode one of Werner Herzog’s four part documentary series On Death Row, which serves as a companion piece to the feature length Into The Abyss.
Synopsis: Werner Herzog meets Hank Skinner, who was sentenced to death 18 years ago for the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend and her two mentally impaired sons; he has had his execution scheduled three times.
If you can manage to find it, the Joseph Garcia episode is amazing, it reveals in detail how several men escaped from maximum security.
Here’s a short talk followed by a Q&A from the 2012 Berlinale
earthquake-weather: This is a fascinating short form doc from Shaul Schwarz, a contract photographer for TIme, as well as a documentary filmmaker. I’m guessing this piece was culled from his upcoming feature doc Narco Cultura
Here’s the synopsis:
“Narco Cultura” is a documentary feature on the explosive narco culture, a phenomenon blurring the lines between war and entertainment. To a growing number of Mexicans and Latinos in the Americas, the Narco Traffickers represent the only models of fame and success, the only way out of the ghetto. This is the untold story behind the drug war, an unstoppable cycle that has created a culture of addiction on both sides of the border — addiction to the vanity of money, drugs and violence. These are the personal stories of those entangled in this war, from the musicians who profit by glorifying violence, to the man who collects the bodies the morning after.
Slated to come out 2012, looks like a powerful and important work.
dimitriishere: From Time Video, this super-interesting piece on Narcocorridos (songs created to glorify the violent exploits of drug barons in Mexico) provides an interesting insight into how cartel folklore has rapidly infiltrated popular culture in Mexico and beyond, more often than not in the form of music and films commissioned by the cartels themselves. The extent of the anarchy in towns like Juarez is particularly interesting, where cartels broadcast narcocorridos over police radio frequencies to announce when successful hits have gone down. Crazy stuff.