Upcoming: Film International 57
‘I call them “submarine movies” – put them in a submarine, and then you can shoot it really cheap. So Margin Call is a ticking time bomb submarine movie. They’re totally isolated from the outside. It sounds kind of ridiculous, because it is such a topical film, but I didn’t want it to be a current events movie. This was supposed to be essentially a character-driven drama, like Sidney Lumet’s 12 Angry Men (1957). Put them in a room, lock the door, and see what happens. It’s timeless.’
J.C. Chandor, director of the financial thriller Margin Call, talks to Wheeler Winston Dixon.
Notes on Benjamin, Adorno, Mann, and the Cinema of Michael Haneke
I will maintain that one of the most interesting and important analyses today of civilization and barbarism in the tradition of Benjamin, Adorno and Mann can be found in the films of their younger compatriot, Michael Haneke. Frequently assailed by philistine reviewers for his avoidance of Hollywood sentimentalism, Haneke has been unflinching in his determination to show that the often attractive surfaces – and depths – of European and North American civilization cannot be understood without reference to their barbaric subtexts.
Carl Freedman looks at the interplay of culture and barbarism in the films of Michael Haneke.
Digital Dimensions in Actorly Performance: the Aesthetic Potential of Performance Capture
Following [Jeff] Bridges’ effective demo of this process at its most photo-real [in Tron: Legacy (2010)], it is surely only a matter of time before some of Hollywood’s other aging stars, aware of the industry’s ceaseless pursuit of the next bright young thing, attempt a similar trick of age regression. After all, performers should be able to use whatever means are available to them to extend their ability to work when they might otherwise have been marginalized into ‘retirement’.
Chris Pallant examines how digital technology might alter the way we think about the art of acting.
Jean Rouch as ‘Emergent Method’: towards new realms of relevance
The lectures in ethnography by West Africa specialist Marcel Griaule that Rouch took at the Musée de l’Homme in Paris in the early 1940s kindled and nurtured Rouch’s nascent passion for West African cultures. Around that time, his arrest on a French beach by the German military police on suspicion of scouting for escape routes to England hastened his desire to leave France. Shortly after graduating, Rouch was appointed road engineer in the French West African colony of Niger, where he arrived in 1941, aged 24, to take charge of 20,000 African labourers. He soon noticed the deplorable conditions of forced labour Africans underwent, as well as the endemic racism and the local government’s anti-Gaullist (and pro-Vichy regime) stance.
Saër Maty Bâ re-evaluates the anthropological cinema of Jean Rouch.
Interview with Luce Vigo
‘My childhood was spent in children’s homes and sanatoria. There was no one to speak to me about my father, my mother was very ill in Paris. It took the end of the war, and being reunited with his friends and collaborators, for him to begin to exist for me. … When my mother died, in 1939, I was passed straight into the care of a new family… They were in the Resistance from the beginning, and they had other things to do than to speak to me about my parents.’
Luce Vigo, film critic and only daughter of legendary director Jean Vigo, talks to Michaël Abecassis.
Interview with Jay Duplass, Steve Zissis and Jennifer Lafleur
I met film-maker Jay Duplass, and actors Steve Zissis and Jennifer Lafleur, on a gorgeous April day at the Clift Hotel in downtown San Francisco. They were in town to present their new comedy, The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, about two estranged brothers who compete against each other in 25 sporting events in order to decide, once and for all, which is the better brother. The premise sounds insanely hilarious, and I assure you, the film lives up to that.
Janine Gericke introduces an interview made at the 55th San Francisco International Film Festival.
A Conversation with Roland Emmerich
‘The notion of the authorship debate is what caught my interest at first. I was not familiar with the idea that Shakespeare might not have been the author of King Lear, Hamlet, etc., and I was instantly intrigued. But the message that the word is more powerful than the sword also spoke to me instantly.’
The director in conversation with Tom Ue about what first attracted him to the script of the ‘Shakespeare drama’ Anonymous.
Previous entry in the Ay Caramba! blog.