Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Odds and Ends

An obscure literary writer makes the jump to genre fiction with a proposed vampire trilogy and gets paid nearly $4 million? Ah, the market and its priorities.

The Music Box is thriving? So much so that it's going to get into the distribution biz? This is exciting news!

According to an email he sent out to the general programming list, longtime Program Director Patrick Friel is departing Chicago Filmmakers for greener, yet unspecified, pastures. I got to recognize Friel from seeing him at events around town and thought he did an excellent job. He'll be missed. I hope CF maintains its excellent mission focused on a mix of the avant-garde and LGBT offerings without his stewardship.

Joss Whedon speaks yet again of doing Buffy spinoff movies. Is he setting us up for disappointment again? This time the feature would focus on Ripper (that's Giles, to newbies). Also mentioned other projects including an Angel comic to continue where the show left off, much as the BtVS comic has done.

Jeffrey Eugenides has left Chicago for Princeton. Boo! for us, bully for him, I guess.

Naomi Klein collaborated with none other than Filmdamaged fave Alfonso Cuaron (and son) to create a short film to promote her next book The Shock Doctrine. No Logo was, of course, a very big deal around the world. In the U.S. it was mainly green/anarchist-types who read it.

The Venice Film Festival, needless to say one of the most prestigious in the world, is introducing a new award, the Queer Lion. Um, iffy name but an interesting concept.

The Chicago Underground Film Festival has announced its lineup. It's a very hit-or-miss (mostly the latter) type of festival. The two that jump out at me are The Goodtimes Kid directed by Azazel Jacobs (son of Ken Jacobs--what's with this father-son filmmaking trend today) and the new film by Jim ("Interkosmos") Finn, "La Trinchera Luminosa del Presidente Gonzalo"--which I have to admit seems a bit conceptually clunky, but that could just be the fault of whoever wrote the CUFF copy. We'll hope.

I'm really late in posting about it (hey, been on vacation, sorry), but I found this film article interesting. John Patterson (who I'd never heard of before) won me over when he said he's become more interested in reading film criticism than watching films (and his bookshelf sounds a lot like mine). Then he says:
But still I'm not happy. All I notice are the gaps, the spaces on the shelves where unwritten books about subjects that obsess me would sit if only some lazy bastard would just write them."
He calls for critical bios of Sirk (hear, hear), Mann (yes!), Fuller and Bresson, and suggests other excellent topics. Also alerted me to a new Naremore bio/study of Kubrick (just included in my most recent book roundup) which sounds particularly good.


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