Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ansen, Bordwell, Rosenbaum, Haynes...and oh so much more

OK, done clearing out the files. These are mostly film/tv-related links (with a couple bookish tidbits):

You mean I'm not the only lunatic who keeps a notebook recording all the movies he watches? Critic David Ansen writes about his notebook and the lifelong love of movies it is a testament to. Cool!

Good list of promising film projects in the works (scroll down for the best ones).

Smart piece by david Bordwell on the use of framing in comedies. I was delighted to see he focused on Play Time and Shaun of the Dead, two very different films I love very much. His comments on a gag in Shaun gave me even more reason to laugh next time I see it.

IFC recently premiered Does Your Soul Have a Cold?, a documentary by Mike Mills (who directed Thumbsucker), which looks at the ramifications of exporting Western definitions of depression and its cures to Japan. Wishing I had cable right about now.

What's the deal with Etgar Keret? The Israeli writer has been getting great reviews for his short story collection, The Nimrod Flipout, and I noticed that he acted in a film that played at the recent Chicago International Film Festival, Jellyfish. He also wrote the story that is the basis for Wristcutters: A Love Story, an independent film that's been making the rounds with solids reviews so far.

FD fave and Orson Welles expert Jonathan Rosenbaum recently championed some footage from Welles' unfinished Don Quixote. Give the clip a minute to get to its payoff, which is pretty cool. And yes, that's the girl from The Bad Seed.

Todd Haynes's Safe, one of my favorite films, was featured at a recent environmental film festival. The director, out promoting his new crazy-looking Bob Dylan movie (can't wait), couldn't attend. So he sent this silly little short introduction. The better you know Haynes's career (including Superstar), the more you'll get a kick out of this.

A good article on the state of the Oscar races at this critical point in the movie season and, much more interesting to me, the announcement of the official nominees from the nations around the world for the foreign category. Which 5 will eventually be chosen? Based on what I know and have seen so far, count on France's Persepolis,
Israel's Beaufort, and Romania's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. Strong maybes: Germany's The Edge of Heaven and Spain's The Orphanage. I'm dying to see South Korea's Secret Sunshine, but it hasn't a chance. I also want to see Hungary's Taxidermia, but again, slim chances. I've seen Hong Kong's Exiled, Mexico's Silent Light, and Sweden's You, The Living, and I'd say Mexico and Sweden have a fair chance at a nomination. The real question is, what gems are buried in this list?

The 2007 World Fantasy Awards have been announced.

No one complains like Sarah Schulman. It's not always easy to be a fan of hers, but I think she makes some important points here. It's true that her latest (The Child) has gotten great reviews. I was appalled to learn how long it took for it to get published. I recently read Fritz Peters' Finistere, a masterpiece of gay literature that happens to be largely about a teen boy who becomes romantically, sexually involved with an adult. The book treated the subject appropriately, and I didn't bat an eye until I read the introduction in which it was pointed out that a story which was mainstream in the 50s would be actually meet much more resistance now. Well, Schulman's book sounds like a case in point. Perhaps it's more explicit than the Peters novel, I don't know. But to write such a story is not necessarily to advocate such relationships, and it shouldn't be necessary to state that obvious point.

Eliza Dushku has had success getting Joss Whedon back to work after so many others have failed. This project sounds great. Dare I set myself up to hope again?

Especially with the writers strike going on. Join the writers for The Office (yay! hooray! great show!) on the picket line.

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