Sunday, January 29, 2012

Jean-Luc Godard, On Authors' Rights (2012)

(Click the full-screen icon on the video to view large.)

Via Kassandre, a not-for-profit organization that aims to promote and support a free and open cinema. Discovered this weekend on the Twitter for Les Films du Losange.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bob Dylan Interview with John Elderfield, 2012: In the Films of the '40s and '50s, "Individuals Overcame Problems Instead of Merely Surviving Them"

ELDERFIELD: An area of American visual art of great interest to you is, I know, movies of the 1950s, such as A Face in the Crowd, Ace in the Hole, and Sweet Smell of Success. What is it about these that attract you? And do you see a relationship between them and the kind of narrative dramas you have painted — more in The Brazil Series, though, than in The Asia Series?

DYLAN: Face in the Crowd — that's so current, isn't it? You can watch any of those TV personalities, and if you've seen Face in the Crowd, you know there's probably some Lonesome Rhodes in all of them. The whole country is like their flock of sheep. I grew up in a small town hidden from the outside world, and the films from the '40s and '50s were like a window into the future, like classic literature, and had great meaning. It's hard to explain that, especially in this age of narcissism and self-surveillance. A lot of people wouldn't know they are alive unless they have photos of themselves to prove it — from the cradle to the grave, actually. The movies that we grew up watching seemed to be tuned to a higher vibration. They weren't about us, they were about people bigger than us, living more on the edge than us — strange morality tales, more like Greek theater. Individuals overcame problems instead of merely surviving them, so you knew you could do that too. The people we saw on the screen were more real than real people. They were exemplary. Cult figures. Heroes and heroines. Anti-heroes. Top of the world. Brute force. Themes of salvation. Echoes of Shakespeare and of Aeschylus. Those films had a powerful effect on all of us who grew up with them. Like schoolboy lessons. Sure, I see a relationship. There's always been a relationship.

—from a new interview with John Elderfield, here


Monday, January 16, 2012

Marriage Material + Joe Swanberg: Collected Films 2011

Watch in Full and for Free

Marriage Material by Joe Swanberg, 2012:

Today Joe Swanberg premiered his latest and never-before-seen 55-minute feature, Marriage Material, at Vimeo, where it's available for viewing until the end of the month. It comes on the occasion of the release by Factory 25 of the Joe Swanberg: Collected Films 2011 box set, the first installment of which bows this week, and which will ultimately be comprised of the collectively amazing Silver Bullets, Art History, The Zone, and the still-unpremiered Privacy Settings. I haven't seen Privacy Settings yet, but I personally consider both Art History and The Zone, alongside the 2009 Alexander the Last, as maybe Swanberg's very best films to date. Joe gave an interview to the Los Angeles Times blog a few days ago about the newest film and the box set here. You can order Joe Swanberg: Collected Films 2011 here.

About Marriage Material: pic stars Kentucker Audley and Caroline White as they babysit Joe and Kris's son Jude Huckleberry Swanberg over the course of a day or two at their Memphis home. The presence of the baby occasions a hard look at the possibility of starting a family and a serious conversation about when/if/why to get married. Tensions boil, but never boil over, via such touchstones as diverse and oblique as government aid, Béla Tarr, and Mac vs. PC. The long central conversation between Kentucker and Caroline that takes place on the couple's bed with the family dog at their feet qualifies as one of the most intimate and powerful scenes Swanberg has presented to date. The entire film (beautiful, as these frames attest to, with Adam Wingard as DP) sort of represents a kind of prologue, epilogue, or companion-piece to Audley's own forthcoming — and unbelievable — Open Five 2, which should well be regarded as one of the most anticipated films of 2012.

You can watch Marriage Material right now, right here. Go full-screen, and plug in your earbuds.

Marriage Material by Joe Swanberg, 2012:


Posts on Silver Bullets and Art History at Cinemasparagus:

Silver Bullets [2011]

Art History [2011]


Sunday, January 08, 2012

Scattered Junk

What's in a Name?

Scattered Junk by Timothy Morton, 2011:

They say you bring what you know to a movie. Holds for the filmmaker, holds for the audience. If you didn't take the picture as a kind of documentary, you might proclaim Scattered Junk, in your sick little poll, winner of Best Production Design of any film of 2011. But the revolution is not a craft-service table, and Scattered Junk is the true document of real revolutionaries: this cell of dreamers, plotters, enact the same gestures of Carlos, transposed to an apartment not so much lived-in as occupied, embedded-within, just beneath the apex of a clapboard that recalls a similar form similarly haunted, halfway through The Night of the Hunter. Too real? Or just too earnest for a world (or movie landscape) where all is statecraft and lies?

Scattered Junk by Timothy Morton, 2011:

Everyone will be cruel to this film — let's have no illusions that the critics are anything other than animals. The title of the picture applies to settings — to a final mixtape by subject Tim Cushing — to fragile emotions of fragile moments — to the approach by director Timothy Morton which might be characterized as junkle-rough, its thick-stitched and very kinetic patchwork the jigsaw signature of some second-, third-cousin to Trash Humpers, Gummo, or the recent films by HK's pal Jonas Mekas. Scattered Junk defies the viewer (it doesn't matter what his 'class' is or where she lays her regional roots) to reckon the whole affair sad, to deem the self-constructed squalor, the morning misery windshields, the implied prospectlessness, the suicide absent and central to the matters at hand, as all so sad. And this Whole is sad, and Morton celebrates its beauty accordingly with just about as little use for patronizing-"sad" as one might any slice of time.

Scattered Junk by Timothy Morton, 2011:

Aside from his talents as a filmmaker, Timothy Morton is one of the most interesting actors/personalities in movies today: see his notable appearances in Kentucker Audley's Team Picture, Ginger Sand, Family Tree (playing Lena Dunham's brother), or the great Holy Land. You can watch Scattered Junk in its entirety on your laptop, desktop, iPad, or phone for free at Audley's excellent No Budge site here. (Just be good and watch in full-screen mode if you can, and plug in some headphones.)

Scattered Junk by Timothy Morton, 2011:


Other pieces at Cinemasparagus about films involving Timothy Morton:

Team Picture

Ginger Sand

Family Tree

Holy Land