Thursday, January 14, 2021

The White Sheik

Presenting Wolfango A. Mozart

// The vulgarity of cinema! Cinema, comprehensive art! Il cinema, l'art du peuple?? — Che cosa! //

Federico Fellini's movies fold together like cake mix the crust of the poltroons and the bronzer of the snobs. The White Sheik [Lo sceicco bianco, 1952], Federico's first solo feature (with a double-entendre easier to locate in 2021 than in 1952 perhaps) traffics in the emotional undercurrents of these modern media insofar as their receptive connections with a largely female-targeted demographic go: theirs not being only the romantic movies and a conditioned-plethora-else but the monthly periodicals too that went known as i fotoromanzi — photo-novels, or photo-romances... These publications split the difference between movies (or rather movie-novelizations) and comic books; they gradually travestied both artforms while exuding a certain appeal of their own. In the same stretch of time that I was rewatching The White Sheik in the Criterion Essential Fellini box (twice in the last week), I also happened to be reading Luc Sante's new and truly outstanding 2020 collection Maybe the People Would Be the Times; literally having chronologically landed by chance, during reading, on his essay dedicated to the fotoromanzi. I'm going to quote a few passages here which won't abuse fair use. The originary essay, "Fotonovela," first appeared in the Paris Review Daily in 2019:

"Fotonovela, fumetti, roman-photo — the terms betray the face that the form never got much traction in the Anglo-Saxon realm. There is no word for it in English, exactly. You could say 'photo-comics,' but risk being misunderstood when you are referring to narratives, often but not always romantic, that are conveyed by means of photographs arrayed in panels on a page, with running text often in talk balloons. Their impact has been almost entirely restricted to countries that speak Spanish, Italian, or French; their readership is overwhelmingly female, at least in Europe."

This might be the point where one interrupts to cite probably the most famous example of the photo-roman in the world, Chris Marker's La Jetée, which will soon find its way onto this blog as my Marker coverage continues... Of note to track down too, via a citation from Luc in the same essay, is: "La Folle d'Itteville, the collaborative photo-novel by Germaine Krull and Georges Simenon, from 1931."

In section "II" of his book Luc Sante investigates the perils (travails might be the more accommodating term) of early matrimony. This slice in personal history appealed to Fellini throughout his filmography, we see it over and over again. Such great material for the young newlywed reader to adhere to the stock reconfigurations of the fotoromanzo's plots — the Hallmark movie-medium of their time, except not as bad and (somehow) less cynically produced? It was Michelangelo Antonioni who wrote the original 24-page treatment for Lo sceicco bianco, although his version involved a man going to Rome with big hopes of starring outright in a fotoromanzo, a power-up of the photo-romance's coaxing toward real-world aspiration. The resulting film saw Fellini and Pinelli, with assistance from Flaiano, mixing the material around such that the young wife (Wanda, Brunella Bovo) heads off to find the protagonist of her waking dreams (Fernando, Alberto Sordi) as the husband (Ivan, Leopoldo Trieste) embarks on desperate pursuit of her trail.

I'll stop for a moment, because my notes are scattershot, due in all likelihood to my feelings about The White Sheik as a whole. I want to pause to say that Nino Rota's main theme prefigures that of Fellini's 8-1/2 eleven years later on which he did some of his most brilliant composition. With Rota, it was always reused themes if not outright 'variations.' (You can detect this in at least three or four of his Godfather themes for Coppola.)


The couple arrived from Viterbo on the express train. The first word spoken by Ivan in the movie: "Rom'..." — he's of a certain accent, maybe of a specific dialect too. He's immediately established in The White Sheik as a neurotic. His (relative) wealth is suggested when he forgoes the opportunity by the front desk hotel clerk to use a postcard for writing his family, in order to engage the telephone instead, — expediency's sake in 1952 seemed ostentatious to everyone with a chip on their shoulder about class — and everyone a rung or more below Signore X-Rung(s)-Up carried that chip. ...Ivan needs to announce his arrival to his well-off Roman relatives. (Uncle is "an important figure at the Vatican... If he snaps his fingers in Rome, all of Altovilla Marittima jumps...")

Wanda wants a bath, it gets Ivan off her back to slip down ten minutes away to the fotoromanzo office: fatal mistake: Wanda leaves the tub of water running. There she meets the publisher/sceneggiaturista Mariela who emphasizes, in her art-bedecked, marble-hewn classic Roman office setting (these books don't do bad, and neither does family capital): "Real life is the life of dreams."

From here the narrative splits, alternating between Ivan and Wanda as the latter goes off in the company of the fotoromanzo crew 26km outside of Rome, including Fernando the White Sheik himself. — (While Wanda kicks her heels around beforehand inside the Rome office, a strange grace note of business finds one of the extra actors in close-up sniffing and looking above, as though prescient of the bathwater overflowing in the next scene at the hotel....?) Around the same time of which Ivan finds floating on the floor the letter from Fernando the White Sheik to Wanda saying stop by if you're ever in Rome...

The greater portion of the second half is devoted to the question: How will Ivan and Wanda get back together, which outcome is a foregone conclusion — one amusing love night aside on Ivan's part with an encounter with a couple of mommy'ing prostitutes, one of whom (Giulietta Masina) is "Cabiria."



Other writings about Federico Fellini on Cinemasparagus:


Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Variety Lights

Fellini Issue No. 1

Luci del varietà [Variety Lights, 1950] is Federico Fellini's first film — with Alberto Lattuada as experienced co-director alongside this man from Rimini, not wet behind the ears but not yet provided till now the opportunity to direct. That means that Fellini never created the string of shorts preparatory to a features-career. He had already, however, co-written a number of the key Roberto Rossellini pictures of the 1940s plus 1950's Francesco giullare di Dio, also a few Lattuadas pre-Variety Lights; these assignments arose from his successful cartooning career where his deft humor and literal line impressed first American G.I.'s, and then cinema professionals alerted to his talent by friends of friends of Fellini's. (In Damian Pettigrew's 2002 documentary Federico Fellini: I'm a Born Liar [Federico Fellini: Sono un gran bugiardo], Fellini recounts being saved by Rossellini when a Chinese subject wielding a straight-razor took issue with the cartoonist's use of yellow as the base for his portrait's skin tone.) Ultimately Fellini landed in the (co-)director's chair as a result of Lattuada's gratitude and because he felt that he might as well kickstart the inevitable career of a born genius. — Imagine such good-natured deference in America 2021!

The story goes, as far as his co-direction went, Fellini, reclining in his chair, just yea'd or nay'd setups and takes by Lattuada, though the plot and the milieu came entirely from Federico. The scenario involves a ragtag group (which Peter Forgacs in his Criterion Essential Fellini notes refers to as derived from the avanspettacolo or "pre-show variety" which preceded larger shows or feature-film screenings) that travels from bumfuck province to province singing for their proverbial supper. This post- and pre-dates all manner of poor troupes depicted throughout the cinema, most notably in Fellini's own later works, and in Bergman's 1953 Carnies' Twilight (aka Sawdust and Tinsel): scarfing down each meal, dreaming of gigs in the big city (the first backdrop shown accompanying the group's stage-show is a New York-esque skyline)... lead by an irascible manager (here Checco, played by Peppino Del Filippo, a man who wears a beret with a suit)... who is attached romantically to the trouper "Melina Amour" (Giulietta Masina, whom Fellini married seven years prior)... distracted if not fatally, then fatefully, by Liliana Antonelli (Carla Del Poggio, wife of Alberto Lattuada), who begs to join the troupe and succeeds by the circumstantial tear-down of her skirt mid-spectacle, to the delight of the cheap-seats (and they're all cheap-seats). It's high-fare regardless: Checco's troupe examines all the -isms of ports exotic including Hawaii, the Far East, and... Spain and Paris.

Segments of the film go without a dubbed dialogue-track. Live sound will be abandoned by Fellini altogether very soon.

There's a late-night soirée (induced by Liliana's perceived charms) (it ends in ruin and one of those early-morning walks-home that populate La dolce vita and Antonioni's La notte), a nightclub engagement gone to ruin thanks to a money-seductive commendatore sleaze similar to him of the previous late-night, — following a magnificent camera move that takes in the room before Liliana and Checco (who spins once more) take their seats at the table only to be finally disoriented by the commendatore Amaldi. He's open arms where his boss, Parmisano, is less forgiving, after watching Liliana ride Checco like a pig on the illuminated floor à la the Hudson Bar c. 2007, or Fritz Lang's Rancho Notorious [1952].

Variety Lights is not an overly interesting picture; however, its importance is obvious. I'll skip to the ending, which involves Checco's seemingly successful attempt at impresario'ing a new company; Liliana's unearned haughtiness, momentary reckoning, and immediate re-rise to top-billing — nothing has been more typical in the decades since; and, finally, a full-circle closed with Checco and Melina on yet another train to another province that is not Milan.

Neither does the picture itself attain grander splendor. Like the yellow paint on the portrait of the Chinese, it awaits more coloring, tonality. Variety Lights endures today because of its cinephilic significance in Fellini's history, and for its enumeration of possible 'types' in an actors' troupe (both diegetically and non-), with a few focused-upon, with others background extras (figuranti?) that contribute to the kinetic buzz of a given shot and the shabby atmosphere of the film in general. Like Variety Lights, this critique wasn't very good, but maybe it shed some essentials. 


Sunday, January 03, 2021

Salut les Cubains

 A Different Time in a Different Country

Varda takes pains to stress in her 2007 introduction to Salut les Cubains [Salut, Cubans, or Here's to the Cubans, 1964 — shot in 1963 — the title a takeoff on the French "salut les copains," a cheers to friends] that the film is a sign of its times (she'll later, as I recall, backtrack similarly on the 1968 Black Panthers), that the "folklore of [the] political actions" was a dominant determinant in her engagement with an invitation to film the Cuban culture on the roughly tenth anniversary of the overthrow, which she would subsequently acknowledge as the onset of a "left-wing dictatorship." Nevertheless, her film exhibits an observational distance, a series of side-glances, of the realpolitik at play, and even here in '63 she opts instead to maintain a focus on the surface aspects of Fidel Castro's policies in order to cast an ethnographic glance at the society at large.

This 29-minute film begins with footage taken of a June '63 emissarial exhibition in Paris, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, celebrating the aforementioned tenth anniversary, replete with live native musicians and a host of invitees, among whose number include Alain Resnais and a presumable Chris Marker, their 8mm cameras hoisted for the occasion. This sequence constitutes the only moving footage of the film, for the remainder consists of still photos, à la photo-roman, cut together in rhythm (or, animated, she insists) to create a kinetic portrait of the nation under Castro and just beneath the U.S.'s Florida state. A pithy commentary penned by Varda and recited in alternation by Varda and Michel Piccoli guides the viewer through the images, thus weaving an associative travelogue of sorts that sets the tone for her later as-overtly political work of the second-half of the 1960s through the militantly (or rather, militated) feminist stretch of the 1970s.

She addresses several topics, that is, makes several observations on, a series of Cuban touchstones, fluidly, including but not limited to: the interplay of beards, cigars, and Cuban women; national artists in general; Fidel Castro himself (a Varda portrait of whom circumstantially but cannily affixes "wings of stone" to his body); Benny Moré; sugarcane harvesting; the literacy of the populace; Raúl Castro ("In '58, 82 men set sail from Mexico —") and the mythologization of his liberative group's crossing to Cuba; African immigrants and the religions they brought with them and further 'developed' (Lucumí, etc.); Afro-Cuban music and the rumba, with pots and pans employed in more chthonic quarters to effect a poésie concrète; national poets Nicolás Guillén and Roberto Retamar; the novelist Alejo Carpentier; the Chinese-Cuban painter Wilfredo Lam; the ink painter Raúl Milián; the painter René Portocarrero; charanga bands; Hemingway's house; the ICAIC and Cuban cinema. 

Less emissarial propaganda then than catalogue born of genuine curiosity, beneath which one detects a sense of empathy and heart-felt admiration. Salut les Cubains.


Friday, January 01, 2021

The Films I Watched in 2020

 These are all the films I watched in 2020 —

First Seen of the Year: Man Without a Star by King Vidor

Last Seen of the Year: Frownland by Ronald Bronstein


24 Frames [Abbas Kiarostami, 2017]

Actua 1 [Philippe Garrel, 1968]

Ad Astra {Theatrical Brad Pitt Cut} [James Gray, 2019]

Adieu au langage [Goodbye to Language] [Jean-Luc Godard, 2014]

Adieu au TNS [Farewell to the TNS] [Jean-Luc Godard, 1996]

The Adventures of Jack Decker [Tim Heidecker, Gregg Turkington, and Eric Notarnicola, 2020]

All About Eve [Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950]

All About Mankiewicz [Luc Béraud and Michel Ciment, 1983]

L’amant d’un jour [Lover for a Day] [Philippe Garrel, 2017]

American Boy: A Profile of — Steven Prince [Martin Scorsese, 1978]

Angel [Ernst Lubitsch, 1937]

Antonio Gaudí [Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1984]

Antonyms of Beauty [Khalik Allah, 2013]

Après mai [After May] [Olivier Assayas, 2012]

L’arbre, le maire et la médiathèque, ou les sept hasards [The Tree, the Mayor and the Mediatheque, or: The Seven Happenstances] [Éric Rohmer, 1993]

Arielle Dombasle: “L’amour symphonique” [Arielle Dombasle: “Symphonic Love”] [Éric Rohmer, 1990]

At Land [Maya Deren, 1944]

Bande de filles [Girl Crew] [Céline Sciamma, 2014]

Bar Snakes [James Alexander Warren, 2020]

Un beau soleil intérieur [A Beautiful Sun Inside] [Claire Denis, 2017]

Becky Sharp [Rouben Mamoulian, 1935]

Beef House: Season 1 [Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, 2020]

The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart [Frank Marshall, 2020]

The Best Years of Our Lives [William Wyler, 1946]

Between the Lines [Joan Micklin Silver, 1977]

The Bigamist [Ida Lupino, 1953]

The Big Knife [Robert Aldrich, 1955]

The Big Shave [Martin Scorsese, 1967]

The Birds [Alfred Hitchcock, 1963]

The Black Mamba [Robert Rodriguez, 2011]

Black Mother [Khalik Allah, 2018]

Bloody Nose Empty Pockets [Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross, 2020]

Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife [Ernst Lubitsch, 1938]

The Body Snatcher [Val Lewton and Robert Wise, 1945]

Bombshell [Jay Roach, 2019]

Bra Shopping [Sarah Jacobson, 1995]

Bride of Frankenstein [James Whale, 1935]

Bruce Lee: The Man and the Legend [Wu Shih, 1973]

Build the Wall [Joe Swanberg, 2020]

Bull Scores a Touchdown: Jack Ford: ‘Straight Shooting’ [Tag Gallagher, 2020]

The Cameraman [Buster Keaton with Edward Sedgwick, 1928]

Camille Claudel 1915 [Bruno Dumont, 2013]

Canyon Passage [Jacques Tourneur, 1946]

Chafariz das virtudes [Fountain of VIrtues] [Manoel de Oliveira, 2014]

Champagne [Alfred Hitchcock, 1928]

The Chase [Arthur D. Ripley, 1946]

Chicken Ranch [Nick Broomfield and Sandi Sissel, 1983]

Chikamatsu monogatari [One of Chikmatsu’s Tales] [Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954]

Chopping Mall [Jim Wynorski, 1986]

La cicatrice intérieure [The Inner Scar] [Philippe Garrel, 1972]

Cindy, the Doll Is Mine [Bertrand Bonello, 2005]

Citizen Kane [Orson Welles, 1941]

Cléo de 5 à 7 [Cléo from 5 to 7] [Agnès Varda, 1962/2005]

Coincoin et les Z’Inhumains [Coincoin and thee Extrahumans]] [Bruno Dumont, 2018]

Conjuring the Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story [Martin Scorsese, 2019]

The Connection [Shirley Clarke, 1961]

Contes des quatre saisons: Conte d’autômne [Tales of the Four Seasons: Autumn Tale] [Éric Rohmer, 1998]

Contes des quatre saisons: Conte d’été [Tales of the Four Seasons: Summer Tale] [Éric Rohmer, 1996]

CubaLibre [Albert Serra, 2013]

Dance, Girl, Dance [Dorothy Arzner, 1940]

Da xiang xidi erzuo / An Elephant Sitting Still [Hu Bo, 2018]

A Day at the Races [Sam Wood, 1937]
Deadbeat [Adèle Franck, 2020]

Dead End [William Wyler, 1937]

The Decline of Western Civilization [Penelope Spheeris, 1981]

De la guerre / On War [Bertrand Bonello, 2008]

Désordre [Disorder] [Olivier Assayas, 1986]

Desperately Seeking Susan [Susan Seidelman, 1985]

Diane [Kent Jones, 2019]

Dinner at Eight [George Cukor, 1933]

The Docks of New York [Josef von Sternberg, 1928]

Dodsworth [William Wyler, 1936]

Douro, faina fluvial [Douro: River Work] [Manoel de Oliveira, 1931]

Duck Soup [Leo McCarey, 1933]

Du côté de la Côte [Around the Côte / Around the Coast] [Agnès Varda, 1958]

Dú zhàn / Drug War [Johnnie To, 2012]

L’eau froide [Cold Water] [Olivier Assayas, 1994]

Les enfants désaccordés [Children Out of Tune] [Philippe Garrel, 1964]

L’enfant secret [The Secret Child] [Philippe Garrel, 1979]

Enter the Dragon [Robert Clouse, 1973]

Esther Povitsky: Hot for My Name [Nick Goossen, 2020]

O estranho caso de Angélica [The Strange Cases of Angélica] [Manoel de Oliveira, 2010]

Un été brûlant [A Burning Summer] [Philippe Garrel, 2011]
An Evening with Tim Heidecker [Ben Berman, 2020]

La fabrique du ‘Conte d’été’ [Creation of ‘The Summer Tale’] [Jean-André Fieschi, 1996]

The Far Country [Anthony Mann, 1954]

The Farmer’s Wife [Alfred Hitchcock, 1928]

The Female Animal [Harry Keller, 1958]

Les fiancés du Pont Mac Donald, ou (Méfiez-vous des lunettes noires) [The Fiancés of the Pont Mac Donald, or: (Beware of Dark Glasses)] [Agnès Varda, 1961]

Field Niggas [Khalik Allah, 2014]

Film Catastrophe [Paul Grivas, 2018]

Film Socialisme [Jean-Luc Godard, 2010]

Un flic [A Cop] [Jean-Pierre Melville, 1972]

Fluffy (Electronic Press Kit) [Sarah Jacobson, 1996]

Fort Apache [John Ford, 1948]

La France contre les robots {Version A} [France vs. the Robots] [Jean-Marie Straub, 2020]

La France contre les robots {Version B} [France vs. the Robots] [Jean-Marie Straub, 2020]

Frownland [Ronald Bronstein, 2007]

Funny Ha Ha [Andrew Bujalski, 2002]

Game of Death [Robert Clouse, 1978]

Game of Death II [Ng See-yuan, 1981]

Gebo et l’ombre [Gebo and the Shadow] [Manoel de Oliveira, 2012]

The General [Buster Keaton, 1926]

General Magic [Sarah Kerruish, Matt Maude, and Michael Stern, 2018]

The Ghost Ship [Val Lewton and Mark Robson, 1943]

The Godfather: Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone [Francis Ford Coppola, 1990/2020]

Goldman v Silverman [Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie, 2020]

The Grissom Gang [Robert Aldrich, 1971]

Gycklarnas afton [Carnies’ Twilight] [Ingmar Bergman, 1953]

HAIM: “Man from the Magazine” [Paul Thomas Anderson, 2020]

HAIM: “The Steps” [Paul Thomas Anderson and Danielle Haim, 2020]

Hai shang chuan qi [The Legend of the Sea] / I Wish I Knew [Jia Zhang-ke, 2010]

Hamnstad [Port of Call] [Ingmar Bergman, 1948]

Hanyeo [The Housemaid] [Kim Ki-young, 1960]

The Harlem Globetrotters [Phil Brown, 1951]

Häxan [The Witch] [Benjamin Christensen, 1922]

Heimat ist ein Raum aus Zeit [Heimat Is a Space in Time] [Thomas Heise, 2019]

The Heiress [William Wyler, 1949]

Her Smell [Alex Ross Perry, 2018]

The Hitch-Hiker [Ida Lupino, 1953]

Hitchin’ Posts [John Ford, 1920]

Holiday [Edward H. Griffith, 1930]

Holiday [George Cukor, 1938]

House by the River [Fritz Lang, 1950]

How To with John Wilson: Season One [John Wilson, 2020]

Hudularin kanunu [The Law of the Border] [Lütfi Ömer Akad, 1966]

Husbands: A Comedy About Life Death and Freedom [John Cassavetes, 1970]

I May Destroy You: Season 1 [Michaela Cole, 2020]

Inochi / Vita: Sculptures by Sofu / Sōfū no chōkoku [Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1963]

Insiang [Lino Brocka, 1976]

The Isolated [Jay Giampietro, 2020]

Italianamerican [Martin Scorsese, 1974]

It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books [Richard Linklater, 1988]

It’s Not Just You, Murray! [Martin Scorsese, 1964]

I Walked with a Zombie [Jacques Tourneur and Val Lewton, 1943]

I Was a Teenage Serial Killer [Sarah Jacobson, 1993]

La jalousie [Jealousy] [Philippe Garrel, 2013]

Jean Renoir, le patron: Premier épisode: la Recherche du relatif [Jean Renoir, the Boss: First Episode: The Search for the Relative] [Jacques Rivette, 1967]

Je t’aime moi non plus [I Love You Me Neither / I Love You I Don’t] [Serge Gainsbourg, 1976]

Les jeux de société [Society Games] [Éric Rohmer, 1989]

Jing li de ren / Man in the Well [Hu Bo, 2016]

Jingwumen / Fist of Fury [Lo Wei, 1972]

Kenka elegy [Fighting Elegy] [Seijun Suzuki , 1966]

Khane-ye doust kojast [Where Is the Friend’s House] [Abbas Kiarostami, 1987]

Khroustaliov, ma voiture! [Khrustalyov, My Car!] [Aleksei German, 1998]

The Killing of Sister George [Robert Aldrich, 1968]

Knives Out [Rian Johnson, 2019]

Konets Sankt-Peterburga [The End of St. Petersburg] [Vsevolod Pudovkin, 1927]

Kong shan ling yu [Mountain Empty, Spirit Rain] [King Hu, 1979]

Koroshi no rakuin [Branded to Kill] [Seijun Suzuki, 1967]

Kris [Crisis] [Ingmar Bergman, 1946]

Kutabare akutō-domo: Tantei-jimusho 2 3 [Go to Hell, Bastards: Detective Bureau 2 3] [Seijun Suzuki, 1963]

Kvinnodröm [Women’s Dream] [Ingmar Bergman, 1955]

Kvinnors väntan [Women’s Waiting] [Ingmar Bergman, 1952]

The Lady Eve [Preston Sturges, 1941]

The Last Command [Josef von Sternberg, 1928]

Leave Her to Heaven [John M. Stahl, 1945]

En lektion i kärlek [A Lesson in Love] [Ingmar Bergman, 1954]

The Leopard Man [Jacques Tourneur and Val Lewton, 1943]

The Letter [William Wyler, 1940]

La ligne de démarcation [Line of Demarcation] [Claude Chabrol, 1966]

Limite [Limit] [Mário Peixoto, 1931]

The Little Foxes [William Wyler, 1941]

Little Women [Greta Gerwig, 2019]

Lloydie: The Boy from St. Thomas [Keifer Nyron Taylor, 2019]

The Lonedale Operator [Michael Almereyda, 2017/2020]

Luci del varietà [Variety Lights] [Alberto Lattuada and Federico Fellini, 1950]

The Lusty Men [Nicholas Ray, 1952]

The Magnificent Ambersons [Orson Welles, 1942]

Magnificent Obsession [John M. Stahl, 1935]

Magnificent Obsession [Douglas Sirk, 1954]

Making Mr. Right [Susan Seidelman, 1987]

Ma Loute [Bruno Dumont, 2016]

Mary Jane’s Not a Virgin Anymore [Sarah Jacobson, 1996]

Man or Astroman?: “Spferic Waves” [Sarah Jacobson, 1995]

Man Without a Star [King Vidor, 1955]

The Manxman [Alfred Hitchcock, 1929]

Le Marais [Gus Van Sant, 2006]

Marie pour mémoire [Marie for the Record] [Philippe Garrel, 1967]

Mary [Alfred Hitchcock, 1931]

Mašq-e šab [Homework] [Abbas Kiarostami, 1989]

Mat’ [Mother] [Vsevolod Pudovkin, 1926]

‘Maynila…’, isang pelikulang pilipino [‘Manila…’: A Filipino Film] [Mike De Léon, 1975]

Maynila sa mga kuko ng liwanag [Manila in the Claws of Light] [Lino Brocka, 1975]

Meditation on Violence [Maya Deren, 1948]

Mēghē Ḍhākā Tārā [The Cloud-Capped Star] [Ritwik Ghatak, 1960]

Meng long guo liang [Raptors Cross the River] / The Way of the Dragon [Bruce Lee, 1972]

Meshes of the Afternoon [Maya Deren and Alexandr Hackenschmied, 1943]

Mest’ [Revenge] [Ermek Shinarbaev, 1989]

Mission: Impossible: Fallout [Christopher McQuarrie, 2018]

Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol [Brad Bird, 2011]

Mission: Impossible II [John Woo, 2000]

Mission: Impossible III [J.J. Abrams, 2006]

Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation [Christopher McQuarrie, 2015]

Model Shop [Jacques Demy, 1969]

Módēng tǔ lǎo [Modern Abo] / Disco Bumpkins [Ricky Chan, 1980]

La mort de Louis XIV [The Death of Louis XIV] [Albert Serra, 2016]

La Mort en ce jardin [Death in This Garden] [Luisi Buñuel, 1956]

Mouchette [Robert Bresson, 1967]

Movie That Invites Pausing [Ken Jacobs, 2020]

The Mummy [Karl Freund, 1932]

Murder! [Alfred Hitchcock, 1930]

Mutual Appreciation [Andrew Bujalski, 2005]

Mysterious Object at Noon / Dogfahr nai meu marn [Dogfahr in the Devil’s Hands] [Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2000]

Naissance des pieuvres [Birth of the Octopi] [Céline Sciamma, 2007]

Never Fear [Ida Lupino, 1949]

Never Rarely Sometimes Always [Eliza Hittman, 2020]

Night of the Demon [Jacques Tourneur, 1957]

Nikutai no mon [Gate of Flesh] [Seijun Suzuki, 1964]

Nocturama [Bertrand Bonello, 2016]

Not Wanted [Ida Lupino, 1949]

Nuit et brouillard [Alain Resnais, 1955]

L’œil du Malin [The Eye of the Crafty Devil] [Claude Chabrol, 1962]

Old Joy [Kelly Reichardt, 2006]

Oliveira l’architecte [Oliveira the Architecth b] [Paulo Rocha, 1992]

L’ombre des femmes [The Shadow of Women] [Philippe Garrel, 2015]

Once Upon a Honeymoon [Leo McCarey, 1942]

L’Opéra Mouffe, carnet de notes filmées rue Mouffetard à Paris par une femme enceinte en 1958 [The Opéra-Mouffe: Diary Filmed on the Rue Mouffetard in Paris by a Pregnant Woman in 1958] [Agnès Varda, 1958]

Ô saisons ô châteaux [O Seasons, O Castles] [Agnès Varda, 1957]

Painéis de São Vicente de Fora, visão poética [Panels of São Vicente de Fora: A Poetic Vision] [Manoel de Oliveira, 2010]

Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist [Saul J. Turell, 1979]

Pawel and Ebola {Filmed Stage Performance} [Marianna Ellenberg and Greg Zuccolo, 2018]

Peoples House [Andrew Bujalski, 2006]

Le petit soldat [The Little Soldier] [Jean-Luc Godard, 1960/1963]

Pierrot le fou [Pierrot the Fool] [Jean-Luc Godard, 1965]

Plan 9 from Outer Space [Ed Wood, 1959]

Plein soleil [Full Sun] [René Clément, 1960]

Polyester [John Waters, 1981]

Portrait de la jeune fille en feu [Portrait of Young Girl on Fire] [Céline Sciamma, 2019]

Potomok Chingiskhana [The Heir to Genghis Khan] [Vsevolod Pudovkin, 1928]

The Price of Fear [Abner Biberman, 1956]

The Private Life of a Cat [Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid, 1946]

Project [Abbas Kiarostami, 1997]

Les quatre sœurs [The Four Sisters] [Claude Lanzmann, 2017]

La religieuse [The Nun] [Jacques Rivette, 1966]

Remembrances et souvenirs [Remembrances and Souvenirs] [Agnès Varda, 2005]

Les rendez-vous de Paris [Paris Rendez-Vous’s] [Éric Rohmer, 1995]

The Ring [Alfred Hitchcock, 1927]

Ritual in Transfigured Time [Maya Deren, 1946]

Road Movie (or — What I Learned in a Buick Station Wagon) [Sarah Jacobson, 1992]

Rosette: “Bois ton café il va être froid…” [Rosette: “Drink Your Coffee It’s Gonna Be Cold…”] {Official Version} [Éric Rohmer, 1987]

Rosette: “Bois ton café il va être froid…” [Rosette: “Drink Your Coffee It’s Gonna Be Cold…”] {Super-8 Version} [Éric Rohmer, 1987]

Saam jan hang / Three [Johnnie To, 2016]

Salesman [David Maysles, Albert Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin, 1969]

Sarah Winchester: Ghost Opera [Bertrand Bonello, 2016]

Saturday’s Children [Vincent Sherman, 1940]

The Searchers [John Ford, 1956]

Search Party: Season 2 [Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers, 2017]

The Second Civil War [Joe Dante, 1997]

The Seventh Victim [Val Lewton and Mark Robson, 1943]

Shakmatnaya goryachka. [Chess Fever.] [Vsevolod Pudovkin, 1925]

She Dies Tomorrow [Amy Seimetz, 2020]

Show Boat [James Whale, 1936]

Shunpū-den [Story of a Prostitute] [Seijun Suzuki, 1965]

Signed: Lino Brocka [Christian Blackwood, 1987]

Singularidades de uma rapariga loura [Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl] [Manoel de Oliveira, 2009]

Sincerely Louis CK [Louis C.K., 2020]

Skepp till India Land [Ship to India] [Ingmar Bergman, 1947]

The Skin Game [Alfred Hitchcock, 1931]

Slacker [Richard Linklater, 1991]

Smorgasbord (The Movie) [Jerry Lewis, 1983]

Sommaren med Monika [Summer with Monika] [Ingmar Bergman, 1953]

Sommarlek [Summer Interlude] [Ingmar Bergman, 1951]

Sommarnattens leende [Smile of the Summer Night] [Ingmar Bergman, 1955]

Sous le soleil de Satan [Under the Sun of Satan] [Maurice Pialat, 1987]

Spite Marriage [Buster Keaton, 1929]

Spree [Eugene Kotlyarenko, 2020]

Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi [Rian Johnson, 2017]

Star Wars: The Mandalorian: Season Two [Jon Favreau, et al, 2020]

Steamboat Bill, Jr. [Buster Keaton, 1928]

The Story of Temple Drake [Stephen Roberts, 1933]

Straight Shooting [John Ford, 1917]

The Stranger [Orson Welles, 1946]

Strategic Air Command [Anthony Mann, 1955]

A Study in Choreography for Camera [Maya Deren and Tally Beatty, 1945]

Sullivan’s Travels [Preston Sturges, 1941]

The Sun Is Also a Star [Ry Russo-Young, 2019]

Suspicion [Alfred Hitchcock, 1941]

Susuz yaz [Dry Summer] [Metin Erksan, 1964]

Sweet Miss [Sarah Jacobson, 1992]

Swing Time [George Stevens, 1936]

Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life [Fred Waller, 1935]

Taipei Story / Qīng méi zhú mā [Green Plums and a Bamboo Horse] [Edward Yang, 1985]

Ta’m-e guilass… [Taste of Cherry…] [Abbas Kiarostami, 1997]

Tangshan daxiong [The Big Brother from Tangshan] [Lo Wei, 1971]

Taxi Driver [Martin Scorsese, 1976]

Taza, Son of Cochise [Douglas Sirk, 1954]

Ten Seconds to Hell [Robert Aldrich, 1959]

Teorema [Theorem] [Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1968]

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 [Tobe Hooper, 1986]

These Three [William Wyler, 1936]

Things to Come [Ken Jacobs, 2018]

Thunder on the Hill [Douglas Sirk, 1951]

Till glädje [To Joy] [Ingmar Bergman, 1950]

Titas Ekti Nadir Naam [A River Called Titas] [Ritwik Ghatak, 1973]

Tōkyō nagaremono [Tokyo Drifter] [Seijun Suzuki, 1966]

Tōkyō Olympic [Tokyo Olympics] [Kon Ichikawa, 1965]

Tomboy [Céline Sciamma, 2011]

Toni [Jean Renoir, 1935]

Törst [Thirst] [Ingmar Bergman, 1949]

To Sleep with Anger [Charles Burnett, 1990]

Touki-bouki [The Hyena’s Journey] [Djibril Diop Mambéty, 1973]

Transes [Trances] [Ahmed El Maânouni, 1981]

Ulzana’s Raid [Robert Aldrich, 1972]

Underworld [Josef von Sternberg, 1927]

An Unmarried Woman [Paul Mazursky, 1978]

Urban Rashomon [Khalik Allah, 2013]

O velho do Restelo [The Old Man of Restelo] [Manoel de Oliveira, 2014]

The Very Eye of Night [Maya Deren, 1958]

Vitalina Varela [Pedro Costa, 2019]

Voilà l’enchaînement [Here’s How It Plays Out] [Claire Denis, 2014]

Von UFA nach Hollywood, Douglas Sirk erzählt… [From UFA to Hollywood: Douglas Sirk Speaks…] [Eckhart Schmidt, 1991]

The War of the Worlds [Byron Haskin, 1953]

The Westerner [William Wyler, 1940]

What Did Jack Do? [David Lynch, 2016/2020]

What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? [Martin Scorsese, 1963]

Where’d You Go, Bernadette [Richard Linklater, 2019]

Where’s Ghislaine? [Molly Lambert, 2020]

The Wild Angels [Roger Corman, 1966]

The World in His Arms [Raoul Walsh, 1952]

Woodshock 85! [Richard Linklater and Lee Daniel, 1985]

Wuthering Heights [William Wyler, 1939]

Yi yi [One One / Individually / One at a Time] / A One and a Two… [Edward Yang, 2000]

Zendegi va digar hich… [Life and Nothing More…] [Abbas Kiarostami, 1992]

Zire derakhtane zeytoon [Under the Olive Trees] [Abbas Kiarostami, 1994]

#Rehearsal [Cristina Álvarez López, 2020]


Thursday, December 31, 2020

The Books I Read in 2020

These are the books I read in 2020 —


Our Friends from Frolix 8

by Philip K. Dick

written 1968 / published 1970

The Collected Fanzines

by Harmony Korine


Fox 8

by George Saunders


The Beautiful and Damned

by F. Scott Fitzgerald


2 x 50 ans de cinéma français: Phrases

[2 x 50 Years of French Cinema: Phrases]

by Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville


Marion’s Wish

by Tim Heidecker, Mark Proksch, and Gregg Turkington


Run River

by Joan Didion


The Great Gatsby

by F. Scott Fitzgerald


The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice

by William Shakespeare


The Catcher in the Rye

by J. D. Salinger




by Lev Tolstoy


translated by Michael Scammell

The End of Policing

by Alex S. Vitale


The Lion People

by Murry Hope


The Paschats and the Crystal People

by Murry Hope


If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem

by William Faulkner


1: Études de mœurs: Scènes de la vie privée: 6: Un début dans la vie

[1: Studies of Manners: Scenes from Private Life: 6: A Start in Life]

by Honoré de Balzac


translated by Clara Bell

Slouching Towards Bethlehem

by Joan Didion


The Piazza Tales

by Herman Melville


A Maze of Death

by Philip K. Dick

written 1968 / published 1970

The Silence

by Don DeLillo


The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade

by Herman Melville


Billy Budd, Sailor (An Inside Narrative)

by Herman Melville

1891 / posthumously published 1924

The Life of Timon of Athens

by William Shakespeare


Maybe the People Would Be the Times

by Luc Sante