So tomorrow sees the first semester since 2006 in which I won't be teaching a single film studies course. Long story, and banal, but it's my hope that my movie watching will see an uptick in the absence of film-as-homework responsibilities.
Other tedious educational tasks beckon, so naturally I thought I'd post up some links first.
- Cleaning up my office files yesterday I came across the reading from a special topics course on world cinema by way of the Criterion Collection, which was essentially some overview material on national cinemas and otherwise the essays [commissioned or reprinted] in the DVD booklets. Natch, it put me in mind of Girish's not-so-recent post on same, which begins "Booklets that accompany DVDs are one of the less visible and accessible outlets of film writing."
- This just made me laugh and laugh: "This is what separates the men from the boys. You're in a movie. You need to sing. You're not very good at it. You're giving it your best shot. And then the director tells you that Meryl Streep is gonna sing "The Winner Takes It All" at you on a hillside while you stand there, with nothing to do for the duration other than make sad faces/confused faces/weird hand gestures. And you do it. Because you're a super trouper. Sorry."
- Leigh on Lynch: "The great 1980s noise band Big Black remarked on breaking up that it was an idea that had occurred to too few bands. A similar thing might be said of directors. If Lynch's last hurrah has come and gone without us realising … well, it will have ended a four-decade stretch in which the director never – really, not once – went through the motions. There would be something uniquely depressing about Lynch banging them out long after the passion had faded – forever wearily rearranging dwarves and cryptic old ladies."
- Or perhaps he just saw British public information film Tufty's Under 5's Ice Cream Van (1973) and realized he'd been bested. Do click through. Transcript:
VOICEOVER: This is what happened one-day when the ice cream van stopped by Tufty’s house.
TUFTY: Ice cream!
VOICEOVER: And Tufty goes to find his mummy. Tufty always asks his mummy to go with him to the ice cream van.
VOICEOVER: But Willy Weasel has gone off to get an ice cream by himself.
TUFTY’S MUMMY: Oh dear!
TUFTY: Oh mummy! Willy has been knocked down by a car.
VOICEOVER: Now Willy has been hurt. And all because he didn’t ask his mummy to go with him to the ice cream van. When you want to go the ice cream van, always take mummy with you.
- Is it time to revisit Alfonso Cuarón's Great Expectations? It might be, based on these Francisco Clemente posters up at Sam's Myth. So many shades of green and batty Anne Bancroft Havishaming about!
- And speaking of Cuarón, "Parc Monceau, another rich, beautiful, continuous shot." [via]
- Two bad accents enter, one bad accent leaves. Is it Anne Hathaway's Brit twitter or Emma Stone's honey-and-whisky drawl?
- Open Culture identifies 420 [dude!] quality films that you can watch online FREE. The collection is divided into the following categories: Comedy & Drama; Film Noir, Horror & Hitchcock; Westerns & John Wayne; Silent Films; Documentaries, and Animation.
- Speaking of Hitch, nine of the 10 films Hitchcock directed in the 1920s are getting a full restoration.
- "I’m not sure a film is a good place to discuss scientific ideas." ORLY, James Marsh?
- Aaron Hillis talks with Jessica Chastain about her 11 new films. Damn, girl.
- RELATED: Ed Koch is distinctly underwhelmed by one of them: Tree of Life.
- Hotels & filmmakers. Also, "No matter the identity of the person who enters a HOTEL room, the moment he occupies it, the room is completed, its imbalance resolved. The actions of any couple (male-female, male-male, female-female) inside that room result in a new arrangement of space, balanced and whole. From this perspective, any visitor is merely an accessory that transforms the HOTEL room from a purposeless space to a purposeful one. Since the HOTEL has already become a public entrepôt for private sexual exchange, allowing for both sexual performance and deviant lifestyle to merge, it naturally needs to bear the scrutiny of cultural investigation."
- Holy philately! John Huston and Billy Wilder round out the 2012 Great Directors postage stamp collection.
- "Pop-up cinema is becoming as Augusty as Parisians bogging off for a month in the sun. So why not have a go yourself? This handy 10-step guide, comprised of top tips from the people driving the movement, will show you how."
- Via Vulture, a fatal blow to Sadie Benning's oeuvre? "The Concise Oxford English Dictionary will no longer have a term for those plastic boxes that people used to shove sound-holding bricks into, way back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth: Cassette player is somehow being "retired" from the latest version of the dictionary, alongside actual esoteric words like brabble and growlery. Threequeland video jockey are also getting the boot, despite the fact that those are still perfectly cromulent terms as well. Cassettes are still in use at least sometimes, so this seems like a premature retirement, but cassingle can probably safely be cut. "
- "I was born inside the movie of my life." Ebert's memoir drops September 13 from the University of Chicago Press.
- Speaking of the U of C, noted alum Dave Kehr is teaching in NYU's Cinema Studies program this fall. "Students should be prepared to write between 500 and 1000 words a week based on a wide range of screenings, on campus and off, that will include old films and new, fiction and non-fiction, Hollywood blockbusters and art house arcana."
- Oh, Manchester, so much to answer for: a Smiths documentary circa 1992.