The story goes like this: young filmmaker Colin Levy wrote to his hero Martin Scorsese several years ago, asking which films he should see in order to broaden his cinematic horizons. Scorsese’s assistant sent over a list of 39 foreign films that the director had personally recommended, along with the following note: “Mr. Scorsese asked that I sent this your way. This should be a jump start to your film education!” Thanks to Bleeding Cool & Andrew Erdle.
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Martin Scorsese’s statement supporting Kodak’s continued production of film stock, courtesy of our friends at The Playlist.
We have many names for what we do — cinema, movies, motion pictures. And… film. We’re called directors, but more often we’re called filmmakers. Filmmakers. I’m not suggesting that we ignore the obvious: HD isn’t coming, it’s here. The advantages are numerous: the cameras are lighter, it’s much easier to shoot at night, we have many more means at our disposal for altering and perfecting our images. And, the cameras are more affordable: films really can be made now for very little money. Even those of us still shooting on film finish in HD, and our movies are projected in HD. So, we could easily agree that the future is here, that film is cumbersome and imperfect and difficult to transport and prone to wear and decay, and that it’s time to forget the past and say goodbye — really, that could be easily done. Too easily.
It seems like we’re always being reminded that film is, after all, a business. But film is also an art form, and young people who are driven to make films should have access to the tools and materials that were the building blocks of that art form. Would anyone dream of telling young artists to throw away their paints and canvases because iPads are so much easier to carry? Of course not. In the history of motion pictures, only a minuscule percentage of the works comprising our art form was not shot on film. Everything we do in HD is an effort to recreate the look of film. Film, even now, offers a richer visual palette than HD. And, we have to remember that film is still the best and only time-proven way to preserve movies. We have no assurance that digital informaton will last, but we know that film will, if properly stored and cared for.
Our industry — our filmmakers — rallied behind Kodak because we knew that we couldn’t afford to lose them, the way we’ve lost so many other film stocks. This news is a positive step towards preserving film, the art form we love. —Martin Scorsese
Preach the gospel
Yesterday I watched both parts of Lars Von Trier’s NYMPH()OMANIAC, and I left the film feeling extraordinarily elevated. I remember having felt somewhat similarly with Trier’s Breaking The Waves from 1996, Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream, and more recently with Noé’s Enter The Void (2010). It’s that kind of experience.
At first I was actually somewhat hesitant about watching it, as, even though I’m a great admirer of some of Trier’s work, this movie’s marketing was heavily emphasizing its lewdness and art house appeal. That’s why I half-expected a kind of pretentious exploitation film, but it turned out to be a very human and yet theatrically epic drama, with more humour (however black) than one might think, presented as a series of intertwined parables, all framed by a philosophical discussion recalling Plato’s Socratic dialogues at times. It is a challenging film, no doubt, but has its share of rather beautiful, if melancholic, moments as well, and gives you quite a bit to think about.
Officially it is (the last) part of Trier’s so-called Depression-trilogy, after Antichrist and Melancholia. But I thought it would actually fit much better in a trilogy consisting of Breaking The Waves and Dogville as the other films. (I admit I haven’t seen Antichrist yet, though.) The former film depicting a character that has the thing that Nymphomaniac's titular protagonist lacks: love, but in blinding abundance; the latter, Dogville, also containing the themes of lost innocence and the evils of society that re-appear, a bit differently, in this one. Maybe I say this because I find those three to be my favorites of Trier’s filmography so far. Either way, Nymphomaniac is a revelation and just might be the director’s magnum opus.
20,000 Days on Earth — Official Trailer
First preview of the upcoming pseudo-documentary about Nick Cave!
It collages together fictionalized, mostly unscripted scenes from Cave’s 20,000th day on the planet.
Out September 19
Gregory’s Girl, 1980 (dir. Bill Forsyth)
A very charming, British coming-of-age romantic comedy that reminded me of Wes Anderson in more than a couple of ways: from the witty yet awkward protagonist, the intimate atmosphere, colorfully vivid characters, poignant dialogue, adult-seeming children, even down to the almost-Futura font. It’s a fantastic, personal indie film for anyone who’s ever been a teenager (and especially for fans of Wes Anderson/Richard Ayoade/Hal Ashby).
Mr. Freedom, 1969 (dir. William Klein)
Haha, happy 4th of July!—Every American should watch this film, especially on this occasion. (If you haven’t seen it or haven’t figured it out: this film is essentially a parody of the USA.)
Anyway, it’s like a mixture between Jean-Luc Godard and Putney Swope, with some fantastic visuals and satirically surreal black humor. A real gem.
ADAM: Actually there is something I could show you. It’s not far.
ADAM (cont.): There, that’s Jack White’s house.
EVE: Oh, I love Jack White!
ADAM: That’s where he grew up.
EVE: Aw, little Jack White. Nice.
ADAM: D’you know, he’s actually his mother’s seventh son?
EVE (amused): That figures.
— Only Lovers Left Alive (2014, dir. Jim Jarmusch)