21/12/2006

Shepperton Studios book offer

To celebrate the end of the year in style, Kamera has teamed up with Southbank Publishing to offer readers the opportunity to buy Shepperton Studios: A Visual Celebration, by producer and broadcaster Morris Bright, at a special price of £79.95 (normal price £125).

In 2006 Shepperton Studios completed 75 years of cinematic activity. It was here that past classics such as The Third Man, The African Queen, Oliver!, The Omen, Alien, Gladiator and 2001: A Space Odyssey, as well as recent blockbusters like Bridget Jones's Diary, Bend It Like Beckham and Troy were made since it was inaugurated in the winter of 1931.

The Limited Edition of 750 copies is presented in a box with unique cushion cover and includes an exclusive facsimile copy of an original Flicker Book (the success of which helped Norman Loudon create Shepperton Studios) and a facsimile copy of the film campaign brochure for The Wicker Man.

This elegant volume also includes exclusive contributions from directors, actors and producers and including over 300 stunning images and a DVD with trailers, besides much more. The book represents the first comprehensive illustrated account of Shepperton Studios. Here's a taster:












Kamera wishes all its readers a great Christmas and a truly amazing 2007.

All the best,

Antonio Pasolini
editor

18/12/2006

SlamDance short film programme

Out of a staggering 2,150 short films from 20 countries that were submitted to the 2007 Slamdance Film Festival, 73 have been selected to screen, each of which is now

Read more +

09/12/2006

New Hollywood?

The art newsletter artnews.com is currently carrying an article about contemporary film projects carried out by artists. The article tries to create an idea of movement, a trend, but I think that's pushing the envelope too far. There's always an artist working on a feature film project and most of them vanish without a trace - has anyone seen Tracey Emin's Top Spot? Besides, the artists mentioned are not really working in Hollywood, maybe Julian Schnabel gets close to that, but still, Hollywood is not interested in art, has never been and never will be. Even in the period of the so-called New Hollywood, when they drafted in European directors to make films (like Visconti's disastrous experience with Death in Venice (1969), Hollywood wanted people like Visconti because he was good box office in Europe and they thought that, at a time of a shortage of ideas in Tinseltown like the late 60s were, perhaps European auteurs could work their magic in the United States as well. Big mistake. But the article does provide a good round-up of who's doing what and here it is.

03/12/2006

European Film Awards

The European Film Awards were announced yesterday. Among the many winners -and some surprising results there - Pedro Almodovar's Volver was all over the place with three awards: Best Director, BestActress for Penelope Cruz and the People's Choice Award.
European Film Awards +

02/12/2006

2007 Independent Spirit Awards

The 2007 Independent Spirit Awards nominees have been announced. David Lynch and Laura Dern are listed for a Special Distinction Award, the late Robert Altman for Best Director and Michael Arndt for Best First Screenplay Award, an undeserving entry in my opinion.

Independent Spirit Awards +

01/12/2006

Kamera's editor tonight at the Brixton Ritzy

If anyone is around in Brixton, London, this evening, I'll be at Ritzy at 6:30 presenting a selection of short films from Brazil for the Discovering Latin America film festival, which ends on Sunday. More information here. Come and say hello.

29/11/2006

Les Amants Reguliers wins Prix Fipresci 2006

Philippe Garrel won the Prix Fipresci 2006 for his beautiful homage to the Novelle Vague and the May 1968 generation, Les Amants Reguliers (whose recent UK DVD release was reviewed on Kamera). The president of Fipresci, Andrei Plakhov, said, "Philippe Garrel made his first film when he was 16, and by 20 had earned the reputation of the Nouvelle Vague's Wunderkind and 'younger brother of Godard'. His sophisticated cinematographic style, with long concentrated frames, is unique. His films are like fake detective stories, where mystery lies, not in the plot but in the style.”

Fipresci +

27/11/2006

Omar Sharif at the Cairo Film Festival

For those of you wondering about Omar Sharif's (pictured) whereabouts, fret no more. Today he's in Cairo (well, he's lived in Egypt all his life), for the opening of the Cairo Film Festival, which started 30 years ago. Sharif is the honorary president of the festival. The event goes on until 8 December and will be dedicated to the Late Nobel Prize Laureate Naguib Mahfouz, who died earlier this year. Films based on his novels will be screened.

The festival will feature Arab and international movie stars such as the American actor Dany Glover and the British actress Jacqueline Bisset besides Jeremy Irons and Julia Ormond who will attend the festival's different sections. These include "The Official Contest", "Guest of Honor", "Arab Films Competition", "Arabs in International Movies", "Panorama of Lebanese Movies" and "Panorama of the Egyptian Cinema".

Cairo Film Festival +

21/11/2006

RIP Robert Altman

The legends seem to keep dropping this year, don't they? RIP big man - for the last five minutes of The Player alone you were totally CLASSIC!!

20/11/2006

Sighting of the month: Matt Dillon in the Amazon

We spotted Matt Dillon visiting an environmental project in the Amazon during his attendance at the Manaus (the capital of the Amazon) film festival. Shall we rename him 'Mata Dillon' in reference to the Portuguese word for jungle? Or am I paying too much attention to the antics involved in headline writing on British tabloids?

Mata Dilllon +

Round up: Latin American and German cinema in London

In the run-up to the Christmas season (definitely a bad cinema season), there are quite a few options around London for those who want to get a proper film fix before heading off to the Christmas break to watch The Sound of Music for the umpteenth time.

The charity Discovering Latin America, whose main goal is to publicise Latin American culture abroad and raise funds for social projects it chooses to champion, arrives at the
5th edition of its annual film festival on Thursday, 23/11, running until 03/12. The festival will take place at the Odeon Covent Garden and Panton Street in the West End, Tate Modern in the South Bank, The Ritzy Cinema in Brixton and Everyman Cinema in Hampstead. Yours truly will be presenting a section of Brazilian short films at the Ritzy Cinema on 01/12 at 6:30pm, so please come and say hello. The Tate Modern will be showing Luis Bunuel's Viridiana and the rest of the programme is a mixture of films from all over the Latin American continent. Further information from the DLAFF site.


Also starting on 23/11 and running until the 26th is the 9th Festival of German Films promising 'a strong line-up of impressively crafted and compelling new features and documentaries from some of the most exciting German filmmakers working today'. The event also features a section called Critical Cinema of East Germany, presented by the London Goethe-Institut plus the regular Next Generation strand which showcases live-action and animated shorts from German film school graduates. More info here.


(Still from Dog Pound, DLAFF, screening on 3/12)



13/11/2006

David Lynch's cow stunt

David Lynch is back after a five-year hiatus with a new feature film, Inland Empire, which reunites the top American surrealist with the ever lovely Laura Dern (Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart). Reviews have been good , but so far there's no UK release date scheduled. However, Lynch has been busy promoting his film, due out in the U.S. next month (15/12) and even took to the streets of Los Angeles to promote it. Don't you just love this man?



09/11/2006

See it: Stella Polare

Anyone attending the Leeds International Film Festival should check out the striking Stella Polare (pictured left), by British filmmakers Anthea Kennedy and Ian Wilbin, which screens today at 1:45pm and tomorrow at 2:15 at the Carriageworks. Stella Polare is everything that British films quite often are not: meditative, mysterious and oblivious of the strictures of conventional narrative. I saw this film at the Osnabruck Media Art festival in May this year and absolutely loved it. An inspiration for indepedent filmmakers working with video technology; it shows how much can be achieved.

07/11/2006

Festival alert: Kassel and Leeds

The 23rd edition of the Kassel Film and Video Festival starts today and runs until the 12th. 214 current films and videos from 21 countries will be screened within the next six days, one third of which are premieres. About 100 directors and artists are expected to attend the festival for the presentation and discussion of their works. The exhibition MONITORING presents 16 media installations from five countries. The opening is going to take place on November 8 at 7 pm. The interdisciplinary conference interfiction as well as the Live Visuals in the DokfestLounge will close the festival. Altogether 68 contributions out of the program will compete for the three prizes of €10,000 in total and the A38-Artist-in-Residence Grant Kassel-Halle.

Kassel film and video festival +


Elsewhere, the Leeds International Film Festival is now well under way. The organisers remind us that although the Fanomenon Horror Weekend has now ended, there's a chance to catch some of the films at their repeat screenings - Silver Méliès winner Isolation (Tue 7 Nov), Resonnances, The Woods (Thu 9 Nov), Gruesome and Dark Remains (Fri 10 Nov). Still to come in the Film Festival are American Hardcore, a film about the American Punk Explosion (Wed 8 Nov), presented by director Paul Rachman and writer Steven Blush. Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell and Monks: The Transatlantic Feedback can be seen again later this week: the former plays on Sat 11 Nov (Hyde Park Picture House, 9:00pm) while the latter will be showing on Mon 6 Nov (The Carriageworks, 3:15pm).

Leeds film festival +

03/11/2006

Danish Silent Classics on DVD

A delicious and not to mention important selection of Danish silent film classics has been restored and is now available for purchase online on the website of the Danish Film Institute. The selection includes films by internationally renowned director Carl Theodor Dreyer; the charismatic actor-director Benjamin Christensen and films starring Denmark's most prominent thespians of the silent period: actor Valdemar Psilander and actress Asta Nielsen.

A total of nine DVDs are available at present, while two more will be ready for sale in the coming months. These include films by Holger-Madsen (Himmelskibet, from 1918), August Blom (Verdens undergang/The End of the World, from 1916) and Carl Theodor Dreyer (Blade af Satan's Bog/Leaves from Satan's Book from 1921, Der var engang/Once Upon A Time, 1922).

The launch of this DVD collection (with English intertitles) is the conclusion of an ambitious project of the DFI Film Archive, which began in 2003, when the Danish Ministry of Culture allocated 1 million DKK (about £90,000) to a project for the digitization of national film classics from the silent period. The title list and more information can be found on the site of the Danish Film Institute.

31/10/2006

Pixies at the ICA tomorrow 1/11

The documentary loudQUIETloud, which charts the musical path created by cult band Pixies, is being launched tomorrow at London's ICA. The influential band, which was broken up in 1992 when their chief songwriter and vocalist Black Francis announced his intention to quit the band via a blunt facsimile, reunited in 2004 and announced a series of shows that would become some of the fastest selling in music history.

The film will be screened in the ICA theatre to allow the full impact of the film's live performances to be felt. Director Steven Cantor will be present to answer questions from the audience.

Trailer +

ICA +

Vampire blog-a-thon


Tireless film and popculture critic Nathaniel R of The Film Experience has organised a huge vampire blog-a-thon on the occasion of Halloween, with over 50 blogs chiming in with a post, an article and/or a more profound cinematic analysis of their favourite film vampires, bloodsuckers and undead.

Yours truly has also contributed with a review of the Swedish vampire horror comedy Frostbiten (Frostbite) on the website european-films.net. For an overview of all the participating blogs and hours of reading/commenting/discussing pleasure, check out the complete list of participating blogs over at the filmexperience blog.

25/10/2006

Cinema tickets in London the most expensive in Europe

We all suspected that, but now it's official...

Read article +

YouTube intermission of the day: The Battle of the Album Covers

Fun!

London Film Festival's latest

Today is a good day at the LFF. The programme includes a screening of Lukas Moodysson's 'surreally dark' Container and Nanni Moretti's The Caiman, a political satire of Berlusconi's premiership. To top it all up, there will be the Film on the Square Gala of Shortbus, a film that I personally can't wait to see.

Also the press office of the festival has rung in to tell Kamera that the winner of the annual Grierson Award, given to the best feature-length documentary at the Festival, was Lauren Greenfield's Thin, which is about a Florida eating disorder treatment centre. The award will be presented at Thursday's screening.

LFF site +

24/10/2006

Final Cut Pro free course

Apple in London is offering a free seminar that includes training in the Final Cut Studio software suite. So, independent filmmakers who use the package to edit films and would like to brush up their skills, take note. The event will be on 17 November and it goes without saying that it is likely to book up fast.

Book place +

Reading tip

I found this page in the Media Art website with some inspiring texts on film and art. 'Artists, Auteurs, and Star. On the Human Factor in the Culture Industry' was one of the texts that lept to my attention because it touches on the concept of authorship, one which is being increasingly questioned in this age when the notion of copyrights and originality is highly debatable.

Read more +

23/10/2006

Opening Shots Project

On "Scanners", the blog of American film critic (and editor of rogerebert.com) Jim Emerson there are some surprisingly insightful discussions going on about the opening shots of famous -- and sometimes less famous -- films. The collection of entries is called the "Opening Shots Project" and is a fantastic work in progess on how to open a movie. Stills are included in each post for reference and readers are invited to contribute their own favourite opening shots and/or comment on those already in the archives, so rush over to the Scanners Opening Shots Project and join in the conversation!

21/10/2006

Cameron Mitchell's masterclass

John Cameron Mitchell, whose sexually explicit upcoming film, Shortbus, is bound to generate a hell of a lot of column inches (no pun intended) for the polysexually-inclined American indie director (he directed Hedwig and the Angry Inch - that word again - produced Tarnation and directed the video clip for the Scissor Sister's song Filthy Gorgeous). He will be giving a masterclass on 26/10 called 'Putting the Sex in Screen Stories'. So go find out how he does it.

Mitchell's masterclass +

18/10/2006

Kamera on Myspace

Kamera has joined Myspace's community. I have created a page for the site with the name kamerafilmsalon, as Kamera alone had been taken by a "19-year-old female in Texas" with an apparent interest in photography. These kids are too fast for us folks from the old media, but we're getting there! If anyone is proficient with Myspace design, please do let me know as any help and suggestions are very welcome.

Kamerafilmsalon

14/10/2006

Press conference with Pedro Almodovar and Penelope Cruz

Pedro Almodovar graced the 44th New York Film Festival (Penelope Cruz in tow) in connection with the screening of his film Volver. Here's a video clip of their joint interview.

13/10/2006

19th Panorama of European Cinema





The 19th Panorama of European Cinema, organised by Eleftherotypia, and with the co-operation of the Greek ministry of Culture, began last night (12th of October). At the official opening of the Festival, the screening was of Niko Panagiotopoulos's Dying in Athens.

The festival runs until 22nd of October and screenings take place in the centre of Athens at the Apollo cinema and the Asty cinema. The festival, as its name suggests, covers a Panorama of European Cinema and is more like a best of recent festivals with a few premieres. This year they managed to secure the European Premiere of Woody Allen's new film Scoop, quite an appropriate title for a film screening at the festival's closing gala.

What makes the Panorama particularly different is that it also focuses more on film history - national cinemas and genres take precedent. It also focuses on a particular director, actor or playwright. This year they celebrate the works of Sam Peckinpah, Robert Rossellini and particularly Harold Pinter.

The 19th Panorama of European Cinema programme is made up of the following sections: :
Competition Section with new European films not bought by Greek distributors,Avant-premieres of European films;
The International Scene – World cinema round-up;
Cinema : a suversive art - films by Jean Vigo, Bunuel, Franju, and others;
Sam Peckinpah: a subversive director;
Harold Pinter – a film tribute and photo exhibition dedicated to the acclaimed British writer’s career in theatre,
literature and film;
The Day After – What future? - science fiction films dealing with ecological, environmental and other problems;
Robert Rossellini Centenary;
New Italian Cinema.

For the 19th Panorama of European Cinema website click here

For an overview of last year's festival click here

09/10/2006

Shortbus

So Cameron Mitchell's sexually explicit, Woody Allen-ian Shortbus has opened in the U.S. to ecstatic reviews. It is due to get a UK release on 1/12 and surely enough it will revive the discussion about cinematic 'real sex' triggered off by Michael Winterbottom's 9 Songs.

A week of art films in London

Artprojx is presenting a selection of films at the Prince Charles Cinema in central London throughtout the week starting today, including works by Mark Wallinger, Jesper Just and Laurie Simmons. Anthony Reynolds Gallery is presenting Wallinger's new 35mm 'The End' (12 mins). Here's how the gallery describes it:

"The title of the work implies both termination and intent. Taking one of the most routine elements of any movie, the credits that wrap up the picture, Wallinger presents an ultimate cast of characters that, accompanied by a classic cinema soundtrack, gives us the complete experience, the greatest story ever told, the beginning and the end. With the simplest of means, a scrolling text, Wallinger evokes the grandest, most thrilling and awe-inspiring cinematic epic."

Anthony Reynolds Gallery +

Wallinger has also curated the films being shown today at the Prince Charles Cinema off Leicester Square in London and The End will be shown before each of them:

1pm KES (PG) Directed by Ken Loach, 1969
3.20pm COMME UNE IMAGE (12A) Directed by Agnes Jaoui, 2004
6pm EDUKATORS (15) Directed by Hans Weingartner, 2004
9pm ERASERHEAD (18) Directed by David Lynch, 1977


Tomorrow is the turn of Jesper Just's 'It Will All End In Tears', a 20 min 35mm film followed by a conversation with the artist:

"In Jesper Justs new film "It Will All End In Tears" Just, as often seen before in his works, present the problem of the relationship between generations ­ or ­ more precisely, the relationship between father and son, both in literal and metaphorical terms. Jesper Just is not simply concerned with a representational-critical reiteration of cinematic clichés; he also manages to pose questions of a more existential character, questions that touch on men¹s way of being and being together."

On Friday, photographer Laurie Simmos shows her debut film 'The Music of Regret' and it will be followed by a conversation with RoseLee Goldberg. The film is a three-act cinematic musical starring Meryl Streep, Adam Guettel's voice and members of the Alvin Ailey II dance company, plus a cast of vintage puppets and ventriloquist dummies. Shot by cinematographer Ed Lachman (Far From Heaven, The Virgin Suicides) with a bittersweet, Sondheim-flavoured score by Michael Rohatyn, the film "portrays the despair and longing that has coloured the post-9/11 era."

Prince Charles Cinema +

Artprojx +

07/10/2006

No trouble finding oil...

Popular French film magazine Studio (pronounced "Stu-djo", of course) has listed the top 20 of gay films that are (at least according to film writer Michel Rebichon) the most indicative of the changing customs and habits of the times and accurately reflect social mores. Here is their full rundown, from oldest to most recent:

*Rope - Alfred Hitchcock, 1948, USA
*Satyricon - Federico Fellini, 1969, Italy
*Morte a Venezia (Death in Venice), Luchino Visconti, 1971, Italy
*La meilleure façon de marcher (The Best Way to Walk) - Claude Miller, 1976, France
*Sebastiane - Derek Jarman and Paul Humfress, 1976, UK
*Querelle - Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1982, Germany
*L'homme blessé (The Wounded Man) - Patrice Chéreau, 1983, France
*La ley del deseo (The Law of Desire) - Pedro Almodóvar, 1986, Spain
*Maurice - James Ivory, 1987, UK
*Les nuits fauves (Savage Nights) - Cyril Coliard, 1992, France
*Philadelphia - Jonathan Demme, 1993, USA
*The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - Stephan Elliot, 1994, Australia
*Fresa y chocolate (Strawberries and Chocolate) - Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, 1994, Cuba
*Les roseaux sauvages (Wild Reeds) - André Téchiné, 1994, France
*The Celluloid Closet - Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, 1995, USA
*Beautiful Thing - Hettie MacDonald, 1996, UK
*Bound - Andy and Larry Wachowski, 1996, USA
*Bent - Sean Mathias, 1997, UK
*Far From Heaven - Todd Haynes, 2002, USA
*Brokeback Mountain - Ang Lee, 2005, USA

It is interesting to note that the list starts with a USA-made Hitchcock film that is all but open about its subject and that the US as a producing country then virtually disappears from the list until 1993, and then delivers the bulk of the new titles. Another interesting trend is that many of the films in the top 20 are not portraying contemporary society but societies in the past (including Satyricon, Sebastiane, Maurice, Wild Reeds, Bent, Far From Heaven and Brokeback Mountain).

Glaring omissions -- in my humble opinion -- include Richard Oswald's Anders als die Anderen (Different From The Others) from 1919 (!), Carl Theodor Dreyer's silent 1924 classic Mikaël, Rossellini's Germania Anno Zero from 1948, 1961's Victim with Dirk Bogarde, anything by Pasolini (probably Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma) and perhaps something like Stephen Daldry's 2002 film The Hours and Kimberly Peirce's Boys Don't Cry from 1999. And no mention of Gus Van Sant?

Films on the list that, again in my humble opinion, seem minor when compared to the others: Bound (which seems to have been included simply to demonstrate that the writer has not forgotten lesbianism as well, I would have chosen The Hours and/or Boys Don't Cry) and the Sirk-inspired hommage Far From Heaven, in which Dennis Quaid's character is homosexual only as a plot convience that obstacles Julianne Moore's character and her desire for a picture-perfect marriage. A much more interesting choice would have been Sirk's own Written on the Wind, in which Rock Hudson utters the famous line "I have trouble enough finding oil" in reply to the question why he has not married yet.

What do you think? Leave your comment!

06/10/2006

Ten Top Movies in the Public Domain


Ann Savage in the public domain noir Detour.

Wired Magazine has posted an interesting top ten of films that are in the public domain and can thus be downloaded for free. Find out which films and where on the Wired site.

04/10/2006

Nick Broomfield's documentary Ghosts moves San Sebastian

It is always nice to find out that one of the best documentarians around, Nick Broomfield, is back with a new film. Broomfield opened the San Sebastian festival with Ghosts, a documentary about the 23 undocumented Chinese workers who died in Northern England in 2004 while harvesting cockles at night. Broomfield used mostly non-actors in his film, with special focus on Ai Qin, a single mother from Fujian who go together $25,000 to come to England and ended up living with 15 other Chinese workers in a two-bedroom house.The International Herald Tribune describes her performance as 'heartbreaking'. In fact the publication ran a very insightful article about the festival and its focus on immigration.

And Tom DiCillo won a Silver Shell for best director with his new film, Delirious. As I had stated here before, I can't wait to see it and hopefully this validation from a major festival will spell a good distribution deal.


San Sebastian Film Festival

29/09/2006

Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait



Does a footballer deserve a feature-length film dedicated to him? Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno have come up with a very ambitious project, and full marks for completion but....

Will Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait emulate the career of the great player or will it turn him into a 92 minute Psycho?

See the review of the film that's been released in selected cinemas today here.

28/09/2006

French cinematographer Raoul Coutard's life story part of People's Archives


A scene from Jules et Jim. (C) Sédif Productions.

The life story of the legendary French cinematographer, Raoul Coutard, is now freely available from Peoples Archive, an online video on-demand archive that features some of the world’s greatest thinkers, creators and achievers of our time.

Speaking in French, and presented with or without English subtitles, Raoul Coutard talks for more than 8 hours about his life and work, the French New Wave and also gives us an insight on what it was like working with great filmmakers. His films include Godard's A bout de souffle (Breathless), Le mépris (Contempt) and La Chinoise, Truffaut's La peau douce (The Soft Skin) and Jules et Jim (Jules and Jim), Costa-Gavras' Z and L'aveu (The Confession) and, more recently, works from Philippe Garrel and Guillaume Nicloux.

Tamsin Newmark, director-producer of the Peoples Archive says: Raoul Coutard's life story is a welcome addition to our Film section and filming one of the most influential and emblematic French cinematographers was a wonderful opportunity. Not only does he give us the chance to better understand the world of cinematography but he also enables us to delve into the mind of a great achiever. Raoul Coutard's influence on Cinema and cinematography is undeniable and he remains one of the key figures of the New Wave. We are delighted to have the opportunity to share and preserve his incredible life story.

Raoul Coutard’s life story is available to view for free on the Peoples Archive website and will also be available to buy on DVD-ROM in the coming year. Downloads for iPods and other mobile devices will soon be offered on the site as well as through the Google Video Store. Peoples Archive currently contains 32 life stories, totalling over 200 hours of video, divided into 4501 segments. The Archive is grouped into five sections: Science, Film, Literature, Masters and Medicine, with two new sections, Art and Activists, being introduced in the coming months. Future plans include filming with the filmmakers Sydney Pollack and James Ivory, the architect Sir Norman Foster and the spy writer John Le Carré.

27/09/2006

Online viewing: Rio Cine Festival

The organisers of the Rio de Janeiro film festival have teamed up with the popular Porta Curta streaming site to show 17 of the competing films from the festival's Première Brasil section. You can also vote for your favourites.

Fest Rio +

25/09/2006

San Sebastian film festival: clips

Google Video already has a selection of clips with footage of the goings-on at the San Sebastian film festival. Speaking of which, Kamera's newswire received information from one of its PR friends that Tom DiCillo's new film, Delirious, is being screened at the Spanish festival. 'Delirious' sees DiCillo reunite with Steve Buscemi. While I haven't seen the film to vouch for it, the storyline sounds like DiCillo classic. Here's a description:

"Small time paparazzo Les (Steve Buscemi) has a big mouth and big dreams, but try as he might, he can’t quite talk himself into the right parties to get that one great exclusive photo. He meets Toby (Michael Pitt), a homeless kid who is drawn to the bright lights of New York City and “hires” him as his assistant.

But the two are drawn to each other and become friends. Although Toby enjoys the glamour and excitement of Les’ lifestyle he still retains a compelling innocence and naiveté that draws Les to him. Toby also has vague dreams of his own; to become an actor.

Luck intervenes for Toby when he accidentally meets K’Harma Leeds (Alison Lohman), a beautiful pop diva. As their unlikely love blossoms Toby finds himself torn between a chance to follow his dreams of becoming an actor and to fulfill his obligation to Les. When Toby leaves Les for a part on a Reality Show, partly by sleeping with the show’s casting director Dana (Gina Gershon), their blossoming friendship immediately falls apart.

As Toby’s fortunes continue to rise, Les tries to reach out, while also maintaining a bitter resentment toward his former protégé…"

Festival site

Google video

Agnès Varda's video installation

A tip for those passing through Paris until 08 October: the doyenne of the Novelle Vague (and the movement's only significant female presence behind the camera), Agnès Varda, has prepared a series of video installations called L'Ile et Elle as a result of a commission from the Fondation Cartier.

Update: Agnès Varda will be in London on 28/10 for a talk at the Cine Lumiere, where she will be presenting Cinévardaphoto. The programme includes three films chosen by director Varda, all dealing with photos and together forming a meditation on what photography and the artistic impulse mean to her. Ydessa, the Bears, and etc... is about an artist/curator who is obssessed with collecting pictures of people with teddy bears from the early years of the 20th century. Ulysse is an examination from 1982 of a photo Varda took in 1954. Salut les Cubains, the earliest of the three films, looks at the Cuban revolution via a photo exhibition mounted some 10 years after the event.


Further info +

18/09/2006

London Film Festival

When the London Film Festival announced its programme a few days ago, I went straight to the experimental section to see what was on offer. I was pleasantly surprised to see two films on two American underground luminaries: Anger Me, about Kenneth Anger and Jack Smith and The Destruction of Atlantis about Jack Smith, both curated by the ever reliable Mark Webber.

Anger was a legendary pioneer of independent filmmaking who used to hang out with the Stones, made the homoerotic Scorpio Rising (1964) and wrote the infamous book Hollywood Babylon. Smith, on the other hand, worked in the pre-Warhol New York art scene and was heavily influenced by kitsch 1940s star Maria Montez, blending film with experimental theatre, fashion and photography. His most famous film, Flaming Creatures, is "an epic fantasy, featuring blonde vampires and bohemians cavorting amid a tangle of naked bodies". A baroque genius.

Excerpt from Anger's Lucifer Rising (1972)



Jack Smith's short Scotch Tape (1963)




Festival site

17/09/2006

Filmosophy and Harmony Korine

Wallflower, the London-based publisher specialised in film theory, has rung in to tell us about an event connected to one of their upcoming titles, and soon to be reviewed on Kamera, Filmosophy, by Daniel Frampton, filmmaker and theorist, founding editor of the online salon Film Philosophy. The event will take place on Sunday 15 October 12noon and will include a screening of Julien Donkey-Boy, followed by a conversation between director Harmony Korine and Frampton. Very likely to sell fast, so book your ticket now on 020 7837 8402 (Renoir in London's Bloomsbury).

16/09/2006

David Thomson's Suspects

In anticipation to the No Exit Press re-release of David Thomnson's fabulous book Suspects, in which the narrator writes short biographies of classic film noir characters and then these characters start to meet each other outside the films as if they were real people with real needs and passions, here are some Noir classics culled You Tube, the universe's converging point for all things that move. Kamera will be running an interview with Thomson soon, so watch this space.


Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard




Edward Robinson in Scarlet Street




Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity




Okay, this is not footage from a film but Joan Crawford was the star of one of the greatest Noir films ever, Mildred Pearce (1945), which is not to found on YT. However, I did find this bizarre interview with a tipsy Crawford arriving at an aiport in America in 1968.

13/09/2006

Orson Welles' wine commercial

Orson Welles remains one of my all-time favourite film personalities and this video showing what Gawker described as a "long-debauched Orson Welles drunkenly slurring his way through a few takes on the Paul Masson wine commercials from the 1970s" brings Welles even closer to my heart. Salud!

Touching Politics

The Goethe-Institut London will be presenting between Wednesday 20 September and Tuesday 26 September a series of films selected from the archives of the Freunde der Deutschen Kinemathek, Berlin, under the banner Touching Politics. The mini season is curated by film practitioner Florian Wüst.

Set against the backdrop of outstanding moments in 20th century history, the four programmes combine avant-garde classics, and rarely screened documentary and experimental films by filmmakers such as Kenneth Anger, Bruce Baillie, Hollis Frampton, Joris Ivens, Sharon Lockhart, Hans Richter, or Joyce Wieland. Made between 1926 and 1994, the twenty-two films of these programmes present an "exemplary synthesis of artistic vision and political engagement, of autobiographical approaches and social contexts, of sensuousness and conceptual rigour". Florian Wüst will introduce the first two screenings.

The Freunde der Deutschen Kinemathek in Berlin is one of Germany’s most important film institutions. It maintains an archive and runs a distribution branch that share an extensive international collection of historical and contemporary feature, documentary and experimental films characterised by their formal experimentation as well as their engagement with social and political issues.

Goethe-Institut London

12/09/2006

Milano Film Festival

After Venice, it's time for the Milano Film Festival, which starts on Friday 15 September. According to the organisers, the event's aim is "to promote and give young and less known directors a chance to emerge". The films are screened without being divided into categories. They will all be screened in original language with Italian and English subtitles, and their directors are invited to present their works to the festival audience.

Full programme +

Venice 2006 winners

The Golden Lion went to Sanxia Haoren (Still Life) by Jia Zhang-Ke, the Silver Lion for Best Director went to Alain Resnais for the film Private Fears in Public Places and Ben Affleck got the Coppa Volpi award for Best Male Actor for his role in Hollywoodland. Check out the rest of the winners of the Venice festival here +

11/09/2006

Destricted: not a turn-on

Ever the film anthropologist, yesterday I tried to see the art/porn flick Destricted, currently showing in London. A group of short films directed by Marina Abramović, Marco Brambilla, Matthew Barney, Larry Clark, Gaspar Noe, Richard Prince and Sam Taylor-Wood, Destricted was curated by New York-based arts man Neville Wakefield. Sadly, the screening was sold out, which seems to indicate that sex continues to sell, despite the current media saturation of sexual imagery that is enough to make the idea of a chastity vow seem like a viable protest option.

I will try again tomorrow because I'm very curious to see what the artists/filmmakers have come up with (I haven't taken the vow yet, you see). I personally think the one name involved in the project that makes absolute sense is Larry Clark's because blurring the line between art and pornography is his leitmotif - but where is Bruce LaBruce? And why Sam Taylor Wood? While I can't give you my personal verdict on Destricted, here's a round-up of reviews around the web.

Film Threat claimed that "as a sociological statement on human sexuality, it’s practically worthless". Future Movies didn't like it either and said: "Whatever most of the filmmakers here were trying to achieve, it sheds no light on porn, simply reproducing it at its most trite, stale and unimaginative." Deep Focus's review was a bit more lubed. It said, "Destricted is as hit-and-miss as you'd expect of a collection of art-porn shorts." I also found an interview with Larry Clark on Nerve magazine about his contribution to the project and I particularly liked his correction of the information previously given to the interviewer that all collaborators had had talks with Neville about what they would do. Said Clark, "My deal was, they gave me the money, I made the film, they didn't know what I was doing until I sent them a rough cut of the film." Clark, it must be said, is blessed with a delightful penchant for straight talking and incapability to use art world lingo, an aspect of his rebel personality that I experienced first-hand when I saw him at the ICA last year.

03/09/2006

Venice's blonde ambition

Maybe I'm imagining things, but this year's edition of the Venice Film Festival seems like a blond fest, or at least that's what it appeared to me when I was checking the photos that arrived at Kamera's picture desk. Why, even Juliete Binoche, who's been a patron saint of brunette film stars since she became a brunette film star in the 1980s, has shown up at the sinking city doing an impersonation of Nastassja Kinski in Paris Texas. Maybe they all got inspired by the golden mane of the lion or something...
(pictured: Juliette Binoche, Scarlett Johansson, Guillermo Del Toro, Douglas McGrath, Catherine Deneuve, and Aaron Eckhart)








01/09/2006

Venice Film Festival

Our man in Europe, film journalist Boyd van Hoeij, who runs the superb European-films.net site, gives us the lowdown on the sometimes not so dolce vitta behind the scenes at the oldest and, according to Boyd, worst organised film festival in the world.

Read more +

30/08/2006

Hal Hartley's back

Hal Hartley (pictured) has been named juror for Independent Exposure 2007, Microcinema International's touring short film and video festival, which enters its 12th Season. Says Hartley: "Independent Exposure is one of those cool and vital efforts at curatorship which helps new films get seen by audiences who seek out new forms of entertainment. Microcinema does a great job of pulling together exciting new work and I look forward to being the judge for the 2007 season."

Having lived in New York a great part of his film career, Hartley recently relocated to Berlin in Germany. And those who have been waiting for a new Hartley film for ages, here is the good news: he has just completed shooting his newest feature, Fay Grim , throughout Europe and Southern Asia with Parker Posey, Tom Ryan, Jeff Goldblum, James Urbaniak and others.

Hartley won the Young Filmmakers Award at the 1994 Tokyo International Film Festival for his film Amateur (1994), which was also premiered at the Cannes Director's Fortnight of that year. Retrospectives of his work have been presented at The Rotterdam Festival in 1992 and Gijon, Spain, in 2003. He won the Best Screenplay award at Cannes in 1998 for his film Henry Fool (1997) (see clip here +) and best screenplay at Sundance in 1991 for Trust (1990).

The director was made a Chevalier of arts and letters by the Republic of France in 1997 and taught filmmakingat Harvard University from September 2001 until May 2004. Shortly after that, he was awarded a fellowship by the American Academy in Berlin.

More about Hartley +

29/08/2006

Manchester Festival of Fantastic Films - this Friday!

Just a quick post to mention that things have changed with this year's Manchester Festival of Fantastic Films since my last blog on the subject.

First of all, Crispin Glover is the Guest of Honour and the great actor will be showing a 35mm print of his directorial debut WHAT IS IT? Glover is, of course, one of the finest character actors of any generation - having headlined 2003's excellent "Willard" and also featured in the classic "Back to the Future" and "River Edge". Other notable roles include both "Charlie's Angels" films, "Twister" and, of course, his brilliant cameo in David Lynch's masterful "Wild at Heart".

Also appearing at the fest is Lamberto Bava with his British debut. Bava is the director of "Demons", "Demons 2", "Macabre" and "Body Puzzle" - although his finest work is his shocking giallo "A Blade in the Dark", which the fest will also screen. His most recent work includes "Ghost Son" and he has also apprenticed his father - the legendary Mario Bava (on "Shock" aka "Beyond the Door 2") as well as Dario Argento.

Fans attending will also have the chance to meet Ken Foree - who will introduce a 35mm showing of "The Devil's Rejects" and talk about his work in such flicks as "Dawn of the Dead", "The Dentist" and the upcoming "Brotherhood of Blood".

The web site is here:

http://fantastic-films.com/festival/

Have fun!

Calum Waddell

RIP Joe Stefano - writer of PSYCHO

A very sad thing to find out - the legendary writer of "Psycho" and creator of "The Outer Limits" Joe Stefano passed away on Friday the 25th August, aged 84. Stefano was a talented and innovative man and one whom I had the pleasure to meet in person and to interview. I'll be submitting a more substantial piece on the great personality and his work to Kamera. Stay tuned.

Calum Waddell

With thanks to www.fangoria.com

Mike Leigh's Sarajevo honour


British director Mike Leigh has been honoured at the Sarajevo Film Festival with the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award for his "outstanding contribution to the art of cinema and the support to the development of the Sarajevo Film Festival."

Read full story +

28/08/2006

Godard's Histoire(s) du cinéma clip

It was with much excitement that I came across Godard's Histoire(s) du cinéma for quite while I was doing one of my archive-vulturing on Youtube.The clip is just over nine minutes long but it's well worth it and gives an idea of the complete piece's form.

27/08/2006

Tom Cruise's fall from grace

Like a lot of independent and arthouse film lovers, it's with a strong sense of Schadenfreude (and pride for finally being able to use this word in the correct context!) that I have been watching the tacky exchanges between the Cruise and the Viacom money people. Is this perhaps the end of the era when A List stars can demand half of the budget of a film and leave the rest of the world gaping at the surrealness of their situation? It's time someone put a stop to the Hanks, Roberts and Cruises of the world and rechannel those astronomic salaries to the production of thousands of small-budget masterpieces! Ann Magnuson, of the LA Woman blog and someone who always tells it like it is, has published some interesting thoughts on the whole story. You can read them here +

26/08/2006

Jonas Mekas year-long film marathon


Jonas Mekas (pictured), that 83-year-old indefatigable veteran of art cinema activism who founded the New York Anthology Film Archives in 1970, has been hired by Apple’s video iPod to produce 365 short videos, releasing one a day, beginning September 15. Plus, he’ll be curating a downloadable series of classic shorts by experimental filmmakers and videos by the likes of Martin Scorsese, John Waters, Jim Jarmusch, and Abel Ferrara. You can sign up to receive updates about Mekas's Small Apple adventure on Jonasmekas.com +

25/08/2006

São Paulo International Short Film Festival

Those of you who can't make it to the 17th São Paulo International Short Film Festival, one of the biggest showcases of short films in the world, fret not. The excellent online exhibition platform, Porta Curtas, has teamed up with the festival to show part of the programme.

Enjoy it...

24/08/2006

Kirsten Dunst's makeover


I know that make-up can do wonders for a Hollywood starlet, but this shot of Kirsten Dunst for the September cover of Interview magazine really takes the biscuit. It's a good job they have her name written really big on the page otherwise, who would have guessed? Anyway, she looks great...whoever she is...

23/08/2006

Harmony Korine's video for Sonic Youth

Fans of Harmony Korine must be wondering what the Kids writer has been up to. Teaming up once again with his friend Macaulay Culkin, he made this quite sweet video for the band Sonic Youth. You can watch here.

10/08/2006

Oliver Stone's World Trade Center

"In his new film, 'World Trade Center,' the director turns the events of 9/11 into an easily digestible myth of American heroism, with an almost happy ending. Huh?"

Anthony Kaufman, Alternet.org

Full story +


08/08/2006

Derelict London


The site dedicated to all things derelict in London called, you guessed it, Derelict London, is an internet idea that promises boundless material to work with. It includes a section on former cinema theatre sites. Pass the handkerchief...
(Pic: Walthamstow's Dominion)

Crumbling London film houses +

05/08/2006

Screening room: Ciao Manhattan

Filmmaker David Weisman recently discovered over 30 hours of pristine 35mm outtake footage from CIAO! MANHATTAN, the film that has become better known as as a document of the final drugged-out days of famed heiress and Andy Warhol Factory muse Edie Sedgwick (pictured left).



Watch it +

04/08/2006

Screening room: Bettie page clips

As the summer takes a break from the heat and converts, temporarily I hope, to an early autumn, warm up with the lovely Bettie Page, whose biopic, the Notorious Bettie Page, is out in the UK this weekend.






03/08/2006

Machester Festival of Fantastic Films 2006

Held from Friday September 1st to Sunday September 3rd, this year's Manchester Festival of Fantastic Films is shaping up to be something special. The guests this year include "Dawn of the Dead" legend Ken Foree (who will present a 35mm showing of "The Devil's Rejects", in which he also has a starring turn) and Fassbinder protege Ulli Lommel, best known as the man behind the famed horror flick "The Boogey Man" and the Tony Curtis headlined "Brain Waves." Lommel rarely makes festival appearances but has made an exception in order to present his classic shocker "Tenderness of the Wolves", starring Kurt Raab.

Other movies showing are Tim Sullivan's insane "2001 Maniacs", Tobe Hooper's "Mortuary", the upcoming "Wilderness" and such promising indies as "Lie Still", "33 x Around the Sun", "Venus Drowning" and "Pervert."

For more information check out the fest's web site: http://fantastic-films.com/festival/

Hope to see you there

Calum Waddell

Harvey Weinstein and Michael Moore together again

Via Chron.com: "Harvey Weinstein backed Michael Moore's hit documentary Fahrenheit 9/11. Now, the film mogul is backing Moore's Traverse City Film Festival." Moore announced Friday that Weinstein, co-founder of Miramax Films, and former Republican Gov. William Milliken will serve as honorary co-chairs of a new community group called Friends of the Traverse City Film Festival.

Read full article +

26/07/2006

Indie-gestion

Via Now Playing: "As I’ve commented before, there’s a lot of bad independent cinema these days that just sort of floats by hazily, its attempts at courting more overt commerciality ironically rendering it indistinct. Then there’s something like Shadowboxer..."


Read full article

Screening: Pasolini´s La Ricotta

Enjoy it...

Short is short

Via Shortfilm.de: "In the early days of cinema, all films were short films. This is a banal acknowledgement and really nothing remarkable as such. But what is interesting is that, after over one hundred years of technical and aesthetic advances, some of the characteristics and criteria that identified short film back then are still valid today: short film is defined by its length. The short form is also a medium for innovation, as versatile as cinema itself. Looking at things from this historical perspective, we can perhaps succeed at circumventing some of the difficulties we face in defining what exactly short film is."

Read full article +

13/07/2006

Underground American cinema

Today on Kamera's screening room are clips of some classics of American Underground chic: Andy Warhol's Chelsea Girls and Kenneth Anger's Scorpio Rising. Plus a documentary on the Velvet Underground. Enjoy it!

Chelsea Girls




Scorpio Rising




Velvet Underground

Richard Linklater: "The Dostoyevsky of movie dialogue"

I'm going through a Richard Linklater phase right now. So here's yet another link to an article on the Texan auteur, penned by Gary Indiana.

Read full article +



12/07/2006

Fans angry at Battle Royale's Hollywood remake

Via the International Herald Tribune: "When Variety reported last month that New Line Cinema had purchased rights to remake the director Kinji Fukasaku's "Battle Royale," the reaction on fan sites and Asian film blogs was, well, heartfelt. "I hate Hollywood," wrote one fan. "Is nothing sacred?" asked another."

Read full article +

08/07/2006

Noting camp

Kamera's contributor Deborah Allison has published this article about camp in relation to George Kuchar's film Hold While I'm Naked. So, like an illustrated lecture, here are a couple of clips from the film to give you folks an idea of what she means.







Interview with Werner Herzog

Via Wired.com: "In Werner Herzog’s films, the main characters tend to be ambitious explorers who find themselves crashing in spectacular failure."

Read full article +

06/07/2006

The indie bandwagon...

World Entertainment News Network wrote on IMDB that "Kevin Spacey has pledged his allegiance to independent movies, despite starring in blockbuster Superman Returns. Spacey is quoted saying: "I'll never be a leading man in the traditional Hollywood sense, I'm a character actor, but as a result of that I think I get a lot more interesting parts."
Memo to Mr Spacey: the independent film scene is very happy to put him on a permanent loan to braindraining Hollywood considering his indie credentials so far, which amount to, well, nil.

04/07/2006

Channel 4 warns against new ad rules

Via Buzzle.com: Channel 4's channel could be forced to slash its commitment to showing European cinema because of new advertising rules planned by the European commission, the broadcaster warned today. The commission's new audiovisual media services directive is set to restrict advertising breaks to once every 35 minutes in televised films, news bulletins and children's programmes.

Read full article +

03/07/2006

Parker Posey: she's Super indie

Indie icon Parker Posey (pictured with Kevin Spacey in Superman Returns), who is currently doing a bit of bread-earning in Hollywood's superhero land, gave an interview to New York Magazine about her status as the most hard-working indie-queen. Posey's New York neighbour Chloe Sevigny happened to pass by during the interview... it's the independent world's equivalent of Sex and the City.

28/06/2006

Around the web

Kamera's regular contributor Thessa Mooij recently published an article on Cineaste magazine about Bollywood. And, since I have a soft spot for his films, I'll recommend this interview with Larry Clark in the Village Voice.

Ken Loach at the Barbican

Ken Loach's appearance as a guest of the Barbican's ScreenTalk series is available to download from the organisation's site.

Here +

27/06/2006

Atom Egoyan at the Barbican

Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan will be talking to journalist Gareth Evans on Monday 3 July, following a special screening of his experimental camcorder documentary Citadel, which traces the deeply personal return of actor Arsinee Khanjian, Atom's personal and professional partner, to Lebanon after a 28-year absence.

Says Egoyan: “Citadel was shot on a Sony Mini DV camera during a family vacation to Lebanon. Arsinee was born and raised in Beirut. She hadn't been back for 28 years. Upon looking at the footage on our return, several ideas began to cross my mind. This film is a spontaneous reflection on what the trip meant to us. The film was edited on a home computer with Final Cut Pro. Needless to say, this film was made without a budget, script or any sense of pre-conception. Citadel was completed for Camera, a multi-media gallery designed for digital projection. Twenty years ago, I shot my first feature film, Next of kin, for $25,000 on 16mm. Twenty years later, digital technology has allowed me to make Citadel for a fraction of that amount.”

Further info

Expanded Cinema book now free to download

The seminal 1970 book Expanded Cinema by Gene Youngblood is now available for free download, which is great, since the book is no longer in print.

Here's a short description of Youngblood's visionary book:

"In a brilliant and far-ranging study, Gene Youngblood traces the evolution of cinematic language to the end of fiction, drama, and realism. New technological extensions of the medium have become necessary. Thus he concentrates on the advanced image-making technologies of computer films, television experiments, laser movies, and multiple-projection environments, laser movies, and multiple-projection environments. Outstanding works in each field are analyzed in detail. Methods of production are meticulously described, including interviews with artists and technologists. Expanded Cinema is filled with provocative post-McLuhan philosophical probes into :"the Paleocybernetic Age," "the videosphere," and "the new nostalgia," all in the context of what the author calls "the global intermedia network." In "Image-Exchange and the Post-Mass Audience Age," Mr. Youngblood discusses the revolutionary implications of videotape cassettes and cable television as educational tools. His observations are placed in a comprehensive perspective by an inspiring introduction written by R. Buckmister Fuller. Vast in scope, both philosophical and technical, Expanded Cinema will be invaluable to all who are concerned with the audio-visual extensions of man, the technologies that are reshaping the nature of human communication. "

Get it here +

23/06/2006

The sex 'issue' - part II

Last week I wrote about how 'realistic sex' has become the remit of independent cinema as a chaste Hollywood currently shies away from anything remotely erotic. I also wondered what indies will come up with and whether arthouse audiences really want real sex on the screen. Well, yesterday I came across this video showing the standing ovation that John Cameron Mitchell received in Cannes following the screening of his sexually explicit Shortbus film (due out in 2007). I guess the reaction of the crowd answers my question...

21/06/2006

Watch: Varese & Le Corbusier - Poeme electronique -1958

Beautiful 1958 musical collage from the the Electronic music genius Edgard Varèse, created for the World’s Fair at Brussels. Via Screenhead.

The real thing...

Via Boston.com: 'When is an indie film not an indie film?'

Read full article +

20/06/2006

Richard Linklater, America's most European director

Austin360.com published an insightful profile on Austin native director Richard Linklater (Before Sunrise/Before Sunrise) focusing on his European influences.

Read full article +


And here's the trailer to Linklater's upcoming Fast Food Nation:

16/06/2006

Vertigo Magazine and Cahiers du Cinéma get together for week-long event

Between 23 and 29 June at Ciné Lumière in London, our friends from Vertigo film magazine and the iconic publication Cahiers du Cinéma will be holding a joint event called Crossing Borders: Vertigo, Cahiers du Cinéma and independent film. The organisers promise a line-up of "the very best in imaginative, innovative and always resonant world cinema."

The encounter between the two magazines will also mark the relaunch of Vertigo as a quarterly magazine with the publication of its first, expanded issue and a newly designed website.

Founded in 1951, the Cahiers du Cinéma was in its early days intimately involved with the Nouvelle Vague, publishing essays by Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Chris Marker and Claude Chabrol, among others. Even though it has lost the authoritative reputation that it once enjoyed, the publication still is a reference for cinephiles the world over.

Showcasing a dozen new and recent features, including UK premieres and rare screenings for little-seen and important work, the season will "defend difference and diversity in film culture, with director Q&As and three major discussion events contextualising the programme. Highlights include the UK premieres of Chris Marker’s Chats Perchés and Xavier Beauvois’ Le Petit Lieutenant. The season will look at the role played by both magazines in developing a broad film culture, and the influence of experimental work and world cinema on the aesthetics of contemporary cinema.

Guest speakers will include Cahiers du Cinéma editors Jean-Michel Frodon and Emmanuel Burdeau, Vertigo editors Holly Aylett and Gareth Evans, screenwriter Tony Grisoni, documentary maker Ken Fero, writer Iain Sinclair and others.


Vertigo

Cahiers Du Cinéma

Trailer watch: The Notorious Bettie Page

Mary Harron, who directed I Shot Andy Warhol and American Psycho, has now turned her attention to the most famous American pin-up girl: Bettie Page.

Trailer.

15/06/2006

War of the Worlds

Orson Welles' famous broadcast of War of the Worlds is now available for streaming and dowloading from the Internet Archive.

08/06/2006

2006 New York International Independent Film and Video Festival awards

Via African News Dimension: Mo & Me, a documentary about photojournalist Mohamed “Mo” Amin, won Silver Screen Award at the festival held in New York City. The film offers an unflinching and deeply personal recollection of the man whose TV footage of the 1984 Ethiopian famine so galvanised the world.

Read full story+

01/06/2006

Francesco Vezzoli at the Tate Modern

Those of you who will be venturing near London's South Bank between 03 June Sunday and 11 June Sunday should check out Francesco Vezzoli's MARLENE REDUX - A True Hollywood Story, which will be screened on a loop daily for free between 12noon and 4pm in the Starr Auditorium of the Tate Modern.

The Italian artist's new video project "takes as its starting point the impossible ambition of remaking Maximilian Schell’s 1984 documentary Marlene, which starred Marlene Dietrich and influential textile designer and Bauhaus figure Anni Albers. Vezzoli reformulates this classic film as a sensational fake television programme about art, fame and the deconstruction of a public persona. "

30/05/2006

Julie Delpy sings!


I knew Julie Delpy looked like an angel, but I didn't know she could sing like one too...

DOC'S KINGDOM presents this year's programme

DOC'S KINGDOM, the documentary cinema gathering that will take place between 13 and 18 June in Serpa, Portugal has posted the programme for the event. Frederick Wiseman will be attending, which makes the event quite unmissable really.

Festival site.





Ken Loach wins the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival with his new film, The Wind That Shakes the Barley.

Read more +

28/05/2006

John Waters: No Smoking

I just came across this in the viral section of Ifilm...priceless...

26/05/2006

Enron former execs found guilty

While the film Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room has been doing really well in the UK - it took £37,746 on just six screens when it opened on 28 April - former chief executive Jeffrey Skilling and founder Kenneth Lay have been found guilty of conspiracy and fraud following the 15-week trial which involved a total of 54 witnesses and a jury of eight women and four men.

The decision came after six days of deliberations, with Kenneth Lay proved to be guilty on all six of his charges and Jeff Skilling found guilty on 19 of the 26 charges he faced. The former executives have been found guilty of misleading the public about the true financial health of Enron, which has become one of the biggest business scandals in American history and has sent shockwaves through corporate boardrooms worldwide.

The documentary feature Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room, which received an Oscar nomination this year, is still playing round the country. The film is based on the best-selling book The Smartest Guys in the Room by Fortune reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind and features insider accounts and corporate audio and videotapes.

Film site.