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Watch: Martin Scorsese on The Films of Rossellini, Cassavetes, Minnelli and More

The Roaring Twenties The Roaring Twenties

More than any other American director working today, Martin Scorsese retains perhaps the most encyclopedic set of knowledge when it comes to his cinematic forbearers. Two years ago, Fast Company distilled 85 references made throughout the course of a four hour interview on Hugo, and dubbed it “Martin Scorsese’s Film School.” Flavorpill went ahead and paired the majority of those titles with pre-existing commentary from the filmmaker’s documentaries, A Personal Journey Through American Movies and My Voyage to Italy, to create a comprehensive video essay. Watch above for Scorsese’s insight into everything from Two Weeks in Another Town to Faces, Italian Neo-Realism (Rossellini) to pre-noir gangster films (Walsh), and much more.

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Trailer Watch: Kink, the BDSM Documentary from “25 New Faces” Alum Christina Voros

kink

“If pornography were high school, we would be the goth table,” says one of the subjects of Christina Voros’ forthcoming documentary Kink, which looks at Kink.com, the web’s largest generator of BDSM porn. Voros was one of our “25 New Faces of Film” in 2008; you can read that profile here. Since then, she’s been very busy, especially as a cinematographer. Notably, since 2009 she’s regularly served as James Franco’s DP on shorts and features, including the recent Child of God and As I Lay Dying. Kink promises to delve deep and familiarize viewers with the producers of BDSM porn. The trailer may be mildly NSFW: not for its visuals, but for the copious (fake? real?) orgasms on the soundtrack.

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Life’s Compass: Talena Sanders on Liahona

Liahona Liahona

Liahona begins with distant figures walking silently through a field. It is nighttime, and both the sky and the ground seem to sparkle. The people move slowly while wearing glittering and flickeringly feathered costumes that, from a distance, make them appear to be extraterrestrial. Within the scope of modern American culture, perhaps they are: they’re members of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, known more commonly as Mormons. This opening sequence of American filmmaker Talena Sanders’s 2013 debut feature — which will screen in September at Brazil’s Indie Festival, following sessions at FIDMarseille and at last year’s New York Film Festival — takes place in Salt Lake City at the annual Mormon Miracle Pageant. The walking figures are local youth acting out…  Read more

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Last Looks: The 2014 Locarno Film Festival

Horse Money Horse Money

[Paul Dallas' first report can be read here.] Time wasted and time well spent — a ratio every festivalgoer has to work out when gambling on what to see and miss. At Locarno this year, one had to decide whether or not to devote five hours and forty minutes to a single competition film, the equivalent of four Italian classics from the wonderful Titanus retrospective. It wasn’t easy when the former was Lav Diaz’s From What Is Before, an early frontrunner and eventual winner of the Golden Leopard, and the latter all screened on 35mm — an increasingly powerful incentive to skip the new in favor of the old at festivals today. I found myself doing more of this kind…  Read more

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NYFF Announces Spotlight on Documentary Selections: Films From Maysles, Blank, Scorsese

National Gallery National Gallery

The New York Film Festival took some haranguing after announcing the inclusion of only one documentary in their Main Slate a week ago. Rectifying matters is their Spotlight on Documentary lineup, which features new works from Albert Maysles, Les Blank, Frederick Wiseman, Martin Scorsese and assorted filmmaking giants. I will, of course, also be looking forward to the New York premiere of Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing follow-up, The Look of Silence, which is said to be an exemplary companion piece, and Arthur Jafa’s Dreams Are Colder Than Death, which is perhaps more topical than ever. Check out the full list of films and descriptions below. New York PremiereDreams Are Colder Than DeathArthur Jafa, USA, 2013, DCP, 52mIn this new essay film, filmmaker…  Read more

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Watch: The Evolution of Title Sequences

The-Man-with-the-Golden-Arm-title-sequences-by-Saul-Bass

Title sequences just aren’t what they used to be. Nowadays, if they aren’t entirely absent, opening credits are relegated to the corner of the frame, an afterthought accessory to a film’s first scenes. This video from Nora Thös and Damian Pérez entitled “The Film Before The Film,” examines the history of credit sequences from the first Edison films to the age of pioneering designers like Saul Bass and Maurice Bender, through the advent of AfterEffects in the 1990s. Ironically, with all the more tools now at filmmakers’ disposal, titles have recessed into something of a lost art outside of Bond films and other (relatively) aesthetically high-brow big-budgets. “The Film Before The Film” considers the form not as a bumper, but as a piece of cinematic history.

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“Burn That Film! Burn It!” Tsui Hark and Patrick Lung Kong on A Better Tomorrow

Grady Hendrix, Sam Ho, Patrick Lung Kong and Tsui Hark (l-r) Grady Hendrix, Sam Ho, Patrick Lung Kong and Tsui Hark (l-r)

It’s not every day a director comes on stage in Buddhist monk’s garb and slippers, but such was Patrick Lung Kong’s refreshingly idiosyncratic appearance Saturday night at Queens’ Museum of the Moving Image, two days into a two weekend retro of his work. To his right was Tsui Hark, who himself reshaped the Hong Kong film industry multiple times: with 1986′s Peking Opera Blues, a breakthrough moment for international recognition of HK martial arts fare, 1992′s Once Upon a Time in China, and as producer on John Woo’s 1986 A Better Tomorrow, among many other instances. 1967′s The Story of a Discharged Prisoner served as the inspiration for Woo’s game-changing introduction of Chow Yun-fat in two-guns-blazing mode. Lung Kong’s film…  Read more

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Festivals & Events

The Humbling The Humbling

First Batch of 2014 TIFF Titles Announced

In a press conference this morning, Cameron Bailey and Co. released the Special Presentation and Gala selections for the upcoming edition of the Toronto International Film Festival. Lots to parse through as the slate boasts world premieres from Christian Petzold, Mia Hansen-Løve, Noah Baumbach, David Gordon Green,…  Read more

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on Jul 22, 2014

VOD Picks

  • catposter263x373
    The Strange Little Cat Drama
    KimStim/Fandor
    Official site
    8/1/2014 Fandor
  • life-itself-poster1
    Life Itself Documentary
    Magnolia Pictures
    Official site
    7/4/14 iTunes MOD

Interviews

The Strange Little Cat The Strange Little Cat

Animal Portraiture: An Interview with The Strange Little Cat Director Ramon Zürcher

For this correspondent’s money, the film to beat so far in 2014 is Swiss filmmaker Ramon Zürcher’s The Strange Little Cat (Das merkwürdige Kätzchen), a dazzlingly low-key schematic diagram of a single day’s ebb and flow in a German apartment. Zürcher cracks the space open like…  Read more

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on Jul 31, 2014

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