News to Me: Joanna Hogg, Julia Reichert, and Bertrand Bonello
1. Our current cover features the fractured image of Honor Swinton Byrne, star of Joanna Hogg’s loosely autobiographical The Souvenir, in which she plays a young film student engulfed by a difficult relationship. In an interview for BOMB, Hogg explains that she began planning the story in 1988, “around three years after the experience itself ended,” and details the dilemma of confronting her younger self, as both “pre-career filmmaker” and “rough subject of the film.”
2. “It was a different way of looking at the world . . . Suddenly the world was coming to you in ways that people just could not have imagined.” Dave Kehr narrates the latest entry in MoMA’s short documentary series, HOW TO SEE. Titled “The IMAX of the 1890s,” the film focuses on a treasured batch of 68mm Biograph prints and negatives—startlingly more smooth and clear than their 35mm Edison contemporaries—including rare footage of Queen Victoria on her last visit to Ireland.
3. Featuring contributions from Abby Bender, Kristen Yoonsoo Kim, Christina Newland, and several others, this Ssense article takes a deeper look at the aesthetics of adolescence by isolating a single iconic outfit from famous coming-of-age films. Among those listed, the one-piece swimsuit in Catherine Breillat’s Fat Girl, as well as the many rich reds of Rebel Without a Cause. (On that note: our own Sheila O’Malley has made her 2013 essay on Rebel available via her blog.)
4. A few days ago, Netflix became the first major Hollywood studio to speak out in opposition to Georgia’s recently proposed anti-abortion bill, threatening to boycott production in the state should it be implemented. Since then, several other major studios have followed suit, including Disney, NBC, Sony, and AMC—with various independent producers taking a stand, too. A major facet of the the state’s economy, Georgia has been the largest U.S. state for the production of feature films since 2016, thanks in no small part to major tax incentives introduced in 2002 and 2008.
5. “When violations and trespasses are the norm, when choice has been chartered and curtailed, the only dignity that remains is consent.” So wrote Nick Pinkerton in our March-April cover story on High Life. For Another Gaze, Hannah Paveck probes the idea of bodily autonomy (in this particularly fatalistic setting), writing that, in a world “where the future is no longer guaranteed, control over bodies—whether through incarceration or reproduction—is no way out.”
6. Film Forum recently began its latest retrospective, The Hour of Liberation: Decolonizing Cinema, 1966-1981, featuring works from Senegalese director Ousmane Sembène, Mauritanian Med Hondo, and Palestinian Mustafa Abu Ali. Covering the series for 4Columns, Sukhdev Sandhu writes that these filmmakers are “united by a desire to show subjugated people fighting their overlords, to mock the vanities and hypocrisies of national elites.”
7. In further repertory news, MoMA is celebrating the outstanding 50-year career of Julia Reichert until June 8 (at which point the series heads to the Wexner, Cleveland Cinematheque, National Gallery of Art, and beyond). For Hyperallergic, Forrest Cardamenis writes that watching “Reichert’s films feels like uncovering a lost piece of American history. Her wide range of subjects . . . are almost archaeological insights, digging up fundamental chapters that have been purged from textbooks.” (Reichert’s most recent film, American Factory, created in collaboration with Steven Bognar, is discussed on this special Sundance edition of the FC podcast.)
8. Speaking of chapters purged from textbooks, tomorrow marks the 30-year anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. In Liu Wei’s 2005 short film, A Day to Remember, the Chinese filmmaker returns to the site with one simple question: “Do you know what day it is today?”
9. “Zombis and voodoos for Haitians, it’s very tricky, they don’t want people to use it too much. I had to find the right point of view to tell the story.” Bertrand Bonello recently sat down with MUBI to discuss his film of two halves, Zombi Child, which debuted at Cannes this year. We covered Bonello’s previous, Nocturama, extensively—including a feature, column, interview, and podcast.
10. If the delirium of this year’s Cannes correspondence was too much to handle and you were patiently holding out for the cliff notes, worry not, for Film at Lincoln Center’s Dennis Lim has you covered. In this piece for Artforum, Lim outlines all of his favorite entries—new works by Quentin Tarantino and Albert Serra chiefly among them—while praising the rare sight of a well-qualified jury who “unveiled a thoughtful slate of palmarès, ensuring that some of the fresher, more enigmatic titles did not leave empty-handed, as too often happens.”
As a farewell to Cannes, we leave you this week with one of newly-crowned Bong Joon-ho’s favorite films, Insect Woman.