News to Me: Mike Leigh, Raúl Ruiz, and women in science fiction
The Wandering Soap Opera (Raúl Ruiz, 2018)
1. In a 1967 interview, Raúl Ruiz said of his unfinished The Tango of the Widower: “The future will be responsible for giving this film sound, which today is being stored in silent.” That future has arrived at last, with the completion of the film being overseen (quite fittingly) by Ruiz’s widow, Valeria Sarmiento. Producer Chamila Rodriguez has stated that Tango (to be Ruiz’s first and last film) hopes to see a festival release sometime next year.
2. “What can movies teach us about writing?” asks Holly Willis in the L.A. Review of Books. For her PhD class at USC, Willis breaks down the artistic nature of narrative through various rule-breaking films—such as the limited perspective of Robert Breer, or the transient charcoal drawings of William Kentridge.
4. Screen Daily reports that the German government will be providing a €5 million emergency aid package to rural cinemas across the nation, with communities of 25,000 people or less receiving up to €25,000 in funding, to be administered by the German Federal Film Board.
4. Mike Leigh’s Peterloo began its relatively quiet rollout last week, generating several points of interest: our own Venice interview with Leigh, Film Comment contributor Nick Pinkerton’s excellent review over at Artforum (“Leigh is of course interested in the substance of all this chatter … exploring the very texture of talk”); Criterion’s discussion with the man himself; and the most recent episode of our podcast, featuring guests Amy Taubin and Shonni Enelow, “This is What Democracy Looks Like.”
5. Having made the rounds at BAM, Metrograph, the Film Society at Lincoln Center, and a few other favorite New York theaters, Claire Denis and High Life leading man Robert Pattinson stopped by The New York Public Radio studios to discuss their new film. In her appearance at The Brattle, Denis let slip that she plans to collaborate with Pattinson again on her next film, an adaptation of Denis Johnson’s The Stars at Noon. And even with all this going on, the French filmmaker still found time to be named head of the short films and Cinéfondation juries at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
6. Speaking of: it has been widely reported that there will be no Netflix films at Cannes this year (the second year running, given disputes over release requirements). Though the AMPAS have yet to officially declare a similar ban (perhaps Green Book’s victory was declaration enough), the U.S. Justice Department recently warned the group that excluding the streaming service may in fact be illegal.
7. Abel Ferrara’s Pasolini, which debuted at Venice in 2014, is finally set to see a North American release thanks to Kino Lorber. The film follows Salò director Pier Paolo Pasolini (as played by perennial favorite Willem Dafoe) in the run-up to his death.
8. An extensive Stanley Kubrick exhibition is soon to arrive at London’s Design Museum. The saliently titled “Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition” details the planning processes for some of Kubrick’s most famous films, including The Shining, Eyes Wide Shut, and A Clockwork Orange. On the latter movie: Malcolm McDowell—now nearly half a century removed from the bowler hat and codpiece—recently spoke to The Guardian about how the film came to be: “I spent nine months with Stanley before we started shooting, watching violent movies every day.”
9. “It was a revolutionary time, when we were just finding out what it was like for a woman to smile at you, and mean something with that smile, beyond ‘I like you. I want you.’ You know, that was amazing.” Barbara Hammer talks queer culture then and now in this transcription of a 2017 talk from the Metrograph. Also, catch Hammer wearing the history of her filmmaking career in “Vintage Beinecke,” at Triple Canopy.
10. While the film world mourns Agnès Varda’s passing, IndieWire has thoughtfully composed this collection of quotes from female filmmakers, including Greta Gerwig, Ava DuVernay, and Lena Dunham. (In the spirit of celebrating cinema’s leading ladies: Screen Slate recently tweeted this thread of “experimental, unconventional, and radical” science fiction films made by women.) And for something soothing to begin your week, we offer up this 2017 discussion with Varda, moderated by Melissa Anderson.