Rip Torn in A Stranger is Watching (Sean S. Cunningham, 1982)

1. David Fincher is set to direct a biopic depicting the life of Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz. The film, currently titled Mank, will star Gary Oldman in the leading role, with Netflix taking production reigns. Fincher’s father, Jack Fincher, wrote the script. (Recent FC archives offer three great Fincher-related reads: two interviews by Amy Taubin, one from 2009 and another from 2014, as well as this 1999 piece by Gavin Smith on Fight Club.)

2. Three unrealized Stanley Kubrick screenplays (or at least the makings of) have been unearthed thanks to the filmmaker’s estate. The collection includes several variations on a theme, each with tentative titles: Jealousy, The Perfect Marriage, and the most complete, Married Man, a 35-page script with handwritten annotations that begins: “Marriage is like a long meal with dessert served in the beginning … It’s like drowning in a sea of feathers.”

3. Over at Reverse Shot the summer belongs to Juliette Binoche. Their new symposium posits actor as auteur, hoping to “hit as many of the Binoche hot spots as possible”—covering such films as Code Unknown, Flight of the Red Balloon, and Certified Copy. (See, for example, the opening lines of Shonni Enelow’s essay: “Juliette Binoche deserves authorial credit for Clouds of Sils Maria … because this, in fact, is what the film itself concludes.”)

4. Alain Guiraudie’s next film, Viens je t’emmène, has received a boost in funding from the CNC. Though little is known about the filmmaker’s sixth feature (unless…), Viens je t’emmène will be produced by CG Cinéma, who are currently developing films for both Qiu Sheng and Phuttiphong Aroonpheng. See also this LARB review of Guiraudie’s first novel, Now the Night Begins, which uses his film Stranger by the Lake as “a backdrop and turning point for the novel, depicting a cruising spot on a wooded lakeshore where the protagonist witnesses a murder by drowning.”

5. Combining the topics of our two most recent Film at Lincoln Center Talks, Juan Barquin writes on why Midsommar “is queer and camp, actually” for Dim the House Lights: “Dani is in fact recognizably queer to the individuals of the commune and to any queer viewer relating her narrative to that of many a protagonist of so-called women’s pictures.”

6. The time may be nigh to dismember the mouse: Guy Lodge argues, “for the sake of cinema,” that Disney needs to be divided sooner rather than later, lest it continue on “as the principal architect of an ever more uniform and homogenous popular cinema.”

7. Rip Torn passed away last week. David Hudson bids farewell on behalf of Criterion, chronicling the actor’s electric career while alluding to a number of other great reads. Among those mentioned: this 2006 (now ominously named) NYT profile by Susan Dominus, and Kim Morgan’s essay on her favorite Torn performance in Naked City (Morgan also posted this anecdote from Burt Reynolds’ memoir which describes Torn’s tumultuous audition for The Actors Studio).

8. The latest issue of Senses of Cinema, released earlier this month, contains a dossier dedicated to the works of Peter Strickland (see their introductory essay here). Also available: two new additions to their “Great Directors” series. The first, from Jeremy Carr, describes Oliver Stone as “one of cinema’s foremost chroniclers of American history,” and the second, from Bruce Jackson, provides an extensive breakdown of John Huston’s prolific career.

9. “Crafting a film that echoes out of the caves of the Miao people, Bi Gan broadcasts another way of life, another way of making films, and another kind of ‘Chinese Dream’ … Kaili Blues shows itself to be, from start to finish, a poem in cinema.” The new summer issue of Cineaste also brings us this web exclusive by Jiwei Xiao and Dudley Andrew. Kaili Blues will screen alongside Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s debut, Mysterious Object at Noon, in an upcoming Film at Lincoln Center double feature. 

10. For Cinephilia & Beyond, an independent Croatian film archive-cum-journal, Tim Pelan has published this extensive piece on Paul Thomas Anderson’s first feature, Hard Eight (aka Sydney). The article includes Anderson’s final shooting script, one of his early short films Cigarettes and Coffee (in glorious 240p), behind-the-scenes photographs, various interviews, and a brief tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman. 

We leave you this week with a sophomoric PTA on the set of Sworn to Vengeance in 1992, working as a production assistant and joshing people on set: