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Showing posts from November, 2007

Pedro Costa by Rosenbaum

A great introduction to the radical cinema of Pedro Costa by Jonathan Rosenbaum at the Chicago Reader on the occasion of a retrospective. And I highlight here the excerpts dealing with his contemplative traits, and I like a lot how Rosenbaum talks about it. Still Lives: The Films of Pedro Costa by Jonathan Rosenbaum, November 15, 2007 (read the full article at Chicago Reader ) Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa twists Hollywood inspiration in his tableaux of dispossession and poverty. “ At the same time, quietly telling whoever will listen that cinema is exactly the opposite of what 99% of the film world thinks, and he is getting more radical every day .” (Quintín on Costa cited by JR) "The cinema of Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa is populated not so much by characters in the literary sense as by raw essences—souls, if you will. This is a trait he shares with other masters of portraiture, including Robert Bresson, Charlie Chaplin, Jacques Demy, Alexander Dovzhenko, Carl Dreyer,

Updated genealogy chart

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Here is the revisited, revamped chart of the tentative genealogy for CC that I did last year for the blogathon 2007. The old chart is there . I've changed a few things and added some names. But it's still the same schemas. The question marks are directors I'm not sure where to place. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment. Criticism of this classification is of course welcome (that's one way to look at this trend and there are probably other ways to represent this selective history that are more productive). It's interesting to note how CC seems to mend the blurry fence between documentary and mainstream narrative fiction. The 3 yellow columns are the most common modalities of traditional cinema. Some of the CC auteurs are listed in several column because their oeuvre covers a wide array of film types. Sokurov for example is the most versatile, as he's made films in almost every column (even where I didn't cite his name). But other CC

Review Of Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow

Copyright © by Dan Schneider Of the three Theo Angelopoulos films that I have watched, currently available on American DVDs, all have been truly great films. 1988’s Landscape In The Mist is a terrific tale of two children on an unattainable quest; 1998’s Eternity And A Day is a great film dealing with the complexities of imminent death; but, having just watched his most recently completed film, 2004’s Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow ( Trilogia I: To Livadi Pou Dakryzei ), I can honestly say, ‘There’s great, and then there’s Great!’ As excellent as the first two films are, this film is superior in almost all ways- from the camera movements and screen compositions, to the acting and character development, to the most basic elements of the picaresque story. Fortunately, many European critics agreed, and it won the 2004 European Film Academy Critics Award. In some ways, this film takes the best parts of the work of Federico Fellini, Terrence Malick, and Michelangelo Antonioni, and

Bresson by CC filmmakers

Robert Bresson: Alias Grace ( Sight & Sound Nov 2007) CC filmmakers, Bruno Dumont and Aki Kaurismaki (among others) were questioned about their relation to Robert Bresson. Bruno Dumont Q : What is Bresson's significance for you? BD : (...) Another thing I admire is his direction of actors: this element in his films that seems blank or neutral but in fact involves a great deal of artifice. The way he works with his actors, and recounts the story through their eyes, is achieved by demanding and authoritative processes that result in a lesson in how to be exacting, how to make cinema with limited means.(...) What I found in Bresson is a form of cinema that's austere and sombre, that makes us look inside ourselves and examine our own lives, that has a philosophical dimension which is no longer present in the general entertainments of cinema. It has the same heightened style and grandeur you find in great tragedy. Q : What, if anything, have you borrowed from Bresson's cine

Nineteenth century melodrama

Peter Kubelka (austrian Avant Garde), in an interview at Film-makers' Coop : "I discovered that commercial cinema did not use the possibilities which are in this medium. The commercial film industry use film like a secondary art, a reproduction of theatre, novels, melodramas. You have people who act as if they are somebody else, called actors. And then you have somebody who has written their words for them, they do this and it's recorded. Then somebody plays some music with it in order to create emotions with the people who sees. That's XIXth century melodrama, and it has not changed up to now. And the story are always the same : boy meets girls, difficulties, happy end. Which is fantastic. It shows that commercial cinema is something else. It has taken the place of the church in a way. It gives you recipes how to live, do you choose this way or that way, which is all shown to you on the screen." Kubelka is opposing Avant Garde films to Narrative Cinema, of cours