Currency | Putty Hill (Matthew Porterfield, US)

By Jason Anderson / December 17, 2010

By Jason Anderson There’s an ocean between what used to be Fontainhas and what remains Putty Hill. But watching Matt Porterfield’s second feature—named after the Baltimore suburb where the film takes place, and where the director was raised—it’s hard not to feel like both places could share the same decrepit corner of the world, even…

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Currency | Somewhere (Sofia Coppola, US)

By Scott Foundas / December 17, 2010

By Scott Foundas Literally speaking, the “somewhere” of Sofia Coppola’s newly minted Golden Lion winner is the Chateau Marmont—that hilltop monolith of celebrity decadence, modelled loosely on an 11th-century Loire Valley estate, staring down upon Sunset Boulevard along with the ghosts of the many (Garbo, Belushi, Dean) who lived, died, or at least partied hardy…

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Columns | Books Around: New Turkish Cinema

By Olaf Moller / December 17, 2010

By Olaf Möller It was only a matter of time till a bunch of books on Turkish cinema would hit the stores; film-cultural fads work like that. To give things a more positive spin, what’s a passing fancy for many might be a life’s passion for a few who can now, in the tiny window…

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Columns | Film/Art

By Andrea Picard / December 17, 2010

In the enchanted land of pewter trees, Rohmer’s line describing a semi-circle By Andréa Picard “What gives truth to a Cézanne is not the pseudo-likeness to the model, it’s the trace it carries within it of the process by which the painter perceives it.” “Like painting, sculpture, architecture, and the ballet, the cinema is an…

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Columns | CS45 Editor’s Note

By Mark Peranson / December 17, 2010

By Mark Peranson In previous missives from this MacBook, I’ve expressed the belief that the less writing about film there is in the world, the better. Such an attitude can be mistaken for a kind of cynicism, making this magazine, consequently, a kind of personal fiefdom. So because I have nothing else to do, it’s…

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Spotlight | Paraboles (Emmanuelle Demoris, France)

By Gabe Klinger / December 17, 2010

By Gabe Klinger In a crowded, tiny room lined with packaged goods, a woman prepares a meal. The TV is on. Sitting below a window is a man in a plastic garden chair. He watches an Egyptian comedy show intently. The woman serves the food. An ellipsis. She pours tea. The steam wafts through the…

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Spotlight | In the Shadows (Thomas Arslan, Germany)

By Christoph Huber / December 17, 2010

By Christoph Huber “Soccer has to be generous with the viewer.” Thomas Arslan once quoted César Luis Menotti’s “harsh criticism of boring efficiency-football,” adding, “Actually also a fine dictum for filmmaking.” Arslan’s own work is a perfect example of that spirit, which may be one of the reasons he’s been somewhat neglected, especially internationally, even…

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Spotlight | El Sicario Room 164 (Gianfranco Rosi, France/US)

By Mark Peranson / December 17, 2010

By Mark Peranson The contemporary rebirth of the documentary is surely a reaction to the failure of the media to engage in proper investigative journalism (WikiLeaks aside). But most of these newly celebrated works—far too obsessed with content over form—fail to distinguish themselves aesthetically from the television they seek to one-up. The point at which…

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Spotlight | Essential Killing (Jerzy Skolimowski, Poland/Norway/Ireland/Hungary)

By Andrew Tracy / December 17, 2010

By Andrew Tracy One of the more interesting of the teapot tempests that erupted at Toronto this year was the slightly botched press screening of Jerzy Skolimowski’s Essential Killing, assigned to a noticeably low-capacity theatre that left several clamouring journalists shut out. What’s interesting is not the habitual logistical miscalculations familiar to any festival, but…

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Spotlight | The Erotic Man

By Michael Sicinski / December 17, 2010

Spotlight | The Erotic Man (Jørgen Leth, Denmark) & Dialogues (Owen Land, US) By Michael Sicinski This fall in Toronto, 73-year-old Danish cultural institution Jørgen Leth world-premiered The Erotic Man, a nubile skinscape of the developing world based on his controversial 2005 autobiography, The Imperfect Man. (That title, of course, is meant to simultaneously conjure…

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Spotlight | Guest / José Luis Guerín

By Jay Kuehner / December 17, 2010

By Jay Kuehner “The film’s theme is those smiles, that shared gaze. This film truly speaks to me about a relationship, a friendship between two people: one in front of the camera, and the other behind. The director is not onscreen, but he is revealed through those images, those smiles, those looks of the characters.…

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Features | All Points West

By Max Goldberg / December 17, 2010

By Max Goldberg Comparing three American municipalities in his 1960 book The Image of the City, Kevin Lynch found that Los Angeles lacked certain qualities of “legibility”: “[The city] seemed to be hard to envision or conceptualize as a whole.” Several generations of authors and artists have taken that bait. Cinema’s particular hold on the…

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Interviews | Every Day Is a Holiday: Li Hongqi on Winter Vacation

By J.P. Sniadecki / December 17, 2010

By J.P. Sniadecki If Chinese filmmaker, poet, and novelist Li Hongqi’s two previous films, So Much Rice (2005) and Routine Holiday (2008), did yet not place him alongside the much less funny Michael Haneke among the top figures of misanthropic cinema, then his third and most accomplished feature, Winter Vacation, has guaranteed his membership for…

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Interviews | Suicide Girl: Athina Rachel Tsangari

By Adam Nayman / December 17, 2010

By Adam Nayman “How do people do it?” This is the question posed by Marina (Ariane Labed) to her best (and only) friend Bella (Evangelina Randou) in the opening scene of ATTENBERG. Marina is asking about French kissing, which she’s never tried before—nor anything else of that nature. Though still about two decades shy of…

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