Exploded View: Peter Gidal’s Room (Double Take)

By Chuck Stephens / June 23, 2017

By Chuck Stephens “An avant-garde film defined by its development towards increased materialism and materialist function does not represent, or document, anything. The film produces certain relations between segments, between what the camera is aimed at and the way that ‘image’ is presented. The dialectic of the film is established in that space of tension…

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Araby (Affonso Uchôa and João Dumans, Brazil)

By Jay Kuehner / June 23, 2017

By Jay Kuehner An epistolic ode to labour, love, and life on the road, Affonso Uchôa and João Dumans’ Araby opens with a seemingly innocuous sequence that belies its ambition: teenage Andre (Murilo Caliari) pedalling his bike on a mountain road in the southern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, a Townes Van Zandt song on…

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The Square (Ruben Östlund, Denmark/France/Germany/Sweden)

By Josh Cabrita / June 23, 2017

By Josh Cabrita A secular credo patchworked from the Golden Rule and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is engraved on an altar: “The Square is a sanctuary of trust and caring. Within it we all share equal rights and obligations.” Before it was a two-hour and 20-minute Palme d’Or winner, The Square was born…

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Cannes at 70: Bad Times, Good Time

By Mark Peranson / June 23, 2017

By Mark Peranson To celebrate its 70th anniversary, Cannes aggressively, yet clumsily, inserted itself into all kinds of contemporary debates over that age-old question: What is Cinema? The first answer to this question: the cinema is Cannes. On the organizational side, this was evident in the reworking of the festival trailer that runs prior to…

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Rossellini’s War Trilogy: Neorealism or Historical Revisionism?

By Celluloid Liberation Front / June 23, 2017

By Celluloid Liberation Front Two years before Roberto Rossellini started shooting Rome, Open City on January 18, 1945, the famed Italian director had just completed another war trilogy. Inaugurated with the 1941 navy flick The White Ship, followed a year later by A Pilot Returns, and crowned in 1943 with Man of the Cross, the…

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Would You Like to See a Magic Trick?: Basma Alsharif’s Ouroboros and its Contexts

By Phil Coldiron / June 23, 2017

By Phil Coldiron “À quiconque a perdu ce qui ne se retrouve Jamais, jamais!” —Charles Baudelaire On a clear day in the spring of this year, having fallen under the geometric spell of an exhibition of new work by the photographer Sara Cwynar, a young woman found herself on the wrong uptown train and was…

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Issue 71: Table of Contents

By cscope2 / June 23, 2017

Interviews and Features Electroshock Therapy: Matthew Rankin on The Tesla World Light by Jason Anderson Quiet Savagery: A Tale of Two Tourneurs by Christoph Huber All You Can Eat: The Heroism of Howard Hughes by Adam Nayman Censoring Shakespeare: Ing K’s Shakespeare Must Die by Nathan Letoré Would You Like to See a Magic Trick?: Basma Alsharif’s Ouroboros…

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Sandy Wexler (Steven Brill, US)

By Adam Nayman / June 22, 2017

By Adam Nayman At the end of Sandy Wexler, the film’s eponymous Hollywood talent manager (Adam Sandler), who has come out the other end of a heart attack, grabs the microphone at a party filled with his showbiz family and belts out a nasal, atonal rendition of Irving Berlin’s “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”…

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The Day After / Claire’s Camera (Hong Sangsoo, South Korea)

By Andrea Picard / June 22, 2017

By Andréa Picard With its wonderful Whitman-inspired title, On the Beach at Night Alone gave us one of the year’s most indelible images, so crushing, mournful, and beautiful in its abandon: Kim Minhee’s character Younghee lying forlorn in the sand on a cold beach. The solemn distress and physical destitution occasioned by Liebeskummer was palpable…

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At the Frontier: Valeska Grisebach on Western

By James Lattimer / June 22, 2017

By James Lattimer Why would anyone claim to be something they’re not? For Meinhard (Meinhard Neumann), the protagonist of German director Valeska Grisebach’s long-anticipated third feature, it’s a way to get himself out of a scrape. Wedged in a car at night with a group of people he can’t understand, Meinhard declares that he was…

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Jeannette, l’enfance de Jeanne d’Arc (Bruno Dumont, France)

By Jordan Cronk / June 22, 2017

By Jordan Cronk Pitched somewhere between Straub-Huillet and Headbangers Ball, Monty Python and Messiaen, Bruno Dumont’s new feature Jeannette, l’enfance de Jeanne d’Arc marks an unexpected and near-perfect synthesis of the French iconoclast’s many disparate interests and obsessions. Although by now it’s convenient to read Dumont’s robust corpus through the categorical extremes of his early,…

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CS71 Editors Note

By Mark Peranson / June 22, 2017

By Mark Peranson Listen guys, I’m as tired of writing about Cannes as you are reading me on it, but c’est la guerre. Some people have it in their heads that I’m entering this annual game primed for self-one-upmanship, but that’s not the case; if anything, I usually set the bar too high. This year,…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: A (Mainly) Alphabetical Listing of 24 Items

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / June 22, 2017

By Jonathan Rosenbaum Blow-Up (Criterion Blu-ray). I’ve always had somewhat mixed feelings about Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1967 Swinging London hit: awe and admiration for his uncanny handling of space, colour, mood, and non-narrative stasis in juxtaposition with his metaphysical detective story, and irritation about the show-offy, fashion-plate ambience that seemed far more responsible for the movie’s…

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24 Frames (Abbas Kiarostami, Iran)

By Blake Williams / June 22, 2017

By Blake Williams The first segment of Abbas Kiarostami’s final, posthumously completed video piece, 24 Frames, is a simple rendering of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s 1565 painting The Hunters in the Snow. Staring, for a Cageian four-and-a-half minutes, at the familiar wintery scene—its composition exemplary of the Dutch master’s decentred, multitiered narrative designs—we witness Kiarostami’s…

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Dusting the Corners: Luke Fowler’s Restorative Histories

By Michael Sicinski / June 22, 2017

By Michael Sicinski “Why are Luke Fowler’s films so hard to get a grip on?” That’s the question that critic/Berlinale programmer James Lattimer posed regarding the Scottish artist and filmmaker last year in a piece for MUBI’s Notebook. While Lattimer concludes that Fowler’s unique style results in “loose, deliberately fuzzy essays” that give the viewer…

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Electroshock Therapy: Matthew Rankin on The Tesla World Light

By Jason Anderson / June 22, 2017

By Jason Anderson International devotees of Canuck pop-cultural arcana may pride themselves on knowing every single line that Drake ever uttered on Degrassi: The Next Generation, but there’s another treasure that Canadians thus far have been able to keep for themselves. These are the Heritage Minutes, a series of government-made, bilingual 60-second shorts for television…

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