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Viggo Mortensen – Polaroids 2018

October 19th, 2018
  • 10 Polaroids by Viggo Mortensen

  • We are here to discuss “Green Book,” his newest film, out this November, two years after his critically acclaimed performance in “Captain Fantastic,” the story of a family raised outside of our late-stage capitalist society, which garnered him his second Academy Award nomination for best actor (the first was for “Eastern Promises”).

  • Viggo Mortensen reads Bartolomé de Las Casas

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  • Today Viggo Mortesen lives in Madrid with his girlfriend.
    Ariel Dorfman (Playwright of Death and Maiden) on Viggo:
    During a production of his play Purgatorio, Dorfman was challenged by the actor Viggo Mortensen, who was insistent about a line of dialogue: “This doesn’t make sense!” he kept repeating. “He wouldn’t let me go,” Dorfman says. And Mortensen was right. The actor was able to teach Dorfman something about his own play. “You learn, if there’s no aggression in an artist exchange.” If an actor or editor is generous and open, the writer can gain something.

  • Subrata Mitra – Celebrated Cinematographer + Satyajit Ray’s Sketches

    October 12th, 2018
  • Subrata Mitra

    Remembering the great cinematographer Subrata Mitra, best known for his collaboration with Satyajit Ray, on his 88th birth anniversary. He was the man who revolutionized the art of cinematography by introducing the technique of bounce lighting for the very first time. Many celebrated cinematographers, including Vittorio Storaro, Nestor Almendros and Takao Saito, got influenced by his extraordinary works.

    Thanks to Debayan Roy for posting

    MUBI Subrata Mitra

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    Charulata (youtube)

  • Rare ketches Satyajit Ray
    (The Pather Panchali Sketchbook’ has been edited by the master filmmaker’s son, Sandip Ray.)

  • Adieu Charles Aznavour – Our Armenian Ambassader

    October 2nd, 2018
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    Charles Aznavour wiki

    In a career spanning over 70 years, he recorded more than 1,200 songs interpreted in eight languages.[6] He wrote or co-wrote more than 1,000 songs for himself and others.

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    Shoot the Piano Player
    (Truffaut archive here)

  • A tribute from Fuse Akira who translated Aznavour’s song here ..(youtube)

  • Ararat by Atom Egoyan
    Who is telling the truth? about the Armenians.

  • RIP Annette Michelson, Pioneer Film Critic, Co-Founder of “October”

    September 18th, 2018

  • Annette Michelson (photo via)

  • Art News – Annette Michelsonk Pioneering Film Critic, Co-founder October dies at 96.


  • Photo by Fung Lin Hall

  • Fabulous Japanese Actress, Kiki Kirin – Moved On at 75

    September 16th, 2018
  • Kiki Kirin

    Josh Parmer posted on FB a sad and shocking news that Kiki Kirin (樹木 希林) passed away. (See a great photo of Kiki there)

    May your body rest and your soul soar Kiki Kirin. You have been one of my favorite actresses since I first saw you back in Still Walking.

    Japan times Obit

  • Interview with Kiki
    Kiki Kirin’s response here.

    Regarding the afterlife, there is the Buddhist idea of rebirth. Right now, my soul is in this body and this body is Kirin Kiki. After this body is used up and death comes around, that soul and spirit moves on and reappears. I don’t see death as an end.

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    Kiki with Nagase (Previous post)

  • Koreeda and Kiki (Shoplifters won Palme’dor at Cannes – 2018)

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    Previous Cannes festival.

    Kiki, for whom After the Storm is her fifth Koreeda film, described the director as among one of the most observant she has seen in her 55-year career.

    Paul Schrader, Travis to Ernst, & Letter to Leonard Schrader

    September 3rd, 2018

  • (“First Reformed” directed by Paul Schrader)

    On casting Ethan Hawk (Spoiler alert!)

    “There’s a certain physiognomy in playing a man of the cloth, be it Montgomery Clift in ‘I Confess,’ Belmondo in ‘Leon Morin’ or Claude Laydu in ‘Diary of a Country Priest.’ So, you’re thinking about actors who have that physiognomy, maybe Jake Gyllenhaal, Oscar Isaac, but Ethan was 10 years older than them and his face was getting some very interesting wrinkles. I started thinking he’s just right for this. I sent him the script and he responded right away.”

  • Shooting fast, took only 22 days of filming.
    Budget $3.5 million. (Investers got their money back)

    Richard Brody on first reformed – (The reckless passions of Paul Schrader)

    On naming the Pastor “Ernst Toller” –

    Yup. I did. I came across the name years ago in a poem by W.H. Auden, but there were two things about the name I liked. One was the “tolling” of the bells. The other was the playwright who escaped Nazi Germany to come to America and then committed suicide

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    (The Light Sleeper)

    Dafoe and Schrader have collaborated many times, The Light Sleeper, The Affliction and Auto-Focus etc.

  • Light Sleeper, American Gigolo etc. (Mishima, Patty Hearst and Auto Focus were incredible biopics, and Schrader directed late Natasha Richardson twice – she played Patty Hearst and was also in the Comfort of Strangers, scripted by Harold Pinter based on a short novel by Ian McEwan.)

  • Polygon Interview – (First Reformed, Taxi Driver filmmaker Paul Schrader will change how you think about movies)

    Which modern, American filmmakers have mastered leaning in?
    Paul Schrader: In America, [Wendy and Lucy and Meek’s Cutoff director] Kelly Reichardt works that way. Gus van Sant did that three film trilogy [Gerry, Elephant, and Last Days].

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    Paul Schrader directing Mishima, A Life in 4 Chapters, his sister in law acted as his interpreter with Japanese crew and actors.
    (Philip Glass composed the soundtrack, Eiko Ishioka designed the set, Mishima was Schrader’s most theatrically stylised film.)
    His brother Leonard knew Mishima.

    On Mishima.. ( His Final Performance, the Suicide of Yukio Mishima )

  • Read his letter to his brother Leonard Schrader (His visit to Jean Renoir in Beverly Hills )

    I spent the afternoon at Jean Renoir’s home in Beverly Hills, and was very entertained. Jean (as we friends call him) is shooting four short stories for French TV. During some continental business haggles he decided to come back to L.A. for two weeks. He told Max Laemmle, manager of the Los Feliz Theater, that my article on Boudu was the best he had ever read. He then sent me a letter to thank me, enclosing an autographed photo, asking for a tear sheet for Michel Simon, and inviting me to his home.
    So Joel and I (Joel is an old friend of the Renoirs) were there this afternoon. This is an exceedingly kind, gracious, and fragile person. Just like his films: you can’t help but love him. We had a very interesting conversation about Bresson, Simon, Moreau, Magnani, Chabrol, Truffaut, but I remember the afternoon primarily as an experience, like a warm bath. His home is covered with original paintings by his father, Picasso, Cezanne, Braque, etc. In his living room hangs a larger-than-life-size portrait of Jean at 17 painted by his father: he is young and handsome, has a shotgun and hunting dog. Jean, now past 70, bald and pink-faced, was sitting in a chair in front of that painting. I think I’ll always remember that view. He is, as he describes Picasso, “a force of nature.” I think he is a greater artist than his father, for he invented the vocabulary before he embellished it. You think my head’s swelling. Peut-être.


  • (Robert Mitchum and Keiko Kishi in Yakuza)
    Sydney Pollack directed Yakuza, scripted by Leonard Schrader, Paul Schrader and Robert Towne.

    Barbet Schroeder Gives His All to Each Film as a Producer, Director & a Thinker

    August 26th, 2018

  • (Amnesia – directed by Barbet Schroeder – His mother’s house in Ibiza was used twice in his films, Amnesia and More, his first film)

    See a trailer here.

    Berbet Schroeder in Conversation on Walter Benjamin, R. Housemann, Pink Floyd.

    Hausmann actually had a whole colony of other German intellectuals, poets, painters. And this house [in Amnesia] was influenced by Hausmann, it was not built by him. But it was influenced by him and his group. It was built in 1936 and my mother bought it in 1951.
    AKT: Was Walter Benjamin part of that group around Raoul Hausmann?
    BS: Yes, he was! Walter Benjamin was actually not far from this house. He was in the fishermen village that was 15 minutes by foot from this house.

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    Barbet Schroeder directing his wife Bulle Ogier in Maitresse.

    “It is the element of adventure in all creative activity that particularly interests Schroeder. He is a producer, a catalyst, but also a director and an actor. He is a Renaissance man. He began as a critic for Cahiers du Cinema. He gives his all to each film. When he produced La Collectuionneuse, he wento into debt to do so. He was the first to believe in Rohmer.” wrote Nestor Almendros (A Man with a Camera).

    From Barbet Schroeder’s first film “More” Nestor Almendros was his D.P and also credited as set designer in some films, their collaboration continued to “The Valley, “Obscured by Clouds”, “General Idi Amin Dada”, “Maitresse”, “Koko, the Talking Gorilla”

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    (Barbet Schroeder with Mickey Rourke and Bukowski – on set filming Barfly)

  • Terror’s Advocate

    NONFICTION FILM – MOVIES – Experiments in terror – Director Barbet Schroeder has a particular flair for films that expose the evil that walks among us.

  • Many interesting photos here for Barbet Schroeder .

  • French producer Barbet Schroeder (L) and

    French producer Barbet Schroeder (L) and German Rainer Werner Fassbinder are photographed in Cannes on May 12, 1979 during the 32nd International Film Festival where they present Fassbinder’s film “The third generation”. AFP PHOTO RALPH GATTI (Photo credit should read RALPH GATTI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • “I Am Not Your Negro” Written by James Baldwin, Directed by Raoul Peck

    August 1st, 2018
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    (“I Am Not Your Negro” Written by James Baldwin, Directed by Raoul Peck)
    New Yorker –

    Capturing James Baldwin’s Legacy Onscreen
    With “I Am Not Your Negro,” Raoul Peck seems to be stepping in to make the movie that Baldwin couldn’t.

    Baldwin was drawn to Ingmar Bergman’s films, because they were the work of a feeling thinker who mined his past—especially his troubled relationship with his authoritarian pastor father. In a 1960 Esquire profile of Bergman, Baldwin describes how, after an interview with the filmmaker, he got into his car and imagined a movie he might make about his own past. But Baldwin had neither Bergman’s studio support nor his skin color.

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    Nina Simone and James Baldwin (Wild is the Wind)

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    James Baldwin Born August 2, 1924

    Baldwin and Marlon (Dangerous Minds – civil rights 1963)

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    Go Tell It on the Mountain, which Baldwin had worked on for years under various titles, was finally finished during a trip to Switzerland. When New York publisher Alfred Knopf expressed interest in publishing the work, Baldwin returned to America on a ticket bought with a loan from Marlon Brando. His novel was published a year later in 1953 and received rave reviews. (via)

  • Enigmatic & Prolific, Time Regained with Raul Ruiz – 2018

    July 25th, 2018
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    A.O. Scott on Mild Mannered Maniac
    Born: July 25, 1941, Puerto Montt, Chile
    Raúl Ruiz 1941-2011

  • Time Regained (Cinema Poetry – youtube)

  • Raoul Ruiz, a highly regarded director of more than 100 films in several different languages, has died at the age of 70.
    His films, philosophical yet playful, often deal with the nature of truth and perception while utilizing the notions of parallel realities and identities; few were as willing to toy with the viewer on such a consistent basis.

  • One of his most ambitious projects was Mistérios de Lisboa (Mysteries of Lisbon, 2010), based on the episodic novel by the 19th-century Portuguese writer Camilo Castelo Branco. The turning and twisting narrative of this four-and-a-half-hour film stretches through three generations and as many countries, all controlled by Ruiz’s flowing digital camerawork. (Obit: Guardian)

    Mysteries of Lisbon trailer

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    Two two enigmatic films by R. Luiz – Ce-Jour La.. and Comedy of Innocence.

  • But if I had to pick one anecdote (among so many) that best characterised the warmth and genuinely democratic, open spirit of Raúl, it would be from his International Rotterdam Film Festival retrospective of 2004, when I was standing next to him in a crowded foyer. Suddenly, he spotted and waved to a distant guy; they approached each other, warmly embraced, briefly chatted and parted ways in the throng. Who was he (I asked), an actor, a producer from one of his films? No: “He projected my films here in Rotterdam twenty years ago”. For Raúl, a good projectionist was just as important, just as valuable as anyone who contributed to his work, no less than a Malkovich or a Deneuve, a Jorge Arriagada (composer) or a Sacha Vierney (cinematographer). What a memory he had – and what a profoundly ethical sense, right where it most matters, in everyday life, and in the lived history of that everyday. Adrian Martin via girish

    Dennis Stock – Photos of Hollywood, Jazz & Dean

    July 24th, 2018
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    Louis Armstrong working on his autobiography. (1958, Corona Queens – photo by Dennis Stock)

  • Dennis Stock :born July 24,1928, The Bronx, New York City, NY (Magnum Photos)

  • Louis and Billie Holiday (Previous post)

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    Simone Signoret and Yves Montand (An Oscar for 1960 film “Room at the Top” directed by Jack Clayton)

  • Billy Wilder STD1960008W00013/07

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    Jack Lemmon

  • James with pig 1aaJamesfarmbig photo by Dennis Stock

    James Dean (previous post)

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    Dennis watched in horror as Jimmy took off his boots and climbed into a bronze casket. He crossed his arms and shouted, “Shoot.”
    Dennis refused, saying that it was in bad taste, and suggested Jimmy get out of the casket before someone came in.
    Implicit in the series of photos was Jimmy’s dark side, coupled with his desire to be close to his mother, who had died when he was nine years old.

    Dennis Stock How he came to know and love the doomed screen idol.

  • Shinobu Hashimoto, Screenwriter for Kurosawa, Kobayashi Dies at 100

    July 20th, 2018
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    Shinobu Hashimoto and Akira Kurosawa (made history with Rashomon, Seven Samurai and Ikiru)

    Obit – shinobu-hashimoto-dies-at-100

    Screenwriter for Rashomon dies – (deadline)

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    (Samurai Rebellion directed by Kobayashi, screenwriting by Hashimoto)

    Mainichi obit

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    via Gojira fan

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    See youtube here ..

    Certain Women 2016 from the Criterion Collection – Kelly Reichardt

    July 17th, 2018
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    The Guardian –

    Her work is subtle, deliberately anti-dramatic. Her approach goes beyond naturalism and lands somewhere between painful introversion and acute empathy. As such, Certain Women won’t appeal to everyone.

    But for those who connect with Reichardt’s approach – and I count myself among them – the film is a minor miracle. Based on the writing of Maile Meloy, it is loosely a triptych of stories in which nothing much happens, full of expressive moments in which nothing is said, but which somehow convey an ache of longing or a small stab of triumph. The tales don’t so much intersect as brush against each other. They unfold in the small-town American northwest and feature four women, who each, in their own way, have something of the unvarnished pioneer spirit that fascinated Reichardt in Meek’s Cutoff (2010).

    Found the film from the local library – as Criterion added to it’s collection.
    The disc includes an interview to Todd Haynes who was an executive producer of Certain Women.

  • Another Interview –

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    via