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“Tower” Documentary film 2016 about Texas Sniper is Superb

May 8th, 2017
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    Richard Brody New Yorker

    One of the best documentaries of 2016, “Tower” (available on Netflix), is about a mass murder that took place on and around the campus of the University of Texas at Austin in 1966, when a twenty-five-year-old man named Charles Whitman, equipped with a trove of high-powered firearms, climbed to the observation deck of the school’s central tower and, from its vantage point, fired down on random passersby. The director of “Tower,” Keith Maitland, conducted extensive interviews with survivors of the attack, as well as with officers and civilians who, together, brought it to an end. He uses them ingeniously, weaving voices together to tell a multifaceted story from multiple perspectives while taking an original approach to the overfamiliar technique of rotoscoped reënactments. It’s too good to spoil, but suffice it to say that the fifty-year gap between the events and the making of the movie are built into the story dramatically and movingly.

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    Brave Hollywood (see trailer)

    “Uncle Howard” a Documentary film about Howord Brookner, Produced by Jim Jarmusch

    April 27th, 2017
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    Burroughs with Howard Brooker from “Uncle Howard”

    Reflection on film

    BRINGING BACK HOWARD BROOKNER – AN ARTIST LOST TO AIDS

    Howard Brooker

    Born: April 30, 1954
    Died: April 27, 1989 (age 34) in New York City, New York, USA

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    photo of Jim, Sara and Howard

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    ‘Uncle Howard’ Remembers NYC Filmmaker Howard Brookner

    NYtimes (1989) Directors race with aids ends before his movie opens.

    ”Howard was kind of a weasel in figuring out how to get things done,” says Sarah Driver, who, along with the director Jim Jarmusch, was his closest friend at N.Y.U. ”Jim and I thought he would weasel out of his illness somehow.” ‘Wanted All the Gory Details’

    Like many of his friends, Madonna is haunted by a specific memory: ”Long before I knew anything, Howard asked me if I had ever seen anybody die. He wanted all the gory details about a friend who had AIDS and I nursed him to the end and was in the room when he died.”

    Earlier, when the disease had touched his body with lighter fingers, Mr. Brookner made a video diary of his sickness. Seeing himself as a film maker was so central to his identity that he was determined to stay alive for the opening of his movie. ”It was like that O. Henry story when a woman knows she will die when the last leaf falls off an ivy vine, and so a friend paints a leaf on the wall,” Mr. Gooch says.

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    Aaron Brookner (Howard’s nephew) and Jim Jarmusch at the Burroughs’ bunker.

    Stop Making Sense, Jonathan Demme – Stepped Out

    April 26th, 2017
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    via

    Jonathan Demme (Vanity Fair)

    rest in peace
    Oscar-Winning Director Jonathan Demme Dies at 73

    NYtimes Obit

    “I can’t think of any other director who is so instinctively and democratically interested in everybody he shows you,” Kael wrote.

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    Love his documentaries.. we’ll miss you Jonathan.

    Stf- Retrospective.

  • David Byrne’s tribute here (Slate)

    Jonathan helped me as I was developing True Stories, I wrote a song for his film Something Wild, a score for Married to the Mob and we made a test sequence for a never completed documentary featuring Robert Farris Thompson called Rule of the Cool. Jonathan went on to make a lot more features—some hugely successful, others not so much. He interspersed these with a number of documentaries and music films. The documentaries are pure labors of love. They tend to be celebrations of unsung heroes—an agronomist in Haiti, an activist (cousin) and pastor and an ordinary woman who does extraordinary things in New Orleans post-Katrina. The fiction films, the music films and the docs are all filled with so much passion and love. He often turned what would be a genre film into a very personal expression. His view of the world was open, warm, animated and energetic. He was directing TV episodes even this year, when he was in remission.

    Jonathan, we’ll miss you.

  • Fassbinder’s Eye, Cinematographer Michael Balhaus Dies – (5 August 1935 – 11 April 2017)

    April 12th, 2017
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    Cinematographer Michael Ballhaus and filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder worked together on 16 films. (via)

    Indiewire obit

  • Martin Scorsese

    He gave me an education, and he changed my way of thinking about what it is to make a film. He was a great artist. He was also a precious and irreplaceable friend, and this is a great loss for me.”

  • Michael Ballhaus was a German cinematographer. In 1990, he was the Head of the Jury at the 40th Berlin International Film Festival

    Ballhaus was influenced by family friend Max Ophüls,[3] and appears as an extra in Ophüls last film Lola Montès (1955).[4]

    He came to prominence with his work on sixteen films for Rainer Werner Fassbinder beginning with Whity (1971) and, including The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972), Chinese Roulette (1976) and The Marriage of Maria Braun (1978)

  • Martha

  • Quiz Show

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  • Gunther Kaufmann

  • Extraordinary & Cosmopolitan, Von Sydow, Seyrig and Shariff

    April 10th, 2017
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    Best Intentions – Max Von Sydow played Ingmar Bergman’s grandfather. (Directed by Bille August, scripted by Ingmar Bergman, won Palm d’Or at Cannes)

    Max Von Sydow became a French citizen in 2002. He has appeared in many films in many languages, including Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, English, French, Italian, and Spanish (via wiki)

    See a photo of Max Von Sydow by Julian Schnabel (previous post) here.

    Speaking French in Diving Bell and Butterfly (youtube)

  • Max Von Sydow, Delphine Seyrig and Omar Shariff were all born on April 10.

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    (From Stolen Kisses directed by Francois Truffaut)

    Margurite Duras called Delphine Seyrig a famous stranger (previous post)

    Cool, auburn-haired French actress, born in Lebanon. Spent part of her early childhood in New York, where her archaeologist father was cultural attaché. Acted on the Parisian stage from 1952-55. Returned to New York to attend classes at the Actor’s Studio. Appeared on stage in Arthur Miller’s adaptation of Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People”. On the strength of her performance, she was cast in the lead of Last Year at Marienbad (1961) by director Alain Resnais. Subsequently acted in films by major European film makers, including Joseph Losey, Luis Bunuel and Francois Truffaut.
    She considered herself a feminist who was additionally socialist as opposed to her friend Jane Fonda, whom she called a socialist who was additionally feminist.

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    (From Dr Zhivago directed by David Lean)

    “Omar Sharif” was not the name given to him by his well-to-do, Catholic parents.

    From Movie Interviews
    50 Years On, Sharif Looks Back At ‘Lawrence’

    “My name was Michel,” he told NPR in 2012. Michel Shalhoub, to be exact. In his memoir, he wrote about wanting an Arab-sounding name that was easy to pronounce in different languages — essential to a man who spoke not just Arabic but also French and English. “I went to the school where the priests were French. And then after, when I was 9 or 8 years old, I went to an English school — thank God. And there was a theater there. And that’s how I started to become an actor.”

    Egyptian director Asaad Kelada says this multicultural preparation meant Sharif “was able to travel from nationality to nationality with conviction in the roles that he played. And so he was really the go-to person for any role that was of an exotic or different nature at that time.”

    For his next big film after Lawrence of Arabia, Sharif transformed himself from an Arab freedom fighter to a Russian revolutionary poet in Doctor Zhivago

    Omar Shariff passed away July 2015.

  • Isabel Coixet a prolific director was born in Spain and have made films in America, Paris and Tokyo and she was born on April 9.

    Mike Brodie’s Photos & Andrea Arnold’s American Honey

    March 30th, 2017
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    Mike Brodie

    Born 1985 in Arizona, Mike Brodie first began photographing in 2004 when he was given a Polaroid camera. Working under the moniker, The Polaroid Kidd, Brodie spent the next four years circumambulating the U.S. amassing an archive of photographs that would go on to make up one of the few, true collections of American travel photography. Having never undergone any formal training, he chose to remained untethered to the pressures and expectations of the art market.

    He stopped making photographs after two projects.

    See more here.

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  • Discovered Mike Brodie’s photos from an interview on Andrea Arnold here.
    American Honey
    Sean O’Hagan asked Andrea Arnold –

    I myself was struck by how closely the mag crew resembled the real-life itinerants, runaways and train-hoppers photographed by Mike Brodie in his 2013 book A Period of Juvenile Prosperity. “Yes!” exclaims Arnold, when I mention this. “I love his photos, they’re beautiful. When I first spoke to Shia [LaBeouf] about the film, I actually gave him a Mike Brodie photo for one of the characters I imagined him to be. But also his pictures have the Polaroid light that I love.”

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    Sasha Lane Photo via LA
    ‘American Honey’ weaves an ode to the road with Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough and newcomer Sasha Lane.

    Arnold won an Oscar for her 2003 short film “Wasp,” but her real breakthrough was “Fish Tank,” the story of a young British girl struggling to break free from the prescribed life in her tower block. (It was also among the early major glimpses of actor Michael Fassbender.) Though “Fish Tank” was not a box-office hit on initial release, Arnold’s unique blend of grit and lyricism has seen its stature only grow in the years since, cited as an influence by the likes of “Girls” creator Lena Dunham.

    From Ingmar Bergman to Lasse Hallstrom – The Unbearable Sultriness of Lena Olin

    March 22nd, 2017
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    Philip Kaufman saw Miss Julie on stage and cast Lena Olin in The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

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    Lena Olin as Miss Julie.

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    Romeo is Bleeding – Lena played a psycho-killer.

  • Happy birthday Lena Olin (wiki)

    Olin, the youngest of three children, was born in Stockholm, Sweden, Europe. She is the daughter of actress Britta Holmberg and director Stig Olin.[1] She studied acting at Sweden’s National Academy of Dramatic Art.[citation needed]

    In October 1974, at age 19, Olin was crowned Miss Scandinavia 1974 in Helsinki, Finland.

    n 1980, Olin was one of the earliest winners of the Ingmar Bergman Award,[3] initiated in 1978 by the director himself, who was also one of the two judges.

  • Film stills from Fanny and Alexander, Lena played a nanny (1982) scroll down to see her from the first comment.

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    Lena Olin was heartbreaking and ferocious..she won New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress.

    Paul Mazursky directed Enemies a Love Story.

  • With Lena Olin After the Rehearsal

    (via Ingmar Bergman archive)

    Love Song to Poetry, Paterson – Jim Jarmusch, Adam Driver and Ron Padgett

    March 13th, 2017
  • Jim Jarmusch: I called the character Paterson, in the film, because of the poem Paterson by William Carlos Williams. He makes a metaphor in the poem of a landscape above the waterfalls there as being like a man. And then I just kept this metaphor; “I’ll make a film about a man named ‘Paterson’ who lives in Paterson, who writes poetry,” you know.

    Jim Jarmusch and Jonas Mekas on Film, Poetry and Trump

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    Jonas Mekas: Where is poetry in your life?
    Jim Jarmusch: It’s important to me. I read a lot of poetry. I studied with Kenneth Koch and David Shapiro at the New York School, and I’ve been guided by poets all my life.

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    Nagatoshi and Adam Driver (“Nagatoshi from Mystery Train reuninted with Jim Jarmusch in Paterson)

  • My journey from Marine to actor | Adam Driver

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    (Youtube excerpt here )

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    Golshifteh Farahani
    (Golshifteh’s last film performance in Iran was in About Elly directed by Asghar Farhadi. According to her IMDB -Golshifteh was separated from Louis Garrel.)

  • LA Times on Paterson Poetry

  • Jim Jarmusch

  • Ron Padgett (Who wrote 3 poems for “Paterson”)

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    (Bill Berkson and Ron Padgett)

    Previous post on Bill Berkson

    nine poems by Ron Padgett

    Night Jump

    At night Chinamen jump
    on Asia with a thump

    Who but Frank O’Hara
    could have written that?
    and then gone on to speak of
    love and something he calls grace.
    To start out so funny
    and end up with mystery and grace —
    we should all be so lucky.

    The Boxman, Abe Kobo & His Collaboration with Teshigahara

    March 7th, 2017
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    (Woman in the Dunes)

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    (Teshigahara, Abe Kobo, Toru Takemitsu)

  • Abe Kobo (wiki) (March 7, 1924 – January 22, 1993)

  • Tashigahara (The Face of Another)1abeFace

    Photo of Catherine Deneuve by Man Ray + Wajda with Polanski & G.Depardieu

    March 6th, 2017
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    (Photo by Man Ray,1968)

    Catherine Deneuve said in an interview here.

    “To be in his atelier, to see those objects he had made and to experience his excitement at making the photograph. I was curious about all of these things.” She remembers him as “nice, welcoming, but he didn’t talk so much. His approach was soft, gentle. The way he worked reminded me of Buñuel.”

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    (Gerard Depardieu was Danton directed by Wajda)
    March 6 -birthday of late Andrez Wajda

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    Wittgenstein and Hitler Attended the Same School in Austria, at the Same Time (1904)

    Ludwig Wittgenstein archive (his photos, the house he designed etc)

  • Happy Girls Day in Japan – March 3 is Hinamatsuri Day – 2017

    March 3rd, 2017
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    Dolls trailer (Directed by Takeshi Kitano, Poland gave this the best film award – costume design by Yoji Yamamoto)

    Name these girls – Happy Hinamatsuri ablum

    Google Hinamatsuri

    The custom of displaying dolls began during the Heian period. Formerly, people believed the dolls possessed the power to contain bad spirits. Hinamatsuri traces its origins to an ancient Japanese custom called hina-nagashi (雛流し, lit. “doll floating”), in which straw hina dolls are set afloat on a boat and sent down a river to the sea, supposedly taking troubles or bad spirits with them.(via wiki)

  • Meet Jesse jesse

    Captive Girls (previous post)

  • More delicous performances at the museum..

    2 Photos -When Harry Met Marlon + Belafonte & Chomsky at Amy Goodman

    March 1st, 2017
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    (Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge & Marlon Brando )

    Google Belafonte and Marlon Brando here.

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    His recent Discussion with Naom Chomsky (youtube)

    Happy birthday Harry Belafonte!

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    After “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison, the Prologue by Jeff Wall
    1999-2000

    Ralph Ellison – March 1, 1914. (His birthday)