- The awards season marches on—this morning's BAFTA's nominations highlight more of the usual suspects, meanwhile the Golden Globes embraced mediocrity full-stop this weekend with their crowning of Bohemian Rhapsody as best "Dramatic Motion Picture." You can find the rest of the Hollywood Foreign Press' frequently specious choices here.
- Now the good stuff: the trailer for Christian Petzold's latest bold interrogation of history and present, Transit. We also interviewed Petzold about the film and its unique transposition of World War II to modern day Marseille earlier this year.
- Jafar Panahi is back with a new mosaic of reality and fiction, 3 Faces, a portrait of three actresses personal worlds. Last October, Naomi Keenan O'Shea wrote about how "serves as an exemplary piece from which to reflect upon the continued political pertinence and cinematic innovation of Panahi’s filmmaking." Here's the new, delightful U.S. trailer:
- It's been three long years since Stephen Chow's delightfully wacky The Mermaid, and thankfully the master comedy auteur is set to make a return with a sequel to his 1999 hit, The King of Comedy. Here's the first (non-English subtitled, still hilarious) trailer.
- Elsewhere in Chinese cinema, the Once Upon a Time in China trilogy, by the ageless producer-director extraordinaire Tsui Hark, has just received a long overdue, gorgeous Blu-ray release in the U.K., thanks to Eureka.
- To celebrate Jean Marie-Straub's 86th birthday this week, Grasshopper Films has made Straub-Huillet's debut film Machorka-Muff (1962) available for free until January 15.
- Slate's annual Movie Club (a conversation on "the year in cinema" between critics Dana Stevens, K. Austin Collins, Amy Nicholson, and Bilge Ebiri) continues with a thought-provoking entry by Collins, on the choice and ability (or inability) to see Roma in the theatre, and the question of the "ideal" movie condition.
- The latest issue of Cinema Scope features reviews of Carlos Reygadas's Our Time and Yorgos Lanthimos's The Favourite, an overview of the late Burt Reynolds's "rocky road to success," and an interview with the ever-insightful Claire Denis on her Robert Pattinson sci-fi film, High Life.
- On the Soderblog, Steven Soderbergh (director of one of our favorite films of last year, Unsane) welcomes the new year with a catalog of all the books, short stories, plays, TV series, and movies enjoyed in 2018.
- "Buster Scruggs and Bugs": Caden Mark Gardner astutely connects the Looney Tunes and the mythos of the western, to the ultraviolence of the Coen brothers' Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
- Regarding theatres, Richard Lorber (CEO of U.S. distributor Kino Lorber) discusses the company's dual commitments to physical media and theatrical releasing, older and newer titles, and its upcoming plans for the new year.
- In Robert Zemeckis's Welcome to Marwen, Nick Pinkerton uncovers an "interrogation of the psychological function of the heroic ideal [with] more visual ingenuity and intelligence than the vast majority of mainstream movies made this year."
- Following the shuttering of the Village Voice just last year, Mike D'Angelo has revived and replicated the publication's lauded film critics poll one last time to approximate what might have won Best Film.
- In tribute to the late composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, Dave Howell of FatCat Records and 130701 has created a mix using tracks by Jóhannsson, interwoven with clips from interviews and Jean Cocteau's elegiac Orphee.
RECENTLY ON THE NOTEBOOK
- A video essay looking for the line between art cinema and porn.
- A Close-Up on Wim Wenders's The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, "a film where all you have to do is rely on your eyes and ears in order to trust the wonderful simplicity and directness of the story."
- Ryan Meehan reviews Adam McKay's Vice and considers its allegorical interrogation of "the historical machinery of power."
- A review of a new collection of criticism by French New Wave filmmaker Jacques Rivette.
EXTRAS AND RE-DISCOVERIES
- Not all of us could make it to New York in time for Film Society of Lincoln Center's expansive Jacques Tourneur retrospective. Luckily, a number of the filmmaker's shorts have found their way online, including the unnerving Killer Dog (1936). (Via rarerborealis.)
- A short film Chinese filmmaker Bi Gan (Kaili Blues, Long Day's Journey into Night), created for the Golden Horse Film Festival, is yet another construction of a lush dreamscape, this time in the form of one boy's summertime fantasy.
Marvel at this 84 second short film made by Bi Gan (a self taught, working class, ethnic Miao person who discovered cinema mostly on The Internet) for Taiwan's Golden Horse Film Festival. @MetrographNYC pic.twitter.com/8BJ7Bis5TQ— Aaron Stewart-Ahn (@somebadideas) January 6, 2019
- No further description necessary.
— Miriam Bale (@mimbale) January 5, 2019