Rushes. "Dau" Is Done, "2001" Explained, Nagisa Oshima & Batman

This week’s essential news, articles, sounds, videos and more from the film world.
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  • The controversial production of Russian director Ilya Khrzhanovskiy's Dau has come to an end, and there is now a trailer and a promotional website to prove it. The film was rumored to have taken nearly twelve years, recruiting a cast and crew of thousands in an isolated town that recreated life in the 1950s Soviet Union. Dau will likely be released as multiple films and a television series, but the new trailer presents it as primarily an "experiment." As Siddhant Adlakha says in his 2017 dissection of the film, "the remaining details, both factual and emotional, are still speculation that falls in the realm of audience interpretation."
  • Professor and Kubrick expert Nathan Abrams has discovered the presumably lost screenplay to Kubrick's Burning Secret, an adaptation of a 1913 novella by Viennese writer Stefan Zweig. Long believed to be incomplete and destroyed, the 1956 screenplay follows a "suave and predatory man" who manipulates the friendship of a ten-year-old boy to "seduce the child's married mother" at an American spa resort.
  • The team behind the incredible journal dedicated to independent filmmaking, The Independent, has partnered with UMass Amherest Libraries to provide free access to digitized PDFs of their extensive archives, ranging from their first issue from 1976 through to 2006. A trove of essential film criticism is to be found within. (Via Steve Macfarlane.)
  • A fascinating document has surfaced: an unbroadcast tour for television of the post-production offices of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, guided by TV personality and UFO specialist Jun'ichi Yaoi. Featuring what might be the only time Kubrick offered his interpretation on the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and an interview with Vivian Kubrick regarding her experiences on set and the completion of one of the first behind-the-scenes documentaries, Making 'The Shining'.
  • Coinciding with the release of his latest film, Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot, Le CiNéMa Club is screening a restoration of Gus Van Sant's 1996 Four Boys in a Volvo. Originally filmed during a Levi's commercial, the short depicts four young men in a barren desert landscape, evocative of the director's affinity for "[portraits] of youth in search of meaning and escape."
  • An arresting first English trailer for the new film from Ida director Pawel Pawlikowski. We caught Cold War in Cannes and were taken by its sweeping, complicated love story—you can find Lawrence Garcia's review here.
  • Lois Weber is one of the singular directing talents of early American silent cinema, and Max Nelson has honored her rare vision with thorough analysis and essential contextualization for Art in America.
  • Furthering the topic of Lois Weber—ahead of Kino Lorber's forthcoming landmark release Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers, which will provide home video releases and restorations (for the first time!) of the many undiscovered early features films directed by women, curator Shelley Stamp briefly yet incisively discusses the release with Women Film Pioneers Project.
  • For n+1, A.S. Hamrah provides another remarkable series of sharp, sardonic capsule reviews of new films releases so far this year, including Sorry to Bother You, which he describes as "a damning portrait of things as they are in the US, this movie’s accurate and wild version of the present moment is Brechtian—alienated, sardonic, and disreputable."
  • Over at The Brooklyn Rail, Rona Lorimer writes on the "cultural fight" surrounding memory of May 1968, a shadow that looms over a bemusing Godard-parody short Vent d’ouest (or Wind from the West), Godard's "mise-en-abyme" FaceTime press conference at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, and the auteur's infamous declaration at the festival in May of 1968: “I speak to you of solidarity with students and workers, and you talk to me about tracking shots and close ups! You’re all idiots!” 
  • TIFF programmer and Notebook contributor Jesse Cumming commemorates TIFF Cinematheque's program Summer in Japan with an in-depth profile on the "protean body of work" of one of its featured directors, Nagisa Oshima, and his "attempt to respond to major developments in Japanese politics in near-real time."
  • Ariane Gaudeaux and Andy Rector have translated Jean-Marie Straub's erudite thoughts on the great, underestimated French filmmaker Jean Grémillon and his WWII documentary The Sixth of June at Dawn.
  • The media studies journal Necsus has released its Spring 2018 issue, entitled #Resolution. Featuring everything from thorough festival coverage to evocative video essays.
  • With the MUBI Release Ryuichi Sakamoto: CODA now playing in U.S. theaters, director Stephen Schible and his famed subject Ryuichi Sakamoto discuss the film and more on the latest Close-Up podcast:
  • Speaking of the ending of 2001...
  • A Nagisa Oshima reference in a Batman comic? We never thought this would be possible, but nonetheless here it is.
  •  A lovely graphic from a bygone era of Hollywood.


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