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Film Is A Work Like Any Other: Talking with Christian Petzold and Christoph Hochhäusler

24 minutes ago

Christian Petzold's The State I Am In (2000) and Christoph Hochhäusler's The City Below (2010) will be showing in September and October, 2017 on Mubi in most countries around the world.Christian Petzold (left) and Christoph Hochhäusler (right) on the set of Dreileben. Photo by Felix von Böhm.We meet in Christian Petzold’s office in Berlin-Kreuzberg. A giant wall of whispering books, almost like a Borgesian brain of fiction, encircles the table at which Christoph Hochhäusler, myself and the owner take place to discuss their films. The idea of the interview was to get Petzold’s take on Hochhäusler’s The City Below (2010) and Hochhäusler’s take on Petzold’s The State I Am In (2000). In the end, both filmmakers ended up talking about a lot more, as cinema for them has always been something that shines most brightly when remembering it, discussing it and loving it. The fictions proposed »

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Locarno Blog. In Praise of Actors

18 hours ago

The Notebook is the North American home for Locarno Film Festival Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian's blog. Chatrian has been writing thoughtful blog entries in Italian on Locarno's website since he took over as Director in late 2012, and now you can find the English translations here on the Notebook as they're published.

Real stars perhaps only exist when the image industry is booming—Serge Daney  Le salaire du zappeur (literally The Zapper’s Reward; in French a pun on the original title of Clouzot’s classic thriller The Wages of Fear] was published in 1988, when television had already passed its zenith and entered into decline. Reading it today is like going back to a lost civilization: it’s about a period which perhaps went by too quickly and of which I now find it hard to uncover any trace, except in my own memories as a barely adolescent viewer. The television »

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Tiff 2017. Top Picks & Coverage Roundup

22 hours ago

Below you will find our favorite films of the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival, as well as an index of our coverage.Top Picksfernando F. CROCE1. First Reformed (Paul Schrader)2. Zama (Lucrecia Martel)3. Western (Valeska Grisebach)4. Ex Libris (Frederick Wiseman)5. Faces Places (Agnès Varda, Jr)6. Manhunt (John Woo)7. Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc (Bruno Dumont)8. Brawl in Cell Block 99 (S. Craig Zahler)9. The Day After (Hong Sang-soo)10. Let the Corpses Tan (Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani)Kelley DONG1. Rose Gold (Sarah Cwynar), Strangely Ordinary This Devotion (Dani Restack, Sheilah Wilson Restack)3. Good Luck (Ben Russell)4. Manhunt (John Woo)5. The Third Murder (Hirokazu Kore-eda), Angels Wear White (Vivian Qu)Daniel KASMAN1. Ex Libris (Frederick Wiseman)2. First Reformed (Paul Schrader)3. Zama (Lucrecia Martel)4. Strangely Ordinary This Devotion (Dani Restack, Sheilah Wilson Restack)5. I Love You, Daddy (Louis C.K.)6. Rose Gold (Sarah Cwynar)7. Brawl in Cell Block 99 (S. Craig Zahler)8. below-above (André »

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We Are All One Woman: Vivian Qu Discusses "Angels Wear White"

18 September 2017 5:45 PM, PDT

Although hailed by many as the only feature by a female (and Chinese) director to compete in the main competition at this year's Venice Film Festival, to reduce producer-writer-director Vivian Qu's Angels Wear White to its surrounding accomplishments would be to undersell what is achieved through the incisive blows that materialize from its skeletal framework. On a hot day in a seaside town running on tourism, two girls in pristine school uniforms—Xiaowen (Zhou Meijun) and Xinxin (Zhang Xinyue)—are sexually assaulted in a hotel. The perpetrator is the town's district commissioner, who they, their parents, and the lawyers and local police officers know. But to issue an arrest warrant for a man in power requires far more evidence than these claims, and this evidence belongs to the assault's only witness: Mia (Wen Qi), an underage migrant worker without a proper ID, whose coming forward could jeopardize her only source of income. »

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The Man With No Hands: Lucrecia Martel and "Zama"

18 September 2017 7:10 AM, PDT

Lucrecia Martel. Photo by Darren Hughes.Don Diego de Zama (Daniel Giménez Cacho) is a man out of time. Trapped in Argentina, the land of his birth, and serving at the whims of a foreign crown, he embodies the role of colonizer as a middle-aged, corporate functionary—bored, horny, witless, and incompetent. He waits and waits for a promised transfer to reunite with his wife and child, and then waits some more. When he finally does take action, volunteering to join an expedition to find and kill the notorious bandit Vicuña Porto, this adventure too is folly that ends only in further humiliation.Lucrecia Martel’s Zama resolves few of the episodes she selected to adapt from Antonio Di Benedetto’s 1956 novel of the same name. Instead, she ensnares viewers in a similarly unnerving stasis. Characters enter Zama’s life—three lovely sisters, a visiting merchant called “The Oriental,” the »

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Video Essay. Pialat: Tough Love

18 September 2017 4:41 AM, PDT

Mubi's series I Don't Like You Either: A Pialat Retrospective is showing from September 4 - November 3, 2017 in the United Kingdom and many countries around the world.Maurice Pialat was one of the toughest, most bullish, tenderhearted, pugnacious filmmakers to ever work in Europe. He made 10 feature films, many shorts, and one television series in 35 years. Each is uncommonly spare, love-filled, banal, and brutal, as difficult to experience as their maker reportedly was to contend with on set. Together they form an oeuvre that exemplifies rigor and gracelessness and a total lack of fussiness about good taste, wherever it might land on the high-low spectrum. His movies are routine and explosive; they lurch between emotional polarities in the space of a minute; they are stuffed with odd-ends and anti-climaxes. His actors flip wildly between dramatic registers and the characters they play are thrown together out of flagrantly contradictory material. His work is riven with ellipses, »

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