When the Sundance Film Festival debuted in the 1980s, it entered a landscape dominated by a small corps of well-established A-list film festivals: New York, Chicago, San Francisco. A scrappy upstart, it quickly crashed the VIP room with the help of Robert Redford’s celebrity
FEATURES: A survey of Kathryn Bigelow’s cinema; an interview with Patrick Keiller; a reflection on the links between documentary and avant-garde; and the visionary television shows World on a Wire and Artemis 81
READ: Cristi Puiu Discusses Aurora, At the Edge of History, London Notebook, and Interview with Olivier Assayas
FEATURES: Interviews with Atom Egoyan and Elia Suleiman, and Straub–Huillet’s Radical Cinema
READ: The Kraken Wakes, Empire of the Father, Tears in the Neighborhood, and Jobs Well Done
by Edward Lawrenson from Film Quarterly Fall 2010, Vol. 64, No. 1 According to the speculation that always accompanies the run-up to the announcement of the Cannes Film Festival program, the 2010 edition (May 12-23) was almost certain to premiere new films by Terrence Malick and Béla Tarr. In the event, neither Malick’s The Tree of Life nor Tarr’s The Turin Horse made it (the former wasn’t finished in time; the latter, who knows?), and these high-profile absences added to a sense of disappointment with a competition line-up that generally lacked big-name auteurs. Perhaps the competition wasn’t as rich as previous years; certainly there was no Antichrist-style controversy this time and no film generated the same acclaim as The White Ribbon or A Prophet did in 2009. I had bad luck with the two competition films I managed to watch: Bertrand Tavernier’s The Princess of Montpensier is a terribly creaky chivalric historical romance; and Abbas Kiarostami’s Certified Copy, a talky drama about a couple who may or may not be pretending to be lovers, sees the …
The uncomfortable thing about the Tribeca Film Festival (April 21-May 2, 2010) is that nobody knows exactly what it is for. This may be a problem that it will never solve. It is not prestigious enough to woo any really good stuff away from Cannes, and in any case Venice and Berlin are always vigilant about picking up that festival’s scraps.
The typical challenge of any film festival report is to create a fictional narrative out of thin air, or a meaningful proposition out of chaos. And this becomes even harder in an era when layoffs of various film reviewers have coincided with a continuing erasure of any clear line separating criticism from advertising in most mainstream venues.
FEATURES: Films of the Year, 2009; Debunking the 1960s in Mad Men and A Serious Man; and Garrett Stewart and James S. Williams on The White Ribbon
READ: Three Types of Nothing, Remarks on Method, South by Southwest 2010, and Vertov’s World
Jane Campion, Dusan Makavejev, and an interview with Leonard Retel Helmrich.
READ: The Struggle for Space, Brown vs. Brawne: Bright Star, The Lonely Road
Claire Denis, Militant Politics in Cinema, True Blood.
READ: Fugitive Faces, Catcalling, Debating Inglourious Basterds, and The H-Man vs Liquid Human
Imamura, Chinese Independent Documentaries, The Films of Peter Thompson, and L.A.’s Hipster Cinema
READ: Against Nature, The Avant Garde Archive Online, The Future in Labor, Le Plaisir