Weekly Roundup: The search for the lost cut of The Magnificent Ambersons, Denise Cronenberg in memoriam, and Sean Baker talks to Abel Ferrara

Your handy one-stop-shop for cinephile news, articles, and videos from the week that was.

News Roundup

Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg, 1988)

Denise Cronenberg, the costume designer for many of her brother David’s most iconic films, passed away today at the age of 81. Some of her other credits include Dead Silence, The Incredible Hulk, and the 2003 remake of Dawn of the Dead.

Reading Roundup

A lost scene from the original cut of The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942)

With his new film Da 5 Bloods hitting Netflix today, Spike Lee fielded questions from a number of celebrity admirers, including George Miller, Kamasi Washington, and Ken Loach (“Ken Loach?! The heavyweights! Ken, my brother, I’m honoured.”) The results are nothing short of hysterical. 

For Art Agenda, Erika Balsom discusses how artists and institutions are releasing large swaths of previously unavailable work online and breaking with the artificial scarcity that has dominated avant-garde film distribution. “In these days of confinement, I’ve turned to classical Hollywood for comfort. Revisiting Ernst Lubitsch’s sublime Design for Living (1933), I came across a line worth noting down: ‘Delicacy, as the philosophers point out, is the banana peel under the feet of truth.’ If that is so, eager to avoid slipping, I’ll come out and say it from the start: the huge number of moving image artworks that have been made available to stream online in the past few months stresses me out.” 

“If not for the COVID-19 pandemic, Josh Grossberg would be in Rio de Janeiro right now — hunting for Orson Welles’ fabled cut of The Magnificent Ambersons.” Wellesnet, a resource for all things Orson Welles, reports on a crazed search for the missing reels of the director’s masterpiece, which was famously subject to unscrupulous studio interference. 

Over at Artforum, Nick Pinkerton writes on Abel Ferrara’s quasi-self-portrait Tommaso, which is now available to view through our virtual cinema. “While Ferrara’s films are often remembered for their violent outbursts, he’s also a wonderful director of quiet interludes, and these make up a large part of Tommaso, which describes in intent detail the contours of a sixtysomething expatriate filmmaker’s everyday existence as seen through the smooth Steadicam strokes of a widescreen frame.”

Viewing/Listening Roundup

Speaking of Tommaso: Sean Baker spoke to Abel Ferrara about the making of the film. 

On the latest episode of Film Formally, a podcast hosted by Vancouver filmmakers Devan Scott and Will Ross, The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open directors Kathleen Hepburn and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers discuss the art of the long take.

Lewis Klahr, one of the most acclaimed American experimental filmmakers working today, has made his new feature film Circumstantial Pleasures available to view online for free until June 18.

For the past few weeks, David Lynch has been making daily weather reports and releasing videos about a variety of home improvement projects. Now, he has made a section of his 2002 short Rabbits (which was later integrated into Inland Empire) available on his YouTube channel. 

Miscellaneous 

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