Your handy one-stop-shop for film news, interviews, articles, and videos from the week that was.
In the preface to his essay on Federico Fellini for Harper’s Magazine, Martin Scorsese speaks to the tyranny of the term “content”, the inhumanity of algorithms and the benevolence of curation. He opines, “Curating isn’t undemocratic or ‘elitist,’ a term that is now used so often that it’s become meaningless. It’s an act of generosity—you’re sharing what you love and what has inspired you. (The best streaming platforms, such as the Criterion Channel and MUBI and traditional outlets such as TCM, are based on curating—they’re actually curated.) Algorithms, by definition, are based on calculations that treat the viewer as a consumer and nothing else.”
When not penning eloquent tributes, Scorsese continues preproduction on his next project, Killers of the Flower Moon. The Hollywood Reporter shares that Jesse Plemons has landed the lead role in the Western, marking quite the coup for one of the screen’s great character actors. Granted, this plum role has required Plemons to bow out of Jordan Peele’s next feature. However, Variety reports that Peele is still trying to orchestrate a reunion with Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya. (As it turns out, Plemons and Kaluuya can currently be seen together in Judas and the Black Messiah.)
Scorsese and Peele’s features are both pencilled in as 2022 releases, so we’ll be waiting a while before they see the light of projectors. In the interim, Sight and Sound is the latest publication to round up their “most anticipated films of 2021“. Along with a number of familiar titles, they’ve cited Triangle of Sadness, the latest by Force Majeure’s Ruben Östlund. They’ve also secured a few hints from the Swedish provocateur as to what we should expect: “These two models are on a luxury yacht, which goes under. The billionaires [on the yacht] and the models end up on a deserted island, with a cleaning lady from the yacht who knows how to fish, so she ends up at the top of the hierarchy. It’s dealing with the flip-over of this patriarchal society into something else.”
As Locarno’s new artistic director Giona A. Nazzaro continues to put his stamp on the influential festival, he’s announced that this summer’s edition will feature a new section reserved for short films by established auteurs. As he tells Variety, the section “will open a significant window of opportunity for high-profile directors experimenting in new and innovative forms and formats.”
Of course, Wong Kar Wai is a perfect example of an auteur who has continued to explore short form filmmaking throughout his career. In a new piece for Little White Lies, James Balmont details how Wong’s Chungking Express introduced dream pop to Hong Kong. As he writes, “The jangling guitars of ‘Dreams’ by Irish alt-rock band The Cranberries play out several times across the film’s second narrative (as well as over the end credits). A hazy, wistful ballad about romantic opportunity and change, it seems to fully embody the spirit and character of the film.”
From dreams to, well, whatever we’re labelling this reality we currently find ourselves in: Adam Curtis has just made Can’t Get You Out of My Head available on YouTube. The new five-part documentary series “tells how we got to this place. And why both those in power – and we – find it so difficult to move on. At its heart is the strange story of what happened when people’s inner feelings got mixed up with power in the age of individualism.”