Lumière and Company was a project realised in 1995 to mark the centenary of the Lumière brothers’ first movies. Forty directors were given the use of a restored Lumière Cinematograph and asked to make a film under 1895-style constraints: (1) the films could be no longer than 52 seconds; (2) no synchronized sound was permitted; (3) no more than three takes were allowed. Any editing had to be done in-camera. Nearly all of the completed shorts have been compiled into a YouTube playlist. Please note that some of the clips contain nudity: treat this post as NSFW. Les Frères Lumière previously: 1, 2. [more inside]
Essayist and cartoonist Tim Kreider is no stranger to film criticism ( previously) but his thoughtful, surprising, detailed analysis of Lynch's The Straight Story and Spielberg/Kubrick's AI deserve special attention.
David Lynch's 2001 film Mulholland Drive is the subject of dozens of interpretive theories. Roger Ebert decided it was impossible to figure out. Part of the mystery of the movie comes from how it was initially planned as a television pilot for ABC; Lynch combined pilot footage with a newly-devised ending to make the film. That pilot's script. The entire 90-minute pilot. If you can't be bothered to watch the whole thing, individual scenes after the jump. [more inside]
"I would like to do better, to be better than I am". He's the French New Wave maverick and Academy Award winner (at 26, for his first short) who, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz -- with considerable personal pain and the admission that "no description, no picture can reveal the true dimension" of what happened in the camps -- made what François Truffaut called "the greatest film ever made", duly censored by French authorities. Four years later he baffled audiences with "the first modern film of sound cinema", shattering the rules of chronology to describe the “anguish of the future”: even if all he ever wanted was "to stop death in its tracks" (French language link), only for one minute. But he is also the unabashed lover of la bande dessinée who learnt English by reading comic books and in the Seventies dreamed (French language link) of making "Spider-Man" into a movie (the Hollywood studios were not convinced), the MGM old-school musical and operetta nut so in love with design that "half of the fashion photography of the past 40 years owes a debt" to him. Now, Alain Resnais' new work, just shown at the Venice Film Festival where his buddy David Lynch was awarded a lifetime achievement Golden Lion, is a French film inspired by an English play with 54 short scenes, music by the X-Files's Mark Snow. (more inside)