Weekend Film Reads

With Josh down in Austin for SXSW this next week, I’ve been trying to figure out a good system for getting some of the news covered in between the million other things on my to-do list. So expect things like the new To The Wonder trailer to be posted soon, as well as a few other things that I’ve linked to on Twitter today.

I thought it might be fun to pass along a few more longer reads that you all might be interested in. I’d like to say that I’ll try to make this a weekly thing, but you all know how bad I am at keeping promises like that.

Richard Brody – Godard’s Truthful Torture SceneThe New Yorker:

In 1960, France was embroiled in the Algerian war, in which some of its soldiers tortured prisoners (mainly Muslims) suspected of involvement in the pro-independence militancy, while agents waged a dirty war against Algeria’s advocates in Europe. Against this backdrop, Jean-Luc Godard made his second feature film, “Le Petit Soldat” (“The Little Soldier”), whose story centers on a planned extrajudicial assassination and depicts the practice of torture, at length and in detail.

Roger Ebert – Great Movies: The Ballad Of NarayamaRogerEbert.com:

“The Ballad of Narayama” is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens up between its origins in the kabuki style and its subject of starvation in a mountain village! The village enforces a tradition of carrying those who have reached the age of 70 up the side of mountain and abandoning them there to die of exposure.

Joe Berkowitz – The Long Apprenticeship Of Roman CoppolaFast Company

Academy award-nominated screenwriter and director Roman Coppola grew up in a filmmaking family, but his success in Hollywood is the result of collaborations both familial and otherwise.

Rebecca Keegan – Goro Miyazaki sets his own path in animationThe LA Times

Soft-spoken and stoic, Goro represents the new guard at Hayao’s 28-year-old Tokyo-based company, Studio Ghibli. Now on his second feature film, the younger Miyazaki has assumed his responsibility with reservation, both because of complex filial feelings and his fears about the future of a fading art form.

Devin Leonard – How Disney Bought Lucasfilm—and Its Plans for ‘Star Wars’Bloomberg Businessweek

One weekend last October, Robert Iger, chief executive officer of Walt Disney (DIS), sat through all six Star Wars films. He’d seen them before, of course. This time, he took notes. Disney was in secret negotiations to acquire Lucasfilm, the company founded by Star Wars creator George Lucas, and Iger needed to do some due diligence.

Greg Ferrera – Are We The Archivists Of Film History?Movie Morlocks

In all the arguing over film or digital, the matter of storage is the argument that gets lost.  After all the fighting about which provides better quality, which gives the director more freedom, which makes the director of photography more important to the process, we’re left with the question, “What does any of it matter if it all disappears one day?”

And a couple of podcasts to listen to:

The Broken Projector Podcast – What the hell is happening to VFX?FilmSchoolRejects.com

Several companies at the top of their game have now gone bankrupt, hundreds protested outside the Oscars, the Jaws theme added insult to injury, and it all adds up to the VFX industry being in trouble. But how can something so central to modern filmmaking be struggling to stay alive? If blockbusters earn billions on the back of stunning CGI wizardry, why are the best in the business failing?

Screen Time – Zero Charisma, Devolver Films, and Grumpy Cat5by5.tv

In this SXSW 2013 preview, Moisés talks with the directors of the highly-buzzed Zero Charisma, the heads of game developer Devolver Digital’s new movie distribution arm, and the owners of Grumpy Cat. Seriously, Grumpy Cat.

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