Thursday, January 11, 2018

Pilgrimage, John Ford, 1933

There might be some earlier Ford films (JUST PALS and THREE GODFATHERS, especially), which are stronger works on their own terms, but for me, this is where it finally all flows together. The crushing force of public opinion and, necessarily opposed to it, the proud insistence on individual sorrow. The rejection of moralist stances of any kind. The elevation of myth over truth not as a function of ideology, but of psychology.

And, above all, the visual textures: The pictorialism no longer feels derivative, but is thoroughly bound to Ford's eternal, unresolvable investigations into ambiguities and paradoxes - the idyllic nature scenes at the start already being shot through with premonitions of decay and death. And the solid narrative flow almost constantly being offset by the gestrural precision of the actors: Hannah Jessop's way of vehemently, almost aggressively feeding her chicken tells you all you need to know about her.

Monday, January 01, 2018

lists 2017

10 new films (alphabetically)

A Bride for Rip van Winkle (Shunji Iwai)
Bickels [Socialism] (Heinz Emigholz)
Contes de juillet (Guillaume Brac)
Dalida (Lisa Azuelos)
Detroit (Kathryn Bigelow)
Les sept déserteurs ou La guerre en vrac (Paul Vecchiali)
Madame Hyde (Serge Bozon)
Song to Song (Terrence Malick)
The Sleep Curse (Herman Yau)
Western (Valeska Grisebach)

10 old films (alphabetically)

Days of Glory (Jacques Tourneur)
Deaf Mute Heroine (Wu Ma)
Eva Nera (Joe D’Amato)
Große Freiheit Nr. 7 (Helmut Käutner)
Il Bacio di Tosca (Daniel Schmid)
Lac aux dames (Marc Allegret)
Lumiere d’ete (Jean Gremillon)
Tauchfahrt ins Verderben (Bruno Sukrow)
The Club (Kirk Wong)
Tour Eifel (Rainer Knepperges, Christian Mrasek)

6 analog film screenings

Alpha City (Eckhart Schmidt) 35mm, 8.4., Filmclub 813 Köln
As Without So Within (Manuela de Laborde) 16mm, 22.5., Videoex Zürich
The River Fuefuki (Keisuke Kinoshita) 35mm, 9.6., Filmmuseum Wien
La notte dei serpenti (Giulio Petroni) 35mm, 30.7., Filmmuseum Frankfurt
Wichita (Jacques Tourneur) 35mm, 6.8., GranRex Locarno
Knightriders (George A. Romero) 35mm, 22.12.,  Cinematheque Francais

1 digital film screening

PROTOTYPE (Blake Williams) DCP 3D, 3.8., PalaCinema, Locarno