The Roundup: January 28

[A semi-regular column pointing out what I’ve been enjoying reading on the web recently – mostly film-related stuff, but music/gaming/etc, may slip in from time to time]

Featured Links

To the Wonder: I Write on Water the Things I Dare Not Speak by Bilge Ebiri at They Live By Night

I won’t get a chance to see Terrence Malick’s latest film To the Wonder until its theatrical release in April, but the reviews out of TIFF were decidedly mixed – has Malick finally gone off the narrative deep end? Bilge Ebiri argues instead that Malick has embraced an aesthetic of dance in everyday life, a prospect which excites me very much, since it was that sense of dance-like movement among the Native Americans that first made me fall in love with The New World.

Top 15 Opening Credit Sequences by Alex Withrow at And So It Begins

A great opening credit sequence can really set the mood for the film that comes, and are often works of art in and of themselves – it’s disappointing that so many films these days eschew them all together. But Alex has pulled together a top-notch set of opening credits both current and classic, complete with video and commentary on why they’re so great. A lot of variety in here, from Saul Bass to David Fincher, and from titles that seem pretty basic but have a ton going on to in-your-face aesthetic assaults.

What’s on TCM: February 2013 by Angela at Hollywood Revue

What’s on TCM in February is their annual 31 Days of Oscar celebration, during which every movie they air has at least been nominated for an Oscar in some category. This lets in, like, stuff that was nominated for Art Direction in 1937, but hey. February is always filled with a ton of great classics. It can be kind of an uninteresting month for avid TCM watchers, but if you just want to watch or rewatch some great films, or share them with friends and family, it’s a good time to get on board. Angela’s got the rundown of what to look out for during February.

This Week in the Death of Cinema: Damn Your Ironic Detachment! by Cory Atad at The Movie Mezzanine

Classic movie fans lucky enough to live in a place where classic films are screened for audiences (or who have ever taken a film appreciation course in high school or college) are likely all too familiar with the scenario in which youthful audiences spend the entire film laughing at the wrong parts, jeering at elements they perceive as dated. Cory Atad recently had this happen at Vertigo, which happens to be one of my (and his) favorite films of all time, and I feel his frustration. Oh, and by the way, if you’re not already reading Movie Mezzanine, you must start – it’s a relatively new collective formed by some of the best film bloggers out there, and they’ve already got some fantastic series going on all sorts of film-related things.

More Links!

  • Jessica at Man I Love Films gives a big thumbs down to Movie 43 – can’t say I’m surprised by that, but her descriptions of each segment are great and make me marvel at how these scripts attracted these actors
  • Pat over at 100 Years of Movies reviews Abraham Lincoln – the 1930 version which was one of D.W. Griffith’s final films
  • Ivan of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear picks up a newish collection of Charley Chase shorts and discusses the ones he hadn’t seen – I’ve only seen Chase’s silent shorts, and these are late-’30s sound shorts, so now I’m curious to branch out
  • January 23rd marked Jeanne Moreau’s 85th birthday, and David Hudson points out some great profiles and other links about the French icon for Fandor
  • Django Unchained is getting flack for its portrayal of slavery, and Greg over at Cinema Styles adds a very thoughtful post to the discussion, comparing it to films portraying other horrific history like the Holocaust
  • Ryan at The Matinee asked for some film book recommendations, and he sure got some! I’m still going through the suggestions myself, but looks like lots of good intellectual fodder for all of us

Trailer of the Week

I generally don’t watch trailers, especially for films I’m already planning to see. But that doesn’t mean I can’t hit “embed” and share them anyway.

Inside Llewyn Davis is probably my most-anticipated film of the year, given that the Coen brothers are my favorite working directors. So I haven’t watched this, but I hear it’s pretty solid. The film doesn’t have a confirmed release date yet, but rumor has it that it will probably premiere at Cannes, making a fall US release likely.

  • jess

    thanks for the shoutout! thanks for reading :)

  • Ryan mcNeil

    Thanks for the linkage J! I’m looking forward to thumbing through all of these books in the coming months! (Who needs film school?)

    • Glancing through the stuff people are recommending you, I think you’re going to be getting film school – just without the grading! :p I’ve got to step up my own film book reading, but I heartily second the recommendations for David Bordwell books. He’s the most readable and consistently solid academic film writers I know.