ZINIO logo

Film Comment September-October 2018 Vo.l 54 No.5

For over 50 years, an award-winning mix of international news, interviews, and critical reviews has kept Film Comment’s readers in touch with the state of movie art. Find out why Clint Eastwood, Steven Soderbergh, and Quentin Tarantino subscribe.

United States
Film Society of Lincoln Center
$7.92(Incl. tax)

in this issue

3 min
editor’s letter

HAVING THE NEW YORK FILM Festival around the corner has long been a boon for Film Comment, as it bestows a wealth of cinematic riches on these shores (and on the movie calendar). Thanks to the international reach of its selection, it’s a prime opportunity to continue the magazine’s mission of spotlighting great cinema, wherever its origin. That’s certainly the case with our September/October cover story on Burning, from the Korean auteur (and novelist, and onetime culture minister) Lee Chang-dong. Lee is no stranger to the pages of Film Comment, but with Burning, which premiered at Cannes yet somehow escaped the notice of the competition jury, the filmmaker has reached new levels of craft and feeling. Its story of a young man, his childhood friend, and her eerily calm, aloof mega-wealthy…

2 min
royal pains

WE LOOKED AT NUMEROUS IMAGES, FROM PAINTINGS AND drawings of the period to contemporary photography. We wanted to be loyal to certain aspects of the era but veer off whenever we felt it was interesting or necessary. For example, we stayed true to the shapes of the clothes of the [18th-century] period, but we used a lot of contemporary fabrics and textures and limited the color palette, so in a very subtle way the costumes looked more contemporary and fresh. There were a few films that we used as examples of what can be achieved in the genre either tonally or visually. A few key references were Peter Greenaway’s The Draughtsman’s Contract, Ingmar Bergman’s Cries and Whispers, Nicholas Hytner’s The Madness of King George, and Milos Forman’s Amadeus. Tonally, even when…

1 min
herr serra runs amok

Fresh off the premiere of Roi Soleil, Catalan auteur (and sometime theater director) albert Serra is in preproduction on his next feature, Personalien. Starring lluís Serrat and Xavier Grataós, the film follows Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s troubled production of a play in Berlin. offstage clashes of personality, including a feud between Fassbinder and actor Günther Kaufmann, his former lover, fan the flames of the melodrama. Personalien, and Serra’s upcoming I Am an Artist (in postproduction), look to bring the director’s fascinations with charismatic and self-destructive individuals closer to the present day. Shooting begins in Berlin this September. THE FAVOURITE: YORGOS LANTHIMOS, COURTESY OF FOX SEARCHLIGHT; THE DRAUGHTSMAN’S CONTRACT: BFI/UNITED ARTISTS/KOBAL/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK; ALBERT SERRA: CAPRICCI FILMS/KOBAL/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK…

3 min
tune in next time

PERHAPS IT’S MISCHIEVOUS TO SPOTLIGHT a 13.5-hour film for consideration as a theatrical release, but if it helps, you can think of La Flor as a six-film cycle rather than a single piece, though that still doesn’t quite cover its interconnections. Screened at the Locarno Festival in August over multiple installments, Mariano Llinás’s serial work shifts gears from one genre to the next—mummy horror to music-biz melodrama to spy thriller to more unclassifiable realms that together rebel against the very notion of completion. Rather than bearing the burden of outright masterpiece status, it’s a diverting and beguiling chain of attractions working a long game of narrative suspension and release. Shooting over 10 years, the Argentine filmmaker depends upon the same four actresses to tackle a variety of roles, with a disciplined…

2 min
family man

WINNER OF THE PALME D’OR AT CANNES, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters follows a makeshift family living on the margins of society. We spoke just as the director was preparing for his first film outside of Japan, in France, with Juliette Binoche, Ethan Hawke, and Catherine Deneuve. Shoplifters and your previous film The Third Murder are very different but both bring together crime and family ties. Do you see them as having something in common? They’re both films about people’s “invisible” aspects. The Third Murder views them from the inside, Shoplifters from the perspective of society. Was your aim in Shoplifters to bring Japan’s “invisible people” into the light? I can’t say that’s the only aim, but in making films I’ve always tried to shine a light on people who have been overlooked or ignored—that’s central…

1 min
gold flakes

Nearly everyone in the cinephile echo chamber acted like someone had pulled a mother! on their firstborn when the academy of motion picture arts and Sciences announced a new category: outstanding achievement in popular Film. instituted under alleged pressure from ABC due to ever-sagging ratings, the award is widely seen as an attempt to right the wrongs done to film culture when back in 2008 christopher Nolan’s Very Serious Batman movie failed to earn a Best picture nomination, and to soothe those millions of poor viewers who may have never even heard of films like Moonlight or The Artist, which had the audacity to gross less than $50 million in the U.S. Just forget that mammoth popcorn films frequently win (Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, anyone?),…