1. “Cannes Film Festival Unveils Star-Studded Lineup for 67th Edition.” Films from Tommy Lee Jones, Bennett Miller, David Cronenberg, Jean-Luc Godard, Michel Hazanavicius, Ken Loach and Mike Leigh will all compete for the Palme d’Or.
“Tommy Lee Jones’ The Homesman, Moneyball director Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius’ Chechnya war film The Search, Ken Loach’s Jimmy’s Hall and David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars will all be part of the competition lineup of the 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in May. The lineup is heavy on films featuring Hollywood and international stars, but somewhat light on U.S. directors. Overall, 18 films, down from 20 last year, will compete for the festival’s main award, the Palme d’Or. One film could be added, organizers said. The opening film, Olivier Dahan’s Grace of Monaco, will screen out of competition. Other competition titles include Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner about the classic painter, Bertrand Bonello’s Saint Laurent, Two Days, One Night from Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, who are competing for Dardenne’s third Palme d’Or win, Canadian director Atom Egoyan’s The Captive, Japanese director Naomi Kawase’s Still the Water and Timbuktu from Abderrahmane Sissako. Plus, the living legend of French cinema, Jean-Luc Godard, will be back in competition and on the Croisette with his latest work, Goodbye to Language.”
2. “Losing Yourself All Over Again.” An oral history of the 8 Mile rap battles.
“Those startling battle rap scenes were faithful re-creations of the actual battles Em came through on his way to the top. The lineage of Detroit battle rap goes, first, through the Rhythm Kitchen, a weekly party hosted by party promoter and clothing designer Maurice Malone at a Chinese restaurant called Stanley’s Mania Cafe. Malone—inspired by the hip-hop parties he gleefully took in during a brief stint living in New York—then opened the Hip Hop Shop, which became the epicenter of Detroit rap. ’Every Saturday between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. we would move all the clothes out and open up the floor and let guys battle,’ Malone says. And although re-created on a soundstage in a warehouse for the movie, the Shelter was—and still is—a real place, where real, sweaty battles take place. ’That instinct,’ Eminem says of his will to battle, ’never goes away.’”
3. “Jon Jost Announces Fundraising Plans For 2K Transfers of Mark Rappaport’s Films.” Jost, an ardent supporter of the filmmaker, offers his first update on the ongoing legal battle since May of last year.
“In light of Carney’s behavior, I will, with some help, organize an attempt to raise funding so that Mark’s films can be transferred to 2K digital files. The material Carney holds, which includes things which would be very useful for Mark, does not however, include the original negatives. In some cases new archival prints have been made by George Eastman House. The Cinematheque Francaise, which is planning a full retrospective of Mark’s work, has had all the original negatives and sound materials sent to Paris, and can provide Mark with the discount they receive for lab work for transfers to 2K if funding can be raised for this.”
4. ”Under the Skin, Only Lovers Left Alive, and a Brief History of the Art-Horror Film.” Bilge Ebiri on a genre that provides one way of giving audiences something new, in the guise of the familiar.
“Art-horror films tend to rely more on atmosphere and style to create an unnerving experience than on actual “scares.” They may have characters or situations that lend themselves to typical horror narratives, but very often they work against viewer expectations by unfolding in elliptical ways, or keeping the actual horrors offscreen, or sending their stories in new, surreal directions. But art-horror is also hard to define, since as a sub-genre it is by necessity inexact and fluid. Many horror films can be works of art without being “art-horror.” John Carpenter’s The Thing or George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead or Ridley Scott’s Alien are masterpieces of horror, but they’re not necessarily art films. But what about Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, which spends so much of its running time just building and building, and presents its one actual “kill” as almost a sacrifice to the genre gods? Or David Cronenberg’s The Brood, which is as much a domestic nightmare as it is a F/X-laden gore-fest? Or David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, which draws so much of its power from its unsettling vision of suburbia than from anything that could be considered thrilling? The fact is that everyone will define “art-horror” in their own way—the same way they define “art film” in different ways.”
5. “Station to Station” The Past, Present, and Future of Streaming Music.
“If the recording industry has its way, music ownership will give way to a model completely based on access, but with an important shift. While radio broadcasts are based on a one-to-many model of transmission, streaming platforms aim to zero in on the tastes of the individual listener. Like many other modern industries, the recording industry is doubling down on big data, giving their catalogs to the coders, and betting on a future of distribution and discovery dictated by quantification. Behind the interfaces of streaming platforms are vast databases of songs coded with pinpoint metadata and matched with freely provided listener taste preferences, an infrastructure designed to execute the recording industry’s century-long mission: suggesting with mathematical detail what a listener wants to hear before they know they want to hear it. Combing through a huge corpus of ever-expanding data for each individual song can be a vastly different undertaking compared to older forms of music marketing and distribution. What used to be a question of persuasion has become a problem of prediction.”
Video of the Day: Jon Hamm gets emotional on Sesame Street:
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