1. “The Essential LGBTQ.” For Fandor, Jenni Olson selects 25 films that you absolutely must see (and quite a few more that you really should watch).
“Given the weighty task of designating twenty-five LGBTQ films as canonical, I confess to being a bit nervous. There are truly hundreds of films I would love to mention here if I could—films showcasing great craftsmanship, important themes and landmark representations of all kinds. I wish I could include complete lists of the best films depicting queer youth, LGBTQ people of color, transgender images, all of the various national cinemas, all of the most notable queer filmmakers, not to mention all the queer films I shamefully have not yet seen. For more selections in all of these categories please explore some of the many other resources on LGBTQ cinema—perhaps even one of my books (The Ultimate Guide to Lesbian & Gay Film and Video or The Queer Movie Poster Book; or check out the Archive.org version of my queer film database, Popcorn.com). I also can’t resist recommending viewings of The Celluloid Closet and Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema for an adjunct overview of Hollywood and independent LGBTQ cinema.”
2. “Beyond Jodorowsky’s Dune.” Christian Blauvelt on the 10 greatest movies never made.
“Ask a group of cinephiles which unrealised film they wish had been finished and their most likely choice will be Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon. The auteur researched the French emperor for years and intended the biopic to be his immediate follow-up to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick pursued Jules and Jim star Oskar Werner for Napoleon and Audrey Hepburn for his wife Josephine, but MGM cancelled the project when costs became prohibitive. In 2013 Steven Spielberg told French TV network Canal+ that he hoped to revive Kubrick’s Napoleon project for a television miniseries, and the latest rumour is that Spielberg would like to commission Baz Luhrmann to direct.”
3. “Cinemadoosti: film folklore in Iran.” Reinventing the rites of cinema under the sign of repression.
“If cinema was invented in France, and industrialised on a massive scale in the US, it was in Iran that it was turned into a folkloric art. Iranians have subverted received notions of cinephilia to create their own cinemadoosti, which deals with memory, text and images, and through which the memory of an image is often substituted for the image itself.”
4. “Review: The Girl in the Road.” For Strange Horizons, Richard Larson on Monica Byrne’s novel.
“Speculative fiction is certainly the umbrella under which The Girl in the Road should reside, most notably because of the way its narrative is formed. Rather than present us with character arcs which engage because of their momentum, the narrative arc here is composed of the slow reveal of exposition, a technique used to great effect by writers such as Margaret Atwood and Ursula K. LeGuin—writers who have created narrative experiences reliant on the worlds they’ve created not being fully known by readers early on. Questions which would yield definite answers—Where are we, and why? How did we get here, and where are we going?—are addressed in circumspect ways, with Byrne only offering pieces of the truth. We continue, then, on this journey with characters who themselves have questions about the world they find themselves in to which there might not be readily forthcoming answers. Exposition has become the drive for both character and reader: together we chip away at the world Byrne has imagined for us, trying to bring back something tangible from the dazzling chaos.”
5. “Jane Wyman and All that Heaven Allows.” For The Criterion Collection, Farran Smith Nehme on the Douglas Sirk classic.
“Time has added some latter-day ironies to All That Heaven Allows, and not just the revelation that its star Rock Hudson was gay. There’s also the political career of Ronald Reagan, the ex-husband of Hudson’s costar, Jane Wyman—built on the gospel of the American family, something that Douglas Sirk’s exquisite film, which uses one romance to show how hard it was to break free in 1950s America, ruthlessly paints as a fraud. The pair’s eight-year marriage broke up, by Reagan’s own account, in part because his wife was so fiercely ambitious. Watching her play Cary Scott—well-off, well-bred, a housewife who’s always behaved as others expect her to—it’s easy to forget that Wyman wasn’t much like her greatest role.”
Video of the Day: Dear White People gets a teaser trailer:
Links for the Day: A collection of links to items that we hope will spark discussion. We encourage our readers to submit candidates for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org and to converse in the comments section.