Filled with retro house cuts, Eden insists upon a good time whenever Paul (Félix de Givry) or his DJ peers spin in various house parties and clubs, yet the prevailing atmosphere of Mia Hansen-Løve’s film is melancholic. One of the more sensitive contemporary directors of youth, Hansen-Løve flips the dynamic of Goodbye, First Love, a film in which the passage of time is keenly felt in the protagonist’s maturation and regression occurs from the reintroduction of outside elements. In this film, it’s everything around Paul that changes and outpaces him while he remains resolutely, depressingly, the same person at 34 that he was at 20.
Liverpool (#1–10 of 3)
A long-awaited Pentagon report on the impact of lifting the ban on gays serving openly in the U.S. military was released today. In a surprise to no one except for John McCain, the study argues that gay troops could serve openly without hurting the military’s ability to fight.
Starting sometime today, you can preview a track from Let England Shake, the forthcoming album from the greatest living female musician.
House contributor John Lingan on his relationship with Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream, then and now.
Anne Hathaway and James Franco are cool actors. Now they’re Oscar hosts. Gross.
In more tasteful awards news, Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone owned the Gotham Awards last night.
Dennis Lim reviews Lisandro Alonso’s Liverpool, now on DVD from Kino International, for the Los Angeles Times.
Patti Smith interviews Johnny Depp for Vanity Fair.
Saul Austerlitz on Jonathan Rosenbaum’s Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephillia.
Is this a threat? Richard Kelly has written an animated prequel to Southland Tales.
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.
During the last couple of decades the long-take, fixed-shot school of filmmaking has become something of a default for directors with an eye toward the festival circuit—the signature style of many of the world’s leading arthouse auteurs. You know the drill: the filmmaker sets his camera at a certain distance from his impassive protagonist and observes him enacting the minutiae of daily life. No music is there to cue the viewer’s emotions and we’re never invited into the character’s headspace. At its best, as in the films of Tsai Ming-liang, the approach encourages a certain intellectual distance between audience and character, granting the viewer sufficient freedom to mentally maneuver about the film’s staged environment, while never precluding the possibility of a direct emotional involvement. Such works encourage the viewer to adjust his mental rhythm to the pace of the picture, to recalibrate his body’s clock to the film’s tempo. Finally, this long-take approach promotes an appreciation of composition for its own sake, focusing audience attention for extended periods of time on a series of static framings.