Posts Tagged ‘Rotterdam International Film Festival’

First Things First

January 28, 2009

One of the special things about coming to Rotterdam is the care they give to screening films from the history of cinema. This year is no different with their First Things First program; a collection of first films from some of world cinema’s most heralded filmmakers. Yesterday I got to take in a gem of that program, Philippe Garrel’s Les Enfants désaccordés a 35mm film he directed at the ripe old age of 16. Shot in 1964, it’s a beautifully framed work giving more then just hints at the mastery this Frenchman would develop in cinema. A beautiful restoration of the film done by the Cinematheque Francais screened in Rotterdam sadly without subtitles. However the festival provided  handouts with the English translations. The screening room was a flood with cell phones illuminating the text. Another great example of why I love coming to this festival. For those interested in Garrel, we’ll be screening another Garrel classic in our 69 series this spring.

The Tigers Are Out

January 28, 2009

I hope to provide more detailed coverage of my time in Rotterdam, which has gone very well so far. The last few nights I’ve been spending time with the filmmaking team behind Albert Serra’s QUIXOTIC and BIRD SONG (serra included). There’s some good stories there but I don’t have too much time right now.

In the meantime I come to you with a little bit of gossip that’s been on the toungues of many around these parts. Yesterday Variety letgo 30 of its staff, an additional sign of the decay and decline of the newpaper industry, which seems to have also started penetrating the blogosphere. The news came in a message I received from Michale Jones who runs, or rather used to run, The Variety Circuit, a festival blog maintained by Variety. He also fell victim to these recent layoffs. Oddly enough,  in my inbox there was also a message from Josh Feit, whose RECENTLY launcehed Publicola, an online guide to everything Washington, detailed an account of The Seattle Times who is prepared for a possible Chapter 11 filings. Too much grim news… I’m headed back into the films. When I emerge, I’ll give you a more complete picture of what’s going on here.