Greetings Soldiers and Cinephiles,
As of last night, the first issue of Shooting Wall is complete! We were able to finish the layout and do all the necessary editing and now it is just a matter of printing, distributing and taking over cinema! I think we have put together a very good first issue; we are all quite pleased with how it turned out, I think. A special thanks to the lovely Miss Carrie Love for the amazing layout and all the artists and contributors who helped get this first issue done. Like I said, we are now working on getting a bunch of copies printed and placing them in strategic areas around Philadelphia and handing them out at the upcoming Philadelphia Film Festival. It is very exciting to finally see this thing done and ready to go out into the world. With all that being said, Shooting Wall is now actively seeking out contributions for Issue # 2. If anyone has an idea or an article or artwork they would like to submit please do. You can email it to us at email@example.com. We had an editorial meeting last night and have some interesting stuff planned for the future, so keep checking the blog and submitting articles.
A couple of events going on this week in Philadelphia film. Firstly, the new Woody Allen film You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger is currently playing at the Ritz. I haven't gotten a chance to see this yet, but I will be very soon. I know it is very fashionable right now, especially in mainstream criticism to bash Woody Allen and his films, but I think that is all nonsense. Woody Allen has consistently been one of the most interesting, original and individual filmmakers working in American cinema. Certainly there have been misfires, but every film he makes is at least work checking out.
Wednesday at 7pm at IHouse is Gustav Deutch's Film ist. 1-6 and 7-12, which looks quite promising.
The big event this week, of course, if the beginning of the Philadelphia Film Festival on Friday. We have not received any word on whether Shooting Wall will be receiving press passes, but it looks pretty unlikely at this point. There will be more later in the week about films we are recommending people go see.
This Weeks Recommendations:
1. Mickey One (1965) by Arthur Penn. Arthur Penn died a few weeks ago, and it got almost no attention, much like this early film of his. One of the first American/Hollywood films to utilize techniques from the French New Wave, Mickey One is an odd, disjointed, and largely unrecognized film from one of American Cinema's real innovators. The film was made on a small budget for Columbia Pictures in 1965, received terrible reviews and died at the box office. The film has been receiving sporadic screenings and write ups in the last 10 or 15 years, but has still not be fully rediscovered due to its lack of a DVD release. There is not much else like this that was made in America in the 1960s and definitely not within the studio system. The film is fractured, elliptic, chaotic, referential, paranoid, and totally compelling. I highly recommend tracking this film down if you can find it. The film is well worth the effort and begs for a DVD release.
2. Bluebeard (2009) by Catherine Breillat. What can I say about this film? It is absolutely essential viewing. I was never a huge fan of Breillat until I saw The Last Mistress, but this one really put me over the edge with her. A strange, evocative, odd, compelling, and beautiful film. This is a more restrained Breillat, but she is in complete control of craft and her ideas in this film. Everything fits and everything is perfect. This film proves Breillat is hands down one of the most interesting filmmakers working today. Her next film is supposed to be a version of Sleeping Beauty and, if it is anything like Bluebeard, should be just as exciting.
3. Flaming Creatures (1963) by Jack Smith. One of the most notorious films to come out of the American underground in the 1960s, Jack Smith's film is grotesque and beautiful, alluring and repulsive, hilarious and disgusting. It is safe to say you will probably never see a film quite like Flaming Creatures again. The film is a series of bizarre tableau featuring trasnvesites, divas and glamour girls all in wonderfully kitschy and obscene performances in a bizarre invocation of Maria Montez and 1930s Hollywood.
4. Regular Loves (2008) by Philippe Garrel. I have mentioned Philippe Garrel in this blog before and I will continue to do so in the future until everyone is as big a Philippe Garrel fan as I am. Regular Lovers was Garrel's response to The Dreamers. Like that film, Garrel's takes place before, during and after May 1968 in Paris, but whereas Bertolucci's film is big and referential, Garrel's film is small and arty and deeply meditative. The film is nearly 3 hours, but you will never see the May '68 riots depicted quite the same as Garrel presents them here.
5. The Intruder (2004) by Claire Denis. Claire Denis has always been a fascinating filmmaker, personal and individualist throughout her career. She is always trying new things and pushing the bonds of narrative filmmaking. The Intruder is a film I want to re-watch. A highly idiosyncratic and elliptic film, which can be quite challenging, as many of Denis' films can be, but definitely a film worth seeing.