Joan Didion

“Life changes in the instant. The ordinary instant.”

― Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking

Mark Cousins
Mark Cousins

On Thursday evening, I started teaching an evening course called The World of Cinema at Cardiff University’s Centre for Continuing and Professional Education. I asked filmmaker, presenter, and critic Mark Cousins if he had any words of advice for students beginning a course on film. This is what he had to say…

Tamar Jeffers McDonald discusses one of the most beloved romantic comedies ever made

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Tamar Jeffers McDonald, When Harry Met Sally… (Bloomsbury, 2015).

Why led you to write about When Harry Met Sally…?

It was a film I’d liked but not studied, but the BFI asked me to write the Classic on it to tie in to the LOVE season it had in 2015. I really came to appreciate the film once I sat down to analyse it.

How would you describe When Harry Met Sally… to someone who has never seen it?

Hmm! I would say that, narratively, this is a comedy about a woman and a man who meet at various times in their lives, and eventually get to the right point to be friends. For a while their individual neuroses balance each other out but then their increasing intimacy starts to cause more problems… From the point of view of form, I’d say it was one of the most cleverly and elegantly structured films I’ve seen. (more…)

“The age of the sequel is over. Now it’s the age of the sequel to the sequel. Also the prequel, the reboot, the reunion, the revival, the remake, the spinoff and the stand-alone franchise-adjacent film. Canceled television shows are reinstated. Killed-off characters are resuscitated. Movies do not begin and end so much as they loiter onscreen. And social media is built for infinite scrolling. Nothing ends anymore, and it’s driving me insane.”

The New York Times

“David Lynch relives his days in Thought Gang, the band whose music was even wilder than his movies” — The Guardian.

“A spate of women-authored speculative fiction imagines detailed worlds of widespread infertility, criminalized abortion, and flipped power dynamics”

The Atlantic

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“‘No one expects a musician to play a song the same way every night.’ It was this impulse to explore different rhythms and intonations in an already completed work, says our executive producer Kim Hendrickson, that led the visionary director Terrence Malick to dive into reediting one of his most acclaimed films, 2011’s The Tree of Life. The three-hour-plus version he ultimately came up with—just released as part of our new edition, which features the theatrical cut that remains Malick’s preferred form—includes fifty minutes of never-before-seen footage. For fans wondering how this all came about, here’s a look at the process behind one of the most complex and challenging projects we’ve ever undertaken.”

— The Criterion Collection

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A still from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

“Douglas Rain, who performed for 32 seasons with the Stratford Festival in Ontario but was perhaps most famous for one faceless movie role — the voice of the HAL 9000 computer in Stanley Kubrick’s landmark 1968 film, “2001: A Space Odyssey” — died on Sunday in St. Marys, Ontario. He was 90.”

The New York Times