Jean Painleve


Many of us wish we could go back and see certain films again for the first time. Or, maybe we’d like to be hypnotized and made to see a favorite film as if we’d never seen it before. Yesterday, actress/filmmaker Amy Seimetz tried an experiment at Miami’s Borscht Film Festival where she was able to watch her new, Gotham Award-nominated feature Sun Don’t Shine from the perspective of her audience, specifically those of us seeing it for the first time. She cried the whole way through, apparently, and her primary reaction was that, as critics have stated, the beginning is pretty slow. Afterwards, she was unable to answer certain questions from the crowd due to her hypnosis interfering with the fact that she actually wrote and directed the movie. But it also allowed her to see how interviews and Q&As are such bullshit. While Seimetz got to experience her own film anew, I at least got to experience a film festival screening unlike any I’ve ever known. Sure, there was a gimmicky aspect to it, and I didn’t particularly enjoy Sun Don’t Shine on its own, but the whole package was fresh and fun and weird, which is on par with the very intimate and very strange Borscht experience overall — so far anyway. I’m here in Miami through the weekend, invited down by the festival, which is why FSR’s weekend content will be a tad light this week. I wanted to get one quick post on what’s going on, […]


Criterion Files

Welcome to Guest Author month at Criterion Files: a month devoted to important classic and contemporary bloggers. Each Wednesday for the month of April, a writer and fellow Criterion aficionado from another site will be giving their own take one one of the collection’s beloved titles. This week, David Blakeslee, writer for CriterionCast and Criterion Reflections, takes on Jean Painleve’s Science is Fiction set. Tune in every week this month for an analysis of a different title from a new author. With the attendant buzz and ephemeral fanfare that accompanies a new Criterion release now faded after nearly two years and 100 additional spine numbers, I think it’s safe to say that Science is Fiction: 23 Films by Jean Painlevé is one of the most easily overlooked DVD sets in the Criterion Collection. Lacking anything in the way of sexy celebrity star power, built around the career of a director unfamiliar to most contemporary movie fans, and mainly because it’s relegated to the seemingly dry and stale category of “nature documentaries,” Science is Fiction probably doesn’t leap off the shelf into the hands of even the bravest blind-buyers. Who can blame them for simply concluding that Disney, National Geographic and the BBC’s Planet Earth and Life series, in all their Hi-Def 1080p glory,  have surpassed these primitive, mostly black & white curiosities? And yet, I think I can make the case that this impressive three-disc set is one of the most entertaining, versatile and rewatchable titles that Criterion has issued. […]

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published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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