Patti Smith

Patti Smith and John Logan are collaborating on a spec script based on Smith’s own memoir, “Just Kids,” an intimate book that chronicled Smith’s relationship with seminal American artist Robert Mapplethorpe. Smith has never written a feature film, but the punk singer has a long history in writing poetry and her own lyrics and the actual book, so she’ll likely do just fine with the material. Logan is an Oscar-winning screenwriter who has big stuff under his belt, like The Aviator and Rango, along with upcoming films Hugo, Bond 23, and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. Though the film doesn’t have distribution set up, the star power of the screenwriting pair combined with the National Book Award-winning memoir should make it easy for the film to find a home. And that’s not to mention the fact that a “Just Kids” film is exactly what all the pot-smoking hipsters of the world have likely been whining for while drinking their PBRs on the blackest of Brooklyn nights. It’s a great book to read while you’re waiting for your next game of pick-up dodgeball or whatever. And, for all the hipster digs that may be easy to take at the book, it’s a fairly wonderful examination of both friendship and art.

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afilm a symphonie threemovements deathof language The above “sentence” would probably be the most appropriate way to describe French filmmaking legend Jean-Luc Godard’s latest (and possibly his last) film, Film Socialisme. The fragmentary and strangely juxtaposed words above are not only an (unsuccessful) attempt to describe an incredibly abstruse film, but it is also an attempt to do so in the film’s selected stylistic “language”: rather than traditional full-sentence subtitles, these are the type of words we see at the bottom of the screen whenever a character or narrator speaks. I can barely recognize only a few select words in French myself, but from what I can tell the characters, while often speaking esoterically in conversations motivated without typical movie-logic contextualization, rarely actually speak in fragments, but in full sentences. So the subtitles for non-French-speaking audiences are a deliberately obscuring selection of the words actually spoken, and they often arrive late in their juxtaposition of words spoken and occasionally seem to have no direct correspondence whatsoever. This is not to suggest that the unique subtitling in the international release of Film Socialisme somehow “obscures” non-French speakers from understanding the film’s meaning. In one sense, the film is incredibly difficult to follow no matter what language(s) one knows, but in another, the film’s meaning is plainly available in this multilingual wordplay.

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I can’t be sure, but they may have condensed at least half of Jean-Luc Godard‘s latest film into this minute-long trailer. The images flash by in typically enigmatic form, but at least we know what he was up to while he was snubbing Honorary Oscars. Since the trailer itself does little to explain what the movie’s about (and that lovely young woman staring at cats online isn’t helping either), let’s turn with pleading eyes to the official synopsis: “Legendary director Jean-Luc Godard returns to the screen with Film Socialisme, a magisterial essay on the decline of European Civilization. As a garish cruise ship travels the Mediterranean (with Patti Smith among its guests), Godard embarks on a state of the EU address in a vibrant collage of philosophical quotes, historical revelations and pure cinematographic beauty.” Oh, now it all makes sense:

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