Screen Musings: This Week’s Best Film Reads

Now that the weekend is almost upon us, before heading down to the cinema to enjoy the myriad screenings of both essential classics and fantastic premieres infiltrating theaters, check out our roundup of this week’s most interesting and vital writing on film.

How would Lubitsch do it?: Crtierion’s Tributes to Ernst Lubitsch

In 2002, for the release of Trouble in Paradise, the Criterion Collection asked a handful of directors and writers to pay tribute to Ernst Lubitsch with handwritten testimonials. The varied responses—from Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach, and Cameron Crowe, Roger Ebert, James Harvey, Leonard Maltin, and Jonathan Rosenbaum—are featured here, along with behind-the-scenes images of the Hollywood comedy legend.
From Trier to Hansen-Love to Lanthimos: The New York Times’ 20 Director to Watch
This is a list of 20 filmmakers to watch. Other than their relative youth — one turned 40 a few months ago, and several more will join him soon — they share little besides passion and promise. But bringing them together, and shining a light on their accomplishments and their potential, seems especially urgent as another new season of serious moviegoing gets under way. Here’s why: We are living in a time of cinematic bounty. In multiplexes and beyond, movie lovers have a greater, more dizzying variety of choices — and of screens, large and small — than at any time in history.
I’ll See You at the Movies: The Dissolve argues Roger Ebert wouldn’t have agreed he was the last film critic who mattered
It’s astounding that in 2013, we still have not stopped mourning the supposedly golden age of media that is now long gone. Yes, once upon a time, every local newspaper in the country could afford to have its own film critic. There was no easy way to take the collective cultural temperature about a movie before its release, so we had to rely on what the paid reviewers told us. And if we disagreed, our primary option for voicing that dissent was to sit down, write a letter, shove it in an envelope, and then wait for the post office and an overworked newspaper mailroom staff to eventually set it on a paid critic’s desk, where he or she (but most likely he) would proceed to ignore it. Man, those were just the damn days, weren’t they?
The Destitute King: The New Yorker‘s Richard Brody on a new book of Orson Welles interviews
The Welles-Jaglom book is more cinema-centric and provides far more of Welles’s reflections on his art. It also presents Welles under the influence of irritants, of unwanted meetings and movie deals going sour, around which he elaborates verbal pearls darkened with his bile. The discussions in Tarbox’s book are altogether sweeter, though no less shadowed by Welles’s latter-day struggles to work and to earn money. (Here, too, Welles describes his desire to shore up his finances with rankly mercenary network-television shows and commercials.) The subjects tend toward personal recollections and nostalgic delights, and Welles is aware of the nostalgia. 
La tristesse durera toujours: The Daily Beast talks with the stars of Blue is the Warmest Color
The film’s two stars, who deliver two of the best performances of the year, sat down with Marlow Stern at the Telluride Film Festival to discuss the hellish-sounding making of the film, including why they’re embarrassed by the film’s talked-about 10-minute sex scene, and how they were terrorized on set by Kechiche. 
The State of Art Today: Filmmaker Magazine & Kentuck Audley on the Nature of Indepdent Filmmaking
Independent filmmaking: hobby or career? It is a question that has been on more than a few lips for years now. Though digital platforms have greatly democratized the distribution process, filmmakers are still reaping minimal financial returns on their work. Should the aspiring independent filmmaker pursue her passion wholeheartedly, or should she be pragmatic from the get go, making films as a hobby alongside a more lucrative career?
Truth twenty-four times per second: The Village Voice looks at the lasting power of Contempt, Bardot, and Godard
Contempt, possibly Godard’s most melancholy film and probably his most beautiful, is now 50 years old. The picture has weathered several waves of feminism and thousands of pages of analysis at the hands of film critics, most of them male. But Contempt—which Godard adapted from Alberto Moravia’s Il Disprezzo—needs no special pleading from any camp. And if Film Forum has turned revival and restoration of the picture into a kind of cottage industry—it brought Contempt back into our collective field of vision in 1997 and 2008, and is now back with a new, 50th anniversary restoration—no one’s complaining.
As our summer days begin to melt behind us, it’s time to cast our eyes to fall and get excited for all the cinematic events in store for us. The air will start to chill and the leaves will begin to wither from their branches, but what’s really important are the myriad retrospectives, premieres, and events happening around the city to enjoy. And if you’re currently experiencing the woeful jealousy that comes with knowing you’re missing out on the Venice and Toronto film festivals, never fear, the New York Film Festival is just around the corner.
Main image via The Criterion Collection

From Godard and Hawks to Ozu and Kazan, Here’s What You Should Be Seeing This Weekend in NYC

As summer ends and we begin the descent into our winter of discontent, what better way to pass the time than in darkened theater? And this weekend, cinemas around New York are screening a generous amount of fantastic films—from French New Wave classics to the best in ’90s American indies—so there is certainly something to satisfy your need to escape into another world for the evening. And although you may be sitting at your desk lamenting the fact that you’re not in Toronto soaking in fifteen films today, take comfort in knowing this weekend is replete with screenings just around the corner.

To make your life easier, we’ve rounded up the best of what’s playing throughout the New York, so peruse our list, grab your sweater and an extra large bag of M&Ms, and curl up in the theater for the next few days.

IFC Center

Reality Bites
Our Nixon 
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints 
Best Kept Secret 
The Canyons 
Frances Ha 
Fire in the Blood 
Il Futuro 
The Holy Mountain
I Am Breathing 
Museum Hours  
The Trials of Muhammad Ali
Una Noche
Written on the Wind

Museum of the Moving Image

Rear Window
To Have and Have Not
Rio Bravo
Fig Leaves
The Cradle Snatchers


Gleaming the Cube
Blue Jasmine
The World’s End
The Grandmaster
Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure


Tokyo Story
Salvatore Giuliano
The Earrings of Madame de…
The Actress
On the Waterfront
East of Eden
To Catch a Thief
Mr. Arkadin/Confidential



The Grandmaster
Drinking Buddies
In a Word…
Passion Planet of the Apes
City Slickers

Landmark Sunshine

Short Term 12
Drinking Buddies
In a World
The Spectacular Now
The Room

Film Forum

La Maison de la Radio
Russian Ark
The 3 Worlds of Gulliver

Film Linc

Interior. Leather Bar.
In a World…
In the Name of…
Short Term 12
Twenty Feet From Stardom
Geography Club
It Came From Outer Space
Love Me Not
Pit Stop
Newfest Shorts Program 1 & 2
The Last March
Free Fall
The Most Fun I’ve Had With My Pants On
You and the Night

Angelika Film Center

The Grandmaster
Blue Jasmine
Closed Circuit