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Friday, April 24, 2015

End of Week roundup, April 24

--Dismayed to open the internet this morning to find the new of the passing of film critic Richard Corliss. He's a familiar presence to readers of both Time and Film Comment, and in his long career covered a number of beats and topics, in always illuminating fashion. Our favorite pieces of his work show the breadth of his expertise, including his monograph on Stanley Kubrick's Lolita (which apes the structure of Nabokov's Pale fire - a poem, then extensive commentary - to comment both on Nabokov's novel and Kubrick's adaptation) and his in-depth piece on Mystery Science Theater 3000, looking at both the making of that colorful cult program and its unspoken function as film criticism. He was a hell of a writer, and his work remains. Dive in.

--On a happier note, and ever forward, the San Francisco International Film Festival kicked off last night, which is like two weeks of Christmas Day to us. You can expect to read reviews of what we're seeing (looks like around twenty programs)(good lord) both here and on our Twitter feed.


--One movie I can tell you about right now is Bertrand Bonello's Saint Laurent, which has its sole screening at the festival on Sunday. It completely destroys the bio-pic format while giving life to its subject (thanks in no small part to the performance of Gaspard Ulliel in the title role) - feels like we learn more about Yves Saint Laurent just watching Ulliel at work in his studio than we would watching a more standard pic ticking off the well-known career highlights. Bonello's movie follows a deliberately Proustian, non-linear path through Saint Laurent's life, grabbing as much from contemporaneous cinema as from fashion. It feels like a Visconti history filtered through the split-screens of Richard Fleischer, giving the normally staid bio-pic a welcome infusion of pop energy. The climactic fashion show is the most thrilling thing I've seen in a movie this year. It's informative, entertaining, tragic, sexy, and maybe one of the great movies of 2015.

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