Friday, April 17, 2009

Seeing Things

“I think my basic job as a critic is to get people out of the house, to get them interested, energized, inspired, or riled enough to just go see what I’m talking about,’ says New York Times art critic Roberta Smith to Irving Sandler in The Brooklyn Rail (April 2009). Smith talks about her early career and influences (including Sanford Schwartz, Pauline Kael, and Edmund Wilson). Smith also says, “I believe in individual taste, but taste-making is a kind of fiction. It’s just a way to organize things that as time passes are going to fall apart again.” There are more, and more complex, comments in the worthwhile interview, available online.

In an interview with Eliane Raheb, a Lebanese filmmaker and a founder of an Arab film festival called “Ayyam Beruit,” the journalist Mona Sarkis of asks Raheb about new Arab films. The "Ayyam Beruit" festival yields thousands of attendees every two years. Eliane Raheb speaks about a film category referred to as author cinema; and Raheb says, “We have noticed that author cinema is one of the true and rare mirrors of our identity. The truly authentic films are being made by filmmakers who express their individual vision of human beings with stories and experiences that seem unique to them and through which they question ‘reality’. This is, for example, the case in The One Man Village by Simon al Habre or low-budget fiction films like Ein Shams by Ibrahim Battout.”

David Hudson, formerly of the web log Greencine Daily, is now presenting his film commentaries and notes and assorted links, through The Daily at IFC (Independent Film Channel); and as of today he’s got items on Jean-Pierre Melville’s Leon Morin, Priest; Armando Iannucci’s In the Loop and Eran Riklis’s Lemon Tree and more…

Isn't it interesting, and good, to learn something we did not know?