Thursday, June 15, 2006

Notes from the Rialto. Yesterday, went to a reception at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, a reception for a photographer Cedric Pollet; he's from Nice, and somehow the reception was given by the Nice Tourism Bureau. It was pleasant, the photographs are large scale close-ups of tree bark (seriously) and (as people know) anything close-up can look amazing. But the photos were prints on canvas and then shellacked, and not just printed on photographic paper.

I didn't get to another press screening. What happened was that on Tuesday night, while i was putting back all the tapes and DVDs for the IFP, i found FOUR MORE at the bottom of the bag. Totally unaccounted for, because i had a list that said that i had 10 to look at (and i had the 10) plus seven re-views (tapes or DVDs looked at by others) plus two more tapes which were assumed not to have been viewed (but that was erroneous; they had been in my first batch two weeks ago). So instead of 19, i had 23! And so dutifully, yesterday, i sat and watched those DVDs and then made out my reports... spending about 3 hours doing so. Which meant i missed the screening of the Leonard Cohen doc.

This has got to stop. I need to get out of here! Either that, or i need to get paid: all this pro bono crap, and i take it seriously enough that i make sure i get it done.

However, i have to say that in The New Yorker, it was interesting to read Hilton Als's piece about Gregg Toland. Though why Hilton decided to write about Gregg Toland isn't quite clear. (From Hilton's aesthetic, i would think he'd have chosen Lee Garmes....) Oliver Sachs's piece about eyesight was (typically) fascinating.

In Vanity Fair, a lot of the usual (another celeb profile, this time on Sandra Bullock) but i have to say that James Wolcott's piece on George Clooney was first-rate, very insightful and amusing. (Made me think that someone James and i both knew would have been really happy to read it.)

Last night, after we got home, watched "Violent Summer" one of the movies included in the Valerio Zurlini box-set from No Shame. (Thanks, Dave Kehr, for pointing this one out; his review prompted me to get it, because i loved both movies, "Violent Summer" and "Girl With a Suitcase", when i saw them during the Zurlini retrospective a while ago... "Girl With a Suitcase" is wonderful, but the strange thing is that it used to play a lot in the US during the 1960s and 1970s, but in a version cut by almost half an hour, so seeing the full two-hour-plus version was a revelation.) But one thing about "Violent Summer": whatever happened to Jacqueline Sassard? She's in the movie, and she looks terrific. Looking her up on IMDB, she made "Accident" in 1967, and then "Les Biches", and then that's it. No other information.

Strange. Those two movies would have been the height of her international career, and right after.... nothing.

Things like that always "haunt" me.

(It's like looking at "Sir Arne's Treasure": i always wondered what happened to the actress named Mary Johnson. She's phenomenal in that movie, and she's so lovely in "Gunnar Hede's Saga", but what happened? Garbo we know what happened to her, but what about the other actresses who worked with Stiller, like Johnson or Tora Teje?)


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