I am not attending the Toronto International Film Festival this year, because I am a working man with responsibilities and undergrads to teach. However, I was able to do a couple pre-festival reviews, starting with what might be my favorite release of the year: Manakamana, the follow-up to Leviathan from the Ethnography Lab at Harvard. It's quite awesome and the kind of humanist poem I adore, especially considering how much Leviathan is an (deliberately) alienating experience. I reviewed it for The Film Stage, so follow the action there.
Also new is To Be (Cont'd) is here, and the first post is by yours truly considering the state of blockbuster filmmaking. The first post is mostly about dispelling the old myths in order to frame the conversation, as well as considering the how and why of the emergence of blockbusters, as well as a reading of Nashville and Jaws, the two "event movies" of 1975. Take a read here, add to the comments, and get ready for next week's response.
My work with The Criterion Collection continues with half the capsules for the new Eclipse set celebrating the early films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. I wrote the introduction and the capsules for Love is Colder than Death ("What a title!") and The American Soldier. Thanks to Danny King for helping me out with the others.
On the Boxd - some spoiler considerations of Edgar Wright's The World's End, and Roger Corman's It Conqured the World, which I compare to Griffith of all things.