This week on IFC News:
We’re never said we’re Surrealists, never once in our lives, and I don’t feel that we could qualify for that club. I think there are genuine Surrealists, and Svankmejer‘s one of them. I don’t think David Lynch would subscribe to Surrealism either. People just see him as dark, nightmarish, but you never see people really throw the word Surrealism at him. It seems to overweight the situation.
Matt Singer has a great piece on the (admittedly, completely un-independent) Bond films, focusing on the first (and, in the case of Lazenby, last) film of each of the five actors to have played the secret agent, pre-Daniel Craig. On "The Living Daylights":
Bond and Kara’s adventures take them to Afghanistan, where they run afoul of the Mujahideen, the local freedom fighters defending the country from Soviet invasion. In a scenario similar to the contemporary "Rambo III," Bond aids the heroic Mujahideen in their fight against the Russians, unaware that in later years, groups like it would mutate into the Taliban (Osama Bin Laden was affiliated with both groups). As a result, "The Living Daylights" includes what, in retrospect, is a truly uncomfortable moment. After the inevitable Bondian victory, Kara returns to her day job as cellist. After her performance, the Mujahideen arrive at the opera house to congratulate her. "I’m sorry we missed the concert," one announces, "We had some trouble at the airport!"
Will Apted (or his associates) press on until they’re all dead? Even if they don’t, the films have acquired an existential chill. The 12 participants move in the blink of the eye from being fresh-faced schoolkids to being weathered dinosaurs, typically beset by obesity, alcohol, emotional erosion, bad English dentistry and the savagery of time. It can get only scarier with subsequent entries, by which time the series may be the most thorough and leveling portrait of ordinary humankind ever committed to film.
This week’s podcast includes a discussion on the resurgence of didactic films (which we call "the new didactic film" in the podcast, without any particular conception of what an old didactic film would be).
And Christopher Bonet has the week’s round-up of new releases.