This week on IFC News:
What question do you hate most in interviews?
It used to be when people would ask me to explain my whole life. [laughs] That gets tiring after a while. There’s a line in the film where I ask Katja, "Were you always interested in acting?" and she just bangs her head on the table. That one gets kind of old.
In the press notes you say that you are no longer interested in making serious films. What brought that about?
I have never taken myself very seriously, but I have always taken my work seriously. And more and more I have come to believe that it’s possible to tell profound and serious things with an appearance of lightness. Lightness is always or often considered a defect â€” we say this person is light or this work is light. As far as I’m concerned, I’d really like people to refer to my body of work as light. I think that would be a compliment, because the time we are living in is quite heavy. It’s weighing on us, so we might as well create light works. I just prefer uplifting people rather than weighing them down.
This week on the podcast, we attempt to judge a selection of upcoming films entirely on the basis of their trailers.
"Pitfall" (1962), never released in this country, was Teshigahara‘s feature debut after a decade of short documentaries, and it’s just as startling in its concept and its priorities as the film that famously followed. A miner and his son, escaping from slave-like employment, wander into the remains of a deunionized coal-mining town, followed by a company assassin and soon faced with the town’s population of company-murdered ghosts. The melodrama that plays out is strictly pro-labor and anti-corporate in ways with which any nation’s history â€” including ours â€” can sympathize, but with the extra added frisson provided by angry, meddling ghosts and more than a few puzzling doppelgangers. By itself, the ghost town and the surrounding mountainsides offer existentialist fuel aplenty, all of it restlessly, inventively shot by Teshigahara as if this were his first film and last â€” it is by a substantial nose the most impressive film debut of 1962, beating out, I dare say, even Tarkovsky’s "Ivan’s Childhood."
Matt Singer reviews "Interview": "The film places us in a room with two characters and their accumulated mishegas but it doesn’t have enough intellectual curiosity about them to keep our attention."
And Christopher Bonet has the round-up of what’s new in theaters.