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March 2016 Sight & Sound March 2016 Sight & Sound

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Inside the mind of Charlie Kaufman – we delve lift the lid on the self-reflexive writer-director as he returns with the puppet-animated Anomalisa. Plus Hitchcock-Truffaut, Creed, Point Break and the Hollywood reboot, Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash, Netflix’s Making a Murderer and the S&S Interview with the great production designer Jack Fisk. Inside the mind of Charlie Kaufman – we delve lift the lid on the self-reflexive writer-director as he returns with the puppet-animated Anomalisa. Plus Hitchcock-Truffaut, Creed, Point Break and the Hollywood reboot, Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash, Netflix’s Making a Murderer and the S&S Interview with the great production designer Jack Fisk.
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Inside the mind of Charlie Kaufman – we delve lift the lid on the self-reflexive writer-director as he returns with the puppet-animated Anomalisa. Plus Hitchcock-Truffaut, Creed, Point Break and the Hollywood reboot, Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash, Netflix’s Making a Murderer and the S&S Interview with the great production designer Jack Fisk.

As our buoyantly expressive cover so boldly proclaims, the Sight & Sound March issue undertakes to delve into the head of Charlie ‘Being John Malkovich’ Kaufman, arguably contemporary American cinema’s most out-there writer and director – angst-ridden, wildly inventive explorer of interior continents and wrestler with the big themes of human identity and agency. His latest film Anomalisa is no exception, but with one glaring difference – it’s a stop-motion tale of a self-help author’s existential crisis made with high-tech dolls,  whose 3D printed features give eerie expression to the by-now trademark  anomie and dissociation. Jonathan Romney surveys the Kaufman oeuvre to date, while Nick Bradshaw chats with both Kaufman and doll-maker collaborator Duke Johnson.

Star Wars, Creed, Point Break – Hollywood seems awash with recycled properties reinventing well-known stories and characters for both new and nostalgic generations, but is this tendency more prolific than hitherto? And is it necessarily a bad thing? Nick Pinkerton ponders whether ‘pop culture is sagging under the burden of its own accumulated past’, and draws some surprising conclusions.

Film critic/programmer and S&S contributor Kent Jones’s absorbing documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut reconstructs the latter’s attempt to have the former recognised as a bona fide artist rather than mere light entertainer, which grew out of a series of interviews that took place mainly in 1962 and formed the spine of Truffaut’s book The Cinema According to Alfred Hitchcock, published in 1966. That book has become not only something of a classic of film criticism but also a how-to manual for budding film directors – as Jones’s film attests through interviews with Scorsese, Fincher, de Palma and other heavyweights. Henry K Miller explores Truffaut’s relationship with Hitchcock and the varied, shifting critical responses to his book, of which Jones’ film is the latest engaged and engaging example.

Following his international break-out I Am Love, Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash is a remake of Jacques Deray’s La Piscine; once again it explores conflicting desires and hidden dynamics within a small group of well-off people, but this time boasts a blistering performance from Ralph Fiennes as a motormouth rock impresario trying to win back his ex, played by Tilda Swinton. Guadagnino sat down with editor Nick James to discuss prioritising behaviour over drama in developing his scripts, and why he thinks auteur cinema is slowly morphing into narcissistic cinema.

Stepping out of cinema and into the world of TV, Eric Hynes ponders the seemingly unstoppable rise of long-form, episodic nonfiction, and particularly the case of ten-part, ten hour-plus Making a Murderer, the massively popular Netflix series that screened late last year. While the appetite for extended durations should be welcomed, does it represent a tailoring to the material’s essential shape, or merely an adaptation to the demands of new formats and presentation platforms?

We round off our features section this month with an interview with Jack Fisk, a colossus in the field of production design and recently nominated for a second Oscar for his work on The Revenant. Fisk looks back over a long career in which he’s worked with the likes of Lynch, de Palma and Paul Thomas Anderson, and discusses the challenges of of his preferred mode of working with the natural world, particularly nurtured during his long-term collaboration with Terrence Malick.

This month is also our annual obituary issue, where we bid a sad farewell to recently departed greats, who include Chantal Akerman, Haskell Wexler, Hara Setsuko and Wes Craven.

Our Films of the Month include ‘weird western’ Bone Tomahawk starring Kurt Russell, Chronic starring Tim Roth, and We Come as Friends, the new documentary by Darwin’s Nightmare director Hubert Sauper.

Inside the mind of Charlie Kaufman – we delve lift the lid on the self-reflexive writer-director as he returns with the puppet-animated Anomalisa. Plus Hitchcock-Truffaut, Creed, Point Break and the Hollywood reboot, Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash, Netflix’s Making a Murderer and the S&S Interview with the great production designer Jack Fisk.

As our buoyantly expressive cover so boldly proclaims, the Sight & Sound March issue undertakes to delve into the head of Charlie ‘Being John Malkovich’ Kaufman, arguably contemporary American cinema’s most out-there writer and director – angst-ridden, wildly inventive explorer of interior continents and wrestler with the big themes of human identity and agency. His latest film Anomalisa is no exception, but with one glaring difference – it’s a stop-motion tale of a self-help author’s existential crisis made with high-tech dolls,  whose 3D printed features give eerie expression to the by-now trademark  anomie and dissociation. Jonathan Romney surveys the Kaufman oeuvre to date, while Nick Bradshaw chats with both Kaufman and doll-maker collaborator Duke Johnson.

Star Wars, Creed, Point Break – Hollywood seems awash with recycled properties reinventing well-known stories and characters for both new and nostalgic generations, but is this tendency more prolific than hitherto? And is it necessarily a bad thing? Nick Pinkerton ponders whether ‘pop culture is sagging under the burden of its own accumulated past’, and draws some surprising conclusions.

Film critic/programmer and S&S contributor Kent Jones’s absorbing documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut reconstructs the latter’s attempt to have the former recognised as a bona fide artist rather than mere light entertainer, which grew out of a series of interviews that took place mainly in 1962 and formed the spine of Truffaut’s book The Cinema According to Alfred Hitchcock, published in 1966. That book has become not only something of a classic of film criticism but also a how-to manual for budding film directors – as Jones’s film attests through interviews with Scorsese, Fincher, de Palma and other heavyweights. Henry K Miller explores Truffaut’s relationship with Hitchcock and the varied, shifting critical responses to his book, of which Jones’ film is the latest engaged and engaging example.

Following his international break-out I Am Love, Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash is a remake of Jacques Deray’s La Piscine; once again it explores conflicting desires and hidden dynamics within a small group of well-off people, but this time boasts a blistering performance from Ralph Fiennes as a motormouth rock impresario trying to win back his ex, played by Tilda Swinton. Guadagnino sat down with editor Nick James to discuss prioritising behaviour over drama in developing his scripts, and why he thinks auteur cinema is slowly morphing into narcissistic cinema.

Stepping out of cinema and into the world of TV, Eric Hynes ponders the seemingly unstoppable rise of long-form, episodic nonfiction, and particularly the case of ten-part, ten hour-plus Making a Murderer, the massively popular Netflix series that screened late last year. While the appetite for extended durations should be welcomed, does it represent a tailoring to the material’s essential shape, or merely an adaptation to the demands of new formats and presentation platforms?

We round off our features section this month with an interview with Jack Fisk, a colossus in the field of production design and recently nominated for a second Oscar for his work on The Revenant. Fisk looks back over a long career in which he’s worked with the likes of Lynch, de Palma and Paul Thomas Anderson, and discusses the challenges of of his preferred mode of working with the natural world, particularly nurtured during his long-term collaboration with Terrence Malick.

This month is also our annual obituary issue, where we bid a sad farewell to recently departed greats, who include Chantal Akerman, Haskell Wexler, Hara Setsuko and Wes Craven.

Our Films of the Month include ‘weird western’ Bone Tomahawk starring Kurt Russell, Chronic starring Tim Roth, and We Come as Friends, the new documentary by Darwin’s Nightmare director Hubert Sauper.

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