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film

Diving into Steve McQueen’s audio-visual cosmos feels most of the time like a free fall into the far-flung corners of the depths of human existence. His critically acclaimed films such as 'Hunger', 'Shame' or '12 Years of Slave' are anything else than easy to digest, spanning from slavery, racism, sex addiction, self harming behavior to torture. And yet, his tangible and astounding multi-sensorial exploitation of mankind shows above all, our vulnerability  – and it’s beauty. The Tate Modern currently would present – under different, pre-corona circumstances – the work of this exceptional British artist and filmmaker. This range of installations, films and video art of the last 20 years is both, radically thought-provoking and dazzling poetic. Starting where his last exhibition at the ICA ended in 1999, this catalogue gives you the chance to see – not in real, but in a not less tactile version – an on-going search of this radical mind for the truth, albeit as he said in interview with BBC Radio 4: “…the most horrific things sometimes happen in the most beautiful places…I cannot put a filter on life. It’s about not blinking.” Buy...

When the New Yorker staff writer, Lillian Ross, met ‚le petite Truffaut‘, the French cinéaste, author, critic and pioneering film director of La Nouvelle Vague the fifth time in 1976, his English was surprisingly “terrific!”. Truffaut who seemed throughout resistant to pick up any English word far into his career, announced proudly that he had taken an intensive language course - which was basically reading the newspaper and watching the Watergate hearings on TV. Overwhelmed by the charming pronunciation Ross transcribed most of what he had to say phonetically for the magazine section 'Talk of Town': “To ze best of my recollection at zis point in time.” He could read books in English. “I read ‚Ze final Days,‘” he told us. “Extraordinaire!“ I also read 'I remember Eet Well,’ by Vincente Minelli. But cannot read ze novels in English. Ze vocabulaire! Ver-ee difficult!” The beautifully written texts by Lilian Ross, shifting between interview and portrait, give you a very personal, touching sight of this extraordinary filmmaker. During these five encounters, they talk about his latest movies, but also how he spends his vacation (mostly he sits by the pool of the Beverly Hills Hotel, not going into the pool, not playing tennis, just sitting there or, visiting his long-time friend Jean Renoir from time to time), life in general, while he regularly updates the incredible number of movies he has seen (by the time they caught up in 1976 Truffaut had watched 5450 movies from the age of 11 years!). This small pocket book of grand journalism leaves you with only one desire: that this should never end! Also you probably will have difficulties to decide who to love more: Lillian Ross or François Truffaut? Frankly, maybe it doesn't really have to end, find more of the Film Desk Books here. Buy...

Film Idea: Clip Clop⁠ A tap dancer on his cigarette break witnesses a murder, now he must go on the noisiest run for his life.⁠ ⁠ Film Idea: Pants Day A man is committed to spend the day in his pants even though the lion has escaped from the zoo and a killer is on the loose.⁠ ⁠ After getting a retweet from American comedian Rob Delaney regarding a fart joke (something Rob Delaney may well not remember) Babak Ganjei woke up to find a number of film producers from Los Angeles following him. Sensing an opportunity somewhere, anywhere, over the next five years Babak used Twitter to pitch film ideas, sadly to no avail. So unfortunately you won't find any of the many script ideas at the recent Berlinale. But maybe these absurd and comical streams of consciousness are not meant for the silver screen. Maybe they unfold their full power, their random creativity, their hopeless search for the big breakthrough, their uncovering of the workings of the movie business best in a notebook format.⁠ Curious what other brilliant minds have published their work within the Rough Trade Edition? Well, click here. Buy...

We have excellent news for all cinéastes among us. There is one more reason to indulge yourself in the 'stuff that dreams are made of' - the shining world of movies. While the Berlinale Film Festival is right around the corner, we are delighted to have 'rounded up the usual suspects' for you, cherishing our favourite magazines and books about cinema, film criticism and screenwriting. Our cinéaste collection will give you an ultimate close-up upon a great amount of printed matter dedicated to the cinematic realm. Do you fancy some evergreens? Check out the latest Cahiers du cinéma, Sound & Vision or even a collection of carefully selected reviews by film critic A.S. Hamrah. We can guarantee that no eye remains dry while sticking to his witty and astute writing style. Do you like to have things in order? Well, then we can recommend you an independent magazine named Shelf Heroes. One issue - one letter which leads you through cinema. Currently it’s ‚H‘ as Handmaiden, Harry Potter or Spike Jonze’s Her. You are falling for animation? Why not explore the history of phantasmagoria in Marimo’s Issue #2. So 'Why don't you come up sometime and see me?' as Mae West puts it, you will find us in technicolor and 3D. More...

When one of the last of his kind, the film critic and cinephile A.S. Hamrah ponders about the contemporary condition of his profession it’s both, touching and frightening. Hamrah surprises in The Earth dies Streaming with his sublime foresight. By describing the historical transformation of film criticism from his personal experience, readers cannot help but nod their heads over and over again. In times in which criticism is no longer directed against the mass media, but in which the masses diligently criticise - better: comment - through every available media channel, Hamrah sees the art of film criticism doomed to failure. And yet, what remains is a slightly shameful feeling of witnessing a last rebellion of a living fossil that turns its last lap of honour. Rightly so! Because what follows is a collection of film reviews he wrote for n+1 between 2002 and 2018. His astute, witty and polemical film reviews paired with a sharp tongue not only bring a tremendous reading pleasure but also shows what we will miss when the art of film criticism becomes a relic of bygone times. Buy...

Whether it is a representation of a Homeric moment, a snapshot of the hellish ten-year-old troublemaker Bart or a solemn intellectual disposition featuring Lisa, “A Final Companion To Books From The Simpsons” is a new volume about the books which appeared in The Simpsons. Assembled by French graphic designer Olivier Lebrun and published by Yellow Press, this final collection is displayed in faint yellow and shades of grey screenshot photos of book references that exist within the Simpsons universe, whether taken from real life or invented to suit the plot of the episode. From ‘Flander’s Bible” and “Fear of Flying”, to “Crazy Things Old Ladies Say” and “The Big Book of British Smiles”, to “Ein + 1 = 0”, “From Loser to User” to “Things Fall Apart” an anthology of 339 titles which appeared throughout the years in the legendary tv series. Buy...

Grandmother India and Markus Weisbeck/Surface release ‘A Formal Film in Nine Episodes’ by artist Mario Pfeifer. It’s part of Pfeifer’s film project of the same name. A critical reader publication, the ensemble of the book describes the contemporary Asian Metropolis from anthropological perspectives on the Greater Mumbai. In beautiful aesthetics it revisits the film’s intercultural, political, urban and film-historic themes, unveiling issues of class, dramatic urban changes and attitudes toward the ritual and the symbolic. More than words on paper, the pages and overall production design of this book simulate the film itself, using English and Hindi, three different printing techniques, and original colouring realised with the help of local printers and manufacturers. Buy...

Jonas Mekas is a champion of the poetic, experimental cinema of the post-WWII era. His impact on the development of American, and international cinema in general is notable through and through ever since he left his natal country, Lithuania and established in 1954 the publication Film Culture, and then in 1970 the Film Makers Cooperative. His mission was to ‘take a sword and become a self-appointed minister of defense and propaganda of the New Cinema.’ Something he pretty much accomplished with his detailed documentation and critical writings about the industry. The crux of his observations are recorded in a lengthy journal from which Conversations with Film-Makers is extracted. 60 conversations are transcribed into this book along with photos and stills from Mekas films, letters and passages from scripts, all of which capture the throbbing pulse of the New Cinema’s best of days. Buy...