- Monte Hellman, cult director of The Shooting (1966), Two-Lane Blacktop (1971) and Road to Nowhere (2010) has died. Hellman spoke with Notebook on several occasions about his films, decrying the committee-designed quality of new films while staying true to his own long-held principles: "I am aware of continually breaking rules."
- Léos Carax's first English-language film, the musical Annette, will be opening the 74th Cannes Film Festival on July 6th. The film will simultaneously be released in French cinemas.
- Two other Cannes titles have also been announced, having been selected for last year's postponed edition of the festival: Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch and Paul Verhoeven's Benedetta.
- Steven Soderbergh is undertaking the overwhelming creative task of staging this year's Oscars ceremony. As Soderbergh says, the project is "the walking definition of trying to build an airplane while it’s in the air."
- The TCM Classic Film Festival, which will take place from May 6 to 9 before heading to HBO Max, has announced its lineup. This year's roster includes a new short by Bill Morrison, let me come in, and the restoration of the 1935 French film Princess Tam Tam.
- Two new books by Satyajit Ray are set to be released in May, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of his birth. The first, Another Dozen Stories, is a short-story collection of "magical, bizzare and spooky stories" for children ages 9 and older. The second is 3 Rays: Stories from Satyajit Ray, a collection of previously unpublished autobiographical work.
- SPYFLIX, a new festival devoted to secrets and all the many ways to tell stories about them, launched April 18 and is currently streaming free.
- As part of its ongoing screening series, the Douglas Hyde Gallery is now streaming Elizabeth Subrin's Shulie (1997). With Shulamith Firestone (writer of The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution) as its protagonist, the film interweaves experimental and narrative forms to investigate the legacy of feminism.
- The official trailer for Carax's Annette. Based on an original story and featuring a score by the band Sparks (yes, Sparks), Annette stars Adam Driver and Marion as a stand-up comedian and opera star whose titular daughter possesses a "unique gift."
- Metrograph's trailer for the documentary Sisters with Transistors, which opens virtually on April 23. Directed by Lisa Rovner, the documentary follows several trailblazing women in electronic music, including Wendy Carlos, Carla Rockmore, and Suzanne Ciani.
- Barry Jenkins' limited series The Underground Railroad will premiere on Prime Video on May 14. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colson Whitehead, the series tells the story of two runaway slaves who attempt to ride the Underground Railroad—reimagined as a literal network of railroads—to freedom.
- Mati Diop has directed a dreamy, sultry new music video for her father Wasis Diop's song "Voyage à Paris."
- Cinelimite presents The World Seen and Dreamt: A Collection of Films from Espirito Santo, a series that focuses on short films produced in the Brazilian southeastern state of Espírito Santo from the silent era to the present-day.
- Ahead of the premiere of Paul Verhoeven's Benedetta at Cannes this summer, Studiocanal is releasing a 4K restoration of Basic Instinct.
- For the 20th anniversary of the cult comedy Freddy Got Fingered, Matthew Danger Lippman interviews Tom Green on the influence of David Cronenberg, David Lynch, and skateboarding on his distinct approach to comedy.
- Melissa Anderson reviews Jill Sprecher's debut film, the temp comedy Clockwatchers, which "keenly dissects the tenuousness of camaraderie forged among those deemed disposable."
- E. Alex Jung interviews Mads Mikkelsen, who shares his thoughts on an eclectic career that includes a music video for Rihanna, Casino Royale, and Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round.
- The excellent Great Beyond symposium at Reverse Shot continues with Jeff Reichert on Manoel de Oliveira's Francisca.
- In an interview with Josh Slater-Williams, director Makoto Tezuka discusses his musical comedy The Legend Of The Stardust Brothers, his father Osamu Tezuka, and Brian De Palma's The Phantom of the Paradise. The Legend Of The Stardust Brothers is currently streaming on MUBI.
- The latest issue of Photogénie includes essays on the intersecting lives of legendary actress Jennifer Jones and producer David O. Selznick, the "male English voice" in personal documentary, and opera diva Maria Callas's presence in the films of Werner Schroeter.
- For the Film Comment Podcast, critics Caden Mark Gardner and Willow Maclay, and filmmakers Isabel Sandoval and Jessica Dunn Rovinelli have come together for an essential roundtable on trans cinema.
- Florence Scott-Anderton's NTS series Sounds on Screen continues with a new mix that traces the lineage of the erotic thriller, from Showgirls by Paul Verhoeven to Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut.
RECENTLY ON THE NOTEBOOK
- For our own Soundtrack Mix series, Florence Scott-Anderton conducts a deep dark dive into the sleek, serious, and tranquil filmic music stylings of Trent Reznor.
- The Deuce Film Series and Sean Price Williams talk to Abel Ferrara about The Driller Killer, the porn industry, Michael Snow, and much more.
- Lois Patiño introduces his film Red Moon Tide, which is exclusively showing on MUBI in the series The New Auteurs.
- This month's commissioned movie poster is by Félix Charrier, who's made a poster for Matthew Porterfield's Cuatro paredes. The film is receiving its world premiere on MUBI starting April 13, 2021 in the Brief Encounters series.
- In her Notebook Primer on "Mermaid Cinema," Savina Petkova surveys the many films that feature mermaids and their distinct aquatic features.