It’s a slow season for new releases, so I’ve been going back for a few things that fell through the cracks. This week: Thorold Dickinson’s “Hill 24 Doesn’t Answer,” the second volume of “The Stan Laurel Collection” from Kino International and Paris’s Lobster Films, and another Chris Marker essay from Icarus, “Remebrance of Things to Come,” which includes a lovely short film by Yannick Bellon on Colette in her spiky old age.
In the meantime, thanks to Paul Fileri for the nice shout-out in “Film Comment.” Despite that curious lapse of taste, it’s an excellent issue, with Kent Jones on “Wall-E” (OK, I’ll admit it — it’s my favorite movie this summer, at least for its first forty, melancholic minutes) and Jonathan Rosenbaum ranking 26 Manoel de Oliveira features in precise order of importance. I can’t agree with Jonathan’s devaluation of “Francisca,” perhaps because it was the film that, back in 1981, introduced me to Oliveira — thanks to a prescient tribute to the man mounted all those years ago by Richard Pena at the Art Institute of Chicago. What has always intrigued me in Olivera is not so much his philosophy as the strongly foregrounded materialism that sets off the transcendentalism embedded in most of his fictions. “Francisca,” with its declamatory actors clomping around on overmiked wooden floors, is a prime example of his approach.