Editorial | September 2022

THE WHALES OF AUGUST

I don’t know if you remember it, but The Whales of August was an extraordinary film by Lindsay Anderson. It was the penultimate film by the director and Bette Davis, as well as the last for Lillian Gish and Ann Sothern, who after 106 feature films to her credit, recently received an Oscar nomination for this, her last performance.

The Whales… is a film about the passage of time. The plot revolves around two sisters who always got along badly and meet again to spend a vacation in a cabin in Maine. The racconto of their memories lies in situ, their differences are exposed and they arrive at a reconciliation. In various trivia about the film it is said that Anderson told Gish that she had achieved a wonderful performance in a certain close-up, to which Bette Davis butted in and replied, “She should, she came up with them.”

Time passed quickly for the protagonists and apparently for ASL as well. From the previous editorial until now, the closures of the former Savoy cinema, then Arteplex, were announced, in which examples of a horrific denomination were exhibited, which is to consider a certain type of cinema as “art cinema”; later it was renamed Multiplex after its owners’ announcement to turn it into a cinema for commercial premieres of all kinds. The idea was tested, more popcorn was sold but the expectations that the movie theatres could continue operating were not reached. The news is sad, it is one more space in the movie theater circuit that is disappearing, and a window for small distributors that is closing. It will be increasingly difficult to see movies in the cinema.

The short time since the previous editorial also proved us right. In that text we talked about the platforms that acquire rights to films that are not interested in showing in theaters but are able to premiere on their platforms as soon as possible. Thus, Mubi premiered David Cronenberg’s new film at Lugones, in a single movie theater, without arranging with a distributor so that the film could be seen in as many movie theaters as possible and even in the interior of the country. The title deserved it, there was interest in seeing it, and after two weeks of exhibition, it ended up on the platform.

The same could be said of the long-awaited Argentina, 1985. It will premiere at festivals, then have a limited release of weeks in movie theaters to finally make the jump to the platform. Sony distributor decided to get out of managing the film and it ended up in the hands of another one: Digicine.

Regarding ASL specifically, last month we edited Dominio eminente. Teoría de la Clase B y la cultura tradicional en diáspora desde el otoño de la edad media by Ángel Faretta.

To our international readers who have inquired, we can inform you that the physical books by ASL editions can no longer only be purchased through our store worldwide, but in bookstores in Chile, Madrid and from now on also in Uruguay.

This month we will be returning to activities. We will be offering two courses, one of them De Palma x4 by Hernán Schell and the other, Italian Neorealism – Part I by Gustavo Castagna. The Renaissance and Baroque seminar by Ángel Faretta will be added in October.

We will also offer a free face-to-face activity that will be the presentation of  Dominio eminente. We will announce its date and time shortly.

September is a month full of international film festivals. We will cover the Venice Film Festival (La Biennale di Venezia), the San Sebastian Film Festival (SSFF) and the New York Film Festival (NYFF) in situ. Also, but locally, the German Film Festival, as we did this month with DocBuenosAires.

August passed, Davis and Gish watched it pass for years; they lived, survived and made up. In ASL are doing that in these dark times for theatrical movies, at least the movies we were used to seeing in the old days. It is time for the platforms, with their new business models, to understand that cinema has been conceived to be seen in movie theaters.

 

Shot from The Whales of August (Lindsay Anderson, 1987) with Bette Davis and Lillian Gish.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Also you can read...