CineSavant Column

Saturday March 5, 2022



I’ve been waiting for quite some time for a pro-Woman industry article that’s not out to indict the system … this one digs into a not-much-discussed corner of filmmaking history with good facts and a fair attitude. CineSavant associate Marc Edward Heuck often writes quality web essays for Quentin Tarantino’s Beverly Cinema, just down the road from CineSavant Central.

His post for February 28 New World Women is a thorough run-down on the women directors hired by Roger Corman’s production companies — New World, Concorde, New Horizons, etc. — from the ’70s forward. It’s an excellent primer on the progress of Corman’s woman assistant directors, production managers, and others who moved up to directing work. And it doesn’t shy away from explaining that not all of them fared well. Despite Roger’s industry halo for encouraging new talent, business and the bottom line always came first. Yes, working for Corman has been described as a kind of film school, but it can also be likened to skydiving lessons where you learn to sew your own parachute on the way down. Good article Marc, thanks.



What with an admired sister and several friends circulating in the world of libraries and archives, I was pleased to see an announcement for this Icarus Films Blu-ray or DVD of Alain Resnais: Five Short Films.

All five of Resnais’ shorts are excellent. For stylishness The Song of Styrene (Le chant do styrène) is a standout, a marvel of color and graphic brilliance. But every librarian ought to see All the World’s Memory (Toute la mémoire du monde).  I don’t think it’s even twenty minutes long, but Resnais’ tour of the National Library of France circa 1956 is just sensational. The glimpses of collections are terrific but the mind really boggles at the library’s organization and internal systems, all pre-digital, all labor intensive.

Alain Resnais’ feature films often centered on the nature of memory. He clearly reveres the library as a repository for man’s memories, his collective conscience. Toute la mémoire du monde is also viewable as an extra on Criterion’s 2009 Blu-ray of Last Year at Marienbad.



And yes, the Blu-ray for a certain ‘waspish’ sci-fi-horror flick is now In-House … expect a review presently.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson