30 Films to See This Weekend: Vincent Gallo, David Cronenberg, Wes Anderson, Stanley Kubrick + More

Sundays may be a “wan, stuff shadow of a robust Saturday” or a day of “forced leisure for folks who have no aptitude for leisure,” but a weekend is still a weekend. We wait for the pleasure of a Friday night, knowing the burdens of the work week have a brief respite, and what better way to indulge seeing some great films—be it new to you treasures or your favorite classics. And this weekend from BAM and MoMA to The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Nitehawk Cinema there are more than enough wonderful films showing for you to happily disappear into. Here are 30 films that have us running straight to the theater.

***FRIDAY, JUNE 19***

EDEN, Mia Hansen-Love
IFC Center

In early ’90s France, a young DJ works tirelessly to capture a sound “between euphoria and melancholy.” But as garage house music begins to catch fire across the globe, he finds himself unable to capitalize on its success (unlike his friends in a group called Daft Punk). Based on the experiences of her brother (and co-writer) Sven, Hansen-Løve’s (Goodbye First Love) intimate epic offers a lyrical snapshot of changing tastes and times—and a killer soundtrack. With Greta Gerwig. Official selection: Toronto, New York Film Festivals

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SCREAM, Wes Craven
IFC Center

“Wes Craven draws on a shared pop cultural heritage in horror flicks to fashion this bloody brand of post-modern comedy. ‘So you like scary movies? Name the killer in Friday the 13th?’ demands the anonymous caller of Barrymore’s lone teen in the prologue. ‘Hang up again and I’ll gut you like a fish!’ The killer describes his apparently irrational vendetta against the high school population of Woodsboro as a game, and in this he’s surely speaking for screenwriter Kevin Williamson and director Craven, who kill off the clichés and all the wrong characters with panache. At times, it’s too clever, but it’s sure scary, with the jokes notching up the general level of hysteria. As a bonus, Craven throws in half a dozen of Hollywood’s brightest hopefuls: Neve Campbell in the central role of the teenager haunted by the murder of her mother; David Arquette as a naive local deputy; Courtney Cox as a TV star; Rose McGowan as the doomed best friend; and Skeet Ulrich as the evocatively named Billy Loomis. Intelligence, wit and sophistication – at last, a horror movie to shout about!” – Time Out (London)

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MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION, Douglas Sirk
MoMA

In Douglas Sirk’s delirious remake of a John M. Stahl adaptation, a millionaire playboy (Rock Hudson) fervently devotes himself to the widow (Jane Wyman) whose husband’s death he recklessly caused. A worshipful Rainer Werner Fassbinder noted that, for Sirk, “you can’t make films about things, you can only make films with things, with people, with light, with flowers, with mirrors, with blood, in fact with all the fantastic things which make life worth living.” Sirk’s classicism (he was an intelligent and passionate reader of Ancient Greek drama), the expressive power of his mise-en-scène and his ability to find tenderness through melodramatic artifice, made him exquisitely attuned to Technicolor’s potential for irony and tragedy. A Sight and Sound critic has also noted “Russell Metty’s contrary use of Technicolor: we get deep menstrual reds, chalky blues, felt greens and tweedy greys, but mostly as spots of color on a largely monochromatic canvas.”

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CAPTAIN LIGHTFOOT, Douglas Sirk
MoMA

Douglas Sirk’s remarkable and infrequently screened picture is a 19th-century period piece, shot on location in Ireland to evoke (as the film’s opening titles put it) a country “of deep, black rivers and red-coated dragoons riding through a land bitter with resistance against foreign rule, the Ireland of secret societies and highwaymen on the Dublin road, the Ireland of dark deeds performed with a light heart.” Indeed, there is a lightness and wry intelligence that animates this story about the adventures of a young revolutionary. “Rock Hudson was playing comedy,” Sirk once noted in an interview, “and I realized his talents might lie there.”

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GOODFELLAS, Martin Scorsese
Film Forum

“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster,” narrates Ray Liotta’s Irish/Italian Henry Hill. And in Scorsese’s adaptation of this true story (based on the book Wiseguy by co-screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi), from teenage car parker to drug dealer to government squealer, this is total immersion into the Mafia world: the legendary single shot entrance to the Copacabana through the back door, the kitchens, and right to a magically appearing front row table; the impromptu late night meal at Joe Pesci’s mother’s place (played by Catherine Scorsese, Marty’s mom) when Liotta, Pesci, and Robert De Niro, stuck with a hot corpse, drop by for a shovel and a kitchen knife; where “What do you mean I’m funny?,” “Now go home and get your shinebox”, and De Niro’s casual invitation to Liotta’s fiery wife Lorraine Bracco to pick out a few Dior dresses, can be anything from a blood-chilling threat to a cue for sudden murder to a cheap gag; to Liotta’s last day as a hood, where an onslaught of frenetic visuals and nonstop pop hit fragments recreate the state of a strung-out cokehead. On numerous best of the year — and decade — lists, and nominated for 6 Academy Awards, winning only Best Supporting Actor for Pesci’s killer, so loathsome even his bloody comeuppance’s just not enough. Plus a memorable turn by Paul Sorvino as a pasta-making Don.

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APARAJITO, Satyajit Ray
Film Forum

As death depletes the family, Apu (now played by Smaran Ghosal) and his mother move to Benares, and the now-young man discovers electricity, the working of the heavens, the delights of poetry, and his entrance to University—as well as his own growing sense of responsibility for the mother who has always cared for him.

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BUFFALO ’66, Vincent Gallo
Anthology Film Archives

For his directorial debut, actor and frequent Claire Denis collaborator Vincent Gallo made the exceedingly unusual decision to shoot on 35mm color reversal stock, giving the film a subtly distinctive look that, along with its fine performances, Cassavetes-inflected camerawork and textures, and unique tone, made it clear that this was not a typical vanity project. Gallo stars as a recently released convict who, en route to Buffalo to visit his family, kidnaps a young woman, Layla (Ricci), and forces her to pose as his wife. Strangely sanguine about the kidnapping, Layla gradually forms an unusual bond with her captor. BUFFALO ’66 displays Gallo’s unique combination of disaffected cool and emotional rawness, and features an incredible supporting cast that includes Mickey Rourke, Rosanna Arquette, Ben Gazzara, and Anjelica Huston.

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NEVER TOO YOUNG TO ROCK, Dennis Abbey
Anthology Film Archives

This bizarre but delightful Glam Rock extravaganza brings together a plethora of then-popular bands, including Mud, The Glitter Band, Scott Fitzgerald, The Rubettes, Slik, and Bob Kerr’s Whoopee Band (less a who’s who! than a who’s who?). Featuring performances by all of the above, as well as cameos from Freddie Jones, Herman’s Hermits-member Peter Noone, and more, NEVER TOO YOUNG embeds the whole thing in a story involving a near-future dystopia in which pop music has been banned from TV in the UK. A young man named Hero (Peter Denyer) and his driver (Jones) convert an old ice cream van into a Group Detector Van, and travel around Britain in search of groups to play at a huge concert. Has to be seen to be believed!

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THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION, Penelope Spheeris
BAM

The ultimate record of LA’s 80s punk subculture, The Decline of Western Civilization captured the essence of the scene, providing a front row seat to the mosh pits, violence, humor, and anti-establishment view of the world, as well as unparalleled access to some of the most influential and innovative musicians and groups of all time, including X, Circle Jerks, Black Flag, Fear, and Germs. Largely unknown to the mainstream world at the time, many of the punk bands first seen here have become legendary. This time capsule of a singular moment in rock history is highly-celebrated and has been in demand for decades by fans worldwide.

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***SATURDAY, JUNE 20***

HOUSE, Nobuhiko Obayashi
IFC Center

Ad-man extraordinaire Nobuhiko Obayashi’s 1977 head-trip is part psychedelic ghost yarn, part stream-of-consciousness bedtime story, part Scooby Doo by way of Dario Argento. The hallucinatory tale centers on a schoolgirl who travels with six classmates to her ailing aunt’s creaky country home, where she comes face to face with evil spirits, bloodthirsty pianos, and a demonic housecat.

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THE I DON’T CARE GIRL, Lloyd Bacon
MoMA

A celebrity beyond all measure in vaudeville America, Eva Tanguay commanded salaries equal only to Houdini, Caruso, and Jolson, and left screaming crowds and lovers in her wake. Memorably described by the English aesthete Aleister Crowley as “starry chaste…in her colossal corruption,” Tanguay is the subject of this Hollywood biopic musical. Though the strands of her devil-may-care career are more chaste than corrupt in the telling, the film succeeds brilliantly on the dance floor, with abstract, jazzy numbers choreographed by Jack Cole and Seymour Felix. (Look for an uncredited Gwen Verdon and Julie Newmar backing Mitzi Gaynor in the “Beale Street Blues” routine.) Fox studio head Darryl F. Zanuck reportedly cut some of the dance sequences, but thankfully preserved Gaynor’s feathery conflagration in “I Don’t Care.”

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SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, Stanley Donen
MoMA

Arguably the greatest MGM musical of all time—presented here in a rare dye-transfer 35mm print—Singin’ in the Rain is also a marvelous movie about moviemaking, set during Hollywood’s bumpy transition to the talkies in the late 1920s. A 28-year-old Stanley Donen (who began his career as a dancer) and Gene Kelly artfully capture bodies in motion through graceful camera movements and a wash of diaphanous colors during the film’s dreamily romantic sequences, and eye-popping yellows, greens, and reds to accentuate moments of comic absurdity, joy, or sexual tension.

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AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, Vincente Minnelli
MoMA

1951. USA. Directed by Vincente Minnelli. Screenplay by Alan Jay Lerner. Music by George and Ira Gershwin. With Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Nina Foch. Vincente Minnelli’s canonical musical is an exhilarating interpretation of the Gershwin songbook, starring Gene Kelly as a bohemian expatriate living in Montmartre on the G.I. Bill, and painting in anonymity, while romantically torn between the beautiful and gamine Leslie Caron and his benefactress, the rich and stable art collector Nina Foch. The film’s climactic 17-minute ballet sequence, one of the most expensive and sophisticated dance numbers ever produced in Hollywood (and ingeniously photographed by John Alton), features Kelly and Caron in a pas de deux on sets that magically transform themselves into paintings by masters of French modernism, Dufy, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Rousseau, and Utrillo. 35mm print from the Academy Film Archive; courtesy Warner Bros. 113 min.

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PATHER PANCHALI, Satyajit Ray
Film Forum

In a poor Bengal village, Mom tries to hold things together while dreamy Dad looks for work, daughter Durga is accused of stealing, aged “Auntie” (82-year-old former actress Chunibala Devi) eats more than her share, while the young Apu (8-year-old Subir Bandopadhyay) drinks it all in — including the memorable run through the field of waving grasses for his first sight of a train.

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THE BROOD, David Cronenberg
Nitehawk Cinema

Nola Carveth (Samantha Eggar) is finally getting help. After spending years trying to overcome a childhood of abuse, Nola begins seeing Dr. Hal Raglan (Oliver Reed) after her husband, Frank, threatens to take away custody of her daughter. Raglan practices an unconventional therapy method where mental disturbances are released through physical changes in the body. The therapy isn’t perfect, for starters, anyone who crosses Nola meets a grizzly end at the hands of a seemingly endless stream of angry, toothless, asexual murder-happy children. As the bodies begin piling up, Frank begins investigating the source of these kill-crazy kiddies and all signs point to trouble brewing between Nola and Dr. Raglan.

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EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY, Julien Temple
NItehawk Cinema

These dates are out of this world! 1980s SoCal gets spoofed in this aliens-meet-humans campy affair starring Jeff Goldblum. Bright and colorful, Earth Girls Are Easy plays on the shallowness of Los Angeles (I mean, like, the aliens land in the Valley of all places) as the three stranded furry extraterrestrials navigate this strange new land after landing in a backyard pool. Of course there’s also a love story that centers around Goldblum’s alien and engaged manicurist Valerie (played by Geena Davis) who, after shaving him discovers a real hunk. Duh. –

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TWO-LANE BACKTOP, Monte Hellman
Anthology Film Archives

“Taylor and Wilson are the drivers of a supercharged ’55 Chevy, and Oates is the owner of a new GTO; they meet and agree to race from New Mexico to the east coast, though an assortment of side interests periodically distracts them, including various hitchhikers (among them Laurie Bird). (GTO hilariously assumes a new persona every time he picks up a new passenger, rather like the amorphous narrator in Wurlitzer’s novel NOG.) The movie starts off as a narrative but gradually grows into something much more abstract – it’s unsettling but also beautiful.” –Jonathan Rosenbaum, CHICAGO READER

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NOSTALGHIA, Andrei Tarkovsky
Anthology Film Archives

This brooding late masterpiece by Tarkovsky, his penultimate feature film, is a darkly poetic vision of exile. It was the first of his features to be made outside of Russia, the home to which he would never return. According to Tarkovsky, in Russian the word “nostalghia” conveys “the love for your homeland and the melancholy that arises from being far away.” This debilitating form of homesickness is embodied in the film by Andrei, a Russian intellectual doing research in Italy. Written with frequent Michelangelo Antonioni collaborator Tonino Guerra, NOSTALGHIA is a mystical and mysterious collision of East and West, shot with the tactile beauty unique to Tarkovsky.

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***SUNDAY, JUNE 21***

THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, Wes Anderson
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

Father issues are never far away in a Wes Anderson film, but they’re perhaps most explicit in The Royal Tenenbaums, a multi-generational mosaic of comic dysfunction. Reprobate Royal (Gene Hackman at his latter-day peak) long ago abandoned his family of child prodigies, and in his absence the offspring have grown into unfulfilled neurotics: widowed financial genius Chas (Ben Stiller), obsessed with the well-being of his sons; adopted daughter Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow), a frustrated playwright; and failed tennis pro Richie (Luke Wilson), who secretly pines for Margot. A compendium of Anderson themes and tropes: stylized production design, vintage soundtrack, and droll performances, capped by Hackman’s wily turn as the manipulative patriarch.

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THERE WAS A FATHER, Yasujiro Ozu
IFC Center

Yasujiro Ozu’s frequent leading man Chishu Ryu is riveting as Shuhei, a widowed high school teacher who finds that the more he tries to do what is best for his son’s future, the more they are separated. Though primarily a delicately wrought story of parental love, THERE WAS A FATHER offers themes of sacrifice that were deemed appropriately patriotic by Japanese censors at the time of its release during World War II, making it a uniquely political film in Ozu’s body of work. – Janus Films

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DEVIL’S ADVOCATE, Taylor Hackford
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

It’s The Firm meets Rosemary’s Baby: hotshot Florida attorney Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) is lured to New York City by the promise of riches from senior partner John Milton (Al Pacino). Any similarity to the name of the Paradise Lost scribe is no coincidence, as Milton reveals a diabolical agenda for Lomax and his young wife, Mary Ann (Charlize Theron, in a full-blooded, career-launching role). Pacino’s performance as a ripsnorting father figure (or perhaps something more sinister…) is outsized enough to make his work in Scarface look restrained, yet his pyrotechnics are right at home in this deliciously lurid tale. Features a scorching turn by Connie Nielsen (Gladiator) as Kevin’s seductive office mate as well as an operatic new twist on selling your soul.

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THE STEPFATHER, Joseph Ruben
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

Outwardly comforting and handy around the house, Jerry Blake (Terry O’Quinn) excels at charming widows and insinuating himself into their family units. But when they fall short of his expectations, they’re made to pay dearly. His new ready-made clan consists of Seattle widow Susan (Charlie’s Angels’ Shelley Hack) and her teenage daughter Stephanie (scream-queen Jill Schoelen), who suspects something sinister beneath his wholesome, birdbath-building façade. Long before embodying the mystical John Locke on Lost, O’Quinn garnered universal praise for his riveting work here as a man so desirous of the perfect family that he’s willing to kill for it.

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THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, Charles Laughton
Museum of the Moving Image

Dir. Charles Laughton. 1955, 92 mins. 35mm restored print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Restoration funding provided by The Film Foundation. With Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish. Acting legend Charles Laughton’s sole screen directorial credit is perhaps cinema’s most remarkable one-off. Creepy preacher Harry Powell (a never-more-menacing Mitchum) offers naive widow Willa Harper (Winters) a fresh start, but her kids rightly worry his intentions are less than pure. Part horror film, part fairy tale, The Night of the Hunter is an idiosyncratic, dazzlingly shot cinematic wonder.

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EYES WITHOUT A FACE, Georges Franju
Museum of the Moving Image

Dir. Georges Franju. 1960, 88 mins. 35mm. With Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli, Juliette Mayniel, Edith Scob. Working in his secluded French chateau, a brilliant but mad doctor tries radical plastic surgery to restore his beautiful daughter’s face, which was disfigured by a car accident that he caused. This “classic example of the poetry of terror” (Dave Kehr) is at once horrifying and filled with stunningly beautiful images.

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THE SHINING, Stanley Kubrick
Museum of the Moving Image

Dir. Stanley Kubrick. 1980, 144 mins. 35mm. With Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd. Rivers of blood spew from an elevator. The ghosts of two girls beckon in a hallway. An axe blasts through a bathroom wall to get at the terrified woman inside. With one macabre image after another, Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s tale of a caretaker driven mad in a cavernous hotel during an isolated Colorado winter is a landmark of art horror. A visionary child is pitted against a murderous father, but the real protagonist of Kubrick’s horror masterpiece is the haunted resort hotel.

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LITTLE WOMEN, Mervyn LeRoy
MoMA

Awash in nostalgia and tears, this lavish remake of Louisa May Alcott’s Civil War–era tale of domesticity and coming of age features some of MGM’s biggest young stars as the irrepressible March sisters, including a luminous Elizabeth Taylor in her last adolescent role. Little Women won the team of Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse (a specialist of 19th-century interiors), Edwin Willis and Jack Moore an Academy Award for Art Direction/Set Decoration—an uncredited George Jenkins modeled the March house on Alcott’s own home in Concord, Massachusetts—and Robert H. Planck and Charles Edgar Schoenbaum were justly nominated for their Victorian-hued Technicolor cinematography.

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THE YEARLING, Clarence Brown
MoMA

Told with extraordinary sensitivity, depth, and visual beauty, The Yearling brings to the screen Rawling’s Pulitzer–winning tale about a boy and his beloved pet fawn in late 1800s Florida scrub country. Director Clarence Brown comes by his emotions honestly, coaxing understated yet moving performances from Peck, Wyman and an astonishingly self-assured 10-year-old Jarman, Jr. The film’s theme of innocence and experience—and its sense of enchantment, even mysticism, in a harsh and unforgiving landscape—is exquisitely evoked in the film’s cinematography (Charles Rosher, Leonard Smith, Arthur Arling) and art direction (Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse, Edwin B. Willis), both of which garnered Academy Awards. The great Charles Rosher, who began his career in the silent era as Mary Pickford’s favorite cameraman (and also shot F. W. Murnau’s Sunrise with Karl Freund), figures prominently in this exhibition as one of Technicolor’s premier artists; he made of The Yearling a study in chromatic contrasts of vibrant yellow and red (life) and cool blue (death), while also embracing Clarence Brown’s instinct to photograph the actors’ faces naturalistically, without makeup.

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DREADNAUGHT, Yuen Woo-ping
Anthology Film Archives

Yuen Biao (DRAGONS FOREVER) and Leung Kar Yan (THE VICTIM) star as young men seeking to learn kung fu from a legendary master. Meanwhile, a crazed kung fu killer named White Tiger is randomly putting on spooky makeup and unleashing his martial arts skills on unsuspecting victims. It’s up to the two young men to stop White Tiger, but not until they master laundry-fu, and fight a mysterious double-faced villain. Featuring Yuen Biao’s acrobatic skills, a jaw-dropping kung fu lion-dance sequence, and some of the most incredible martial arts choreography ever put on film.

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APUR SANSAR, Satyajit Ray
Film Forum

Struggling writer Apu — now an adult and played by Ray’s perennial star Soumitra Chatterjee — ends up substituting in an arranged marriage with Sharmila Tagore — then 14, and a distant relative of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, an important Ray influence — but even as love comes, tragedy looms; but Apu finds in his son the promise of new life.

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THE ENTITY, Sidney J. Furie
Anthology Film Archives

Despite what would seem to be a singularly unpromising if not blatantly offensive concept for a mainstream Hollywood horror movie – a middle-class single mother (Barbara Hershey) is repeatedly raped by an unseen supernatural force – THE ENTITY is an exceptionally accomplished film. Deeply disturbing but also genuinely perceptive, it ultimately qualifies as a near-feminist work, with Hershey having to battle not only against the mysterious force that’s persecuting her but also against a male-dominated culture that refuses to give her story any credence. THE ENTITY features an astonishing performance of great dignity from Hershey, above all during the remarkable sequences between her and a sympathetic psychiatrist played by Ron Silver, which comprise such serious and frank discussions of sexuality that they could only have reached the multiplex by being smuggled in under cover of genre filmmaking.

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