The Best Film Events, Series, and Retrospectives Happening in New York This May

Film

Although the weather may be toying with your hearts and wardrobes, May is but a few days away. As we begin to shed our late spring layers, a new cinematic year begins to unfold as some of the most highly-anticipated films of 2015 screen at the Cannes Film Festival come May 13. Stateside, the spring and summer season is also rife with premieres we’re excited to experience. But amidst all the new films on the horizon, it’s a treat to slip away into the past for a bit and catch up on a wealth of rare and fantastic work that isn’t playing at your local multiplex. From IFC Center and The Film Society of Lincoln Center to BAM and Anthology Film Archives and more, April is the perfect month to indulge in myriad retrospectives, screenings, and events.

So whatever your film fancy, peruse our list and start planning out your viewing schedule now. Enjoy.

***IFC CENTER***

**comfortsubsample

Celluloid Dreams, Ongoing

With the rise of digital technology, 35mm film prints have become an increasing rarity. IFC Center’s new ongoing series offers the chance to see classics and rediscoveries projected exclusively on their original celluloid format on the big screen. “Celluloid Dreams” hopes to stem the digital tide, and remind viewers there really is emotion in the emulsion. Don’t miss the chance to see these great films on film before it’s too late! Series programmed by C. Mason Wells.

The Comfort of Strangers

+ read more 

Queer/Art/Film: Black Summer Nights, May 11th through August 17th

“This summer Queer/Art/Film is excited to present “Black Summer Nights,” a celebration of queer African-American artists and their unique role in shaping American culture and history. We’ve handed the reins over to our special guest curators, filmmaker Stephen Winter and poet Pamela Sneed, who have selected four luminary African-American New York queer artists and will lead audiences in rousing and riveting post-screening discussions.”

+ read more 

Waverly Midnights, Ongoing

A rotating selection of some of our most popular midnight movie offerings. All shows free for Auteur-level members.

Mad Max
Blue Velvet
House

+ read more 

Deneuve x 8, through June 7th

“Imperious, perverse, remote, and radiant, Catherine Deneuve is a monument to French poise and pulchritude. Francois Truffaut, Luis Bunuel, and Roman Polanski are among the Continental auteurs who have been captivated by her. Now, the IFC Center honors her with ‘Deneuve x 8′, a program of her best-known films.” – The New York Times

The Young Girls of Rochefort
Repulsion
The Last Metro

+ read more 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

***BAM***

800__pina_blu-ray_05_

3D in the 21st Century, May 1st through 17th

The unprecedented resurgence of 3D in the last decade has expanded the visual and emotional possibilities of cinema in frequently wondrous—and sometimes divisive—new ways. At its best, the technology creates almost hallucinatory immersive landscapes and retina-dazzling surprises with an immediate visceral impact. From big-budget blockbusters to high-concept mind-benders by arthouse icons, this first-of-its-kind series surveys recent films that showcase the full range of stereoscopic cinema’s expressive potential.

Goodbye to Language
Pina
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Step Up 3D

+ read more 

Artists, Amateurs, Alternative Spaces: Experimental Cinema in Eastern Europe, 1960-1990, May 19th through 28th

Amid postwar disillusionment in the system and waves of enthusiasm for socialism, experimental filmmaking in Eastern Europe flourished from the 1960s through the 1980s. Defying genre conventions despite the risk of censorship, artists used alternative spaces such as amateur film clubs, festivals, and funded studios to create independent work and experiment with early video practices.

Innocence Unprotected
Reminisces of a Journey to Lithuania
Shorts

+ read more 

John Schaefer presents The Man Who Fell to Earth, May 7th

Soundcheck host John Schaefer joins philosopher Simon Critchley (author of the recently published book Bowie) for a conversation about the film that made David Bowie a screen icon. A human-like alien (played by alien-like human Bowie) crash lands on Earth to retrieve water for his planet, but instead discovers pain, loneliness, and the sick soul of American society. Nicolas Roeg’s science fiction mind-bender is a provocative parable about diseased capitalism in a television-obsessed culture told in a swirl of hallucinatory imagery.

+ read more 

Arun Venugopal presents I Vitelloni, May 8th

Micropolis creator Arun Venugopal presents an early-career triumph by one of his favorite filmmakers, Italian cinema legend Federico Fellini. This bittersweet buddy film follows five aimless young men dreaming, scheming, and chasing girls in a small seaside village. Featuring music by Nino Rota, this semi-autobiographical character study is full of Fellini’s robust humor and poetic touches, all cloaked in a poignant haze of nostalgia. “It’s my favorite Fellini film, possibly his most personal effort and by far his funniest.” —Andrew Sarris

+ read more

David Garland presents Naked Lunch, May 6th

Movies on the Radio and Spinning on Air host David Garland comes to BAM to discuss the work of three-time Academy Award-winning film composer Howard Shore, who wrote the music for this brilliant mind-melter. A writer and cockroach exterminator (Weller) gets hooked on his own insecticide, accidentally kills his wife, and winds up in the frighteningly surreal Interzone, where typewriters transform into giant talking bugs and shadowy agents peddle a drug called The Black Meat. William S. Burroughs’ bizarro Beat novel finds its perfect interpreter in David Cronenberg, who brings it to the screen with all its weirdness and melancholy fully intact.

+ read more

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

***ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES***

900__johnny_guitar_blu-ray_3_

Written by Philip Yordan, May 15th through 24th

From 1945, when his script for a Monogram gangster flick was nominated for an Academy Award, until the early 1960s, when he wrote a series of overbaked Europudding epics, Philip Yordan was one of the most prominent screenwriters in Hollywood. Capable of turning out multiple scripts a year, Yordan worked in every genre from science fiction to melodrama, and with everyone from Anthony Mann to Joseph Mankiewicz. He was also a total fraud.

Johnny Guitar
Blowing Wind
The Big Combo

+ read more 

Rain the Color of Blue With a Little Red In It, May 8th through 10th

Anthology is very pleased to welcome filmmaker Christopher Kirkley to present three screenings of his film AKOUNAK TEDALAT TAHA TAZOUGHAI. Alongside these special screenings we’re showcasing some of the film’s influences including PURPLE RAIN, THE HARDER THEY COME, and two Jean Rouch films: MOI, UN NOIR and JAGUAR.

Purple Rain
The Harder They Come
Moi, Un Noir

+ read more 

Downtown New York Theater: Behind the Scenes, May 14th through 17th

For this weekend-long program, Anthology celebrates three of NYC’s most acclaimed and important avant-garde theater companies – Elevator Repair Service, Nature Theater of Oklahoma, and The Wooster Group – with screenings of several behind-the-scenes documentaries chronicling the creation of some of their most extraordinary productions. Taken together, the films demonstrate the astonishing creativity and inventiveness of these three companies in particular, as well as the craft of theater in general: the grindingly hard work, the endless repetition, the collaborative effort, the balance between spontaneity and discipline, and the mysterious relationship between onstage and off, all of which culminate in the heightened moment of live performance.

The Wooster Group
Elevator Repair Service
Nature Theater of Oklahoma

+ read more

This Is Celluloid: 35MM, May 29th through June 21st 

As the medium of celluloid (or more accurately but far less evocatively, polyester) is rapidly pushed towards obsolescence, and the new digital standard, DCP, continues to invade not only the world’s multiplexes but also those repertory theaters and museums devoted to screening movies from the art form’s first century, Anthology stands fast in its commitment to keeping 35mm and 16mm and 8mm alive! Though our devotion to screening films in their original formats holds true throughout our programming, we’ve decided the moment is right to present a series designed specifically to highlight the unique beauty (which DCP can approximate, but never equal) of celluloid, and to celebrate the exquisite textures, glorious colors, and unique qualities of light that are becoming a tragically rare sight on our cinema’s screens in the 21stcentury.

M
The Masque of Red Death
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

+ read more 

Journey to the West, May 5th through 7th

Following his 2013 feature film STRAY DOGS, Taiwanese auteur Tsai Ming-liang (VIVA L’AMOUR, THE RIVER, THE HOLE) threatened to retire from filmmaking. Happily, that sad state of affairs has been postponed, with the appearance of JOURNEY TO THE WEST, the latest and longest in Tsai’s series of films focusing on the figure of the Walker. Previously seen in six short films, the Walker is a carmine-robed monk, played by Tsai’s perpetual lead actor and muse, Lee Kang-sheng, and loosely based on the life of Xuanzang, a seventh-century Buddhist monk who painstakingly traversed Asia for seventeen years in search of “the void.” Moving through various landscapes, both urban and natural, with eyes downcast and palms upwards, the Walker proceeds at an excruciatingly slow, nearly imperceptible pace, his brilliant red vestments and near-stillness transfiguring the environments through which he travels. Taking slow-cinema to its logical extreme, and embodying with utter conviction Buddhist notions of time and existence, the Walker films are profoundly serene and contemplative, and highly revealing in their depiction of the reactions of innocent passersby to Lee’s radically detached presence.

+ read more 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

***MUSEUM OF THE MOVING IMAGE***

RosemarysBabyGrab01

Horror Mother’s Day & Horror Father’s Day, May 10 through June 21st

The primal bond between parent and child are undeniable, and are at the heart of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, which are observed on Sundays in May and June as though they are national holidays. For anyone looking for an alternative to Hallmark sentimentality, or for those parents—or non-parents—with great taste in movies and an appetite for horror, here are six classic movies to mark the occasions.

Psycho
Rosemary’s Baby
Eyes Without a Face

+ read more

O Brazil: Contemporary Brazilian Cinema, May 8th through June 19th

O Brazil continues witha slate of recent films about musicbut not the kind you would expect from Brazil. Whether as a source of inspiration for the story, such as the music by Legiao Urbana in Brazilian Western; or a part of the everyday soundtrack in a film about everyday life (She Comes Back on Thursday); or as a vehicle for profound change, such as the Brazilian punk in After the Rain; music is ever-present and profoundly bound to narrative in these films.

After the Rain
She Comes Back on Thursday

+ read more 

Portraying the Human Condition: The Films of Masaki Kobayashi and Tatsuya Nakadai, May 15 through 24th

Legend has it that the director Masaki Kobayashi (1916–1996) discovered the young actor Tatsuya Nakadai working as a shop clerk in Tokyo and, casting him in a small part in his film The Thick-Walled Room (1953), gave Nakadai his first role, initiating one of the most legendary collaborations in all of Japanese cinema. “Nakadai embodied postwar individualism and youth culture—in his clear enunciation and strong, deep speaking voice and in his expressive body movements, facial mobility, and willingness to convey deeply felt emotions, rather than repressing them on behalf of an outworn notion of samurai dignity,” wrote film historian Joan Mellen. This perfectly suited Kobayashi, a pacifist who had suffered for his convictions during World War II. Summarizing his work, he said “All of my pictures are concerned with resisting entrenched power. I suppose I have always challenged authority.” Nakadai, returning to Museum of the Moving Image for the third time, now realizes a dream of revisiting his collaborations with Kobayashi, including their anti-war masterpiece, the ten-hour trilogy The Human Condition.

Black River
The Inheritance
Kwaidan

+ read more

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

***THE FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER***

SaintLaurent4_zpseae66279

I Put a Spell on You: The Films of Bertrand Bonello, through May 4th

Few filmmakers working currently are as skilled as Bonello at grounding wide-angle social critiques in the physical movement of bodies through space: a couple trapped in winter gridlock; an aging pornographer and his much younger stars; a commune of revolutionary hedonists; a house of 19th-century prostitutes; a psychotic aesthete and the object of his desire; a fashion designer and his rotating coterie of friends and admirers. A trained composer, Bonello approaches his movies like pieces of music, allowing competing tonal elements to collide and rearrange themselves in bracing configurations. The result is a body of work that consistently pushes viewers into new and surprising territory.

Saint Laurent
The Pornographer         

House of Pleasures 

+ read more 

Print Screen, Karl Ove Knausgaard and ‘The Idiots

+ read more 

Sounds Like Music: The Films of Martín Rejtman, May 13th through 19th

With Rapado, his 1992 debut feature, Martín Rejtman single-handedly revitalized Argentine narrative film. The five movies he’s made since—including his poker-faced new work Two Shots Fired, receiving a one-week run as part of this retrospective—are models of stylistic precision, narrative structure, and comic pacing. From his early studies of young people drifting in and out of financial solvency (Silvia Prieto, The Magic Gloves) to his recent excursions into nonfiction (Copacabana) and hybrid filmmaking (Elementary Training for Actors, co-directed with the playwright Federico Léon), Rejtman has developed a canny, wholly original serio-comic voice. Romantic confusion, investment troubles, unemployment, youthful aimlessness, the numbing rush of city life, and the revivifying power of music and dance: in Rejtman’s movies, the business of modern urban living—and specifically, of living in Argentina during the country’s millennial economic crisis—comes off as both familiar and thrillingly strange. Programmed by Dennis Lim with Isa Cucinotta.

Elementary Training for Actors
The Magic Gloves
Two Shots Fired

+ read more 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

***NITEHAWK CINEMA***

AnnieGoldblum

The Works: Jeff Goldblum

The evolution of who we know as Jeff Goldblum is on display in our very special two-part series of THE WORKS: JEFF GOLDBLUM. Featuring a carefully considered selection of films and divided into two categories, Barely Goldblum and Full Goldblum, we trace the trajectory of his early “blink and you’ll miss it” career all the way up to his now iconic roles in which we see him embrace the “Goldblum-ness” we all know and love. We’ll begin with Death Wish, The Sentinel, and Annie Hall and will then move up through Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Fly, Buckaroo Banzai, Earth Girls Are Easy and Jurassic Park.

Death Wish 
Annie Hall 
Jurassic Park

+ read more 

Nitehawk Brunch Screenings

The Hunt for Red October
Dr. Strangelove
Rocky IV

+ read more 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

***FILM FORUM***

Screen shot 2015-04-25 at 5.20.07 PM

Satayajit Ray’s The Apu Trilogy, May 8th through 28th

In the early 1950s, commercial artist Satyajit Ray was determined to film a novel by Bibhutibhushan Banerjee that he had previously illustrated, shooting on weekends, commuting to the location by bus, and eventually pawning his wife’s jewelry until a providential government grant enabled the work to go on. The result, along with the two continuations that followed, was the beginning of one of the screen’s greatest works, perhaps the cinema’s greatest bildungsroman ever.  

+ read more 

Felix Moehller’s FORBIDDEN FILMS – The Hidden Legacy of Nazi Film, May 13th through 19th

From filmmaker/film historian Felix Moeller (director of HARLAN – IN THE SHADOW OF THE JEW SÜSS) comes this thoughtful, provocative analysis of the 40 Nazi-produced movies still banned from broadcast or public screening in Germany (except in a scholarly context) because they are considered too inflammatory or offensive. The Third Reich’s anti-Semitic films are well-known (among them THE ETERNAL JEWTHE ROTHSCHILDSJEW SÜSS), but less famed are their anti-British and anti-Polish dramas, featuring heroic young Germans, mercilessly bullied by greedy, deranged foreigners. Nearly 70 years after the demise of the Nazis, do Joseph Goebbels’s notorious propaganda movies still pose a threat to civil society? See this galvanizing documentary and judge for yourself. 

+ read more 

Beggars of Life introduced by William Wellman, Jr., May 4th

+ read more 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

***MOMA***

mikey_and_nicky_1976

MoMA Presents: Elaine May’s Mikey and Nicky, April 9th through May 3rd

This is a weeklong run of MoMA’s recently struck 35mm print of Mikey and Nicky, the third of Elaine May’s brilliant contributions to 1970s American cinema, after A New Leaf and The Heartbreak Kid. (Ishtar, from 1987, also has its fierce partisans.) In this noir chamber piece, set over a long, tense night in some of the seedier redoubts of Philadelphia, a jittery John Cassavetes becomes convinced that a local mobster has put a price on his head. As he looks to childhood friend and small-time crook Peter Falk for salvation, old wounds and new treacheries arise.

+ read more 

MoMA Presents: Tudor Christian’s Jurgiu’s The Japanese Dog, May 21st through 27th

A standout of New Directors/New Films 2014, Tudor Cristian Jurgiu’s feature debut returns to MoMA for a weeklong run. A striking departure from the gallows humor of the Romanian New Wave, Jurgiu’s Chekhovian The Japanese Dog instead pays loving homage to the tender and gently comical family dramas of Yasujiro Ozu, Late Spring and There Was a Father in particular. Victor Rebengiuc, a legendary veteran of stage and screen, imbues the elderly Costache Moldu with a stoic yet fragile dignity, as he reunites with his estranged son after losing his wife and home in a devastating flood. Exquisitely attuned to the rhythms of nature and rural life—and the melancholy beauty of transient things—The Japanese Dog comes by its emotions honestly and poignantly.

+ read more 

Barbara Hammer’s Welcome to This House, a Film on Elizabeth Bishop, May 26th through June 1st

With her latest work, Barbara Hammer, who is known for films about lesbian life, history, and sexuality that draw upon avant-garde tradition, examines the little-known aspects of the life of the Pulitzer Prize–winning American poet Elizabeth Bishop (1911–1979). Hammer’s film, shown here in its New York premiere, explores Bishop’s inner life through the homes in which she lived and wrote—from childhood to her final days—and through the more private and sensorial poems that were published after her death. Featuring music composed and performed by the experimental singer and musician Joan La Barbara; Bishop’s intimate poems read by Kathleen Chalfant; three actors representing Bishop’s physical presence at different stages of her life; and interviews by historians, poets, and students, Welcome to This House sensitively portrays a complex, private, and challenging writer whose poetry continues to inspire.

+ read more 

Jean-Francois Caissy’s Guidelines, May 26th through June 1st

Guidelines is the second in Jean-Francois Caissy’s series of five documentary features exploring distinct stages of life, from old age, to the teenage years, to young adulthood, and to early childhood. (La Belle visite [Journey’s End, 2009], which focused on old age, was the first in the series.) Guidelines uses long, observational takes to record teens attending a rural Quebec secondary school. Daily activities on school grounds—studying, practicing cheerleading moves, riding bikes in gym—are contrasted with their “external” activities at play in the vast Canadian landscape—burning rubber on back roads, climbing and diving off of bridges over streams in summer, snowmobiling through the snowy woods in the winter. The film respectfully records both authority figures and the teens while school counsellors respond to students’ various misdemeanours, from disturbing other class members or hitting a sibling to bullying and more. The teens’ social discomfort dissolves beyond the walls of the institutional atmosphere, and their nervous energy is absorbed by the great outdoors.

+ read more 

Japan Speaks Out! Early Japanese Talkies, May 6th through 20th

“During the early years of the Showa period (1926–1989), while Japan’s silent cinema reached new artistic heights, Japanese filmmakers took the first steps towards sound film. Whereas in the West the transition to sound was abrupt and practically complete by around 1930, in Japan it stretched over almost a decade, although a considerable number of films (part-talkies, films shot silent with added music or sound effects, etc.) made limited use of sound technology. it was not until 1936 that the majority of films produced in Japan were full talkies. This retrospective focuses on this transition period, showing how the Japanese cinema gradually adopted the techniques and exploited the potential of sound film.

Seiyukai sosai Tanaka Giichi-shi enzetsu (The Speech of Prime Minister Tanaka) 
 Tonari no Yae-chan (Our Neighbour, Miss Yae)    
Kagayaku ai (Shining Love)

+ read more 

26 Films To See in New York This Weekend: Kubrick, Rohmer, Buñuel + More

26 Films, Film

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 26 films that have us running straight to the theater.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

***FRIDAY, APRIL 24***

TWELVE MONKEYS, Terry Gilliam
BAM

Terry Gilliam’s grungy, gonzo riff on Chris Marker’s La Jetée stars Bruce Willis as a convict who’s zapped back in time to save the human race from a deadly virus. Only trouble is, everyone thinks he’s nuts. Peppered with allusions to Vertigo (the eerie Muir Woods scene is reenacted wholesale), this post-apocalyptic head-trip is Gilliam at his most cracked and brilliant.

READ MORE 

THE JOY OF LIFE, Jenni Olson
BAM

San Francisco, sexuality, and suicide come together in Jenni Olson’s entrancingly minimalist essay film. Over static shots of eerily depopulated Fog City locales, the filmmaker muses on queer desire and identity; legendary poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti recites “The Changing Light”; and the Golden Gate Bridge’s history as a suicide landmark is explored via Meet John Doe and Vertigo. The result is an overwhelmingly moving meditation on love and loss.

READ MORE 

THE SHINING, Stanley Kubrick
IFC Center

Kubrick meets Stephen King: in the deserted off-season at a massive, isolated resort hotel, new caretaker Jack Nicholson descends into madness, with wife Shelley Duvall and their son the only witnesses. “Critic’s pick! Gloriously diabolical.” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times

READ MORE 

THE CANDIDATE, Michael Ritchie
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

The unsung Michael Ritchie, responsible for some of the most trenchant satires of the 1970s (including the beauty-pageant send-up Smile), helms this on-point study of Nixon-era political machinations. Redford is Bill McKay, an idealistic lawyer persuaded to run for Senate on his principles, convinced he has no chance of defeating the incumbent. As his campaign gains traction, he’s forced to rethink his platform. Redford commissioned the project and served as uncredited producer, hiring Ritchie (a former technical advisor on various political campaigns) and screenwriter Jeremy Lartner, who wrote speeches for presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy in 1968. Lartner’s script, capped by a closing line that perfectly echoed the national mood, earned an Academy Award. Contemporaneous to the film’s release, the fictional McKay received write-in votes in the California Presidential primary!

READ MORE 

DOCUMENTEUR, Agnes Varda
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

In 1979, 10 years after her first California sojourn and during a period of separation from her beloved husband, Jacques Demy, Varda returned to L.A. for what would turn out to be a decidedly more dejected, minor-key stay. Documenteur, like several of Varda’s movies, follows an essentially fictional character (played here by Varda’s editor Sabine Mamou) through a more or less real environment. Unlike most of Varda’s movies, it’s a frank and often painful reflection on estrangement, loneliness, and loss. Certain settings and subjects from Mur Murs recur here (the two films were paired for their initial U.S. runs), but Documenteur was, per its title, more of “an emotion picture”—a revealing dispatch from a wounded heart. An NYFF ’81 Selection.

READ MORE 

ALTERED STATES, Ken Russell
Nitehawk Cinema

You know the story…a brilliant, unconventional and totally mad scientist uses himself as the subject for his highly experimental project and ends up, well, a little worse for the wear. Here we have 1960s Harvard professor of abnormal psychology Eddie Jessup who revisits an experiment from his graduate school days in which he uses untested hallucinogens in his sensory deprivation tank to prove his theory that other states of consciousness are as real as our waking state. Unfortunately the side effects just might be genetically regressive which is not only harmful to his own self but to those around him. Side note, this is the film debut of William Hurt and Drew Barrymore!

READ MORE

FORBIDDEN GAMES, Rene Clement
Film Forum

(1952) “Michel! Michel! Michel!” France 1940, and as a refugee column trudges along a country road, a dog makes a break for it, with its tiny blonde mistress in pursuit — and then the German fighters strike. But if 5-year-old Brigitte Fossey’s understanding of death is limited as she strokes her mother’s cold face, at least she can bury the dog discarded by her peasant rescuers, aided by 11-year-old farm boy Georges Poujouly. And as they build a special, secret friendship, their pet cemetery in the midst of death steadily grows, topped by crosses stolen from graveyards, even as the adults play their own games of buffoonish, grotesque peasant feuds… And then Fossey (“in a performance that rips the heart out” – The New York Times) shouts his name again. Adapted by the legendary team of Jean Aurenche and Pierre Bost from François Boyer’s successful-in-America novel, with a haunting hit score played by guitar virtuoso Narciso Yepes, the ultimately beautiful, hilarious and disturbing Games initially did so-so box office and screened only on the fringes of the Cannes Festival, then nearly got shut out of Venice — where it promptly won its top prize, the Golden Lion — and then became a worldwide art house smash and Clément’s second Best Foreign Film Oscar winner (following the previous year’s The Walls of Malapaga). Approx. 87 min. DCP.

READ MORE 

NO SKIN OFF MY ASS, Bruce LaBruce
MoMA

1991. Canada. Directed by Bruce LaBruce. With LaBruce, Klaus von Brücker, G.B. Jones. Hailed by the critic Amy Taubin as “sweeter than Warhol, subtler than Kuchar, sexually more explicit than Van Sant,” LaBruce’s debut feature emerged during the efflorescence of queer cinema in the early 1990s. Shot in grainy Super-8, the picture centers around a hairdresser who falls for a handsome, taciturn skinhead, and their peculiar courtship is punctuated by memorable sequences with the skin’s sister, a lesbian underground filmmaker with plans to make a movie about the Symbionese Liberation Army. No Skin Off My Ass is like That Cold Day in the Park replayed as a punk rock daydream, yet here Robert Altman’s idiosyncratic thriller has become a lo-fi love story, featuring LaBruce as a swishy stand-in for Sandy Dennis. Now a homocore classic, No Skin is a complex exploration of how subculture is articulated through style, and a poignant study in erotic fascination. 73 min.

READ MORE 

WHAT TIME IS IT IN THERE?, Tsai Ming-Iiang
Museum of the Moving Image

Dir. Tsai Ming-liang. 2001, 116 mins. 35mm. With Lee Kang-sheng, Chen Shiang-chyi, Lu Yi-ching. Hsiao-kang, now selling wristwatches on the streets of Taipei, has a fateful brief encounter one day with Shiang-chyi, a young woman about to leave for France. Things are messy at home, with Hsiao’s mother seeing his father’s reincarnated spirit everywhere, so he escapes by fantasizing about the stranger he barely knows, and the film details their parallel stories. While he sets Taipei clocks to Paris local time, she wanders a strange city alone; while he watches The 400 Blows, she has a chance meeting with star Jean-Pierre Léaud in a Parisian cemetery. “Filled with purposeful, if absurd, activity rendered gravely hilarious through Tsai’s deadpan, distanced representation of extreme behavior.” (J. Hoberman, The Village Voice).

READ MORE 

***SATURDAY, APRIL 25***

OBSESSION, Brian De Palma
BAM

Nearly twenty years after his wife’s tragic death, a guilt-ridden man (Robertson) meets her exact lookalike (Bujold)—cue obsessive makeover and intricate series of double crosses. With a script by Paul Schrader, endlessly swirling camerawork, and a deliriously romantic score by Vertigo composer Bernard Herrmann, De Palma’s florid tribute to Hitchcock creates a spellbinding mood all its own.

READ MORE 

4 VERTIGO, Les LeVeque
BAM

Hitchcock’s film is sped up, compressed, and jumbled into a nine-minute, kaleidoscopic hallucination.

READ MORE 

ALIEN, Ridley Scott
IFC Center

“Critic’s pick! Scott’s sexually radical, chest-bursting horror landmark features H.R. Giger’s obscenely phallic beastie stalking a remarkably tony cast, including Ian Holm, John Hurt, and Sigourney ‘Hell, I’ll battle this thing in my skivvies’ Weaver. Forget the vastly overrated Blade Runner; this is Scott’s best film, period.” – Time Out New York

READ MORE 

FULL MOON IN PARIS, Eric Rohmer
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

“He who has two women loses his soul; he who has two houses loses his mind.” In Rohmer’s fourth Comedies and Proverbs film, Louise, a young interior decorator (Venice Film Festival Best Actress winner Pascale Ogier), keeps two residences—one with her boyfriend, Remi, and one without. She chases the freedom of the single life in her Paris pied-à-terre, while Remi stays in the other residence, seemingly a homebody. Rohmer’s finely drawn characterization brings out the confusions and small devotions that complicate a familiar paradox, rarely rendered with such subtlety and maturity. With Fabrice Lucchini as Louise’s friend. A Film Movement release.

READ MORE 

NIGHTHAWKS, Ron Peck
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

Ron Peck and Paul Hallam raised funds for their groundbreaking feature debut piecemeal, relying in part on confidential gifts from gay public figures. No film had shown what it was like to be an openly gay man in 1970s London: the keeping-up of daily appearances; the tiring, often demoralizing work of club-hopping and cruising; and the difficulties of making—and finding—lasting romantic commitments. Nighthawks is, quite simply, a priceless artifact from a period in British history when love, for many, could only be found furtively and in the dark.

READ MORE 

WILL YOU DANCE WITH ME?, Derek Jarman
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

In 1984, Derek Jarman was doing research for his friend Ron Peck (Nighthawks, also showing in Art of the Real), who was working on a gangster movie to be set within London’s nightclub scene. The chief product of that research was this haunted, transfixing study of one night at a gay bar in East London’s Mile End district. Jarman was one of the earliest British filmmakers to experiment seriously with digital video, and in Will You Dance with Me? he found the format’s ghostly blurring of light and color perfectly matched to his subject. (The chiseled young man whom Jarman studies reverently in the movie’s last minutes would become an actor in his Super-8 work The Angelic Conversation.) “I don’t know that I’ve seen dance better filmed,” BFI curator William Fowler has said of the footage.

READ MORE 

SUPER 8½, Bruce LaBruce
MoMA

1994. Canada. Directed by Bruce LaBruce. With LaBruce, Stacy Friedrich, Mikey Mike, Chris Teen, Vaginal Creme Davis, Richard Kern. LaBruce’s quasi-autobiographical sophomore effort tells the story of “Bruce,” a porn auteur with avant-garde ambitions. Though he’d made a name for himself with movies like Pay Him as He Lays and My Hustler, Myself, Bruce finds his star fading and his career on the wane; like Marcello Mastroianni in Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2, he’s a frustrated director, and like Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8, his passions are the stuff of his undoing. Offering Bruce his last chance at fame is Googie, an up-and-coming art-film darling with designs to exploit his ailing reputation as a way to cement her own. LaBruce delivers this decline-and-fall saga with insouciant wit, all while aggressively lifting elements from film history (“There’s no copyright on a good line,” Bruce muses). Acutely self-aware and replete with hardcore action, this may be the most meta-cinematic blue movie ever made. 100 min.

READ MORE 

JOURNEY TO THE WEST, Tsai Ming-Iiang
Museum of the Moving Image

Dir. Tsai Ming-liang. 2014, 56 mins. Digital projection. Tsai’s latest is a study in defiant serenity amid chaos. In the daytime hustle-bustle of Marseille, Lee Kang-sheng, dressed in the orange robes of a Buddhist monk, inches his way along the street at a snail’s pace, his head hung down and eyes fixed on the pavement, to the mystification of the passersby not too busy to notice. Journey to the West is one of a series of films Tsai made with Lee’s Walker character, drawing inspiration from the life of a seventh-century monk who traveled China in search of Buddhist scriptures. Preceded by Walker (2012, 27 mins), in which Lee’s monk makes his way through frantic Hong Kong.

READ MORE 

STRAY DOGS, Tsai Ming-Iiang
Museum of the Moving Image

Dir. Tsai Ming-liang. 2013, 138 mins. DCP. With Chen Shiang-chyi, Lee
Kang-sheng, Lee Yi-cheng. Tsai’s most majestically desolate feature stars Lee Kang-sheng as a father caring for two young children despite dire poverty, all living in a shipping container while he works as a human signpost to advertise luxury real estate. Keeping the exact nature of interrelationships willfully vague—Why does a female grocery store clerk take a matronly attitude towards the children? How do they land in this bleak, waterlogged apartment with their mother?—Tsai proceeds with a sort of dream-logic to a mysterious, cathartic conclusion that seems to summarize his body of work from Vive L’Amour to Goodbye, Dragon Inn.

READ MORE 

***SUNDAY, APRIL 26***

SANS SOLEIL, Chris Marker
BAM

This sublime essay film journeys across time and space—from a cat temple in Tokyo to the streets of Guinea-Bissau to the San Francisco of Hitchcock’s Vertigo—as an unseen narrator reads aloud letters sent to her by a fictional globetrotting cameraman. One of the towering achievements of Marker’s career, Sans Soleil is at once a mesmeric travelogue and a profound and poetic rumination on life, death, and consciousness.

READ MORE 

BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE, Richard Quine
BAM

Stewart and Novak reteamed just after Vertigo for this enchanting romantic fantasy in which a modern-day witch (Novak) living in Greenwich Village casts a love spell on her book publisher neighbor (Stewart). There is plenty of frothy fun—the witches are portrayed as kooky beatniks and Ernie Kovacs steals scenes with his surreal, oddball shtick—but also a poignant undercurrent of real romantic longing that makes this a fascinating companion to Hitchcock’s film.

READ MORE 

TRISTANA, Luis
IFC Center

“Luis Buñuel’s 1970 masterwork, adapted from a novel by Benito Perez Galdos. Catherine Deneuve is a young woman unhappy with the constraints of turn-of-the-century Spanish society; her mild revolt is rewarded by an amputated leg. Buñuel conjures with Freudian imagery, outrageous humor, and a quiet, lyrical camera style to create one of his most complex and complete works, a film that continues to disturb and transfix. With Fernando Rey and Franco Nero.” – Dave Kehr

READ MORE 

THE AVIATOR’S WIFE, Eric Rohmer
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

“It is impossible to think of nothing.” Rohmer’s Comedies and Proverbs series begins with the misunderstandings of youthful obsession, the vagaries of chance encounters, and Paris, always. When a law student (Philippe Marlaud) sees his girlfriend (Marie Rivière) step out of her apartment with her ex, he trails the man around the city, fearing the worst. But his private fears in public places are put into delightful perspective by an impish younger student (Anne-Laure Meury) he runs into. Shot in 16mm and featuring a song sung by Arielle Dombasle (as well as a vintage ’80s man purse). An NYFF19 selection.

READ MORE 

BOYFRIENDS AND GIRLFRIENDS, Eric Rohmer
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

“The friends of my friends are my friends.” Rohmer uses the amorous misadventures of two girlfriends in the Paris suburbs to test the old adage in the final episode of his Comedies and Proverbs series. Taking an identifiable stab at a yuppie(ish) set, Rohmer’s witty Shakespearean roundelay involves two friends, buttoned-up Blanche (Emmanuelle Chaulet, in a superb debut) and free-spirit Lea (Sophie Renoir), and their current amours. The pair are tempted by each other’s love interests, testing both their friendship and their understanding of matters of the heart. An NYFF25 selection.

READ MORE 

BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, George Roy Hill
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

George Roy Hill’s classic Western made Redford and Paul Newman one of cinema’s iconic duos. Butch (Newman) and Sundance (Redford) are gentleman outlaws, robbing banks and trains across a rapidly civilizing frontier. When things get too hot, they flee to Bolivia, where “you get a lot more for your money”—and get a lot more than they bargained for. Co-starring Katharine Ross (The Graduate) as Redford’s love interest, schoolteacher Etta Place, the film won Oscars for William Goldman’s endlessly quotable script, Conrad Hall’s lyrical cinematography, and Burt Bacharach’s score and original song “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” which accompanies a memorable bicycle interlude. Redford named his Park City film festival after his character here, and Newman’s summer camp for children with serious illnesses shares a name with Butch and Sundance’s Hole in the Wall Gang.

READ MORE 

A GOOD MARRIAGE, Eric Rohmer
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

“Who has not built castles in Spain?” Art-student Sabine (Béatrice Romand, the teenager in Claire’s Knee) swears off affairs with married men in favor of finding a good husband. But there’s a small problem with her selection process: she decides to pursue lawyer Edmond (André Dussollier) after meeting him just once at a party (thanks to matchmaker friend Clarisse, played by Arielle Dombasle). And dashing Edmond is not exactly on board with the program… The second of Rohmer’s Comedies and Proverbs films goes out to anyone who ever made a decision and stuck with it to the tragic end.

READ MORE 

THE ROYAL ROAD, Jenni Olson
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

The docks of Oakland; roadside marker bells in Pasadena; the Spanish king Carlos III; expansionism in 19th-century America; the Franciscan mission-founder Junípero Serra; The Golden Gate Bridge; Casanova’s Story of My Life; Jules Laforgue’s “Solo By Moonlight”; William Wyler’s Roman Holiday. The essential San Francisco filmmaker Jenni Olson’s latest essay film is an associative, inquisitive meditation on love, remembrance, and California history structured around a trip down El Camino Real. The Royal Road riffs often and exquisitely on Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil—both films include key, lengthy discourses on Hitchcock’s Vertigo—but this movie’s voice, alternately dispassionate, confessional, and melancholic, is entirely Olson’s own.

READ MORE 

PAST PRESENT, Tsai Ming-Iiang
Museum of the Moving Image

Dir. Tiong Guan Saw. 2013, 76 mins. Digital projection. With Chen Shiang-chyi, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Ang Lee. Preceded by Walking on Water (Dir. Tsai Ming Liang, 2013, 30 mins). With Shiang-chyi, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Ang Lee. Malaysian filmmaker Tiong Guan Saw’s documentary creates perhaps the most intimate filmed portrait of Tsai by asking him to tell his story from the very beginning—the city of Kuching, where he was raised, and the cinemas where he religiously consumed kung-fu movies with his grandparents—before following him to Taiwan, where he relocated in the 1970s. Tsai’s recollections are combined with testimonials from longtime collaborators like Lee Kang-sheng and Chen Shiang-chyi, as well as admiring colleagues like Ang Lee and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Preceded by Walking on Water (Dir. Tsai Ming-liang, 2013, 30 mins.), in which Lee’s Walker monk traverses the Kuching housing block that Tsai grew up in.

READ MORE 

GOODBYE, DRAGON INN, Tsai Ming-Iiang
Museum of the Moving Image

Dir. Tsai Ming-liang. 2003, 82 mins. 35mm. With Lee Kang-sheng, Chen Shiang-chyi, Kiyonobu Mitamura. It’s the last night for a crumbling Fu-Ho movie theater in Taipei, and the film is Dragon Inn (1966), the seminal wuxia by Taiwan-based filmmaker King Hu. The kinetic soundtrack contrasts the theater’s melancholy, slow-moving denizens, including a female box-office attendant with a limp, a cruising Japanese tourist, and two of the stars of Hu’s film. Filled with expertly timed sight gags, Goodbye, Dragon Inn is Tsai’s rueful backwards glance at the disappearance of the filmgoing culture of his youth—and one of the seminal films of the 21st century. “Its simple, meticulously composed frames are full of mystery and feeling; it’s an action movie that stands perfectly still” (A.O. Scott, The New York Times). Preceded by The Skywalk Is Gone (2002, 25 mins. 35mm), a return to the characters of What Time Is It Over There?

READ MORE 

25 Films to See This Week: Hitchcock, Tsai Ming-liang, Assayas + More

25 Films, Film

From IFC Center and BAM  to Film Forum and The Film Society of Lincoln Center, check out the 25 films to see this week around the city.

***MONDAY, APRIL 13***

REBELS OF THE NEON GOD, Tsai Ming-liang
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

Heralding the arrival of Taiwan’s great poet of urban alienation, Tsai Ming-liang’s debut drifts through the familiar haunts of a group of dejected Taipei teens: malls, video game arcades, the oppressive spaces of their own apartments. Regular Tsai anti-hero Lee Kang-sheng emerges as the central figure, quitting his college-prep classes to lose himself in the decaying cityscape. Shot through with dark humor and poetic imagery, Tsai’s film examines the spiritual crisis at the heart of modern life.

READ MORE

COSMIC SLOP,  Reginald Hudlin, Warrington Hudlin, Kevin Rodney Sullivan
BAM

With frequent nods to The Twilight Zone, this psychedelic trilogy takes its title from the 1973 album by Afrofuturist pioneers Funkadelic and features the recurring presence of George Clinton’s floating head as narrator. Cosmic Slop stoked controversy for its provocative depictions of class and racial tensions when it aired on HBO in 1994.

READ MORE 

AN EVENING WITH LUTHER PRINCE
MoMA

Luther Price, whose work is featured in the MoMA exhibition Cut to Swipe, is one of the key figures of contemporary experimental cinema. He first became known for his haunting Super-8 movies and has long been admired by fellow artists—Stan Brakhage cited him as a personal favorite and Carolee Schneemann described his Warm Broth as an indelible viewing experience—but he has gained a considerable amount of attention in recent years for a suite of 16mm works in which, for instance, he re-edits junked reels or transforms found strips of film by elaborately abrading the emulsion and obscuring the parent material in dense layers of paint and ink. For this evening’s event, Price presents a selection of earlier work alongside new films that have not yet been screened in New York. The evening culminates with Price in conversation with Thomas Beard, one of the directors of Light Industry, and Lia Gangitano, the director of PARTICIPANT INC.

READ MORE

TO SLEEP WITH ANGER, Charles Burnett
IFC Center

When a seemingly well-adjusted family gets a visit from a mischievous old friend named Harry (Danny Glover), his actions turn their entire world upside down. Is Harry evil? The devil? Or something else? And will the family be able to stop him before it’s too late? Acclaimed writer-director Charles Burnett’s (KILLER OF SHEEP) third feature is a brilliantly observed family drama which draws on black folklore to explore the tensions that run beneath all our stabile lives. Standout performances from Glover, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Mary Alice and Ethel Ayler helped net it four Independent Spirit Awards and a special jury prize at Sundance. The rarely screened film is also a favorite of our guest host, the amazing singer-songwriter Toshi Reagon, who recently celebrated 31 legendary years performing at Joe’s Pub and has worked with everyone from Lenny Kravitz to Pete Seeger. “The first time I saw it I stood up and clapped when it was over,” she writes. We’re sure you will too. Don’t miss out.

READ MORE

EASY LIVING & REMEMBER THE NIGHT
Film Forum

Easy Living, Mitchell Leisen

Working girl Jean Arthur is bonked on the head with a mink coat while riding on an open-air Fifth Ave. bus, mistaken for the mistress of Wall St. lion Edward Arnold, given the ne plus ultra of Manhattan penthouse suites, and finds love in the Automat with fresh-faced Ray Milland. Approx. 86 min. 35mm.

Remember the Night, Mitchell Leisen

Assistant NYC D.A. Fred MacMurray brings his maiden aunts in Indiana a Christmas present: convicted shoplifter Barbara Stanwyck. Classic Sturges comedy romance, his last screenplay for another director. Approx. 94 min. 35mm.

READ MORE

MEMOIRS OF PRISON, Nelson Pereira dos Santos
MoMA

An adaptation of Graciliano Ramos’s posthumously published prison memoirs, the film was described by critic J. Hoberman as “a national epic in chains.” Like many other Brazilian leftists of the period, Ramos was incarcerated during the Getúlio Vargas regime in the 1930s for being a suspected communist. The movie charts his journey through the penal system, keenly observing his relationships with both fellow inmates and guards. Though Pereira had wanted to make the film since the 1960s, the political climate of the era made it impossible. Twenty years later, he produced this, one of his most ambitious works and an acute study of power relations. 35mm. In Portuguese; English subtitles.

READ MORE

***TUESDAY, APRIL 14***

THE LAST ANGEL OF HISTORY, John Akomfrah 
BAM

The influential Black Audio Film Collective crafted this experimental blend of sci-fi parable and essay film, which also serves as an essential primer on the aesthetics and dynamics of contemporary Afrofuturism. Interviews with esteemed musicians, writers, and cultural critics are interwoven with the fictional story of the “data thief,” who must travel through time and space in search of the code that holds the key to his future.

READ MORE

NAOMI CAMPBEL, Nicolás Videla & Camila José Donoso
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

The title of Nicolás Videla and Camila José Donoso’s debut feature, a hybrid film centered around the struggle of Yermén, a thirtysomething transgender woman, to finance her sex-change operation, is at once odd and totally fitting. “I’d like to look like Naomi Campbell,” a young woman tells Yermén as the two of them sit in a Santiago hospital waiting room. “Be exactly the same.” Naomi Campbel is a savvy critique of the assumptions—about gender, class, and beauty—that inspire that sort of talk, but it’s also an imaginative embodiment of the trans-ness it celebrates: a documentary with the structure of a fictional character study, and a sleekly shot piece of digital filmmaking punctuated by pixelated, low-grade video footage shot by Yermén herself.

READ MORE

THE GOOD FAIRY & THIRTY-DAY PRINCESS
Film Forum

The Good Fairy, William Wyler

Sturges molded a Molnar play into this unsung classic of the comedy-rich 30s, as Margaret Sullavan’s wide-eyed movie usherette Luisa Ginglebusher plays “good fairy” to struggling lawyer Herbert Marshall, despite amorous millionaire Frank Morgan. Approx. 97 min. 35mm.

Thirty-Day Princess, Marion Gering

When a Ruritanian royal on a goodwill tour of the U.S. gets the mumps, lookalike actress Sylvia Sidney is tapped to go on in her place. Her assignment: the seduction of New York newspaper publisher Cary Grant. Sturges co-wrote the screenplay, from a novel by the author of Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. Approx. 75 min. 35mm.

READ MORE

THE MUSIC ACCORDING TO ANTONIOS CARLOS JOMBIM, Nelson Pereira dos Santos
MoMA

One of the most popular Brazilian composers and a bossa nova pioneer, Antonio Carlos “Tom” Jobim is perhaps most famous for compositions like “The Girl from Ipanema” and “Desafinado.” In this delightful documentary, Pereira has assembled a career-spanning selection of Jobim’s music, performed both by the composer himself and by legendary musicians like Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Caetano Veloso. Digital video. In Portuguese, French, English; no subtitles.

READ MORE

***WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15***

SPACE IS THE PLACE + AFRONAUTS
BAM

Space is the Place, John Coney

The movie version of Sun Ra’s concept album features the legendary avant-garde jazz musician and mystic in his only fictional film appearance. Rejecting a linear plot in favor of a mélange of interplanetary travel, sharp social commentary, goofy pseudo-Blaxploitation stylistics, and thrilling concert performance, this kaleidoscopic, hugely entertaining adventure is a wild ride.

Afronauts, Francis Bodomo

This beguiling monochrome short tracks the Zambia Space Academy’s attempts to beat America to the moon.

READ MORE

BORN IN FLAMES, Lizzie Borden
BAM

This dizzying feminist sci-fi doc takes place in an imaginary New York a decade after a socialist revolution has rendered all men equal, leaving women—organized by two rival pirate radio stations—to pick up the battle. Borden tackles issues of class, racism, and sexism with confidence and post-punk swagger.

READ MORE

ESSAYISTIC ACTS: UNE SALE HISTOIRE + LAS MENINAS
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

Une sale histoire, Jean Eustache

“I tried to tell [the story of Une sale histoire],” Jean Eustache insisted in an interview, “not as a story I’d lived, but as a film I wanted to make—like a scenario.” The story in question is told twice, once by the great actor Michael Lonsdale, and then again, very similarly, by Jean-Noël Picq, the man from whose life it allegedly came. It’s the sort of dirty secret that Eustache always felt compelled to make public: the confession of a peeping tom who finds a hole in the wall of a women’s toilet. Both tellers, it turns out, are addressing crowds of young women—a revelation that turns the movie into another of Eustache’s self-excoriating studies of male-female relationships. But Une sale histoire is also, among other things, a reflection on the sort of personal, confessional filmmaking to which Eustache kept being drawn. “When I tell a personal story,” Picq says, “it’s because I’m convinced it isn’t one—that the whole world understands.”

Les Meninas, Juan Downey

“We are looking at a picture,” Foucault wrote in a 1970 account of Velázquez’s Las Meninas, “in which the painter is in turn looking out at us.” The text from which that line comes is one of the chief ingredients of Juan Downey’s adventurous, essayistic reflection on the painting, which also involves a live-action restaging of the scene, a lecture from the great art historian George Kubler, and a step-by-step journey through the picture’s complex shiftings of perspective.

READ MORE

UNFAITHFULLY YOURS & THE BEAUTIFUL BLONDE FROM BASHFUL BEND, Preston Sturges
Film Forum

Unfaithfully Yours

“He can handle Handel like no one can handle Handel!” Murder to the tune of Rossini, Wagner and Tchaikovsky, as insanely jealous conductor Rex Harrison (modeled on Sir Thomas Beecham) fantasizes killing wife Linda Darnell in three different musical modes. Approx. 105 min. 35mm.

The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend

Sturges’ only color movie stars Betty Grable as a brassy, quick-on-the-draw saloon chantootsie mistaken for a prim schoolmarm (are they blind?) after plugging a judge in the behind instead of cheatin’ Cesar Romero. Approx. 77 min. DCP restoration.

READ MORE

RIO, NORTHERN ZONE, Nelson Pereira dos Santos
MoMA

While Pereira’s previous film, Rio, 100 Degrees, offered a panoramic view of the city and its inhabitants, here he focuses on the inner life of a single protagonist, the struggling composer Espírito da Luz Cardoso (a character modeled on the musician Zé Keti, who appears briefly in the film). Discovered on the train tracks at the film’s outset, clinging to life, he begins to recall key episodes of his recent past through a series of flashbacks—memories of new love found and lost, of a son who turned to a life of crime, and, perhaps most crucially, of his songs. Despite facing numerous hardships, including dealings with exploitative businessmen looking to profit from his art, Espírito remains optimistic, buoyed by the spirit of his music. Rio, Northern Zone is a powerful drama of inequity, set to a samba beat. 35mm. In Portuguese; English subtitles.

READ MORE

CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA, Olivier Assayas
IFC Center

At the peak of her international career, Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) is asked to perform in a revival of the play that made her famous twenty years ago. But back then she played the role of Sigrid, an alluring young girl who disarms and eventually drives her boss Helena to suicide. Now she is being asked to step into the other role, that of the older Helena. She departs with her assistant (Kristen Stewart) to rehearse in Sils Maria; a remote region of the Alps. A young Hollywood starlet with a penchant for scandal (Chloë Grace Moretz) is to take on the role of Sigrid, and Maria finds herself on the other side of the mirror, face to face with an ambiguously charming woman who is, in essence, an unsettling reflection of herself.

READ MORE

***THURSDAY, APRIL 16***

VERTIGO, Alfred Hitchcock
BAM

Detective Scottie Ferguson (Stewart, in a career-best performance) is called out of retirement to follow a friend’s wife (Novak), who may not be all she seems. Weaving an atmosphere of dread with Bernard Herrmann’s score, Saul Bass’ graphic work, and Robert Burks’ camerawork, Vertigo is Hitchcock at his most artful and psychologically complex, and was recently voted in Sight & Sound’s 2012 poll as the greatest film of all time.

READ MORE

LETTER TO A FATHER, Edgardo Cozarinsky 
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

Legendary Argentine novelist and filmmaker Edgardo Cozarinsky travels to Entre Ríos, the province of the farming community where his father was born, in an attempt to learn more about him. With stunningly composed photography, Cozarinsky unearths and nimbly connects the experiences of his Russian-Jewish émigré grandparents, his father’s naval travels, and his own exile in Paris during the country’s military junta. Despite encountering relics from the past—some personal, some communal—the director embraces the traces of what remains and what has been lost to time, never to be reclaimed, yielding a richly perceptive cine-letter and an essential film for anyone who has lost a loved one too soon.

READ MORE

LANDSCAPE SUICIDE, James Benning
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

For his career-long excavation of the American national character, James Benning found two of his most striking case studies in a pair of murderers whose crimes took place 30 years and more than half the country apart. Landscape Suicide, like many of Benning’s films, consists largely of footage of places, landscapes, and roads accompanied by—or paired with—speech. The speech, in this case, comes from the court testimonies of Bernadette Protti, who stabbed one of her California high-school classmates to death in 1984 over an insult, and Ed Gein, the infamous Plainfield, Wisconsin, killer who made trophies out of his victim’s bodies, read aloud by actors directly to the camera. Benning’s America is a country terrified equally by the wilderness to which it’s in thrall and the civilization it’s set up to keep that wilderness at bay—and nowhere in his work does that tension become more chillingly clear. New 16mm print courtesy of the Austrian Film Museum.

READ MORE

NED RIFLE, Hal Hartley
IFC Center

The third and final film in the Henry Fool trilogy. Henry Fool and Fay Grim’s son Ned sets out to find and kill his father for destroying his mother’s life. But his aims are frustrated by the troublesome, sexy, and hilarious Susan, whose connection to Henry predates even his arrival in the lives of the Grim family. A funny, sad, and sexy adventure, Ned Rifle is an intellectually stimulating and compassionate satire.

READ MORE

THE ALIENIST / A VERY CRAZY ASYLUM, Nelson Pereira dos Santos
MoMA

As both his first period piece and his first color film, A Very Crazy Asylum marked a significant departure for Pereira. An idiosyncratic adaption of Machado de Assis’s 1882 novella The Alienist, the film revolves around an experimental asylum that at first seems to offer a more forward-thinking and humane treatment of the insane, until the definitions of madness are extended ad absurdum, leaving the entire town institutionalized. “There was always someone who thought they could save Brazil with a bunch of formulas,” Pereira once remarked in an interview, and beneath its colorful costuming and experimental score by Guilherme Magalhães Vaz, A Very Crazy Asylum reveals itself as a complex, allegorical critique of the era’s political regime. 35mm. In Portuguese; English subtitles.

READ MORE

22 Films to See This Weekend: Tsai Ming-liang, Shirley Clarke, Harun Farocki + More

22 Films, Film

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 22 films that have us running straight to the theater.

_____________________________________________________

***FRIDAY, APRIL 10***

BLADE, Stephen Norrington
BAM

Wesley Snipes delivers one of his most iconic roles as an ice-cool half-vampire, half-mortal who becomes a protector of the mortal race by slaying evil vampires in increasingly spectacular fashion. This gripping sci-fi-horror hybrid launched a franchise, but the original remains the most entertaining.

READ MORE 

THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET, John Sayles
BAM

In Sayles’ witty urban spin on the runaway slave narrative, a mute extraterrestrial (Joe Morton, in a remarkably expressive performance) crash-lands in Harlem after a spaceship accident and finds himself on the run from two mysterious white hunters. Stylishly shot by Spike Lee collaborator Ernest Dickerson, The Brother From Another Planet offers a thought-provoking spin on the use of the black image in science fiction.

READ MORE 

GREMLINS, Joe Dante
Anthology Film Archives

Joe Dante’s GREMLINS was produced by Spielberg and became a huge hit, but it’s no E.T. True, its ‘hero,’ Gizmo the mogwai, is an adorable, wide-eyed, furry little creature of unknown origins (by way of Chinatown). But, given as a gift to our human protagonist Billy (Zach Galligan), Gizmo comes along with three rules: never expose it to bright light, never get it wet, and never, EVER feed it after midnight. Needless to say, rules (especially in horror movies) are made to be broken, and soon the placid town of Kingston Falls is overrun with murderous, anarchic, and not at all furry Gremlins, who lay a path of destruction which Dante delights in portraying. A bona fide 1980s popcorn-movie classic whose mischievous spirit and Looney Tunes-inspired havoc remain fresh thirty years later, GREMLINS is also graced with one of the best latter-day performances by Dick Miller, as Billy’s Gremlins-menaced neighbor Mr. Futterman.

READ MORE 

GREMLINS 2, Joe Dante
Anthology Film Archives

With Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Corey Feldman, and Dick Miller.
Rare is a sequel that bests the original, but GREMLINS 2 manages to outsmart and undermine its blockbuster predecessor a hundred times over. A parable for our times (circa 1990), this improbable tale takes place in the towering Manhattan super-building of Clamp Enterprises, where poor furry Gizmo is being used as a guinea pig by gonzo billionaire Daniel Clamp (played with a Donald Trump-like zeal by the rubbery John Glover). Next thing you know Gizmo gets wet and, well, hell breaks loose. Luckily his pals Billy (Zach Galligan), Katie (Phoebe Cates) and Murray (Dick Miller, natch) are there to help save him and New York from the whacked-out antics of the deplorable, deadly Gremlins. Simultaneously a tribute to the great sight gags of Frank Tashlin and a riotous parody of disaster movies in the Irwin Allen mold, this great meta-film is 100% Joe Dante.

READ MORE 

SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS, Joel McCrea
Anthology Film Archives

(1942) Slated to shoot the sequel to his boffo Ants in Your Pants of 1939, director Joel McCrea would rather make socially significant O Brother, Where Art Thou?, so he sets out to explore Human Misery, with peekaboo-hairdoed Veronica Lake along for the ride. Approx. 90 min. 35mm.

READ MORE 

RIO, 100 DEGREES, Nelson Pereira dos Santos
MoMA

1956. Brazil. Directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos. With Jece Valadão, Glauce Rocha, Roberto Batalin. A major turning point in the history of Latin American cinema, Rio, 100 Degrees presents the eponymous city through a neorealist lens. Shooting on location and using a largely nonprofessional cast, Pereira follows a group of young, black peanut vendors as they travel from the favelas to the beaches of Copacabana to the peak of Sugarloaf Mountain. During their encounters, the filmmaker casts an unflinching gaze on class stratification in Brazil, depicting the life of the nation’s underclass in a manner so unprecedented that filmmaker Glauber Rocha dubbed it the developing world’s first truly revolutionary film. 35mm. In Portuguese; English subtitles. 100 min.

READ MORE 

CHRISTMAS IN JULY, Preston Sturges
Film Forum

(1940) Dick Powell thinks he’s won $25,000 in a radio slogan contest (his entry: “If you can’t sleep, it isn’t the coffee, it’s the bunk”) and acts accordingly — until he realizes… Approx. 67 min. 35mm

READ MORE 

BARREN LIVES, Nelson Pereira Dos Santos
MoMA

1963. Brazil. Directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos. With Átilá Iório, Maria Ribiero, Orlando Macedo. Widely cited as the film that helped launch Cinema Novo, Barren Lives stands as one of Pereira’s most celebrated films. Based on the novel by Graciliano Ramos, the film follows an itinerant family and their dog as they travel across the parched, pitiless landscape of the sertão in Northeast Brazil and eke out a meager living. Opting for a naked, unfiltered lens and the use of natural lighting, the director offers an unsparing portrait of grinding poverty through a series of striking formal maneuvers. Though set in 1941, two decades prior to the film’s production, Barren Lives resonated deeply with a contemporary situation in which little had changed for the region’s struggling agrarian workers. It is a work of considerable effect, achieved through limited means. 35mm. In Portuguese; English subtitles. 100 min.

READ MORE 

VIVE L’AMOUR, Tsai Ming-liang
Museum of the Moving Image

Dir. Tsai Ming-liang. 1994, 118 mins. Archival 35mm print. Chen Chao-jung, Lee Kang-sheng, Yang Kuei-mei. Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and, for critic Robin Wood, Tsai’s “finest,” Vive L’Amour is the film that introduced him to an international audience, garnering comparisons to Antonioni’s studies in urban anomie. Lee plays Tsai’s emblematic onscreen double Hsiao-kang, who works in the funeral urn business and is unsurprisingly death-obsessed. When he goes to attempt suicide in a mostly vacant apartment building, Hsiao is distracted by the sounds of a steamy affair between a real-estate agent and a street vendor in an adjacent apartment. As Hsiao shadows them, a strange love triangle emerges, with tension building until the wrenching emotional outburst of the famous final shot.

READ MORE 

HEARTBEATS, Xavier Dolan
MoMA

2010. Canada. Directed by Xavier Dolan. Best friends Francis and Marie are inseparable—until they both fall for Nicholas, a handsome newcomer. As the trio spends their days and nights together, the two friends passive-aggressively vie for Nicholas’s attention and analyze his every gesture. Heartbeats establishes Dolan’s visual lexicon, with highly stylized slow-motion scenes and riffs on a generation of classic cool; Marie is a doe-eyed, cigarette-poised Audrey Hepburn, and Francis, who keeps a stick-figure tally of his misfortunes in romance, is a melancholy James Dean. Humorous and heartbreaking, the emotional three-way is a contemporary update on Francois Truffaut’s Jules and Jim, with all the neuroses of the 21st century. In French; English subtitles. 101 min.

READ MORE 

_____________________________________________________

***SATURDAY, APRIL 11***

ORNETTE: MADE IN AMERICA, Shirley Clarke
BAM

The great experimental filmmaker Shirley Clarke painted this portrait of avant-garde jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman—who was once asked by NASA to compose music to coincide with their space program. Clarke blends thrilling performance excerpts, futuristic music videos, and imaginative reenactments of Coleman’s childhood, resulting in an invigorating document of a unique artist and original thinker.

READ MORE 

WHAT FAROCKI TAUGHT, Jill Godmilow
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

A shot-for-shot remake of Harun Farocki’s Inextinguishable Fire, translated into English and shot on color Kodachrome. Every motion is exquisitely reproduced—from the self-inflicted cigarette burn at the beginning, to a woman reacting to evening news coverage of the Vietnam War by putting her head on her husband’s shoulder—though the precision is occasionally underscored by Godmilow superimposing Farocki’s original over her reproduction. In a short epilogue, Godmilow is interviewed about her project on the set, expanding her thoughts in a voiceover recorded later: “We don’t have a name for this type of film… it replaces the documentary’s pornography of the real.”

READ MORE 

INEXTINGUISHABLE FIRE, Harun Farocki
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

Among the most powerful antiwar films ever made, Farocki’s short unsentimentally traces the connections between the state, corporate interests, and scientific research by dramatizing the internal workings of the Dow Chemical plant in Midland, Michigan, surrounding the development of napalm. With the haunting refrain “A chemical corporation is like a set of building blocks. We let each worker have one block to work with. Then we put the blocks together to make whatever our clients request,” the film builds upon repetitions and news footage from Vietnam to illustrate the devastating consequences of a populace divided and disempowered by capitalism.

READ MORE 

SORORITY GIRL, Roger Corman
Anthology Film Archives

One of the earliest films in both Corman’s and Dick Miller’s filmographies, SORORITY GIRL is a scathingly brutal cheapie that traces the downward spiral of spoiled, sociopathic rich girl Sabra (Susan Cabot). Schooled in emotional stuntedness and inhumanity by her haughty, hateful mother, she wreaks havoc on her fellow sorority members at the University of Southern California, shamelessly exploiting and persecuting them. Typically for Corman, what would have been a cynical exploitation film in almost anyone else’s hands is, despite the conditions of its production, a blunt but remarkably perceptive portrait of a sociopath – though there’s bitchy fun to be had too!

READ MORE 

LANDSCAPE SUICIDE, James Benning
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

For his career-long excavation of the American national character, James Benning found two of his most striking case studies in a pair of murderers whose crimes took place 30 years and more than half the country apart. Landscape Suicide, like many of Benning’s films, consists largely of footage of places, landscapes, and roads accompanied by—or paired with—speech. The speech, in this case, comes from the court testimonies of Bernadette Protti, who stabbed one of her California high-school classmates to death in 1984 over an insult, and Ed Gein, the infamous Plainfield, Wisconsin, killer who made trophies out of his victim’s bodies, read aloud by actors directly to the camera. Benning’s America is a country terrified equally by the wilderness to which it’s in thrall and the civilization it’s set up to keep that wilderness at bay—and nowhere in his work does that tension become more chillingly clear. New 16mm print courtesy of the Austrian Film Museum.

READ MORE 

RIO, NORTHERN ZONE, Nelson Pereira dos Santos
MoMA

1957. Brazil. Directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos. With Grande Otelo, Malu, Jece Valadão. While Pereira’s previous film, Rio, 100 Degrees, offered a panoramic view of the city and its inhabitants, here he focuses on the inner life of a single protagonist, the struggling composer Espírito da Luz Cardoso (a character modeled on the musician Zé Keti, who appears briefly in the film). Discovered on the train tracks at the film’s outset, clinging to life, he begins to recall key episodes of his recent past through a series of flashbacks—memories of new love found and lost, of a son who turned to a life of crime, and, perhaps most crucially, of his songs. Despite facing numerous hardships, including dealings with exploitative businessmen looking to profit from his art, Espírito remains optimistic, buoyed by the spirit of his music. Rio, Northern Zone is a powerful drama of inequity, set to a samba beat. 35mm. In Portuguese; English subtitles. 90 min.

READ MORE 

THE BACHELOR PARTY, Delbert Mann
Museum of the Moving Image

Originally written and produced for live television in 1953, this film reteams writer Paddy Chayefsky and director Delbert Mann, and reflects the painful realism of their previous collaboration, the Oscar-winning film Marty. The “swinging bachelor” was a trope of fiction at this time, but this film poetically undoes the clichés of male camaraderie and presents both the issues of fidelity and loneliness with an unflinching eye. −Matthew Weiner

READ MORE 

THE ALIENIST/A VERY CRAZY ASYLUM, Nelson Pereira dos Santos
MoMA

1957. Brazil. Directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos. With Grande Otelo, Malu, Jece Valadão. While Pereira’s previous film, Rio, 100 Degrees, offered a panoramic view of the city and its inhabitants, here he focuses on the inner life of a single protagonist, the struggling composer Espírito da Luz Cardoso (a character modeled on the musician Zé Keti, who appears briefly in the film). Discovered on the train tracks at the film’s outset, clinging to life, he begins to recall key episodes of his recent past through a series of flashbacks—memories of new love found and lost, of a son who turned to a life of crime, and, perhaps most crucially, of his songs. Despite facing numerous hardships, including dealings with exploitative businessmen looking to profit from his art, Espírito remains optimistic, buoyed by the spirit of his music. Rio, Northern Zone is a powerful drama of inequity, set to a samba beat. 35mm. In Portuguese; English subtitles. 90 min.

READ MORE 

BOYS, Tsai Ming-Iiang
Museum of the Moving Image

While preparing to shoot this short feature for television, Tsai discovered and auditioned a young man working as a guard at a video arcade. This was Lee Kang-sheng, Tsai’s muse-to-be, who has appeared in all of his feature films to date. Lee plays a junior-high student who bullies and blackmails a younger boy, then receives the same treatment at the hands of some older students, in what could be a practice run for the presentation of dog-eat-dog youth in the following year’s Rebels of the Neon God. One of ten television features Tsai wrote between 1989 and 1991, Boys offers a rare glimpse into his apprenticeship period. “I decided to be more accepting of Hsiao-kang’s acting, rather than force him to react quicker,” said Tsai. “If that’s the way he reacts, that’s the way he is.”

READ MORE 

THE HOLE, Tsai Ming-Iiang
Museum of the Moving Image

Dir. Tsai Ming-liang. 1998, 95 mins. Archival 35mm print from UCLA Film & Television Archive. With Yang Kuei-mei, Lee Kang-sheng, Miao Tien. Part musical, part-apocalyptic fable, and entirely without precedent, Tsai’s fourth feature begins a week shy of 2000, as Taipei is in the grip of a mysterious epidemic (“Taiwan Fever”) ensuing after a monsoon. Lagging behind the evacuation, Hsiao-kang meets his downstairs neighbor when a plumber accidentally creates a hole connecting their apartments, a breach that gradually widens. Tsai contrasts the dreariness of the apartment block with the splendiferous production numbers set to the lip-synched music of Grace Chang, sequences that are lavish expressions of bottled-up desire.

READ MORE 

THE RIVER, Tsai Ming-Iiang
Museum of the Moving Image

Dir. Tsai Ming-liang. 1997, 115 mins. Archival 35mm print. With Miao Tien, Lee Kang-sheng, Lu Yi-ching. “Perhaps the most harrowing of Tsai’s meditations on urban isolation… trains the director’s unblinking gaze on the breakdown of the nuclear family.” (Elvis Mitchell). Talked into playing a dead body on a film shoot, Hsiao-kang agrees to lie face-down in the polluted Tamsui River, and shortly thereafter develops a mysterious neck pain. The lingering effects create tension in the apartment that he shares with his parents, which each member of the family escapes to pursue some kind of satisfaction on their own. Concluding with a startling eruption of repressed desire, The River is among Tsai’s most divisive and uncompromising works.

READ MORE 

_____________________________________________________

***SUNDAY, APRIL 12***

REBELS OF THE NEON GOD, Tsai Ming-Iiang
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

Tsai Ming-liang’s feature debut introduces antihero Hsiao-kang (Lee Kang-sheng, who has reprised the role in nearly all of Tsai’s later works, including Stray Dogs, NYFF51), a sullen youth sharing a Taipei apartment with his mother and cabbie father who believes he’s the reincarnation of a spiteful god. Something of a low-key anarchist, Hsiao-kang impulsively drops out of his college-prep course and pockets the tuition money. Striking out on his own, he falls in with the bikers who vandalized his father’s cab (Chen Chao-jung and Jen Chang-bin) and the disaffected girl (Wang Yu-wen) who follows them around. A stark but sympathetic portrait of teenage alienation, Rebels of the Neon God reimagines Rebel Without a Cause amid a nocturnal landscape of urban decay, a Taipei bathed in the glow of arcade machines, noisy mopeds and festering back-alley sludge. A perversely funny and haunting sign of things to come in Tsai’s singular and acclaimed career, Rebels of the Neon God deserves to be counted among the most auspicious debuts of the past several decades. A Big World Pictures release.

READ MORE 

EDVARD MUNCH, Peter Watkins
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

Peter Watkins’s three-and-a-half-hour magnum opus is less a portrait of the great Norwegian painter Edvard Munch than it is an exposure of the artist’s frayed inner life. Indelible images of the painter’s childhood occur and recur; ecstatic moments of human connection punctuate long stretches of boredom, loneliness, and frustration; aesthetic debates within Munch’s Berlin intellectual circle, which included the playwright August Strindberg, unravel at length. The result is an artist biopic—complete with dry voiceover narration—that moves with the logic of a free verse poem or a stream-of-consciousness novel. On one level, Edvard Munch is an exhaustive portrait of a particularly fervent moment in European politics and culture. On another, it’s a painfully intimate study of an individual with a particularly acute sense for, as one character in the film puts it, “the mysterious anguish of life”—and the cathartic anguish of art.

READ MORE 

EASY LIVING, Mitchell Leisen
Film Forum

(1937, Mitchell Leisen) Working girl Jean Arthur is bonked on the head with a mink coat while riding on an open-air Fifth Ave. bus, mistaken for the mistress of Wall St. lion Edward Arnold, given the ne plus ultra of Manhattan penthouse suites, and finds love in the Automat with fresh-faced Ray Milland. Approx. 86 min. 35mm.

READ MORE 

REMEMBER THE NIGHT, Mitchell Leisen
Film Forum

(1940, Mitchell Leisen) Assistant NYC D.A. Fred MacMurray brings his maiden aunts in Indiana a Christmas present: convicted shoplifter Barbara Stanwyck. Classic Sturges comedy romance, his last screenplay for another director. Approx. 94 min. 35mm.

READ MORE 

THE AMULET OF OGUM, Nelson Pereira dos Santos
MoMA

1974. Brazil. Directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos. With Ney Santanna, Anecy Rocha, Joffre Soares, Maria Ribeiro, Jards Macalé, Emmanuel Cavalcanti. After Firmino, a blind balladeer, is robbed by a gang of thugs, they demand a performance, and he proceeds to tell them a tale about the Amulet of Ogum. The story centers around a young man, Gabriel, who is granted invincibility after taking part in an Umbanda ceremony, and who, because of his supernatural abilities, soon becomes embroiled in Caxias’s violent underworld. The Amulet of Ogum is a crime picture and much more, combining the genre with Brazil’s syncretic religious traditions, which during this period had been actively suppressed by the government. In Portuguese; English subtitles. 112 min.

READ MORE 

19 Films to See This Week: Kiarostami, Borowczyk, Kubrick + More

Film

From IFC Center and BAM  to Film Forum and The Film Society of Lincoln Center, check out the 19 films to see this week around the city.

**MONDAY, APRIL 6**

NED RIFLE, Hal Hartley
IFC Center

The third and final film in the Henry Fool trilogy. Henry Fool and Fay Grim’s son Ned sets out to find and kill his father for destroying his mother’s life. But his aims are frustrated by the troublesome, sexy, and hilarious Susan, whose connection to Henry predates even his arrival in the lives of the Grim family. A funny, sad, and sexy adventure, Ned Rifle is an intellectually stimulating and compassionate satire.

READ MORE 

THE KILLING, Stanley Kubrick
BAM

Harris and Kubrick kicked off their three-film winning streak with this ultra-tense heist film, in which a band of two-bit crooks pull an elaborate racetrack robbery—only to see their perfectly laid plan unravel after the job. Unfolding in an intricate flashback structure, this coolly ironic noir features hardboiled dialogue by Jim Thompson and memorable character turns by professional oddballs like Elisha Cook Jr. and Timothy Carey.

READ MORE 

TELEFON, Don Siegel
BAM

In this pulse-pounding Cold War espionage thriller, produced by Harris, a Russian officer (Bronson) is dispatched to the US to thwart a rogue KGB operative (Pleasence) activating brainwashed sleeper agents to kill Americans. Action auteur Don Siegel injects plenty of snap, crackle, and pop into this twist-filled spy-versus-spy yarn.

READ MORE 

BEHIND CONVENT WALLS, Walerian Borowczyk
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

Inspired by a passage in Stendhal’s Promenades dans Rome, Borowczyk’s first Italian production concerns the antics of a convent full of sexually repressed nuns. Deceptively frivolous, Borowczyk’s film is nevertheless a serious exploration of the relationship between flesh and spirit. Likened to Boccaccio by Alberto Moravia, Behind Convent Walls features striking handheld cinematography by Luciano Tovoli and the final performance of Borowczyk’s wife, Ligia Branice. Note: contains explicit sexual content.

READ MORE 

STORY OF SIN, Walerian Borowczyk
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

Based on the novel by Stefan Żeromski, Story of Sin is Borowczyk’s singular Polish feature film. Grażyna Długołęcka plays Ewa Pobratyńska, the doomed heroine whose passion for a married anthropology student takes her on a perilous journey across early-20th-century Europe. Casting a critical eye on the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church, Story of Sin counts as Borowczyk’s most passionate film, a delirious melodrama that reaches an ecstatic pitch. Nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Note: contains explicit sexual content.

READ MORE 

INTOLERANCE, D.W. Griffith
Film Forum

(1916) Overwhelmingly spectacular follow-up to The Birth of a Nation, with Lillian Gish’s cradle-rocking tying together stories of Christ, the 16th century St. Bartholomew Day Massacre, the fall of Babylon, and a modern day story capped by the original car vs. train race to deliver the reprieve. This restoration features a lush orchestral score by Carl Davis. Approx. 167 min. DCP.

READ MORE 

_______________________________________________

**TUESDAY, APRIL 7**

LOVE RITES, Walerian Borowcyzk
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

Borowczyk’s final feature returns with a vengeance to a signature theme—emasculation. Vain clothing buyer Hugo (Mathieu Carrière) meets beautiful Myriam (Marina Pierro) on the Metro and pursues her, discovering to his delight that she’s a prostitute. The crafty Myriam, of course, has more in mind for their encounter than smug Hugo bargained for. Though perhaps less graphic than Borowczyk’s best-known works, Love Rites nevertheless turns the sexual tables with perverse exactitude. Note: contains explicit sexual content.

READ MORE 

LULU, Walerian Borowczyk
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

Based on the Lulu plays by Frank Wedekind (which formed the basis for G.W. Pabst’s Pandora’s Box), Borowczyk presents a terse, stripped-back account of the eponymous antiheroine. Filmed in a series of stylized sets designed by the director himself, Lulu is as cool as an erotic fantasy played out inside a doll’s house. Anne Bennent puts her stamp on the role immortalized by Louise Brooks, and Udo Kier memorably turns up as Jack the Ripper. Note: contains explicit sexual content.

READ MORE 

THAT GUY DICK MILLER, Elijah Drenner
Anthology Film Archives

You know the face, and have heard the voice, but just can’t figure out where. The character actor’s character actor, Dick Miller is nothing short of a living legend to those who delight in his every bit role, in a career that to date encompasses more than 175 feature films and over 2,000 television appearances. The new documentary, THAT GUY DICK MILLER, performs the Nobel-Award-worthy public service of shining a spotlight on this national treasure, one of the most reliably inspired and omnipresent actors of the past 50-plus years.

READ MORE 

THE HOWLING, Joe Dante
Anthology Film Archives

“A popular Los Angeles TV reporter is given doctor’s orders to visit a remote consciousness-raising retreat called ‘The Colony’ after a traumatic incident with a serial killer. The bizarre behavior of the residents begins to make sense once the reporter discovers that she is staying amidst a community of werewolves! THE HOWLING is not only a great werewolf movie, but also a witty and knowing commentary on the genre itself. The film is as full of impressive werewolf transformation scenes as of social satire, which is no surprise given that the special effects were done by Rob Bottin (THE THING) and the screenplay was written by John Sayles.” –THE WEXNER CENTER

READ MORE 

_______________________________________________

**WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8**

RETURN TO HOMS, Talai Derki
BAM

BAMcinématek and LIU present the winner of the inaugural George Polk Documentary Film Award, an extraordinary, visceral film that dives into the Syrian resistance with a frenzied immediacy, intimately capturing two friend’s haunting battle cry for justice. As a siege takes hold in Homs, friends Basset and Osama gather a circle of brave but inexperienced insurgents, determined to protect the city’s captive civilians and help them get out of the warzone. In a standoff reminiscent of David and Goliath, a handful of stranded amateur fighters hold out against the snipers, tanks, and mortars of the Syrian Army while their city crumbles around them.

READ MORE 

THE BEAST, Walerian Borowczyk
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

Bestial dreams interrupt the venal plans of a French aristocrat attempting to save a crumbling mansion by marrying off his deformed son to a horny American heiress. Drawing on the legends surrounding the beast of Gévaudan, Prosper Mérimée’s novella Lokis and Freud’s Wolf Man, The Beast is an erotic black farce hell-bent on trampling every pretense of good taste. In The Beast, the only decorum and restraint is to be found in Scarlatti’s harpsichord music. Note: contains explicit sexual content.

READ MORE 

A BUCKET OF BLOOD, Roger Corman
Anthology Film Archives

In his most famous (and regrettably one of his very few) starring roles, Miller shines as Walter Paisley, an aspiring beatnik who stumbles on art-world success when he accidentally kills his landlady’s cat and, on a whim, covers it in clay. After passing the result off as a genuine sculpture he’s proclaimed an artistic genius. But soon he finds himself pursuing increasingly desperate and horrific means to produce new sculptures and maintain his artistic glory. A BUCKET OF BLOOD is an ingenious satire of counter-cultural pretension, and among the highpoints of Corman and Miller’s careers.

READ MORE 

IMITATION OF LIFE, Douglas Sirk
Film Forum

(1959) “I’m going up and up and up. And no one’s going to pull me down!” When single mother Lana Turner loses her daughter (eventually growing up to be Sandra Dee) at Coney Island, she winds up finding equally husband-less African American mother Juanita Moore and budding photographer John Gavin, gaining both a loyal domestic and Faithful Friend. But then the betrayals multiply, as Turner single-mindedly pursues Broadway super-stardom — while blind to Dee and Gavin getting overly-chummy — and Moore’s daughter Susan Kohner (“giving one of the most desperate performances in Sirk’s work” — David Thompson) breaks her mother’s heart by “passing for white.” Sirk’s remake of a Fannie Hurst tear-jerker (films in 1934 with Claudette Colbert) was one of its studio’s biggest hits ever and the director’s farewell to Hollywood, subconsciously symbolized by its grandiose final funeral, featuring gospel great Mahalia Jackson. With competing Best Supporting Actress nominations for Moore and the in-life Hispanic/Jewish Kohner. This new 4K restoration showcases the lush Technicolor cinematography of Russell Metty, who’d shot the supremely b&w Touch of Evil only a year before. Approx. 124 min. DCP.

READ MORE 

THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME, Ernest B. Schoedsack
MoMA

1932. USA. Directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack, Irving Pichel. Screenplay by James Ashmore Creelman, from the story by Richard Connell. With Joel McCrea, Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Leslie Banks. The first and most famous adaptation of Richard Connell’s 1924 short story casts a young, not-quite-formed McCrea as a famous big game hunter who finds himself washed ashore on a tropical island controlled by a mad Russian count (Leslie Banks) who enjoys a good hunt himself. Produced by Ernest B. Schoedsack and Merian C. Cooper, and shot at the same time as their King Kong—with which the film shares cast members Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong, several sets, and a lively sense of primitive urges. 63 min.

READ MORE 

_______________________________________________

**THURSDAY, APRIL 9**

IMMORAL WOMEN, Walerian Borowczyk
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

A film in three parts that brings together tales of women in different historical epochs who use their sexuality to triumph over the men that oppress them. In the first, set in Renaissance Rome, a baker’s daughter (Borowczyk muse Marina Pierro) models for a Vatican artist and pits him against a grotesque moneylender. The second episode charts the revenge of a Belle Époque teenager (Gaëlle Legrand) when her parents decide that her relationship with her pet bunny is too close for comfort. Finally, in modern-day Paris, a woman (Pascale Christophe) is kidnapped, and her husband proves less loyal than her beloved Doberman. Borowczyk brazenly explores motifs of bestiality, bourgeois moralism, and wanton revenge. Note: contains explicit sexual content.

READ MORE 

SPACE IS THE PLACE + AFRONAUTS, John Coney
BAM

The movie version of Sun Ra’s concept album features the legendary avant-garde jazz musician and mystic in his only fictional film appearance. Rejecting a linear plot in favor of a mélange of interplanetary travel, sharp social commentary, goofy pseudo-Blaxploitation stylistics, and thrilling concert performance, this kaleidoscopic, hugely entertaining adventure is a wild ride.

READ MORE 

HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD, Joe Dante and Allan Arkush
Anthology Film Archives

The directorial debut of both Joe Dante (THE HOWLING, GREMLINS) and Allan Arkush (ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL), this deliriously entertaining pastiche of exploitation film tropes was the result of a bet between producer Jon Davison and Roger Corman that Davison could make the cheapest film yet created for Corman’s New World Pictures. Dante and Arkush pulled off this impressive feat by shooting on leftover short ends of raw stock and by freely incorporating footage from previous New World films, including NIGHT CALL NURSES, BIG BAD MAMA, and DEATH RACE 2000. Amongst its many references and homages to drive-in cinema classics, it includes a cameo by Dick Miller reprising his role as BUCKET OF BLOOD’s Walter Paisley!

READ MORE 

CERTIFIED COPY, Abbas Kiarostami
MoMA

2010. Iran. Directed by Abbas Kiarostami. With Juliette Binoche, William Shimell. Author James Miller travels through Italy promoting his book about the original versus the copy. At a meet-and-greet, James is taken with a beautiful French woman, and they agree to meet again and visit a romantic Tuscan city. As their relationship begins to blossom, hidden secrets begin to percolate. In French, English, Italian; English subtitles. 106 min.

READ MORE 

15 Films to See This Week: Hal Hartley, James B. Harris, Max Ophlus + More

Film

From IFC Center and BAM  to Film Forum and The Film Society of Lincoln Center, check out the 15 films to see this week around the city.

**MONDAY, MARCH 30**

AMERICA, D.W. Griffith
Film Forum

(1924) Griffith’s epic of the American Revolution, complete with Bunker Hill, Paul Revere’s Ride, and Carol Dempster, until Neil Hamilton has to make a tough moral decision, even as Lionel Barrymore’s Captain Walter Butler (historical turncoat and renegade) steals the show. Approx. 140 min. 35mm.

READ MORE 

THE ADVENTURES OF JUAN QUIN QUIN, Julio García Espinosa
BAM

This infectiously picaresque parody chronicles the comic escapades of Juan Quin Quin (Martínez) as he goes from altar boy to farmer to bullfighter to revolutionary in pre-Castro Cuba. Laced with playful reflexive touches—spoofs of every movie genre imaginable, cartoon thought bubbles over characters’ heads, tongue-in-cheek intertitles—this breezy, comic book-style adventure was the most popular Cuban film of its era.

READ MORE 

ALEXANDER MACKENDRICK’S ‘A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA’, Alexander Mackendrick
Anthology Film Archives

A rare instance of a great work of literature whose Hollywood adaptation is a masterpiece in its own right, A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA is based on the 1929 novel by Richard Hughes, a peerlessly entertaining high-seas tale that is both a delightful children’s adventure story and a disturbing portrait of youthful destructiveness. No one could have been better suited to film Hughes’s novel than Alexander Mackendrick, whose versatility and deft handling of tone had already been amply demonstrated by his work making classic (often dark) comedies for England’s legendary Ealing Studios (THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT, THE LADYKILLERS) as well as the caustic SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, one of the greatest films to emerge from 1950s Hollywood. Mackendrick nails both the rollicking enjoyment of Hughes’s novel, as well as its increasingly dark undertones, which deepen but never interfere with the ebullient storytelling. HIGH WIND tells the story of a group of British children whose return from colonial Jamaica hits a major snag when they’re inadvertently captured by a band of pirates led by Anthony Quinn and first-mate James Coburn. What appears at first to be a story of vulnerable innocents in danger slowly but surely transforms into a much more complicated, subversive portrait of childhood, as the kids’ ruthlessly anarchic spirit shifts the power dynamic in their favor.

READ MORE 

________________________________________________

**TUESDAY, MARCH 31**

HENRY FOOL, Hal Hartley
IFC Center

“Looser, more expansive and certainly more scatological than Hartley’s earlier work, this very funny, finally touching fable focuses on the way Henry Fool (Ryan) – a bawdy, rebellious, intellectually gifted drifter, and quite possibly a charlatan – transforms the lives of the inhabitants of a small town: notably, shy, put-upon Simon Grim (James Urbaniak), who under Fool’s auspices becomes both celebrated as a writer and demonised as a pornographer; his promiscuous sister (Posey) and depressive mother (Porter). For all its outrageous black humour, however, it remains a Hartley movie, with its wittily stylised dialogue, droll performances, crisp camerawork and its profoundly ironic musings on the nature of art and its status in society – musings which surely reflect on Hartley’s own status as an ambitious but marginalised film-maker.” – Time Out (London)

READ MORE

FAY GRIM, Hal Hartley
IFC Center

“Hartley’s eight-years-on sequel to HENRY FOOL finds the abandoned wife (Posey) of the scumbag anti-hero of the earlier film trying to find out what became of him; as theories and revelations to his true identity, activities and whereabouts emerge, it posits a past for him that embraces and evokes political turmoil worldwide… There are good gags, nice turns from Goldblum and Ryan, and an excellent lead in the dependable Posey.” – Time Out (London)

READ MORE 

THE FIRST CHARGE OF THE MACHETE, Manuel Octavio Gomez
BAM

Cuban farmers turn their machetes against Spanish colonialists in this highly experimental recreation of an 1868 battle for independence. Told in a gritty, cinéma vérité style, The First Charge of the Machete uses swirling handheld camerawork, authentically aged-looking, high-contrast black and white photography, and pseudo-documentary interviews with participants to create the impression of an artifact unearthed.

READ MORE 

FLAHERTY NYC: PROGRAM 6: THE MOTHERHOOD ARCHIVES: IRENE LUSZTIG, Irene Lusztig
Anthology Film Archives

Irene Lusztig’s film, THE MOTHERHOOD ARCHIVES, explores the history of efforts to discipline and control the body of pregnant women. Lusztig spent five years assembling an extraordinary archive of over 100 educational, industrial, and medical training films and, in her inimitable style, editing this material into THE MOTHERHOOD ARCHIVES, a hidden history of childbirth in the twentieth century. Through the process, Lusztig highlights the uncomfortable and little-discussed ambivalence that many women feel about producing children, those most precious of objects.

READ MORE 

________________________________________________

**WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1**

SOME CALL IT LOVING, James B. Harris
BAM

In Harris’ dreamlike, erotic puzzle film, a melancholic jazz musician (King) purchases a real life Sleeping Beauty (Farrow) from a carnival sideshow and whisks her away to his Gothic pleasure palace. Adding to the strangeness, the inimitable Richard Pryor appears in a remarkably twitchy turn as a rambling junkie jazz cat. “Unmissable for anyone with an open mind and a sense of cinematic adventure” (Time Out London).

READ MORE

THE DEVIL IS A WOMAN, Josef von Sternberg
MoMA

1935. USA. Directed by Josef von Sternberg. Screenplay by John Dos Passos, Sam Winston, based on the novel The Woman and the Puppet by Pierre Louys. With Marlene Dietrich, Lionel Atwill, Cesar Romero, Edward Everett Horton. 80 min.

READ MORE

THE MORE THE MERRIER, George Stevens
MoMA

1943. USA. Directed by George Stevens. Screenplay by Robert Russell, Frank Ross, Richard Flournoy, Lewis R. Foster, from a story by Russell and Ross. With Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn, Richard Gaines, Bruce Bennett. The wartime housing shortage in Washington, D.C., forces government worker Jean Arthur to share her small Georgetown apartment with McCrea, an army officer awaiting reassignment, and Charles Coburn, a cantankerous consultant who acts both as chaperone (for the Production Code) and Cupid (for the rest of us) to the young couple. McCrea’s easygoing delivery finds directorial reinforcement from George Stevens, who allows whole scenes (including the famous front stoop seduction) to ramble on with happy abandon. 104 min.

READ MORE 

FROM MAYERLING TO SARAJEVO, Max Ophuls
Film Forum

(1940) In the wake of the murder-suicide of Prince Rudolph at Mayerling, John Lodge’s stiff, but broad-minded Archduke Franz Ferdinand becomes the heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian empire, to the distinct unhappiness of its emperor, Franz Josef. But then Franz Ferdinand wants to marry Edwige Feuillère, a mere countess – and a Czech! In Ophüls’ romantically aristocratic world you know where you stand when the morgantically (their children can’t inherit) married couple are about the arrive at their first imperial ball together; a functionary murmurs Feuillère must use the Minor Stairs. Made in France and premiering just before it fell to the Nazis, this was Ophüls’ last picture before Hollywood and a surprisingly faithful, and lavishly produced, account of a Romeo and Juliet passion hindered not by family enmity, but by levels of nobility, a way of life to be wiped out by the events then only 25 years in the past – the same distance in time we have to the fall of the Berlin Wall. (Historical footnote: This would be the last film of American actor Lodge – of the Boston Lodges; he’d been co-star to Katharine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, and Shirley Temple before eventually becoming congressman and governor of Connecticut, as well as U.S. ambassador to Spain, Argentina, and Switzerland). Approx. 97 min. 35mm.

READ MORE 

________________________________________________

**THURSDAY, APRIL 2**

WOJCIECH BAKOWSKI: SOLILOQUIES, Wojciech Bakowski
Anthology Film Archives

“This is the first New York retrospective of Polish visual artist, musician, and poet Wojciech Bąkowski, whose camera-less films and animated video works explore the disturbance, absurdity, and pathos of human existence. Bąkowski’s dry but lyrical and, at times, grotesquely humorous monologues bring to light the ways in which we struggle to perceive reality. He reacts to his surroundings without evaluating them, but describes his inner landscape – the states of his thought and spirit. His work employs minimalist but laborious means of production, and takes on Optical-kinetic Art abstraction: moving patterns, warping geometric forms, animated objects, and reversible perspectives. Cellphones, clocks, magnetic tapes, cassette recorders, and trains become distorted, tyrannical noises that incisively permeate the private space. The austerity of a Bauhaus and Vkhutemas (the Soviet-era art and technical school) approach to aesthetic and socio-economic design and intellectualism pervades Bąkowski’s ‘degenerate art.’ The lack of emotion and intonation in his voice, the pauses, and the inexorable image-sound repetitions are doomed signs of metaphysical and political fate. With dismayed breath, he hopes for the creation of a new world built upon social interconnectivity, and the essential role of memory. The program combines a representative selection of his collage-films, which emphasize boredom as a transgressive attitude, and of his SPOKEN MOVIE series – Moholy-Nagy-like videos that represent personal experiences at the edge of a mental space where light and darkness collide.” –Mónica Savirón

READ MORE 

THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MISS OSBOURNE, Walerian Borowczyk
Film Society of Lincoln Center

Taking its cue from the legend that Robert Louis Stevenson’s cocaine-fueled first draft of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was burned by his prudish American wife on account of its sexual excess, Borowczyk sets up a chamber piece spanning just one night, in which Henry Jekyll (Udo Kier) plunges into a bath of chemicals only for him to emerge as the monstrously endowed Mr. Hyde. A masterpiece of surrealist cinema, Borowczyk’s film mischievously flits between violent farce, bloody delirium, and erotic frenzy. Note: contains explicit sexual content.

READ MORE

A DAZZLING IMAGINATION, Walerian Borowczyk
Film Society of Lincoln Center

This program of documentaries—all directed by series co-curator Daniel Bird—sheds light on the life and sui generis career of Borowczyk, ranging from his early animations, his erotic feature films, and his artwork beyond the realm of cinema. An edifying portrait of Borowczyk not just as a pioneering animator and a wildly imaginative stylist but also as an utterly unique and versatile artist.

READ MORE 

A FILM UNFINISHED, Yael Hersonski
MoMA

2010. Germany/Israel. Directed by Yael Hersonski. In May 1942, just two months before the commencement of deportations to Treblinka, German cameramen entered the Warsaw Ghetto to film staged vignettes with its Jewish residents, alternatively portraying them as vile, dirty animals, or as greedy, selfish money grubbers. Either way, the images made amply clear that the Jews were a pestilence to be exterminated. After the war, several reels of this unfinished “documentary” were discovered buried in a film vault; remarkably, a missing reel was unearthed decades later. Israeli director Hersonski offers a sober and methodical vivisection of the Nazi footage, setting it in stark contrast to the harrowing reality of life and death in the Ghetto. Holocaust survivors, along with readings from diaries of people who were there (as well as testimony from a Nazi cameraman), establish the truth behind the fictionalized images. In Hebrew; English subtitles. 89 min.

READ MORE 

ALICE’S HOUSE, Chico Teixeira
MoMA

2007. Brazil. Written and directed by Chico Teixeira. With Carla Ribas. In a working-class district of São Paulo, Alice, a fortyish manicurist, lives in a cramped apartment with her unfeeling taxi-driver husband of more than 20 years, two of her three adult sons, and her elderly mother. Tempted to have an affair with the husband of one of her clients, and suspicious of her own husband’s fidelity, she lets her tumultuous thoughts provide grist for dreamy fantasies. Carla Ribas’s effortless, earthy performance anchors this compassionate look at ordinary people’s extraordinary buoyancy in the face of daily disappointments. In Portuguese; English subtitles. 94 min.

READ MORE 

28 Films to See This Weekend: Chabrol, Kubrick, Buñuel + More

Film

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.

_____________________________________________________

***FRIDAY, MARCH 27***

CREEPERS (aka PHENOMENA), Dario Argento
Anthology Film Archives

A 14-year old Jennifer Connelly plays a young girl with the ability to communicate with insects. Newly transferred to a Swiss boarding school roiled by a string of murders, she joins forces with an entomologist (Donald Pleasance) and his trusted chimp to find the killer before she becomes the next victim. Mixing elements of giallo, horror, and the supernatural, PHENOMENA is one of Argento’s greatest films.

READ MORE 

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, Stanley Kubrick
IFC Center

A scathing satire on a society in the not-so-distant future, with an excellent Malcolm McDowell as a prime misfit fascinated by women, Beethoven and ultra-violence.

READ MORE

CHRISTMAS WEDDING BABY, Kiara Jones
BAM

In this deft cross between romantic comedy and family drama, three sisters gather in their North Florida hometown for the youngest’s Christmastime wedding. The trio struggle with the expectations they face as women—in marriage, motherhood, romance, and their relationships to their opinionated mother—which is to say nothing of the real wrench in the plot: the bride-to-be’s first love has been hired as her wedding photographer.

READ MORE 

LISTEN TO ME MARLON, Stevan Riley
Film Society of Lincoln Center

With a face and name known the world over, Marlon Brando earned acclaim for his astonishing acting range, and infamy for his enigmatic personality. With unprecedented access to a trove of audio recordings made by the actor himself (including several self-hypnosis tapes), documentarian Stevan Riley explores Brando’s on- and off-screen lives, from bursting onto the cinematic scene with such films as The Men and A Streetcar Named Desire to his first Oscar-winning role in On the Waterfront. Archival news clips and interviews shed light on Brando’s support for the civil rights movement as well as on the many trials and tribulations of his children, Christian and Cheyenne. But between these many revelations and disclosures, Brando manages to tell his own story, filled with bones to pick, strong opinions, and fascinating traces of one of the most alluring figures in the history of cinema. A Showtime presentation.

READ MORE 

OJUJU, C.J. ‘Fiery’ Obasi
BAM

When the water supply in an isolated Nigerian slum becomes infected, the neighborhood quickly morphs into a minefield of flesh-eating undead. Expectant father Romero (a cheeky reference to Night of the Living Dead director George Romero) must weigh his instinct for survival against his anguish when his pregnant girlfriend begins displaying some strange symptoms. He joins forces with smart-aleck friend Peju and the pair attempt to escape the infested hood, dodging zombified drug dealers, ex-lovers, friends, and more along the way. Made on a shoestring budget, C.J. Obasi’s horrorfest proves an impressive, subversive take on the zombie genre.

READ MORE

DREAMS ARE COLDER THAN DEATH, Arthur Jafa
BAM

The latest film from acclaimed cinematographer Arthur Jafa (Daughters of the Dust, Crooklyn) is a profound rumination on a single question: “What does it mean to be black in America today?” Jafa interweaves the abstract and the concrete, layering his haunting visuals with spoken responses by artist Kara Walker, filmmaker Charles Burnett (Killer of Sheep), musician Flying Lotus, and more.

READ MORE

ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK (aka THEY ARE COMING TO GET YOU), Sergio Martino
Anthology Film Archives

Jane (the queen of giallo, Edwige Fenech) is plagued by a recurring nightmare after losing her unborn child in a car accident. Her busy husband Richard (George Hilton) deals with it by plying her with pills, while her sister books sessions for her at the doctor. Things take a turn for the worse when the creepy blue-eyed man from her nightmares materializes in real life, and the upstairs neighbor enlists her in satanic rituals. Set in Swinging London, ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK is graced by Sergio Martino’s impeccable camera work and Bruno Nicolai’s terrific score.

READ MORE 

THE TRIBE, Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy
MoMA

2014. Ukraine. Directed by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy. A silent film with a difference, this entirely unprecedented tour de force was one of the must-see flashpoints at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. Why? Because its entire cast is deaf and mute and the “dialogue” is strictly sign language—without subtitles. Set at a spartan boarding school for deaf and mute coeds, The Tribe follows new arrival Sergey (Grigory Fesenko), who’s immediately initiated into the institution’s hard-as-nails culture with a beating before ascending the food chain from put-upon outsider to foot soldier in a criminal gang that deals drugs and pimps out fellow students. With implacable camerawork and a stark, single-minded approach worthy of influential English director Alan Clarke, first-time feature director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy overcomes what may sound like impossible obstacles to tell a grim but uncannily immersive story of exploitation and brutality in a dog-eat-dog world, delivering a high-school movie you won’t forget. A Drafthouse Films release. DCP. 132 min.

READ MORE 

A NIGHT IN A DORMITORY, Harry Delmar
MoMA

1956. USA. Directed by Arthur Lubin. Screenplay by Devery Freeman, Stephen Longstreet. With Ginger Rogers, Barry Nelson, Carol Channing, James Arness, Clint Eastwood. After 10 years as a freelancer, Rogers returned to her former home base, RKO, for this pleasantly feminist comedy Western—which suitably proved to be the last film released by the battered studio. Under Arthur Lubin’s direction, Rogers returns to her plucky, career-girl persona of the 1930s, complete with squeaky voice: she’s a saleswoman with the unenviable assignment of peddling barbed wire to the open-range ranchers of Texas. Carol Channing, in her first credited movie role, is her comically gangly assistant; as her love interest, Lubin cast his personal protégé, an impossibly handsome young Clint Eastwood. This is likely to be the last public performance of this vintage 35mm IB Technicolor print, which suffers from “vinegar syndrome” and displays some warping in its final minutes. 92 min.

READ MORE 

LES BONNES FEMMES, Claude Chabrol
Museum of the Moving Image

I first saw this in film school and shared it to help the production design of the pilot because it was shot in the streets of Paris, with little embellishment, at exactly the time we were trying to recreate. The thematic aspects were valuable as well, as the film tells the everyday story of four bored working women led astray by their romantic fantasies. My favorite sequence, a kind of postscript to the whole film, is particularly relevant to the series as it features an unknown woman looking right down the lens at the audience. −Matthew Weiner

READ MORE 

NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, Fred Dekker
Nitehawk Cinema

An immensely fun creature feature from director Fred Dekker (The Monster Squad), Night of the Creeps takes on the charmed premise of taking Animal House and turning all the frat boys into zombies controlled by alien brain slugs. With the biggest party night of the year in chaos and all of the jocks in town turned into the living dead, only a buttoned up indoor kid (Jason Lively of Rusty Griswold fame) and a drunk, wiseass detective (Tom Atkins of being awesome in everything he’s in fame) can stop the slugs, kill the jocks and save the girls on Sorority Row. Get your guns ready, cause it’s Miller time.

READ MORE

**SATURDAY, MARCH 28**

THE SUPREME PRICE, Joanna Lipper
BAM

This gripping documentary traces the evolution of the pro-democracy movement in Nigeria and the efforts made to increase the participation of women in leadership roles. Following the annulment of her father’s victory in the presidential election and her mother’s assassination by agents of the military dictatorship, Hafsat Abiola faces the challenge of transforming a corrupt culture of governance into a democracy capable of serving Nigeria’s most marginalized population: women. Joanna Lipper’s “lean, lucid film” (The Village Voice) scopes from one family’s struggles to those faced by a whole nation.

READ MORE 

IN THE MORNING, Nefertite Nguvu
BAM

Charting the emotional bond among nine young Brooklynites over the course of one day, this tonally complex debut feature from writer-director Nefertite Nguvu weaves together three stories about personal growth and the power of choice and action. Shot by cinematographer Arthur Jafa (Daughters of the Dust, Crooklyn), this moving exploration of relationships grapples with the realities of marriage, infidelity, and heartbreak.

READ MORE 

CHRISTMAS AGAIN, Charles Poekel
Film Society of Lincoln Center

A forlorn Noel (Kentucker Audley) pulls long, cold nights as a Christmas-tree vendor in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. As obnoxious, indifferent, or downright bizarre customers come and go, doing little to restore Noel’s faith in humanity, only the flirtatious innuendos of one woman and the drunken pleas of another seem to lift him out of his funk. Writer-director Charles Poekel has transformed three years of “fieldwork” peddling evergreens on the streets of New York into a sharply observed and wistfully comic portrait of urban loneliness and companionship. While Christmas, Again heralds a promising newcomer in Poekel, it also confirms several great young talents of American indie cinema: actors Audley and Hannah Gross, editor Robert Greene, and cinematographer Sean Price Williams.

READ MORE 

DEATH LAID AN EGG (aka PLUCKED), Giulio Questi
Anthology Film Archives

Giulio Questi’s giallo-on-acid, a pop art manifesto against mass production, takes the plot of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s DIABOLIQUE and turns it into something truly bizarre. Marco (Jean-Louis Trintignant) occupies the center of a love triangle involving his wife (Gina Lollobrigida) and her luscious niece (Ewa Aulin), at the high-tech chicken farm they run – and this busy man still finds the time to kill prostitutes on the side. This is poultry art at its best!

READ MORE 

TORSO, Sergio Martino
Anthology Film Archives

A depraved predator is on the loose in the sleepy university town of Perugia where coeds have been turning up brutally murdered. Exchange student Jane (Suzy Kendall) and her friends decide to take a retreat at a secluded villa. What ensues there is worthy of any horror movie textbook, including one astonishing sequence that ranks among the most suspenseful in the genre. A score by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis complete this giallo classic.

READ MORE 

EC: L’ÂGE D’OR, Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí
Anthology Film Archives

Conventional attempts at plot synopsis wither in the face of L’ÂGE D’OR. In Buñuel’s words, “The story is a sequence of moral and surrealist aesthetics. The sexual instinct and the sense of death form the substance of the film. It is a romantic film performed in full surrealistic frenzy.”

READ MORE 

FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET, Dario Argento
Anthology Film Archives

A musician accidentally kills the stalker who had been menacing him over the phone. The killing is witnessed by a masked figure, and soon the musician is being blackmailed. One by one everyone around him turns up dead, making him the prime suspect. In this final installment of the ANIMAL TRILOGY, Argento takes his visual stylistics and set pieces to another level. Long unavailable, the film is presented in a rare archival 35mm print. Starring Michael Brandon and Mimsy Farmer.

READ MORE 

THE GREAT MAN, Sarah Leonor
MoMA

2014. France. Directed by Sarah Leonor. When we first meet Markov (Surho Sugaipov), he and fellow French Legionnaire Hamilton (Jérémie Renier) are tracking a wild leopard in a desert war zone, at the end of their posting in Afghanistan. An ambush results in an abdication of duty—despite it stemming from an act of fidelity. We learn that Markov had joined the Legion as a foreign refugee, hoping to gain his French citizenship and provide a better life for his young son. Ultimately, the complications of immigration and legal status seem petty when compared with the primal urge to do right by those who have committed their lives to saving others’. The intrinsic struggle between paternal/fraternal responsibility and unfettered mobility takes on a deeply moving dimension in Sarah Leonor’s alternately heartbreaking and empowering sophomore feature. A Distrib Films release. DCP. U.S. premiere In French; English subtitles. 107 min.

READ MORE 

PARANOIA (aka ORGASMO), Umberto Lenzi
Nitehawk Cinema

Originally titled ORGASMO in Italian, PARANOIA is the first installment of the prolific genre director Umberto Lenzi’s Giallo Sexy trilogy. In this classic psychological thriller, an erotic triangle develops when an American actress played by the beautiful Carroll Baker retires to an Italian villa after her husband’s sudden death, and becomes a target of the seductive Lou Castel (of “Fists in the Pocket” fame) and his dubious sister played by Colette Descombes. Part Diabolique and part Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Lenzi infuses this claustrophobic nightmare with a dose of his unique blend of sleaze and tension, bringing it to culminate in its final explosion. If Lenzi’s masterful camerawork is not enough to drive you to the brink of madness, Piero Umiliani’s eccentric main theme is sure to do the job.

READ MORE 

FILMS BY VIVIENNE DICK AND ERIC MITCHELL’S RED ITALY Museum of the Moving Image

The influence of Amos Poe’s filmmaking strategies and the fostering of a community inspired other filmmakers. Vivienne Dick engages female artists, most of whom are associated with the punk music scene, in a series of Warhol-like portraits in Guerillere Talks (1978, 28 mins.). Beauty Becomes the Beast (1979, 45 mins.) sets the baby-faced punk musician Lydia Lunch against the decaying, rubble-strewn corners of the city. In Red Italy (1979, 55 mins.), Eric Mitchell grapples with the theme of class struggle, while invoking the films of Pasolini and Antonioni.

READ MORE 

AMOS POE’S UNMADE BEDS AND SHORT FILMS BY JACK GOLDSTEIN, CINDY SHERMAN, AND ERICKA BECKMAN
Museum of the Moving Image

Diverging from the highly formal, Structural film practices of a previous generation, a number of New York artists in the mid- to late 1970s engaged the body, meaning, and narrative. Jack Goldstein engages popular culture in Shane, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, White Dove, and Ballet Shoe (1974-75, 10 mins.). In Doll Clothes (1975, 2 mins.), Cindy Sherman presents the woman’s body as a copy, and as an object capable of forging multiple identities. Ericka Beckman offers the body in movement and a woman’s voice in song in Hit and Run (1977, 9 mins). And Amos Poe’s film Unmade Beds (1976, 77 mins.) is a loose remake of Godard’s Breathless, featuring a cameo by Debbie Harry.

READ MORE 

**SUNDAY, MARCH 29**

THE SHORT NIGHT OF GLASS DOLLS, Aldo Lado
Anthology Film Archives

Filmed in Prague, Aldo Lado’s startling debut feature begins with an American journalist finding himself in a morgue, pronounced dead yet fully conscious. Racing against the clock as his doctors prepare for his autopsy, he struggles to mentally reconstruct the series of events that brought him to this sorry pass, and caused his girlfriend to go missing. The most political of the Giallo directors, Lado delivers his message without giving short shrift to the chills and thrills the genre demands.

READ MORE 

ENTERTAINMENT, Rick Alversonp
Film Society of Lincoln Center

Following up his 2013 breakthrough, The Comedy, director Rick Alverson reteams with that film’s star, Tim Heidecker (here serving as co-writer), for a hallucinatory journey to the end of the night. Or is it the end of comedy? Cult anti-comedian Gregg Turkington (better known as Neil Hamburger) stars as a washed-up comic on tour with a teenage mime (Tye Sheridan), working his way across the Mojave Desert to a possible reconciliation with the estranged daughter who never returns his interminable voicemails. Our sort-of hero’s stand-up set is an abrasive assault on audiences, so radically tone-deaf as to be mesmerizing. Alverson uses a slew of surrealist flourishes and poetic non sequiturs to fashion a one-of-a-kind odyssey that is by turns mortifying and beautiful, bewildering and absorbing. John C. Reilly, Michael Cera, Amy Seimetz, Dean Stockwell, and Heidecker are among the performers who so memorably populate the strange world of Entertainment, a film that utterly scrambles our sense of what is funny—and not funny.

READ MORE 

FROM MAYERLING TO SARAJEVO, Max Ophuls
Film Forum

(1940) In the wake of the murder-suicide of Prince Rudolph at Mayerling, John Lodge’s stiff, but broad-minded Archduke Franz Ferdinand becomes the heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian empire, to the distinct unhappiness of its emperor, Franz Josef. But then Franz Ferdinand wants to marry Edwige Feuillère, a mere countess – and a Czech! In Ophüls’ romantically aristocratic world you know where you stand when the morgantically (their children can’t inherit) married couple are about the arrive at their first imperial ball together; a functionary murmurs Feuillère must use the Minor Stairs. Made in France and premiering just before it fell to the Nazis, this was Ophüls’ last picture before Hollywood and a surprisingly faithful, and lavishly produced, account of a Romeo and Juliet passion hindered not by family enmity, but by levels of nobility, a way of life to be wiped out by the events then only 25 years in the past – the same distance in time we have to the fall of the Berlin Wall. (Historical footnote: This would be the last film of American actor Lodge – of the Boston Lodges; he’d been co-star to Katharine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, and Shirley Temple before eventually becoming congressman and governor of Connecticut, as well as U.S. ambassador to Spain, Argentina, and Switzerland). Approx. 97 min. 35mm.

READ MORE 

THE CABINET OF DOCTOR CALIGARI, Robert Wiene
Nitehawk Cinema

One of cinema’s first horror films as well as a German Expressionist film masterpiece, The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari creates a vivid and dreamlike world. Werner Krauss stars as a doctor with a carnival attraction, a “somnambulist” (Conrad Veidt) who predicts people’s deaths and, under his master’s control, often causes those deaths. There’s no better way to start off the Halloween film season than at the beginning; The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari is a true original with its angled architectural props, dynamic costumes, touch of surrealist dreamlike state, and psychological twist of an ending.

READ MORE

KATHRYN BIGELOW’S THE LOVELESS AND JOHN LURIE’S MEN IN ORBIT
Museum of the Moving Image

In downtown New York film, narrative and meaning are often presented with irony. In Men in Orbit (1979, 45 mins.), John Lurie casts himself and Eric Mitchell in a parody of a NASA space flight. These bodies in space recall TV news coverage and Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, transported to a recession era when the dream of space travel has been negated. Kathryn Bigelow’s The Loveless (co-directed with Monty Montgomery, 1981, 82 mins. With Willem Dafoe.) presents the audience with the costumes, gestures, and poses of a 1950s era Wild One, stripped of its original meaning. Also featured will be music videos by Robert Longo, for “The One I Love” by R.E.M. and “Peace Sells” by Megadeth, which represent another way visual artists engaged with mainstream culture.

READ MORE 

FILMS BY JAMES NARES AND BETH B AND SCOTT B
Museum of the Moving Image

James Nares, a painter and a member of the punk band the Contortions, employed a number of different styles when he turned to filmmaking. In Waiting for the Wind (1982, 8 mins.), which Amy Taubin has called a “technical tour-de-force, ” Nares exhibits a pre-occupation with violent movement, offering up his own body as the focal point. In The Black Box (1979, 21 mins.) Beth B and Scott B address the issue of torture, while in No Japs at My Funeral (1980, 60 mins.), Nares gives us the first person narrative of a real-life IRA operative.

READ MORE 

GIRL INTERRUPTED, James Mangold
Nitehawk Cinema

Based on a novel of the same name, Girl, Interrupted details the instability felt by a generation during the turbulent socio-political climate of the late 1960s through the lives of complicated young women at a mental institution. Committed for various reasons, ranging from food disorders to incest to suicide attempts, their stories intertwine with the main character Susanna Kaysen (Winona Ryder) whose memoir narrates the film. She has unwittingly signed herself into the hospital after a suicide attempt and it becomes a place where she is shocked into the realities it houses and the boundaries of madness. Not unlike Randle in One Flew Over a Cuckoo’s Nest, Susanna is on a self-destructive bent but harnesses the ability to decide whether she’d go over the edge into insanity or pull herself back into the world.

READ MORE 

20 Films to See This Week: De Palma, Argento, Burton + More

20 Films, New York

From IFC Center and BAM  to Film Forum and The Film Society of Lincoln Center, check out the 20 films to see this week around the city.

**MONDAY, MARCH 23**

SANTIAGO ALVAREZ SHORTS PROGRAM, Santiago Alvarez
BAM

LBJ (1968, 18min)
79 Primaveras (1969, 25min)
Now (1965, 5min)
Hanoi Martes 13 (1968, 38min)
Ciclon (1963, 22min)

READ MORE 

WESTERN, Bill and Turner Ross
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

Drug cartel violence and border politics threaten the neighborly rapport enjoyed for generations between Eagle Pass, Texas, and Piedras Negras, Mexico. In their trenchant and passionately observed documentary, Bill and Turner Ross render palpable the unease and uncertainty of decent, hardworking folk as they are buffeted by forces beyond their control, including senseless acts of torture, murders committed just outside their homes, and the temporary USDA ban on livestock trade. Drawing on archetypes of rugged individualism and community, Western focuses on Mayor Chad Foster, who presides over Eagle Pass with a winning, conspiratorial smile; José Manuel Maldonado, his kindly Piedras Negras mayoral counterpart; and Martin Wall, a cattle rancher whose Marlboro Man stoicism melts away in the presence of his young daughter, Brylyn. Western firmly positions the Ross brothers at the frontier of a new, compelling kind of American vernacular cinema.

READ MORE 

BATMAN RETURNS, Tim Burton
IFC Center

Tim Burton put the goth back in Gotham for his hit 1992 sequel BATMAN RETURNS, which features a villainess who finds her strength through kinky black bondage wear, a theme song by goth queen Siouxsie and the Banshees and a script by black comedy genius Daniel Waters (HEATHERS). Though it was criticized by parental groups for being too dark, BATMAN RETURNS nonetheless struck a chord with a generation of “middle-American, tortured oddballs” like our guest presenter, performance artist and goth opera wunderkind Joseph Keckler, who remembers being “entranced by the deformed and power-hungry Penguin (Danny DeVito) and even more by the revelation of Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer): undergoing a vampire-like interspecies resuscitation, she transforms from the scattered, apologetic and subservient Selina Kyle to an oversexed vigilante, whip in hand. Still floating around in the collective unconscious of my generation, like trash in the sewers of Gotham, are fantasies of being with her and being her, of coming back to life with claws.” Join us for a fabulously fun screening!

READ MORE 

DEATH LAID AN EGG, Giulio Questi
Anthology Film Archives

Giulio Questi’s giallo-on-acid, a pop art manifesto against mass production, takes the plot of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s DIABOLIQUE and turns it into something truly bizarre. Marco (Jean-Louis Trintignant) occupies the center of a love triangle involving his wife (Gina Lollobrigida) and her luscious niece (Ewa Aulin), at the high-tech chicken farm they run – and this busy man still finds the time to kill prostitutes on the side. This is poultry art at its best!

READ MORE 

FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET, Dario Argento
Anthology Film Archives

A musician accidentally kills the stalker who had been menacing him over the phone. The killing is witnessed by a masked figure, and soon the musician is being blackmailed. One by one everyone around him turns up dead, making him the prime suspect. In this final installment of the ANIMAL TRILOGY, Argento takes his visual stylistics and set pieces to another level. Long unavailable, the film is presented in a rare archival 35mm print. Starring Michael Brandon and Mimsy Farmer.

READ MORE 

____________________________________________

**TUESDAY, MARCH 24**

PARABELLUM, Lukas Valentina RInner
Film Society of Lincoln Center

A Buenos Aires office worker finishes his day, visits his father in a rest home, lodges his cat in a kennel, and cancels his phone service. (Did you overhear the news report of riots and social unrest on the radio?) The next day, he and 10 equally nondescript individuals are transported up the Tigre delta in blindfolds and arrive at a secluded, well-appointed resort for a vacation with a difference. Instead of yoga and nature walks, the days’ activities range from hand-to-hand combat and weapons instruction to classes in botany and homemade explosives. Welcome to boot camp for preppers, the destination of choice for the serious Apocalypse Tourist. Austrian filmmaker Lukas Valenta Rinner handles his material in his home country’s familiar style, with cool distance, minimal dialogue, and carefully composed frames, interpolating the action with extracts from the invented Book of Disasters, a must-read for anyone warming up for the collapse of civilization as we know it. People, are you in?

READ MORE 

CHRISTMAS, AGAIN, Charles Poekel
Film Society of Lincoln Center

A forlorn Noel (Kentucker Audley) pulls long, cold nights as a Christmas-tree vendor in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. As obnoxious, indifferent, or downright bizarre customers come and go, doing little to restore Noel’s faith in humanity, only the flirtatious innuendos of one woman and the drunken pleas of another seem to lift him out of his funk. Writer-director Charles Poekel has transformed three years of “fieldwork” peddling evergreens on the streets of New York into a sharply observed and wistfully comic portrait of urban loneliness and companionship. While Christmas, Again heralds a promising newcomer in Poekel, it also confirms several great young talents of American indie cinema: actors Audley and Hannah Gross, editor Robert Greene, and cinematographer Sean Price Williams.

READ MORE 

ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK (aka THEY ARE COMING TO GET YOU), Sergio Martino
Anthology Film Archives

Jane (the queen of giallo, Edwige Fenech) is plagued by a recurring nightmare after losing her unborn child in a car accident. Her busy husband Richard (George Hilton) deals with it by plying her with pills, while her sister books sessions for her at the doctor. Things take a turn for the worse when the creepy blue-eyed man from her nightmares materializes in real life, and the upstairs neighbor enlists her in satanic rituals. Set in Swinging London, ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK is graced by Sergio Martino’s impeccable camera work and Bruno Nicolai’s terrific score.

READ MORE 

ADYNATA and MAYHEM
Light Industry

Adynata and Mayhem, two crucial works of experimental film from the 1980s, pursue a radical aesthetic agenda not merely on the level of content, but of form. They stand as living, moving arguments for a film language that is not only critical but generative. Rejecting all manner of constricting binaries—East and West, male and female, heterosexual and homosexual—this is not merely a deconstruction of cinema but its reconstruction. “Film has depended on voyeuristic active/passive mechanisms,” Mulvey notes in the final lines of her essay. “Women, whose image has continually been stolen and used for this end, cannot view the decline of the traditional film form with anything much more than sentimental regret.”

READ MORE 

TENEBRAE, Dario Argento
Anthology Film Archives

An American writer travels to Rome to present his new novel only to find himself implicated in a killing spree whose perpetrator is taking cues from his book. In one of his most personal films, the master of horror fires back at the wave of criticism that he was facing at the time. Featuring an outstanding score by Goblin (DEEP RED, SUSPIRIA), an infamous crane shot, and one of the most memorable chase scenes between man and dog ever filmed, this rare uncut 35mm print of TENEBRAE is not to be missed!

READ MORE 

____________________________________________

**WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25**

I AM CUBA, Mikhail Kalatozov
BAM

This retina-dazzling agitprop masterwork is Soviet filmmaker Mikhail Kalatozov’s delirious dream vision of the Cuban revolution, in which the Felliniesque decadence of Batista-era Havana gives way to the explosion of Castro’s guerrilla uprising. A head-spinning mix of Constructivist aesthetics and sensuous photography, I Am Cuba pulses with “some of the most exhilarating camera movements and most luscious black-and-white cinematography you’ll ever see” (Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader).

READ MORE

THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER, Nadav Lapid
Film Society of Lincoln Center

Nadav Lapid’s follow-up to his explosive debut, Policeman, is a brilliant, shape-shifting provocation and a coolly ambiguous film of ideas. Nira (Sarit Larry), a fortysomething wife, mother, and teacher in Tel Aviv, becomes obsessed with one of her charges, Yoav (Avi Shnaidman), a 5-year-old with a knack for declaiming perfectly formed verses on love and loss that would seem far beyond his scope. The impassive prodigy’s inexplicable bursts of poetry—Lapid’s own childhood compositions—awaken in Nira a protective impulse, but as her actions grow more extreme, the question of what exactly she’s protecting remains very much open. The Kindergarten Teacher shares the despair of its heroine, all too aware that she lives in an age and culture that has little use for poetry. But there is something perversely romantic in the film’s underlying conviction: in an ugly world, beauty still has the power to drive us mad.

READ MORE

SPRING BREAKERS WITH 35MM TRAILER PRE-SHOW, Harmony Korine
Nitehawk Cinema

Four sexy college girls plan to fund their spring break getaway by burglarizing a fast food shack. But that’s only the beginning. During a night of partying, the girls hit a roadblock when they are arrested on drug charges. Hungover and clad only in bikinis, the girls appear before a judge but are bailed out unexpectedly by Alien, an infamous local thug who takes them under his wing and leads them on the wildest Spring Break trip in history. Rough on the outside but with a soft spot inside, Alien wins over the hearts of the young Spring Breakers, and leads them on a Spring Break they never could have imagined.

READ MORE 

A BAY OF BLOOD (aka A TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE), Mario Bava
Anthology Film Archives

A wheelchair-bound heiress is murdered, and a chain of killings ensue, as everyone who has a stake in the pie struggles to eliminate anyone standing in the way of the inheritance. The situation is complicated by a group of teens who decide to go camping by the lake on the estate. Widely regarded as a pioneer of the slasher sub-genre, Bava’s high-body-count murder mystery is one of his most influential works.

READ MORE 

DIRTY PICTURES (aka AN IDEAL PLACE TO KILL), Umberto Lenzi
Anthology Film Archives

Dick (Ray Lovelock) and Ingrid (a teenage Ornella Muti) finance their carefree lifestyle by smuggling pornography from Scandinavia into Italy, but when they run out of money they resort to selling dirty pictures of themselves. Soon they are arrested and ordered to return to their country, but car troubles force them to make a pit stop at a villa where the apprehensive lady of the house (Irene Papas) is alone awaiting her husband. DIRTY PICTURES begins as a road film but slowly morphs into a chilling cat-and-mouse game. The result is a standout Giallo from prolific genre master Lenzi.

READ MORE 

____________________________________________

**THURSDAY, MARCH 26**

MERCURIALES, Virgil Vernier
The Film Society of Lincoln Center

With an eclectic assortment of shorts, documentaries, and hybrid works to his name, Virgil Vernier is one of the most ambitious young directors in France today, and one of the hardest to categorize. Taking a cue from Godard’s 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her, Vernier’s most accomplished film to date trains his camera on the Parisian suburb of Bagnolet, shadowing two receptionists (Ana Neborac and Philippine Stindel) who work in the lobby of the titular high-rise. As the girls drift from one enigmatic situation to the next—going to the pool, visiting a maze-like sex club, hunting for new employment—Vernier’s visual strategies and narrative gambits grow ever more inventive and surprising. Beautifully shot on 16mm by cinematographer Jordane Chouzenoux and set to James Ferraro’s haunting electronic score, Mercuriales is that rarest of cinematic achievements: a radical experiment in form that also lavishes tender attention on its characters.

READ MORE

CARLITO’S WAY, Brian De Palma
IFC Center

Named the Best Film of the 1990s by Cahiers du Cinema “’30s-style gangster tragedy about a man doomed to an early grave by his society and his own code. Carlito (Al Pacino) wants out of the rackets, but to get there he has to ‘play Bogart’, running a discotheque, and even then he can’t escape his friends — lover Penelope Ann Miller and lawyer Sean Penn… Pacino looks every inch a movie star, and De Palma provides a timely reminder of just how impoverished the Hollywood lexicon has become since the glory days of the ’70s.” – Time Out (London)

READ MORE 

FOOTPRINTS ON THE MOON (aka PRIMAL IMPULSE), Luigi Bazzoni
Anthology Film Archives

Florinda Bolkan (INVESTIGATION OF A CITIZEN ABOVE SUSPICION, DON’T TORTURE A DUCKLING) plays an interpreter tormented by a recurring dream about two astronauts stranded on the moon. She soon travels to a distant seaside town and checks in at a dilapidated hotel where, to her surprise, she runs into a series of strangers who seem to know her. Beautifully lensed by the great Vittorio Storaro, this psychological giallo from Luigi Bazzoni not only delivers in terms of style and mystery, but is also an intriguing character study thanks to Bolkan’s inspired performance. Also starring Klaus Kinski and familiar giallo child-star Nicoletta Elmi (DEEP RED, DEMONS).

READ MORE 

THE PSYCHIC (aka SEVEN NOTES IN BLACK), Lucio Fulci
Anthology Film Archives

Following a premonition, a clairvoyant woman (Jennifer O’Neil) tears down a wall in her husband’s country house and discovers a skeleton. Preyed upon by terrifying visions, she sets out to find the truth with the help of a psychologist (Marc Porel), only to realize that her own life might be in danger. One of Fulci’s tightest works, this rare parapsychic horror gem features a score by Franco Bixio, Fabio Frizzi, and Vince Tempera.

READ MORE 

A NIGHT IN A DORMITORY, Harry Delmar
MoMA

1956. USA. Directed by Arthur Lubin. Screenplay by Devery Freeman, Stephen Longstreet. With Ginger Rogers, Barry Nelson, Carol Channing, James Arness, Clint Eastwood. After 10 years as a freelancer, Rogers returned to her former home base, RKO, for this pleasantly feminist comedy Western—which suitably proved to be the last film released by the battered studio. Under Arthur Lubin’s direction, Rogers returns to her plucky, career-girl persona of the 1930s, complete with squeaky voice: she’s a saleswoman with the unenviable assignment of peddling barbed wire to the open-range ranchers of Texas. Carol Channing, in her first credited movie role, is her comically gangly assistant; as her love interest, Lubin cast his personal protégé, an impossibly handsome young Clint Eastwood. This is likely to be the last public performance of this vintage 35mm IB Technicolor print, which suffers from “vinegar syndrome” and displays some warping in its final minutes. 92 min.

READ MORE 

Is Matthew Barney’s 6-Hour Opera The World’s Weirdest Valentine’s Day Date?

So you and your lover are looking for something suitably unconventional to do on Valentine’s Day. May I suggest River of Fundament, the new Matthew Barney/Jonathan Bepler epic modeled around Norman Mailer’s novel Ancient Evenings, which premieres tonight at B.A.M.? Forget flowers, chocolate, and candle-lit dinners; nothing says romance like a 6-hour philosophical-scatological theater experience featuring mariachi bands, fecal waterways, a massive iron pour in Detroit, and erotic encounters between pregnant women.

You might want to avoid River of Fundament if you’re squeamish, or if the thought of half-naked men splitting open dead cows with a knife and climbing right inside the disemboweled cow-corpse makes you uneasy. Likewise if you’re going to be turned off by the opening scenes, in which a shit-caked Barney gets anally penetrated in Norman Mailer’s bathroom (the act of coitus generating a sort of liquid mercury byproduct, rather than the usual bodily fluids). But if you can stomach the more grotesque elements of this production, you’ll find plenty to celebrate: Celebrity cameos (Salman Rushdie! Jeffrey Eugenides! Paul Giamatti and Maggie Gyllenhaal!); an amazing range of music and choreography, from opera to step dancing and more experimental a cappella moments (the sort that leave actors gutturally choking and foaming at the mouth); and awe-inspiring cinematography, with the main scenes shot in Los Angeles, Detroit, and New York (the latter involving a cast of hundreds of extras, culled from an open call via Gladstone Gallery). And an added bonus if you saw Barney’s “DJED” at his NYC gallery back in 2011: River of Fundament finally gives you the massive sculpture’s origin story.

So explain to your lover that 6-hours of explicit, highbrow art cinema is indeed an appropriate way to spend Valentine’s Day. You might not be left in the mood, so to speak, but you’ll have your own boundaries tested in the best possible way. (Act fast–tickets for February 14 are very nearly sold out).

 MAIN IMAGE: Production still from River of Fundament, 2014. © Matthew Barney