***TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2***
DRY WOOD + SPEND IT ALL, Les Blank
Blank’s vibrant document of Louisiana’s Creole culture and its Mardi Gras celebrations is “an almost continual round of barbecues, expositions on sausage making, and demonstrations of gumbo preparation where Blank gets so close to the action that he’s almost using his lens to stir the pot” (J. Hoberman).
Spend It All
Cajun music legends the Balfa Brothers, Marc Savoy, and Nathan Abshire are featured in this boisterous chronicle of Acadian life on the bayous of southwestern Louisiana.
THE STRANGE COLOR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS, Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani
From directing duo Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani (AMER), comes this homage to the masters of classic Italian Giallo horror. Dan returns home to find his wife is missing. With no signs of struggle or break-in and with no help from the police, Dan’s search for answers leads him down a psychosexual rabbit hole. THE STRANGE COLOR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS is a bloody and taut fantasia of suspense that leaves the viewer entranced in this highly original erotic thriller.
DR. HART’S DIARY, Paul Leni
Leni’s debut film is an effort to combat the anti-German propaganda promulgated by the Allies. The director would go on to make Waxworks and several films in Hollywood. Silent, with German titles, English translation, and musical accompaniment.
TOM DICK AND HARRY, Garson Kanin
Anthology Film Archives
In this comic jab at the American dream and the quest for success, Ginger Rogers has to choose between three suitors. THE DAILY WORKER called it “the screwiest and most delightful farce of the year” although THE NEW MASSES’ Joy Davidman faulted it for “male chauvinism.”
“Funny as well as fascinating, this wartime comedy about Ginger Rogers trying to choose among three suitors…boasts a few wild surrealist dream sequences about what marriage to each swain might entail, as well as many details that are highly evocative of the period.” –Jonathan Rosenbaum, CHICAGO READER
THE NAKED ROOM, Nuria Ibáñez
Anthology Film Archives
Among the most immensely powerful, exquisitely sensitive, and formally inspired documentary films in recent memory, THE NAKED ROOM takes place entirely within the confines of a pediatric therapist’s office in a Mexico City hospital, observing the initial consultations of a succession of deeply troubled kids, and brilliantly transforming this constricted space into a microcosm vast in its metaphorical dimensions. Not content to limit the physical scope of the film to the four walls of the therapist’s office, director Nuria Ibáñez focuses entirely on the faces of the children themselves, as they struggle to express their feelings of severe depression and trauma, and describe the situations that have brought them to this pass. Constructing the film almost entirely out of close-ups on the children, and relegating everything else – the doctor, the parents and guardians of the kids, the décor of the consulting room – off-screen, Ibáñez has created a film that is visually minimalist but that contains multitudes.
***WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3***
SWORN TO THE DRUM + HOT PEPPER, Les Blank
Sworn to the Drum
Blank captures the irresistible rhythms of Latin jazz in this exuberant documentary portrait of Cuban-born percussionist Francisco Aguabella, a master of the conga drum who recorded with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie, and the Doors.
Blank turns the camera on “King of Zydeco” Clifton Chenier, a Louisiana legend who married Cajun and Creole musical traditions with jazz and R&B influences.
A FAREWELL TO ARMS, Frank Borzage
Hemingway’s novel, about an affair between an American ambulance driver and a British nurse during the Italian campaign, gets the ultra-romantic Borzage treatment—like his 7th Heaven (1927), it’s a simple love story set against the spectacular backdrop of war.
HOMECOMING, Joe May
May was a pioneer director (and mentor of Fritz Lang) who, thanks to the Nazis, wound up in Hollywood. Homecoming is about German POW’s who escape Siberia, only to wind up back in Germany in the midst of a love triangle. (This print is missing the ending, which will be revealed to attendees.) Silent, with musical accompaniment.
***THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4***
MEMPHIS, Tim Sutton
Surrounded by lovers, legends, hustlers, preachers and a wolfpack of kids, a strange singer (singular recording artist Willis Earl Beal, who also wrote the score) drifts through this mythic city of ancient oaks, shattered windows and burning spirituality. Shown in frag- ments, his journey of self-discovery drags him from love and happiness right to the edge of another dimension.
AN EVENING WITH KEHINDE WILEY
New York-based artist Kehinde Wiley has carved out a place for the heroic African-American male figure in classical Western portraiture. In Jeff Dupre’s intimate documentary Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace—which won the Jury Prize for Best Short Documentary at this year’s SXSW, the HBO Audience Award for Best Short at the 2014 Provincetown Film Festival, and the Goethe Director’s Award at the 2014 Reel Artists Film Festival—Wiley sets out to explore the female subject for the first time. For the film’s New York premiere, the acclaimed painter comes to BAMcinématek to discuss his work and give audiences a glimpse into his creative process.
HAT CHECK GIRL, Sidney Lanfield
Directed by Sidney Lanfield. Screenplay by Barry Conners, Philip Klein, based on the novel by Rian James. With Sally Eilers, Ben Lyon, Ginger Rogers.
CHUNUK BAIR, Dale G. Bradley
This is a heroic account of the Wellington Regiment’s short-lived triumph during Winston Churchill’s ill-conceived Gallipoli campaign of 1915.