Personal Faves: The Best of the Early ’70s on Film

This past year, I have seen roughly 200 films. As my job requires me to see a plethora of movies, a good chunk of them were new releases. But as I am a hermit on the weekends, many were older films I always meant to see but for some reason or another let slip between the cracks. For me, watching a film is always experiential; I love nothing more than the physical response to viewing a great film you’ve never seen and the cinematic high that follows. But I always look at my constant film watching as an education, leaving the theater or shutting off my computer as if I’ve just done a close reading of an important text, feeling as if I’ve gained insight into a time and a place in the world that I ever knew existed. And when it comes to Hollywood in the 1970s, that for me has always been the most enthralling and the most informative.

1. Zabriskie Point, Michaelangelo Antonioni (1970)

What lacks in dialogue is completely made up for in cinematography and sound thanks to Pink Floyd’s disjointed psychedlic meets ethereal soundtrack. The beginning scenes in Los Angeles with all the 1960s aggressive advertising juxtaposed with the bare desert and the final blowup/breakdown just killed me. Of course, Antonioni plus Sam Shepard would only naturally equal the dustiest choreographed orgy scene of bodies and sounds.

2. Alice in the Cities, Wim Wenders (1974)

I love everything about this movie, from the pacing to the polaroids and exterior driving shots (that reminded me of Dennis Hopper’s early photographs). Wenders’s films are filled with so much yearning and so much restlessness; people aching so badly to find that thing or feeling they’ve never even been able to name. They’re all so hungry for love and connection and something to make them feel alive, and what could be more universal?

3. The Landlord, Hal Ashby (1970)

Here’s a really great 1970s New York race-relations film. It was endearing and funny while also being insightful and guttural. Hal had a really bizarre tone to all of his films and this one takes a little bit to get situated but when it does, it feels like how his others end up—living in this weird world between the absolutely ridiculous and extreme reality. Beau Bridges boyish face was the perfect canvas to project against this urban world.

4. Five Easy Pieces, Bob Rafelson (1970)

If I could be reincarnated as anything it would be Jack Nicholson’s left eyebrow in 1970. His performance in really established his maniacal acting style that is just so good it makes me wonder if modern actors of this callibar even exist anymore. The film is brilliantly written and directed, showing a tragically ambivalent man’s existential crisis that leads down a road to nowhere in the style of New Wave art film.

5. Shampoo, Hal Ashby (1975)

A hazy satire of late ’60s sexual politics and great hair. It’s interesting to set a film as a period piece—seven years earlier—with a political backdrop that only keeps the mood light. If the script had fallen into another director’s hands with lesser actors, I’m sure a good deal of magic would have been lost, but this was wonderful. Warren Beatty’s haircut and Julie Christie’s backless sequined dress are really the other leads of the film.

6. Husbands, John Cassavetes (1970)

Troubled men, troubled world. This one is wonderfully shot, of course; Cassvetes is the master of holding the camera close to bodies and faces to expose interiors in a way that’s as haunting as it is aesthetically beautiful. The dynamic between Cassavetes, Falk, and Gazzara cannot be beat. Cassavetes’s maniacal laugh will be playing on repeat in my head for days. The film displays the immature idocy of men but also the knowledge that they recognize their ways and attempt to change—but is it only out of shame or guilt?

7. Sunday Blood Sunday, John Schlesinger (1971)

What the film does best is speak to the sentiment that we’re drawn to that which will never be fully attainable despite all our efforts. It’s not a film about what it is like to be a gay man in love or the struggles that coincide, but a film about what it’s like to be a person in love—male, female, whatever. If the film is still progressive to this day, it’s for the way in which it does not treat the homosexuality of the characters as something different or subversive. Both Daniel and Alex’s stories feel ultimately tragic because perhaps their desire for him was merely a projection.

8. The Parallax View, Alan J. Pakula (1974)

Every film in his political paranoia trilogy is perfect. Gordon Willis’s cinematography kills me and is at its best when in these kinds of stories. So much inching tension and unrest. So psycholoigcally stimulating and well-acted. Sidenote: Is it a requirement for all the leads in this trilogy to have the same brunette haircut?

9. Performance, Donald Cammell, Nicolas Roeg (1970)

No one does out-of-focus, sparkling-chandelier-light haze reminiscent of fantastical winter nights of intoxication better than Roeg. Jesus, this movie is a fucking brilliant depiction of indentity and the power to transform oneself. As usual, sexuality and violence go hand in hand that seduces you with it’s lustful danger. And obviously, the music is half the pleasure.

10. The Long Goodbye, Robert Altman (1973)

Elliott Gould is perfect as the wisecracking and fumblingly adorable Marlowe. Altman’s version captures an essence of ’70s easy cool LA that’s breezy and charismatic yet haunted by it’s darkness lurking beneath the surface. Takes noir and makes it natural. Great sounds.

Learning to Be Free with Hal Ashby’s ‘Harold and Maude’

Today is the birthday of one of cinema’s most infamous and remarkable directors, Hal Ashby. So in his honor, we’re giving you another look at our Cinematic Panic article from December that dives into his most romantically fantastic tale of morality and love, Harold and Maude.

John Cassavetes once said, "In this country, people die at 21. They die emotionally at 21. My responsibility as an artist is to help people get past 21. The films are a roadmap through emotional and intellectual tertian that provides a solution on how to save pain." I’m 22 and my greatest fear is emotional decay. I’ve never been afraid of emotions, embracing them to a degree which I used to find hindering but now realize is what fuels me creatively and intellectually. When it comes to art of any kind, I process everything from a very visceral and fervent standpoint. My intellectual perspective is always informed by the former. Experiencing things so strongly, I fall madly in love with these works and the people who are able to create that which slays me. But my biggest fear is that one day my senses will dull, the reactors will fade,and I simply won’t care anymore. There’s nothing worse than the emotional kiss of death that is ambivalence.
And when it comes to film history, there have always been eras and periods of time more impassioned than others, but it’s the 1970s that will always stand alone as a moment with the most fire. Filled with years marked by creative courage and the pluck to echo the Cassavetes sentiment,I don’t give a fuck what anybody says. If you don’t have time to see it, don’t. If you don’t like it, don’t. If it doesn’t give you an answer, fuck you. I didn’t make it for you anyway, it was a rebellious attitude, surely, but never one without artistic merit and conviction or the talent to house a foundation. There was the courage to fail and to take risks all set against a time when the meaning of one’s own existence was constantly called into question while a meaningless war waged on. And one of the greatest directors of that period, someone who never feared aversion, was the countercultural icon and legend, Hal Ashby.
Speaking to Hollywood in American during the "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" generation, Peter Bart said, "Hal Ashby was the most American of those directors and the most unique talent. He was a victim of Hollywood, the great Hollywood tragic story." And he was right. Ashby was born with a lethal sense of rebellion in his blood. His life was never simple. In the early 1940s, his father lost his dairy farm after vehemently refusing to have his milk pasteurized. One day, Ashby walked into his family’s barn and discovered his father had shot himself. He was only twelve. For the remainder of his adolescence he was independent, dropping out of high school and working odd jobs for years until moving out to California to "life off the fruit of the land." By chance, he landed a job operating the Multilith at Universal Studios. The following year, he became an apprentice editor, contributing to such classic films as The Big Picture, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Greatest Story Ever Told. What made Ashby such a good editor was his keen eye for detail and his photographic memory—able to recall every take and trim of a piece of film. But throughout working his way up the Hollywood ladder, he never strayed from his devious antics— disappearing for chunks of time and drinking heavily. 
His directorial debut came in 1970 with the brilliant story of a naive and hapless young white man with a trust-fund who, on a whim, decides to buy an apartment building in the almost all black neighborhood of Park Slope, Brooklyn. The Landlord, which starred an adorable Beau Bridges, is a wonderful and, at times, hilarious social commentary on Otherness and the fascination of truly discovering how we live. The film showcased not only Ashby’s affinity for telling sincere humanist stories of outsiders, but featured his incredible ability to use editing to reveal his character’s interiors and juxtapose two worlds, allowing us to view the story from a broad point of view. However, it’s his sophomore effort, Harold and Maude, which debuted in 1971, that has remained a seminal cult classic and quintessential monument of a moment in cinematic history.
The dark-humored existentialist drama tells the story of a Harold (played by Bud Cort), a young man harboring a morbid obsession with death. He’s the only son of a very wealthy woman who insists on Harold assimilating to the normalcy of other boys his age—attempting to marry him off to conventional "PolySci with a minor in Home Ec" type young women, or if that doesn’t work, shipping him off to the military under the tutelage of his one-armed uncle. Harold, however, takes pleasure in the grand gestures of acting out his own suicide with the theatricality of a magician. He attends funerals for pleasure—a characteristic that has trickled down in film and literature since (i.e. Fight Club’s characters attending cancer support groups to better their own psyche and Marla claiming, "I used to work in a funeral home to feel good about myself, just the fact I was breathing"). But it’s attending one of these funerals that Harold first meets Maude (played by Ruth Gordon), an elderly widow with a Summer of Love mentality. At first, she seems to be the antithesis of Harold, a vibrant and colorful person, bursting at the seams with life—a stark constant to his pale and skeletal physicality and outlook on life. Maude doesn’t adhere to society’s regimented and often ridiculous rules but has her own affinity for the afterlife. She finds a loving companion in Harold, someone she can not only enjoy the darker things with, but an adoring person she can teach about the beauty lying just beneath it. In turn, Harold begins to change. He’s finally met his other and as their simpatico only grows, the cold and despondent soul of earlier warms and develops an interest in the textures and tastes of the living. He’s in love—a condition that bursts open the doors to the great room of existence. But unbeknown to him, Maude is on her way out.
In true cult classic form, Harold and Maude was not received well at the box office. Speaking again to the audacity of the time, the stories being told in the 1970s were so diverse and original because of the broad scope of people writing them. Harold and Maude was written by a pool cleaner—a pool cleaner with an MFA that is, who attended UCLA with the likes of Paul Schrader and would go on to create an iconic career of his own. Opening on Christmas, Ashby was devastated by the reception of the film. Audiences and critics were not pleased, one even writing that the film was, "as funny as a burning orphanage." People were disgusted with the topic, and like the adults in Harold’s life, found the idea of "a boy who wants to fuck his grandmother" absolutely nauseating. But looking back, perhaps that was the point of it all. The film alienated people just as Harold felt alienated in the world—those loving the picture understanding what is like to feel completely alone and then one day happening upon another soul who finally speaks your language.
People have cited Maude as a classic example of the "Manic Pixie Dream Girl." First of all, she was a woman, not a girl. Secondly, I really do not even like to acknowledge that archetype as a thing of validity. But Maude wasn’t just some outline of a person in a smock dress with bangs and a ukelele that swooped in to to bring poor Harold to life and then disappear leaving a trail of Smiths lyrics and Etsy projects. The importance of Maude in Harold’s life was that she was the first person he ever met that his soul recognized. Growing up in this wealthy world covered in artifice, everyone adhered to the societal conventions, never stepping out of turn for fear of differentiating themselves.
For the first time, he met someone who had lived an actual life, who had struggled and had experiences and didn’t give a flying fuck about impressing anyone. His life is completely trite compared to hers, his sadness entirely unwarranted, and in her he sees what it truly means to be free. His nihilistic outlook on life is all of a sudden in complete juxtapostion to someone who has experienced actual horrors in her life yet has the ability to see the wonder in it all. She gave him a purpose to care and inspired him to be more and do more while never losing sight of himself. With other people Harold could never just be, but with Maude he could simply exist and that was enough. The story is compelling in the way that no matter how bizarre their situation may be, it still feels familiar. It speaks to the most human emotions inside all of us and if you’ve ever met a person that truly awakened your soul, there is simply no turning back. 
In speaking with director Zal Batmanglij a few months ago, we got on the topic of storytelling and the nature of the way a film like Harold and Maude unfolds in bursts that store themselves inside the chambers of your heart. "It’s leaving all sorts of crazy fireworks behind and someone’s just lighting a fuse and they’re running away," said Batmanglij, "It’s like years later, the fireworks are exploding inside your heart, and you think of that story of just these outsiders that fall in love." There’s something entirely unqiue about all of Ashby’s work that speaks distinctly of a time and place in history that fails to exist in modern Hollywood. In Peter Biskind’s Easy Riders, Raging Bulls he writes of Ashby’s odd behavior at length, but when I think of the amazing director who died all too early, I imagine he’s still holed up in the darkened editing room in his home amongst the trees in Laurel Canyon, chainsmoking endlessly while eating nothing but nuts and sugarless gum.

Lake Bell on Exploring the Female Voice in Her Feature-Length Debut ‘In a World…’

Looking back on some of the most enjoyable comedies of the past, like Hal Ashby’s Shampoo or Paul Mazursky’s Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, it’s not only their enjoyable essence that made them memorable, but the way they seamlessly blended the comical with the dramatic while delivering a larger social commentary. And with her directorial debut In a World … writer, actress, and filmmaker Lake Bell harkens back to that sentiment to create a truly delightful film about the under-exposed world of the voiceover industry. Known as an actress for her myriad roles in both film and television, Bell’s first feature pays tribute to her life-long obsession with the human voice and showcases not only her many talents as an actor but a refreshing new female voice in film, winning her the Best Screenplay award at Sundance this past January.

In the film, Bell plays Carol, an emotionally-stunted but passionate vocal coach who longs to climb the ranks of the voiceover world but lives in the shadows of her movie trailer legend father, Sam (played by Fred Melamed). But after serendipitously finding herself in a position to be the voice of the next generation, Carol is suddenly in competition with her father amid the sexist world of movie trailer voiceovers. Adding another layer to the family dysfunction is her wonderful supporting cast of Michalea Watkins and Rob Corddry as her sister and brother-in-law who face a schism in their relationship and are faced to explore their commitment to one another. Rounding out the cast is Demetri Martin, Nick Offerman, Ken Marino, and Tig Notaro, who all play perfectly in Bell’s charming world that places us in a Los Angeles that feels contemporary yet untethered to a specific time. 
Yesterday, I sat down with a few other writers to chat with Bell about her love for voices, conveying a message without being preachy, and relieving her film of anything too hip.
You’ve been fascinated with the ability of the human voice your whole life. What was the inception of the idea for writing the film?

It started from an organic place, because I was obsessed with voices, but also just the vocal mechanism as a form of expression. Also, it was the ultimate acting mechanism—you could be anybody, especially when it comes to acting, it becomes the tool that allows you to be any nationality, any social nouveau, or any gender for that matter. In the movie there’s a fun fact where Ken Marino is constantly talking on speaker phone to his agent whose this big ol fat Jewish dude, and that’s played by me. So I already used this as a platform to eek out another opportunity to do a voiceover character. But I really do, with genuine appreciation, love voiceover and I think probably started in earnest when I was younger just doing dialects and accents for my family. It was like a dinner party trick, some old dude was like [in an raspy old-man voice] “You have a good ear, you should listen to that.” So I think honing in on it and it being commended in some respect made it an obsession. Then I started collecting accents, so if I heard someone with an accent I’d peak up. And living in New York, that’s a normal thing. We live in a melting pot of the most incredible accents. So I took that to heart .
Flash forward to going to drama school in England, that’s a super intensive look at voice and sound. In the first year of drama school you don’t even get to put on plays—you’ve got a bunch of precocious assholes who want to put on plays—but you don’t get to do any of that, you just have to think about your vocal chords and how they relate to your breath and act like a tree and things like that. But I actually love the vocal training and it makes you so vocally self-aware. I liked injecting Carol with that sort of self-awareness so that she could be haunted by a current vocal trend that is prevalent in our society now—the sexy baby vocal virus. So it all sutured together in that way. 
The film manages to combine elements of the comedy, drama, and romance really seamlessly, making it hard to pinpoint in terms of genre but very genuine because life encompasses all those sentiments and is never set in one way.

It’s funny, I had heard some comments about it being a romantic comedy and I would shun that word because—although I love romantic comedies—it’s just not that. It’s just a comedy, and because it’s earnest and about real people, I guess people say: is that a dramedy? But that the juggle between romance and drama and comedy is delicate and I think the movies that I grew up with, the ones that inspired me, all successfully represent those three very profound and serious important sub-groupings versus just one. So whether it’s King of Comedy or Hannah and Her Sisters or Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, they all surround very real circumstances. Of course in my movie there’s not life or death circumstances,  but because of the characters living their own lives in it, they would beg to differ that these are very high stakes. I’m interested in real feelings and I’m not a great sketch writer, that’s not what I do, that’s not what I feel comfortable in. I can direct it, like on Children’s Hospital, as an observer and player of it that feels comfortable but I wouldn’t necessarily write it. 
Although you didn’t know that you would be the one to direct this at first, did you write it with yourself in mind to give yourself the opportunity to play a really interesting comedic female role that you weren’t necessarily finding through your work as an actress?
To star in a comedy, as a woman at least, you have to be a pretty big star. And that opportunity had not presented itself to me. But full disclosure, when I first started writing it, I didn’t necessarily write it for me. But upon sort of acting into the meat of it and starting to develop it in a serious way, I felt like I was the only person that could play it.
It’s a perfect showcase for the vocal work you’ve been doing your whole life.

And it’s so specified, like whose going to feel as passionate about a Bulgarian accent? I don’t know that anyone would be quite right for it, but I never wanted to cast anyone that wasn’t right for the role, even my friends that are in the film. I mean, I want to put my friends in everything because I think they’re talented and amazing, and you want to surround yourself with great people because it’s a long haul making a movie. You’re married to these people for years, it’s all encompassing and also for the actual 20 days to shoot it, it’s intense and you want to make sure your team is good and there’s no sort of diva assholes. People where you’re like, “Why are bitching? We’re making a movie this is like the coolest thing they you could ever do!” So I didn’t have any jerks or turkeys on set. 
Carol and Sam both had a very idiosyncratic style of dress, both stuck in the past a bit. Was their wardrobe an intentional choice to display something further about their characters?

She certainly dons a look that I think represents a modicum of arrested development. I think she and Sam are a little bit stunted and the last time they can remember things being good and the effective was many yesterdays ago. So for instance, Sam, who was big 10 years ago because they were still doing epics and now his relevance as a voiceover artist is dated now, the last time he was killing it was that time, so all of his clothing—his velour suits, his 90s corvette and his decor—stayed in that place. And the same with Carol. I have friends like this and I came to relate to the sentiment of, the last time I was feeling good about things was when I was listening to Nirvana in college trying to figure out who I was and everything was open and there were possibilities, there was promise in each day like, “Oh yeah I’m eventually going to do it,” but then all of a sudden you haven’t done it and you found yourself in a position of not only doing the same things but wearing the same things to hold onto youth. 
Wrapped in this comedy is a really interesting message about the roles of men and women in the voiceover industry. Having had your own experiences in that world, was that something you’ve wanted to explore for a while now?

Well, I didn’t want to be overly preachy with the message of the movie, but it needs to be said that there are some messages involved and sewn into the story—but mainly because it’s an interesting conversation, not necessarily to yell at people or soap box. It’s comedy first and then oops, there’s a message. And Fred, he would always attest to the fact that in the movie trailer industry, there are no women, there’s no hyperbole involved in the depiction of that. There are no ladies who do it, for myriad of reasons—one could be that there’s a fear of change because movies cost so much money nowadays and if you’re going to market them, you just need butts in seats. So you don’t want to rupture the template that’s been working for so many years, which is a male omniscient voice, authoritative figure. There have been tests that maybe female voices don’t hold the same attention that a deep male voice does and that’s interesting to me. I wanted to illuminate that. 
I genuinely don’t understand it, even if there were tests. If there’s a tampon commercial, it’s not going to be voiced by a male because that would be weird because it’s an authoritative female voice but then when you hear a truck commercial it’s some burly dude telling you about torque and whatnot. Personally, I like trucks, I have two trucks currently, but it’s not addressed to me. But there are movies that are straight up addressed to women and there are beautiful voices in the industry that could be an authoritative omniscient female voices, voicing a movie trailer for women. But the crazy thing is, then maybe whoever is putting the movie out will feel that they’re limiting their audience and not letting men in at all, but if a man does it, both men and women will listen and that’s weird. That said, the voiceover industry is injected with both female and male voices, it’s not massively sexist. There are jobs for women but in the movie trailer voiceover industry it’s cuckoo sexist. This is basically a 93-minute audition for me as a voiceover artist to finally get a job because that would be really cool.
The film is obviously contemporary, but there’s something about it that feels timeless, or out of time. Even in the use of technology, we don’t see any iPhones and there are little things like giving Rob’s character that tape instead of, say, instead of sending him a voice note on your phone. But that’s also echoed in the setting as well.

Yes, all of that was very important. I was obsessed on that with the prop department and art direction because  yeah, it’s obviously contemporary, it’s not a period piece, so we already take that upfront. But there are parts in the Valley that I love because you do feel like it could be anytime and the Valley is romantic like that. It sits in this isolated space of 70s to now, it could always be kind of the 70s there. And for instance, iPhones were banned from any character. I love iPhones, personally, but I just felt like for the movie it pinpointed something too current or it almost takes you out. It’s like having a huge celebrity in your movie when it’s not right to have them there. I thought people were just going to look at the iPhone, and it’s too evocative. But yeah, it was too hip and nothing’s too hip in there. Even LA itself was measured, I didn’t want to have iconic LA architecture in the movie at all, I wanted it to feel more like any town. I barely allowed palm trees. There was one beautiful establishing shot and the Capital Records building was sort of iconically just sitting in the background as the sun was goes down and the DP was like, “Let’s get this!” and I thought it was amazing but was like, “Yeah, we jut need to just crop out and reframe to get the Capital Records building out.”

Looking Back on Some of the Best Sophomore Efforts in Cinema

This spring, we’ll see sophomore film debuts from myriad directors whose first features set the hooks in our film fancies and intrigued us as to what they would have up their sleeves next. For some, it’s taken half a decade or more for their second films to come to fruition and for others their successful first features carved the path for a speedy and welcome return. Between Shane Carruth’s shockingly brilliant Upstream Color, Antonio Campos’ hauntingly visceral Simon Killer, Zal Batmanglij’s audacious thriller The East, and a handful more, there are plenty of new films to look forward to from directors to get excited about. However, the second film is tricky territory.

Although a director’s third film may truly establish a particular autueristic style or cinematic language, the second illuminates their voice, allowing us to better gauge whether their first feature was nothing more than a one-off stroke of genius or a one-off misstep. I can say with confidence that the sophomore films debuting in the coming months—those that I have seen, anyway—more than live up to my expectations and it’s thrilled me to become infatuated with filmmakers on the cusp of something great. For even some of the most acclaimed and interesting directors haven’t always had the greatest sophomore efforts—there’s no definitive parallel necessarily. But for some, it’s their second film that established them in Hollywood as someone to watch and someone to admire, paving the way for a long career ahead. In honor of these fascinating new directors with films premiering soon, here’s a look at some of the best sophomore efforts in the history of cinema.

Harold and Maude, Hal Ashby

First film: The Landlord, Third Film: The Last Detail 

Days of Heaven, Terrence Malick

First Film: Badlands, Third Film: The Thin Red Line

Boogie Nights, Paul Thomas Anderson

First Film: Hard Eight, Third Film: Magnolia

Klute, Alan J. Pakula

First Film: The Sterile Cuckoo, Third Film: Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing

The Last Picture Show, Peter Bogdanovich

First Film: Targets, Third Film: What’s Up, Doc?

Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino

First Film: Reservoir Dogs, Third Film: Jackie Brown

A Woman is a Woman, Jean-Luc Godard

First Film: Breathless, Third Film: Vivre Sa Vie

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Michael Gondry

First Film: Human Nature, Third Film: The Science of Sleep

Se7en, David Fincher

First Film: Alien 3, Third Film: The Game

Trainspotting, Danny Boyle

First Film: Shallow Grave, Third Film: A Life Less Ordinary

Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola

First Film: The Virgin Suicides, Third Film: Marie Antoinette

Five Easy Pieces, Bob Rafelson

First Film: Head, Third Film: The King of Marvin Gardens

Dazed and Confused, Richard Linklater

First Film: Slacker, Third Film: Before Sunrise

Safe, Todd Haynes

First Film: Poison, Third Fim: Velvet Goldmine

The Deer Hunter, Michael Cimino

First Film: Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Third Film: Heaven’s Gate

The Graduate, Mike Nichols

First Film: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Third Film: Catch-22

Alien, Ridley Scott

First Film: Duellists, Third Film: Blade Runner

It May Be Oscar Time But There Are Plenty of Other Films Playing Around NYC This Weekend

It’s safe to say we’re all pretty much over the Oscars, right? I mean sure, we can watch all of the beautiful people waltz down the red carpet for the dénouement of luxurious award season and enjoy seeing some our favorite and most talented stars feign modesty, but we all know who is going to win—and I’m not sure I feel like subjecting myself to the risk of watching Anne Hathaway say "blerg" again. So, because you’ve probably seen most of the year’s Academy picks—especially now that Lincoln, The Master, Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, etc have gotten an extend theatrical run—why not take this weekend to explore something new? From Hal Ashby’s dark-humored existentialist love story to Roman Coppola’s latest aesthetically-pleasing whimsical look at the troubles of love and all the cinema goodness in between, I’ve compiled a list of the best films to see around New York this weekend. Enjoy.


Nitehawk Cinema

Santa Sangre
Oscar Animated Shorts
Oscar Live Action Shorts
Lady Terminator

Film Society Lincoln Center

Like Someone in Love
11 Flowers
In the Fog
Dormant Beauty

Museum of the Moving Image

In Another Country
Bless Their Little Hearts
Molly’s Theory of Relativity


Angelika Film Center

A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III


IFC Center

Harold and Maude
Holy Motors
Young Mr. Lincoln


Anthology Film Archives

Two for the Road
The Triumph of Will
Dark Waters
Rituals in the Avant-Garde PGM: 7 Butoh on Film