Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Jan revivals: first half

Mike here with a list of Jan revivals for the first half. But first, some unfinished business.Thanks for those of you who saw the following revivals throughout the past calender year: LOST IN LA MANCHA, GIMME SHELTER, THE WARRIORS, THE WRONG MAN, ROPE, VERTIGO, THE FALLEN IDOL, INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE, DR. ZHIVAGO, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ, THE SHOOTIST, DIRTY HARRY, DAYS OF HEAVEN, ARMY OF SHADOWS, FULL METAL JACKET, LOLITA (1962), DR. STRANGELOVE, THE BIRDS, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION, THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, A SHOT IN THE DARK, CAPTAIN BLOOD, THE MALTESE FALCON, THE AFRICAN QUEEN, MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL, AGUIRRE: THE WRATH OF GOD (not every revival was a winner), TIM BURTON'S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, THE RULES OF THE GAME, KING KONG (1932), INFERNAL AFFAIRS and WALKABOUT. Only one less then last year. Not shabby, so thank you. I know some of you were not always gung ho about some of the films going in, or gung ho about going out in general, so I am serious when I say, thank you. Special thanks to Ed for catching more then half of them. Several of the above films will re-appear on the list over the next 2 months for those of you who missed them, plus the good the bad and the ugly in Feb for J.C. to get another chance. Meantime, here we go:

SLEEPER and BANANAS- Mon Jan 1 at 4:35 (Bananas), 6:15(Sleeper), 8(Bananas) and 9:45 (Sleeper)- Film Forum- 209 west houston bet. 6th and Varick- Part of the Woody Allen retrospective. I've done this double feature before. But most of you haven't and this is a terriffic double feature. The first, Bananas, with Allen as a revoultionary, has some excellent set pieces, including taking on a pre-Rocky Sly Stallone as a mugger. Ending with a mockery of a trial that would make Donald Rumsfeld proud.

The second, Sleeper, is technically sci-fi, but one of Woody's best slapstick comedy. Waking up 2000 years later to a world run by a police state, consider this one part The Fugitive, one part Woody slapstick. With Diane Keaton.

If you're the type who prefers Woody's funny film as opposed to his serious ones, Sleeper and Bananas are Exhbits A and B.

ARMY OF SHADOWS- Wed Jan 3- Thurs Jan 11 at 6:45 and 9:45- Film Forum- I've done this before, but those who put Top 10 lists for 2006 must get around to this 1969 French war film. A surprise winner of this year's NY Film Critics award for Best Foriegn Language Film. Ordinary French citizens fighting in the Reisitance against the Nazis, unsure of who they can trust, who can be effective, and essentially on their own. Builds slowly, but hits powerfully in the end, and leaves you with much to think about for days afterward, if you're inclined to think after seeing a film. It can be caught again on Feb 23 and Feb 24 at AMMI.

MANHATTEN- Fri Jan 5 at 7:30 and 9:30- Film Forum- Part of the Woody Allen retrospective. Once again, I bring up what some consider to be Woody's last standout film (depending on what you think of Hannah and her Sisters and Crimes and Misdemeanors). Possibly, his best looking film. Neil La Bute recently compared this to Rules of The Game; a well done portrait of a community in slow decay, and that the film makes you want to be a better person. Take that as you will.

TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN and(maybe) WHAT"S UP TIGER LILY?- Mon Jan 8 at 6:15 (Tiger), 7:50(Money) and 9:35 (Tiger)- Film Forum- Part of the Woody Allen retrospective. If you're the type who prefers Woody's funny films asopposed to his serious ones, Take the Money and Run is Exhibit C (scroll up for Exhibits A and B). The first film to be (co)written, directed and starring Allen. Shot in an early mockumentary style, you see the Woody character screwing up as he tries to be a career criminal, yet is even worse at going straight.

Double featured with What's Up Tiger Lily?, sort of a pre-cursor to MST3K. To quote the IMDB plot outline:

In comic Woody Allen's film debut, he took the Japanese action film "International Secret Police: Key of Keys" and re-dubbed it, changing the plot to make it revolve around a secret egg salad recipe.

Wouldn't mind catching it, but I don't have to.

THOTH and MARJOE- Mon Jan 8 at 7 for 5 dollars- Followed by a post film discussion from the film's directorAcademy Theater at Lighthouse International- 111 E. 59th- 2 Oscar winning documentaries from the same director, Sarah Kernochan. Also include is footage of her accepting her Oscars, and post film interviews with her. If there's any interest, I need to know ahead of time so that I can try to reserve. For the rest of the info, I'll cut and paste from the Oscars' website:

Thoth: Stephen Kaufman, aka Thoth, is a performance artist in Central Park. Dressed in nothing more than a gold loincloth and warrior headdress, Thoth performs his one-man operas, or "prayformances," with violin accompaniment, to bring divine inspiration and healing to the world. Amateur Rabbit Production. 16 mm. 40 minutes.

Academy Award winner: Documentary Short Subject (Sarah Kernochan, Lynn Appelle).

Marjoe: Marjoe Gortner, an extraordinarily charismatic fire-and-brimstone preacher, candidly reveals the tricks of his trade and his personal belief that religion is really just another business. Cinema X Production; Cinema 5, Ltd. 35 mm. 88 minutes.

Academy Award winner: Documentary Feature (Howard Smith, Sarah Kernochan).

STARDUST MEMORIES and INTERIORS- Tues Jan 9 at 6:40 (Stardust), 8:30 (Interiors) and 10:20 (Stardust)- with Mary Beth Hurt appearing at the 8:30 screening of Interiors- Film Forum- Part of the Woody Allen retrospective. 2 of Woody's first three films where he was getting away from his "funny" films. First, Stardust, the least comercially successful of all of Woody's United Artisits films, and yet is a favorite for some hard core Allen fans. Woody has repeatedly said this was not autobiographical. But writing, directing and starring as a director who has obsessive fans, none of whom appreciate his first 'serious' film, and a love life filled with gorgeous ex-lovers, you gotta wonder . . . With Charlotte Rampling, plus Sharon Stone in her (silent) film debut.

Next, Interiors, Woody's homage to Bergman. You might find this THE most depressing film you've ever seen. But if you stick with it, you will have seen a well crafted drama following three sisters' reactions, when their father divorces their psychologically damaged mother, and then remarries. 5 nominations, including Director and Screenplay for Allen, Best Actress for Geraldine Page as the mother and Supporting Actress for the late Maureen Stapleton as the new woman in Dad's life. Diane Keaton, Mary Beth Hurt and Sam Waterson also in the cast. Hurt herself(pictured above from Interiors) will be attending the 8:30 screening. No idea if her appearance will be pre- film, or post.

ZELIG and THE FRONT- Wed Jan 10 at 6:15 (Front), 8:10 (Zelig) and 9:50 (Front)- Film Forum- Another double feature from the Woody Allen retrospective. First, Zelig, the art house hit of 1983. Another faux documentary from Allen as he plays Leonard Zelig, a man who became a celebrity with no discernable talent (times have changed, hasn't it Paris?), except for being able to look and act like whoever he is with at the time. Mia Farrow as the doctor who tries to treat him. Is it another examination of celebrity? A homage to Peter Sellers and the type of acting he did? Forrest Gump's precursor? Something else entirely? You decide . . .

Successfull in getting Allen in many old time clips and newsreels WITHOUT any CGI magic. Nominations for Cinematography and Editing.

Next, The Front, the first film starring, but not written or directed by Allen. Underrated little gem. He plays a little man who agrees to be a front for blacklisted writers to get their work out there. Directed by Martin Ritt, written by Walter Bernstein and co-starring Zero Mostel and other formerly black listed people.

JULES AND JIM- Wed Jan 10 at 6:50- Two Boots Pioneer- E. 3rd St., between Avenues A and B (closer to A)- The Truffaut classic that I listed last time is now at Two Boots Pioneer in a new 35mm print.

CALIFORNIA SPLIT- Wed Jan 10 with showtimes TBA- IFC Film Center- W. 3rd St. and 6th Ave- Part of the Robert Altman retrospective. I listed it a few months back, so I won't repeat myself much. An underrated drama starring Elliot Gould and George Segal as struggling gamblers. Since no one here has probably seen it, now is a good time. Don't know the times right now, so if there's an interest, you'll have to tell me and we'll work from there.

THAT COLD DAY IN THE PARK and IMAGES- Fri Jan 12 at 8:10(Park) and 10:20(Images) - IFC Film Center- A double feature that's part of the Robert Altman retrospective. 2 films for 1 admission. First, That Cold Day In The Park, a now forgotten film from 1969. Based on a novel about a rich but lonely and disturbed man who brings in a street hustler to live with him. But Altman got passed any problems with the gay themes by changing the lead into a woman, then getting the queen of the quirks, Sandy Dennis, to play the role.

Double featured with Images, one of Altman's "little" films, from 1972. Altman goes into quasi Bergman/Lynch terriotory, as Susannah York plays a schizophrenic who goes after those she believes is trying to harm her. But wether they are figments of her imagination or they're real . . .

THE PRINCESS BRIDE- Fri Jan 12, Sat Jan 13 and Sun Jan 14 at Midnight- Landmark Sunshine Cinema- 143 East Houston St bet. 1st and 2nd Ave- A new 35mm print of the Rob Reiner romantic family classic.

THE THIN BLUE LINE(tentative)- Sat Jan 13 at 2- AMMI in Astoria- 35 Ave. at 36 St.- Part of a series of documentaries that won an award from the New York Film Critics. Archival 35mm print from the Academy Film Archive. Put director Errol Morris on the film map. For the rest I'll quote, from AMMI's website, critic Mike D'Angelo from Esquire magazine, who will introduce the film:

"As one of very few films that have literally changed the course of someone’s life, Errol Morris’s spellbinding murder investigation, which helped to free Randall Dale Adams from prison some twelve years after he was falsely convicted of killing a Dallas cop, is well assured of its place in film history. But The Thin Blue Line’s true legacy is aesthetic: no previous documentary had privileged form as much as content, and few since have come close."

NASHVILLE- Mon Jan 15 at 6 and 9:15- IFC Film Center- Part of the Robert Altman retrospective. You know about this, otherwise, what the hell kind of buff are you? If you've never seen it, this is the perfect chance. Considered, along with MASH to be classic Altman. If we don't catch it here, we can try again on Sun Jan 28 at AMMI.

Lot of choices, let me know. Later, and Happy New Year.

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