Monday, February 04, 2008

Feb revival: first half

Mike here with a new list of revivals to catch in Feb. Hopefully they're all better than Last Night At Marienbad. Wow, what a pretentious film. 10 minutes of fascinating visuals and music, 20 minutes of me fighting to stay awake, and 60 minutes wishing this was over. At least those annoying Egoiste perfume commercials of the early 90s ended after 30 seconds. Ugh. Anyway, I know some of these films listed are much better. So here we go:

DON'T LOOK BACK- Mon Feb 4-Thurs Feb 7 at 7:30 and 9:40- D.A. Pennebaker will appear in person at the 7:30 and 9:40 shows on Monday, February 4- Film Forum- A new 35mm print. The classic Dylan documentary from D.A. Pennebaker, covering his 1965 tour of England plays for one week only. This is the era covered by the Cate Blanchett section of I'm Not There, though Todd Haynes throws in some Hard Day's Night and some 8 1/2 references into the mix. Even if you're not familiar with Dylan, you're probably familiar with some aspects, like the video sequence where you hear the song, but you don't see Dylan moving his lips. Just dropping cue cards of particular words. Helped to shape the early form of MTV. Would really like to make an effort to catch this.

Director Pennebaker will appear at the 7:30 and 9:40 screenings on Monday Feb 4.

ROSEMARY'S BABY- Thurs Feb 7 at 7 and 9:30 for 6.50- Chelsea Clearview Cinema- W. 23rd St and 8th- The classic Roman Polanski horror film plays for a cheap price at a convenient location. Though more psychological at times than anything else, as well as one of those quintessential New York films. Whether it's scarier for Mia Farrow to have the Devil's baby in your womb, to marry an actor, or to have a haircut that doesn't work on your head like that pixie cut, is up to you to decide. Oscar nomination for Polanski's adaptation of Ira Levin's novel, an Oscar for ruth gordon as one of the witches. Pre film show by Hedda Lettuce.

LADY CHATTERLY- Thurs Feb 7 at 7:30- MOMA- I brought it up last time, and I throw it out there one more time. Check the last revival list for what I wrote, such as it is.

NETWORK- Fri Feb 8 and Sat Feb 9 at 4:30, 7 and 9:30, and Mon Feb 11 at 9:45- Film Forum- A new 35mm print and the start of the Forum's Sidney Lumet retrospective. One of the more influential films of 1976. Considered a bit outrageous when first released, but more prophetic as each year has passed. Tell me that cable news shows and the shows that spoof them don't resemble anything depicted in Network. If you have the balls to me I'm wrong . . .

10 Oscar nominations, including Picture, Director Sidney Lumet and Actor William Holden. 4 Oscars, for Supporting Actress, Actress for Faye Dunaway, Original Screenplay for Paddy Chayefsky and Actor for Peter Finch, the first posthumous winner in an acting category. Some feel Holden would have won if Finch had not died. But once you deliver something that hits the pop culture zeitgeist like the "I'm mad as hell" monologue, it's hard to overcome. Network became only the second film to win 3 of the 4 Oscar acting categories (Streetcar was first.)

LACOMBE, LUCIEN- Sat Feb 9 at Noon- IFC Film Center- Part of the Louis Malle retrospective. I tried to see this a few years back when a Malle retrospective was done at Lincoln Center, and when I did the list pre-blog. Timing messed up the chance and this was one of the few Malle films I was a little upset about missing. Here's a chance to correct that. Here's what I copied and pasted about 2 and a half years ago from the Walter Reade site:

A small town in the south-west of France, summer of 1944. Having failed to join the resistance, the 18 year old Lucien Lacombe, whose father is a prisoner in Germany and whose mother dates her employer, works for the German police. He then meets France Horn, the daughter of a rich jewish tailor and is introduced to the workings of the French Reisitance. Malle received praise for creating a realistic look of that world, without openly seeking any sympathy for the lead character, a potential collaborator.

Pierre Blaise became France's biggest male star after this performance. But after 2 more films, he died in a car accident, unable to capitalize much on his newfound fame. An Oscar nomination for Foreign Film.

MOSCOW DOES NOT BELIEVE IN TEARS- Sat Feb 9 at 8:15- The Walter Reade at Lincoln Center- Part of a retrospective of Russian film making. Was a big art house hit here in New York back in the early 80s, forgotten today. Curious to see it. For the rest, I'll have to copy and paste what Walter Reade's website wrote:

Winner of the Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film back in 1981, Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears is a sprawling, unabashedly sentimental but ultimately moving chronicle of three women—Katerina (Vera Alentova), Lyudmila (Irina Muravova) and Antonina (Raisa Ryazanova). In 1958, they emigrate from the country to work in the factories of the big city. A house sitting job for Katerina allows the women to throw a swank dinner party, at which they pretend to be college students. Eventually their ruse is discovered. Cut to the late ‘70s and the consequences of that night—their marriages and divorces, children, unrealized dreams and unkept promises. The glory of Moscow lay in its richly drawn and beautifully performed characters. These women are always treated as individuals, representing nothing beyond themselves, as all that has happened to them is ultimately traced back to the decisions they have made.

DERSU UZALA- Tues Feb 12 at 8:30- Walter Reade at Lincoln Center- Part of a retrospective of Russian film making. I'm even more curious to check this one out, because it's Kurosawa. After that, again, I'll cut and paste again from the Walter Reade website:

Over its long history, Mosfilm has often served as a temporary home for many foreign film artists. Perhaps none left such an extraordinary legacy as Akira Kurosawa, with his late masterpiece Dersu Uzala. Based on the memoirs of Vladimir Arseniev, the film is set in the expansive forests of Eastern Siberia at the turn of the century, where an aging frontiersman saves the life of a Soviet explorer, creating a life-long friendship. Yet, when the two reunite decades later, it is only too clear how much the world and the land have changed. Epic in form yet intimate in scope, Dersu Uzala is a beautiful and romantic hymn to nature and the human spirit. Winner of the 1976 Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film.

THE HILL and THE OFFENCE- Wed Feb 13 at 3:10 (Hill), 5:30 (Offence), 7:40 (Hill) and 10 (Offence)- Film Forum- Part of a Sidney Lumet retrospective. A double feature of Lumet films starring Sean Connery. Apparently there was a day when, if you cast Connery in a non-Bond film, audiences would go "No, I can't accept Sean in a non-Bond film. NEVER!". And they made sure ignore this serious, very British, film from very New York director Lumet. Don't think of this as anti-war, but as anti-stupidity in the military.

Connery plays one of 5 new prisoners in a British disciplinary prison camp, who may or may not be broken by the sadistic methods of one of their guards. Strong performances dot this black and white, almost clastrophobic film, including Ossie Davis, Harry Andrews and Michael Redgrave. Don't expect a jolly film, but expect a good one. The screenplay won at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Hill is double-featured with The Offence. NOT available on DVD here in the U.S., so this might be your only shot to catch this. More of a talking film, and just as ignored as The Hill. Connery plays a veteran police detective. Burned out after 20 years on the job, he's pushed over the edge when dealing with and interrogating a suspected rapist. Probably the most serious and dramatic performance ever by Connery. And probably even less known than The Hill.

WHAT'S UP DOC?- Thurs Feb 14 at 7 and 9:30 for 6.50- Chelsea Clearview Cinema- A cheap screening of a somewhat forgotten screwball comedy. The names Barbara Striesand and Ryan O'Neal may annoy the hell out of you, but they are a terrific couple in this 1972 film. Peter Bogdanovich's homage to the screwball comedies of the 30s and 40s fits right along with them. Most of you don't know this film, but this is a good time to start. Screenplay by Buck Henry, Robert Benton and David Newman. Great supporting cast includes Madeline Kahn, Austin Pendelton, Kenneth Mars, Michael Murphy, John Hillerman and Randy Quaid. Pre film show by Hedda Lettuce.

1 comment:

shrinking indigo said...

What's Up Doc? on Valentine's Day cracks me up. Hee.