Monday, June 01, 2009

June revivals: first half

Mike here with what to catch for the first half of June. Some big films in the history of movies, plus a kid's film and a film I never heard of before. Here we go:

RASHOMON- Thurs June 4, Fri June 5, Sun June 7 and Tues June 9- Thurs June 11 at 6:30, 8:20 and 10:10- Film Forum- A 35mm restored print. The classic Oscar-winning Kurosawa film that many tv shows and a few films like Memento owe a debt toward gets its own run. For the rest, I'll copy and paste what was written by Chris Hicks in his article, the 67 Most Influential Films Ever Made, about this. I used it before last month for Easy Rider, and it speaks better than I:

Influential, how? East comes west.
The West finally woke up to Japanese film when Rashomon won Venice’s Golden Lion (and went on to win an Oscar).
The idea - a rape and murder related through conflicting flashbacks - has been repeatedly ribbed but never bettered.
Money shot: The second flashback, when we realise the camera does lie

WOODSTOCK: THE DIRECTOR'S CUT- Wed June 3 at 7 for 25 dollars with an intro from director Michael Wadleigh and concert producer Michael Lang, with free popcorn and soda, with other guests TBA- the Walter Reade at Lincoln Center- A rare screening of the Oscar winning documentary, just before the famed concert's 40th anniversary. One of the best films of 1970 and if it's not placed among the best docs ever made, it's probably because it's not just a job, it's an adventure for current audiences who are probably intimidated by its running time and own ideas and interpretations as to what Woodstock the concert was. We'll be seeing the 3 hr 48 min director's cut (plus an intermission) that has been around since 1994, as opposed to the 3 hr theatrical release; a cut that Warner Bros. had no faith in. The executive who apparently thought they could always use the prints from this probable flop and use the strips for bookmarks, was probably stunned at its success. This lack of faith from the higher-ups, gave rise to the idea of 2 and 3 panels at varying times (showing different angles or different scenes simultaneously), conceived by the filmmakers, including co-cameraman/co-editor Martin Scorsese. This is practically a clinic in film editing.

And, oh yeah, a clinic in the music of the day. Hendrix, Joplin, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Joe Cocker, CSN, Santana, among others. On the Walter Reade's speakers, this should be NICE.

The film cost 25 dollars to see, though free popcorn and soda are included. So yeah, it's priced more like a free concert than a typical film. There will be an intro from the film's director and one of the concert producer's, and something happening after the film. What exactly has not been announced. A Q and A? Acoustic concert? Your guess is as good as mine. But if you have 4-5 hours to spare, this should be fun.

THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER- Fri June 5 at Midnight- Landmark Sunshine Cinema- Muppet fans, unite! The second of the original Muppet trilogy, the only one that Jim Henson directed, gets a midnight screening. Which usually means, this sells out fast with Muppet fanatics. Not as big a hit as The Muppet Movie, but successful enough for the summer of 1981. See intrepid reporters Kermit Fozzie and Gonzo go to London on a story. See them ignore the advice of John Cleese and stay at the Happiness Hotel with others made of felt and acting like they've got a hand stuck up their asses. See Miss Piggy work for the even haughtier Diana Rigg, and get seduced by Charles Grodin . With cameos from Peter Ustinov, Peter Falk, Jack Warden and Robert Morely

LE COMBAT DANS L'ILE- Fri June 12- Wed June 18 at 7:40 and 9:50- Film Forum- A new 35mm print of a 1962 French film that gets a New York release for the first time. Don't know if it played elsewhere in this country. Therefore, I practically know nothing about. I'm interested, therefore, I'll have to cut and paste from the Forum's website. Sometimes I hate being a hack, but here it is:

(1962) Sure her marriage to rich factory owner’s son Jean-Louis Trintignant has its rough side for Romy Schneider: his frequent absences for unexplained reasons, his frightening outbursts of insane jealousy, and that very creepy friend of his. And what’s that carefully wrapped anti-tank bazooka doing in the hall closet? But there’s that other friend, that warm and friendly, but comfortably virile, artisanal printer Henri Serre (Jim of Jules and Jim). All too little known today, Le combat dans l’île subtly evokes a divided marriage — not unusual in French films — and a divided nation — but not divided as seen in the then-dominant Nouvelle Vague. Political assassinations (the attempts on DeGaulle reached double figures), underground extreme right-wing groups, even international, right-wing fugitives — producer Louis Malle was clearly making a political statement distinct from that of his New Wave confrères. Cavalier’s first major film — he’d been a Malle assistant — exhibits an assurance of tone and pacing that make this a uniquely gripping, where is this going? triangle-drama/thriller, as the camera of Pierre Lhomme (DP of Melville’s Army of Shadows, not to mention the cult classic King of Hearts, among many others — he personally supervised this new print) illuminates striking locations from industrial parks to road diners to Serre’s rural island refuge (you can almost smell the crisp winter air), while providing a surprisingly fresh look at that most-filmed of subjects — particularly during this period — Paris itself, both inside and out. First starring part in French, the language and cinema she would make her own, for Schneider (“the best actress of her generation” – Visconti): this breakthrough performance would be a major leap from the saccharine biopics of her Austrian youth. Trintignant, already a mid-range star at home, would break out internationally later the same year in Dino Risi’s Il Sorpasso, and become world-famous a few years later with A Man and a Woman and Z. Approx. 104 minutes

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY- Fri June 12 and Sat June 13 at Midnight- IFC Film Center- One of my all time favorites, and my favorite Kubrick is on the big screen again. This time in the very comfortable IFC Center. Some of you have done this before with me, and some of you, more then once. But in a place like this, a smaller screen then the late Lowes Astor Plaza, the Ziegfeld or the Paris, but bigger than the Forum plus a quality sound system, this is too good to ignore. And if you're one of those who have never seen it on the big screen as opposed to watching it on TV, to paraphrase from comedian Larry Miller, "It's the difference between shooting a bullet and throwing it.". Who knows when it will play next at the Ziegfeld, go now.

I like the ones I've heard of. I'll catch the one I've never heard of. Let me know if there's interest, later all

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