Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Mid-May revivals

Hey all, Mike here with a revival list for Mid-May. Sorry I didn't have a list for the first ten days of May, but a combination of lack of time and mostly Midnight options made me put off posting a list until now. Here we have some interesting options, and all at reasonable times. I'll try to keep things as brief as possible. Here we go:

BONJOUR TRISTESSE- Thurs May 10 at 7:45 and 9:40- Film Forum- The David Niven-Jean Seberg- Deborah Kerr film is so popular at the Film Forum, it's engagement had been extended. Thursday, May 10 is its final night as of around May 6th. Since then, it's engagement was extended yet another week. Can't do it most of them, but I will post Saturday May 12 and Tuesday May 15. Never seen it and would like to try it. A restored Digital screening; the Riviera exteriors and the actresses should look great:

MARNIE and LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN- Sat May 12 at 2 (Marnie) and 7 (Heaven)- Museum of the Moving Image- Another double feature at the Museum from their Fashion in Film: If Looks Could Kill series. First, Marnie; not one of Hitchcock's classics, but an underrated film whose reputation has grown somewhat over the years. Tippi Hedren is a thief who steals from the wrong man, millionaire  Sean Connery. But instead of having her arrested, he marries her. It is then that he sees her psychological problems, and they are numerous. Not the least of which is a massive fear and distrust of men, to the point where she seemingly reverts to a child. 

With Diane Baker, Mariette Hartley and Bruce Dern in supporting roles. Not sure how much of the machismo of Connery's character will fly with modern audiences; the blackmail and the rape scene doesn't help. A flawed film but an interesting one. And as for the fashions on display, we have Hedren and Baker dressed in Edith Head designs. Actually I don't know if Head actually designed them or just bought them in Paris or elsewhere and took credit for them like with Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina, but the clothes and make-up are on full display here. 

Next is Leave Her To Heaven. I tried to get people to see at the Forum sometime back, with no success. I'll try again as part of one admission with Marnie. For the rest, I'll just copy and paste what I wrote about a year or so ago, which admittedly isn't much:

Heard of the film, don't know much about it, but it looks interesting. A little over the top and melodramatic, but interesting. An Oscar for its early color Cinematography, nominations for Actress Gene Tierney, and Art Direction. After that, I don't know much else, so once again, I'll cut and paste from the Forum's website:

(1945) Always elegantly coiffed Gene Tierney (in Oscar-nominated role and fresh from her starring role in Preminger’s Laura) and best-selling author Cornel Wilde meet cute — she’s reading his latest book — in a super-luxurious railroad car lounge and, despite her engagement ring, it’s instant attraction. And next thing Wilde knows, he’s on horseback watching as she strews her father’s ashes on a New Mexico mountaintop — as Alfred Newman’s score thunders — and suddenly, he’s the new fiance of someone with a very possessive passion. Big Mistake? A drowning coldly watched from behind the screen’s most menacing pair of sunglasses, a miscarriage via intentional staircase fall, a death by poison, and a murder trial with a very surprising defendant getting hammered by relentless DA/spurned lover Vincent Price ensue, amid splendiferous settings, all viewed via sumptuous, Oscar-winning photography by Fox Technicolor specialist Leon Shamroy. Screenplay by Jo Swerling with a colorful cast including Jeanne Crain, Ray Collins (Citizen Kane, Perry Mason), and Darryl Hickman. 110 min.

GRAND ILLUSION- Tues May 15 and Mon May 20- Wed May 23 at 7:45 and 10- Film Forum- One of the classics, of French and world cinema, gets a 2 week run at the Forum; sorry that I'm only posting the days and times I think I can catch this. The other famous film from writer/ director Jean Renoir; the other being The Rules of the Game, a favorite of mine.

During World War 1, 2 French officers are moved about different German POW camps. But there are 2 constants: first, the two officers are from different social classes, and second, the more aristocratic French officer is considerably more comfortable with the aristocratic German officer (Erich von Stroheim) in charge than with his fellow countrymen/ prisoners. But this is war, and will this soldier stick with his fellow countrymen/prisoners or with his class?

More than just the typical prison escape movie. Less The Great Escape, more like The Rules of the Game with Great Escape elements, plus a scene that the makers of Casablanca ripped off and moved from a POW camp to Rick's. Also, there's a sequence where the 2 aristocrats speak English so that the others don't understand what they're saying; a scene that I swear Tarantino ripped off and re-tooled for the start of Inglorious Basterds.

Never seen this, but have wanted to for a quite a while. The first foreign film to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination. The Forum is showing a new 35mm print of this in time for the film's 75th anniversary. But this print, from a 4k restoration took an interesting journey. A few years after its release, the Nazis rolled into France. Goebbels declared the film, with its positive Jewish depictions and anti-war stance, "cinema enemy number 1", and confiscated the silver nitrate negative and had it sent to the Reich's film archive. There it stayed until 1945 when the Russians rolled into Berlin. The Red Army confiscated the negative and shipped it to the Soviet Union. It stayed for decades, while new prints where made from decaying dupes. An agreement made in the mid60s between France and the Soviets respective state film archives, finally brought the film back to France. But the negative again sat in a vault, until British money funded a 1999 restoration. A British/French restoration last year digitized it and payed closer attention to the sound quality. A 35mm negative was made from the digital, and a print of this is what we will see. I really want to go:

Let me know if there's interest. Later all.

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