Monday, February 6, 2012

Film Comment Selects and Rendezvous with French Cinema or one okay series and one great one

I’m still trying to figure out whether to go to Film Comment Selects or not. Things are complicated by my schedule clashing with the films I want to see. I don’t have much this month, but what I have is at the same time as what I want to see (or is at the same time as I have to be at work)

Actually the trouble is that the series doesn’t really have things that really make me feel like I MUST see them on the big screen or better stated I don’t feel like I’m going to miss anything if I don’t go. In years past the series was first and foremost a great place to see things you couldn’t see anywhere else at all or at the very least not with without really busting your but to do so. Many of the films this year either have recently played in NY, are on cable or have just been released on DVD- Margret, Kenneth Lonergan’s film was at the end of a months long run at Cinema Village when the schedule was announced, Role Models is back in the cable TV rotation and the three films by Jean-Pierre Gorin have just come out on DVD in a set from Criterion.

In years past many of the films faced an uncertain future. Films like Kurasowa’s Revenge films, Our Nazi, John Landis’s Burke and Hare screened in the series and had no US release. This year many of the films appear to have up coming releases sewn up, (We Have a Pope is coming from IFC films) Why should we go when they are coming soon?

I’m underwhelmed.(Well exacpt for All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace which I recently got on DVD and which is a truly mind blowing look at how we depend on computers- a review is coming when I finish it's three parts and three hours)

Where is the pop? Where is the zing? Worse even the trailers for several films I wanted to see made me feel I didn’t need to go.

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with the films scheduled per se, they are good films, they just aren’t exciting. There is nothing really in the series that makes me want to make the effort to go into the city and see it.

Honestly I’d rather go see Pina or Coriolanus in the theater again than any of the films at Film Comment Selects.

Damn I really don’t want to go this year do I?

On the opposite side of the coin, earlier today the Film Society released the entire schedule of this year’s Rendezvous with French Cinema. This begins on March 1 as Film Comment Selects is ending.

Not to put too fine a point on it, its great. It’s fantastic. It’s marvelous. There isn’t a film that is being shown that I don’t want to see. This year they have everything from comedy, to drama to animation to lord knows what else…okay maybe not everything, I don’t remember seeing a musical, but damn if they don’t have some great things.

How good is it? So good that I’m considering using vacation days I was saving for later in the year now.

Here’s the list. Its up to you to make plans.

I’m sorry for not being more detailed, but I’m working on my schedule of everything I want to see…


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  2. Not to bring up old debates, considering your feelings about Dogtooth, but i watched that movie again and liked it even more the second time. I find the premise of Alps (same director's followup being shown at Film Comment Selects) irresistible, reminiscent of Sono's Noriko's Dinner Table. Will probably check it out, and can hopefully report something on it.