Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Bertrand Tavernier retrospective at the Quad: 17 films (14 on 35mm) with Taviernier in person

Film and Nothing But: Bertrand Tavernier
June 20-29
The Quad celebrates the legendary French filmmaker with the biggest retrospective of his work in New York in decades: 17 films—14 on 35mm—plus a sidebar with four of the director's favorites and Tavernier in person

Perhaps no other filmmaker knows more about the history and culture of French cinema than Bertrand Tavernier. Incisive, intelligent, and deeply humanistic, Tavernier’s films illuminate personal and social relationships and suggest fresh interpretations of the past, while percolating with some of the most memorable performances in contemporary cinema. Tavernier makes films to learn about the world. They are challenges to himself and have been praised by the various communities they describe – diplomats, detectives, schoolteachers, jurists, jazz musicians, and historians, among others.

In honor of his new documentary, My Journey Through French Cinema, opening at the Quad on June 23, we're proud to present this comprehensive retrospective of his work—plus "Tavernier Treasures," a sidebar of four of the director's French favorites: It Happened at the Inn (Jacques Becker) Hotel du Nord (Marcel Carné), The Truth of Our Marriage (Henri Decoin) and The 317th Platoon (Pierre Schoendoerffer).

Bertrand Tavernier will be in person at select screenings.

Organized in collaboration with Laurence Kardish.
Beatrice 1987, 35mm
Captain Conan 1997, 35mm
The Clockmaker 1973, 35mm
Coup de torchon 1981, 35mm
Death Watch 1979, DCP
The French Minister 2014, DCP
Fresh Bait 1995, 35mm
In the Electric Mist 2009, 35mm *U.S. premiere of the director’s cut
The Judge and the Assassin 1976, DCP
L.627 1992, 35mm
Let Joy Reign Supreme 1975, 35mm
Life and Nothing But 1989, 35mm
The Princess of Montpensier 2010, 35mm
’Round Midnight 1986, 35mm
Safe Conduct 2002, 35mm
A Sunday in the Country 1984, 35mm
A Week’s Vacation 1980, 35mm

Final Girls Berlin Film Festival announces 2017 films

Berlin, DE – The 2nd edition of Final Girls Berlin Film Festival will take place in Berlin, Germany from the 9th to the 11th of June, with a program consisting of three feature films, eight curated short blocks, a talk on the “horror hag” subgenre, a workshop on monstrous representations of the “other” in horror, and an art exhibition with five female artists working in horror.

Final Girls Berlin Film Fest showcases horror films that were directed, written, and/or produced by women and non-binary filmmakers.

Festival co-director Sara Neidorf says, “The films we’re presenting relish in various forms of resistance: decimating traditional representations of women in film; blurring bodily boundaries; highlighting the perversions lurking within the nuclear family structure; contorting the conventions of romance; painting bloody portraits of revenge.” Co-director Eli Lewy adds, “The films screening in FGBFF express women’s fantasies and fears in poignant, new ways, showing that horror is fertile ground for feminist filmmaking.”

The opening night feature is Ingrid Jungermann's hilarious, queer dark comedy, WOMEN WHO KILL, which premiered at Tribeca Film Fest 2016.

Morgan and Jean, ex-girlfriends who run a true-crime podcast about female serial killers, find themselves in a bind when they suspect Morgan's new love interest of being a murderer as well.Jungermann, a Brooklyn-based comedian, was obsessed with female serial killers growing up, and has an affinity for the genre world: “I’m not interested in making personal films that don’t invite people into the experience. Which is why I’m drawn to comedy and genre. It allows you the chance to expose yourself while still thinking about the audience.”

XX is a horror anthology with four chilling segments made by four horror bad-asses. Jovanka Vuckovic (former editor of Rue Morgue Magazine) adapts a spine-tingling Jack Ketchum story in “The Box”, Annie Clark’s (St. Vincent) directorial debut “The Birthday Party” is a hellish take on Weekend at Bernie’s; Roxanne Benjamin (V/H/S trilogy, Southbound) gives us an old-school horror romp in “Don’t Fall”; and Karyn Kusama (The Invitation, Girlfight) has to come to grips with the darkness in “Her Only Living Son”.

Esther (Marina de Van) is an ambitious 30-year-old woman. One fateful night at a party, she seriously hurts her leg, but can't seem to feel the pain. This incident propels her toward the start of a self-destructive compulsion. IN MY SKIN is an exploration of a professional woman's descent into increasingly disturbing and obsessive acts.

Marina de Van broke her leg when she was 8, and it forever changed how she viewed her body. “I didn't faint and I didn't really feel pain. Instead, I saw my leg as if it wasn't part of my body, as if it was an object. For me, then, it was a fascinating deformed object… I was also struck by how little it takes for our bodies, or parts of our bodies, to suddenly become alien objects, but ones which fascinate us.”

Short Film Programs

The Archer (2017) Brooklyn Film Festival 2017

Young woman is sent away to a for profit jail by a corrupt judge.  She doesn't realize how bad a mistake has been made until she runs up against a warden who is a vile scumbag. With one of the other girls she plots an escape.

While claiming to be based on a true story, other than the corrupt judge angle the film has little to do with reality. More concerned with the young women trying to get away the film is best viewed as thriller since that is where the film works best, particularly during the second half.

.Worth a look

THE ARCHER plays Sunday the 4th and Wednesday the 7th at the Brooklyn Film Festival. For more information and tickets go here.

Contemporary Philippine Cinema at MoMA: Gemini

If Tennessee Williams had the opportunity to write a Philippine horror movie, it might have gone something like this. Julia and Judith were always like the Corsican Brothers. If one suffered from some sort of pain, so did the other. Unfortunately, Judith is bold and curious about the world, whereas Julia is sickly and allergic to nearly everything. Due to her frail health, both sisters must live sequestered lives. As a result, Judith harbors a great deal of resentment for her sister. That bitterness and sexual repression leads to violence in Ato Bautista’s Gemini, which screens during MoMA’s new film series, A New Golden Age: Contemporary Philippine Cinema.

As Manuel’s interrogation begins, the detective acknowledges the slippery nature of truth, but we have to start somewhere. Julia finally wants to come clean. Her sister murdered Anton, the brother of their tutor, with whom the more forward Judith was romantically involved. When Anton eventually showed his true colors, it sparked a bloody altercation, after which Julia helped Judith dispose of the body. At least that is Julia’s story and she is sticking to it, for the time being. However, there are plenty of reasons to doubt her veracity, starting with the fact Manuel’s partner is a dead-ringer for Anton.

Gemini is filled with doubling, including the central twins, the odd doppelganger, and the frequent use of reflections. Frankly, the film is weird in just about every way. Somehow, Bautista uses techniques and motifs of experimental cinema to disorient and thoroughly creep out viewers. It is hard to say just what Gemini is, because it is probably too cerebral to be horror and too gory to be a straight psychological thriller. Regardless, it is certainly distinctive.

Sheena and Brigitte McBride are indeed identical twins, who are eerily cold and distant as Julia and Judith (or possibly Judith and Julia). Yet, we can vividly feel the fear of the former (presumably), as her constructed realities begin to collapse. However, it is Mon Confiado who really holds the film together and carries it through its twists and turns as the interrogator.

On top of all the surreal reality-problematizing, there is also a fair spot of body horror in Gemini. Yet, despite the profoundly warped perspective, there is a very human tragedy at the film’s center. Viewers have to be comfortable with all the gamesmanship, but experienced genre fans will find it is worth the effort. Recommended accordingly, Gemini screens this Sunday (6/4) and Saturday the 17th at MoMA, as part of their upcoming Philippine film series.


Robert Ando's tale of a monk at a G8 meeting is a mixed affair. While beautifully acted and loving shot the film's plot line- of all the ministers trying to find out what one of their number confessed to before killing himself never fully engages.

The problem with the film is the thematic elements of the film  about greed and what we will do to get it and keep it aren't anything new.  While the individual scenes and some plot threads pack a punch  it never fully works as a whole.  On the other hand the individual bits and the magical realism that occasionally appears in the film make this something that is definitely worth trying.  To be honest I would rather see this film again over any number of more wholly successful films.

Opening night film of Open Roads concerns two young women joined at the hip who are exploited by their parents. When they discover that they could be separated a chain of events is set in motion that changes their world.

An interesting try the film isn't wholly successful since the film is trying a little too hard to be about something. From the naming the two girls Daisy and Violet (like the legendary pair who were the subject of the Broadway musical Side Show) to the carefully regulated look of the film  to a plot progression that screams "this means something" the film never truly feel organic, even if the performances do.

While not bad it's not as engaging as it should be, however for the real film fan or curious the film is worth seeing.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sami Blood (2016)

Christina is an elderly woman who is going back to her home town among the native people of Sweden. She is returning under protest with her son and granddaughter for the funeral of her sister. Leaving the village and going to a hotel alone after the funeral Christina. There she thinks back to her childhood when she was called Ella-Marja. Faced with  the institutionalized racism of the era she discovers that if she dresses as other people from Sweden and not like a Sami (her people) she will be treated with respect. She then heads off on a course where she will turn her back on her heritage and her family.

Intense drama shows clearly the racism that was rampant in the 1930's. This is a story that is often painful to watch as we see how people treat each other badly for what is no reason at all. It is also a clear explanation of what the pain and suffering being the target of hatred.

The moody images that make up the film are filled not only with a great beauty, which cleaved from the narrative might make beautiful portraits for your wall. Unfortunately the images are combined with Amanda Kernell's script and the fully invested performances of her actors making the images almost painful to look at.  Everything has a hidden meaning and hidden hatred. It makes for an intense experience that often is like a poke in our eyes or a punch in our hearts.

I was both moved and disturbed by the film in ways that were much more intense than I expected.

Highly recommended this is one for anyone who likes intense dramas

SAMI BLOOD opens in ine york Friday and LA June 30

Herbie (2017) Dances With Films 2017

The perfect comedy team
Everybody needs a life coach... that coach is not Herbie... - tag line for HERBIE

Matt Vladimery gives a potentially star making performance in Ralph Bismargi's hysterically funny short film HERBIE.

A mix of found footage and narrative the film charts the efforts of Herbie (Vladimery) as he attempts to put a series of You Tube videos together so that he can be a life coach. Herbie had been a trader in the financial world and coped with the pressure by watching self help videos. Realizing that he could do the same thing, he decides to make what he calls Inspirational Therapy videos.  It all goes horribly wrong.

I was not planning on covering this film. I was planning on not wading through all of the shorts at Dances With Films  and I was instead going to just focus on the features but a perfectly timed email got me to look at the trailer and after laughing so hard I almost knocked my laptop on the floor I knew I needed to see the whole film.

Beautifully acted by a perfect cast HERBIE is a film that is lifted up to the highest levels of film comedy by those in front of the camera. While everyone is spot on Laura Woody as Herbie's producer/director and Matt Vladimery as Herbie manage to put this all over. Woody is the put upon straight man to Herbie's increasingly odd outbursts. She clearly knows this is all going south but her "going with the flow" nature acts as a perfect foil for the insanity of Vladimery. As for Vladimery himself, he is comic perfection, creating a character that transcends the sheer nuttiness of his onscreen persona to become not someone we pity or want to see fail but someone we like. In a way we relate to Herbie

I love this film and laughed from start to finish. An absolute joy and a must see.

For tickets to the screening on June 3 can be found here

God of War

General Qi Jiguang wrote the book on war and then he wrote the book on drilling armies—they were called The Ji Xiao Xin Shu and Record of Military Training. He was just the man to whip the Ming army into shape and expel the Japanese pirates. Those supposed ruffians and ronin have some high-ranking samurai secretly calling the shots, but they adhere to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, which is so Sixth Century BC. Nobody knows better than Qi the failings of the Ming court, yet the revered General always answers the call to service in Gordon Chan’s rip-roaring God of War, opening this Friday in New York.

Yes, this will be another film in which the innocent Chinese were minding their own business until the belligerent Japanese launched an imperialist military campaign. At least in this case, some of the Japanese have misgivings regarding the ronin’s rampant pillaging—at least the ones with breeding. Of course, they are not there officially, but thanks to their tactical advice, the pirates have completely bedeviled Gen. Yu Dayou.

Even though Qi’s appointment amounts to a rebuke and a de facto demotion, the two generals earn each other’s respect on the battlefield. Unfortunately, neither of them is good at politics, but Qi is just too good to sideline for long. Crafty old Yamagawa hoped to divide Qi’s forces, by launching three simultaneous attacks, including one on Qi’s home town garrison. However, he did not count on Madame Qi-Wang, an accomplished martial artist in her own right, who will be literally holding down the fort in her husband’s absence.

God of War has several large-scale, blood-and-thunder battle sequences, but it is still surprisingly nimble on its feet. Chan segues quite smoothly from the big, explosive sieges to down-and-dirty hand-to-hand combat scenes. He gets a big assist from Vincent Zhao, who was the perfect choice to anchor the film as Qi. He has always had the martial arts chops, but he is about as big as a movie star can get and still be described as “under-appreciated” for him screen presence. Yet, his solid, dependable Joe persona quite suits Qi, who was known more for his ability to bring out greatness in his troops rather than his own super-human feats.

Nevertheless, Zhao still lays down some spectacular beatdowns on the ronin pirates. He also forges some pleasing chemistry with Regina Wan Qian, as the elegant but lethal Madame Qi-Wang. When Wan gets the chance to show off her action chops, she makes the most of it. She was terrific in The Laundryman and Paradise in Service, but this is the kind of role that should take her to the next level of stardom. As an added bonus, second-billed Master Sammo Hung has a small supporting part as the bull-like Gen. Yu, but he still puts an indelible stamp on the film.

In fact, Hung directly factors in an early sparring scene that is cleverly but not slavishly echoed in the third act. It is a nice, subtle touch from Chan, coming in a genre that more often inspires bombast. Frankly, it shows how reliable Zhao has been, how formidable a force Qian will probably become, and how eternally cool Master Sammo will always be. Highly recommended, God of War opens this Friday (6/2) in New York, at the AMC Empire.

Tatara Samurai (2016)

Yoshinori Nishikori’s epic TATARA SAMURAI is the story of Gosuke a young man next in line to become the maker of a legendary steel used for making swords. Scarred when a raid on the village left his mother dead Gosuke has always been ill at ease with how to keep those he loved safe. When another raid reminds him there is still danger he leaves the village and goes off to join the army. However politics and the coming of fire arms forces him to rethink what he is doing.

While epic in scale the film is decidedly personal. If you are going to go into the film looking for huge battle scenes and lots of action you are going to be disappointed. This is a film about the characters and the choices that they make. While there are some "action" sequences in the film this is primarily a film about the people and how their choices play out.

Thoughtful and heartfelt TATARA Samurai is a film that gets under your skin and moves you. That the film works so well is due to the film focusing on Gosuke as opposed to all that is happening around him. While all of the politics, changing of world and all of that figures into how we feel about what happens, the fact that we never lose sight of Gosuke and his journey is what binds us to it. This is ultimately our own story. While set several hundred years ago ultimately this is a quest that we all take. We all want to know where we belong and by keeping that front and center the film remains riveting and something that we can relate to.

Very recommended for anyone wanting a epic story.

TATARA SAMURAI is being released in US theaters Friday June 2nd by Eleven Arts.

Monday, May 29, 2017

D-Love (2017) Dances With Films 2017

D-LOVE is one of the best surprises of the year. It's a film that shocked the hell out of me, made me smile and stare at the screen wondering why hasn't this film rattled the pillars of film heaven. Its a film destined to end up on my end of year lists, possibly as not only one of the finds of the year but also one of the best.

Let me explain that I didn't plan to see this film, I didn't want to see the film, and I never asked for the film. I had the film sent to me blindly. That I screened it was purely an accident. It was a time killer. I had a short period of time where I could try a film before I was called away, so I put on D-LOVE because I knew I wasn't going to like it and I knew I'd never finish it....and then two minutes in as Elena Beuca and her real life husband Dave Rogers are being civil to each other in an exchange that screamed real life, I suddenly realized "oh shit this really good"

D-LOVE isn't really good, its really great.

Director Elena Beuca based the film on the encounter she and her husband had with  Ditlev Dharmakaya (aka D-Love), a young man from Denmark at a low point in their marriage. In the film the couple run into D-Love at LAX. When they try to put him on a bus they find that they missed the last bus. Not wanting to leave him adrift they take him home. Magic happens

Even if the three leads were not playing versions of  themselves D-LOVE would have a sense of reality that most similar dramas ever achieve. Some how this film captures reality in a way that few film, fiction or non, ever do.  I suppose the fact that Beuca lived it once may be behind some of it, but at the same time that's not all of  it.  The film works because Beuca doesn't over write or over edit anything. She never lets things spin out in ways that they wouldn't do so in life. She also give scenes the time to develop in real life not cutting away so things move too fast or when the perfect line is said. Scenes develop naturally...

This is life.

How do I know? Because I've had some of these conversations, I've said some of these words. I've felt some of these things...or something close to them.

I love the central performances. I think that the three leads are essentially playing themselves keeps their performances perfectly under control. They can't over act because how they are in life is not over acted,  it simply is. If you want to know how good they are watch how some of the other actors are, say the woman playing Beuca's boss. She is playing the role not so much for reality but for effect.  While in the real ball park, ultimately its for comic effect. Beuca,  Rogers and Dharmakaya, never do anything for effect, they just live and breathe and give performances that should make most big name actors jealous.

Thematically, the notion that we all must live in the present is beautifully handled. Everything flows from one moment to the next. Nothing seems rushed. Yes we know that the married couple will learn from their new friend but it never feels forced. Personally once the set up was made I stopped thinking about how I was reasonably sure where it was going to end up and just enjoyed the journey. Rarely have I enjoyed a cinematic journey as much as this... which is thanks to this film simply being good time with a bunch of people I'd just love to hang out with.

I don't know what to say other than this is what all cinema should be like- real, well made, entertaining and extremely thoughtful.

A must see.

D-LOVE screens Saturday June 3. For tickets and more information go here

Contemporary Philippine Cinema at MoMA: Expressway

If you thought it was Grinchy when terrorists took over Nakatomi Plaza during the annual holiday party in Die Hard, wait till you see how these two hitman spend their yuletide. It will be a sweaty, noir Christmas in Ato Bautista’s Expressway, which screens during MoMA’s new film series, A New Golden Age: Contemporary Philippine Cinema.

In the murky twilight world Ben and Morris inhabit, it is difficult to tell the difference between the government and organized crime. They are assassins who work for the “Colonel,” rubbing out honest cops and especially dishonest crooks, who think they can get away with skimming a little off the top. The world-weary Ben is sick of this line of work, but the young, sadistic Morris quite enjoys it. The former intends to retire after completing their latest batch of jobs, but these assignments will be particularly messy, in a soul-killing kind of way.

The fact that the aggressively talkative Morris never shuts up further sets Ben on edge, but that is rather the idea. As they pursue their bloody business, it becomes clear the two men share a secret connection. Ben also happens to know their final target, so small world, isn’t it?

Hardboiled crime just doesn’t get much darker than Expressway. It is a lethally efficient hitman anti-buddy movie that proudly proclaims its Tarantino influences with a visual hat-tip that should have fans howling in their seats, like a pack of wild dingoes. However, sensitive viewers should be warned the third act is amorally mean even by genre standards.

Regardless, Alvin Anson and Aljur Abrenica give tour de force performances as the stylistic opposites. Anson’s brooding Ben looks like a walking existential crisis, whereas Abrenica’s Morris is so aggressively obnoxious (intentionally so), viewers will be begging Ben to kill him after the first twenty minutes. Sparks fly as they play off each other.

Bautista’s execution is super slick and ominously warped. He keeps every second taut to the breaking point. If you enjoy shadowy underworld thrillers rife with revenge and betrayal than this is your catnip. Highly recommended for genre fans, Expressway screens this Friday (6/2) and Wednesday the 21st at MoMA, as part of their upcoming Philippine film series.

The Incomparable Rose Hartman opens Friday

THE INCOMPARABLE ROSE HARTMAN oens in theaters Friday. Here is my review of the film from when it played at DOC NYC last fall

This portrait of photographer Rose Hartman who has taken numerous iconic photographs over the last four decades is a beautiful celebration of a woman and her photographs.

Rose has created a body of work that has documented the fashion and celebrity in ways no one else has. Having the ability to sneak up on intimate moments Rose's photographs document not so much the unposed perfect second that reveals the person as themselves. They are not studio photographs but moments of life. We see how Rose changed photography of both celebrities but of fashion as well since her behind the scenes coverage of fashion shows is now the norm.

Full of great photographs and great stories this breezy hour or so film gives us an intimate portrait of the woman and her work. She is a true New York original, gruff, in control and utterly charming. And yet there is a real sense that she can be very difficult. She wants what she wants and will put on the prickliness to get it. I enjoyed my time with her but as the film wound down so did my desire to be with her. This is not an knock on the film which is good, more that a little Rose goes a long way.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Nightcap 5/28/17 We are covering SIX film festivals this week:Open Roads, Brooklyn, Art of Brooklyn, Dancing With Films and Greenwich

The festival box offices are open
This is going to be a crazy couple of weeks and as a result I have to apologize to a good number of film festivals. I need to apologize because the promised coverage is going to be slightly curtailed. The reduction is not due to my disapproval of the festivals rather there is simply too many going on all at the same time. There are at least 5 film festivals in the New York City Metro area plus one major one in LA all starting this Thursday or Friday and there is a similar amount the following week.

I realized how crazy it was going to be when I sat down to start to schedule the curtain raisers and realized that I was going to be in trouble since there was so much to write up- worse was the realization that I had agreed to review a good number of films at each festival. A couple weeks back I said that I was going to take a break from reviewing stuff only to found I jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Normally I would write up a curtain raiser for each festival but I this week and next I can't do that. There is simply too many things going on and I would have dimply done a cut and paste job for each so instead what I’m going to do is cut to the chase for each and give to the good parts curtain raiser for each.

I know this will bother some of the PR people who would have liked me to talk about their fest on its own but there is way too much inde cinema for me to do that. Actually the cool thing is that this is proof that despite this being the blockbuster season there are some awesome places to find great small films if you just look.

Lincoln Center’s Open Roads is one of my favorite film festivals of the year. Every year it’s a stunning collection of films from Italy. While we get many “bigger” films released to the multiplexes the truly best film from the country are screened here. I’ve been covering the fest for the last five years and every year there are two or three films that end up in my film collection.

I love it to pieces

As it stands now I’ve seen four films (reviews to follow) and I’m hoping to get to a few of the festival screenings.

Based on what I’ve seen if you are interested just buy a ticket and go. Even the least film I’ve seen is better than most films coming out of Hollywood. They are also the least of a sterling bunch. As always Open Roads is an embarrassment of riches.

Open Roads Runs June 1 to 7. For tickets and more information go here.

The Brooklyn Film Festival has been running for 20 years and every year it shines a light on some stunning examples of independent cinema. I have had some truly wonderful experiences at the festival and every year I look forward to seeing what sort of goodies the festival is putting forward.

While the festival has had a nomadic existence over the course of its history, it has settled down in to a few permanent locations in the Bushwick sections of Brooklyn.

I’ve seen a bunch of films and I’ve liked everything I’ve seen. I have a few more to see, but I recommend that you check out the schedule (found here) and buy a bunch of tickets.

The Brooklyn Film Festival runs from June 2 to 11. For more information and tickets go here.

Next weekend, a short train ride from New York is the Greenwich Film Festival. Located in Greenwich Connecticut the festival is a killer collection of titles and events that are bringing some of the best of other fests to those north of NYC. The selection of films is so good that if I didn’t have commitments for other events I’d be on the train to be there in person.

As this posts I am trying to arrange screenings of some of the films showing. I’m not sure it’s going to happen, but I’m hopeful.

However I don’t want to leave you all hanging and below you’ll find a list of films that we’ve covered elsewhere with links to our reviews.

The festival runs June 1 to 4. For more information and tickets go here.

The films we’ve seen:

Big Sonia
Bobbi Jene
City of Ghosts
Grey State
It’s Not Yet Dark
Swim Team


I blame Joe Bendel for putting Los Angeles’ Dances with Films on my radar. A couple years back Joe told me I should be covering it and over the years I’ve done so in fits and starts. This year because I caught it earlier, and because I have been dealing with the PR firm responsible for getting word out I got I on the ground floor.

Dances is a wicked festival that always manages to get some killer films that end up being a big deal a couple of months after the fact. The result is always a stream of profanity when I realize I could have been in on the ground floor if I had only known. Dances is just a great mix of inde cinema that any cinema fan worth their salt should either attend or at the very be aware of. Its just a great festival.

I will be having some reviews coming up but until then, if you are in the Los Angeles area go buy tickets. (Might I strongly suggest getting tickets for suggest D-LOVE, IMITATION GIRL, HERBIE, and Jason Kartlian’s fall down funny SUBCULTURE)

Dances With Films runs June 1 to 11. For more information and tickets go here.


The Art of Brooklyn Film festival runs June 2 to 11 and its one of the best kept secrets in New York.

A neat little festival that always screens some great films and has some great film related panels the festival has been the launching point for some really good films.

We’ve already seen Future 38 and Dunning Man and hopefully we’ll have more coverage of some of the panels (I’m hoping to get to the white washing  and the micro Budget filmmaking seminars).

For tickets and more information go here.

 And because that isn't enough look for JB to be throwing some coverage your way of MOMA's A New Golden Age: Contemporary Philippine Cinema which runs all through June. Full details on the series here.
And remember keep checking back because the next three weeks will be nothing but festival coverage (and a few new releases)

A TEAM (2010)

Big screen  reboot of the classic (?) TV series is mindless fun- much like the classic series.

The film has the team (Liam Neeson, Sharlto Copley, Quinton JAckson and Bradley Cooper) going on a mission in Iraq to recover stolen treasury plates and money. They succeed but upon returning to base their commanding officer is killed and the money is destroyed in an explosion. Believed to be behind it the A-Team is arrested and sent to jail.  Six months later a CIA man named Lynch (a slimey Patrick Wilson) gets Hannibal SMith (neeson) out of prison and promises pardons and reinstatements if the group can get the plates back. Of course it's a set up- but Hannibal has a plan.

Big budget action film should have amounted to something but didn't quite make enough money to justify a second outing- which is a shame because taken on its own terms this A TEAM is great fun.

While more grounded in reality, people actually die, the film is of course grand wish fulfilment as the heroes over come every obstacle no matter the odds and even if it mean wrecking the port of Los Angeles. There is a wonderful sense of fun as well as danger (the team gets hurt) and even if the film isn't entirely realistic, aka flying the tank, the film manages to make you believe it's all possible within the world of the film.

What makes the film work is the comradery of the characters as well as the fact that the set pieces are so damn good. Yes the flying the tank bit is un real but it's fun as is the final set piece in LA.

As with many people I think this is an unheralded gem. A loving copy of the the TV show the film actually works. WHile there has been some complaints that the script doesn't make sense (Neeson had said he has a hard time following it and he was in the film) one has to realize that it is more coherent than most episodes of the original series.

Highly recommended for action fans

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Philip K. Dick ’17: Für Elise (short)

Beethoven’s famous solo piano composition will never sound the same after watching this short film. For one thing, the sanitation trucks in Kaohsiung City play a tinny calliope recording of what residents refer to as “the Garbage Song.” However, the music will have considerably more ominous implications for the central character of Albert Ventura Roldán’s Für Elise, which screens during this year’s Philip K. Dick Film Festival.

Ashin thinks he is a tough guy, but for some reason, he lets a pretty Taiwanese American tourist give him a hard time when she sits down at his outdoor market table uninvited. As coincidence would have it, her name is Elise and she arrives simultaneously with the garbage truck, playing its usual Für Elise. You could say it is her theme song.

Before long, Elise will suggest they have done this before. When she supposedly reveals her true nature, it greatly agitates the formerly cool and collected Ashin. She might not be telling the complete truth, but she still hits close enough to home to get Ashin to chase her through the city’s back alleys, which was apparently the goal all along. At this point, the rug is suddenly pulled out from under his feet.

It is hard to classify Für Elise in terms of genre, but it holds far more twists than you would expect from a twenty-five-minute short. To explain any more than the initial set-up would give much away. However, it is very impressive how skillfully and insidiously Roldán keeps upending Ashin’s perception of reality. Für Elise is also absolutely drenched in nocturnal noir atmosphere, which is further amplified by the eerie but classy cinematography of Jyun-Ming Wang and Carles Viarnès’ variations on the Beethoven theme. It is a tense, suspenseful film, yet it totally puts viewers in the mood for late-night street food.

Zai-Xing Zhang and Yi-He Chiu are both terrific as Ashin and Elise. Their chemistry is complicated and they face extreme circumstances, but they are always highly compelling and convincing. They really sell each revelation with their screen presence and dramatic credibility.

This is an excellent film that really delivers everything you could want from a cinematic experience. Frankly, the essential Macguffin could easily sustain a feature treatment, but it is best served by the briskness and muscular compactness of the short film format. If you enjoy psychological thrillers like Hitchcock’s Spellbound (seriously) and reality-twisters like Jacob’s Ladder than you will be duly impressed by Roldán’s film. Very highly recommended, Für Elise screens this coming Monday (5/29) at the Producers Club, as part of the 2017 Philip K. Dick Film Festival.

The problem that is LONDON HAS FALLEN (2016)

LONDON HAS FALLEN was one of the big action films of 2016. It's a sequel to THE WHITE HOUSE HAS FALLEN a film I liked for the sheer silliness of it but which most critics hated with a passion. LONDON ups the ante and the stupidity to epic levels

The plot has a Pakistani business man getting revenge on the West  for a drone strike two years earlier by attacking the funeral of the British Prime Minister. Mayhem results.

The film has problems-lots of problems.

The first problem is that the film takes an agonizing 25 minutes to get going. It is a painful 25 minutes as Gerard Butler gets ready for a baby, ponders his resignation and slowly makes his way to London. Its awful.

The second problem is the terrorist plot is so huge and so involved it basically would involve every cop in London. Once everything starts every cop seems to be bad, every one on the street other than a small crew is a crazy killer. Really? Even assuming it was possible that the bad guy could have all the bad cops right where he needed them it is impossible to fathom. Additionally ludicrous is the notion that they could plan it and get them in position with two years planning.

Yea I know I shouldn't be thinking about it - but there are so many other plot points that make no sense you can't help but notice it.

On the other hand once you  get 25 minutes in the film explodes with action. As a film full of over the top motion the film is great. Yea it makes no sense but it if you keep your brain in the dish by the door its a lot of fun...

I hate the plot of the film but I love the action.

Where does that leave the recommendation?

If you come in 30 minutes in and just go with the bullet ballet its worth it...if you need logic and reason then stay the hell away

Friday, May 26, 2017

Seoul Station hits iTunes Tuesday

They ran SEOUL STATION in a late night slot at the New York Asian Film Festival and it provoked two reactions. The first was nervous laughter from those in the audience who couldn’t see animation as anything other than something to entertain kids or tell jokes. The other, more pervasive, reaction was a deep dark sense of unease and dread not to mention a feeling that the film was extremely “f-ed” up. Ultimately it was a film that everyone who was there shamed those who weren’t with talk that they should have been there.

The feeling that people should have been there was intensified when Yeon Sang-ho next film the epic zombie mega hit TRAIN TO BUSAN hit theaters and stayed there for months, literally. Suddenly everyone wanted to know what he had done before and was shocked that the animated SEOUL STATION was the film before it. Everyone had to know how the films related to each other and in many circles there was a mad quest to track down copies of the film.

And now, some 11 months after the film played the New York Asian Film Festival SEOUL STATION is hitting iTunes. Knowing that everyone who saw and loved TRAIN TO BUSAN was going to be rushing to see the first film I decided to revisit the film in case my review needed to be updated.

While I’m not going to update my original review, which follows, I do want to say a couple of things.

First despite the way it’s being touted by fans and the releasing company, SEOUL STATION is not really a prequel to TRAIN TO BUSAN. While it came out first the films do not lead into each other. If anything BUSAN should be seen as the first film since it explains how it all starts where SEOUL STATION is simply one event happening at the same time, more or less. I’ve heard that director Sang-ho said that the two films are not really related and that the fact that they are both zombie films was just happenstance relating to his wanting to tell two stories set against similar backgrounds. I'm not sure it's true, but it kind of makes sense since the two films are ultimately different.

The next thing I wanted to say is that don’t let the animation get in the way of your enjoying SEOUL STATION’s story. Just think of it as a damn good horror film. While there is no doubt that it could have been told live action, the scale of some sequences would have made it cost prohibitive. Yes they could have used computers like in Train to Busan, but the scale here is bigger. Animation made it possible to tell the story the way it should be told.

Lastly realize that the film is not about zombies. The plot is really a different kind of story that’s set during a time of monsters. I know the ending bothered some people who saw it last year and I’m guessing that is going to be the case again now that it can be widely seen. Sang-ho is simply using the tropes of horror to tell the story of a search.

Ultimately take SEOUL STATION on its own terms and if you do that I think you’ll like it. For me it was one of the best films I saw in 2016, which is as high a rave as I can give.

Here now is the review I ran right after SEOUL STATION blew me away last June.

Numerous story lines collide- an old guy with a neck wound wanders back into the city and his "brother" attempts to find medical help for him. A young woman has trouble with her boyfriend who wants to pimp her out via the internet. Meanwhile a father looks for his missing daughter. Elsewhere in and around the Seoul Station various homeless people cope with the late night. Everyone wants to settle in for the night - except that the old guy isn't just wounded but carrying the infection that will begin the outbreak of a condition that will see the dead rise and attack the living.

An absolute rarity in the zombie genre, a film with honest to god characters. Not only that its a zombie film with real scares. And its animated.

Normally I hate the zombie genre. I mean I HATE IT, so when I tell you SEOUL STATION IS really good believe me, this is REALLY GOOD. Actually it's quite amazing especially since the zombie film has been so badly raped by lazy hacks and would be comediennes that that to me the genre is pretty much worthless (do not get me started about WALKING DEAD). Yes we'd occasionally get a good film but it as always buried in the middle of 25 turds.. this is one of the best I've seen in years, decades if you want a straight on balls to the wall horror film as opposed to something like MAGGIE or MISS ZOMBIE which use the tropes for other purposes.

SEOUL STATION works for two reasons. First is the characters. Pretty much everyone is a real person. If they aren't a full fleshed out person then we have enough to think there is more to them than just being a cardboard cut out. We car about the people- even the ones we don't like.

The second reason the film works is that the film is set at the start of an outbreak. The characters don't know what is happening so their panic feeds our panic. We don't know the rules because no one knows whats happening so they haven't figured them out. The hordes are not your typical zombie masses but something else. They are fast but clumsy, they fall down a lot. While there is little doubt that they are in a direct line to the George Romero ones, a head shot is needed to kill them and the film riffs his DAWN OF THE DEAD, there are enough differences that it keeps things interesting. It also allows for some scary funny moments as we can't always be sure if someone infected or not. Best of all it feels real and you get the sense that this is how is would probably go (the governmental response is just as chilling as the zombies).

I was scared and on the edge of my seat for most of the film.

And do I really need to mention the social commentary that runs rampant but unobtrusively all through the film? And when you consider this was made by Yeon Sang-ho who made the bleakly depressing KING OF PIGS you can be sure its not a happy film.

One of the best films at NYAFF and one of the best horror films of 2016. A must see.

SEOUL STATION hits iTunes Tuesday and can be purchased here

Philip K. Dick ’17: The Ningyo (pilot)

According to legend, the ningyo is sort of like a Japanese mermaid, but if true, the lore surrounding the mythical beast holds much more dramatic implications. Supposedly, those who eat ningyo flesh will extend their longevity by centuries. However, the death of a ningyo will raise great storms and natural disasters to plague the nation of Japan. Therefore, it logically follows some people will be desperately looking for the ningyo, while others are determined to keep them undiscovered. A crypto-zoologist finds himself caught between two such factions in Miguel Ortega & Tran Ma’s independent pilot, The Ningyo, which screens during this year’s Philip K. Dick Film Festival.

In this steampunky alternate 1911, Prof. C. Marlowe discovered the okapi in Africa, but his obsessive quest for the ningyo does not sit well with his museum or their donors. Even though the ancient map he recovered could be considered evidence, they just want Marlowe to shut up and go away. Yet, that map must be legit, because both the Bikuni clan and the shadowy H. Prestor Sealous want it, for very different reasons. Spurned by his colleagues, Marlowe agrees to a face-to-face with the latter, but there is no guarantee he will survive the trek to the creature-collector’s subterranean lair.

It is really amazing how fully Ortega and Ma realize the feeling and texture of a steampunk world, relying more on inspiration and creativity than things like cash. In contrast, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on films like The Wild, Wild West and The Golden Compass that look flat and pale in comparison.

Ortega and Ma also clearly know their ningyo lore, as well as their late Nineteenth Century/early Twentieth Century science fiction and adventure literature, visual allusions to which are sprinkled throughout the pilot/proof-of-concept short. Yet, we feel safe in assuming their first love is creating creatures, because there are a bunch of them in The Ningyo. Arguably, Sealous’s secret showroom ranks up there with Mos Eisley in the original Star Wars for the high number of invented species per capita.

As if that were not enough, cult film and television fans will definitely dig the cast, which includes Tamlyn Tomita (from The Karate Kid II and Awesome Asian Bad Guys) lending her elegant gravitas to the project as mysterious matriarch Kiyohime Bikuni, Louis Ozawa Changchien (recurring on The Man in the High Castle) personifying steeliness as the enforcer, Hatori Bikuni, and Jerry Lacy (from the original Dark Shadows) reveling in villainy as the evil Sealous. As Marlowe, Rodrigo Lopresti (a.k.a. The Hermit) also has a firm handle on brooding and scientific mumbo jumbo.

The Ningyo looks amazing and it is wildly fun to watch. However, since Marlowe is essentially a Gilded Age Indiana Jones, it should come as no surprise the pilot ends with a cliffhanger. Presumably, that will be true for all subsequent episodes, which just feels right for this kind of steampunk adventure genre. Anyone who sees the Ningyo pilot will hope to see the full series get produced soon. (Is anyone from Netflix or Amazon Studios free Sunday morning?) Regardless, it is just invigorating for genre fans to dive into such a richly crafted world. Very highly recommended, The Ningyo screens this Sunday (5/28) at the Soho Playhouse, as part of the Philip K. Dick Film Festival’s Fantasy and the Fantastic shorts block.

A Study in Terror (1965)

I have no idea how many times Sherlock Holmes has battled Jack the Ripper over the years but here he is at it again, and in brilliant color to boot. I mention the color since the film, coming as films were rapidly being only made in color, takes great pleasure in showing us the colorful world of Victorian London and White Chapel in particular. Its a very 1960's sort of thing to do, as is the use of bongos on the soundtrack. Neither of these things really hurt the films plotting, but they do place it in a reality that could only be an English film studio in the 1960's. There's a feeling attached to many non-Hammer English films of the period that the producers were trying to give you something you couldn't get at home on a black and white TV, namely color. This need to show off detracts from what is a good thriller.

The plotting of Holmes attempt to solve the Ripper killings is reasonably well done. The hows and whys of the killings are interesting, however I have to say that I find that they are not as well done as in Murder by Decree, which is one of my favorite films (Holmes or otherwise.) For this reason I have some reservations, which are purely personal and should not stop you from at least watching this good movie.

John Neville as Holmes gives a very human portrait of a man of both mind and action, doing what ever it is to get the case solved. His relationship with Watson is pretty much as equals, something that is missing from most Holmes films which present the Holmes/Watson relationship in such away as to make you wonder why they are friends. I like that you can understand why they are together.

Over all, a good little movie, though as I said it suffers by comparison.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


June 8 – July 2, 2017

New York, New York, May 25, 2017— Museum of the Moving Image will present a screening series from June 8 through July 2 to mark the 15th anniversary of Film Movement, the pioneering New York–based film distributor of independent and foreign films. The series, Film Movement: A 15th Anniversary Celebration, includes fifteen features and a number of shorts, ranging from films by established directors Takeshi Kitano, Marleen Gorris, and Eric Rohmer; to Film Movement’s first Academy Award®–nominated film Theeb by Naji Abu Nowar; Maren Ade’s (Tony Erdrmann) first feature The Forest for the Trees; and a range of films from Italy, Argentina, and Mexico. The selections celebrate the vitality and vision of a company that has brought so much great cinema to North American audiences.

“With an innovative distribution strategy including theatrical runs and a film-of-the-month club, and a library of new films from the international festival circuit and classics by established directors, Film Movement plays a vital cultural role in introducing the best in global cinema to American audiences,” said Chief Curator David Schwartz. “We are pleased to present this series to celebrate the company’s fifteen anniversary.”

Michael E. Rosenberg, President of Film Movement, said, “Film Movement is thrilled and honored by this anniversary program at Museum of the Moving Image. The series reflects the intense care shown by David Schwartz and his team at this iconic New York cultural institution in selecting titles that truly reflect the vision of our company.”

Film Movement: A 15th Anniversary Celebration opens on Thursday, June 8, with In Between, an energetic and distinctly modern dramedy by the Palestinian director Maysaloun Hamoud, who will receive the Young Talents award at Cannes this year from Isabelle Huppert. In Between’s producer Shlomi Elkabetz (Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem) will introduce the screening in person and the film is scheduled to open theatrically at the end of the year. The series continues with Takeshi Kitano’s second feature Boiling Point; Naji Abu Nowar’s Academy Award®-nominated “Bedouin Western” Theeb; Pedro González-Rubio’s narrative documentary hybrid Alamar, Eric Rohmer’s ‘80s classic Full Moon in Paris; Alice Rohrwacher’s gritty exploration of Italian Catholicism, Corpo Celeste; Papirosen, Gastón Solnicki’s intimate portrait of multiple generations of his own family in Argentina; Wolf Gremm’s Kamikaze ’89, featuring the legendary director Rainer Werner Fassbinder in his final acting role; Human Capital, Paolo Virzi’s adaptation of Stephen Amidon’s acclaimed novel; Mexican director Fernando Eimbcke’s dreamy, mesmerizing Lake Tahoe; Toni Erdmann director Maren Ade’s debut feature, The Forest for the Trees; Argentine director Lucia Puenzo’s XXY, a delicate tale of sexuality and identity; Marleen Gorris’s Academy Award®Foreign Language Film winner Antonia’s Line; Shane Meadow’s English coming-of-age tale Somers Town; and a closing film, to be announced. See below for schedule and descriptions or visit

Sponsors for Film Movement: A 15th Anniversary Celebration include Deluxe, The ADS Group, Kobrand Corporation, and Bounce Creative Group.

About Film Movement
Celebrating its 15th year, Film Movement is a North American distributor of award-winning independent and foreign films based in New York City. Film Movement has released more than 250 feature films and shorts culled from prestigious film festivals worldwide, and last year it had its first Academy Award®-nominated film, Naji Abu Nowar’s Theeb. Film Movement’s theatrical distribution strategy has evolved to include promising American independent films, documentaries, and an even stronger slate of foreign art house titles. Its catalog includes titles by directors such as Hirokazu Kore-eda, Maren Ade, Jessica Hausner, Andrei Konchalovsky, Andrzej Wajda, Diane Kurys, Ciro Guerra, and Melanie Laurent. In 2015, Film Movement launched its reissue label Film Movement Classics, featuring new restorations released theatrically as well as on Blu-ray and DVD, including films by such noted directors as Eric Rohmer, Peter Greenaway, Bille August, Marleen Gorris, Takeshi Kitano, Arturo Ripstein, and Ettore Scola. For more information, please visit

Unless otherwise noted, tickets are $15 adults (ages 18+), $11 (Standard museum members, seniors and students), $7 youth (ages 3–17), free or discounted for Museum members. Advance tickets are available online at Ticket purchase includes same-day admission to Museum galleries.

In Between (Bar Bahar)
With producer Shlomi Elkabetz in person
Dir. Maysaloun Hamoud. Israel. 2016, 103 mins. DCP. With Mouna Hawa, Sana Jammelieh, Shaden Kanboura. A lively and distinctly modern dramedy by the Arab-Israeli female director Maysaloun Hamoud, In Between follows three women who live together in the vibrant heart of Tel Aviv. Lalia, a criminal lawyer with a wicked wit, loves to burn off her workday stress in the underground club scene. Salma, slightly more subdued, is a DJ and bartender. Nur is a young, observant Muslim woman who moves into their apartment to study at the local university. A visit by Nur’s conservative fiancé sets off a complicated tangle of conflicts between tradition and modernity, citizenship and culture, fealty and freedom.

Boiling Point (3-4 x Jugatsu)
FRIDAY, JUNE 9. 7:30 P.M.
Dir. Takeshi Kitano. Japan. 1990, 97 mins. 35mm. With Takeshi Kitano, Yurei Yanagi, Yuriko Ishida. In Japanese with English subtitles. In his second film, action auteur Takeshi “Beat” Kitano shows his masterful ability to blend drama and hilarity. An unlucky gas station attendant belongs to a losing junior baseball team whose coach has been captured by the local yakuza. The attendant and a friend travel to Okinawa seeking revenge; instead they tumble into a crazy night of karaoke, sex, gun dealing, and flower gathering, with Kitano in top form playing a mercurial gangster.

SATURDAY, JUNE 10, 2:00 P.M.
Dir. Naji Abu Nowar. Jordan. 2014, 100 mins. DCP. With Jacir Eid, Hassan Mutlag, Hussein Salameh. In Arabic with English subtitles. Nominated for the 2016 Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film. Naji Abu Nowar’s powerful and assured directorial debut, set in the land of Lawrence of Arabia, is a wondrous and riveting “Bedouin Western” about a boy who, in order to survive, must grow up fast. In 1916, while war rages in the Ottoman Empire, Hussein raises his younger brother Theeb (“Wolf”) in a traditional desert community. The brothers’ quiet existence is suddenly interrupted when a British Army officer and his guide ask Hussein to escort them to a well located along the pilgrimage route to Mecca. Hussein agrees, and Theeb chases after his brother. The group is soon trapped amidst threatening terrain riddled with Ottoman mercenaries, Arab revolutionaries, and outcast Bedouin raiders.

SATURDAY, JUNE 10, 4:15 P.M.
Dir. Pedro González-Rubio. Mexico. 2009, 73 mins. 35mm. With Jorge Machado, Natan Machado Palombini. In Spanish and Italian with English subtitles. In this “luminous semi-documentary film” (The New York Times), Jorge has only a few weeks with his five-year-old son Natan who is going to live with his mother in Rome. Intent on teaching Natan about their Mayan heritage, Jorge takes him to the pristine Chinchorro reef, and eases him into the rhythms of a fisherman's life. This lovely film observes the growing bonds between father and son, and between Natan and nature. Preceded by Ground Floor (Dir. Asya Aizenstein, Israel. 2015, 3 mins.)

Full Moon in Paris (Les nuits de la pleine lune)
SATURDAY, JUNE 10, 6:30 P.M.
Dir. Eric Rohmer. France. 1984, 103 mins. 35mm. With Pascale Ogier, Tchéky Karyo, Fabrice Luchini, Virginie Thévenet. In French with English subtitles. New York Times critic Vincent Canby called Eric Rohmer's Full Moon in Paris “a small masterpiece,” adding “it is small only in its scope, which focuses exclusively on one wonderfully headstrong, positive young woman and her pursuit of an impossible goal.” The late, luminous Pascale Ogier plays Louise, a young interior designer who is bored with the sleepy suburbs and her live-in boyfriend, and arranges to move back into her Paris apartment during the week. Balancing a steady boyfriend in the suburbs with a best friend, Octave (Fabrice Luchini), who makes plain his interest in her, and a bad-boy musician who catches her eye at a party, Louise tries to manage her tangled life in Rohmer’s modern, wry observation of youth and love. Preceded by Finale (Dir. Balázs Simonyi, Hungary, 2011, 8 mins.)

Corpo Celeste
SUNDAY, JUNE 11, 2:30 P.M.
Dir. Alice Rohrwacher. Italy. 2011, 100 mins. Digital projection. With Yle Vianello, Salvatore Cantaloupo, Pasqualina Scuncia. In Italian with English subtitles. Having recently returned to her native Italy after ten years away, the quiet but curious thirteen-year-old Marta is left to her own devices while her loving but worn-out mother works at an industrial bakery. Marta's only source of social outlet is the local church, where she is told to attend preparatory classes for her confirmation. But the doctrines of Roman Catholicism offer little in terms of life lessons or consolation, and Marta must forge her very own way of the cross. In her debut film, Rohrwacher updates the tradition of Neorealism, with her own poetic naturalism.

SUNDAY, JUNE 11, 4:30 P.M.
Dir. Gastón Solnicki. Argentina. 2011, 74 mins. Digital projection. In Spanish with English subtitles. Fashioning nearly 200 hours of footage shot over a decade into a family portrait at once epic and intimate, the young Argentinian filmmaker Gastón Solnicki (whose previous film was the music documentary Suden) elevates the home movie to an art. Four generations of his Buenos Aires clan are captured on vacations and at family gatherings, as well as in small everyday moments. Digging into the family archives (vintage 8mm footage, a video recording of a bar mitzvah) and incorporating the musings of his grandmother, Pola, a Holocaust survivor, Solnicki crafts a deeply affecting meditation on the meaning of family and the weight of history. Preceded by Aĭssa (Dir. Clément Tréhin-Lalanne, France, 2013, 8 mins.)

Kamikaze ‘89
FRIDAY, JUNE 16, 7:30 P.M.
Dir. Wolf Gremm. Germany. 1982, 106 mins. Digital projection. With Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Gunther Kaufmann. In German with English subtitles. In his final acting role, legendary director Rainer Werner Fassbinder (clad in an iconic leopard-skin suit) stars as the hardboiled detective Jansen. In a neon-drenched futuristic dystopia ruled by a multimedia conglomerate called The Combine, Jansen is sent on a labyrinthine investigation when their headquarters is threatened with mass destruction by a phantom bomber. This essential cult classic features a hypnotic electronic score by Tangerine Dream’s Edward Froese as well as gleefully mind-bending production design. Preceded by The Gunfighter (Dir. Eric Kissack, U.S., 2014, 9 mins. Narrated by Nick Offerman.)

Human Capital (Il capitale umano)
SATURDAY, JUNE 17, 4:00 P.M.
Dir. Paolo Virzì. Italy. 2014, 110 mins. Digital projection. With Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Valeria Golino, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. In Italian with English subtitles. Paolo Virzì’s adaptation of Stephen Amidon’s acclaimed novel is a riveting and stylish modern day morality tale of class, greed and desire. With a lavish home and beautiful wife, hedge-fund manager Giovanni Bernaschi seemingly has it all. Meanwhile, real estate agent Dino Ossala struggles to maintain his family’s middle-class existence and faces even worse financial straits when his wife announces that she is pregnant with twins. Dino tries to leverage his daughter’s relationship with Giovanni’s son, and the destinies of both families become intertwined in surprising ways. Preceded by Job Interview (Dir. Julia Walter, Germany, 2013, 10 mins.)

Lake Tahoe
SUNDAY, JUNE 18, 2:00 P.M.
Dir. Fernando Eimbcke. Mexico. 2008, 81 mins. 35mm. With Diego Cataño, Hector Herrera, Daniela Valentine. In Spanish with English subtitles. Teenage Juan crashes his family’s car into a telegraph pole on the outskirts of town, and then scours the streets searching for someone to help him fix it. His quest will bring him to Don Heber, an old paranoid mechanic whose only companion is Sica, his almost human boxer dog; to Lucía, a young mother who is convinced that her real place in life is as a lead singer in a punk band; and to “The One who Knows,” a teenage mechanic obsessed with martial arts and kung fu philosophy. The second feature from the talented Mexican director Fernando Eimbcke (Duck Season, Club Sandwich), Lake Tahoe is a dreamy, mesmerizing film about death, family, love and sex. Preceded by Driving Lessons (Dir. Elodie Lélu, Belgium, 2012, 12 mins.)

The Forest for the Trees (Der Wald vor lauter Bäumen)
SUNDAY, JUNE 18, 4:30 P.M.
Dir. Maren Ade. Germany. 2003, 81 mins. 35mm. With Eva Lobau, Daniela Holtz. In German with English subtitles. The impressive debut film by Maren Ade (Toni Erdmann) is about Melanie Pröschle, an awkward and idealistic young teacher from the countryside, who starts her first job at a high school in the city. Although she wants to be a “fresh breeze” at the school, she finds that it is not easy to start a new life, as she copes with loneliness, the inertia of established teachers, and the whims of ninth-grade students. Preceded by House Arrest (Dir. Matthias Sahli, Switzerland, 2015, Switzerland, 13 mins.)

SUNDAY, JUNE 18, 7:00 P.M.
Dir. Lucia Puenzo. Argentina. 2007, 91 mins. 35mm. With Ricardo Darín, Ines Efron, Valerie Bertuccelli. In Spanish with English subtitles. Most adolescents confront tough choices and life decisions, but rarely any as monumental as the one facing fifteen-year-old Alex, who was born an intersex child. As Alex begins to explore her sexuality, her mother invites friends from Buenos Aires to come for a visit at their house on the gorgeous Uruguayan shore. Alex is immediately attracted to a young man, which adds yet another level of complexity to her personal search for identity, and forces both families to face their worst fears.

Antonia’s Line
Dir. Marleen Gorris. Netherlands. 1995, 102 mins. With Willeke van Ammelrooy, Els Dottermans, Dora van der Groen. In Dutch with English subtitles. Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In the aftermath of WWII, strong-willed Antonia returns to her hometown after inheriting her mother's farm. With her free-spirited artist daughter Danielle, they ingratiate themselves into the town’s tight-knit and eccentric community. As the years unfold, love and tragedy come to Antonia and Danielle and the pair foster a vibrant circle of strong, liberated women.

Somers Town
Dir. Shane Meadows. United Kingdom. 2008, 70 mins. 35mm. With Thomas Turgoose, Piotr Jagiello, Elisa Lasowski. The director (Shane Meadows) and star (Thomas Turgoose) of This is England created this wry and captivating coming-of-age tale about two teens, new to London, who forge an unlikely friendship during a hot summer. Marek lets homeless Tomo move into his room, and the pair forms a hilarious bond as they work odd jobs for an eccentric neighbor and compete for the attention of a beautiful young French waitress. Meadows “explores the comic and tragic absurdities of small-town life in a populist, invigorating fashion, moving with swagger and ease from laughs to tears and back again” (Time Out New York). Preceded by So You’ve Grown Attached (Dir. Kate Tsang, U.S., 2014, 15 mins.)

Museum of the Moving Image ( advances the understanding, enjoyment, and appreciation of the art, history, technique, and technology of film, television, and digital media. In its stunning facilities—acclaimed for both its accessibility and bold design—the Museum presents exhibitions; screenings of significant works; discussion programs featuring actors, directors, craftspeople, and business leaders; and education programs which serve more than 50,000 students each year. The Museum also houses a significant collection of moving-image artifacts.

Hours: Wednesday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Friday, 10:30 to 8:00 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Museum Admission: $15 adults (18+); $11 senior citizens (65+) and students (18+) with ID; $7 youth (ages 3–17). Children under 3 and Museum members are admitted free. Admission to the galleries is free on Fridays, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Film Screenings: Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays, and as scheduled. Unless otherwise noted, ticket are $15 adults / $11 seniors and students / $7 youth 3–17 / Free for members at the Film Lover and Kids Premium levels and above. Advance purchase is available online. Ticket purchase may be applied toward same-day admission to the Museum’s galleries.
Location: 36-01 35 Avenue (at 37 Street) in Astoria.
Subway: M (weekdays only) or R to Steinway Street. W (weekdays only) or N to 36 Avenue.
Program Information: Telephone: 718 777 6888; Website:
Membership: or 718 777 6877

Museum of the Moving Image is housed in a building owned by the City of New York and has received significant support from the following public agencies: New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York City Economic Development Corporation; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; Institute of Museum and Library Services; National Endowment for the Humanities; National Endowment for the Arts; and Natural Heritage Trust (administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation). For more information, please visit