A collection of reviews of films from off the beaten path; a travel guide for those who love the cinematic world and want more than the mainstream releases.
Friday, October 6, 2017
November and December 2017 Repertory Calendar Announced at Metrograph
Opens November 1
For a too-brief time, before the arrival of Soviet tanks in August, 1968 put an end to the thaw of the “Prague Spring” and the groundswell of artistic liberation that had preceded it, little Czechoslovakia was home to one of the most exciting filmmaking scenes in the world. At the center of it were Milos Forman and Ivan Passer, two friends, boarding school classmates, and collaborators who seemed to urge one another towards excellence. Before both went on to escape the Eastern Bloc for brilliant careers in the U.S., they together in their native land enacted a reinvigoration of naturalistic filmmaking, injected with sly comedy and delicacy of feeling—that is startlingly alive, and the thrilling work of free artists. Titles include Black Peter (1964), Intimate Lighting (1965), and The Fireman's Ball (1967). 4K restorations courtesy of the National Film Archive, Prague. Screenings introduced by Michal Bregant, Director General of the National Film Archive, Prague.
Opens November 3
Directed by Dennis Hopper
That Dennis Hopper was a once-in-a-generation talent as a screen actor, by turns feral and frightening or disarmingly tender, is an established fact. He has still yet to get his due, however, as a director with a coherent, self-critical, and continually-developing vision, his body of work an ongoing study in civilization’s discontents and the harsh wages of opt-out rebellion, from the biker-smugglers of Easy Rider (1969), to the showfolk and tribesmen of The Last Movie (1971), from Linda Manz’s adolescent punkette in Out of the Blue (1980), to the cops and Crips of Colors (1988), and to a final engagement with the world of noir grifters and drifters in The Hot Spot (1990). To accompany the exclusive NY engagement of Along for the Ride, a documentary portrait of Hopper, Metrograph showcases this small, vital pack of films, each of which burns with their creator’s celebrated intensity, even when he isn’t on screen.
Opens November 3
Fuller on Fuller
“Seize your audience by the balls as soon as the credits hit” was Sam Fuller’s advice to young filmmakers, and the two-fisted writer-director practiced what he preached. He was a crude, salty, savage, and often sublime street fighter-auteur, translating his experiences as a New York crime reporter and combat soldier into a florid, pulpy filmography that, in their very coarseness, captured something essential at the heart of the lunatic American Republic—a country that Fuller loved in exact proportion to the degree that he understood its underlying neurosis, which explode onto the screen throughout his body of work. His legacy is remembered by daughter Samantha in her documentary A Fuller Life, which she will introduce in person at Metrograph, an honor to be accompanied by a selection of Fuller’s most fearsome works, including Pickup on South Street (set, if not shot, in Metrograph's backyard, 1953), House of Bamboo(1955), Shock Corridor (1963), White Dog (1982), and Mika Kaurismäki's Tigrego: A Film That Was Never Made (1994), featuring Jim Jarmusch and Fuller.
Opens November 10
Philippe Garrel Part 2
Called “the child of Cocteau and Godard“ (Rivette), “the proverbial underrated genius” (Assayas),Part 2 of the Philippe Garrel retrospective at Metrograph begins on November 10th, featuring The Birth of Love (1993), Coeur de Fantome (1996), Le Vent de la nuit (1999), A Burning Hot Summer (2001),Jealousy(2013), The Shadow of Women (2015), andRue Fontaine (1984) An extended run of Regular Lovers(2005) and Garrel's May '68 short Actua 1 (1968) will begin November 5th, and will run every Sundaythrough the month.
Opens November 11
Takeshi Miike x 4
In the late ‘90s, Takashi Miike hit the international festival circuit like a bazooka round, after which it was a thrill just waiting to see what he did next—and, given his infamous prolificity, you didn’t have to wait long. A onetime pupil of Shohei Imamura, Miike went to work toiling in the unglamorous world of direct-to-video V-Cinema, but was soon distinguished by his feverish, inventive imagination and muscled his way into the big leagues, where he’s remained an anarchic nuisance ever since. In addition to a one-week revival run of the director's cut of Ichi the Killer (2001), Audition (1999), The Happiness of the Katakuris(2001), and The City of Lost Souls (2000) will also screen in 35mm.
Opens December 1
A long, twisting road touched by fingers of cold fog connects 18th and 19th century Gothic fiction to the goth subcultures of the 80s and 90s. This rich literary genre is matched by an equally fascinating cinematic legacy, borrowing from the morbid imaginations of Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Brontë, Bram Stoker and, yes, Stephenie Meyer, and beset with images of crumbling castle keeps, blood-thirsty vampires, and black-clad mistresses of the dark. It is a legacy that spans from German Expressionism to Golden Age Hollywood to Hammer Films to the morose creations of young American filmmakers inspired by the burgeoning goth/ industrial/ death rock music scene in the 1980s. First used as a derogatory term to describe the excesses of a 12th-century architectural style, the term "Gothic" was reclaimed by Romantic revivalists who gloried in excess, as Gothic cinema and the goth subculture would later be defined in small part by their over-the-top, baroque qualities and a touch of willful kitsch, seen here in films by figures as diverse as James Whale (Bride of Frankenstein, 1935), Paul Morrissey (Blood for Dracula, 1974), and Gregg Araki (The Doom Generation, 1995). “Goth(ic)” brings together a mob of melancholy monsters, hexed aristocrats, Udo Kier as Dracula, The Fall of House of Usher (1928 & 1960), Possession (1981), The Lost Boys (1987), The Crow (1994), Vampire Hunter D (1985), the unparalleled '90s ensembles of The Craft (1996), and more!
Opens December 13
Christmas at Metrograph
A time for reflection, a time when the normal rules of conduct are dangerously suspended. A time for celebration and, if you happen to be on the outside of that celebration, for seasonal depression. All of the above are at play in Metrograph’s holiday program, which explores the many sides of the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: same-sex road trip trysts (Carol in 35mm, of course), tinsel-strewn erotic odysseys (Eyes Wide Shut), the pathos of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” (Meet Me in St. Louis), at least two suicide attempts (The Apartment), and some rather impressive topiary sculptures (Edward Scissorhands).
November 2 Lena and Carroll Dunham Presents Strange Days
"As a father and daughter, we've never been shy about the content we watch together. No covered eyes or embarrassment. We like to watch complex vaguely demented stories and discuss them in depth over organic frozen pizzas. Strange Days satisfies all our urges: surreal, visceral, with a soupçon of science fiction that doesn't obscure the human element. The themes of Kathryn Bigelow's film have never been more relevant (racism, rape, power and its evil twin: abuse) and we are thrilled to present it as a team and explore the themes while linking them to the history of modern art. As a family we care deeply about constructive creative conversation, without obscuring truths or pretending to be unaware of each other's internal struggles. Strange Days was an early tool for communication on big themes. Let's keep it up." – Carroll and Lena Dunham
November 2 Tacita Dean's Event for a Stage
Conceived as a live performance and preformed over four nights at the 2014 Sydney Biennale, Tacita Dean’s film Event For a Stage features Stephen Dillane (The Hours, Game of Thrones) giving a roving, layered monologue that includes segments of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Heinrich von Kleist’s On the Marionette Theatre, and seemingly-autobiographical-though-possibly-invented reminiscences by the actor. Dean used two 16mm cameras as part of the performance, and weaved together the resulting film into a mesmerizing 50-minute work. In collaboration with Marian Goodman Gallery and 601 Artspace. Q&A with Tacita Dean and Hal Foster.
December 17 8 Shorts by Barbara Hammer
Titles include:Play or 'Yes' 'Yes' 'Yes' (1970), Menses (1974), A Gay Day (1973), Sisters! (1974), Menses (1974), Superdyke (1975), Parisian Blinds (1984), Barbara Ward Will Never Die (1968), and Two Bad Daughters (1988). Curated by Carmel Curtis and Staci Bu Shea and introduced by Barbara Hammer, including preservations by the Academy Film Archive.
Welcome to Metrograph: V
This is the eleventh installment in a (now-longer-than) year-long, alphabetically ordered series that offers films the programmers at Metrograph consider must-sees; a pinnacle of a filmmaker’s career or an overlooked, demands-reconsideration masterpiece. Titles include Vampyres (José Ramón Larraz), Vanishing Point (Richard C. Sarafian), Vengeance is Mine (Shôhei Imamura),Vertical Ray of the Sun (Tran Anh Hung), Videodrome (David Cronenberg).