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.
Monday, February 12, 2018
March and April 2018 Repertory Calendar Announced at the Metrograph
Opens March 14
Burt Reynolds x 5 with Reynolds In-Person!
In an appreciation of Burt Reynolds, on the occasion of the release of his directorial debut, Gator (1976), the Village Voice’s Molly Haskell wrote of Reynolds: “He is playful and quizzical, with the ability of a Fred Astaire or a Rock Hudson to deflect attention from himself to the woman beside him; he has the confidence of someone who’s physically there.” Reynolds, one of the great screen attractions of the 1970s following his breakthrough in Deliverance (John Boorman, 1972), was possessed of a screen presence defined by lightness of touch and twinkling bemusement, a feisty flirt who could get tough when the occasion demanded. It’s too easy to be underappreciated when you make it look as easy as Burt does—and as he returns to the screen in The Last Movie Star (2018), Metrograph has put together an assembly of some of his best blithe, breezy work in front of and behind the camera. Smokey and the Bandit (Hal Needham, 1977), Breaking In (Bill Forsyth, 1989), and Semi-Tough (Michael Ritchie, 1977) will also screen.
Opens March 23
To say that Terence Stamp was a handsome young man is as unnecessary as observing that the sky is blue—in his 1962 film debut, Billy Budd (Peter Ustinov, 1962), he plays nothing less than Herman Melville’s paragon of male beauty. But Stamp, a working-class son of London, was also one hell of a fine actor, a fact that 1960s lions like Pier Paolo Pasolini (Teorema, 1968), William Wyler (The Collector, 1965), Joseph Losey (Modesty Blaise, 1966), Ken Loach (Poor Cow, 1967) and Federico Fellini (Toby Dammit, 1968) took full advantage of. Past his ingenue years, the always-commanding Stamp has had a rich and varied career, from supervillain drag in Superman II (Richard Lester, 1980) to just-plain-drag in The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Stephan Elliot, 1994) to the hard-boiled neo-noir of The Limey (Steven Soderbergh, 1999) (paired with its spiritual twin Poor Cow), which allowed him to dust off the cockney accent of his boyhood. “I just decided I was a character actor now,” he’s said of leaving the ‘60s behind, “and I can do anything.” Titles include Alien Nation (Graham Baker, 1988), Far From the Madding Crowd (John Schlesinger, 1967), The Hit (Stephen Frears, 1984), The Company of Wolves (Neil Jordan, 1984), and Bowfinger (Frank Oz, 1999)
Opens April 6
Grace Jones x 5 with Jones In-Person!
Grace Jones was born in Jamaica, moved to upstate New York with her family at the age of 13, and on the back of her striking looks, androgynous appeal, and outsized personality became a successful model, photographer’s muse, disco recording artist, and pop film star. That, at least, is the official story—though many of Jones’ fervent fans are convinced that, strange, statuesque, and seemingly immune to aging, she is clearly an extradimensional being who has never set foot in Syracuse. The mysterious persona and personal life of this broke-the-mold performer are explored in Sophie Fiennes new backstage documentary/musical Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, whose run at Metrograph, beginning April 13, will coincide with a selection of her cinematic outings—because this is a woman who requires a big screen.Titles include Conan the Destroyer (Richard Fleischer, 1984), A View to a Kill (John Glen, 1985), Vamp(Richard Wenk, 1986), Straight to Hell (Alex Cox, 1987), and a program of Jones' shorts and music videos.
Opens April 19
William Friedkin x 4 with Friedkin In-Person!
William Friedkin,"Billy” to his friends, may be making smaller movies these days, but he’s never once slowed down. While shooting To Live and Die in L.A (1985), he managed to top himself, one-upping the famous car chase from his The French Connection, and in the process turning out a hard, stylish, amped up crime thriller. Killer Joe (2011), his second adaptation of a Tracy Letts play, is a work as take-it-or-leave-it confrontational as his legendary The Exorcist (1973), a movie whose subject matter he’s returned to with his diabolical documentary The Devil and Father Amorth, opening April 20. His fascination with the evil done by man—perhaps with a little help from the devil—has never waned. Sorcerer (1977), one of Friedkin's career caps, will also screen.
Opens April 27
Emile de Antonio
Intimate of Andy Warhol, John Cage, and the Weather Underground, few men lived though and chronicled the tumult of the 1960s and their aftermath as fully as Emile de Antonio—savage satirist, collagist, political polemicist, montage artist, and fiercely independent filmmaker. Beginning with his 1963 debut Point of Order (co-directed by a legend in his own might, Dan Talbot), a brilliant distillation of 188 hours of the Army-McCarthy senate hearings, de Antonio tirelessly depicted the events of the day through a visionary, experimental lens, tackling the Warren Report (Rush to Judgment), the Vietnam war (In the Year of the Pig), and the Nixon debacle (Millhouse: A White House Comedy). Essential now, essential always, and still alive and thrillingly unreconciled. Titles include America Is Hard to See (1970), Painters Painting (1973), Underground (de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler, 1976), In the King of Prussia (1983), and Mr. Hoover and I (1989).
SPECIAL SCREENINGS & GUESTS
Saturday, March 3
Filmmaker Robert Beavers will appear in-person to introduce Galaxie (Gregory Markopoulos, 1966).
Sunday, March 4
Writer/essayist Hilton Als and writer/actress Tavi Gevinson will appear in-person to introduce Klute(Alan J. Pakula, 1971), as part of "Visionary Form: Dressing Up on Screen," co-presented by M2M.
Sunday, March 4
Painter Amy Sillman will appear in-person to introduce Scarlet Street (Fritz Lang, 1945).
Friday, March 9
Actor/Director Mathieu Amalric will appear in-person to present My Sex Life... Or How I Got Into An Argument (Arnaud Desplechin, 1996), in which he stars.
Saturday, March 10
Actress Jeanne Balibar will appear in-person to present Va Savoir (Jacques Rivette, 2001), in which she stars.
Sunday, March 11
Painter and filmmaker Stella Schnabel will appear in-person to introduce Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986), as part of "Visionary Form: Dressing Up on Screen," co-presented by M2M.
Friday, March 16
Actor/director Vincent Macaigne will appear in-person to present his films Dom Juan & Sganarelle(2015).
Saturday, March 24
Film restorationist/essayist/filmmaker Ross Lippman will appear in-person to present his live cinema essay The Exploding Digital Inevitable (2013), along with its inspiration, Bruce Conner's Crossroads(1976).
Metrograph’s ongoing program of films that are kid-friendly in content and easily enjoyed by movie-lovers of all ages, Playtime has quite a list of exotic destinations in store this time around, as we’re standing to punch tickets for Neverland (Peter Pan, 1953), the Negaverse (Sailor Moon R: The Movie, 1993), Jareth (Labyrinth, 1986), the riotously colorful Caribbean (The Pirate, 1948), and Yellowstone National Park (Flash the Teenage Otter, 1961), paired with Aardman classic Creature Comforts (Nick Park, 1996). All that traveling can work up an appetite, and brunch will be ready in the upstairs Commissary.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) at Metrograph
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) began a year-long residency at Metrograph in July of 2017, bringing exciting and entertaining programs to the big screen. Programs have and will feature onstage conversations with filmmakers and scholars of motion pictures, tributes, newsreels, rarely seen clips from past Oscar® ceremonies, and home movies from Hollywood legends. This monthly series, highlighting unique archival elements, including recent restorations and film prints from the Academy Film Archive, continues in March and April by celebrating classic moments from the Academy’s 90 year history.