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, April 6, 2018
May and June 2018 Repertory Calendar at Metrograph Announced [Dario Argento, Jane Fonda, Sylvia Chang, Paul Schrader, Roger Corman, and more!]
May and June 2018 Repertory Calendar Announced
Opens May 4
Paul Schrader x 4 The "Man In a Room" Quartet with Schrader Appearing In-Person!
An untamed and fiercely independent figure, unreconciled to and still undefeated by the forces of corporatized cinema, Paul Schrader has through his long career remained almost perversely loyal to his guiding preoccupation with the figure of a lonely man wrestling with his soul and with himself, driven towards a moral crucible. Branded by his early encounters with the films of Robert Bresson, about whom he wrote feelingly as a critic, Schrader has through his career as director and screenwriter returned to what he calls the “man in a room,” subject of four of the finest films to bear his imprint. In Taxi Driver(1976) it’s Robert De Niro’s brooding Travis Bickle; in American Gigolo (1980) and The Walker (2007), paid male escorts played by Richard Gere and Woody Harrelson; in Light Sleeper (1992), Willem Dafoe’s insomniac high-end drug dealer. To this body of work we can now add the searing, sublime First Reformed, an apotheosis of sorts, in which Ethan Hawke gives the performance of his life as a clergyman pursued by guilt, driven towards a startling reckoning. To mark its release, Metrograph will be welcoming back the greatest of New York cineastes, good company in which to celebrate a superlative cinema of solitude.
Opens May 11
Stanley Kubrick x 8
Actor turned ace aider-and-abettor, Leon Vitali dedicated himself to helping to realize the outsized visions of director Stanley Kubrick after appearing in his Barry Lyndon (1975)—and the new Filmworker, opening at Metrograph on May 11, pays tribute to his noble, underappreciated work. In connection toFilmworker’s first-run, Metrograph selected eight of Kubrick’s creative triumphs from before and during his connection with Vitali, movies that need no excuse to be screened, all showing the mark of the master’s inimitable steel-trap mind, as well as the collective effort of an assembled army of unsung behind-the-scenes and below-the-line heroes like Vitali who help to move cinema forward. Titles include The Killing(1956), Paths of Glory (1957), Lolita (1962), Dr. Strangelove (1964), A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Shining (1980), and Full Metal Jacket (1987).
Opens May 18
Sylvia Chang 17 Film Retrospective with Chang Appearing In-Person!
A groundbreaking writer-director in a male-dominated industry, improbably prolific international movie star of the first flight, Sylvia Chang is a one-woman dynamo of artistic activity whose triumphant career spans cultures East and West, genres and disciplines. Her recent output includes musical comedy Office(2015), which she wrote and starred in for Johnnie To, and a poignant turn in Jia Zhangke’s Mountains May Depart (2015). Born in Taiwan, Chang broke through as an ingenue in pop cinema, appearing in classical adaptations, like gender-bending Qing-period love story The Dream of the Red Chamber (1977), and wuxia classics, like King Hu’s philosophical kung-fu tale Legend of the Mountain (1979). A performer of eloquent restraint and power, she won her first Taiwan Golden Horse Award as actress for My Grandfather (1981); went on to work with a pantheon of Chinese auteurs operating around the globe, including Tsui Hark, Edward Yang, Stanley Kwan, and Ang Lee; and emerged as a powerful filmmaking force in her own right, producing and starring in Ann Hui’s debut The Secret (1979), before turning director, producing such elegant, nuanced works as 20 30 40 (2004), Murmur of the Hearts (2015), andLove Education (2017). Altogether it makes for an unprecedented career. Co-presented with Taipei Cultural Center in New York, Ministry of Culture of Taiwan (R.O.C.).
Opens May 18
Birds: A Festival Inspired by Aristophanes Co-Presented by the Onassis Cultural Center New York
Aristophanes’ comic political fantasy The Birds—2,500 years old—has been freshly imagined and staged by Nikos Karathanos, whose production arrives in New York following a raved-about run at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus and at the Onassis Cultural Center in Athens—the city whose ancient social life it so piquantly satirizes. In connection with this event, Metrograph presents a program of four films that will turn the cinema into a veritable birdhouse, including The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963), Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Jim Jarmusch, 1999), The King and the Mockingbird (Paul Grimault, 1952), andBrewster McCloud (Robert Altman, 1970).
Opens June 1
Jane Fonda in the 1970s A Retrospective of the Actress' Prolific Decade
Born in 1937, Jane Fonda, a scion of movie royalty, made her screen debut in 1960; for the next several years, she would often be called upon to play some version of the soubrette. But by the following decade, the most crucial one of Fonda's still vibrant career, she would win two Best Actress Oscars: for her performance as the boho-chic prostitute Bree Daniels in Klute (Alan J. Pakula, 1971) and as Sally Hyde, a dutiful military spouse liberated by an affair with a Vietnam War vet, in Coming Home (Hal Ashby, 1978). Her most enduring achievement from this time, though, may be what she did when she wasn’t on set. In the first half of the ’70s, Fonda was steadfastly committed to the Black Panthers, the feminist movement, and, most famously, opposition to the war in Vietnam—activism that secured her status as, in the words of J. Hoberman, “the most politically outspoken star in Hollywood history.” Metrograph’s retrospective will include nearly all of Fonda’s narrative features from this vital era, plus several documentaries in which she is a prominent participant, lucidly articulating her insurgent positions. Series conceived and program notes written by Melissa Anderson, film editor of 4Columns.
Opens June 12
Dario Argento with Argento Appearing In-Person!
When it comes to Dario Argento, the stylist supreme of horror cinema, one might first think of an insidious mood, of piercingly intense colors, of a scrap of haunting music or a set piece in which the camera sets off on its own inexplicable course or an act of violence at once shocking, sensuous, and beautiful. Argento, who came to the director’s chair by way of work as a critic and screenwriter, understands cinema as, among other things, a decorative art, and the movies that he would make, eithergiallo or supernatural horror, are above all encompassing, voluptuary environments—viewers tend not to want to leave them, even as their persecuted characters struggle to find a way out of the lapidary labyrinths they’ve been trapped in. With his debut, hit thriller The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970), Argento began one of the most offbeat, brilliant runs of moviemaking in horror history, and almost fifty years later he carries on as a visionary force in genre cinema, an elder statesman of unparalleled influence who combines Hitchcock’s grand architectural ambitions, more than a dash of surrealism, and a hedonistic taste for beauty. Watching Argento movies en masse makes for a feast of rich, decadent filmmaking, that leaves one hungry for more. Presented in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute in New York.
Throughout May and June
Coming this weekend, next weekend, and ongoing every single Saturday and Sunday, Playtime is a new creatively-curated Metrograph matinee series featuring studio standbys, animations from yesterday and yesteryear, and foreign fare. The content will always be kid-appropriate, but the main criteria for selection is excellence—these are movies for film lovers of all ages, from those just learning to love the cinema to longtime fans revisiting old favorites.
Throughout May and June
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) at Metrograph
"An Evening with Roger Corman" on May 3 and A Special Screening of Sideways (2004) with Academy Award® Winning Co-Writer Jim Taylor on June 1
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) will continue its monthly residency at Metrograph this spring with upcoming programming to include “An Evening with Roger Corman” and a Special Screening of Sideways.
"An Evening with Roger Corman" will take place on Thursday May 3 and will include two features from the producer/director’s over 60-year career, The Intruder (1962) and The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), as well as excerpts from such iconic works as Death Race 2000 (1975), and Jackson County Jail (1976). In 2009 Corman was awarded an Honorary Academy Award® for his contributions to cinema throughout his career.
On Friday, June 1, a special screening of Sideways(2004) will take place, introduced by its co-writer, Jim Taylor. Taylor and co-writer and director Alexander Payne received the Oscar® for Best Adapted Screenplay. The film was nominated for five additional Oscars®. This event caps the one-year residency of AMPAS at Metrograph.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences began a yearlong residency at Metrograph in July 2017, bringing exciting and entertaining programs to the big screen. Programs have and continue to 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 highlights unique archival elements, including recent restorations and film prints from the Academy Film Archive by celebrating classic moments from the Academy’s 90-year history.