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.
Thursday, October 11, 2018
November/December 2018 Week-Long Engagements Calendar Announced at the Metrograph
November 2-8 Exclusive One-Week NY Engagement
DISTANT CONSTELLATION 2018 Independent Spirit Award Nominee: Jeep Truer Than Fiction Award 2017 Viennale: International Critics Prize 2017 Locarno Festival: Jury's Special Mention Award
Shevaun Mizrahi’s contemplative, gorgeous, and entirely sui generis documentary ostensibly takes place in an Istanbul retirement home, drifting dreamily between encounters with residents who, observed, reveal themselves and their stories for the camera, discussing distant sexual conquests, artistic pursuits put an end to by dimmed sight, and inescapable memories of the Armenian genocide. A stunning, poetic feature debut from Mizrahi, whose apprenticeship with cinematographer Ed Lachman shows in the painterly care and tonal precision of her compositions, creating an experience that lingers in the mind long after the credits roll. A Grasshopper Film release.
November 9-15 Exclusive One-Week NY Engagement
THE OWL'S LEGACY Chris Marker's 13-Part Work Presented Theatrically for the First Time in North America
“If it could only be caught, the image of democracy which people create when they are deprived of it. And if it could be projected back to them, like a slide, once they have recaptured it. Or can we say of democracy what someone has written of happiness: that it is thing that doesn't exist, and yet, one day, is no more?" – Chris Marker
In this, a monumental analysis of the modern world through the lens of ancient Greece, one can expect Marker’s signature mental maneuvers that draw unexpected parallels between the most seemingly disparate of topics, traveling the world while leaping from the subjects of sex, Socrates, and Athenian politics in order to explore the rich legacy of Greek culture, analyzing the history of myth-making while debunking a few myths along the way.
Interviewees includeTheo Angelopoulos and Iannis Xenakis, intercut with scenes ranging from Cocteau to Riefenstahl,while the free play of ideas and the marvelous, mercurial motion of the work is totally, unmistakably Marker. The Owl's Legacy was shot in Paris, Athens, Berkeley, Tbilisi and Tokyo. An Icarus Films release.
November 21-27 Exclusive One-Week NY Revival Run
MIDNIGHT COWBOY New Restoration of the X-Rated, Empathetic Buddy Drama
All-American hillbilly hunk Joe Buck (Jon Voight) leaves Texas for New York City in search of his big break, only to quickly find himself a flat-broke hustler whose only friend is a loudmouth, tubercular con man named who’s even more down-and-out than him, Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman). A deeply affecting and justly celebrated actors’ duet as well as a time capsule of late-‘60s Times Square and downtown bohemia—still terribly true in the dirty business of eking out a living in the cold and indifferent big city. Famous for theme song “Everybody’s Talkin’” and Hoffman’s splenetic “I’m walkin’ here,” but the film’s greatness is in its enormous empathy, and feeling for friendship as the last protection on the precarious fringes of society. A Park Circus release.
November 28-December 6 Exclusive One-Week NY Engagement
RAMS Gary Hustwit's (Helvetica) Extraordinary Portrait of Designer Dieter Rams with Original Score by Brian Eno
Dieter Rams has been in the vanguard of the world of product design for more than fifty years, a legend for his work at Braun and Vitsoe, his influence impossible to overstate—and behind Rams’s famous functionalist body of work is a brilliant mind, always attuned to questions of sustainability and consumerism. Gary Hustwit’s new documentary not only showcases the fruits of Rams’s extraordinary career, but provides a stage on which the genius can express a lifetime of thinking about his craft. A masterclass in design philosophy, and a must for anyone interested in its greater repercussions in building a workable future. A Film First release.
December 7-13 Exclusive One-Week NY Engagement
BE NATURAL: THE UNTOLD STORY OF ALICE GUY-BLACHÉ Pamela B. Green's Documentary Portrait of the First Female Director Narrated by Jodie Foster
In 1896, at age 23, Alice Guy-Blaché, the secretary to French film pioneer Léon Gaumont, directed her first movie, one of the first narrative films ever made, La Fée aux Choux. For more than twenty years following, in her native country and in the U.S., Guy-Blaché helped to invent and refine the language of cinema, developing a naturalistic style of screen performance while tackling various hot-button issues of her day, and even shooting the earliest known surviving narrative film with an all-black cast. Guy-Blaché’s achievements were obscured by decades of film history focusing on male genius, but Pamela B. Green’s necessary documentary, narrated by Jodie Foster and featuring testimony from Ava DuVernay, Patty Jenkins, and others, returns her to her rightful place in the pantheon.
December 7-New Year's Exclusive Holiday Revival Run
THE APARTMENT New Restoration of Billy Wilder's Holiday Classic
Jack Lemmon is one anxious face in a sea of stooges at the New York insurance company where he toils, a passive nobody able to distinguish himself to his superiors only by letting boss Fred MacMurray use his shoebox apartment as a love nest, while his tentative romance with an elevator operator (Shirley MacLaine) plays out against a backdrop of boozy office Christmas parties, mocking holiday decorations, and mirthless cheer. Oh, and it’s a howl, too! The crisp, cutting script by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond gives the film its acerbic bite, while Joseph LaShelle’s elegant, cool black-and-white photography and the brittle tinkle of Adolf Deutsch’s jazz lounge score bring out the underlying melancholy of this brilliantly bittersweet classic. A Park Circus release.
December 14-20 Exclusive One-Week NY Revival Run
KHRUSTALYOV, MY CAR! Aleksey German's Wild Masterpiece, an anti-The Death of Stalin, in New Restoration
Titled after the apocryphal expression of Soviet security chief Beria while rushing to Stalin’s deathbed, Aleksey German’s film distills the anticipation and anxiety in the Moscow air in January, 1953, as the despot lay dying. Aleksey German reflects tectonic political shifts through individual experience, following a surgeon and his family who find themselves vulnerable as the “Doctors’ Plot” conspiracy, an antisemitic conspiracy accusing Jewish doctors of planning to assassinate Soviet brass, takes hold in the public imagination. “One of the great films of the ‘90s” – J. Hoberman, Village Voice. An Arrow Films release.