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, December 30, 2019
Metrograph's January/February 2020 Week-Long Engagements Calendar Announced
January 24-30 Exclusive One-Week NY Theatrical Run
I WISH I KNEW First-Ever U.S. Theatrical Release and Director's Cut of Jia Zhangke's Poignant and Poetic Portrait of Shanghai
Shanghai’s past and present flow together in Jia Zhangke’s poetic and poignant portrait of this fast-changing port city. Restoring censored images and filling in forgotten facts, Jia provides an alternative version of 20th century China’s fraught history as reflected through life in the Yangtze city. He builds his narrative through a series of eighteen interviews with people from all walks of life—politicians’ children, ex-soldiers, criminals, and artists (including Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-hsien)— while returning regularly to the image of his favorite lead actress, Zhao Tao, wandering through the Shanghai World Expo Park. (The film was commissioned by the World Expo, but is anything but a piece of straightforward civic boosterism.) A richly textured tapestry full of provocative juxtapositions. A Kino Lorber release.
January 31-February 5 Exclusive One-Week NY Revival Engagement
NEW YORK, NEW YORK Scorsese's Love Letter to Hollywood Musicals in New 35mm Print!
A love letter to the classic Hollywood musical that scratches off the Technicolor sheen to reveal the depths of desperation hidden beneath their surfaces, Martin Scorsese’s 1940s-era genre-deconstructing extravaganza features Liza Minnelli as a nightclub singer who rises in fame as her relationship to Robert De Niro’s hotheaded jazz saxophonist falls to pieces. The deliberate artifice of the film’s soundstage-bound musical numbers—including Minnelli’s grand finale performance of the famous Kander and Ebb title song, written for the movie—contrasts jarringly with the raw nerve realism of the performances, making for a collision that’s something like MGM’s Freed Unit colliding head-on with John Cassavetes. An MGM/Park Circus release.
February 7-13 Exclusive One-Week Revival Engagement
YOUR NAME Makoto Shinkai's Anime Blockbuster
The highest-grossing anime release of all time, Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name follows a romance beset by complications quite unlike any you’ve seen in a movie before. One day, high schoolers Mitsuha, a girl living in the country, and Taki, a boy living in Tokyo, strangers to one another, suddenly and inexplicably find themselves periodically switching bodies. As if this weren’t enough of a conundrum, a tenderness begins to grow between them through the notes that they exchange in anticipation of the next swap—and all this before the comet strike, the first of many plot wrinkles in time. A modern classic, moving and melancholy yet never saccharine, bolstered by peerless character animation and RADWIMPS’ songs. A Funimation release.
February 21-27 Exclusive One-Week NY Theatrical Run
CABARET MAXIME Actor Michael Imperioli to Appear In-Person!
Michael Imperioli plays Bennie Gaza, the owner of Cabaret Maxime, a nightclub specializing in burlesque and striptease, located in an old red-light district. Bennie runs his business like a family operation, struggling to balance the individual needs of his performers with those of his manic-depressive wife, but his resources are stretched to the limit when the forces overseeing the gradual gentrification of the neighborhood try to squeeze him out, not stopping at the threat of violence. A finely shaded, character-driven thriller from Portuguese filmmaker Bruno de Almeida, providing Imperioli one of his finest film roles to date.