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As the film world holds its breath for next week’s Cannes premiere of his wildly anticipated The Tree of Life, director Terrence Malick is the subject of screenings across the country. In New York, the Museum of the Moving Image presents all four of Malick’s extraordinary films, which includes two available in the Criterion Collection: the early-twentieth-century love triangle and nature meditation Days of Heaven (May 13–14) and the overwhelming, existential World War II drama The Thin Red Line (May 14). The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is doing the same, concurrently, with The Thin Red Line on May 13 and Days of Heaven on May 14. And Chicago’s getting in the game, as well: The Thin Red Line hits the Music Box Theatre on May 15.
Malick isn’t the only Criterion auteur on the minds of movie programmers in the U.S. this week. Films directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin dot the repertory house landscape: the Somerville Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, spotlights the Little Tramp in Modern Times (May 13–15); the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque shows The Great Dictator (May 14 and 15); the Proctors Theatre in Schenectady, New York, goes for both Modern Times (May 16 and 17) and The Great Dictator (May 17 and 18); the Pickford Film Center in Bellingham, Washington, has The Great Dictator (May 18)—as well as Yasujiro Ozu’s masterful silent drama A Story of Floating Weeds (May 17); and the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, gets cranked for Modern Times (May 19)—plus, they’re showing Abbas Kiarostami’s beautiful, based-on-a-true-story Close-up (May 17).
Japanese masters abound: Akira Kurosawa is on the menu at the Circle Cinema in Tulsa (Rashomon, May 16); the Bigfoot Crest in Los Angeles (Yojimbo, May 19); and the IFC Center in New York (Red Beard, May 13–15), which also makes room for two midnight showings of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House (May 13–14). The Trylon in Minneapolis screens both Hiroshi Teshigahara’s daring science-fiction drama The Face of Another (May 13–15) and Masaki Kobayashi’s gripping samurai saga Harakiri (May 13–15). And Kon Ichikawa’s sumptuous The Makioka Sisters extends its successful run at New York’s Film Forum, now playing through May 17. Fans of classic Italian cinema are also in luck: Omaha’s Film Streams continues a Federico Fellini retrospective with Amarcord (May 13–19). Pietro Germi’s madcap Seduced and Abandoned leaps and lunges across the screen at the International House Philadelphia (May 13); and the Jacob Burns Film Center brings some Luchino Visconti to Pleasantville, New York, with The Leopard (May 13).
There’s also room for some American artists: Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs at Seattle’s Central Cinema, May 13–15, 17, and 18); Wes Anderson (Rushmore at the Tucson Loft Cinema, May 13 and 14); William Greaves (Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One at the Maysles Cinema in New York, May 14); and Terry Gilliam (Brazil at the Galaxy Cinemas in Cary, North Carolina, May 19). Plus, British legends Alfred Hitchcock (Spellbound at the AFI Silver in Silver Spring, Maryland, May 13, 18, and 19) and Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (The Red Shoes at the Cornell Cinema in Ithaca, New York, May 14 and 15), and French auteurs Eric Rohmer (Claire’s Knee at the AFI Silver, May 14, 15, and 17) and Arnaud Desplechin (A Christmas Tale at the Northwest Film Center in Portland, May 15).
The lineup of directors is no less impressive across the Atlantic. The Institut Lumière in Lyon, France, is still honoring Louis Malle; this week, moviegoers there can catch Au revoir les enfants (May 13), My Dinner with André (May 14 and 17), and Phantom India, part 6 (May 18). Seventies-era Ingmar Bergman is all the rage at the Cineteca di Bologna, with Autumn Sonata (May 13), Scenes from a Marriage (May 18), and The Magic Flute (May 19). Powell and Pressburger’s The Red Shoes stops the show at the Eye Film Institute Netherlands in Amsterdam (May 14 and 18). Fritz Lang’s M stalks the Swiss Cinematheque in Lausanne (May 14). An Ernst Lubitsch retrospective is under way at the Danish Film Institute in Copenhagen, including Trouble in Paradise (May 14). The Filmhouse in Edinburgh offers an array of big-name directors, but all in one movie: People on Sunday, by Robert Siodmak, Edgar Ulmer, Billy Wilder, and Fred Zinnemann (May 15). The Belgian Cinematek in Brussels gets surreal with Hitchcock’s Spellbound (May 15) and Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face (May 15). And the Cinemateca Portuguesa in Lisbon gives patrons selections from Jean Renoir (Boudu Saved from Drowning, May 17) and Sam Peckinpah (Straw Dogs, May 19). Moving even farther afield, let’s make one last stop, at the Jerusalem Cinematheque, for a screening of Aki Kaurismäki’s deadpan crime comedy Ariel (May 17).