Through the end of 2011, New York’s Museum of the Moving Image supersizes cinema with the series See It Big!, guest-curated by the editors of the online film journal Reverse Shot. Intended to show off the recently renovated museum’s new 267-seat theater, designed by the renowned architect Thomas Leeser, the series, bursting with classics, is a reminder that some movies really benefit from the biggest screen possible. This weekend, Jacques Tati’s Playtime gets the treatment—it’s showing November 4 and 5 in a restored 70 mm print from Janus Films. Upcoming features include such cinematic colossi as Gone with the Wind, Fantasia, and the Criterion title Lola Montès, by the master of the grand gesture, Max Ophuls.
There are other Criterion-collected big-screen treats in New York this week: Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas races into the Sunshine Cinema (November 4 and 5); Fritz Lang’s M creeps around the Rubin Museum of Art (November 4); the Museum of Modern Art unsheathes Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (November 7) and releases Ken Loach’s Kes (November 7); and the Maysles brothers’ Salesman shows up on the doorstep of, fittingly, the Maysles Institute (November 7). Also potentially of interest to Criterion fans is the Marie Genin and Serge July documentary Once Upon a Time . . . “Rome Open City” (November 5), a look at the groundbreaking neorealist film by Roberto Rossellini, screening at UnionDocs in Brooklyn (November 5).
There’s a lot more big news: Robert Siodmak and Edgar G. Ullmer’s beautifully real silent People on Sunday goes for an outing at Dartmouth College’s Hopkins Center for the Arts in Hanover, New Hampshire (November 9), while Preston Sturges’s Sullivan’s Travels goes in search of real laughs at Real Art Ways in Hartford, Connecticut (November 7). Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon tells stories at Colgate University’s Friday Night 35mm Film Series in Hamilton, New York (November 4). The Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington, New York, goes for the grand with Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard (November 9). Nobuhiko Obayashi’s hilariously haunted House takes a trip to the Charles Theater in Baltimore (November 10)—and to the Pickford Film Center in Bellingham, Washington (November 8), as well. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., slices into Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face (November 6). The Miami Beach Cinematheque puts on its best winklepickers for Aki Kaurismäki’s Leningrad Cowboys Go America (November 10). The Detroit Film Theatre takes a walk with Giulietta Masina to show Federico Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria (November 5). The Indiana University Cinema in Bloomington blasts off with Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris (November 7). Doc Films in Chicago perspires with Steve James’s passionate Hoop Dreams (November 6) but never breaks a sweat with Jean-Pierre Melville’s cool Le samouraï (November 8). Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom slays ’em at Tivoli Cinemas in Kansas City, Missouri (November 8). Lee Chang-dong’s heartrending Secret Sunshine bursts at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (November 6). And Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai holds down the fort at the Phoenix Art Museum (November 6).
California offers a cinematic cornucopia this week: San Francisco’s Castro Theatre has a close encounter with Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth (November 10). The Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley channels a little glamour with the Jeanne Moreau–Louis Malle collaborations Elevator to the Gallows (November 4) and The Lovers (November 4) and a little grime with Michelangelo Antonioni’s industrial Red Desert (November 5), which is also playing at Los Angeles’s Cinefamily (November 4–6). Also in Los Angeles, the UCLA Film and Television Archive breaks hearts with Vittorio De Sica’s Umberto D. (November 4), and the Aero Theatre has special screenings of Wim Wenders’s Paris, Texas (November 9) and Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (November 10), both followed by Q&As with the directors. And as part of its ongoing Kurosawa series, the CSUN Cinematheque in Northridge seeks High and Low (November 10).
Up in Canada, the Calgary Cinematheque plays Alain Resnais’ The Rules of the Game (November 5), and Toronto’s TIFF Lightbox climbs Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps (November 6). Meanwhile, in Australia, Hitchcock also turns up at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane in a full retrospective, including Notorious (November 4 and 6). In Europe: Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North frosts over the Cinémathèque de Toulouse in France (November 4). Carl Theodor Dreyer gives the Austrian Film Museum in Vienna a dose of awesome austerity with Vampyr (November 4 and 10), Gertrud (November 5), The Passion of Joan of Arc (November 6), and Day of Wrath (November 9). Jean Cocteau’s Testament of Orpheus opens wide the eyes of patrons at Lausanne’s Cinémathèque suisse (November 6 and 7). Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times gums up the works at Berlin’s Kino Arsenal (November 6). Brussels’s Belgian Cinematek runs the gamut with Ophuls’s Le plaisir (November 6 and 9), David Cronenberg’s Videodrome (November 8), De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves (November 9), David Lean’s Brief Encounter (November 10), and Andrzej Wajda’s Ashes and Diamonds (November 10). And finally, a couple of Luis Buñuel titles: Viridiana at the Swedish Film Institute in Stockholm (November 8) and The Exterminating Angel at the Filmhouse in Edinburgh (November 9).