Coinciding with this week’s 11-11-11 opening of the apocalyptic Melancholia, a select retrospective called Lars von Trier: Waiting for the End of the World is getting viewers all wound up at Toronto’s TIFF Lightbox. Among the films by the Danish enfant terrible on offer are two titles available in the Criterion Collection: the visually bold, Hitchcockian debut feature The Element of Crime (November 11), about an ex-cop on the hunt for a serial killer; and the hypnotic, Kafkaesque fantasy of post-WWII Germany Europa (November 12 and 17), which features an eye-popping mix of color and black-and-white imagery. A couple more big-screen treats at the Lightbox this week: Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (November 12) and Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Diabolique (November 17).
Speaking of elevens, Rob Reiner’s This Is Spinal Tap is playing at both BAMCinematek in Brooklyn—featuring a heavy-duty Skype Q&A with band members Nigel Tufnel and Derek Smalls, a.k.a. Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer—and the AFI Silver in Silver Spring, Maryland, on November 11, in numerical tribute to Nigel’s extra-amped amps. Answering questions from a post-screening audience in person, on the other hand, is Wim Wenders, in Los Angeles for the Aero Theatre’s screening of Wings of Desire (November 11).
There’s a wide swath of Criterion titles showing across the rest of North America. Michelangelo Antonioni’s arresting Red Desert draws in viewers at Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center (November 11–17) and the George Eastman House’s Dryden Theater in Rochester, New York (November 12 and 13). It’s downhill from there—to Michael Ritchie’s Downhill Racer, that is, at the Union Theatre in Milwaukee (November 11–13), while over in Minneapolis, the Trylon sees double with actor Peter Weller in Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop (November 11–13) and David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch (November 11–13). The Calgary Cinematheque in Canada exhibits titles by two of the greats: Jean Renoir (The Rules of the Game, November 11 and 12) and John Cassavetes (A Woman Under the Influence, November 17). In New York, the IFC Center goes hip with Aki Kaurismäki’s Leningrad Cowboys Go America (November 11–13), and the Museum of Modern Art imparts some brutally real life lessons with Ken Loach’s Kes (November 12) and Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves (November 16 and 17).
Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal does its famous dance at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, (November 12). Bloomington’s Indiana University Cinema says bonjour to Au revoir les enfants (November 12), that crushing personal film from Louis Malle. The Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley continues its series honoring Jeanne Moreau with François Truffaut’s Jules and Jim (November 12) and Jacques Becker’s Touchez pas au grisbi (November 13). Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock haunts International House Philadelphia (November 12). Viewers at Raleigh’s Cinema Inc. may get vertigo from Powell and Pressbuger’s Black Narcissus (November 13), while those at the Seattle Art Museum will simply swoon for Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love (November 13). Minneapolis’s Walker Arts Center sits for a spell with Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (November 13). Kon Ichikawa’s The Makioka Sisters brings some color to the Denver Film Festival (November 13). Tativille comes to Hanover, New Hampshire, when Playtime plays at Dartmouth College’s Hopkins Center for the Arts (November 13). Jules Dassin’s Rififi breaks into the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania (November 13). Preston Sturges’s Sullivan’s Travels rests its weary legs at the Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe (November 13). The Maysles’s Grey Gardens holes up at the Amherst Cinema in Massachusetts (November 14 and 15). Jean-Luc Godard’s 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her whispers in viewers’ ears at the Walter Reade Theater in New York (November 15). And Peter Bogdanovich’s The Last Picture Show unspools at Omaha’s Film Streams (November 15).
Luis Buñuel’s Belle de jour seduces at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (November 16). Ermanno Olmi’s Il posto works it out at the UCLA Film and Television Archive in Los Angeles (November 16). Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole makes a pit stop in the town where it’s set at Albuquerque’s Southwest Film Center (November 17–20). Two Akira Kurosawa tearjerkers, the kaleidoscopic Dodes’ka-den and the melancholy Ikiru, bring hope and tragedy to the CSUN Cinematheque in Northridge, California (November 17), and the Olympia Film Festival in Washington (November 17), respectively. Jean Renoir’s The River washes into the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut (November 17). And Maurice Pialat’s À nos amours (November 17) bursts into Brooklyn’s BAMCinematek, introduced by The Sopranos’ Michael Imperioli, who considers it one of his favorite films.
Finally, a handful of films playing around the world: Marcel Carné’s Children of Paradise, beginning a nearly two-month-long run at BFI Southbank in London; The Passion of Joan of Arc (November 11) and Ordet (November 12), as part of a Carl Theodor Dreyer series at Vienna’s Austrian Film Museum; David Lean’s Brief Encounter (November 11), René Clair’s Le million (November 11), Victor Sjöström’s The Phantom Carriage (November 12), Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers (November 13), and Sergei Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible, parts I (November 15) and II (November 16), at Brussels’s Belgian Cinematek; Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter (November 12) and Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times (November 13) at Berlin’s Kino Arsenal; two medical nightmares—Dead Ringers (November 16) and Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face (November 16)—at the Toulouse Cinémathèque; Luis Buñuel’s Viridiana at the Swedish Cinematheque in Stockholm (November 16); Nicholas Ray’s Bigger Than Life as part of a complete Nicholas Ray retrospective at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in São Paulo (November 17); and, down under, Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound (November 12) at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane.