Goings On: Lubitsch, Dietrich, and More

On Film / The Daily — May 25, 2017


New York. “You can’t go wrong with a retrospective of Ernst Lubitsch, whose movies still sparkle with urbanity and sly wit,” writes Neil Genzlinger in the New York Times. “Film Forum serves up a feast of them beginning Friday, June 2, in The Lubitsch Touch, which commemorates the 125th anniversary of his birth. The program, which runs through June 15, features 31 films, an array that demonstrates versatility and adaptability.”

“If you’re a fan of actress, camp icon, and anti-fascist Marlene Dietrich or want to learn more about her, you’re in luck,” writes Rachel Montpelier at Women and Hollywood. The Metrograph’s series Marlene is on through June 8 and, writing for Brooklyn Magazine, Abbey Bender notes that “she frequently appeared in costumes by Travis Banton, one of the great designers of the studio era. In Shanghai Express (1932), the fourth of Dietrich’s collaborations with von Sternberg, Bantam is given the always alluring ‘Gowns by’ credit—a surefire signifier of 1930s glamour.”

“The latest Shakespeare-inspired film from Argentinian director Matías Piñeiro, and his first in English, Hermia & Helena takes a lively jaunt through intellectual and personal relationships,” writes Bender, here for the Village Voice. Hermia & Helena opens tomorrow at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Metrograph.

Writing for Screen Slate:

  • Sonya Redi on David Riker's La Ciudad (1998), “a moving tribute to the plight of Hispanic immigrants in New York City,” screening tonight at the Quad.
  • Michael Eby on Catherine Breillat’s “sibling psychodrama” Fat Girl (2001), tonight at the Alamo Drafthouse.
  • Patrick Dahl on Slava Tsukerman’s Liquid Sky (1982), “a dazzling, cheapo sci-fi feminist spectacle, as original as they come,” Saturday and Sunday at the Quad.
  • Also: “Želimir Žilnik’s The Old School of Capitalism (2009) intriguingly documents Serbian society in the throes of adopting capitalism after decades of state socialism.” Tuesday at Anthology Film Archives.

And Chris Shields interviews Robert Beatty, “and the conversation snakes its way from Norman McLaren to Matador Records to Wal Mart.” Anthology is presenting a selection of Beatty’s moving-image work tomorrow evening.

Los Angeles. On Sunday and Monday, the New Beverly presents an Elaine May double bill, A New Leaf (1971) and Ishtar (1987). Of the former, Kim Morgan writes: “May’s picture was even darker and longer in its original cut . . . Reportedly, in her preferred version, Henry poisons and kills two characters (her lawyer, Jack Weston, and one of her servants, William Hickey). Either too long or too bleak or both, it was cut (and that footage has never been found) leaving a happier ending, however happy you take the ending of the picture. . . . But it’s a testament to May’s genius (and [Walter] Matthau’s) that the film could work either way. As May said in an early, brilliant, Mike Nichols Elaine May routine, it all feels ‘suicidally beautiful.’”

Chicago. Tomorrow through Monday, the Music Box Theatre presents new 4K restorations of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972) and Stalker (1979). Ray Pride in Newcity Film: “When asked if I have a favorite ending of any movie, I don’t know what to say, but the majestic simplicity of the last shot of Stalker always rushes to mind and off the tip of my tongue. It is transformative magic.”

And on Tuesday, the Chicago Film Society presents a twentieth anniversary screening of Tsai Ming-liang’s The River. And it's 35mm print, too.

Austin. The AFS Cinema reopens tomorrow with, naturally enough, a series called Texas Christening. And programmer Lars Nilsen spotlights another series, Comedy Italian Style. In the Chronicle, Richard Whittaker gives us a tour of the newly renovated theater.

Amsterdam. Martin Scorsese – The Exhibition opens today at the EYE Filmmuseum and will be on view through September 3. It is, of course, accompanied by a program of the man’s films, but also a selection of his own personal favorites.

Paris. On Sunday, the Cinémathèque française presents Akira Kurosawa's Dreams (1989) with Scorsese as Vincent van Gogh.

A Coruña, Spain. The eighth edition of (S8) Mostra de Cinema Periférico opens Wednesday with a presentation of a new restoration of F. W. Murnau’s Faust (1926) with a soundtrack performed live by the Galician Symphonic Orchestra. Then, on through June 4, there’ll be programs featuring work by Aldo Tambellini, Helga Fanderl, Steve Polta, Joseph Cornell, and on, and on.

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