Get ready to binge on twenty-four mesmerizing films by American avant-garde pioneer Hollis Frampton, whose formally radical works take the spotlight in this week’s Criterion Collection Edition on FilmStruck. In the sixties and seventies, Frampton pushed the art of cinema into audacious and uncharted new territory in playful works such as Surface Tension, (nostalgia), and his monumental, unfinished Magellan series, a calendar-based film cycle that was originally intended to be exhibited over the course of 371 days. All of these and more are now available to stream on the Criterion Channel, along with an interview with Frampton and footage of his performance piece A Lecture.
Also up this week: the latest episode of Adventures in Moviegoing, featuring Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri; two documentaries that explore the diverse range of immigrant experiences in the United States; and a pair of films that look at what happens when coupledom turns criminal.
The acclaimed writer of Interpreter of Maladies and The Namesake joins Rome Film Festival artistic director Antonio Monda for a conversation about cinematic experiences that have had a profound influence on her, sharing stories of how her mother introduced her to Bengali cinema and how she discovered that her maternal grandfather collaborated with Satyajit Ray. Alongside the conversation is a selection of her favorite films, including Roberto Rossellini’s Stromboli (1950), Agnès Varda’s La Pointe Courte (1956), and Ray’s The Big City (1963). Check out this excerpt from Lahiri and Monda’s conversation, in which the author discusses the impact that on-screen depictions of India had on her as a child.
This program features two intimate portraits of immigrant life in the United States: Nadav Kurtz’s 2012 short Paraíso and Louis Malle’s 1986 feature . . . And the Pursuit of Happiness. Set in Chicago, Kurtz’s award-winning film—which the director discusses in this video introduction—examines the daily risks taken by three Mexican skyscraper-window washers. Informed by the director’s own sense of being a new arrival in the U.S., Malle’s deeply humanist documentary takes a candid look at polyglot middle- and working-class communities across the country.
This week’s ominous double bill introduces viewers to two creepy couples. In British director Bryan Forbes’s 1964 supernatural thriller Seance on a Wet Afternoon, Kim Stanley plays an unbalanced medium who manipulates her husband (Richard Attenborough) into kidnapping a young girl to gain favor with the police. The 1969 true-crime drama The Honeymoon Killers, Leonard Kastle’s only foray into directing, serves as a gritty alternative to sexy, star-driven lovers-on-the-run classics like Bonnie and Clyde.