Goings On: Woody Allen, Walter Murch, and More

We begin with the news, reported for days but now officially confirmed, that the New York Film Festival, whose fifty-fifth edition runs from September 28 through October 15, will close with the world premiere of Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel. For the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jordan Raup sets the scene: “We’re in Coney Island in the 1950s. A lifeguard (Justin Timberlake) tells us a story that just might be filtered through his vivid imagination: a middle-aged carousel operator (James Belushi) and his beleaguered wife (Kate Winslet), who eke out a living on the boardwalk, are visited by his estranged daughter (Juno Temple)—a situation from which layer upon layer of all-too-human complications develop. Allen and his cinematographer, the great Vittorio Storaro, working with a remarkable cast led by Winslet in a startlingly brave, powerhouse performance, have created a bracing and truly surprising movie experience.”

In other festival news, Locarno, whose seventieth edition opens on Wednesday and runs through August 12, has rolled out its juries:

  • Concorso internazionale: Olivier Assayas (president), Miguel Gomes, Christos Konstantakopoulus, Jean-Stéphane Bron, and Birgit Minichmayr, whom most know as Gitti in Maren Ade’s Everyone Else (2009).
  • Concorso Cineasti del presente: Yousry Nasrallah (president), Matías Piñeiro, Paola Turci, Katrin Pors, and Johanna ter Steege.
  • Pardi di domani: Sabine Azéma (president), John Canciani, Yuri Ancarani, Verónica Echegui, and Kristijonas Vildžiūnas.
  • Signs of Life: Chris Fujiwara, Jordan Cronk, and Maria Bonsanti.
  • First Feature: Clarence Tsui, Birgit Kohler, and Diego Batlle.

“The Council of Europe’s Eurimages Fund has joined forces with the Locarno Film Festival this year to present the second edition of its Audentia Award for best female director,” reports Alice Thorpe at Women and Hollywood. “Hosted by a different international film festival each year, the Audentia Award takes its name from the Latin for ‘courage’ or ‘bravery’—‘vital qualities for any woman wishing to pursue a career in film directing,’ in the words of the press release. The prize intends ‘to celebrate women who have had the courage to make that choice, by giving their work greater visibility and inspiring other women to follow in their footsteps.’”

Meantime, it’s been a busy week for lineup announcements. You might catch up this weekend on the titles slated to screen in Venice (as well as in the Venice Days and Critics’ Week sidebars) and the first round for Toronto.

More Goings On

New York. A new restoration of Jean-Luc Godard’s Le Gai Savoir (1969) opens at the Quad today and, as J. Hoberman notes in the New York Times, it began as an adaptation of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “novelistic treatise on education, Émile, published in 1762, for television.” TV wouldn’t have it, but French theaters would. “Mr. Godard occasionally cites Rousseau, along with contemporary philosophers like Jacques Derrida, but as a thinker he has a greater affinity for Lewis Carroll. Le Gai Savoir would be hectoring if it were not so playful. (One sequence is a bit of Etch A Sketch scribble-scrabble accompanied by fragmented Mozart.) It is also movie mad.”

Jonas Mekas will be at Anthology Film Archives tonight to introduce the opening night screening of Georges Rouquier’s Farrebique (1946), a chronicle of farm life “governed by the seasons.” Anthology is presenting an archival 35 mm print, “followed by additional screenings showcasing Les Documents Cinematographiques’ brand-new DCP restoration.” Through Thursday.

On Tuesday, Light Industry presents Jem Cohen and Peter Sillen's Benjamin Smoke (2000) on 16 mm.

Back in the NYT,Ben Kenigsberg spotlights MoMA’s presentation on Wednesday of the late George A. Romero’s The Crazies (1973) and, on the same bill, Mike Kuchar’s The Craven Sluck (1967), “a 20-minute camp fest,” as part of the ongoing series Future Imperfect: The Uncanny in Science Fiction; and Lois Weber: First Auteur, a mini-series at Film Forum: The Blot (1921) on Sunday, Shoes (1916) and the short Suspense (1913) on August 6, and The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916) on September 16.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center series Shot by Carlo Di Palma, from Rome to New York opens today, as does the new restoration of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up (1966) at Film Forum.

Los Angeles. In the LA Weekly,Nathaniel Bell recommends Barbet Schroeder’s Barfly (1987) and Reversal of Fortune (1990), both screening tonight at the Aero Theatre, and, to celebrate the man’s seventieth birthday this weekend, the Arnold Schwarzenegger movies at the New Beverly. He also notes that Philip Baker-Hall will be at Cinefamily on Tuesday for the presentation of Robert Altman’s Secret Honor (1984) on Tuesday as part of the series Impeach the President: Watergate on Film.

On the same page, Siran Babayan notes that LACMA’s presenting a free screening on Sunday afternoon of Lisanne Skyler’s personal documentary BRILLO BOX (3¢ OFF), screening in conjunction with the exhibition Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959–1971.Julie Jacobs talks with Skyler for WhereToWatch.

Chicago. On Wednesday, the Chicago Film Society presents a 35 mm print of Jonathan Demme’s Melvin and Howard (1980).

London. Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation won 1974 BAFTA awards “for best film editing and best sound mixing (the first time those awards went to the same person on a single film).” That would be Walter Murch, who will be at the Curzon Soho on Wednesday for a Q&A following the screening.

Bristol. “Over the final weekend in July, Cinema Rediscovered will return for its second edition, boasting a bevy of classics and lesser-known gems from cinema history,” writes Christina Newland for Little White Lies. “Based at Bristol’s Watershed Cinema and a handful of other venues across the city, the retrospective mini-festival was founded as a British homage to Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, and its program once again includes films plucked directly from the Italian rep festival.” On Sunday, Ehsan Khoshbakht will present In Search of Color, a program of new restorations from original Kinemacolor black and white nitrate positive prints.

UK. “Twenty-five years on, Howards End is rereleased in cinemas,” announces the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw, calling it “a sumptuous piece of heritage prestige cinema produced by Ismail Merchant, directed by James Ivory and adapted from EM Forster’s 1910 novel by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. . . . The film is interestingly and valuably explicit on the subjects of class and snobbery and the struggles of the emerging bourgeoisie . . . In its own severe and occasionally stolid way, Howards End offers real passion.”

Berlin. In conjunction with the exhibition Robby Müller – Master of Light, on view at the Deutsche Kinemathek through November 5, the Arsenal is presenting a series of films shot by the master cinematography from August 4 through 17. The Arsenal will also spend all August pairing films with Manifestos and Pamphlets: “All these writings revolve around nothing less than a fundamental renewal or a liberation of cinema from restraints and conventions of a commercial, aesthetic, narrative or political nature.”

Writing for the Berlin Film Journal, Mike T. West recommends “a monthly ‘surprise’ event where a dear friend called Anastasia, from France, selects a secret and fairly unknown or overlooked picture of her choosing. In general it tends to be foreign, can often be black and white, but never, ever, bad. . . . The night is hosted at the excellent Il Kino in Neukölln where the staff are friendly and the drinks are sexy.”

For more goings on, see Wednesday’s roundup. And for news and items of interest throughout the day, every day, follow @CriterionDaily.

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