Goings On: Renoir, Tahimik, and More

On Film / The Daily — Nov 15, 2017

“Two exhibitions on different sides of the Atlantic—Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, through April 15; and Obsession Marlene at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP) in Paris through Jan. 7—explore how Dietrich sought to express the many facets of her fluid personality.” Tobias Grey’s piece for the New York Times sketches an overview of Dietrich’s career as the subject of iconic images both onscreen and off.

New York. “Perhaps the most delightful of Jean Renoir’s films, The Crime of Monsieur Lange [image above] is a defense of murder—on political grounds.” Quite the opener from J. Hoberman in the New York Times. “The movie is so jaunty that it could easily be reconceived as a musical comedy, albeit one that could never have been made in Hollywood, even before the Production Code. Indeed, Monsieur Lange, which was released in France in 1936, would have to wait 28 years for its American theatrical premiere.”

More from the Village Voice’s Alan Scherstuhl: “As in Renoir’s mature masterpieces, the prevailing spirit is of a brilliantly controlled spontaneity, a breezy sublimity, that sense that any character can vault into the frame at any time and push the story someplace new.” The week-long run of a new 4K restoration at Film Forum starts Friday.

P. Adams Sitney, who’s edited the reissue of Stan Brakhage’s Metaphors on Vision (1963) from Light Industry and Anthology Film Archives, Chrissie Iles, Jennifer Reeves, and Thomas Beard will be at the Whitney on Sunday to discuss Brakhage’s work after a screening of Mothlight (1963).

The exhibition GENERATION WEALTH by Lauren Greenfield, an “investigation of how the pursuit of wealth, and its material trappings and elusive promises of happiness, has evolved since the late 1990s,” is on view at the International Center of Photography through January 7. From Friday through November 30, Anthology Film Archives presents an accompanying series, Generation Wealth, and at Screen Slate we find Angeline Gragásin on Queen of Versailles (2012), “an amusing glimpse into the collective unconscious of a real-life American family simultaneously empowered by and trapped in an unending psycho-cycle of compulsive conspicuous consumption,” and Caroline Golum on Robinson Devor’s Pow Wow (2016), a “thought-provoking meditation on materialism and colonialism in California’s Indio Valley.”

On Saturday, Bill Morrison will be at MoMA to discuss his documentary Dawson City: Frozen Time (2016) and, again at Screen Slate, Jeva Lange notes that he “lets the gold rush boomtown—the last stop on the North American circuit for nitrate films—tell its own story.”

Los Angeles. On Sunday and Monday, the New Beverly presents W. S. Van Dyke’s The Thin Man (1934), “an exceptional merging of mystery and seminal screwball and modern marital allure, adapted from the popular Dashiell Hammett novel (his last),” as Kim Morgan puts it. “It’s said that Hammett’s relationship with playwright Lillian Hellman was the inspiration to create these heavy drinking characters, and likely so, but The Thin Man is a much more idealized version of the Hammett-Hellman union and the drinking.”

Chicago. On Friday and Saturday, the Front Row at the Music Box presents a 70 mm print of Walter Hill’s Streets of Fire (1984). “Co-written with Larry Gross,” writes Ray Pride in Newcity,Streets of Fire is a grandiloquent compatriot to their later masterpiece, Geronimo: An American Legend (1993) and more pertinently, their collaboration on 1982’s 48 HRS, which enabled the lurid finery of Hill’s seventh feature. More exuberantly stylized than The Warriors (1979), it seemingly stands in stark relief to the carborundum asperity of movies like Hard Times (1975), The Driver (1978), The Long Riders (1980) and Southern Comfort (1981).”

Portland. The Northwest Film Center’s series Pre-Code Cinema: Classics and Rarities opens Saturday and runs through December 30. All fourteen films will be presented on 35 mm.

Austin. On Sunday, Experimental Response Cinema will present a selection of films by Aldo Tambellini at the AFS Cinema.

Marfa, Texas. On Saturday and Sunday, “Ballroom Marfa presents Serpent Rain, a collaboration between Denise Ferreira da Silva and Arjuna Neuman. This video is Ballroom’s selection for Artists’ Film International 2017. . . . Serpent Rain is as much an experiment in working together as it is a film about the future.”

Toronto. “A truly globalized filmmaker paradoxically rooted deeply in his homeland, Kidlat Tahimik undermines colonial narratives by telling epic, localized truths,” writes Chris Kennedy for the TIFF Review. “Offering a humorous, ironic lens on the long history of the West’s efforts to control the East, Tahimik has over the four decades of his filmmaking created a remarkable cinema of wanderlust and adventure.” The TIFF Cinematheque retrospective Quiet Lightning: The Films of Kidlat Tahimik opens tomorrow and runs through Tuesday.

London. Pamela Hutchinson has a new book out, Pandora's Box, part of the BFI Classic series, and on Sunday, she’ll introduce a screening of a 35 mm print of G. W. Pabst’s 1928 film starring Louise Brooks. See her site for details on further presentations in Bristol and Inverness.

On Saturday and Sunday at Whitechapel Gallery, “Jarman Award Weekend brings together the six artists shortlisted for the 2017 Jarman Award—Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Marianna Simnett, Oreet Ashery, Adham Faramawy, Melanie Manchot and Charlotte Prodger—to explore ideas ranging from the issues around sound and memory, Botox, gender, future censoring of language, the cloud, snow and ‘queer wilderness’ through discussions, screenings and storytelling.”

On Saturday, and then next Wednesday and on December 9, Close-Up presents Sohrab Shahid Saless: Exiles, three films by the Iranian filmmaker, whose work “belongs to no single place or canon, it is a continent of its own—a ‘central massif’ of cinema, as one critic notes.”

Ben Brantley reviews the National Theatre’s production of Network for the New York Times: “The opening scene of this convulsive, immersive adaptation of the 1976 movie about how television hijacked reality is a bravura exercise in torturously applied pressure. Directed by Ivo van Hove and starring a fabulous Bryan Cranston in a state of radioactive meltdown, Network may be set in the New York of four decades ago, but as you watch the middle-aged newscaster, Howard Beale (Mr. Cranston), preparing for his nightly television appearance, you feel the overwhelming anxiety of a toxic 21st-century day at the office.”

Turin. For Cineuropa, Vittoria Scarpa previews the thirty-fifth Torino Film Festival, with its “Torino 35 competition, the Festa Mobile section (featuring the most highly lauded titles from international festivals), the dark After Hours selection, documentaries from Italy and the rest of the world, experimental films in Onde, and an extensive Brian De Palma retrospective.” As its guest director, the festival’s invited Asia Argento, “who has been fully in the glare of the media recently because of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.” She’ll “present AmeriKana, a selection of five movies chosen by her from among those titles that most accurately represent deepest America.” The dates: November 24 through December 2.

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