Goings On: Rivette, Grahame, and More

New York. “It’s the Jacques Rivette movie for people who can’t stand Jacques Rivette movies—and yet no one else could’ve made it.” Michael Atkinson for the Village Voice:La Belle Noiseuse (1991), now restored and rereleased in all its four-solid-hour glory, was the late, great French New Waver’s biggest international hit, an immersive act of captivity that traps us in a room with the unreasonable struggle of art-making, starring a faded artist whose productivity has witnessed severe decline and a posing-in-the-nude Emmanuelle Béart as his person of study. Perhaps Rivette was being cunning in front-loading his epic (which it is, though perfectly typical on a Rivettian scale) with so much explicitly erotic context. But in its own way this sensual, granular experience is just as pure and obsessive as Rivette’s less hospitable masterpieces, and almost as mysterious.” Through Thursday at the Quad.

In the New York Times,Ben Kenigsberg spotlights this revival as well as the Aki Kaurismäki running at Film Forum through Thursday and the Film Society of Lincoln Center series The Non-Actor, on through December 10.

“Beryl Korot’s groundbreaking video installation Text and Commentary, 1976–77, inspired by the Jacquard loom and how it impacted engineer Charles Babbage’s invention of the punch card, was originally exhibited at Leo Castelli Gallery in 1977,” writes Lauren O’Neill-Butler, introducing her talk with the artist for Artforum. The piece is currently on view through April 8 as part of MoMA’s exhibition Thinking Machines: Art and Design in the Computer Age, 1959–1989. O’Neill-Butler is “happy to report the work has been given its due.”

“Although its tentacles reach into the 50s, the 30s, and even the 1800s (being an adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma), Clueless is as 90s as it gets,” writes Cosmo Bjorkenheim. Amy Heckerling’s 1995 film screens tomorrow as part of the Anthology Film Archives series Generation Wealth.

Also at Screen Slate, Tyler Maxin: “Ngai Choi Lam’s The Cat is not so much a movie as it is a series of stakes-raising set pieces, bitten liberally and indiscriminately from genre flick tropes. . . . Some movies feel tailor-made for microcinema play. The Cat is one of them.” Monday at Spectacle.

Los Angeles. “In María Novaro's Danzón [1991], a struggling single mother from Mexico City embarks on a journey to find her missing dance partner, but her quest soon develops into a full-blown existential crisis,” writes Nathaniel Bell for the LA Weekly. “A subtle feminist treatise that sees friendship between women as a viable alternative to romantic love, the film is often included among the great Mexican films of its era. Writer-director Novaro will appear on a panel following a screening of a 35 mm print courtesy of the Mexican Film Institute.” Monday at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

London.Good at Being Bad: The Films of Gloria Grahame is a season on at BFI Southbank through December 30, accompanied by re-releases of Nicholas Ray’s In a Lonely Place (1950) and Fritz Lang’s The Big Heat (1953). “I wonder if Grahame thrived filming movies in stressful situations for tyrannical directors,” says Serena Bramble in her audiovisual essay for Sight & Sound. “She navigated her crumbling marriage to Nick Ray in front of the camera, she lay under an elephant’s foot for Cecil B. DeMille, and she was one of only a small handful of actors who worked with Fritz Lang more than once . . . When I think of Grahame, I remember her eyes, the way a few darting glances could size a man up with dazzling intimacy and curiosity, and the slightest raise of her eyebrow could chop down even the most masculine of co-stars.”

“The big heat, like the big sleep,” writes the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw, “is a menacing idea, a miasma that swarms over this taut and violent 1953 crime thriller . . . The big heat is, of course, the force of vengeance, the blowtorch flame of justice, coming from heaven and Earth alike.”

Exeter. On Monday, Catherine Grant will be giving a talk, “On Lucrecia Martel, audiovisually,” at the University.

Berlin. The seventeenth Berlin French Film Week opens Wednesday and runs through December 6.

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