New York. For the Village Voice, Leo Goldsmith surveys the Film Society of Lincoln Center series The Non-Actor, running now through December 10: “Drawing together nearly three dozen films, the program traces a fascinating lineage of amateur performance across history, geography, and genre. From agitprop and docufiction to neorealist art cinema and Warholian experimentation, the series highlights some of the inventive ways filmmakers have enlisted the non-actor to create new hybrids of the real and the imaginary.”
At Screen Slate, Patrick Dahl writes about one of the films in the series screening Thursday and Sunday: “As dope sagas go, Dusty and Sweets McGee (1971) says the right and proper things in regard to the miseries of addiction while simultaneously showcasing the wrong and crass beauties of life on the skids. Purportedly starring actual junkies playing loose versions of themselves, Floyd Mutrux’s film sports handsome, lived-in soliloquies amid shapeless footage of drifting youths in search of money and drugs. It’s a neorealist travelogue held together by quietly profound exchanges between self-aware yet unapologetic users.”
Also at Screen Slate:
- Dylan Pasture on The Boxer (1977), screening Friday and “the sole ‘straight’ feature from Shūji Terayama, and a hidden gem of this filmmaker’s long overdue retrospective at Anthology Film Archives.” Throw Away Your Books: The Films of Shūji Terayama runs through December 10.
- Jon Auman on Luis Buñuel: “Near the end of his life he said of himself: ‘I am not a philosopher, and I don’t do very well with abstractions.’” El (1953), “like all of Buñuel’s best films, is evidence that those were two of his greatest qualities as an artist.” Thursday and Sunday at MoMA as part of You Are Now One of Us: Film at Club 57.
- “Screening in 35 mm as part of Quad Cinema’s ongoing Coming Out Again series, [Alison Maclean’s] Crush  is an honest, at times bitter, portrayal of sexuality and manipulation,” writes Dana Reinoos. Screens Wednesday.
- “Flaherty NYC’s fall series returns to Anthology Film Archives,” writes Danielle Burgos, “and this year’s selections meditate on the theme Out From Under. Programs explore the concept of ‘underground’ in all its permutations, including unacknowledged and undocumented labor, subterranean locations, and spaces of confinement and liberation.” Tonight’s “screening is simply titled Program 5: Death, and examines the phenomenon as a solution, as separation, as gift, relief, and curse.”
- For Jon Dieringer, Fernando Arrabal’s Viva la Muerte (1971), screening tomorrow at Wednesday at the Metrograph, is “one of the most effective portraits of how fascism corrupts the soul and the body starting at youth—and as much as it reflects a specific timeframe, government, and personal history, it’s clearly meant to transcend its moment as a formally radical and ultimately humanist rallying cry against oppression.”
Los Angeles. “Since launching in September, Los Angeles Filmforum's ambitious series Ism Ism Ism: Experimental Cinema in Latin America has channeled a wealth of alternative cinema into theaters across Los Angeles,” writes Nathaniel Bell in the LA Weekly. On Thursday “at the Hammer Museum, a program of short films salutes experimental women filmmakers from Latin America. Works screening include Narcisa Hirsch's Taller (Workshop), a 16 mm essay inspired by the work of Michael Snow. The selections complement Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985,” an exhibition on view at the Hammer through December 31.
On Friday at the Echo Park Film Center, Kino Slang presents The Singing Street, a 1951 film by the teachers of Norton Park School in Edinburgh, Straub-Huillet’s Il Viadante – The Wayfarer (2001), Pedro Costa’s The Rabbit Hunters (2007), and Edgar Ulmer’s The Amazing Transparent Man (1960).
On Wednesday, the New Beverly presents Henry King’s Twelve O’Clock High (1950). “With some of the most bitter and poison-filled dialogue written into a studio war film and many of the darkest story and character arcs, this film easily falls under the classification of military noir,” writes Ariel Schudson.
Berkeley. Nathaniel Dorsky will be at the Pacific Film Archive on Wednesday to present Silence and Sanctuaries, a program of films celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Canyon Cinema. Along with two of his own films, Elohim and Abaton, both made this year, he’ll be screening two 1994 films by Stan Brakhage, Black Ice and Chartres Series.
Chicago. Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Serenity of Madness, currently on view at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Sullivan Galleries through December 8, “boasts more than twenty video works spanning the career-so-far of this artist, filmmaker and alumnus of the school,” writes Elliot J. Reichert for Newcity. “At once sculptural and narrative, spatial and temporal, the juxtaposition of these works produce the palpable tensions that animate so much of today’s compelling sculpture and painting. Space and scale are not incidental in Weerasethakul’s installations, they are essential. In this retrospective, each room is a lesson in looking, with difference a matter of form, not degree. The videos stand on their own while bearing the considerations of collective force.”
London. From tomorrow through Friday, Close-Up presents Il Cinema Ritrovato: The Shock of the Old, “a program touching on two of the festival's distinctive strands: women’s cinema and film restoration.”
Paris. The Cinémathèque française’s Max Ophuls retrospective opens Wednesday and runs through December 31, and the series Le Cinéma Colombien: Hier, aujourd’hui, demain opens Thursday and runs through December 10.
For news and items of interest throughout the day, every day, follow @CriterionDaily.