• [The Daily] Goings On: Capra, Argento, and More

    By David Hudson

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    Before we delve into the city-by-city breakdown, lets note that, following its announcement late last month of its narrative and documentary feature film competition lineups, Slamdance has unveiled the lineups for its Beyond and Shorts programs. Slamdance 2018 will run from January 19 through 25 in Park City, Utah.

    Let’s also mention two films screening in at least two cities each, starting with Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life (1946; image above). It’s on at the Music Box in Chicago through Christmas Eve, and in this week’s Cine-List, Ben Sachs notes that “just beneath the Americana, [Capra’s] films contain a near-schizophrenic mix of idealism and resentment.” It’s also screening on Friday at the Brattle in Cambridge. Larry Cherkasov: “George Bailey himself is a man who did everything right by his family and town and in that crucial scene, still is ‘worth more dead than alive.’”

    The Brattle’s also presenting the new fortieth anniversary restoration of Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1977) from Friday through December 21, and Cherkasov finds that it “boasts impressive pacing because there are no jump scares, just dread until it happens.Suspiria’s also screening Friday and Saturday at midnight at the IFC Center in New York. J. Hoberman for the New York Review of Books: “Argento’s sumptuous giallo sends a naïve young American student (the preternaturally wide-eyed Jessica Harper) to dankest Germany to study ballet in a Kafkaesque academy plagued by maggot slugs and administered by scary harridans. In the splendid extended finale, the student stumbles on the coven’s black mass, precipitating a fantastic light show of lysergic apparitions and exploding chandeliers.”

    New York. Starting Wednesday, and on through January 7, the Film Society of Lincoln Center will present a sixty-two-film series, Emotion Pictures: International Melodrama, and we’ll be taking another, closer look at it in a separate entry in another day or two.

    Also happening at the FSLC on Wednesday is a discussion organized by Film Comment’s editors, Women in Film: Reckoning with Misogyny. Panelists include Molly Haskell, author of From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies; Amy Taubin, contributing editor to Film Comment and Artforum; Aliza Ma, head programmer at the Metrograph; and Monica Castillo of the New York Times. Entrance is free to New Yorkers—and to everyone else as well, as the event will be streamed live on Film Comment’s Facebook page.

    On Thursday, the FSLC presents An Evening with Laura Dern and three films she stars in, Joyce Chopra’s Smooth Talk (1985), Alexander Payne’s Citizen Ruth (1996), and David Lynch’s Wild at Heart (1990).

    Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983, an exhibition on view at the Museum of Modern Art through April 1, “uses the history of the eponymous venue to focus on post-punk New York’s clamorous, late-bohemian network of artists, musicians, photographers, filmmakers, publishers, impresarios, and otherwise uncategorizable personalities,” writes Ed Halter for 4Columns. “Club 57 existed at a time when the core of social life took place in public rather than mediated through digital avatars; thus the curatorial operations of the space, as well as the variegated aesthetics of its habitués, prove self-conscious enough to be historicized as a kind of collective, ongoing performance, something like the neon-haired aftermath of an older underground’s attempt to dissolve the borders between art and everyday life.” The accompanying film series, You Are Now One of Us: Film at Club 57, runs through February 28.

    For the Village Voice, Morgan Leigh Davies surveys Goth(ic), a series of more than thirty films screening at the Metrograph through the end of the month, and finds that the “programmers have cast a wide net, a strategy that produces both benefits and drawbacks.”

    Tomorrow, Anthology Film Archives presents, as Sonya Redi points out at Screen Slate, “the only known print of Strangers in the City [1962] by 20th century renaissance man Rick Carrier. A decorated soldier, inventor, author, and artist, the film showcases many of Carrier’s impressive talents, as he wrote, directed, and shot it all himself on a very low budget, going so far as to even write the film’s theme song.”

    Then from Friday through December 19, Anthology presents A Stop-Motion Bestiary: The Films of Ladislas Starewitch, whom J. Hoberman, writing for the New York Review of Books, calls the “ great, under-appreciated pioneer of stop-motion animation, whose earliest puppets included reconstituted dead beetles.”

    “To close out 2017, Light Industry has invited artist and musician Joshua Gen Solondz to program a selection of his own films and videos alongside works he’s chosen by others.” The program, A Sleeping World, starts at 7:30 tomorrow evening.

    In the New York Times, Ben Kenigsberg has notes on MoMA’s Michelangelo Antonioni retrospective, on through January 7; two midnight series running through the end of the month, the Nitehawk Holiday Show Spectacular and Rated Xmas at the IFC Center; and Roman Hollywood: American Movies Go to Italy, running through December 21 at Film Forum.

    From Friday through Sunday, HERE presents Madeleine Goldsmith and Alex Hare’s You Can’t Kiss a Movie: “Inspired by the French New Wave, the show depicts a cameraman, a PA, and a pair of actors creating an original New Wave film that is simultaneously projected live on a screen, allowing the audience to witness both the completed film and the behind-the- scenes process.”

    Los Angeles. On Saturday, the UCLA Film & Television Archive presents Nitrate Treasures: Night and the City, a program of 35 mm nitrate prints of a newsreel, a short, and Jules Dassin’s Night and the City (1950).

    The New Beverly presents a double feature on Friday and Saturday, Blake Edwards’s Victor/Victoria (1982), which, as Witney Seibold notes, treats sex “as something zesty, active, open, and enjoyed by everyone,” and Martin Ritt’s Murphy’s Romance (1985), which, for Ariel Schudson, is “one of the most romantic, captivating and vibrant movies of the 1980s.”

    San Francisco. On Thursday, the Exploratorium and the San Francisco Cinematheque present Black Field, a “ collaborative work from celebrated local artists, filmmaker Paul Clipson and musician and composer Zachary James Watkins.” The Cinematheque’s posted “Cinema for the inner eye: On the films of Paul Clipson,” an essay by Dan Browne: “Clipson’s films are among the clearest articulations since Brakhage of how vision is formed through process—how sight is not a passive and inert function, but equally shapes the world just as it is shaped by it.”

    Chicago. In this week’s Cine-List, Kathleen Sachs recommends this evening’s rare screening of the silent version of Ernst Lubitsch’s Monte Carlo (1930), presented by the Chicago Film Society. The 35 mm print will be accompanied live by Jay Warren on the organ.

    Cambridge. Tonight at the Harvard Film Archive: Jodie Mack’s Posthaste Perennial Patterns—and she’ll be there.

    Austin. On Wednesday, Richard Linklater will introduce a screening of Wim Wenders’s Wings of Desire (1987) at the AFS Cinema and then take part in a post-screening discussion.

    UK.A Matter of Life and Death is the utterly unique, enduringly rich and strange romantic fantasia from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger,” writes Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian. “You could put it in a double bill with It’s a Wonderful Life or The Wizard of Oz, though its pure English differentness would shine through. It was released in 1946, the same year that Winston Churchill coined the term ‘special relationship’—an idea that the film finds itself debating. With that concept now under pressure, 2017 is a good time for this classic to be rereleased in UK cinemas.”

    Berlin. The Arsenal’s Ernst Lubitsch Retrospective opens Friday with Trouble in Paradise (1932) and runs through December 30. “He made use of the invention of sound film for inventive film operettas and musicals as well as to perfect his society comedies, with which he, if one believes the quote attributed to Jean Renoir, established modern American cinema.”

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