• [The Daily] Goings On: Berri, Mekas, and More

    By David Hudson

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    New York. “One of the great films about childhood and life during wartime, Claude Berri’s piquant, piercing debut, The Two of Us (1967), also stands—despite its highly personal and historic milieu—as a study of a perennial generational conflict,” writes Alan Scherstuhl in the Village Voice. The U.S. premiere of a new 4K begins a week-long run tomorrow as part of the Quad Cinema’s series, A Very Berri Christmas, running through January 4.

    “Jonas Mekas’s Mysteries is a film that takes as its subject not simply the performance it documents but the act of watching such a performance,” writes Chris Shields at Screen Slate. “Mekas’s camera zooms into the actions of The Living Theater founders Judith Malina and Julian Beck’s performers,” and “Philip Glass’s music (newly commissioned for the 2000 editing of the footage originally shot in 1966) drives this whirlpool of vision and thought with stirring force.” Screens tonight with Mekas’s A Walk (1990) as part of Jonas Mekas: 95 and Beyond, a series at Anthology Film Archives celebrating the birthday (on Christmas Eve) of its co-founder and artistic director.

    “Whatever your stance on Christmas, there’s non-denominational fun to be had watching a campy 1980s film about a serial killer dressed as Santa Claus,” writes Benjamin Sutton at Hyperallergic. Charles E. Sellier Jr.’s Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) “is now considered a pillar of the Christmas horror genre, along with the likes of Black Christmas (1974), Christmas Evil (1980), and Don’t Open Till Christmas (1984). As a holiday gift, Williamsburg’s Nitehawk cinema will screen Silent Night, Deadly Night Friday and Saturday nights. Santa costume optional.”

    The IFC Center is presenting a new 4K digital restoration of Lewis Jackson’s Christmas Evil on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at midnight. At Screen Slate, Jon Dieringer points out that, “if Christmas Evil looks incongruously beautiful for a trashy killer Santa movie, it’s because it’s one of the few American films of Argentinian cinematographer Ricardo Aronovich, whose credits include Hugo Santiago’s Invasión, Ruy Guerra’s Cinema Novo landmark Os Fuzis, Louis Malle’s Murmur of the Heart, Andrzej Żuławski’s That Most Important Thing: Love, and several Ettore Scola and Raúl Ruiz films. And yet John Waters routinely cites only one of his films as being among the best ever made—take a stab at which.”

    Los Angeles. The LA Weekly may be a thin shadow of what it once was, but Nathaniel Bell is still there, still highlighting the most notable screenings of the week ahead.

    Oklahoma City. From today through December 31, the Museum of Art is presenting Christmas for Grown-Ups, a series featuring, for example, Arnaud Desplechin’s A Christmas Tale (2008) on 35 mm, Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut (1999), and Billy Wilder’s The Apartment (1960).

    Toronto. Speaking of Kubrick, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) opens the TIFF Cinematheque series Magnificent 70mm tomorrow. Eleven films will be projected large through January 3.

    Also at TIFF, but this evening, is a 35 mm print of Sidney J. Furie’s Lady Sings the Blues (1972), screening as part of the Black Star series. Jesse Hawken tells the story behind the film and the rise of Diana Ross.

    Berlin. Moviemento presents Weihnachtsfilmfestival 2017 from tomorrow through Sunday.

    Vienna. “Every year between Christmas and New Year’s the Film Museum presents films with the Marx Brothers—lately in combination with films by other artists. This year, the brilliant cinema anarchist (and secretly a great comedian) Luis Buñuel will face the Marx Brothers with a selection of subversive and, in many respects, ‘marxian’ masterpieces such as Viridiana (1961) and Belle de jour (1967).” Brothers in Anarchism runs from Tuesday through December 30.

    And currently running at the Austrian Film Museum through January 3 is This is not America – Austrian Drifters.

    Taipei. La Camera Insabbiata, the virtual reality work by Laurie Anderson and Hsin-chien Huang that won the Best VR Experience Award in Venice, is on view at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum through February 25.

    For news and items of interest throughout the day, every day, follow @CriterionDaily.

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