New York. Tomorrow, to celebrate the republication of Stan Brakhage’s book Metaphors on Vision (1963), the Metrograph and Light Industry cofounders Ed Halter and Thomas Beard will present a 16 mm print of his 1957 short Daybreak & Whiteye—and a 35 mm print of Isidore Isou’s Venom and Eternity (1951), “a film that made an indelible impression on the young Brakhage when he first saw it at Frank Stauffacher’s Art in Cinema series in San Francisco.” At Light Industry’s tumblr, you’ll find a bit of supplementary reading, two letters that Brakhage wrote to Isou, the first in 1962, the second, the following year.
Tonight through Wednesday, Janus Films’ new restoration of Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin’s Salesman (1968) is screening at the Metrograph. It “documents a way of life that was dying even then,” writes Alan Scherstuhl in the Village Voice, “the soiling grind of getting by as a door-to-door salesman, talking people who don’t want you there into buying junk they don’t need with money they’re almost certainly short on. Salesman’s milieu of motels and pork-pie hats may have passed, but its broader diagnosis has lost none of its truth. In this huckster America, everyone’s a mark—especially the schnooks who think they’re the sharks.”
“In a way,” adds J. Hoberman in the New York Times, “Salesman moved into the territory opened up a decade before with the publication of Robert Frank’s 1959 collection of photographs, The Americans. Mr. Frank was subjected to critical abuse for his downbeat vision of seedy bus depots, all-night diners, garish billboards and empty highways. Salesman might be a feature-length elaboration of a Frank photograph.”
Also in the NYT, Ben Kenigsberg spotlights three series:
- Martial/Art, on from today through February 10 at—again—the Metrograph and featuring wuxia classics and the contemporary films they inspired.
- Projections of Memory, programmed for the Museum of the Moving image by Richard I. Suchenski, author of the book bearing the same title. Tomorrow and Sunday.
- That’s Me Up There: The Singular Art of Playing Yourself, running from today through Thursday at the Quad. At Screen Slate, Chris Shields writes about Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994), “an interesting attempt at suturing the concept from the schlock it had become and reintegrating the mythic power of the original back into it.”
On Monday, the French Institute Alliance Français will host a Conversation with Jane Birkin.
Ongoing: To Save and Project: The 15th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation (through Thursday) and 60s Verité, running at Film Forum through February 6.
Los Angeles. “Time may heal all wounds, but it has done nothing to dispel the intensity of Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now (1973),” writes Justin Chang in the Los Angeles Times. Screens tonight at the Egyptian.
On Monday, REDCAT presents Stranger Landscapes: Films by Pia Borg.
Austin. Caroline Frick, who teaches at the University of Texas and is the founding director of the Texas Archive of the Moving Image, has programmed Classic Chemistry, “a selection of films that display this mysterious commodity in full flower.” The series runs each weekend through February and Frick will be on hand at the AFS Cinema for discussions after the first screening of each film.
The Film Society’s also presenting Jerzy Skolimowski’s Deep End (1970), tomorrow night only.
Boulder. On Monday, the University of Colorado will present a new 4K restoration of Emir Kusturica’s Underground (1995) as part of its International Film Series. “Set in Yugoslavia and beginning in the 1940s, Underground tackles the horrors of Hitler’s invasion through sex, food, and an ever-present Oom-pah band,” writes Michael J. Casey for the Boulder Weekly.
Toronto. The big—but not the only—event at the TIFF Cinematheque is the retrospective In the Shadow of Love: The Cinema of Philippe Garrel, now on through February 24. “Even as his films repeatedly gaze into the voids of isolation and despair, Garrel retains his nakedly romantic idealism, venturing into the shadows with an obstinate faith that l’amour existe,” writes Brad Deane in an overview of the work.
The TIFF Review’s also posted a 2007 essay by Sally Shafto: “The precocious and compelling Garrel quickly became, at twenty years old and with only a few films to his name, the unofficial leader of a band of young, beautiful, and chic artists whose bohemian lifestyles were drawn to a mythic promised land: Zanzibar, the symbol of purity and truth.”
And Kieran Grant presents a playlist: “So profound were Philippe Garrel’s collaborations with Nico throughout the 1970s, the director was moved to make a movie about their relationship a decade after it ended: the semi-autobiographical J’entends plus la guitare. Looking beyond that film’s thinly veiled confession, one need only listen to Garrel’s formative works to discover how his art, and his life, were altered by the German songwriter and erstwhile model/Andy Warhol Superstar/Velvet Undergound chanteuse.”
Tomorrow night, TIFF presents Maurice Pialat’s À nos amours (1983), prompting a re-posting of Andréa Picard’s 2011 essay on Sandrine Bonnaire, “an earthy sensualist, exposed but dignified, rebellious but also dead serious, with both sadness and lucidity in her eyes.”
Safety Not Guaranteed: A Century of Harold Lloyd starts tomorrow and runs through February 25. “While he will always be best known for the iconic image of him dangling from a clock face high above the Los Angeles streets in Safety Last!, Lloyd’s immense contribution to silent cinema extends well beyond the ‘clock movie,’” writes Alicia Fletcher. “Fast-paced, expertly crafted and often downright astonishing, his films are a treasure trove of modern, sophisticated, and all-round delightful folly.”
And Sunday sees the first screenings of Existence is Song: A Stan Brakhage Retrospective, running throughout the year.
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