New York. The Metrograph’s “essential series Tell Me: Women Filmmakers, Women’s Stories gets its title from a 1980 documentary by Chantal Akerman called Dis-Moi, which is one of the earliest filmed works of oral history about the Holocaust,” writes Richard Brody in the New Yorker. “Many of the films in the series link, as Akerman’s does, the cinematic presence of women’s voices with original and personal approaches to documentary form.” The series runs from Friday through February 11.
Also at the Metrograph, King Hu’s 1979 classic Legend of the Mountain opens on Friday to run through the weekend. In the Village Voice, Simon Abrams suggests that the “narrative fuse may be long, but Hu knows exactly when to light it and when to snuff it out.”
“Abbas Kiarostami, the greatest Iranian filmmaker, didn’t quite finish his final film, 24 Frames, before dying in July 2016,” writes Josephine Livingstone for the New Republic. “His son, Ahmad, supervised completion, ushering the film to its premiere at 2017’s Cannes Film Festival. The film, which in the U.S. will run exclusively at New York’s Lincoln Center from February 2, takes us back to some of Kiarostami’s longstanding concerns about the relationship between art and life, starting with the movie’s title. There may be 24 frames to the traditional second of 35 mm film, but there’s no frame rate to seeing.” Writing for the Daily Beast, Nick Schager finds that “the more one gives in to its laconic rhythms and becomes attuned to its underlying wavelength, the more that patterns, and possible interpretations, begin to materialize.” Ahmad Kiarostami and Godfrey Cheshire will be on hand for a Q&A after Friday evening’s screening.
Walon Green’s The Hellstrom Chronicle (1971), “one of the strangest films to ever win the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature,” as Stephanie Monohan puts it at Screen Slate, screens tonight at Spectacle Theater.
The inaugural edition of Animation First: New York’s French Animation Festival opens Friday and runs through Sunday.
Los Angeles. From Friday through March 24, the UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Hugh M. Hefner Classic American Film Program, in association with Women in Film Los Angeles and Veggie Cloud, present Working Girls: America’s Career Women on Screen.
An Invitation to Dance, a series of films starring Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, will be running each Friday throughout February at the Norton Simon Museum.
San Francisco. From Thursday through February 18, SFMOMA and SFFILM present Claire Denis: Seeing Is Believing.
Chicago. On Wednesday, the Chicago Film Society presents a 35 mm print of Julien Duvivier’s The Great Waltz (1938), “Louis B. Mayer’s very favorite M-G-M picture.” For more local highlights of the coming week, see the Cine-List.
Cambridge. Kevin Jerome Everson - Cinema and the Practice of Everyday Life, a series at the Harvard Film Archive, starts Friday and runs through February 26. “The patina of verisimilitude is actually a ruse in Everson’s films, which take the stuff of life, and specifically the experiences and communities familiar to the director, and restage it as a dead-ringer facsimile in order to draw out certain truths, patterns, rhythms and gestures that might go unnoticed in more traditional documentaries,” writes Carson Lund. “Indeed, while the willful hybridization of documentary and fiction modes of filmmaking has come into fashion in recent years, Everson’s work has thrived on such mutability for over a decade, forcing viewers to calibrate to each work without assumptions.”
Durham. From Friday through February 5, Nathaniel Dorsky will be at Duke University to present 18 at 18, a program of eighteen films “screened at silent speed,” eighteen frames a second. Monday will see the world premiere of the entire Arboretum Cycle, seven films, three of which have yet to be seen by anyone anywhere.
Toronto. The TIFF Cinematheque retrospective Out of the Past: The Films of Robert Mitchum opens on Thursday and runs through March 4. “We mark the recent centenary of that epitome of cool and axiom of noir, the actor whose descriptors require a thesaurus with hundreds of synonyms for ‘laconic,’” writes James Quandt, presenting “an alphabetical annotation of Mitchum’s life and career, the latter of which spanned six decades and yielded somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 credits on films and television series.”
UK. The theme of this year’s Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme is “(Un)true Colours: Secrets and Lies in Japanese Cinema,” and screenings will take place in nearly twenty cities from Friday through March 28. For previews of the program, see Jason Maher at VCinema and Christopher O'Keeffe at ScreenAnarchy.
London. “Let’s hear it for the badass buddies, the inseparable gal-pals, the obsessive duos and the wisecracking girl gangs of cinema.” Girlfriends is a season running at BFI Southbank in February and March.
Starting Thursday and throughout February, Close-Up will be presenting a retrospective of work by Michael Haneke.
Paris. The Cinémathèque française’s Chantal Akerman retrospective opens on Wednesday and runs through March 2.
Vienna. The long launch of the republished edition of Stan Brakhage’s 1963 book Metaphors on Vision stretches all the way to the Austrian Film Museum on Thursday. “In conversation with Michael Loebenstein, panelists Gabriele Jutz (professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Applied Arts Vienna) and Vrääth Öhner (film and media scholar) will investigate the ‘avant-garde practice of self-theorizing’ and the lasting importance of Brakhage’s theoretical work. The panel will be followed by a screening of a new, restored film print of Brakhage’s Dog Star Man (1961-64).”
Berlin. Berlinale Africa Hub returns for its second year from February 16 through 21, offering “a focused range of events such as panels, presentations and talks and allow distributors, buyers, filmmakers and other professionals of the creative industries from or with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa to come together to meet and to network.”
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