Goings On: Opie, Oshima, and More

New York. “Tonight, Anthology Film Archives continues its Documentarists for a Day series with a rare pairing of nonfiction offerings from Nagisa Oshima that reveal an introspective side to the famously outspoken political filmmaker,” writes Kazu Watanabe at Screen Slate. “Made in 1965 and 1991 respectively, the two stylistically divergent short works bookend Oshima’s career from the height of his filmmaking powers as a New Wave firebrand to an internationally recognized elder statesman of Japanese cinema who nevertheless had to look overseas to find financing.” Diary of Yunbogi (1965) and Kyoto, My Mother’s Place (1991) screen again on Saturday.

At Flavorwire, Alison Nastasi flags Crimes of Passion: The Erotic Thriller, the series running at the Quad through February 15 in the run-up to the opening on Valentine’s Day of François Ozon’s Double Lover. The series “features more than twenty films by some of the usual suspects (De Palma, Verhoeven, Hitchcock) and lesser-known films—to American audiences—like Christopher Frank’s Year of the Jellyfish. The series also makes us pine for more erotic thrillers made by women but includes the classics: Poison Ivy,Bound, and In the Cut.

“Crimes of Passion is, in a sense, a short seminar on the femme fatale,” suggests Abbey Bender in the Village Voice. “The stock character, as old as cinema itself, endures for a reason: Within a society that expects women to be docile, passive figures, the spectacle of a woman behaving badly ignites both lust and a perverse wish fulfillment. It’s a nuanced appeal that reaches beyond the male gaze.”

Spectacle, in the meantime, is presenting Anti-Valentines all month long.

Los Angeles. “In thinking about how to introduce Catherine Opie’s first film, The Modernist (2017 [image above]), currently on view at Regen Projects in Los Angeles, I wanted to call it a love story, but I worried that this might sound diminishing,” writes William J. Simmons, introducing his interview for BOMB. “Love does not always imply rigor or erudition; rather, it denotes excessiveness and irrationality. And if The Modernist is anything, it is certainly rigorous, with its eight hundred still images combined into a twenty-two-minute film with dizzying precision. Compounding this detailed archival amassment are sophisticated references to the architectural history of Los Angeles, as well as to its filmic inspiration—Chris Marker’s dystopic romance La Jetée (1962).”

Chicago. “Northwestern University professor Hamid Naficy is a noted scholar of Iranian, Middle Eastern, diasporic, and ethnographic film, but before he entered the world of academia, he was a filmmaker,” writes Patrick Friel, previewing Dig This! Films by Hamid Naficy, a program at the Block Museum of Art on Thursday.

Also in this week’s Cine-List: James Stroble on John Huston’s Fat City (1972; the Chicago Film Society is presenting a 35 mm print on Wednesday); Kyle Cubr on Seijun Suzuki’s Everything Goes Wrong (1960; Doc Films presents a 35 mm print tomorrow); Ben Sachs on Emir Kusturica’s Underground (1995; the new restoration’s at the Gene Siskel Film Center tonight and Wednesday); and more.

San Francisco. On Thursday, the San Francisco Cinematheque presents Stephen Broomer’s Potamkin.

Austin. Agnès Varda’s debut feature, La Pointe Courte (1956), screens Thursday at the AFS Cinema.

Seattle. SIFF celebrates the tenth anniversary of the independent distributor Oscilloscope by presenting three “beloved favorites, shouldn't-miss films and hidden gems from their vault,” Diego Echeverria’s Los Sures (1984), Manfred Kirchheimer’s Stations of the Elevated (1977), and Marc Singer’s Dark Days (2000). “And all are about the greatest city on earth, New York City,” writes Charles Mudede in the Stranger.

Washington, DC. Starting Saturday, and through Sunday, the National Gallery of Art will present three programs of films by Stan Brakhage, marking the publication of the filmmaker’s 1963 book, Metaphors on Vision.

Lincoln, Nebraska. “The ’60s—1968 in particular—are so encrusted with legend, nostalgia and pop-historical cliché that it may seem unlikely for a new movie to yield much insight,” writes A. O. Scott in the New York Times. “But those dreading 50th-anniversary greatest-hits medleys will find solace, enlightenment and surprise in João Moreira Salles’s In the Intense Now, a bittersweet, ruminative documentary essay composed of footage from the era accompanied by thoughtful, disarmingly personal voice-over narration.” It’s screening through tomorrow at Film Forum in New York, and then arrives at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center on Friday for a week-long run.

London.Experimental Cinema notes that on Saturday, Birkbeck Cinema will present its first prelude to this year’s Essay Film Festival, a screening and discussion the provides “an introduction to the work of Stephen Dwoskin through his autobiographical montage-film Trying to Kiss the Moon (1994) and Anna Ambrose’s portrait The Cinema of Stephen Dwoskin (1984).

Ghent.Artist’s Books and Cinema. A Symposium happens on Friday, and Sabzian notes that this is a “timely topic, since Jean-Luc Godard’s new film, Le livre d’image (The Image Book), will probably premiere in Cannes this year.”

Berlin. A retrospective of work by Ula Stöckl opens on Friday and runs through February 14 at the Arsenal.

Vienna. The Austrian Film Museum’s retrospective Mario Monicelli: The Human Comedy opens Friday and runs through March 1. “Monicelli was an exceptional figure of Italian cinema: a progressive thinker and contemporary whose work provided a critical commentary on Italian politics and history for more than half a century.”

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