New York. Tonight at Light Industry, Tobi Haslett will introduce a screening in memory of the late Mark E. Smith. “Charles Atlas’s Hail the New Puritan [1986; image above] now looks like a glinting frieze from a vanished London, a film that hymns the beau monde of the demimonde while tracking a day in the life of the choreographer Michael Clark.”
“Pulled from an estimated 110 archived sources of home movies, background process plates, and ephemeral novelty films, Lost Landscapes of New York is the latest in film historian and archivist Rick Prelinger’s ongoing series of city symphonies of urban life during the twentieth century,” writes Shelby Shaw in the new issue of the Brooklyn Rail. “In editing each Lost Landscapes film, Prelinger’s focus is not to tell a story about the city so much as to disclose a unique set of facts, unbridling each scene from needing to follow any narrative arcs or develop characters. Rather, the audience is the focus, tasked with providing a soundtrack akin to a history lesson’s syllabus by calling out the names to buildings, locations, and events, asking questions of each other when something is unknown.” Screens tomorrow afternoon at the Museum of the Moving Image.
“This year’s Valentine’s Day options include something for everyone,” writes Ben Kenigsberg in the New York Times. “The Metrograph places the kinky eroticism of Nagisa Oshima’s 1965 Pleasures of the Flesh (Monday and Wednesday) alongside Howard Hawks’s 1941 screwball comedy Ball of Fire (Tuesday and Wednesday) and Rouben Mamoulian’s 1932 musical Love Me Tonight (Wednesday). Elsewhere, the annual program at Anthology Film Archives takes a more cynical view of love, with Albert Brooks’s on-again, off-again courtship story Modern Romance (Wednesday and Feb. 16 and 18) and two magnificent comedies directed by Elaine May, A New Leaf (Thursday and Feb. 17-18) and The Heartbreak Kid (Thursday and Feb. 17). By coincidence, The Heartbreak Kid will also screen at the Metrograph on Thursday.”
The Film Society of Lincoln Center and UniFrance have announced the full lineup of twenty-four films for the twenty-third Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, running from March 8 through 18.
Ongoing (see the entries for updates): Life Is a Dream: The Films of Raúl Ruiz at the Film Society, Martin Scorsese Presents Republic Rediscovered: New Restorations from Paramount Pictures at the Museum of Modern Art, and Tell Me: Women Filmmakers, Women’s Stories at the Metrograph.
Los Angeles. Locarno in Los Angeles has announced the lineup for its second edition, running from April 5 through 8. Click the titles for full descriptions at the site:
- Ilian Metev’s 3/4, Opening Night, reviews at Critics Round Up
- Ben Russell’s Good Luck, Centerpiece Film, reviews
- Raúl Ruiz’s La telenovela errante, Spotlight Selection, reviews; The Wandering Soap Opera is currently screening as part of the Film Society Lincoln Center’s Ruiz series
- Pedro Cabeleira’s Damned Summer, Closing Night
- Nelson Carlo De Los Santos Arias’s Cocote, CRU
- Xu Bing’s Dragonfly Eyes, CRU
- Kim Dae-hwan’s The First Lap, CRU
- Narimane Mari’s Le fort des fous, CRU
- Wang Bing’s Mrs. Fang, reviews
- Adirley Queirós’s Once There Was Brasilia, CRU
- Basma Alsharif’s Ouroboros
- Blake Williams’s PROTOTYPE, CRU
- Ninomiya Ryutaro’s Sweating the Small Stuff
And there’ll be a shorts program featuring work by Luis López Carrasco, Dane Komljen, Helena Girón and Samuel M. Delgado, Kazik Radwanski, and Jodie Mack.
For more local goings on, see Nathaniel Bell’s roundup in the LA Weekly.
Chicago. “You can appreciate 24 Frames as a metacinematic puzzle, as a celebration of nature, and as a trance-inducing meditation,” writes Ben Sachs in the Reader. “Comparable to Brian Eno's ambient records, 24 Frames invites both cursory and deep readings; regardless of how you interact with it, the film provides immense aesthetic pleasure.” Abbas Kiarostami’s final film is screening through Thursday at the Gene Siskel Film Center.
Also in the Reader, Patrick Friel: “The University of Chicago is the place to be for long films over the next two weeks, with Lav Diaz's three-hour forty—sixminute (short for him) Filipino film The Woman Who Left (2016) showing today (February 9) at Logan Center for the Arts and Wang Bing's fourteen-hour Chinese documentary Crude Oil (2008) showing over two days (February 16-17) at Gray Center for the Arts and Inquiry.”
Columbia, Missouri. “For its fifteenth edition, the doc-centric, hybrid-friendly annual True/False Film Fest has unveiled a lineup of forty features, with no less than six world premieres,” announces Filmmaker. “Black Mother, Khalik Allah’s keenly-awaited follow-up to Field Niggas, is one, as is América, the feature debut from Chase Whiteside and Erick Stoll (profiled in last year’s 25 New Faces of Film).” Filmmaker lists the forty with brief descriptions for each. The 2018 edition runs from March 1 through 4.
Austin. “Bomb City, a potently riveting drama by first-time feature filmmaker Jameson Brooks, spins the tragic tale of a punks-versus-jocks cultural clash that steadily builds to a furious altercation, with mortal consequences,” writes Joe Leydon for Variety. “In synopsis, it might sound like an updated version of The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton’s enduringly popular 1967 novel, which Francis Coppola memorably adapted in 1983 with a dream cast of young up-and-comers. But Brooks’s film, which the director co-wrote with Sheldon R. Chick, actually has its roots in real-life events of nearly two decades ago, and arguably cuts deeper as it methodically and relentlessly fashions a chain of actions and repercussions.”
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