Goings On: Malle, Klein, and More

As part of The Eyes of William Klein, the series running through tomorrow, the Quad presents Louis Malle’s Zazie dans le Métro (1960) tonight, the reason being, as Jon Dieringer points out at Screen Slate, Klein was “given the title of ‘Artistic Consultant.’ Despite the nebulous credit, Klein’s mandate seems to have been broad: his creative fingerprints can be identified in every facet of its production, from the outsized wide-angle photography, to the stripes and checkers of the wardrobe, to the carnivalesque gaggles of sartorially conformed extras, to the discriminatingly crafted entropy of the set design. Beyond reflecting Klein’s aesthetic sensibility, the movie’s flippant disregard for conventional respect paid toward French history, culture, and—above all—language is kin to the radical contrarianism embodied in much of Klein’s own later work as a director.”

As it happens, the Cinémathèque française is presenting a retrospective of Louis Malle’s work from Wednesday through April 1. Zazie screens on March 28.

New York. The Eyes of William Klein wraps tomorrow with Muhammad Ali, The Greatest (1974). “Like all Klein’s work, Muhammad Ali is a political film,” writes Amy Taubin for Artforum, “but its politics are caught on the fly, just as in street photography, and enhanced here by movement and sound. Without any need for authoritative narration, it is cinema verité par excellence.” Craig Hubert for Artinfo: “Klein’s film is less interested in Ali’s fights than in what surrounds them. . . . Ali is fresh-faced and vibrant but is always shot from a slight distance—Klein adopts the viewpoint of the excited observer. At the same time, the camerawork is always sprightly and chaotic, grabbing images of the rising star as if in a blur of movement. It’s a style Klein perfected in his best photographs, capturing action at crucial moments.” Adds Rebecca Cleman at Screen Slate: “Ali is a great match for Klein, the two pairing idiosyncratic approaches to form.”

An exhibition of work by Bruce Connor is on view at Paula Cooper Gallery through Saturday, and as Jon Auman writes at Screen Slate, it “offers the rare opportunity to see Conner’s work in a context where the questions ‘Who is Bruce Conner?’ and ‘Is this art?’ are not already answered for us.”

Also at Screen Slate:

  • Caroline Golum on Leslie Harris’s Just Another Girl on the IRT (1992), “at once a time capsule of pre-gentrification Brooklyn and a firmly flipped middle finger in the face of noxious stereotypes that continue to bedevil marginalized women everywhere.” Wednesday at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown Brooklyn.
  • Cosmo Bjorkenheim on George P. Cosmatos’s “understated 1983 Quebecois ick-fest,” Of Unknown Origin, screening tomorrow at the Drafthouse.
  • Madelyn Sutton on Jeannot Szwarc’s Bug (1975), “the last film William Castle was involved in making, as producer and co-writer, and it's a fitting final work for the man who created the infamous, John Waters-beloved Tingler.” Thursday at the Nitehawk.

Tomorrow, Light Industry presents Dyke TV, which “first aired in 1993 and became a weekly staple on dozens of public TV stations across the country. Its topics ranged from the killing of Brandon Teena and the conviction of Aileen Wuornos, to the latest Madonna sex-gossip and the daily joys and grievances of gay cowgirls, immigrants, athletes, cops, artists, you name it.”

Tomorrow is also the first Tuesday in a series of six in which the French Institute Alliance Français presents Louis Garrel: Love Songs & Heartbreak, featuring films by “Philippe Garrel, Christophe Honoré, and ex-partner Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi—as well as his own directorial work.”

On Saturday, Kinoscope brings Brigitta Wagner’s Rosehill, featuring Josephine Decker and Kate Chamuris, to Anthology Film Archives.

Los Angeles. On Friday, Kino Slang will present Charlie Chaplin’s The Bond (1918), an excerpt from Jean-Luc Godard’s Histoire(s) du Cinéma (1988–98), and Jerry Lewis’s Which Way to the Front? (1970) at the Bijou Theater at the California Institute of the Arts.

Behind the Scenes, “a series of documentaries that provide a behind-the-scenes look at the world of performance, from the creative process of choreographers to the rigorous preparation of dancers,” runs on three consecutive Fridays, starting March 16, at the Norton Simon Museum.

Chicago. The European Union Film Festival is on at the Gene Siskel Film Center through April 5. “I wouldn't be exaggerating much to say that the year in cinema here in Chicago kicks off with the EU festival in March,” writes J. R. Jones, introducing the Reader’s coverage.

For more of the week’s highlights, see the Cine-List.

Portland. The Northwest Film Center presents Harun Farocki’s Images of the World and the Inscription of War (1989) tonight.

Toronto. On Saturday, Guy Maddin will be at the TIFF Cinematheque, offering live narration of a screening of My Winnipeg (2007).

Paris. From Thursday through April 15, the Cinémathèque française will present a retrospective of work by Kenji Mizoguchi.

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