Goings On: Kurosawa, Varda, and More

On Film / The Daily — Mar 22, 2018

New York. There’s a series currently running at the Metrograph through Monday with a very long title. Ready? Something About Stray Dogs: Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs and a Kurosawa Retrospective. The films have been hand-picked by Anderson, who says, “If Isle of Dogs permits me an opportunity to present a few of the Master’s masterpieces in 35 mm (which were on our minds and in our DVD players every day of the creating of this movie), I am grateful for it.” Writing for Vulture, Charles Bramesco pinpoints the references in Isle of Dogs to Kurosawa’s Stray Dog (1949), Seven Samurai (1954), Throne of Blood (1957), High and Low (1963; image above), and Ran (1985).

“At seventy-nine, Terence Stamp is certainly overdue for a resurgence-slash–lifetime-award dinner, after fifty-five busy and scattershot years in movies,” writes Michael Atkinson in the Village Voice. With a retrospective opening at the Metrograph tomorrow and running through March 31, Atkinson walks us briskly though the highlights before pausing at Steven Soderbergh’s The Limey (1999), a film “that fully exploited everything Stamp had evolved into. Built as a neo-noir vehicle for Stamp—to the exceptional extent even of using large swatches of Poor Cow as flashbacks—the film is shaped like John Boorman’s Point Blank, structured around an elemental case of paternal vengeance and crammed with Soderberghian texture and comedy. But it’s first and foremost a celebration of Stamp, whose incisive intelligence and no-fucks-given momentum through the plot is a welcome spectacle.”

On Saturday, Ross Lipman will be at the Metrograph to present The Exploding Digital Inevitable, a live essay that “tells the riveting story of Bruce Conner’s Crossroads’ unique production, while simultaneously deconstructing the massive cultural spectacle of the original Bikini Atoll tests themselves—the single most recorded event in human history. Along the way it chronicles Conner’s brilliant collaboration with composer Terry Riley and synthesizer pioneer Patrick Gleeson, including original interviews with both composers.” Lipman then brings to show to the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday.

“Tonight Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) presents a remarkable program of works by Ulysses Jenkins, ranging from crucial early meditations on media and identity to more recent explorations,” writes Tyler Maxin at Screen Slate. “Jenkins emerged as a critical voice in the first generation of West Coast video artists. . . . In recent years Jenkins has been increasingly included in historical surveys of radical art, such as Now Dig This! at the Hammer Museum and America is Hard to See, the inaugural show at the current Whitney space, but his work is on the whole under-screened and under-discussed.”

Lineups for the Tribeca TV and Tribeca N.O.W. (New Online Work) programs are now set; Tribeca’s seventeenth edition runs from April 18 through 29.

Ongoing: Pacino’s Way at the Quad through March 30.

Los Angeles. “A gender-obliterating funfest unleashed by the cantankerous cross-dressing Cockettes, Luminous Procuress (1971) is an elusive masterwork of early seventies mystical queer cinema.” REDCAT is presenting a newly restored print on Monday and Steve Seid and Bradford Nordeen will be there.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Acropolis Cinema will present Guy Maddin and Evan and Galen Johnson’s The Green Fog at the Downtown Independent.

The Hammer Museum will present Elle Reeve’s landmark Vice News report Charlottesville: Race and Terror and Jeremy Earp’s The Great White Hoax for free on Tuesday.

San Francisco. This weekend at the Roxie, “veteran programmer Elliot Lavine (who nearly singlehandedly invigorated interest in pre-Code, maudit and noir films) and his renegade collaborator Donald Malcolm (of Midcentury Productions) have joined forces to present a suite of films grouped under the aegis The Dark Side of the Dream,” notes Michael Guillén. The logline for the series running from tomorrow through Monday is “Subversive cinema . . . for subversive times, 1933–1964.” For the Chronicle, Pam Grady talks with Lavine, while Guillén interviews Malcolm.

Philadelphia. Broadcasting: EAI is on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) through Sunday and, as Olivia Gauthier points out at Hyperallergic, the works “included in the exhibition all come from EAI’s archive and range from broadcast television to software-based website projects, emphasizing the ways in which ‘artists exploit the act of broadcasting as a subject, as a means of intervention, and as a form of participation.’ The works on view range from 1973 to today.”

Toronto. Tonight, TIFF Cinematheque presents Věra Chytilová’s Daisies (1966), and Girish Shambu asks, “Might there be some resonance between Daisies and the fantasies and experiences of young women who embraced the Riot Grrrl movement in the early ’90s? Was it possible that Daisies anticipated Riot Grrrl?”

Radical Empathy: The Films of Agnès Varda opens tonight and runs through April 17, and the editors of cléo, who’ve programmed the series, observe in their notes that Varda’s cinema is “built on a radical, egoless curiosity.”

“In an interview with Varda in Sight & Sound, Chris Darke used the word ‘lightness’ to describe her style,” notes Azadeh Jafari, “but Varda disagreed: in her estimation, ‘lightness’ tends to mean ‘don’t make things sad.’ ‘Fluidity’ is Varda’s own preferred term, the juxtaposition of images, words, and music to produce an emotional affect that flows tenderly and effortlessly, like water, or a gentle breeze. This is one of the reasons that her films so often feel warm and comforting—but while these qualities are certainly present in her work, she has also always strived to capture and reveal the sadness and sorrows of the human condition, the inherent horror of it, through the same subtle, ineffable approach.”

London. BFI Flare, London’s LGBTQ+ film festival, is on through April 1, and Paul O’Callaghan, writing for Sight & Sound, spotlights “seven picks from beyond the mainstream,” while So Mayer, Selina Robertson, and Sarah Wood, who make up the collective Club des Femmes, recommend six “essential books on lesbian cinema.”

Colourmation, a program at Close-Up on Sunday, presents work by Deborah S. Phillips and Karel Doing.

This year’s Essay Film Festival rolls on through March 29 and on Sunday, the Otolith Group will be at the ICA to present The Third Part of the Third Measure, “an essay about the work of Julius Eastman, the queer African-American avant-garde composer, pianist, vocalist and conductor.” You can listen to David Garland’s 1984 interview with Eastman here.

Paris.The Wandering Soap Opera by the late Raúl Ruiz and Valeria Sarmiento is due to open the fortieth edition of Cinéma du Réel Festival in Paris tomorrow at the Pompidou Centre, which will run until April,” writes Fabien Lemercier in his preview for Cineuropa. “Dedicated to documentary films in all their diversity, the festival, now under the guidance of a new artistic director, Andréa Picard (from Toronto Festival), includes a retrospective with the title Qu'est-ce que le réel ? 40 ans de réflexions (What is ‘real’? 40 years of reflection) which will see numerous individuals (Patricio Guzman, William Klein, Valérie Massadian, Lech Kowalski, Nicolas Klotz and Elisabeth Perceval, John Gianvito, etc.) come to present films from the past at the festival.”

Copenhagen. This year’s CPH:DOX festival is on through Sunday and, at Little White Lies, Matt Turner recommends “three first-time features about young people,” Bing Liu’s “remarkable” Minding the Gap, Chase Whiteside and Erick Stoll’s América, and Nicolas Peduzzi’s Southern Belle. Desistfilm has been posting reviews from the festival as well.

Berlin. Albert Serra’s “new work, a play titled Liberté, poses the intriguing question of how the Serra aesthetic translates to the stage,” writes Dennis Lim for Artforum, “and what’s more, in the glaring spotlight of Berlin’s storied Volksbühne—a target for protests since the appointment of Chris Dercon as artistic director last year. The most immediately striking thing about this Serra play is the degree to which it resembles, in theme and effect, a Serra film. . . . Sex, death, money, power, exploitation: The concerns of Serra’s recent work are all present and accounted for.”

Bilbao. The exhibition Michael Snow: Closed Circuit opens today to remain on view at the Guggenheim through July 1. “Fascinated by the world’s visual representation systems, Snow understands film as a form of sculpting with light and time, while at the same time he devises objects that will monopolize, deflect, or block the observer’s view. He thus manages to reveal not only the materials of the artwork, but also its ability to create specific circuits of attention.”

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