Goings On

News from Cannes Sparks Spring Fever

The Daily — Feb 27, 2019
Alejandro González Iñárritu

Today’s announcement that Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, The Revenant) will preside over the jury in Cannes, whose seventy-second edition will run from May 14 through 25, puts a hint of spring in the air. Iñárritu, who takes turns winning Oscars for direction with his friends and compatriots Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro (they’ve won five of the past six), has told Steve Chagollan in the current issue of DGA Quarterly that he’s currently working on a project “about the stupidity of men. Which is a huge source as inspiration.”

The news from Cannes follows a series of announcements that are beginning to give shape to the next few weeks and months of the calendar. Perhaps the most exciting of these comes from Bologna, where the thirty-third edition of Il Cinema Ritrovato will take place from June 22 through 30. The reputation of this festival of new restorations and discoveries as a sort of cinephilic heaven grows with each passing year. The first wave of programming features strands devoted to Hollywood director Henry King, Jean Gabin, silent film star Musidora, Egyptian director Youssef Chahine, Felix E. Feist (a strand curated by “Czar of Noir” Eddie Muller), “uncategorizable artist” Eduardo De Filippo, post-WWII West German cinema (curated by Olaf Möller), and the golden age of South Korean cinema.

Il Cinema Ritrovato 2019 will also celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso (FESPACO), currently running through Saturday, with seven programs of restorations and rare footage. Another highlight will be the second part of a program of rescued and newly restored rarities from the Fox Film Corporation, most of them made in the late 1920s and early ’30s. Curator Dave Kehr will be bringing a selection from the series that opens at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on Friday and runs through March 26. The New Yorker’s Richard Brody has previewed John Ford’s Just Pals (1920), “an exuberant paean to the spirit of youth but also a passionately political drama,” and R. Emmet Sweeney recommends Me and My Gal (1932), directed by Raoul Walsh, who was “nothing less than a poet of the American immigrant.”

New Yorkers can also look forward to the forty-eighth edition of New Directors/New Films, to be presented by MoMA and the Film Society of Lincoln Center from March 27 through April 7. The program features several winners of major awards at this year’s Sundance—Chinonye Chukwu’s Clemency, Alejandro Landes’s Monos, Pippa Bianco’s Share, Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov’s Honeyland, and Luke Lorentzen’s Midnight Family—as well as Yeo Siew Hua’s Golden Leopard winner in Locarno, A Land Imagined, and Shengze Zhu’s Tiger Award winner in Rotterdam, Present.Perfect.

Before ND/NF, the FSLC will offer its Rendez-Vous with French Cinema from tomorrow through March 10. On Saturday, novelist Russell Banks and French critic Serge Toubiana will introduce a screening of François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows (1959). At the Talkhouse, Banks recalls his first viewing as a “nineteen-year-old beatnik poet, con-man, and petty criminal living in Boston.” Truffaut’s debut feature “confirmed and validated my felt social, emotional, and moral reality.” New York’s calendar also features a tribute to the late composer Michel Legrand at the Metrograph on Saturday, a giddy salute to the golden age of exploitation at Film Forum starting on Friday, a series of films by Bertrand Blier running at the Quad from March 6 through 23, and BAM’s Claire Denis retrospective, opening on March 29 and running through April 9.

Anthology Film Archives’ series of films by Argentine filmmaker Raymundo Gleyzer, who “disappeared” in 1976, wraps tomorrow before heading to the Lightbox in Philadelphia on Friday. “Through Gleyzer's films, one witnesses his native Argentina’s descent into fascism and political repression,” writes Anthony Chassi, introducing his interview with Gleyzer's wife and collaborator, Juana Sapire for Screen Slate. Meantime, as the Museum of the Moving Image’s tribute to the late Jonas Mekas runs throughout next month, the Close-Up Film Centre in London will present another on Sunday.

Also in London, the Institute of Contemporary Arts will present a series of films by Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub. The program opens on Friday as part of a three-month celebration of the work Straub-Huillet happening around the city. In the run-up to the series, New Wave Films has made available a scan of the first issue of the film journal Enthusiasm. Appearing in 1975, the issue is devoted entirely to interviews with and essays about Straub-Huillet.

Back in the States, Knoxville’s Big Ears Festival and Public Cinema have announced that the core of this year’s cinema programming will focus on “four filmmakers with very different but equally compelling approaches to the screen,” Jodie Mack, Johann Lurf, Beatrice Gibson, and Wang Bing. Their work will be on view at the University of Tennessee’s UT Downtown Gallery throughout March. The forty-second edition of the Portland International Film Festival is slated for March 7 through 21, and in April, two festivals will open with premieres that celebrate their respective cities. Tribeca will present Roger Ross Williams’s The Apollo, a documentary on New York’s historic Apollo Theater, and the SFFILM Festival in San Francisco will launch a new Netflix series, Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City, starring Laura Linney, Ellen Page, and Olympia Dukakis. Winter is leaving.

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