Thursday, January 5, 2012
Best REP of twenty eleven
best repertory filmgoing experiences of 2011
more comments and additions to come
1 L'AMOUR FOU (NYFF 50 yrs series at Film Society of Lincoln Center)
There is not much to say except WOW. Rivette's massive and bifurcated exploration (it is a real examination but in such an ACTIVE, PHYSICAL and adventurous sense) of possession , play, performance and intimate implosion is as life changing and new to me today as it was a few months ago on a sketchy avi copy and as earth shattering as when i first saw it projected in astoria five years earlier.
2 TESS (Polanski series @ MoMA) + BODY DOUBLE (DePalma Erotic Thriller series @ BAMCinematek)
seen both of these at least a few times before (seen the DePalma a ton), but never seen either projected. So the fact that these two filmgoing experiences were so transporting and transformative really speaks to the uniqueness of seeing celluloid projected in a theater, seated among one's peers.
TESS. A painstakingly stunning painting of mistreatment, toleration of misery , yearning and the epic scope of one person fleeing the one thing that would never escape her.
A total revelation and other world experience for 190 minutes.
BODY DOUBLE . Always evoked fun and new wave and sleaze executed with A+ finesse when i first became a fan, watching it on my ex boyfriend's VHS. But seeing this stellar, underrated DePalma onscreen was illuminating.
What a smart film to be able to pass itself off as the campy film showcased inside of itself. Shot with a different tone, it could have played as a real cautionary tale about male anxieties. Revisiting L'AMOUR FOU, i shiver at the connections between the dePalma and the Rivette. Both films smartly link the acting profession to aspects of romance and intimacy. Both use the more intense aspects of artistic performance to problematize romantic issues : such as personal identity, fear of possession, and fear of the loss of individual will.
2 HOMEBODIES (2nd half of Larry Yust double feature - programmed by Nick Pinkerton and Nich Rapold @ 92Y)
3 BELLY and THE CURE IN ORANGE (doub feat -- programmed by Nick Pinkerton and Nich Rapold @92Y) While BELLY ( a film i've seen once before--also projected) was the real star and shock of the night, I found the concert film (which i'd never seen before) full of it's own smart and unexpected pleasures.
Nothing hurt me more (in a movie theater) this year then when audience members laughed aloud at the first film. Hype was not making a comedy, and people who laugh at strippers or drug dealers are usually pathetic sheltered surburban losers who have never been taught to sit down, shut the fuck up, and give a film a chance to open your mind regarding the worldview and emotion of it's universe.
Hype's protagonists live in a real world, though it's one viewed from and obscured by a prism of exaggerated style and affect. The characters in the film are as implicated as their director in the operatically privileged yet oppressed worldview. I think this experience is somewhat incoherent in nature, and not ultimately successful, but the film totally goes for this unique affect and partially succeeds. A ballsy depiction of fantasy not so unlike what was achieved by Minnelli, this film was criminally misunderstood and ironically ridiculed (even by the programmers, based on their distanced and ironic comments) by its audience, even the second time around.
4 MATTER OF TIME and
KISMET (Minnelli series @BAMCinematek)
I'd seen both films before but neither projected. These were by far my faves of the series though i wish i'd seen them ALL! I've never seen so many wrongly marginilized films : (women's films, melodrama, musicals) that are all such sophisticated and mesmerizing renderings of fantasies and societal criticisms.
5 JE'TAIME JE T'AIME and PROVIDENCE (Resnais series @ Museum of the Moving Image tied with VAMPIR CUADECUC (Spanish Cinema series at Anthology Film Archives)
three of my favorite films of all time that i got to see projected this year = bliss
6 Dick Fontaine hip hop films : BEAT THIS! and BOMBIN' (Dick Fontaine series curated by Michael Chaiken at Anthology Film Archive)
7 THE LAST RUN and COPS AND ROBBERS (William Lustig curated series at Anthology Film Archives)
8 the Jean Rouch architecture anthropology films from the 1970s + especially ISPAHAN: LETTER PERSANE (@ MoMA: To Save and Project)
9 THE TENANT (Polanski at BAMCinematek)
10 UNE CHAMADE and LIZA (catherine deneuve series at BAMCinematek)
11 THREE SAD TIGERS (To Save and Project series @ MoMA)
bonus, out of competition winner:
The almost hour long post film (if you can call it film because Walter Reade DIGITALLY PROJECTED this MASTERPIECE!!!) conversation with James Toback after THE GAMBLER
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