Starting August 31, Anthology Film Archives will be taking on an uniquely specific slant on the recent push by many of New York’s repertory theaters to showcase more films by and about women.
If the beginning of Caroline Golum’s debut feature recalls one of cinema’s great late films, Alain Resnais’s You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, the rest of the movie eschews Resnais’s more contemplative nature for antics and affect, a mood that more closely resembles a kind of PG Russ Meyer or even David Cronenberg. Appropriately entitled A Feast of Man, her movie revolves around a group of WASP-y folks that have gathered together following the death of their mutual and wealthy friend. The catch being that said friend has left each of them a rather large amount of money, if, and only if, they agree to consume his corpse.
Alice Rohrwacher's third feature film opens at night, in a mess of muddy, 16mm darkness.
Underneath the utopic sheen of the Columbia, Missouri-set festival I was able to witness some of the most exciting programming Ive seen of late, with many of the films digging deep in their quest to illustrate the world on anything but the simplest or cleanest terms.
Ive known Graham Swon (né Swindoll) for coming on 10 years now. We met slowly over the years, going in and out of repertory screenings in New York City35mm flickering in between the entrances and exits.
Claire Denis's Keep It for Yourself (1991) doesnt immediately resemble a Claire Denis film. This isnt surprising, considering that her films tend to be wonderfully unclassifiable, but her ode to New York City goes a step further and seems to actively present itself as a film by a different filmmaker: a lost artifact of the scrappy DIY filmmaking of 1990s NYC.
This past July a friend invited me to Spectacle Theater to see a screening of work entitled Sequence 01 by a traveling micro-cinema called NO EVIL EYE, which originated in Columbus, Ohio. According to the Spectacle description of the screening, they are a radical micro-cinema that aims to redefine the creative and social parameters of non-metropolitan film scenes.
While so many modern horror films rely on scares in the form of grotesque violencethe fear residing less in the audiovisual construction of the scene and more in the idea of torture, dismemberment, impending deathJames puts her faith in the unexplained crinkle of a plastic dry-cleaning bag hanging in a closet.
The movies of Michael M. Bilandic miraculously manage to showcase the joy of being alive and in New York City, of unexpected interactions with random weirdos and haphazard nocturnal journeys to nowhere, alongside the utter despair of being human.
Im not sure when precisely it hit memaybe it was as I examined, by hand, the intricacies of the 20th Century Fox logo (from the opening of Otto Premingers 1947 film Forever Amber) on a strip of nitrate film stockbut hit me it did, like a ton of bricks, that the first 50 or so years of cinema, save the occasional special screening and site specific film festival, are actually lost forever.