Of the movies in theaters and newly available on DVD this weekend, here's what I like, with links to my reviews, if any. I felt compelled to see only one of the new films opening nationwide this weekend, for a personal project; I've filed Stop-Loss below.
I'm adding this category to highlight a few extremely small runs of new and revival releases worthy of mention. These are films that make their way from city to city, usually one or two stops at a time.
In very limited release, Alexandra, the latest film from Alexander Sokurov, is traveling slowly around the country. I enjoyed the film but found it less captivating than his previous film, The Sun, which was one of my favorites of 2005. The two revival prints of Last Year at Marienbad that are in circulation will be leaving New York and San Francisco this weekend for other towns. Check your local listings. Godard's colorful Contempt will be chasing Marienbad, and I'm eager to revisit it when it stops here.
The new film I probably most want to see at the moment is Chop Shop which has not opened in San Francisco; I've heard good reports from numerous sources.
This week provides an interesting mish-mash for cinephiles in San Francisco. I'm probably most looking forward to the two classic documents of 70s counterculture by Chris Marker and Alain Tanner. I'll also be at the opening press conference for the San Francisco International Film Festival and will report back on what already sounds like a strong lineup.
I'll be at some combination of the following:
Update: Sholay will probably be projected from a little DVD player at the back of the theater. San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art doesn't feel the need to point this out and proudly calls this a "film series". Also note: I heard the Lee Friedlander photography exhibit is just a bunch of copies of photos that the curator scanned from a really super book on Friedlander's work and printed on an OfficeJet all-on-one scanner, printer, fax machine. Steer clear.
Come to think of it now, Demme's Something Wild *does* share a common bond with Lynch, esp. the Lynch of Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive: it suffers a certain rupture in the middle...you'll see what I mean. It's a fun, crazy little road movie. I've only seen the Marker on the small screen but I agree, it's a knockout.
D'oh. Thanks for the correction. How strange that I had Wild at Heart in my head even as I saw Something Wild in the schedule. Maybe I'll watch it anyway. :-)
I've never had the energy to seek out Wild at Heart for some reason, and I thought this was my opportunity to see it lazy-like. Oh well.
Yeah, looking forward to the Marker on a big screen. In fact I believe I saw it on the small screen with your assistance, Mr. Shambu. Merci beaucoup.
You know...even before I clicked on the link, I thought you might've had Wild at Heart in mind. I haven't seen either film in over 15 years and could go for them myself.
Thanks for the Benny's Videoheads-up. I had not noticed that myself yet.
I'm told Sholay was projected on a DVD when it played SFMoMA the other day. Perhaps they'll have a 35mm print in place for this repeat screening, but I'd be cautious.
You know, that MOMA thing really burns me. I like DVDs as much as the next guy, and I can understand falling back to DVD in an emergency situation where a 16mm print arrives and looks like shit and they have to do something at the last minute -- including making an apology before the screening.
But they really need to mention it in the program if they know in advance. I mean if I showed up to their Picasso exhibit and they just had some calendars and a couple of fucking posters stuck on the wall, I think they'd be ridiculed far and wide. But show a bunch of patrons a DVD, eh, what the hell.
And they've done this several times.
I've heard of this kind of thing happening more and more frequently in New York too. (e.g. this post by Dan.)
Speaking of DVD projections and Marker, wasn't the screening at Artists's Television Access one of those? If that's the case, you shouldn't feel too guilty about doing a DIY screening yourself with the Wexner Center DVD of First Run's The Embassy and Sixth Side of the Pentagon (they have an exclusive window to sell it ahead of FRIF's DVD official release).
Yes, it was. And they very clearly said "21 min. super 8mm (shown on DVD), 1971" in their program. So, yeah, I didn't feel like it was super rare, which is why I opted for something else.
But, hey, I didn't know about that Wexner Center deal. Nice. I see that in addition to the Marker discs they have some MacBooks for sale, too. Odd.
And just to offer a little more context... both venues do show film. Luc Moullet's A Girl is a Gun at the SFMOMA last week was on film, as were the Jennifer Reeves shorts at the ATA that I mentioned before.
The ATA screenings are staffed by volunteers and take place in a little room with folding chairs. The SFMOMA's are in a 278-seat auditorium in the largest, most expensively constructed museum in the city. I see no reason for the SFMOMA to fall back so often to DVD, first of all, but more to the point I don't appreciate their never mentioning this on their web site.
Heheh, yeah, that's my kind of upselling. Where's the "Add fries" pop-up?
That kind of switcheroo happens at Walter Reade too every now and then, where the film is listed as a print, then they show a DVD projection instead. Sometimes, they announce it just before starting, sometimes, they don't. They do offer refunds for purists who walk out (like the cinemania folks), but they're also banking on the vast majority of ticket holders to just suck it up.