Thursday, April 9, 2009
Anthology Film Archives is drawing welcome attention to the admirable American director Jim McBride with a retrospective of his early work. Best known for the delightful, lucid 1967 David Holzman's Diary, McBride soldiered on with the occasional independent project through the early 70s, then found his way to a marginal place in the commercial film industry, where he acquitted himself valiantly, finding worthwhile angles on unpromising material even as he drifted into made-for-TV work in the 90s. Other than David (screening Friday, April 10 at 7:15 pm and Saturday, April 11 at 9:15 pm), all the films in the series screen rarely: my picks from among the harder-to-see titles would be the eccentric 1971 sci-fi/hippie drama Glen and Randa, co-written by Rudy Wurlitzer (screening Friday, April 10 at 9:30 pm; Saturday, April 11 at 7 pm; and Monday, April 13 at 7 pm) and McBride's then-maligned, exuberant 1983 remake of Breathless (screening Thursday, April 9 at 7 pm; Sunday, April 12 at 9:15 pm; and Monday, April 13 at 9 pm). Here are scans of parts one and two of a review of Breathless that I wrote for the L.A. Reader on 20 May 1983.