Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Film Comment Selects: Walter Reade, February 14-28, 2008

A few of the films I most enjoyed at last year's Toronto Film Festival will screen in February at the Walter Reade's annual Film Comment Selects series, always one of the high points of the filmgoing year in NYC. I recommend:
  • Andrei Zyvagintsev's The Banishment, screening February 18 at 6 pm, February 20 at 3 pm, and February 25 at 2 pm
  • Jacques Nolot's Before I Forget (Avant que j'oublie), screening February 17 at 6:45 pm and February 21 at 3:15 pm (and picked up for theatrical distribution by Strand Releasing)
  • Nanouk Leopold's Wolfsbergen, screening February 16 at 5:30 pm, February 18 at 4 pm, and February 20 at 1 pm

If you poke around in my Senses of Cinema Toronto wrapup, you can find my comments on each of these films, as well as on Jacques Rivette's The Duchess of Langeais (Ne touchez pas la hache) and George Romero's Diary of the Dead, which are also screening.

Film Comment Selects also includes Richard Fleischer's admirable Mandingo (February 23 at 2 pm), a daring experiment in inverting audience identification; and Fleischer's rare 10 Rillington Place (February 21 at 1 pm and February 24 at 1:30 pm), which I've never seen.


Eric said...

You said you didn't care for it, but I did like Import/Export, which is also screening

Anonymous said...

I also really liked WOLFSBERGEN, and count, after a second viewing, Rivette's film as one of the best new movies I have seen in recent years, up with COLOSSAL YOUTH and STILL LIFE.

Dan Sallitt said...

I'm thinking about revisiting Import/Export. Normally I'm a big Seidl fan - this is the first time that I wondered whether he wasn't keeping his cruelty under control.

I also saw Akin's The Edge of Heaven, which I liked, but which didn't quite pull together for me.

When I wrote about Ne touchez pas la hache for my Senses of Cinema piece, I mentioned that the Rivette film it most reminded me of was La Belle noiseuse. I had completely forgotten that these are both Balzac adaptations! And I confess that I'm not quite sure how Balzac's tendentious, hero-worshipping qualities are intended to play in a Rivette context.

I have a feeling I'm going to like Wolfsbergen even more on second viewing. It's a really laid-back film, but it knows exactly what it wants to do.

Anonymous said...

I know you've been disappointed in Romero as of recently (recent in terms of geology), but DIARY has to be one of the few new movies I'm looking forward to in '08.

The Damon Packard material looks intriguing to me; as do the Fleischers (10 RILLINGTON is the only one I can fit in my schedule).

I'll try to see WOLFSBERGEN.

Dan Sallitt said...

Jaime - do you know anything about Damon Packard? He's not on my radar.

I definitely have been having problems with Romero in recent decades. Still, there are a few scenes in Diary that I thought were really good.

Anonymous said...

Packard simply sounds interesting. My time to explore is so limited (actually there's a bank somewhere to whom I owe time, I have so little) that I'll just check him out on a whim. Will let you know.