Monday, May 7, 2012

2011 Manhattan One-Week Premieres

I got a little busy in the first quarter of 2012, and am finally getting around to making a list of my favorite films that played at least one week in Manhattan for the first time in 2011. I exclude films that were made too long ago to feel contemporary.

In order of preference:

1. The Sleeping Beauty (Catherine Breillat)
2. Sleeping Beauty (Julia Leigh)
3. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)
4. Silver Bullets (Joe Swanberg)
5. To Die Like a Man (Joao Pedro Rodrigues)
6. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi)
7. Caitlin Plays Herself (Joe Swanberg)
8. The Descendants (Alexander Payne)
9. We Bought a Zoo (Cameron Crowe)

Runners-up, in alphabetical order: Art History (Joe Swanberg), Aurora (Cristi Puiu), Autoerotic (Joe Swanberg and Adam Wingard), Impolex (Alex Ross Perry), La pivellina (Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel), London River (Rachid Bouchareb), Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan).

Friday, January 27, 2012

Unfinished Business: Anthology Film Archives, Saturday and Sunday, January 28-29, 2012

Anthology Film Archives seemingly just decided they wanted to show some Gregory La Cava films this weekend, and I applaud the impulse, especially as one of the movies is the 1941 Unfinished Business, one of Old Hollywood's most mature and nuanced achievements. (The other La Cava on display, She Married Her Boss, is also well worth seeing, with an extremely nice last half-hour.) You've missed the first screening, but the film turns up again tomorrow, January 28, at 8:30 pm, and on Sunday, January 29, at 6:30 pm. To get you in the mood, here's David Cairns' very nice piece at the MUBI Notebook; and here's a link to a little research I did some years back on the film's unknown but clearly exceptional screenwriter, Eugene Thackrey.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

First experiences with old films in 2011

The MUBI Notebook just published a short piece I wrote for their "Out of the Past" series, in which I describe a few very good older films that I crossed paths with in 2011 for the first time.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Julia Leigh's Sleeping Beauty

It's left NYC theaters, but Julia Leigh's Sleeping Beauty was one of my favorite films of 2011. Few seemed to agree; my heartfelt defense is published at the MUBI Notebook.