Straight from Film Comment’s pages to the Walter Reade Theater’s screen, we’ve got two weeks of previews, films without distribution and under-recognized revivals for you to discover.
As a Valentine special, the series kicks-off with a late-night preview on February 14 of George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead. Actress Jeanne Balibar will appear at the opening night screening on February 15 of Jacques Rivette’s newest film, The Duchess of Langeais, adapted from Honoré de Balzac’s novel "Don’t Touch the Axe" about the turbulent relationship between a French army officer (Guillaume Depardieu) and the eponymous aristocrat (Balibar) in 19th-century Paris. Crispin Glover will attend the series’ screening on February 23 of the outrageous 1992 cult comedy Rubin and Ed, about two freeloaders lost in the Utah desert while searching for a burial spot for a recently deceased cat. On closing night, February 28, Film Comment columnist Alex Cox (director of Repo Man and Sid and Nancy) will join us for a screening of his golden oldie Walker and his brand new road movie Searchers 2.0 ~ for more info head to alexcox.com.
A new print of one of the key French films of the ‘90s, Philippe Garrel’s J’entends plus la guitare, breathes new life into this cinematic meditation on love and loss, the inaugural theatrical release from the new distribution venture, The Film Desk. Other French films in the series include: Jacques Nolot’s fearless examination of age and sexuality, Before I Forget; Olivier Assayas’ woman-on-the-run thriller Boarding Gate; as well as two entries in the recent wave of exemplary French horror films, Xavier Gen’s Frontiére(s) and Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo’s Inside.
Controversial Austrian art-film director Ulrich Seidl (Import Export), cutting-edge Hong Kong martial-arts action filmmaker Wilson Yip (Flash Point), and Germany’s Heinz Emigholz, with the latest installment in his “Architecture as Autobiography” series, Schindler’s Houses round out the slate of films by well-established filmmakers. And there are a fistful of tributes to the eclectic visions of directors Richard Fleischer, Damon Packard and Alex Cox.
Film Comment Selects also champions the works of young and rising film artists. Director Fatih Akin presents a compelling examination of German-Turkish relations in The Edge of Heaven, winner of the Best Screenplay award at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. Cannes’ Best Actor prizewinner Konstantin Lavronenko also appears in Andrei Zvyagintsev’s dark family drama The Banishment. Filmmaker Koen Mortier creates what Film Comment editor Gavin Smith labels “A Belgian Spinal Tap” in Ex Drummer, his visually inventive, misanthropic comedy about misfit rockers, while Dutch filmmaker Nanouk Leopold may be the series’ biggest discovery with her compelling third film, the multi-generational family drama Wolfsbergen.
As always, Film Comment’s editors and writers, fresh from their travels on the international film circuit, have handpicked an adventurous showcase of challenging and complex art cinema. Now’s your chance to see movies that may never get released in the U.S., to get the jump on some of the most exciting films of the coming year ~~ as well as to discover some underrated classics.
Calendar to view the schedule, film descriptions and to purchase tickets online.
Film Comment Selects is sponsored by Stella Artois®. With major support from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.
Congratulations to the editors and writers of Film Comment magazine, winners of a 2007 Utne Independent Press Award for Arts Coverage. “Film Comment is for people who love movies and crave intelligent writing about them, without footnotes,” says Utne.