Film Springs Eternal – NYC’s The Place To Be

Ahhh! Spring in New York….sort of. The weather in March is just as likely to be gale force winds and snow as it is to be sunshine and daffodils but no matter, as there’s any number of fantastic filmic endeavors for you to experience. French films? Check. New films by new directors? (har!) Check. A new 35mm print of Dirty Harry? You’d better believe it, punk! Not only that, but there’s the third annual exhibition of recent Canadian films, Canadian Front 2006, which opened on Wednesday with a screening of the fantastic C.R.A.Z.Y. by Jean-Marc Vallée and a screenplay by Vallée and François Boulay.

See this film if you can (there’s a repeat screening at 3:30pm on Saturday, March 18th). It’s a magnificent and award-winning coming-of-age story that stretches from 1960 through to the 80’s, with healthy stops in the early 70’s for some glam rock and a magnificent scene at mass (very Catholic family, this), set to the Rolling Stones‘ “Sympathy for the Devil,” showcasing the lead’s ascent (pun intended…see it, you’ll get it) into adulthood.
This is a wonderful film and you may not get the chance to see it theatrically in the US, as the music rights (Patsy Cline, Charles Aznavour, Pérez Prado, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane and Elvis Presley) are said to be exorbitant. So if you can, see it this weekend!
March 22nd through April 2nd brings the 35th edition of New Directors/New Films to Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art, and is presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Department of Film and Media at The Museum of Modern Art. Consistently a top-notch showcase for new films from all over the world, this year’s edition is no exception. It includes films that have won awards at the2006 Sundance Film Festival (Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland’s Quinceañera, Gela Babluani’s 13 Tzameti, Stephanie Black’s H-2 Worker), the Independent Spirit Awards (Ian Gamazon and Neill dela Llana‘s Cavite), Berlin (Pernille Fischer Christensen, A Soap) and Rotterdam (Kelly Reichardt‘s Old Joy) as well as the winner of indieWIRE’s 2006 survey of Sundance critics and journalists, Ryan Fleck’s Half Nelson.
That not enough for you? Ok, then. This weekend marks the closing of the 11th annual Rendez-Vous With French Cinema, screening at the Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center and the IFC Center in the West Village. Each year Rendez-Vous showcases some of the newest and best Gallic imports and offers New York audiences not only the chance to see the films, but also to interact with some of the filmmakers and stars of the films. This years guests included Laurent Cantet, who is here with his latest film Vers le sud (Heading South) which stars Charlotte Rampling. Cantet’s last film, 2001’s Time Out was, for my money, the best foreign film of the year and I am looking forward to seeing his latest.
Films in the series that are screening this weekend include: Zim and Company / Zim & Co. by Pierre Jolivet, Grey Souls / Les Âmes grises by Yves Angelo, Serge Le Péron‘s I Saw Ben Barka Get Killed / J’ai vu tuer Ben Barka, Housewarming / Travaux, on sait quand ça commence from Brigitte Roüan, Xavier Beauvois’ Le Petit Lieutenant and Danis Tanovic‘s feature length folow-up to 2001’s Oscar-winning No Man’s Land, Hell / L’Enfer.
Tickets for Rendez-Vous are available online and at the Walter Reade Box Office and are $12 for adults, $8 for members of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, $7 for students and $6 for seniors for weekday matinees before 6 p.m. For more information and online tickets, log to or call (212) 875-5600. Additional screenings will take place at the IFC Center; for more information log to: or call (212)-924-7771.
Still not enough, Punk?
Well then head on down to Film Forum starting tomorrow, March 17th for a four week long retrospective to Don Siegel, the most accomplished director that most of you have never heard of. Let me lay some of his films on you cats, all right?
Charley Varrick (1973, new print, starring Walter Matthau and Joe Don Baker), The Big Steal (1949, Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer and William Bendix), The Verdict (1946, starring the oft-paired Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet), Crime in the Streets (1956, Sal Mineo, Mark Rydell and John Cassavetes), Two Mules For Sister Sara (1970, Clint Eastwood and Shirley MacLaine), the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Elvis Presley in 1960’s Flaming Star, 1964’s The Killers starring Lee Marvin, John Cassavetes, Clu Gulager, Angie Dickenson and…wait for it…Ronald Reagan in his last acting role (unless you count his 8 years as president), a new 35mm print of 1976’s The Shootist, starring John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Lauren Bacall and Ron Howard and of course, a week of the aforementioned Dirty Harry.
Well, that ought to get you through mid-April, but if it doesn’t, there’s always BAMcinématek‘s screenings of the following series: Israel On Film, Shelley Winters vs. The Water, Village Voice Best of 2005 and It Happened In Brooklyn.
Photo ©: Telefilm Canada, Pierre-Luc Brillant and Marc-André Grondin from C.R.A.Z.Y.

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