December 19th 2012. Pick Of The Day.

New York City's premiere resource for classic film screenings in the metropolitan area. Offering reviews, recommendations, venues and a host of links keeping classic film and the silver screens alive.

The Jean-Louis Trintignant retrospective at Film Forum reaches its penultimate day with a pair of early 70's harsh-light-of-day noirs that only seem bereft of darkness, and are in fact flooded with it. Just a darkness, to paraphrase Rorschach, that is of no use to the players. THE OUTSIDE MAN features our chipper hero as a double crossed hit man who finds himself the target of colleague Roy Scheider in a bleak L.A. AND HOPE TO DIE finds JLT 's petty thief conscripted by a tougher gang of kidnappers led by Robert Ryan. Testosterone included.

George finds Zuzu's petals today at the IFC Center. And not a moment too soon! IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE screens all day.

If you're named Ben Gazzara at birth you're pretty much fated to portray John Cassavetes' best friend onscreen. There is nothing else for you.The Gazz, who tragically left us early this year, is the subject of an excellent retrospective at the Anthology Film Archives. Today the man who defeated Ed Asnser for the gold in speed back-shaving at the Olympics is repped by a pair of quintessential perfs; his screen debut in THE STRANGE ONE offers Gazzara as a brutal staff sergeant at a military academy whose ritual hazing comes under scrutiny not merely for its cruelty, but an altogether different and potentailly taboo motive. HUSBANDS joins our protagonist's self-destruction in progress, as Gazz and Cassavetes are joined by partner-in-crime Peter Falk in an examination of modern manhood circa 1970, an unsure cultural moment where the sex revolution and its inherent hedonism resulted in a hangover of responsibilities unmet and relationships in tatters. Still, what a pisser it is to hang with these fuckers! Unless you were Dick Cavett.

MOMA's trib to Pier Paolo Pasolini, the still controversial poet-filmmaker-philosopher, screens two of the auteur's best known works. HAWKS AND SPARROWS follows a wandering clown and his apprentice son hounded by a crow that intellectually schools them, and that can't be fun. The second of today's screenings is a film I have long been intrigued by but have not yet seen, so for this and many other reasons it becomes my Pick Of The Day.

Pasolini grew up homosexual not merely in a conservative 1940's Italy, but in MUSSOLINI's conservative 1940's Italy. Which hadda suck. This of course affected his worldview greatly, and postwar he took his secular humanist talents, disillusioned as they were, into the vocations of journalism, poetry, and eventually filmmaking. He embraced the Neo-Realism begat by Rossellini and De Sica and added his own touch, the same survival tale in the broken modern world but laced with a search for the past, a retracing of steps to provide answers. Raised a Roman Catcholic, because Rome had a lotta them, was it really so strange that he everntually decided to take on a cinematic examination of a particular gospel, from a non-believer's view, in order to present a clinic on faith? That he ulitmatelty did identify with his main character while maintaining his secular outlook makes this perhaps the most unique of cinematic takes on the life of Christ. Martin Scorsese famously cites this film as the inspiration for his tackling of THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST, which also focuses on Christ's human aspects. The term "Christ's human aspects" are redundant to the atheist and sacrilege to the devout, but even a recovering Catholic like myself thinks that Christ's message was for all of us to recognize the divine within all humanity. All that aside I'm excited to finally view this film on the big screen and judge for myself. Like we're s'posed ta.

Plus it's JC's birthday in a week! After all the gifts I've gotten because HE was born the least I can do is make him my Pick Of The Day.


Follow me on Twitter!

Like us at!

Make it to every Xmas party sfaely and leave the same way, Stockers! Enjoy!


-Joe Walsh