January 18th 2013. Pick Of The Day.

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The Berg Man screens for a final day as part of MOMA's ongoing Auteurist History of Film series. WILD STRAWBERRIES, the tale of a man in the winter of his life forced to weigh his accomplishments against his failings, is one of the master filmmaker's grandest achievements. Plus it's one of Ingmar's cheerier efforts. I know. Brrr.

Michaelangelo Antonioni perplexes with L'ECLISSE, screening tonight as part of the Rubin Museum's Cabaret Cinema series. Maybe it's about choice, indulgence, and the search for identity which serves as either cause or effect of these. Whatevz. Monica Vitti's a honey. Price of a cocktail permits admittance to the theater.

Videology, a hip rental spot in hip rental Brooklyn serves up a classic film series in its new screening space. Raw, intelligent and demented 70's animation is the theme this month, so naturally the Ralph Bakshi ouvre is on disply. Tonight the Cinegeek clubhouse presents the crackpot auteur's 80's ode to 50's cool, HEY GOOD LOOKIN'. Count on ethnic stereotypes writ large and cartoon boobies. Oh, and serious social commentary. God bless tha Bask!

Marty McFly goes BACK TO THE FUTURE tonight at the Landmark Sunshine. I'm just being honest; I never gave a damn. But have fun.

And over at the IFC Center their midnight series gets unspooling again, offering twin screenings of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT and TAXI DRIVER. Want a hook to connect these two notorious flicks? They're both loose remakes, Craven retelling Ingmar Bergman's THE VIRGIN SPRING and Scorsese reimagining John Ford's THE SEARCHERS. Two vastly different takes on the defiling of innocence and the ensuing revenge commensurate or otherwise. And the staff at the IFC Center won't even care if you sneak back and forth between the two to comapre notes. Just don't tell 'em I said that.

Lastly the Film Forum's New Yawk New Wave series continues its pace frenetic with two unique offerings this day. SOMETHING WILD, not to be confused in the slightest with the slice of violent 80's quirk from Jonathan Demme, is part RASHOMON and part REPULSION. Carroll Baker stars as a rape victim who withdraws from all manner of social contact but may have done so with her unidentified attacker. The walls close, the walls expand, we've seen this drill but not this execution. Carroll and co-star Ralph Meeker dance like a book of matches and a can of kerosene. Use your imagination. The Forum's second entry this day is my Pick. Sight unseen.

Stanley Kubrick started out...do I really need to recount this for anybody clued in to what this site's about?

Oh, alright, just accounting for the slim chance one of you AREN'T immersed in all things S-Kube. Here goes.

Stanley Kubrick grew up in that crown jewel amongst all 5 boroughs, The Bronx. Intellectaully engaged from an early age, he mastered chess to a level dismaying for the various park hustlers in his hood. Then he became enamored with cameras, and quickly found work as a freelance photographer, selling most of his work to LOOK magazine. An assignment covering boxers training for a fight led to his first short film. This led to his first feature, the arty WW2 piece FEAR AND DESIRE, recently restored by the Library of Congress and now available on DVD and BluRay from KINO. None too representative of what Stan had yet to offer, but showing early indications of a unique talent. As did his next film, on display at the Forum today and my Pick.

Again returning to the boxing ring the Kubes tread fully into film noir territory, a genre he would in future works blur the boundaries of, but here tried adamantly to touch all the bases. Boxer's girlfriend is gangster's property. One fight gains him his independence but plans goes awry. Boxer then must resort to the tactics of the goons he once called family to rescue his gal. Whattaplot! Well to be fair the best noir was never based on fresh storylines but the style with which they're told, and while Kubrick had yet to find his style the doozy of a fight at the end, sledgehammers in a mannequin factory, pretty much stamped his dance card for future invites.

KILLER'S KISS screens all day today at the Film Forum. It may not be a masterpiece but what better way to catch an early work by one of the medium's most important voices? Don't be a Jabberknowl.

 

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Enjoy the weekend Stockahz! Back tomorrow with Saturday's Pick! Die January die!

 

-Joe Walsh