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February 2017! Black Women's Cinema, Universal in the 70's, and the Annual St. Valentine's Day Massacre! Let's break some hearts and some barriers!

Huzzah and Hooray, Stockahz! My longtime foe, that magnificent beast of fierce gusts inexhaustable and bitter temps to make glaciers blush, that venomous behemoth known as January, has found itself felled once more. Once more we outlast it, outlive it. Once more we emerge victorious against its horrid breath and grasp. Once more we y'know actually I gotta say not the worst January we've ever seen. Sorta mild actually. Not a lot of urgent need to curse and combat it, really. No call for its demonization. Look, as Januarys go, I'll take it. See ya next year kiddo. Oh, and we'll be READY for you, you bastard! Make no mistake!

Ahem.

Now, we face the second head of the dreaded Cerberus that kicks of each new calendar, the dread February. It's reach is deceptive, as its pages count a mere 28, yet men stronger than myself have succumbed to its seeming endlessness. Another Super Bowl awaits, as well as thermometer fracturing drops and a cycle of grey to black sky that punishes the soul. Have I mentioned Valentine's Day yet?

Yes, it's no doubt a drag, a slog, a climb uphill battering, bruising, potentially imposible. But NAH! We'll get through this ill-mannered bastard of a month as we always do, and the film fanatic and frenetic amongst us in the 5 boroughs will turn to that warm balm that always helps to smooth life along when even its roughest edges emerge; our very own repertory film circuit, which grows both in programming and edifice to provide such within. So let's look to this month's doings. It's exactly what February won't EXPECT us to do...

January 27th-31st: Demagogues, Dragons, and Da Da DaDaDa. Dig in.

January '17, I would normally ask how you've already nearly passed, claim victory over your looming corpse, and revel i the idea that we inch ever closer to the Oscars, Exhibition Baeball, and that most beautiful arrival of all: spring. However, this year, seeing as 2016 came to a close with thunderous calamity and catastrophe, I can only offer the following: thank you 1st month of the calendar, thanks for being relatively kind. Yes, the great Mary Tyler Moore has recently departed, and that hurts, and while the weather outside has been mild, the weather inside, within our nation's borders, within our town squares and civic centers, within our living and dining rooms, indeed within our very selves, has been tempestuous, blustery, oppressive. So it is that the tables have turned, the winter of our souls has been met by a environment mild, perhaps because the world needed to balance the heat and friction and acidity of its human populace. Actually, it's mostly climate change, but yo, I never get to pat January on the back. So this one's for you, kiddo. Attaboy.

 

New and ongoing series this week include the Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese series at IFC Center and Moving Image, respectively; Modern Matinees: Le Grandi Donne and Eternal Bruce Lee at MoMA; Universal in the 70's: Part One at Metrograph; Film Forum Jr. at you guessed right Film Forum; and the eternally swank Cabaret Cinema at the Rubin Museum. The emulsified ebullience be thus;

January 20th-26th: A Face In The Crowd, Panique, and The American Friend. Hey, I Know It's Inauguration Day, Read Into It What You Will!

I'd love to begin this post with my usual brilliance, my panache, my much-envied balletic linguistics. Hell, I'd love to even pretend any of that sentence was true. I'd love to attempt my usual kick-off to the weekly post with some semblence of levity, smart or other. And let's be fair, usually it's other. Can't help it. This is a bad day. It's a bleak view from the front door, a bad forecast for the house. I'm not gonna shine a smear. Anything like that would be a betrayal of myself and this site and its purpose.

 

But here's what I can offer, what I believe I have offered and hopefully will continue to offer; a clarion for communal experience, an intellectual curiosity for the arts, a defense of its continuance as a cultural imperative, not merely here but everywhere in our country, everywhere in our world. We only regress if we allow it. And mankind as a whole has never allowed it.

 

In my own small way, I hope to argue the case for art, for freedom, for higher planes attainable by our race human. If only to roust some extra bodies towards their local rep house to view, in venue intended, what is largely deemed a frivolous entertainment but is actually one of our most valuable forms of expression: the moving image. In communal form. So here is my vocation. I hope you share it.

 

New and ongoing series this week include Film Forum Jr. at, yep, Film Forum; Stanley Kubrick at IFC Center; Based on a Book by Patricia Highsmith at Metrograph; Cruel and Unusual Comedy: Astonishing Shorts from the Slapstick Era at MoMA; Inauguration of the Displeasure Dome: Coping with the Election at Anthology Film Archives: and the eternally swank Cabaret Cinema at the Rubin Museum. The rep rigmarolle be thus;

January 13th - 20th: Plots & Plotters, Unfulfilled Empires, and Rita Hayworth in Technicolor! Dig In!

Already the first Weekly Update of '17 arrives. Already series and screenings unmissable have occurred, and loom as well. Already the NYC rep film landscape changes and grows, like a true organic lifeforce. Already I pine for 2018. You, they're called mid-term elections for a reason. But for the moment, let's focus on this new, seemingly benign new year, replete with horrors promised, but young, unstained yet, perhaps with surprises benevolent and beneficent in store. Sure things look bad, but remember: throughout history the masses said we'd never land a man o the moon, that the NY Mets would never win a World Series. That, indeed, the moving image was uncapturable. So let's patronize our ever thriving film and rep film circuit, and believe in the unbelievable, as the movies were designed to do.

 

New and ongoing series this week include Modern Matinees: Le Grandi Donne and Cruel & Unusual Comedy: Astonishing Shorts from the Slapstick Era at MoMA, Rocky & Creed, Eric Rohmer and Spielberg by Haskell at Metrograph, and Pirandello150 and Film Forum Jr. at, have a cigar, the Film Forum. The sprocketed sillility* be thus;

January 2017! Cruel and Unusual Silents, Highsmith & Misdemeanors On Film, and Year One Without David Bowie Proves He Remains. Welcome to the New Year! Read On!

Ahoy, Stockahz! Welcome to fresh shores! 2017 has arrived, a beach untrod, nary a grain displaced, waiting to be set into a new, vast and hopefully benign and benevolent pattern. For the larger concerns weighted by that same concern, I'll leave that for the moment to those concerned with such concerns concerned. Instead I'll return to this site's main focus, the orderly breakdown of the NYC rep circuit's upcoming slate for the year's first lunar cycle. Trust is always a matter suspect at best, but we can at least subscribe to the long-held and widely-proven belief amongst those most trustworthy in the scientific community that the moon will give us a good spin once more over the next 31 days. It'd be a normal course for the optimist to keep his yap shut after the year we just had, but I'm gonna stake my hopes somewhat dimmed on that last, simple prospect. The moon's gonna be just fine. It just has to, I've still got plans to open the first movie palace at Mare Tranquilititus.

December 30th-January 5th: Fellini and Marcello, Rick and Ilsa and Champagne, and Goodbye 2016! No, Really, Goodbye. What Part of Goodbye Don't You Understand??? HEY GET THE @!#% OUTTA MY HOUSE!!! Ahem. Read On.

Once again we approacheth that satisfying, positively liberating moment where we collectively down champagne, make some bad decisions, and bid a not-so-fond farewell to the previous 365 days. I am of course referring to January 8th, what would've been David Bowie's 70th birthday, which marks the exact calendar page a year past where all things went completely to Hell in 2016, if ya ask me. Others might feel this pivotal date to be January 1st. Midnight of the 1st to be exact. I myself am starting with the departure of the Starman, but I will not begrudge those worldwide who wish to see 2016 get its well-deserved punt in the cheeks on the way out the door. It was merciless. It was rampaging. It stole people we loved regardless of youth or not-quite-youth. It saw the rise of fascism once more, which we look to its yet-unborn sibling, 2017, to go a long ways in undoing. Worst of all, it wasn't limited to the otherwise expected number of dated squares to be checked off: it was a fekkin' LEAP YEAR to BOOT! That's right, 2016 managed to include an extra day of misery and penalty and screw you. There's been some backlash to the sobriquet "Worst YEar Ever", some voices begging calm and perspective and ptimism. to these intelligent, forward-looking souls I offer the following: bite me. I'm gonna be pissed and bitter and absolutely fuming over 2016 until the goddam thing comes to its wel-deserved demise a day from now! It's earned at least our enmity, you can't argue! So here's to a new year, to Bowie's platinum huzzah, to new voices, new possibilities, new risks and rewards. In honor of the great Carrie Fisher, here's to a new hope.

 

New and ongoing series this year's end include Modern Matinees: Le Grandi Donne and Dino Risi at MoMA; Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers for New Years at Metrograph; Goin' Steadi: 40 Years of Steadicam at the Film Society of Lincoln Center; Film Forum Jr. at Jaysus ya know where luv; and the eternally swank Cabaret Cinema at the Rubin Museum. The final filmic foofaraw of 2016 be thus;

December 23rd-29th: Medieval Intrigue, Deneuve's Tears, and an Angel Gets His Wings. That's Right. Attaboy.

Once again the Yule looms. Or the Loom yules. I've never quite gotten that whole deal straight. In any event Xmas is uponst us once more, Stockahz. We're close to the finish line of a really, really, REALLY, NO I MEAN REALLY! BAD! YEAR! Ahem. Having noted that obvious fact I offer some optimism, Life is a series of both waves and particles, and we gotta face it as such. Sometimes those elements seem poised against us, against the march of history, against our better natures. Sometimes. Other times, eh, not so much. Which is Bronxese of saying things have a way of turning back to our collective best interests. So while things might look grim at the moment, what with this gloating bloated behemoth bearing down upon us, playing to the cheap seats with false patriotism and no other honest interest than separating us from our reason and money, y'know, Peter Berg's PATRIOT'S DAY, there are works of worth also in the offing. The great Pedro Almodovar has a new film, JULIETA. Scorsese's SILENCE resounds this week. And the brilliant actor Denzel Washington may have finally proven himself a brilliant director with his adap of August Wilson's Pulitzer-snag FENCES. Much to look forward to, and even more to obsess over on our beloved rep film circuit. Which is pretty much why you're here to begin with. So why don't we get to it?

 

New and ongoing series this week include Kurosawa/Mifune at IFC Center; Christmas at Metrograph at Metrograph; Dino Risi at MoMA; Goin' Steadi: 40 Years of Steadicam at the Film Society of Lincoln Center; Cabaret Cinema at the Rubin Museum; and Film Forum Jr. at, y'know, Film Forum. Duh. The rambunctious retrospect be thus;

December 16th-22nd: Lois Weber Resurrected, Santas Both Naughty & Nice, and Nazis: Not Just Movie Bad Guys Anymore! Read on, True Believers!

Dead center middle of the month. It's not quite feeling like Xmas yet, but also not exactly Yule-averse either. Dead center middle, defined. To be fair snow has yet to fall, the bulk of the really in-your-face Xmas film screenings is just around the corner, and I haven't begun my own shopping yet. The festives have yet to fully take hold of me, but they have yet to fail me lo these 40blahblabbityblah years. I'm confident the holiday cheer will invest in me as fully as Legion did Regan in Friedkin's holiday masterpiece. I await the occupation, benevolent sprites! Hey, how many steps are on that staircase?

New and ongoing series this week include Kurosawa & Mifune at IFC Center, Modern Matinees: Le Grandi Donne and Dino Risi at MoMA, Life is a Dream: The Films of Raúl Ruiz and Goin' Steadi: 40 Years of Steadicam at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Pop! Goes Cinema: Kadokawa Films & 80's Japan at the Japan Society, Maggie Cheung: Center Stage at Metrograph, and the eternally swank Cabaret Cinema at the Rubin Museum. The flickering flamboyance be thus;

December 9th-15th: Yellow Bricks, Two by Ford, and Technicolor Goes Busby Berkeley! Dance On, Stockahz!

Well, that was the first week of the last month of the year. Didn't go so badly, hm? Yes, we continue to say goodbye to some very important people from our collective celebrations, chief amongst these musician Greg Lake and America's astronaut John Glenn. Yet cause for many a huzzah exists as well, principally, and for the movie fanatic very warmly, the 100th day of life for actor/producer/philanthropist Kirk Douglas! Yes, this year has sucked the big hairy one for most of its 300 and hemminahw span thus far, so let's take every opportunity grand or meager to focus on the good when we can. Happy Centenary Kirk! In your honor I promise to go fom umbrage to outrage to utter contempt at least once today! But never, ever better than you could do it.

 

New and ongoing series this week include Kurosawa & Mifune at IFC Center, Film Forum Jr. and the Busby Berkeley trib at Film Forum, Modern Matinees: Le Grandi Donne and Pedro Almodóvar at MoMA, Maggie Cheung: Center Stage and Joe Carducci: Requiem for the Living Picture at Metrograph, Life is a Dream: The Films of Raúl Ruiz (Part One) at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Dark Hopper at Anthology Film Archives, and the eternally swank Cabaret Cinema at the Rubin Museum. Let's go to da show;

December 2016! Going' Steadicam, Le Grandi Donne, and It's a Wonderful Rep Film Circuit! Attaboy, Stockahz!

What Ho, Stockahz! Can you believe it?!? Here we are at the dawn of yet another December, and not just the usual December NY'ers carry around in their souls all year! I'm talkin' the ACTUAL month! How can this be? How can this freakin' BE??? Seems like only yesterday we were locked in battle between those who loved SPECTRE and its detractors, waiting with giddy anticipation for J. J. Abrams' boost or crush in the form of Episode VII, and us rep circuit-minded diggin' into the Douglas Sirk trib at the Film Society and the Lonely Places: Film Noir series at
Museum of the Moving Image. In between that time and the present we've enjoyed a myriad of remarkable series and events, like
the director tribs to Sam Peckinpah, Theo Angelopoulous, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Brian De Palma, and Otto Preminger; the overview of postwar Japanese Musicals and reappraisal of Universal Studios' period under Carl Laemmle Jr's tenure; and most wonderfully the openings of two new rep houses in our movie-mad metropolis, Bushwick's Syndicated and the LES' Metrograph! It's proven quite the year for 2017 to try and top. It's also been a hard slog if you're a film fanatic, as we've lost some of the brightest lights in the entertainment biz this past solar cycle. I won't attempt a listing, I'll only plead with the coming year to be just a little kinder to us. This medium that we love is already made of stardust, it is so easily blown away. Let us hang onto it a little longer, okay '17? Ok. Now to our regualrly scheduled sked!

Those of you familiar with this here web-thingy I like to electronically scribble within know that each month I like to confer what I like to call Big Dawg status to that series or screening I deem that 31 days' most unmissable. Last month that esteemed esteem went to MoMA and their always fascinating, often mind-blowing series To Save and Project, their 14th annual celebration of cinema spared time's ravage. It gave us restorations of classics and curios like Anthony Mann's HE WALKED BY NIGHT, Robert Aldrich's EMPEROR OF THE NORTH and King Hu's LEGEND OF THE MOUNTAIN, as well as several reprieves from the "lost film" list like John Ford's THE BRAT and Felix Feist's DELUGE. Best of all was what the Museum termed the "world premiere" of Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, which unsurprisingly never looked or sounded better. Great fest as always, and can't wait for its 15th iteration!

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