Hello, Stockahz, hello. I hope this missive finds you in healthy body and spirits. It's been a tough week, no doubt, for a great many of us. General elections every 4 years tend to have that effect on us, whether we voted for the winner or the loser. We are of course in a different situation that we're used to, here at home and those viewing from abroad. Different players, different stakes, different consequences. I neither want to make light of the situation in an attempt to soothe wounds, nor concede that it is proof of the Sissyphean nature of our efforts, those of us who desire progress. The truth is we don't know the world we live in at the moment. Not yet. We're in a limbo state, where all we can rely on are the signposts that brought us to this moment in the dark, and depending on what you were looking for on this road, those signs bade quite ill indeed.
So while I don't want to spread disingenuous platitude like so much laquer on an old chair, I do want to propose the notion that perhaps our darkest hour may not have arrived, or that it may still be thwarted going forward. It's going to take a great deal of strength and hope and work, but if I can offer this weekly column as anything more than just glib weekend cinema-going suggestion, it's to propose that optimism, like energy, can never be destroyed. It can be displaced, it can be dispersed, it can be made to shift from one area to another without our control. It can sometimes seem to disappear, never to return. Here's the thing, and after days of searching for something, ANYthing worth a damn to say in the wake of such despair, I think I've landed on this pertinent reminder: optimism never goes away. Never. Optimism belongs to us, it's never far from us, and it is the seed from which great ideas and their ultimate realizations spring. So in that spirit, I've chosen to focus on some of the choicest examples of the Cinema of Hope this weekend. If nothing else maybe it'll just help make you forget the events of this week for a couple of hours, which might be Medication enough. Maybe though, just maybe, it'll inspire.
New and ongoing screenings this week include Kurosawa and Mifune at IFC Center, 3D Auteurs and Film Forum Jr. at Film Forum (you guessed it!), Bresson on Cinema at BAM Cinématek, To Save and Project: The 14th Annual International Festival of Film Preservation and Tom Hanks: A Tribute at MoMA, Memorable Fantasies: Jorge Luis Borges & Adolfo Bioy Casares on Film and The Medium is the Massacre at Anthology Film Archives, Total Verhoeven at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and the serenely cool Cabaret Cinema at the Rubin Museum. The shenanigans be thus;