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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!

November 25th-27th: Talkies Dance, 3D Begins, and Kurosawa Closes It Out! Only the Strong May Enter.

Au hasard Balthazar, Stockahz! Welcome to the last weekend update of the month of November in the year 20 wait that actually wasn't any kind of greeting French or otherwise. It's a title of a Robert Bresson film and translates to "Balthazar, at random". I just feel like a French intro makes me seem so much smarter, more erudite, so much more important to the rep film conversation. Who'm I kiddin'? You see right through me, you with your Bazin essays committed to memory, your Monaco treatises at yer fingertips, your Lumenick Turkey List prepped for the deep-fryer. Why even pursue the ruse? If you'll forgive me, and we can make amends, I'll give this whole intro thang another go. With abject honesty my objective. Or object honesty my abjective. I forget. Nonetheless, in the spirit of authenticity, here goes;

Die Dreigroschenoper, mein liebschen! Oh hell I'm just making it worse. Let's move on shall we? Arigato.

New, ongoing and concluding series this last weekend of the month include Kurosawa and Mifune at IFC Center, Willy Wonka & Workshops and See it Big! Holiday Films at Museum of the Moving Image, Modern Matinees: The Body Politic at MoMA, That's Entertianment: MGM Musicals Part II at BAM Cinématek, the aforementioned trib to Bresson at Metrograph, Voyeurism, Surveillance and Identity in the Cinema at Anthology Film Archives, 3D Auteurs and Film Forum Jr. at, you guessed right, Film Forum. The concerted controversy be thus;

Happy Thanksgiving from Nitrate Stock!

Once again my best wishes to you and yours, to friends and fam, to those I routinely press the flesh with and them that I only know from the onlineverse. Here's hoping everyone is warm in the embrace of their people today, and are mindful of their good fortune. Cheers, Stockahz! And don't forget the Zantac!

- Joe Walsh

November 18th-20th: Daughters, Sisters, and Pandora's Grand & Terrible Legacy. Crack the Lid.

Surprised I got nothing to say? After the week we just had? You don't know me. You NEVER knew me! I'm going to SCREA- yeah just kiddin' Week sucked. Things suck. Let's focus on what don't suck so much, meaning our wonderful rep film circuit, which this week includes 3D Auteurs at Film Forum, Modern Matinees: The Body Politic and To Save and Project: The 14th International Festival of Film Preservation at MoMA, That's Entertainment: MGM Musicals Part II at BAM Cinématek, Memorable Fantasies: Jorge Luis Borges & Adolfo Bioy Casares on Film at Anthology Film Archives, Total Verhoeven at the Film Society, See It Big! Holiday Films at Museum of the Moving Image, and the eternaly swank Cabaret Cinema at the Rubin Museum of Art. The crimes be thus;

November 11th-13th: Capra, Chaplin, and the Cinema of Hope. Welcome.

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;

November 2016! Total Verhoeven, 3D Auteurs, and the 14th Annual To Save and Project!

Greetings and salutations, Stockahz! Welcome to another moth's Overview from Yours Truly! Here's hoping October treated you splediferously and set a high bar in terms of filmgoing reward, because November only promises more and better treasure to be had on NYC's rep film circuit! Hard to believe there's only two months left in the calendar year entitled 2016. We began in fashion horrific, mourning the back-to-back loss of David Bowie and Alan Rickman. We still have this mammoth monolitihc mishegoss of a General Election mere days from now, a hellish hump to climb indeed. However, once the dust has settled, and hopefully our Democracy has prevailed and remains intact, we can turn our sights back to the healing merits of cinema, that excursion and short-term stay into the collective dark with our fellow man and woman. If ever there existed a more wondrous, communal healing process, I haven't yet experienced it. Maybe baseball, but that's it. As I said, there's a great deal to look forward to, so let's get to it!

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