Friday, December 15, 2006

Film Forum's Spring 2007 Repertory Calendar

I got the press release so I figured, why not share. I always eagerly await these seasonal missives from the FF, hoping for some grand surprise (like last year's Don Siegel fest, which got more than its share of Termite Art coverage).

There are some highlights here, particularly a Morricone retro just in time for his honorary Oscar, plus an Ophuls I've always wanted to see (Sarris called it one of his three favorite movies of all time at the recent Village Voice Film Guide event), and something called "B Musicals" which sounds absolutely fascinating.

Here, then, what we have to look forward to in '07:

January 19-25 One Week!
Eleven animated masterworks by Stephen and Timothy Quay, American
identical twins working in London, whose strange work finds its
inspiration in Eastern European literature and classical music and
art. Films include the playful CABINET OF JAN SVANKMAJER, the
haunting IN ABSENTIA, and "their crowning achievement" (Film
Comment), STREET OF CROCODILES. "These astonishing artists, working
in an unlikely form, awaken our senses. Their puppets look less like
things invented than like things discovered." - Terrence Rafferty,
The New Yorker.

January 26 - February 1 One Week!
Peter Greenville's BECKET New 35mm Print!
Starring Richard Burton Peter O'Toole
(1964) Historical epic starring Peter O'Toole (in his first post-
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA role) as England's King Henry II and Richard
Burton as his companion and confidante Sir Thomas Becket in what Time
magazine described as "a cerebral film spectacle... O'Toole and
Burton galvanize the screen, making their acting duo an acting duel."
Nominated for twelve Oscars, including Picture, Director, Actor (for
both stars), Cinematography, Art Direction, and Best Supporting Actor
(John Gielgud), and winning for Edward Anhalt's screenplay, based on
Jean Anouilh's stage triumph. Long unseen, this is its first
theatrical release in decades.

February 2-22 Three Weeks!
Three-week tribute to the most most influential and most imitated
film composer of our time, featuring movies by a diverse group of
filmmakers, from Bertolucci, Pasolini and Malick to Dario Argento,
Mario Bava and Sam Fuller -- not to mention Spaghetti Westerns by
Sergio Leone and others. Opens with new 35mm print of Elio Petri's
Morricone is receiving an Honorary Oscar at this year's Academy
Awards and will conduct a 200-piece orchestra for his first-ever U.S.
concert, at Radio City Music Hall, Feb. 3.

February 23 - March 1 One Week!
RKO LOST & FOUND All New 35mm Prints!
Six newly-unearthed 1930s classics -- all unseen for over 50 years in
any format -- from RKO Radio Pictures, including DOUBLE HARNESS, with
William Powell; RAFTER ROMANCE, with Ginger Rogers; William Wellman's
STINGAREE, with Irene Dunne; and Garson Kanin's A MAN TO REMEMBER,
which made the New York Times' Top 10 of 1938 list, but hasn't
surfaced since.

March 2-15 Two Weeks!
Starring Gong Li New 35mm Print!
(1991) Gong Li, sold by her mother into concubinage, naively enters
the world of intra-harem rivalries, in Yimou's color-drenched and
dazzlingly photographed melodrama. Widely regarded as one of the most
transfixingly gorgeous films of the 90s, inviting comparisons of its
director to master predecessors Ozu and Mizoguchi. "A film of
voluptuous physical beauty and angry passions." - Roger Ebert.
"Beautifully crafted and richly detailed... as visually striking as
it is dramatically effective. - Janet Maslin, New York Times.

March 16-29 Two Weeks! New 35mm Print!
Starring Danielle Darrieux, Charles Boyer and Vittorio de Sica
(1953) The frivolity, hypocrisy, and inability to love of fin de
siecle high society is exposed in Ophuls's stunning masterpiece,
declared "the greatest film of all time" by Andrew Sarris, an opinion
seconded by arch-rival critic Pauline Kael, who called it
"Perfection." "Should the day ever come when movies are granted the
same respect as other arts, THE EARRINGS OF MADAME DE... will
instantly be recognized as one of the most beautiful things ever
created by human hands." - Dave Kehr.

March 30 - April 18 Three Weeks!
B MUSICALS 49 movies!
A lost era of Hollywood history is resurrected with this festival of
musical second features turned out by the major (and minor) studios.
Though low on budget, they were high on talent and proved to be a
training ground for such future stars as Ginger Rogers, Betty Grable,
The Andrews Sisters, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Dorothy
Dandridge, Donald O'Connor, and -- the poster girl for the festival
-- Ann Miller. The super-rarities in the festival (most have never
been on DVD and are rarely on TV), many in new 35mm prints, include
early movies by super-auteurs like Anthony Mann, Joseph H. Lewis,
Phil Karlson, and Douglas Sirk!


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