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The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s yearly series, Film Comment Selects, now in its 16th iteration and running from February 17th through the 24th, has consistently been the strongest selection at this august institution of new works, barring the New York Film Festival. As in previous incarnations, this year’s edition features new films by many of the most outstanding filmmakers in the world now working. The current highlights include: the latest by veteran Italian director Marco Bellochio; Benoît Jacquot’s new version of Octave Mirbeau’s classic 1900 novel, Diary of a Chambermaid, previously adapted by both Jean Renoir and Luis Buñuel; and new features by the experimental Philippe Grandrieux as well as Aleksei German, Jr. Retrospective programs include spotlights devoted to controversial Polish director, Andrzej Żuławski — regrettably all in DCP — and to the underrated Charles Bronson, with two features screening in 35-millimeter. A 1984 featurette directed by Ray Davies of the Kinks is also on the slate along with the wonderful musical, Golden Eighties, the closing night selection, by the recently deceased titan Chantal Akerman, both also presented in 35-millimeter.
The Film Society of Lincoln Center will be showcasing its tenth edition of Making Waves: New Romanian Cinema, co-presented with the Romanian Film Initiative, from December 2nd through the 7th at the Walter Reade Theater (165 W. 65th St, NY, NY). The emergence of such remarkable directors as Cristi Puiu, Cristian Mungiu and Cornelius Porumboiu (whose latest film, The Treasure, screens on Saturday, December 5th) has thrust Romania into the spotlight that Taiwan, Iran, and South Korea, for example, have emerged into, in recent decades.
This series is a welcome opportunity to see some of the best films that have emerged from the current milieu, as well as providing an opportunity to encounter work by neglected figures of the past — the current program will include a retrospective of veteran director Mircea Daneliuc, who will be appearing in person for a Q&A following the screening of his 1993 feature, Intimate Bed, presented in DCP at the Walter Reade on Wednesday December 2nd at 7pm, the Opening Night selection.
With a body of work ranging from experimental short films, to candy commercials, to mind-bending horror, director Nobuhiko Obayashi has blazed a technicolored trail through Japanese cinema to the point where directors that came of age during the 70s and 80s are today known as “Obayashi’s Children.” Unfortunately the director has received little attention in the West until the last few years, when his premier 1977 film, House, garnered cult status and now makes regular midnight movie circuits. But House is only the tip of Obayashi’s cinematic iceberg, which is full of romance, adventure, self discovery, and reveling in the outlandish. The Japan Society (333 E 47th St. NY, NY) will be exhibiting Nobuhiko Obayashi: A Retrospective, from November 20 to December 6, featuring ten of his films, along with shorts and lectures from Obayashi.
Opening the series on November 20th is a screening of House, a horror film that defies description and needs to be seen to be believed. I like to say it’s Evil Dead by way of Hello Kitty, with a soundtrack by Japanese pop-group, Godiego.The screening will include a Q&A with Obayashi himself, and a showing of his 1964 short film, Complexe.
I Are You, You Am Me (aka Exchange Student) is a twist on the Freaky Friday formula in which a teenage boy and girl switch minds. Along with being an examination of Japanese gender roles in society, the film is also a love letter to Obayashi’s hometown of Onomichi, located in Hiroshima.Along with more films, Obayashi will be doing a lecture and career retrospective, Nobuhiko Obayashi: A Conversation, on Saturday November 21.
Other films being screened include:
Obayashi's films deal with themes of loss, nostalgia, coming of age and identity, but with a deftness to his craft and a zeal for practical effects and exceptional camera work that flips between "Old Hollywood" and Ozu at the blink of an eye. This is a not to miss series of films if you want to see one of the most interesting directors to come out of Japan.
To learn more, go to: http://www.japansociety.org/
Nobuhiko Obayashi: A RetrospectiveNovember 20 - December 6, 2015
Japan Society333 E 47th St.New York, NY 10017
The Other Israel Film Festival is currently underway in New York City. Running from November 5th to 12th at the JCC Manhattan (334 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY ) and at Cinema Village (22 East 12th St, New York, NY), the festival explores Israeli society, culture, and controversy through documentary and narrative film.
Closing the festival and having its New York City premiere, is Woman in the Sink, directed by Iris Zaki:
“At “Fifi’s”, a hair salon in the heart of Haifa’s Arab community, Iris Zaki installs a mini film set over the washbasin. While she washes their hair, Zaki speaks candidly and freely with the salon’s Arab and Jewish clients, who share their views on politics, history, and love. What emerges from these conversations is an honest and nuanced portrait of contemporary Israel.”
Other films at the festival include:
To learn more, go to: http://otherisrael.org/
The Other Israel Film FestivalNovember 5 - 12, 2015
JCC Manhattan334 Amsterdam Ave.New York, NY 10023
Cinema Village22 E 12th St.New York, NY 10003
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