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Aldrich, Lustig, Safdies, Karpovsky

Tonight "the American Cinematheque will present Los Angeles moviegoers with a rare opportunity to see Robert Aldrich's masterful Emperor of the North (1973) projected on the Lloyd A Rigler Auditorium's massive screen inside the Egyptian Theater," writes Dennis Cozzalio. "The Cinematheque will also feature as its special guest the movie's screenwriter Christopher Knopf.... Emperor of the North is, as far as I can perceive, well-regarded, but I think it deserves a more rarified position in Aldrich's filmography, if not on the grand stage of movie history, as one of this rugged, nail-hard director's very best achievements. My enthusiasm for the movie, which I first saw on a drizzly summer night at my hometown drive-in during the summer of 1974, was gloriously confirmed when I finally had the chance to revisit it again four years ago for the Robert Aldrich Blog-a-thon."

The North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival opens this evening and runs through the weekend. Zack Smith has an overview of the highlights in the Independent Weekly.

 

IN NEW YORK

 

"With the ongoing blockbuster season continuing to crowd out healthy B-movies at the box office, the sequel to last year's successful William Lustig Presents series at Anthology Film Archives provides desperately needed alternatives," writes Michael Joshua Rowin for Artforum. "Former exploitation filmmaker and current head of cult DVD label Blue Underground, Lustig once again revives forgotten genre treasures, largely made in the 1970s, a decade in which tough, action-oriented flicks were often economical and ingenious rather than bloated and uninspired." You'll remember Glenn Kenny's overview here in The Daily Notebook; James van Maanen has more and Steve Dollar talks with Lustig for the Wall Street Journal, where he rounds up more NYC goings on.

"In our Best of Brooklyn (and Manhattan, too) issue, we name the brothers Josh and Benny Safdie the city's Best Local, Native Filmmakers," notes L Magazine film editor Mark Asch. "The Brooklyn Academy of Music evidently agrees with our assessment: tonight, they kickoff a nearly two-week, 18-title retrospective centered around the Safdies' body of work — which itself consists, so far, of two features and enough shorts for a single program." The brothers will be on hand to introduce many of the films in the Emotional Sloppy Manic Cinema series running through August 24.

"A cannily filmed performance by noted improv team TJ Jagodowski and David Pasquesi bookended by reflections on the nature of their work, Trust Us, This Is All Made Up is a spare, impressionistic sketch of two artists who have learned to work as one," writes Michelle Orange in the Voice. Jeannette Catsoulis in the New York Times: "Occasionally splitting the screen to remind us the men are not a single entity, the director, Alex Karpovsky, gives life and form to the invisible act of one brain sparking another, showcasing a connection as ineffable as creativity itself." Rob Humanick in Slant: "A refreshingly modest look at the vital nature of creative expression, Trust Us, This Is All Made Up doubles as one of the funniest movies of the year." At the reRun Gastropub Theater .

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Bill is cool. I likewise shared his penchant for truancy, and would occasionally accompany him on his trips from Jersey to Times Square, back in the day. Good times.

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