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The Beast

Walerian Borowczyk France, 1975

The beginning of the end for Walerian Borowczyk? Or the birth of a new phase, far beyond Buñuel, pushing the level of nudity, perversity and directness of non-pornographic cinema to new levels? Perhaps: But you’ve been warned! This black (and “pink”!) comic farce delights as much as it offends.

The Dark Valley

Andreas Prochaska Austria, 2014

28 days to watch

The Dark Valley is a contemporary western which honors the best conventions and traditions of the timeless genre, while updating it with the unique setting of the Austrian Alps. While the canon of modern significant westerns may be small, The Dark Valley certainly ranks amongst the best of them.

Kill and Pray

Carlo Lizzani Italy, 1967

27 days to watch
Genre Maestro

Carlo Lizzani is best known for his work in that quintessential late 60s, early 70s (and quintessentially Italian) genre of the Spaghetti Western. His angle in this classic is sharply more political, helped by an appearance by Pasolini (and his muse, Ninetto Davoli!). Starring the great Lou Castel.

Wake Up and Die

Carlo Lizzani France, 1966

26 days to watch
Genre Maestro

This week’s double feature highlights the diverse genre mastery of Italian Carlo Lizzani. Based on the story of a real gangster, our first film presages the trend of Italian crime films in the 70s while judiciously riffing off the criminal romance of the New Wave. Co-starring Gian Maria Volontè.

Laurence Anyways

Xavier Dolan Canada, 2012

25 days to watch

A vibrant and baroque melodrama circling relationships, gender and love. Xavier Dolan, Canada’s resident enfant terrible, with his third film and its unyielding commitment to its central characters’ transition and plight, made perhaps his most accomplished and thematically rich film yet.

Between Fences

Avi Mograbi Israel, 2016

Exclusive
24 days to watch

How can a migrant tell his or her story? Documentarian Avi Mograbi has come together with theater director Chen Alon to collaborate with detainees in Israel not only to document their treatment but to work together using Theater of the Oppressed methods to dramatize their incredible experiences.

The Creatures

Agnès Varda France, 1966

22 days to watch
Agnès Varda's Couplets

Our next Agnès Varda couplet is the more conventional pairing of husband and wife, played by a couple far from regular: French cinema axioms Michel Piccoli and Catherine Deneuve! Told in an kooky, inspired mix of fantasy, artistic creation, desires and pains, Varda is a magician of the unexpected.

Immoral Tales

Walerian Borowczyk France, 1973

Borowczyk’s first sin? By some critical accounts, this film is when Boro went too far with his soft-core, erotic provocations, leaving behind the “art” in favor of exploitation. That didn’t stop it being a huge hit in France (surprise!), but with the result of dangerous damage to Boro’s reputation.

Free Radicals: A History of Experimental Film

Pip Chodorov France, 2010

20 days to watch
Directors Survey

Yesterday’s film in our Directors Survey double bill focused on the filmmakers whose names and movies frequently grace film festivals and regular theatres. Pip Chodorov’s subject is the other side of the art, if not the industry: the unconventional films, philosophies and voices of the avant-garde.

Great Directors

Angela Ismailos United States, 2009

19 days to watch
Directors Survey

This week our double feature is devoted to taking the artists and craftsmen behind the camera and putting them in front of it. We begin with a survey of big names of cinema both American and international, directors whom we are always eager to hear speak about their practice and inspiration.

Moebius

Kim Ki-duk South Korea, 2013

18 days to watch

Kim Ki-duk, South Korean cinema’s provocateur par excellence, lives up to his reputation by the end of the first reel in this potboiler version of arthouse cinema. Don’t worry, there’s even more to come. Sexual repression and revenge ripple through its torrid story—told completely without dialog!

Le petit amour

Agnès Varda France, 1988

17 days to watch
Agnès Varda's Couplets

Today we launch Agnès Varda’s Couplets, devoted to the diverse coupling in the equally diverse cinema of this great filmmaker. We begin with the most unusual pair: a mother (pop icon Jane Birkin) and a teen boy (Mathieu Demy, son of Varda and Jacques Demy). Varda’s sensitivity is magnificent.

A Private Collection

Walerian Borowczyk France, 1973

Like any good animator, Borowczyk is a collector par excellence. It’s a quality that often playfully reveals itself in his films, and literally so in this gleeful, perverse hodgepodge of the erotic that in fact comments on the nature of sex. Commentary by surrealist André Pieyre de Mandiargues!

Tomorrow We Move

Chantal Akerman France, 2004

Exclusive
15 days to watch

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re exclusively showing a gem from one of our favorites, Chantal Akerman. A neurotic screwball comedy, it smartly animates Akerman’s themes of loneliness, mother-daughter relations, creativity and claustrophobia with spry inspiration from Hollywood classics.

UFO in Her Eyes

Xiaolu Guo Germany, 2011

14 days to watch

Where in the U.S. a UFO sighting provokes conspiracy stories, in China, by Xiaolu Guo’s telling, it inspires wicked social satire. Adapting her own novel, Guo playfully envisions her ingenious premise of the (literally) fantastic promise of change for rural China—and what actually results.

Romántico

Mark Becker United States, 2005

13 days to watch

A deeply committed character study in the shape of a documentary, Romántico is centered on the struggles of mariachi singer Carmelo Muñiz and his efforts to support his family. In its thorough tracing of Carmelo’s plight, Romántico becomes a key film on the undocumented immigrant experience.

Tomorrow

Joseph Anthony United States, 1972

12 days to watch

Tomorrow adapts and extrapolates on a William Faulkner short story set in rural Mississippi. An intimate and altogether emotionally stirring work of tragedy, it is also noteworthy as one of actor Robert Duvall’s favorite personal works, and perhaps features his finest performance of all.

The Piano in a Factory

Zhang Meng China, 2010

11 days to watch

What won’t a parent do for his child? Divorcee Chen will go so far as to get his daughter a piano if it means she’ll stay with him. What could be a sad or trite story is instead one of unexpectedly stylish comedy as an unlikely worker-musician must do whatever it takes to win over his little girl.

Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait

Ossama Mohammed, Wiam Bedirxan France, 2014

10 days to watch

“1001 images of Syria, shot by 1001 Syrians,” says Mohammed, an exile in Paris following the traces of his country’s war found online. Later, Kurdish director Wiam Simav Bedirxan sends him footage from Homs. An immensely powerful and moving correspondence between exile and home, images and reality.

Miss and the Doctors

Axelle Ropert France, 2013

9 days to watch

The co-writer of Serge Bozon’s great films, Axelle Ropert is a vivid, inspired director in her own right. She followed her beautiful debut The Wolberg Family with this warm, all-too-human romance. A love triangle between brothers and a patient provokes a melodrama that’s funny, sad and sweet.

Mr. and Mrs. Kabal's Theatre

Walerian Borowczyk France, 1967

After working in shorts for a decade, Borowczyk finally leapt to his feature film debut while retaining all the originality of his bizarre and inventive animation (with touches of color-swathed live action!). The ’60s featured many unconventional portraits of marriage but none so strange as this!

Who Is Dayani Cristal?

Marc Silver United Kingdom, 2013

7 days to watch

A powerful political film concerning immigration wrapped inside a mystery, this documentary follows Gael García Bernal as he poignantly retraces the possible footsteps of an unidentified migrant to discover the hopes and aspirations of the Mexican working class.

Demons 2

Lamberto Bava Italy, 1986

6 days to watch
Due Demoni

Just one year later Lamberto Bava, and co-writer / producer (and giallo favorite Dario Argento) are back for more demoni. In the first film they spawned from the movie theatre, but here, pulling from Poltergeist, they enter from your TV! As in the best 80s horror, satire and gore are not far apart.

Demons

Lamberto Bava Italy, 1985

5 days to watch
Due Demoni

This week: due demoni! That is, two demons by Italian master of the macabre, Lamberto Bava (son of the great Mario Bava). Co-written and produced by Dario Argento, this film in true 1980s horror fashion turns on pop culture (here, the movies) attacking the audience. Soundtrack by Claudio Simonetti.

The Great Museum

Johannes Holzhausen Austria, 2014

4 days to watch

The Kunsthistorisches, completed in 1891, is one of the world’s most beautiful museums and its collection is exquisite. If you can’t travel to Vienna this season, why not visit the museum remotely, through Johannes Holzhausen’s lovely exploration? His hands-off approach is immersive and elegant.

A Call Girl

Damjan Kozole Slovenia, 2009

3 days to watch

Formed around a stellar performance by Nina Ivanišin, A Call Girl is at once a committed character piece and a relevant political film regarding the world’s oldest profession. Set in a Europe of ennui and discontent, this is a tragic yet stalwart portrait of a young woman fighting to survive.

Vasermil

Mushon Salmona Israel, 2007

2 days to watch
Hand & Foot

We conclude our Hand & Foot series with another portrait of childhood passion for soccer. In Israel, as in many other countries, the structure the sport provides, as well as its passkey to possible career play, are a boon and source of hope and life goals for the disenfranchised and marginalized.

The Colors of the Mountain

Carlos César Arbeláez Panama, 2010

Expiring at midnight PDT
Hand & Foot

After two fighting films we move our Hand & Foot series to the importance of soccer in the world—and from documentary to fiction. Yet this film’s idea is hardly fictitious, wisely seeing childrens’ love for soccer as inextricable from the culture, society and politics in which they play their games.

The Game of Angels

Walerian Borowczyk France, 1964

This haunting and oppressive animation represents a daring attempt to portray not the reality of the camps, but their atmosphere.

The Game of Angels just left...
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