We begin in New York, where Anthology Film Archives‘ Marcel Hanoun retrospective is on through Thursday. “A bridge between the New Wavers (Godard, Resnais) and the generation that followed (Eustache, Pialat, Garrel), Hanoun doesn’t strictly belonging to either—and his films dwell in neither/nor interstices,” writes Nick Pinkerton for Artforum. “Like Une simple histoire , [The Authentic Trial of Carl Emmanuel Jung, 1967] addresses one of Hanoun’s principle preoccupations, the dislocation between spoken language and what it represents—in the former case, the narration of the story which we see on-screen, in the latter, the dry recounting of atrocities that remain unseen. This, and other dialectics—subject and representation, reflected and reflection, performance and presence, black-and-white and color—are further explored in the quartet of seasonally-themed films that Hanoun completed between 1968 and 1972, films which represent the highest attainment of his art.”
Summer (1968), Winter (1969), Spring (1970) and Autumn (1972) are “richly ornamented with ideas” and “ripe with sensorial pleasure.” Meantime, at the L, Aaron Cutler recommends Jung and gets a few words with actress Lucienne Deschamps.
And John Oursler recommends Abbas Kiarostami‘s The Wind Will Carry Us (1999), screening at the IFC Center through Thursday.
The Saragossa Manuscript screens at Cinefamily in Los Angeles today and tomorrow
“Polish film of the 1970s and ’80s is often called the ‘cinema of moral discontent,'” writes Ela Bittencourt in the Los Angeles Review of Books. “But as demonstrated by the Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema series that is currently touring the United States, there is nothing monolithic, or easily classifiable, about the period’s production. Alongside iconic works, such as Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Blind Chance (1981) and A Short Film About Killing (1988), or Krzysztof Zanussi’s The Illumination (1972), Camouflage (1977) and The Constant Factor (1980), the program also includes epic works that look to Poland’s rich history, while obliquely commenting on the more immediate past. While filmmakers such as Kieślowski and Zanussi challenged the communist regime directly, expressing a desire to create without the opprobrium of censorship or persecution, the creators of the historical dramas place the Poles’ prolonged, painful road to independence and the internal struggles against conformism in a broader context.”
The series is currently running at LACMA and Cinefamily in Los Angeles through June 24, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington through June 8, at the AFI in Silver Spring, Maryland through June 29, at the Pacific Cinematheque in Vancouver through June 23, and will be rolling on throughout North American well into November.
In Chicago, it’s running through July 3 at the Gene Siskel Center, and the Reader’s Ben Sachs focuses on one filmmaker in particular: “There aren’t many films quite like the ones Zanussi made in his prime; their distinctive intellectual bent can be so bracing as to overshadow his exquisite direction of actors and the refined literary ironies of his scripts. His work suggests an improbable hybrid of Eric Rohmer’s humane comedies of self-examination (My Night at Maud’s, Chloe in the Afternoon) and Otto Preminger’s clinical studies of complex behavior (Bonjour Tristesse, Bunny Lake Is Missing). Zanussi often approaches the subject of enlightenment from a scientific point of view, and in so doing he gives form to a primary struggle of modern life—finding a satisfying balance between reason and spirituality.”
London. Noah Cowan introduces A Century of Chinese Cinema, running at BFI Southbank through October: “We have aimed to achieve a balance between the canonical and the unjustly neglected, the historically vital and the thematically intriguing, and we have tried to cover as wide a spectrum of the key genres as possible.”
Vienna. The Austrian Film Museum’s retrospective Hou Hsiao-hsien: The Complete Works is on through June 22.
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