With bittersweet anticipation, we look forward to the final seven episodes of Mad Men‘s final season, set to roll out from April 5 through May 17. AMC’s going all out, with not only the usual PR blitz but also exhibitions planned from coast to coast. Matthew Weiner’s keeping his profile high, too, serving as a juror at the Berlinale last month and, perhaps most intriguingly for cinephiles, selecting “ten movies that had an important influence on the creation of Mad Men, movies that made a deep impression on him and were required viewing for people working on the show,” as the Museum of the Moving Image describes the series running from March 14 through April 26. And he’s written the descriptions himself for:
- Alfred Hitchcock‘s North by Northwest (1959).
- Billy Wilder’s The Apartment (1960).
- Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958).
- David Lynch‘s Blue Velvet (1987).
- Claude Chabrol‘s Les Bonnes Femmes (1960).
- Fielder Cook‘s Patterns (1956).
- Delbert Mann’s Dear Heart (1964).
- Delbert Mann’s The Bachelor Party (1957).
- Jean Negulesco’s The Best of Everything (1959).
- Arthur Hiller‘s The Americanization of Emily (1964).
While New Yorkers wait for that series, they can See It Big! High and Wide. The week-long series opens today and Reverse Shot‘s been posting more essays on each of the films, most recently:
- Ashley Clark on Michael Roemer’s Nothing But a Man (1964).
- Eric Kohn on Frank Tashlin’s The Girl Can’t Help It (1956). More from Jake Cole in the L. And Tashlin’s Artists and Models (1955) is the Dissolve‘s “Movie of the Week,” by the way.
- Graham Fuller on Elem Klimov’s Come and See (1985).
Big news from the Film Society of Lincoln Center. First up, the full lineup for the second Art of the Real is complete. Opening on April 10 with new work from João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata, Eduardo Williams and Matt Porterfield, the series will close on April 26 with Jenni Olson‘s The Royal Road. There’ll be a retrospective, The Actualities of Agnès Varda, a sidebar, Repeat as Necessary: The Art of Reenactment (with work by James Benning and more) and the North American premieres of Sarah Francis’s Birds of September, Luo Li’s Li Wen at East Lake, Nicolás Videla and Camila José Donoso’s Naomi Campbel, Luísa Homem and Pedro Pinho’s Trading Cities, and Derek Jarman’s Will You Dance with Me? Brian Brooks has all the titles and accompanying descriptions.
Art of the Real will be preceded by Obscure Pleasures: The Films of Walerian Borowczyk, running from April 2 through 9. And Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, mentioned so often here before, finally opens today and runs through March 15 at the FSLC, BAM and the IFC Center. Jeremy Polacek (L) and Jonathan Romney (Film Comment) focus on Christophe Honoré’s Métamorphoses (2014), while Dustin Chang (Twitch), Stephen Holden (New York Times) and Vadim Rizov (Filmmaker) survey the entire series. At Indiewire, Emma Myers recommends five films in particular.
The Anthology Film Archives series Screenwriters and the Blacklist: Before, During and After opens today and runs through March 15. Eli Goldfarb in the L on Don Siegel’s Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970): “Of the five films that studio vet Siegel made with rising star Clint Eastwood—all-killer/no-filler peaks of the extended uproar now known as the New Hollywood—this gritty odd-couple Western was the most overtly comic… but the liberation politics and au courant cynicism are courtesy scripter Albert Maltz, one of the original Hollywood Ten.”
The Japan Society has posted the full schedule for The Most Beautiful: The War Films of Shirley Yamaguchi & Setsuko Hara, a series running from March 21 through April 4. “Both actresses were born in 1920 and achieved stardom in the so-called ‘national policy’ propaganda films of the China and Pacific wars. The similarities, however, end there. Through a selection of films made before, during and after WWII, this series illustrates how their respective roles on the silver screen transformed along with Japan itself—from young maidens serving an empire allied with Nazi Germany to mature women walking different paths in a defeated nation promoting democracy under American hegemony.”
A new restoration of Grey Gardens (1976), the “horrifying classic” (Justin Stewart, L) credited to David and Albert Maysles, Ellen Hovde, Muffie Meyer and Susan Froemke, sees a week-long run at Film Forum beginning today. Related listening (5’00”). Vanity Fair‘s posted a 2001 telephone conversation Albert Maysles and Edie Beale.
Zach Clark in the L: Begat by genuine Italian horror royalty (executive-produced by Dario Argento and directed by Mario Bava’s son Lamberto), Demons  might play like a wink-wink meta experiment if it wasn’t so masterfully crafted and so fucking fun to watch.” Tonight and tomorrow at midnight at the Nitehawk.
MoMA’s Wim Wenders retrospective is on through March 17
On Wednesday, the Tribeca Film Festival (April 15 through 26) announced the lineup for its 2015 World Narrative Competition and the fest carries on rolling out program after program. The World Documentary Competition includes new work by Albert Maysles, Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg; Viewpoints is a mix of narratives and docs from around the world (including Crystal Moselle’s The Wolfpack, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at Sundance); the Midnight section; and Spotlight, 23 narratives and 17 docs, including Radu Jude’s Aferim!, Tim Blake Nelson’s Anesthesia with Sam Waterston, Kristen Stewart, Glenn Close and Cory Stoll, Neil LaBute’s Dirty Weekend, Michael Winterbottom and Russell Brand’s doc on the financial crisis, The Emperor’s New Clothes, Paul Weitz’s Grandma with Lily Tomlin, Saverio Costanzo’s Hungry Hearts with Adam Driver and Alba Rohrwacher, Ken Loach’s Jimmy’s Hall, William Monahan’s Mojave with Oscar Isaac and Garrett Hedlund and Paolo and Vittorio Taviani‘s Wondrous Boccaccio.
BEYOND NEW YORK
Chicago. The 18th Annual European Union Film Festival opens today and runs through April 2, featuring “61 films from 27 of the 28 EU nations (Malta being the only no-show), making it the largest North American showcase dedicated to their output, and cover virtually every imaginable cinematic style and genre imaginable,” as Peter Sobczynski notes at RogerEbert.com. His overview is pretty extensive; Ray Pride‘s for Newcity Film is a more succinct list of highlights. The Chicago Reader has capsule reviews of seven selections—and J.R. Jones rounds up more local screenings as well.
Austin. SXSW Film opens a week from today and runs through March 21 (I’ll be there). The Chronicle‘s Kimberley Jones offers a helpful primer: “What to see, where to be, and how to relax.” And on SXSW Eve (that’ll be Thursday), the Texas Film Awards will be presented for the 15th year running. Marjorie Baumgarten previews the show and lists the recipients: Tommy Lee Jones, Luke Wilson, Bonnie Curtis, Guillermo del Toro, Christopher Evan Welch—and the late L.M. Kit Carson, remembered in the current issue by Chronicle editor Louis Black.
Los Angeles. The UCLA Festival of Preservation is on through March 30 and, in the latest episode of the Cinephiliacs, Peter Labuza talks with Jan-Christopher Horak, Director of UCLA Film & Television Archive (75’55”).
In the Weekly, Michael Nordine rounds up more local events.
Miami. The Miami International Film Festival opens today and runs through March 15. “With its special focus on Ibero-American and Cuban films, the 32nd edition presents many North American premieres alongside hot circuit titles from Sundance, Cannes and beyond,” writes Ryan Lattanzio in his overview for Thompson on Hollywood.
Toronto. I for Iran: A History of Iranian Cinema by Its Creators is on at TIFF Lightbox through April 4. For Movie Mezzanine, Amir Soltani writes about Dariush Mehrjui’s The Cow (1969), screening tonight and “most commonly, and rather generously, credited with beginning the New Wave.”
London. On Monday, Sight & Sound‘s Isabel Stevens will moderate a discussion with Pamela Hutchinson, Sophie Mayer, Francine Stock and Catherine Wheatley about the history of film criticism written by women. Hutchinson has recently taken a look back on the career of C.A. Lejeune, “a pioneer of the art of newspaper film criticism, who wrote weekly columns for the Guardian from 1922 to 1928 and then for the Observer until 1960.”
Venice. Paolo Baratta, President of la Biennale di Venezia, and artistic director Okwui Enwezor have announced the names of the 136 artists participating in this year’s exhibition, All the World’s Futures (May 9 through November 11). You’ll recognize a few of them: Chantal Akerman, John Akomfrah, Kutluğ Ataman, Harun Farocki and Antje Ehmann, Isaac Julien, Alexander Kluge, Chris Marker and Steve McQueen.