We begin in New York, where the 11th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation opened on Wednesday and will run through November 12. “A film festival that includes a pair of Weimar-influenced pre-code Hollywood musicals, three classic cartoons by John and Faith Hubley and a 1936 docudrama in which an American re-enacts her imprisonment in Nazi Germany might fairly be called eclectic,” writes Dave Kehr in the New York Times. “Or it might be called To Save and Project, as the Museum of Modern Art titles its annual survey of recently restored movies, which returned this week for its 11th edition. Organized by Joshua Siegel, an associate curator in the museum’s film department, the festival has a sweeping nature that suggests how much work is being done to reclaim film history—and how much more needs to be done. This year’s program contains some 75 feature films and shorts from archives around the world.”
The New Yorker‘s Richard Brody notes that nearly all the films will be screened “in the original 35-mm. or 16-mm. format. Some of the restored films are distinguished more by their scarcity than by their beauty, but many in the series are important additions to the repertory—and the rare chance to see them projected on a big screen emphasizes their merits. That’s especially so for a trio of films made in three different eras which were shot in striking locations by directors whose diverse ways with landscape are central to their artistry.” He goes on to preview Karl Brown‘s Stark Love (1927), Michelangelo Antonioni‘s I Vinti (The Vanquished, 1953), and Chantal Akerman‘s News from Home (1976).
Tonight at Kellen Auditorium, Annette Insdorf, author of Double Lives, Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski, will introduce Kinoscope‘s screening of Kieslowski’s Camera Buff (1979). On a related note, Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema is a series opening in New York in February before it begins its tour of the U.S. and Canada. This’ll be “the largest presentation of restored Polish cinema to date” and the site’s terrific, too.
Beginning this evening, BAMcinématek presents a one-week run of Claire Denis‘s Trouble Every Day (2001), and BAM’s Andrew Chan introduces an interview: “Brooklyn-based actor Tricia Vessey, who stars in the film as a newlywed American in Paris named June (married to Vincent Gallo’s flesh-eating protagonist), took the time to speak with us about her experience making the film. She will be at BAM in person on Friday to introduce the 7pm screening.”
Los Angeles. “In what it’s calling a ‘preliminary’ sampling, the UCLA Film & Television Archive is offering Angelenos the chance to experience a striking array of selections of Chinese cinema, from the silent gems of Shanghai’s Golden Age to recently unearthed midcentury satires and more familiar art-house hits such as 2000’s In the Mood for Love, from Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-wai.” As Sheri Linden reports for the Los Angeles Times, from today through December 13, “the 28-film series A Century of Chinese Cinema is a slimmed-down version of a program that premiered this year in Toronto, the result of an unprecedented collaboration among the China Film Archive (Beijing), the Hong Kong Film Archive and the Chinese Taipei Film Archive.”
Henri-Georges Clouzot and the Aesthetics of the Sixties: Reflections on La Vérité is a screening and panel discussion happening at REDCAT tomorrow focusing on Clouzot‘s 1960 “showcase for the alluring physical presence of the biggest French star of the time, Brigitte Bardot—who transforms from pouting sex kitten to grand tragedienne.”
Also on Sunday, and in conjunction with LA Opera’s presentation of Einstein on the Beach, Filmforum presents Richard Rutkowski’s 2011 documentary The Space in Back of You, featuring Suzushi Hanayagi and Robert Wilson.
Seattle. “In this age of ever-growing mainstream acceptance, how can LGBTQ-specific film festivals remain relevant?” asks the Stranger‘s David Schmader. “Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival‘s answer: Stock your queer-identified film festival with a ton of great films that people would be happy to see at SIFF or in general release, with a spotlight on the queer pioneers who fought for their lives long before anyone in the larger culture was on their side.” Through October 20.
On a related note, the 11th annual Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival opens today in Albuquerque and also runs through October 30.