Bulletin Board: A roundup of screenings, discussions, and other film-related events
STAFF FAVORITE: The Forbidden Room – Videology – November 27 8:00 PM
Guy Maddin’s new fantastical film, The Forbidden Room, comes with a warning from the co-director himself: “Stay safe and enjoy!” Set up as a sort of demented matryoshka doll, the film anchors its narrative on a doomed submarine crew—who eat flapjacks for their supposed oxygen bubbles—as they slip through a hallucinatory dreamscape. Despite its experimental content, the film utilizes textbook three-act structure, with each act introduced and closed with an instructional about how to take a bath. Shot entirely in public at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and Centre PHI in Montreal under a “lost cinema spell,” Maddin and his co-director Evan Johnson researched lost or unmade films from cinema greats and reinterpreted them into the short specters that appear on screen. In addition to The Forbidden Room, Maddin will launch his project, Séances, an interactive build-your-own-narrative website and app that allows for users to hold “séances” with the spirits of lost and forgotten cinema, in 2016.
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict – Film Society of Lincoln Center – through November 26
For her second feature documentary, Lisa Immordino Vreeland profiles the life and influence of art collector and socialite Peggy Guggenheim. With a mix of archival footage, audiotapes, and interviews with fine art curators and Guggenheim herself, Vreeland explores the relationships this modern art heiress had with other icons such as Mark Rothko, Marcel Duchamp, and Max Ernst. In addition to painting a portrait of this extraordinary arts patron, this documentary also features clips from Maya Deren’s unfinished experimental short film The Witch’s Cradle (1943), which was shot in Guggenheim’s Art of This Century gallery.
Sarah Halpern: The Changing Room – Microscope Gallery – through November 29
Taking inspiration from classic Hollywood movies and books adapted to the screen, Sarah Halpern works with film, paper, music, and performance. Currently showing her second solo exhibition at the Microscope Gallery, Halpern uses still and moving images to remove characters and scenes from their usual context in an effort to illustrate new identities, relationships, and storylines. In combining text with 16mm film projected onto a laptop, she explores how technological changes have caused power shifts across different forms of media.
Turkeys for Thanksgiving – BAMcinématek – November 20–29
From November 20–29, BAMcinématek will be serving turkey. The 14 films in BAM’s Turkeys for Thanksgiving feast represent some of the industry’s greatest flops turned favorites, with films such as Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Cleopatra (1963), Peter Bogdanovich’s At Long Last Love (1975), and (gasp) Victor Fleming’s The Wizard of Oz (1939), which The New Republic’s Otis Ferguson initially declared “weighs like a pound of fruitcake soaking wet.” Kicking off the series is Elaine May’s action comedy Ishtar (1987), which stars Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman as two delusional lounge singers. And be sure to leave room for the closing dessert, Francis Ford Coppolla’s quite literally luminous One from the Heart (1981).
West Side Story Screenings with George Chakiris – SVA Theatre – November 22 at 5:00 pm
SVA Theatre will screen the Academy Award-winning classic West Side Story (1961) this Sunday, November 22, with a special appearance by the film’s Oscar-winning actor, George Chakiris. Susan Haskins, co-host of PBS’s Theater Talk, will moderate a Q&A following the screening to discuss the star’s storied career on stage and in film. There will be a second screening on Monday, November 23, featuring a discussion with Chakiris moderated by critic, historian, and author Peter Filichia. A portion of the proceeds from the events will benefit The CHARGE Syndrome Foundation, which seeks to improve the lives of those affected by the syndrome.
Print Screen: Discussion with Susan Howe and screening of The Mirror – Film Society of Lincoln Center – November 24th at 7:00 PM
As part of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Print Screen series, poet Susan Howe will introduce Andrei Tarkovsky’s seminal film, The Mirror (1975), which incorporates poetry read by Tarkovsky’s father, Arseny Tarkovsky, with imagery that oscillates from the abstract to the commonplace, replicating the sensation of memory. Following the screening, Howe, whose own poetry takes up historical and mythical themes akin to those in The Mirror, will discuss the film and her new collection of essays, The Quarry. Print Screen is a recurring series that places literature in conversation with film. Each event features an author and a screening of their choice, followed by a discussion and signing. The next Print Screen event will be December 10th with Garth Risk Hallberg.