Waltz with Bashir (2008)
Museum of the Moving Image
February 6 – 6:00 PM
In a piecing together of forgotten wartime events, Waltz with Bashir uses animation to reconstruct a supposed reality as a strange dream. Director and protagonist Ari Folman, who served in the Israeli army in Lebanon during the summer of 1982, seeks clarity of his distorted memories through a series of conversations with old comrades. The notorious event in question is a mass murder of Beirut civilians by Christian militiamen, supposedly in retaliation for the assassination of Lebanese president Bashir Gemayel. In a personal journey through unreliable memories, Folman illustrates a therapeutic exercise of trauma and guilt while grappling with the transience of memory and the harsh reality of violence.
The Shadow (2015)
UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art
February 6 – 7:30 PM
As a synthesis of documentary film and experimental expression, The Shadow covers the dynamics of family relationships in a nature versus nurture context, specifically shown in the comfort of the family house that gets demolished and the pressure created by a father’s expectation of his son. From the innocence of childhood to the authority of fatherhood, the film explores how an individual’s memory and a group’s culture work in tandem to establish identity. Director Javier Olivera employs his training in film, photography, and painting as he experiments with narrative structure in what seems to be a memoir told through sight and sound.
Daddy Nostalgia (1990)
Film Society of Lincoln Center
February 7 – 2:00 PM
With the setup of a terminally-ill father and a distant daughter, Daddy Nostalgia could easily descend into an overemotional story of a life not fully lived. But the interaction between the affable father (Dirk Bogarde) and his energetic screenwriter daughter (Jane Birkin) plays out as a reawakening of a dormant relationship. But those touching father-daughter moments clash with the quiet presence of the wife/mother (Odette Laure), whose resignation and bitterness tell a different story in the reunion of this nuclear family. Film Society of Lincoln Center will screen the movie as part of the Jane and Charlotte Forever series, which pays tribute to the storied and influential careers of actresses Jane Birkin and Charlotte Gainsbourg.
We Won’t Grow Old Together (1972)
Anthology Film Archives
February 11 – 7:00 PM
As part of Anthology Film Archives’ aptly named Valentine’s Day Massacre 2016 series, We Won’t Grow Old Together chronicles an inverted love story of a couple seemingly held together by contempt and bitterness in place of desire or comfort. In this modern melodrama, Jean, a struggling middle-aged filmmaker, carries on with his middle-class wife, Francoise, while blatantly maintaining an affair with a younger actress, Catherine. Director Maurice Pialat, with his trademark illustration of emotional violence punctuated with physical violence, depicts a push-pull love triangle in which insult and aggression supersedes any semblance of love. In a portrait of non-nostalgic realism, Pialat confronts the depths of human nature with an unsentimental look at relationships.
Elektro Moskva (2013)
February 12 – 7:30 PM
As American consumer culture was coming into its own after WWII, the Soviet defense industry stuck to its guns, stockpiling rockets instead of refrigerators. But the KGB’s product line also generated an electronic age with an underground of musical instruments. Elektro Moskva documents this Soviet Union subculture of engineers and artists that used spare parts from weapons and computers to create synthesizers, keyboards, and microphones. As the filmmakers rummage through flea markets, storage units, and warehouses, history meets the present in a demonstration of how Soviet era invention stirred artistic expression through collection of sound and bending of circuits.