[in no order]
1. Rubin & Ed
Howard Hesseman & Crispin Glover buddy spirit jaunt through the Cali-jurassic desert caves of sleek desolate downtown districts and Gordon Gekko-trickle down Motivational Groups, the gags funny and strange eons beyond the veneer of a midnight straight-to-cable job. dir. Trent Harris, 1991, Walter Reade Theater.
2. Where's Poppa
The Borscht premise of a middle-age Upper West Sider living with his old crazy mother, the jokes transgressive (last scene sonny Segal mounting Momma) and mawkishly unsettling ("you the guy that raped the cop?"). An archaeologist may study it as evidence of a particular time and place on Central Park West that is continually phasing out of existence. Carl Reiner, 1970, Film Forum.
3. Kiss Me Deadly
A first and last word on pulp noir, a flyblown macho private-eye led to a small box that scorches you and when opened might have blown up the world, we are put in the experience of what sustains us as organic beings, the desperate breath, following a trail the end of which finds an ungodly power which destroys all matter, unleashed by a creepy, mannered, Count-like old man. Ralph Meeker pioneers a style and swagger not barely seen again until the 70s. Robert Aldrich, 1955, Film Forum.
4. Sword of Doom
As if S. Kubrick made a samurai movie at the far, black, cold arches of space – the hero sitting in an empty room with estranged wife, drinking sake, always staring hard in the Nakadai manner at nothing but the void, dispatching his attackers at the climax rampage as if every lunge is one of isopathic Judgment. Kihachi Okamoto, 1966, Film Forum.
5. Day of Wrath
Like Master Henry James produced a late medieval hellbent Scandanavian witch nouvelle. Carl Dreyer, 1943.
6. Mishima: A Life In Four Chapters
see Guest Screenings
7. Cluny Brown
see Guest Screenings
8. The Long Riders
New Wave Walter Hill Western micro-epic where the riders ride long in freakish slo-mo psychedelic bandit shoot-outs tho the potboiled egomaniacs characterized as stolid self-effacing fraternaholics , lets hope raids such as this movie depicts will not be enacted on Bank Of America's new One Bryant Park. Walter Hill, 1980, BAM.
A spectacle of chasing rhinos and buffalo on the Tanzanian plain, exemplar of the greatest of Hollywood magic, the "Danger" (Hatari in Swahili) is pleasantly and riotously offset by the soap opera twixt the zoo-hunters, and a ripsnort opener customizes the Forty-Deuce marquee night-on-the-town audience for a nearly three-hour pastiche of Howard Hawks' filmmaking career in the guise of an imperialist African action comedy. The team are gathering animals for the San Diego zoo on the other side of the world. Perhaps this is the only job left appropriate for John Wayne's stereotype spotlight frontiersman? Your author wishes to have seen it at the Victory Theater with a cutie bobbysocker and went for coffee and sandwiches at the Automat afterwards... Howard Hawks, 1962, Anthology Film Archives.
10. Chafed Elbows
Somewhere between French 1920s surrealism, sixties NYC para-dadaism and Milton Berle - Catskillsesque gags for Warholesque premises, like the man with a gangster's drawl who approaches our hero, signs with white paint his initials on our hero's lapel ("A.W." of course) and calls this work "Man on Street" and gives our hero a litany of instructions to which he must violately adhere now that he has been rendered a work in the art world. And the "artist" looks like a shoddy tourist and talks like a Gambino. References to "Jesus Mekas." A true absurd picaresque journey, where cop-killing and incest jokes are made as lightly as the jabs at the art world and Hollywood. Soundtrack of drooly ur-jazz by Hair composer. Robert Downey, Sr., 1966, Anthology Film Archives.