Over the course of his last four films, Argentine writer-director Matías Piñeiro has developed a unique approach to bringing Shakespeare’s comedies into the contemporary world, using these classic tales as vehicles for exploring the complex interpersonal dilemmas of his predominantly female protagonists. Hermia & Helena, which opens in Manhattan this weekend at the Metrograph and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, takes its inspiration from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, centering on the friendships and romantic adventures of a young theater director from Buenos Aires, who is working on a new translation of the play while attending an artist residency in New York. Last fall, just before the film’s premiere at the New York Film Festival, Piñeiro stopped by our office for an interview and a trip inside our closet. Take a look at the array of Criterion editions he snatched up during his visit, which range from Jean Renoir’s Technicolor spectacular French Cancan to Roberto Rossellini’s devastating Journey to Italy.
New York Asian Film Festival: The Best in Modern Asian Cinema Gets a Badass New Trailer — Watch
Fans of Asian cinema are in for a very big treat when The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Subway Cinema roll out their annual New York Asian Film Festival, known as North America’s leading festival of popular Asian cinema, later this month.
This year’s edition will showcase 57 feature films, including 3 International Premieres, 21 North American Premieres, 4 U.S. Premieres, and 15 films making their New York City debuts, including titles like “Bad Genius,” “Birdshot,” “A Double Life,” “The Gangster’s Daughter,” “Kfc,” “Jane,” and “With Prisoners.”
The festival will present five awards, including the Star Hong Kong Lifetime Achievement Award to Eric Tsang, two Star Asia Awards, the Screen International Rising Star Award to Thailand’s Chutimon “Aokbab” Chuengcharoensukying as announced on June 5, and the Daniel E. Craft Award for Excellence in Action Cinema to South Korea’s Jung Byung-gil.
“We were seeking a range of original films from young, first-time directors, films that represent the diversity of filmmaking from Asia, stories that say something both very local and specific to their countries of origin and something very universal: we hope we achieved at least some of this with our inaugural competition selection, which includes films from seven countries/cities in the region in a broad variety of genres,” NYAFF executive director Samuel Jamier said in an official statement.
He added, “It’s important for us to champion new filmmaking from Asia, and the diversity of film made there at a time when other festivals in North America seem to be reducing the size of their Asian lineups.”
Check out our exclusive trailer for the festival below, showing off some of the badass titles festival-goers can check out at this year’s edition.
The New York Asian Film Festival is curated by executive director Samuel Jamier, deputy director Stephen Cremin, and programmers Claire Marty and David Wilentz. It is co-presented by Subway Cinema Inc and the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
The festival is held at the Film Society of Lincoln Center (June 30 – July 13) and the SVA Theater (July 14 – 16).
This week, the Film Society of Lincoln Center began its fascinating series An Early Clue to the New Direction: Queer Cinema Before Stonewall, organized by programmer at large Thomas Beard. The survey, which aims to explore the origins of queer cinema and expand the knowledge of its production prior to the revolutionizing Stonewall riots of 1969, features an exhaustive program of films that range from Hollywood auteurist pictures to experimental masterpieces.
On the schedule for next Thursday is a screening of Basil Dearden’s extraordinary 1961 feature Victim. Starring Dirk Bogarde, the film centers on a married barrister in London who, along with a group of other closeted men, is being threatened by a blackmailer. The masterfully crafted suspense drama was made in response to Britain’s Wolfenden Report of 1957, which proposed decriminalizing homosexual acts. Victim, one of the first films to explore homosexuality without sensationalizing it as a cultural taboo, is an influential, crucial work of social drama. See it this Thursday on 35 mm!
Wherein Social Media Specialist Marya E. Gates (aka @oldfilmsflicker) discusses her love of David Lynch and urges you to join us on May 8th at 2am ET for a live tweet of two hours of David Lynch shorts during TCM Underground.
There are a few things that everyone who knows me (well or even in passing) knows about me: I like pie, I like movies, I LOVE DAVID LYNCH.
In fact, for Halloween a few years ago I dressed as David Lynch:
Little known fact: David Lynch and I have the same face:
So, obviously it was written in the stars I would love David Lynch. His cinema is not for everyone, this is very true. But I think he brings something truly unique to the cinematic landscape.
In his recent book about Lynch’s cinema “David Lynch: The Man From Another Place”, author Dennis Lim, the director of programming at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, describes Lynch’s place in cinema:
Despite his protestations, and despite having made only ten feature films, Lynch has spent much of his working life in the pantheon of the eponymous, among the very small group of artists who have become household adjectives through the singular force and character of their work. In Lynch’s case, this is a testament not just to his uniqueness but also to the difficulty of accounting for that uniqueness. If “Kafkaesque” implies an atmosphere of ominous illogic and “Borgesian” suggests a garden of forking paths, if “Capraesque” connotes feel-good optimism and “Felliniesque” conjures carnival-like fantasy, “Lynchian” means - well, this is where things get both tricky and interesting. The paradox of the Lynchian sensibility is that it is at once easy to recognize and hard to define.”
I’m gonna throw another quote at you now, one of my favorites from Lynch. You can find it in “Lynch On Lynch” (edited by Chris Rodley):
I love the idea that one thing can be different for different people. Everything’s that way…and then there are films or writings that you could read once and then ten years later read again and get way more from. You’ve changed; the work stays the same. But suddenly it’s got way more meaning for you, depending on where you are. I like things that have a kernel of something in them. They have to be abstract. The more concrete they are, the less likely that this thing will happen. The maker has to feel it and know it in a certain way and be honest to it. Every single decision passes through this one person, and if they judge it and do it correctly, then the work holds together for that one person, and they feel it’s honest and it’s right. And then it’s released, and from that point on there’s not one thing you can do about it. You can talk about it - try to defend it or try to do this or that. It doesn’t work. People still hate it. They hate it. It doesn’t work for them. And you’ve lost them. You’re not going to get them back. Maybe twenty years later they’ll say, “My God! I was wrong.” Or maybe, twenty years later, they’ll hate it when at first they loved it. Who knows? It’s out of your control.
This, for me, is everything I love about art, be it film, music, books, photography, poetry. You name it. I think we all bring ourselves into the art that we consume and what great art does is reflect itself back in us. I think Lynch understands that, and that is part of why even though his films are so confounding at times, he refuses to explain them. As he says in Angela Ismailos’ documentary THE GREAT DIRECTORS (’09): “The film is the talking!”
So, now that you have a bit of a primer on my love of Lynch, what Lynchian means, and how Lynch approaches art, here’s what we’ve got in store for you on TCM Underground this Saturday:
SIX MEN GETTING SICK (’66)
THE AMPUTEE, VERSION 2 (’74)
THE GRANDMOTHER (’70)
THE AMPUTEE, VERSION 1 (’74)
THE ALPHABET (’68)
PREMONITION FOLLOWING AN EVIL DEED (’95)
DUMBLAND: THE TREADMILL(’02)
DUMBLAND: A FRIEND VISITS (’02)
DUMBLAND: THE DOCTOR (’02)
DUMBLAND: UNCLE BOB (’02)
DUMBLAND: GET THE STICK! (’02)
DUMBLAND: MY TEETH ARE BLEEDING (’02)
DUMBLAND: ANTS (’02)
DUMBLAND: THE NEIGHBOR (’02)
Now, I have seen all of his films (many times!), and I’ve seen the first six shorts on the lineup, but I’ve never seen the DumbLand shorts! So half of the live-tweet will be new-to-me as well!
All you night owls, Lynch fans, and those who think they want to get their feet wet in the world of Lynchian cinema, please join me May 8th at 2am ET (or May 7th at 11pm PT because this is scheduled in a perfectly Lynchian rift between time zones and days) on Twitter @TCM and get your live tweet on!
In collaboration with the Kobal Collection and the Film Society Lincoln Center, New York’s Big Eye Gallery is running an exhibition, titled The Golden Age, showcasing rarely seen photographs of Elizabeth Taylor. The photos of the iconic actress were taken by leading Hollywood photographers, including Virgil Apger, Floyd McCarty, Clarence Sinclair Bull, Bob Coburn, and Bob Penn.