• + Google Calendar
  • + iCal Export
Still from Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

July Films: A Bi Gan Crypto-Noir, Remembering Carolee Schneemann, and ‘Christ Stopped at Eboli’

 

Chinese director Bi Gan’s first movie, Kaili Blues, was a mental travelogue constructed around a highly choreographed forty-one-minute take. His second, Long Day’s Journey into Night, is a moody crypto-noir that veers midway into Tibetan Book of the Dead territory and 3-D. As the protagonist falls asleep, the audience is instructed by an intertitle to put on the 3-D glasses they’ve been handed before the show. It’s really something else. Museum of the Moving Image, June 30–July 14.

*

Originally made for Italian television some 40 years ago, Francesco Rosi’s Christ Stopped at Eboli filmed anti-fascist Carlo Levi’s memoir of internal exile on location in the isolated region of southern Italy the book describes. At 220 minutes, Rosi’s film is an immersive, engaging 20th-century saga taking place over the course of a single year in an isolated backwater. Its belated American premiere in April was something of a cinematic event and it’s been revived by popular demand. Film Forum, July 12–18.

 *

“In Memoriam: Carolee Schneemann” commemorates the death this year of a significant (and significantly underappreciated) American painter, filmmaker, and performance artist with a rare double-projection of Kitch’s Last Meal (1973-78), an epic “home movie” shot over a period of years in super 8 (and showing in double-16mm). A relationship ends as does the life of the artist’s cat. It’s accompanied by a shorter film, Infinity Kisses – The Movie (2008), another formally adventurous meditation on interspecies communication. Anthology Film Archives, July 15.

*

A short series of long movies, “Intimate Epics” presents films not easily accommodated by revival house schedules: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia (1999), Hu Bo’s An Elephant Sitting Still (2018), Spike Lee’s Malcolm X (1991), Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954), Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day (1991), and Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975). All are ambitious; the last two are masterpieces and the theater is air-conditioned. BAM, July 19–23.

*

There could hardly be a better moment to acknowledge the achievement of Iran’s greatest filmmaker. A nearly complete survey, including a number of new restorations, “Abbas Kiarostami: Life as Art” starts in New York and travels the country, making its first stop in Berkeley with Kiarostami’s first feature The Traveler (1974). IFC Center, opens July 26; BAMPFA, August 2 through December 21.

 

Category: Film