These past couple of weeks, I have been pretty much holed up in Brooklyn, working from home, getting started on my work for The Sarasota Film Festival. I will be moving to Florida in the next couple of weeks, so I have been bunkering a bit, trying to frequent my favorite local places, just taking in autumn in my neighborhood. As 5th Avenue has grown and changed over these past few years, I find myself staying in Brooklyn more and more often; There is so much to do here, so many options, I don’t want to leave. Of course, the jewel in the crown of my admittedly provincial lifestyle is the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcinématek, which has been the heartbeat of film in Brooklyn since it opened in 1999 (sorry Williamsburg). In Toronto, I was lucky enough to meet Florence Almozini, the BAMcinématek’s Film Curator, at a dinner, and having talked to her has only made her fine work feel more the result of an singular, curatorial intelligence. We are lucky to have her.
Next week, Florence has assembled an outstanding Tribute to Gena Rowlands, which includes some of the Rowland’s best films. I am most excited for the collaborations with her late husband John Cassavettes not included in the indispensible Criterion Box Set* (a new print of Love Steams? I’ll be there!). This series also represents a chance to catch her in conversation with Peter Bogdanovich next Thursday, November 10th after a screening of her astonishing performance in A Woman Under The Influence. I think Bogdanovich is a great choice, not only because he is the epitome of the witty, insider historian, but having just watched The Last Picture Show on DVD last night, he seems to be a filmmaker in tune with the emotional complexity on display in Rowland’s performances. There’s no place like home….
No Center Aisle, But You Get Used To It: The BAM Rose Cinemas
* The John Cassavettes: Five Films Box Set is truly amazing, and if you haven’t seen it or Cassavettes’ films before, I couldn’t recommend it more highly. It is the pinnacle of Criterion’s work, and looking at their catalogue, that is no faint praise.