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New Movies…Who Cares?

New Movies...Who Cares?

Christ, Spacey, you didn’t even make the poster? You need a new agent, dude.

When mainstream screens are clogged with predictable-looking drek like Shutter, College Road Trip, and this weekend’s hott new entry 21 (so unsurprising in appearance that the New Republic’s house critic took it upon himself to review based on the trailer, and seems to have nailed it), it’s a great time to hit up your local repertory house.

Start your weekend off right with a trip to the Film Forum with your honey to watch love die painfully in Jean-Luc Godard’s masterpiece Contempt. I have this sense that there’s a new print of this thing in circulation every other year, which mildly annoys me (so many great films out there…), until I remember that it’s actually been a while since I’ve been able to see it and end up heading to the theatre to be forcefully reminded of its sheer greatness. Contempt is almost certainly Godard’s most beautiful film (though Eloge de l’amour ranks) and its general formal restraint—so unlike his other sixties works—makes it one of his most accessible and effective. I’d actually like to see it on a double bill with Week End for a nice summation of that period of his career, something that might well be possible with Film Forum’s upcoming retro of his storied work from that decade.

After Sunday brunch you could stumble home drunk on mimosas and hit up the DVR, or you could head over to BAM for a Manoel de Oliveira double bill featuring The Letter (which I haven’t seen) and Inquietude, a clear masterpiece. The three Oliveiras in the series that I’ve managed to catch for the first time have only served to broaden and deepen my idea of the range of this great artist (I’m glad I now know that he made a surrealist robot opera in The Cannibals, or tried to take on the history of Portugal and warfare in Non, or the Vain Glory of Command), and I’ve heard good things about The Letter, so I’m excited for it, and even more so for the chance to experience Inquietude again. Don’t take my word for it; take Jonathan Rosenbaum’s—he named it his #1 film of 1998.

And if you’re still fogged from the remnants of your weekend on Monday, head back to BAM and settle in for Chantal Akerman’s epic, glacial, and, in the end, rather terrifying Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, playing in their tribute to J. Hoberman. Akerman’s pretty hard to get a hold of over here (only a few of her films have made it to DVD) and Jeanne maintains its legendary status amongst her oeuvre for a reason. Definitely, definitely, definitely catch this one on the big screen.

None of these sound appealing? I suppose there’s always this.

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