Noah Baumbach has never seen “Withnail and I.” Kenneth Lonergan has always wanted to see “Yi Yi.” Sandra Bernhard hasn’t had the chance to catch “Lola.” As part of New York City’s Quad Cinema’s newly announced “First Encounters” screening series, they (and more creative types) are going to finally remedy that — and they’d like you to join them.
The newly revamped four-screen theater — set to reopen in less than in a month — has announced the first lineup of their newest series, which sees notable New Yorkers (helped by programmers Christopher Wells and Gavin Smith) picking a film they’ve never seen (but have always wanted to) to show on the big screen, complete with a post-showing Q&A with the rest of audience.
Check out the first official lineup for First Encounters below, with descriptions and other information provided by Quad Cinema.
“Lola,” Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1981, West Germany, 113m, 35mm
Fassbinder’s garishly colored melodrama updates von Sternberg’s “The Blue Angel” to ’50s West Germany, with upstanding building commissioner Armin Mueller-Stahl unexpectedly falling for seductive cabaret singer Barbara Sukowa, and finding himself torn between professional obligation and torrid passion. In German with English subtitles.
Selected and presented by Sandra Bernhard
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“Pather Panchali,” Satyajit Ray, 1955, India, 125m, DCP
This tender portrait of a Bengali family — whose struggles with poverty are observed with the same simplicity and poetic lyricism as the quotidian pleasures of village life — introduced the world to young Apu, became a landmark of social realism, and an enduring classic of world cinema. In Bengali with English subtitles.
Selected and presented by John Turturro
“Withnail and I,” Bruce Robinson, 1988, UK, 107m, 35mm
This ‘60s rites of passage memoir chronicles the dissolute misadventures of unemployed actor Marwood (Paul McGann) and outrageous fellow thesp and quasi-mentor Withnail (Richard E. Grant). Detailing their shambolic, alcohol-fueled stay at a ramshackle Lake District cottage owned by portly homosexual Uncle Monty (Richard Griffiths), Robinson’s film richly deserves its cult reputation, and made Grant’s career.
Selected and presented by Noah Baumbach
“Yi Yi,” Edward Yang, 2000, Taiwan/Japan, 173m, 35mm
The swan song of one of the luminaries of the Taiwanese New Wave, this absorbing portrait of three generations of a contemporary middle-class Taipei family is imbued with an emotional specificity that is hard to shake. “The work of a master in full command of the resources of his art.” (The New York Times) In Mandarin with English subtitles.
Selected and presented by Kenneth Lonergan
“Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars,” D.A. Pennebaker, 1973, UK, 90m, 35mm
David Bowie’s historic 1973 performance at London’s Hammersmith Odeon finds the late great musician at the end of his British tour, at the height of his glam rock powers, and bidding farewell to his alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust: ghastly pale, with razor sharp cheekbones and an array of gender-bending, science fiction-inspired ensembles. A must-see for Ziggy fans.
Selected and presented by Jeffrey Deitch