What’s Showing Today? Tuesday, January 27
Click venue names for ticket info & directions
Gold Diggers of 1933 begins in true extravagant Busby Berkeley style: a troupe of scantily-clad women, costumes made of strategically placed coins, led by Ginger Rogers (still in her pre-code sasspot persona), singing “We’re In the Money” while stepping in and out of complex formations. It is truly one of the highlights of early Hollywood musicals—there’s a section where Rogers sings the song in Pig Latin, and it’s filmed in a disorienting close-up that wouldn’t be out of place in a Lynchian nightmare sequence. But as the audience is dazzled by the Hollywood spectacular, the Great Depression comes charging in, literally; the show within the movie is raided by the sheriff’s office, who repossess the sets because there are unpaid pills. So quickly—and so cleverly!—the Hollywood fantasy bubble is popped, and reality sets back in.
Gold Diggers is a fascinating study in contrasts, as the leading ladies (Ruby Keeler, Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon, and Rogers, all playing wonderfully to type) are all glamour on stage, but have to steal milk from their neighbors for breakfast. Even the show within the film is a light, airy musical with puppy love numbers from Dick Powell and Keeler, but ends with the German Expressionist number “Remember My Forgotten Man,” belted out by Blondell, about how society has forgotten and disposed of veterans. Even the romantic farce of the middle part of the film, where the women put on each other’s identities in order to bag themselves rich husbands, is a romantic fantasy with hard, truthful edges.
To that end, Light Industry is pairing the film with four short films shot between 1931 and 1932 by the Film and Photo League, a leftist group with the mission of recording the strikes and protests in the wake of the Great Depression. These films document the brutality, force, and despair that working class people met due to the economic crisis. The cold, hard reality of American life revealed in these short films parallels the actresses’ struggles in the film, and hit home the meaning of “Remember My Forgotten Man.”
Gold Diggers of 1933 includes some of the best acting and musical numbers of the studio musicals at the time (and the costumes!). But the characters never forget that it’s hard times everywhere, and they don’t let the audience get away with pure escapism, either. It’s a beautiful whirlwind of frothy spectacle and cold hard truth. —Dana Reinoos
Film Forum and Light Industry are confirmed open today. Closings noted below.
- Prince of Foxes (Henry King). Details. 2-for-1 admission. 35mm. 1949. 103 min. 3:00 and 7:30 pm.
- The Black Rose (Henry Hathaway). Details. 2-for-1 admission. DCP. 1950. 115 min. 12:40, 5:10 and 9:35.
Favorites of the Moon (Otar Iosseliani). Details. Introduced at 7:30 pm by Phillip Lopate. DCP. 1985. 104 min. 4:00 and 7:30 pm. Let’s Go! (Michael Verhoeven). Details. Q&A with Michael Verhoeven. 2014. 90 min. 1:00 pm. Angels of Revolution (Alexey Fedorchenko). Details. 2014. 113 min. 3:30 pm, 9:00 pm. Artist Focus: Keren Cytter. Details. Keren Cytter in attendance. Multimedia. 90 min. 6:15 pm. I Am Suzanne! Details. 1933. 100 min. 4:00 pm. A Thousand Suns with Atlantiques. Details. 2013/2009. Introduced by Mati Diop. 60 min. 6:30 pm. Anna (Pierre Koralnik). Details. Digital video. 1967. 85 min. 7:30 pm. The Snow Woman (Tokuzô Tanaka). Details. Digital video. 1968. 79 min. 10:00 pm.
Mommy (Xavier Dolan) at Film Society of Lincoln Center. Details. DCP. 2014. 139 min. 12:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 6:30 pm, 9:20 pm.
Salvation Army (Abdellah Taïa) at Film Society of Lincoln Center. Details. DCP. 2013. 81 min. 2:45 pm, 4:45 pm, 7:00 pm, 9:15 pm.
- “Cut to Swipe” at MoMA, Midtown. Work by Dara Birnbaum, Rosetta Brooks, Kevin Beasley, Ken Okiishi, Luther Price, James Richards, Hito Steyerl, and The Otolith Group with Chris Marker. $25 general/$14 students/$18 seniors. Free Fridays 4:00 to 8:00 pm. Closes March 22.
- “Letters to Afar: By Péter Forgács” at Museum of the City of New York, Upper West Side. $10 general/$6 students and seniors. Open 7 days a week. Ends March 22.
- View all exhibitions at Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, Queens. $12 general/$9 students and seniors/$6 ages 3 to 18. Free admission Friday 4-8 pm. Closed Monday.
- Cheryl Donegan “Paintings and Videos” at Sgorbati Projects, 525-531 West 26 Street, Fourth Floor. Open Tuesday-Friday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Closes February 21.
- Laura Poitras “9/11 Trilogy” at Artists Space Exhibitions, 38 Greene Street, Third Floor. Open Wednesday-Sunday, Noon to 6:00 pm. Closes February 15.
- James Benning & Peter Hutton “Nature is a Discipline” at Miguel Abreu Gallery, 88 Eldridge Street/36 Orchard Street. Open Wednesday-Sunday, 10:30 am to 6:30 pm. Closes March 8.
- “Tongue Stones” at Pioneer Works. Work by David Horvitz, Soda_Jerk, Joachim Koester, Elise Rasmussen, and Julia Weist. Open Wednesday-Sunday, noon to 6:00 pm. Closes March 8.
- “Respond” at Smack Mellon, 92 Plymouth Street. Open Wednesday-Sunday, noon to 6:00 pm. Closes February 22.
- Zach Nader “channel surf” at Microscope Gallery, 1329 Willoughby Avenue, #2B, Bushwick. Open Thursday-Monday, 1:00 to 6:00 pm. Closes February 16.