What’s Showing Today? Friday, February 17
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Featured Screening: Jan Švankmajer’s Alice at Museum of the Moving Image
Timed to coincide with the February 25 conclusion of the Surviving Life exhibition, two-weekend retrospective of the work of Czech animator Jan Švankmajer begins today at Museum of the Moving Image. Tonight’s film is his 1988 Alice, the first of his six features following short film work that had dated back to 1964.
“Unless we again begin to tell fairy tales and ghost stories before going to sleep and recounting our dreams upon waking, nothing more is to be expected of our Western civilization,” Švankmajer said shortly before making Alice. This loose adaptation of Lewis Carroll‘s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland follows a 1971 short form adaptation of Through the Looking-Glass‘ Jabberwocky poem, and it’s notably darker and more macabre than other adaptations. Combining live action and stop-motion animation, it’s young protagonist explores a milieu that, in Švankmajer’s style, is a veritable Mütter Museum of decaying spaces, mud-caked mason jars, discarded bones and odd ephemera. Yet this is no cynically self-conscious revisionist take on a story so widely adapted in the span of its life; rather, this is Švankmajer’s honest attempt to portray the story on screen bereft of the fable-like morality often imposed upon it. Alice, who also narrates the story through rupturing closeups to the mouth, is much more active than she is in other versions of the tale. As Švankmajer explained in a recent interview, “So far all adaptations of Alice (including the latest by Tim Burton) present it as a fairy tale, but Carroll wrote it as a dream. And between a dream and a fairy tale there is a fundamental difference. While a fairy tale has got an educational aspect – it works with the moral of the lifted forefinger (good overcomes evil), dream, as an expression of our unconscious, uncompromisingly pursues the realisation of our most secret wishes without considering rational and moral inhibitions, because it is driven by the principle of pleasure. My Alice is a realised dream.”
The Švankmajer program continues tomorrow with a shorts program, which includes Jabberwocky, and his contemporary, mindbending riff on Faust. And if you’d like to see more, check out this insanely comprehensive, generously illustrated overview of his work on Dennis Cooper‘s blog.
Unheralded action-sleaze filmmaker Joseph Zito (Bloodrage, The Prowler, Friday the 13th: The FInal Chapter) teamed up with Chuck Norris for 1985′s Invasion U.S.A., which is presented by Hammer to Nail tonight at 92YTribeca. It’s followed at 10:30 pm by Jean-Claude Van Damme in Hard Target, John Woo‘s American debut. Check out how insanely comprehensive its Wikipedia article is. Who’s moderating this shit?
William Wellman‘s The Ox-Bow Incident, frequently cited in interviews by Tom Waits as a source of wonder and inspiration, plays Film Forum. It’s not part of the two-for-one bill that includes Heroes for Sale and Wild Boys of the Road.
The Film Society of Lincoln Center‘s Film Comment Selects series starts tonight. It includes an 11:00 pm screening of Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii, whose timing strikes me as a nod to the group’s midnight-worthy head reputation and also an acknowledgement that most of their fans—especially those who frequent Lincoln Center—probably no longer have the wherewithal to stay up quite that late past bedtime. Other countercultural nods include—fuck.—a détourned Bush II-era Hollywood compilation film by J. Hoberman and James Franco‘s conceptual re-appropriation of River Phoenix outtakes from My Own Private Idaho, titled My Own Private River. Next month visionary filmmakers Nicholas Winding Refn and James Wan will appear at FSLC with their version of Svankmajer’s Alice synced up to A Momentary Lapse of Reason.
Tonight is the all-out last chance to watch Dennis Hopper loose his shit as if lost and broken in the melancholy depths of God’s tear in White Star at Spectacle Theater. Do. Not. Miss.
- Invasion U.S.A. (Joseph Zito). Details. 35mm. 1985. 107 min. 8:00 pm.
- Hard Target (John Woo). Details. 35mm. 1993. 97 min. 10:30 pm.
- Three Places in Rhode Island & Future Real Moments 1. Details. 7:00 pm.
- The Road to Immortality. Details. 9:00 pm.
- The American Dream (Jamil Walker Smith). Details. 2011. 80 min. 2:00 pm.
- DEFORCE (Daniel Falconer). Details. Q&A. 2010. 86 min. 4:30 pm.
- The Tested (Russell Costanzo). Details. Q&A. 2010. 107 min. 6:50 pm.
- Lesson Before Love (Dui Jarrod). Details. Q&A. 2011. 107 min. 9:30 pm.
- The Ox-Bow Incident. Details. 35mm. 1943. 1:00 pm.
- Heroes for Sale. Details. 35mm. 1933. 2:30, 5:15 and 8:00 pm.
- Wild Boys of the Road. Details. 35mm. 1933. 3:55, 6:40 and 9:25 pm.
- Snowtown (Justin Kurzel). Details. 2011. 119 min. 1:30 pm.
- We Have a Pope (Nanni Moretti). Details. 35mm. 2011. 104 min. 6:00 pm.
- Transfer (Damir Lukacevic). Details. 2010. 93 min. 4:00 pm.
- Faust (Aleksandr Sokurov). Details. 35mm. 2011. 135 min. 8:15 pm.
- Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii (Adrian Mabel). Details. 35mm. 1971. 85 min. 11 pm.
- Ivan & Ivana (Jeff Silva). Details. 2011. 80 min. 4:30 pm.
- The Tiniest Place (Tatiana Huezo Sanchez). Details. 2011. 104 min. 8:00 pm.
- Alice. Details. 1988. 86 min. 7:00 pm.
L’Enfant (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne) at IFC Center. Details. 35mm. 2005. 95 min. 11:00 am.
Gigi (Vincente Minnelli) at The Rubin Museum. Details. Intro by Fern Mallis. 1958. 119 min. 9:30 pm.
Black Butterfly (Charlotte Berlin & Leif Lindblom) at Scandinavia House. Details. 2011. 6:30 pm.
Jaws (Steven Spielberg) at IFC Center. Details. 1975. 124 min.
They Live (John Carpenter) at IFC Center. Details. 35mm. 1988. 93 min. 12:05 am.
Eraserhead (David Lynch) at IFC Center. Details. 1977. 97 min. 12:25 am.
The Dark Crystal (Jim Henson & Frank Oz) at Landmark Sunshine. Details. 1982. 95 min.
Street Trash (J. Michael Muro) at Nitehawk Cinema. Details. Roy Frumkes & Rocco Simonelli Q&A. 35mm. 1987. 91 min.
Kill All Redneck Pricks (William Badgley) at Nitehawk Cinema. Details. 2011. 84 min.
Beauty Queen Butcher (Jill Raz Zurborg) at Spectacle Theater. Details. Digital. 1991. 118 min.
The Forgotten Space (Allan Sekula & Noël Burch) at Anthology Film Archives. Details. Video. 2010. 112 min. 6:45 and 9:15 pm.
Michael (Markus Schleinzer) at Film Forum. Details. 2011. 96 min. 1:15, 3:15, 6:00, 8:00 and 10:00 pm.
A Separation (Asghar Farhadi) at Film Forum. Details. 2011. 123 min. 1:15, 4:00, 6:45 and 9:10 pm.
Talking Landscape: Early Media Work, 1974-1984 (Andrea Callard) at Maysles Cinema. Details. 2012. 80 min. 7:30 pm.
- Jem Cohen “NYC Weights and Measures” at The Jewish Museum New York, Upper East Side. $12 general/$10 seniors/$7.50 students/Free Saturdays. Through March 25.
- Haris Epaminonda “Projects 96” at MoMA, Midtown. $20 general/$12 students/$16 seniors. Closed Tuesday/Wednesday. Through February 20.
- Sanja Iveković “Sweet Violence” at MoMA, Midtown. $20 general/$12 students/$16 seniors. Closed Tuesday/Wednesday. Through March 26.
- Frances Stark “My Best Thing” at MoMA P.S.1, Queens. $10 general/$5 students/$5 seniors. Closed Tuesday/Wednesday. Through February.
- Rania Stephan at MoMA P.S.1, Queens. $10 general/$5 students/$5 seniors. Closed Tuesday/Wednesday. Through February.
- Clifford Owens “Anthology” at MoMA P.S.1, Queens. $10 general/$5 students/$5 seniors. Closed Tuesday/Wednesday. Through March 12.
- The User: The New Auteur at The Museum of Arts and Design, Columbus Circle. $15 general/$12 students and seniors. Open 7 days a week. Through March 4.
- 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.
- Aleksandra Mir “The Seduction of Galileo Galilei” at The Whitney Museum, Upper East Side. $18 general/$12 students, seniors, ages 19-25, free for under 18. Pay-as-you-wash Fridays 6-9 pm. Closed Monday/Tuesday. Through February 19.
Below listed North-South
- James Nares “1976: Movies, Photographs and Related Works on Paper” at Paul Kasmin Gallery, West 27th Street. Closed Sunday/Monday. Ends February 11.
- Catherine Yass “Lighthouse” at Galerie Lelong. Closed Sunday/Monday. Ends March 17.
- Jeff Keen Works from the 1960s + 1970s at Elizabeth Dee. Closed Sunday/Monday. Ends February 18.
- Pia Myrvold “Pia MYrvoLD: FLOW” at .No. Closed Monday. Ends March 3.
- island6 “Sin City—Impressions of Shanghai” at Tallybeck Contemporary. Closed Monday/Tuesday. Ends March 11.
- “The Herd Remorse” at Lesley Heller Workspace. Work by Maria Zervos, Alix Pearlstein, Perry Bard, Lenore Malen, Henry Hills & Julie Harrison. Curated by Lenore Malen. Closed Monday/Tuesday. Ends March 4.
- Adam Curits “The Desperate Edge of Now” at e-flux, 311 East Broadway 10002. Open Tue-Fri 1:00 to 6:00 pm. Ends April 14.
- Mounira Al Solh “Dinosaurs” at Art in General. Closed Sunday/Monday. Ends March 17.
- “We Are Cinema: 50 Years of the Film-Makers’ Co-op” at Microscope Gallery. Open Thurs-Mon 1:00 to 6:00 pm. Ends March 5.
- “Video Infusion: Music Videos in the New Millennium” at Secret Project Robot. Open Fri 6:00 pm to Mid/Sat. & Sun. 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Ends March 3.