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Tuesday, February 28

What’s Showing Today? Tuesday, February 28
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Featured Screening: Paths of Glory at BAMcinématek

BAMcinématek pays tribute to crime writer Jim Thompson with two evenings of films scripted with his involvement. Tonight is Paths of Glory, Thompson’s adaptation of the Humphrey Cobb novel co-written with director Stanley Kubrick and Calder Willingham; and tomorrow is Bertrand Tavernier‘s Coup de Torchon, an adaptation of Thompson’s Pop 1280.

On the strength of Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me, Kubrick and fresh-faced producing partner James B. Harris  approached the writer to collaborate on a screenplay adaptation of Lionel White’s Clean Break. Kubrick’s previous work, from his first short film Day of the Fight through second feature Killer’s Kiss, notably suffers from hammy language and flat tough-guy affectations. Working on a micro level as Kubrick managed the script’s overall structure, Thompson was able to inject genuine grit and pathos where the previous work had fumbled. Their characteristically non-traditional screenplay, written on legal paper and bound at the top, formed the basis of what is now apparently widely felt as the “real” first Kubrick movie—his debut, Fear and Desire, had been notoriously buried until a recent and controversial Eastman House restoration, and Killers Kiss, a singularly flawed but nevertheless wonderful film, was recently relegated to DVD bonus feature by The Criterion Collection. The Killing landed the director-producer team a deal with MGM under the aegis of production head Dore Schary, for whom they set to work with Calder Willingham adapting Stefan Zweig’s The Burning Secret after the studio had rejected Thompson as a potential writer. When Schary was suddenly ousted, the new management were looking for an opportunity to do some housecleaning and discovered Harris and Kubrick had been moonlighting with Thompson on an adaptation of Cobb’s novel. Suddenly without a paycheck, the team shuffled the project to United Artists, who insisted Thompson’s script receive a re-write by Willingham. That version was initially rejected as too potentially upsetting to the French until star Kirk Douglas came on board, and it’s the one that provided the blueprint for the present film (and subsequently upset the French to enduring, if not particularly detrimental, effect to Kubrick’s career). Though no subsequent Kubrick-Thompson have come to fruition on screen, Kubrick had at one point been enthusiastic about  working on an original screen treatment by Thompson entitled Lunatic at Large. Eventually this film, a noir mystery set among a New York carnival, was sidetracked by Kubrick’s aborted attempt at working on One-Eyed Jacks and subsequently replacing Anthony Mann on Spartacus. He had allegedly considered returning to it later, but the manuscript was considered lost until 2006 after the director’s death.

Paths of Glory screens at 4:30, 6:50 and 9:15 pm, and Coup de Torchon is tomorrow at 6:50 and 9:30 pm.

Today

The Wooster Group at Large at Anthology Film Archives
Series Details

  • The Golden Boat (Raúl Ruiz). Details. 16mm. 1990. 83 min. 7:00 pm.
  • The Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez (Peter Sellars). Details. 35mm. 1991. 111 min. 9:00 pm.

From the Pen of: John Sayles at Anthology Film Archives
Series Details

  • Alligator (Lewis Teague). Details. 35mm. 1980. 91 min. 7:15 pm.
  • Piranha (Joe Dante). Details. 35mm. 1978. 94 min. 9:15 pm.

A Hell of a Writer: Jim Thompson at BAMcinématek
Series Details

  • Paths of Glory (Stanley Kubrick). Details. 35mm. 1957. 88 min. 4:30, 6:50 and 9:15 pm.

William Wellman at Film Forum
Series Details • 2-for-1

  • The Iron CurtainDetails. 35mm. 1948. 1:10, 4:25 and 7:40 pm.
  • The President VanishesDetails. 35mm. 1934. 2:50, 6:05 and 9:20 pm.

50 Years of the New York Film Festival at Film Society of Lincoln Center
Series Details

  • Man of Iron (Andrzej Wajda). Details. 35mm. 1981. 153 min. 6:00 pm.

Film Comment Selects 2012 at Film Society of Lincoln Center
Series Details

  • Faust (Aleksandr Sokurov). Details. 35mm. 2011. 135 min. 9:00 pm.

Carte Blanche to agnès b. at French Institute Alliance Française
Series Details

  • Casque d’or (Jacques Becker). Details. 1952. 96 min. 12:30, 4:00 and 7:00 pm.

MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight 2012 at Nitehawk Cinema (Note outside venue)
Series Details

  • Marija’s Own (Željka Suková). Details. Q&A. 2011.61 min. 7:30 pm.
  • Grandma Lo-Fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigríður Níelsdóttir (Orri Jónsson, Kristín Björk Kristjánsdóttir, Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir) and Byun, Object Trouvé (Marie Losier). Details. Q&A. 2011. 69 min. 8:30 pm.

Psychedelic Travelogues at Spectacle Theater
Evening Details

  • Taj Mahal Travellers on Tour (Matsuo Ohn). 1973. 102 min. 8:00 pm.
  • Vagabunden Karawane (Werner Penzel). 1980. 82 min. 10:00 pm.

The People Vs. Larry Flynt (Milos Forman) at Bohemian National Hall. Details. 1996. 127 min. 7:00 pm. FREE.
Gaddafi’s Libya
 (Nizar Abboud) at Brecht ForumDetails. Followed by discussion with filmmaker. 7:30 pm.
The Promise: The Making of Darkness at the Edge of Town (Thom Zimny) at IFC Center. Details. 2010. 85 min. 8:00 pm.
White Night (Park Shin-Woo) at Tribeca Cinemas. Details. 2009. 7:00 pm. FREE.

Ongoing

Michael (Markus Schleinzer) at Film ForumDetails. 2011. 96 min. 1:15, 3:15, 6:00, 8:00 and 10:00 pm.
A Separation (Asghar Farhadi) at Film ForumDetails. 2011. 123 min. 1:15, 4:00, 6:45 and 9:10 pm.

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