Friday, March 23

Takeshi Kitano's Dolls at Japan Society

What’s Showing Today? Friday, March 23
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Featured Screening: Dolls at Japan Society

The Japan Society welcomes spring with a six-week series entitled Sakura—Spring Renews, Beauty Blooms, one which revolves around the many connotations of blossoming cherry trees through events comprising poetry, architecture, dance and film. The film series begins today with Takeshi Kitano‘s Dolls.

Dolls is one of the most gorgeous and accomplished films by Kitano, a true renaissance man who as a filmmaker is known primarily for his low-key, intermittently brutal yakuza stories. It’s title references traditional bunraku puppet theater, a performance of which opens the film, and its this form which the film attempts to reconcile within a live-action cinematic context.  Structurally, it jumps between three stratified narratives presented non-chronologically and delineated by bold visual schemata. Each of the stories revolve around love, possession and death.

Dolls screens at 7:30 pm tonight. Check out the rest of the Sakura lineup here.

Also Noted

Tonight two of the three films Screen Slate is presenting as part of Spectacle Theater‘s Nearly Distant Futures lineup return to the screen. Morning Patrol is a mediative, breathlessly fatalistic post-apocalyptic odyssey through an abandoned city prowled by roaming death squads—a must for fans of Escape from New York and The Warriors. An impeccably-executed vision of urban decay, it comes courtesy of the family of late Greek national treasure Nikos Nikolaidis, one of his country’s most acclaimed filmmakers domestically whose work—all of it—has never received U.S. distribution. That screens at 7:30, and I’ll be on hand to introduce. Then, at 9:30, it’s the FINAL screening of Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel, an Estonian headtrip from Stalker writers Boris & Arkady Strugatsky. Released the same year as Tarkovsky’s masterpiece and likewise scripted by the brothers from their own novel, it’s a much more colorful film both figuratively and literally. Virtually unknown here, it had a major impact on Estonian youth culture with its kaleidoscopic, brooding visuals that recall Fassbinder at his most melodramatically baroque. The story is sort of a locked room murder mystery set inside a snowed-in hotel that takes increasingly cerebral, out-of-this-world turns. Check out Screen Slate’s original trailer for a sample of Sven Grünberg’s impossibly cool, downbeat ambient lounge soundtrack.

Today begins Anthology Film Archives‘s complete retrospective of Sara Driver, whose debut short feature You Are Not I was recently rediscovered among the late source-author Paul Bowles‘s belongings. Driver will be on hand for many of the screenings throughout the weekend, and she is also presenting a series of personal favorites and influences. One of these, Spider Baby is featured on Screen Slate tomorrow.

Charles Laughton stars in Alexander Korda‘s 1936 Rembrandt biopic. It’s one of The Morgan Library & Museum‘s rare special screenings—a gorgeous venue.

Akira Kurosawa‘s The Bad Sleep Well, his first independent feature, plays The Rubin Museum. Novelist, playwright and poet Belinda McKeon is on hand to introduce the film, which transplants Hamlet to mid-century Japanese corporate culture.

The Museum of Arts and Design‘s multi-generation tribute to the Argento family begins with James Bond knock-off Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die, which was produced by Salvatore Argento. The series also spotlights the work of sons Claudio and Dario Argento and the latter’s daughter Asia Argento.


New Directors/New Films at Film Society of Lincoln Center and MoMA

Michael Pilz at Anthology Film Archives
Series Details

  • Rose and JasmineDetails. Video. 2010. 106 min. 6:30 pm.
  • Roman Diary. Details. Video. 2011. 124 min. 9:00 pm.

Sleepwalking: The Films of Sara Driver at Anthology Film Archives
Series Details

  • SleepwalkDetails. Driver in attendance. 35mm. 1986. 78 min. 7:00 pm.
  • You Are Not IDetails. Driver, actress Suzanne Fletcher and archivist Francis Poole in attendance. 16mm. 1981. 48 min. 9:15 pm.

Terence Davies at BAMCinématek
Series Details

  • Distant Voices, Still LivesDetails. 35mm. 1988. 85 min. 2, 4:30, 6:50 and 9:15 pm.

15 For 15: Celebrating Rialto Pictures at Film Society of Lincoln Center
Series Details

  • The Producers (Mel Brooks). Details. 35mm. 1968. 88 min. 1:45 pm.
  • Billy Liar (John Schlesinger). Details. 35mm. 1963. 98 min. 3:45 pm.

Sakura—Spring Renews, Beauty Blooms at Japan Society
Series Details • Through April 14

  • Dolls (Takeshi Kitano). Details. 35mm. 2002. 113 min. 7:30 pm.

Cruel and Unusual Comedy, Part 3: Selections from the Eye Film Institute at MoMA
Series Details

  • Mass DestructionDetails. 1911-1913. 40 min. 1:30 pm.

Contemporary Galleries: 1980-Now at MoMA
Series Details

  • Faust’s Other: An Idyll (Stan Brakhage). Details. 1988. 45 min. 3:00 pm.

Argentos: il cinema nel sangue at Museum of Arts and Design
Series Details

  • Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die (Henry Livin & Arduino Maiuri). Details. Digital. 1966. 106 min. 7:00 pm.

Hong Sang-soo at Museum of the Moving Image
Series Details

  • Oki’s MovieDetails. 2010. 80 min. 7:00 pm.

New Nordic Cinema at Scandinavia House
Series Details 

  • Princess (Arto Halonen). Details. 2010. 104 min. 6:30 pm.

Nearly Distant Futures at Spectacle Theater
Series Details

  • Morning Patrol (Nikos Nikolaidis). Details. Digital. 1987. 104 min. 7:30 pm.
  • Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel (Grigori Kromanov). Details. Digital. 1979. 80 min. 9:30 pm.

Whitney Biennial 2012 at The Whitney Museum
Series Details • Through May 27

  • Nathaniel Dorsky ProgramDetails. 16mm. 2010-2011. 57 min. 2:00, 4:00 and 7:00 pm.

Gaea Girls (Kim Longinotto & Jano Williams) at 92YTribecaDetails. 35mm. 2000. 106 min. 7:30 pm.
Rembrandt (Alexander Korda) at The Morgan Library & Museum. Details. 1936. 85 min. 7:00 pm.
The Bad Sleep Well (Akira Kurosawa) at The Rubin Museum. Details. 1960. 151 min. 9:30 pm.


Aliens (James Cameron)  at IFC Center. Details. 1986. 137 min. 11:45 pm.
Vampires (John Carpenter)  at IFC CenterDetails. 35mm. 1997. 108 min.
Ghostbusters: Minions of Gozer Live Shadowcast  at IFC CenterDetails. 1984. 105 min.
El Topo (Alejandro Jodorowsky)  at IFC CenterDetails. HD. 1970. 125 min. 12:10 am.
Alice in Wonderland: An Adult Musical Comedy
 (Bud Townsend) at Landmark SunshineDetails. 1976. 80 min.
Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku) at Nitehawk CinemaDetails. 2000. 114 min.
Super Fuzz
 (Sergio Corbucci) at Spectacle Theater. Details. Digital. 1980. 107 min.


Children of Paradise (Marcel Carné) at Film ForumDetails. DCP. 1945. 190 min. 1:00, 4:30 and 8:00 pm.
Gerhard Richter Painting (Corinna Belz) at Film ForumDetails. 2011. 94 min. 1:15, 3:15, 6:00, 8:00 and 10:00 pm.
A Separation (Asghar Farhadi) at Film ForumDetails. 2011. 122 min. 1:15, 4:00, 6:45 and 9:10 pm.
Sing Your Song (Susanne Rostock) at Maysles CinemaDetails. 2011. 104 min. 7:30 pm.



Below listed North-South


  • David Lynch at Tilton Gallery, 8 East 76 Street. Open Tues-Sat 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Ends April 14.