What’s Showing Today? Sunday, May 13
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I’ve always puzzled over the relative obscurity of The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse given it is the final work by master artist Fritz Lang and a fittingly pat and provocative swansong, one that returns to the characters, themes and narrative style of his early serial-inspired structures of constantly upping the ante with hair-raising thrills—Screen Slate contributor Patrick Dahl addresses it in the essay Back to the Scene of the Crime. In fact, it’s the third of three final films to take this approach, each of which were made after Lang’s abandoning Hollywood for supposed retirement in his native Germany.
Before bidding farewell with Mabuse, Lang was compelled by producer Artur Brauner to revisit his and his ex-wife and collaborator Thea von Harbou‘s script for The Indian Tomb, which was previously directed 1921 by Joe May. Harbou collaborated with Lang on nearly all his directorial work from the original Mabuse, The Gambler through 1933’s The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, a run which also includes Metropolis, M, Die Nibelungen and others. They split in 1933 when Lang, child of a converted Catholic mother with Jewish heritage and therefore subject to extermination under Nazi eugenics laws, fled Germany in advance of the Nazi Party’s ascent. Harbou continued to have a massive level of success as a prolific writer and director working with the Nazi party until serving time in a British prison camp post-WWII and passing away in 1954. It’s these sympathies—and Lang’s discovering her in bed with a secret Indian lover (indeed it was their shared affinity for India that is said to have ignited the romantic spark between Lang and Harbou)—which led to the dissolution of their marriage. For Brauner, a Polish Jew who had emigrated to Berlin after the war, Lang split the story into two feature-length films: The Indian Tomb and Tiger of Eschnapur. Lang isn’t known for his use of color—of 45 films, there’s only The Return of Frank James, Western Union, American Guerrilla in the Philippines, Rancho Notorious and Moonfleet—yet it’s simply stunning here, and like American Guerrilla employs it to particularly good use in some breathtaking on-location scenes in places where filming was typically forbidden. The work is also fine spotlight for voluptuous star Debra Paget, particularly a scene in which she strips to something best described as a diamond-studded bikini to charm a snake with her body. Adventure!
Tonight Microscope Gallery presents Visions of Burroughs, an evening dedicated to the film collaborations between William S. Burroughs and friends, most notably filmmaker Antony Balch and artist Brion Gysin. Balch was a commercial filmmaker, exhibitor and distributor who became one Burroughs’s closest associates in the 1960s. He was noted for his flamboyant manner and queer tastes—as a distributor his titles included The Devil Bat, Freaks, The Corpse Grinders, Supervixens and Kenneth Anger’s Invocation of My Demon Brother, and his two superb attempts at what its possible he regarded as mainstream narrative horror films are a wild melange of Lugosi-style camp, teen lust, grand guignol gore and sweltering homoeroticism; the wildly transgressive realization of everything Rocky Horror only wishes it were. Yet their neither as provocative nor driven by such blatant as the Burroughs films, which are seemingly derived from variously candid and bizarre staged tableaux of Burroughs then literally cut up and reassembled per Burroughs and Gysin’s Cut Up technique of divining hidden intentions through random assemblage. Gysin and Ian Sommerville, inventors of the dreamachine, provide the soundtrack for The Cut-Ups, and a number of the works variously feature spoken text written and performed by Burroughs. (The narration for Towers Open Fire, the group’s seminal collaboration, is extremely discomforting.) They’re a uniquely frenzied experience and a singularly effective portrait of Burroughs. The program is rounded out by Commissioner of Sewers, a 30 minute piece by Klaus Maeck centered around an attempt to interview Burroughs.
- It’s the Earth, Not the Moon (Gonçalo Tocha). 2011. 180 min. 2:00 pm.
- Group Program. Work by Madison Brookshire & Tashi Wada, Mark Lewis, Ximena Cuevas and Emily Wardill. 5:30 pm.
- The Tiger of Eschnapur (Fritz Lang). 35mm. 1959. 101 min. 7:15 pm.
- The Indian Tomb (Fritz Lang). 35mm. 1959. 102 min. 9:30 pm.
- Long Live the Family (Radim Spacek). Details. 35mm. 2011. 90 min. 2:00 and 4:00 pm.
- The Banishment (Tomas Lunak). Details. 35mm. 2007. 157 min. 6:00 and 9:00 pm.
- Bitter Sweet (Herbert Wilcox). Details. 35mm. 1933. 93 min. 12:30 pm.
- Private Lives (Sidney Franklin). Details. DVD. 1931. 84 min. 2:30 pm.
- Coward the Actor + Our Man in Havana. Details. 35mm. 1959. 111 min. 6:15 pm.
- Design for Living (Ernst Lubitsch). Details. 35mm. 1933. 91 min. 8:45 pm.
- War Photographer (Christian Frei). 2002. 96 min. 7:30 pm.
- The Hunger (Ali Badrakhan). Details. 1986. 120 min. 1:00 pm.
- Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola). Details. 2003. 102 min. 1:00 pm.
- Stan Brakhage 1988-1989. Details. 67 min. 3:00 pm.
- Eika Katappa. Details. 1969. 147 min. 3:15 pm.
- The Death of Maria Malibran with Dietrich Kuhlbrodt im Gespräch mit Werner Schroeter. Details. 1972/2010. 123 min. 6:30 pm.
- Mildred Pierce (Mildred Pierce). Details. 1945. 111 min. 1:00 pm.
- Mildred Pierce (Todd Haynes). Details. 2011. 330 min. 4:00 pm.
- Wallace & Gromit in: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Steve Box & Nick Park). Details. 2005. 85 min. 1:30 pm.
- Angst (Gerald Kargl). Details. Digital. 1983. 75 min. 7:30 pm.
- The Dancing Hawk (Grzegorz Królikiewicz). Details. Digital. 1977. 98 min. 9:30 pm.
- WILDNESS. Details. HD. 2012. 72 min. Noon and 2:00 pm.
- Wu Tsang in Conversation with Matt Wolf. Details. 4:00 pm.
Black Orpheus (Marcel Camus) at FB Gallery. Details. 1959. 107 min. 7:00 pm.
To Catch a Thief (Alfred Hitchcock) at IFC Center. Details. DCP. 1955. 103 min. 11:00 am.
Visions of Burroughs—William S. Burroughs film collaborations, interview, and more at Microscope Gallery. Details. Including work by Antony Balch, Brion Gysin, Ian Somerville, Klaus Maeck and others. Video. 1963-1991. Appx. 60 min. 7:00 pm.
Sunrise (F.W. Murnau) at Nitehawk. Details. Live score. Noon.
Stand by Me (Rob Reiner) at Nitehawk. Details. 12:35 pm.
The Observers (Jacqueline Goss) at Anthology Film Archives. Details. 16mm-to-video. 2011. 67 min. 7:00 and 8:45 pm.
Patience (After Sebald) (Grant Gee) at Film Forum. Details. 2011. 84 min. 1:00, 2:50, 4:40, 6:30, 8:20 and 10:00 pm.
Grand Illusion (Jean Renoir) at Film Forum. Details. 35mm of 4K restoration. 1937. 114 min. 1:00, 4:35 and 8:10 pm.
Bonjour Tristesse (Otto Preminger) at Film Forum. Details. DCP. 1958. 94 min. 3:00, 7:45 and 9:40 pm.
Gerhard Richter Painting (Corinna Belz) at Film Forum. Details. 2011. 94 min. 1:00 and 5:45 pm.
The Connection (Shirley Clarke) at IFC Center. Details. 1963. 110 min. 12:30 and 7:00 pm.
- “Being Singular Plural” at The Guggenheim Museum, Upper East Side. View screening schedule. Closed Thursdays. $18 general/$15 students and seniors/Children free. Free Saturdays 5:45 to 7:45 pm. Ends June 6.
- “Spiels in the House of Art: Photography, Film and Video” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Closed Mondays. Suggested donation admission. Ends August 26.
- Media Lounge and Contemporary Galleries: 1980-Now at MoMA, Midtown. $20 general/$12 students/$16 seniors. Closed Tuesday. Ongoing.
- Mark Boulos “Projects 97” at MoMA, Midtown. $20 general/$12 students/$16 seniors. Closed Tuesday. Through July 16.
- “9 Scripts from a Nation at War” at MoMA, Midtown. Work by Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Ashley Hunt, Katya Sander and David Thorne. $20 general/$12 students/$16 seniors. Closed Tuesday. Through August 6.
- Frances Stark “My Best Thing” at MoMA P.S.1, Queens. $10 general/$5 students/$5 seniors. Closed Tuesday/Wednesday. Through May.
- Rania Stephan at MoMA P.S.1, Queens. $10 general/$5 students/$5 seniors. Closed Tuesday/Wednesday. Through May.
- Julika Rudelius “What is on the Outside” at The Museum of Arts and Design, Columbus Circle. $15 general/$12 students and seniors. Open 7 days a week. Through July 5.
- Neil Goldberg “Stories the City Tells Itself” at Museum of the City of New York, Upper West Side. $10 general/$6 students and seniors. Open 7 days a week. Ends May 28.
- 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.
- Tacita Dean “Five Americans” at The New Museum. $14 general/$12 seniors/$10 students. Free Thursday from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Open Wednesday through Sunday. Ends July 1.
- Klara Lidén “Bodies of Society” at The New Museum. $14 general/$12 seniors/$10 students. Free Thursday from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Open Wednesday through Sunday. Ends July 1.
- Whitney Biennial 2012 at The Whitney Museum. See screening schedule above. Ends May 27.
Below listed North-South
- Adrian Paci, Luisa Rabbia, SUPERFLEX and Su-Mei Tse “4 Films” at Peter Blum Chelsea, 526 West 29 Street. Open Tue-Sat 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Ends June 30.
- Jeff Robb “Thought Experiments” at Witzenhausen Gallery, 547 West 27 Street. Open Tue-Sat 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Ends May 31.
- Lorraine O’Grady “New Worlds” at Alexander Gray Associates, 508 West 26 Street. Open Tues-Sat 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Ends May 19.
- Loris Gréaud “The Unplayed Notes” at The Pace Gallery, 534 West 25 Street. Open Tues-Sat 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Ends June 19.
- Alex Prager “Compulsion” at Yancey Richardson Gallery, 535 West 22 Street, 3rd Floor. Open Tues-Sat 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Ends May 19.
- “Found” at Eyebeam, 540 West 21 Street. Work by Fred Wilson, Christian Marclay, Rashaad Newsome and Jacob Ciocci. Program runs noon to 6:00 pm daily. Ends May 30.
- Philippe Decrauzat at Elizabeth Dee, 545 West 20 Street. Open Mon-Fri 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Ends June 16.
- Nina Yuen “The School” at Lombard-Freid Projects, 518 West 19 Street. Open Tues-Sat 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Ends May 26.
- Owen Land at Essex Street, 114 Eldridge Street. Appointments only. Ends May 13.
- Sara Blokland “Butterflies don’t exist” at LMAKprojects, 129 Eldridge Street. Open Wed-Sun 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Ends June 3.
- Hans Schabus “Let’s Call It Heimat” at Simon Preston Gallery, 301 Broome Street. Open Wed-Sun 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Ends June 15.
- “Radical Localism: Art, Video and Culture from Pueblo Nuevo’s Mexicali Rose” at Artists Space. Curated by Chris Kraus and Mexicali Rose with Artists Space. Open Wed to Sun Noon to 6:00 pm. Ends May 27.
- Mary Ellen Carroll “Federal, State, Country and City” at Third Streaming, 10 Greene St. Open Wed-Sat Noon to 6:00 pm. Ends May 19.
- Raul Vincent Enriquez “Primp” at Microscope Gallery, 4 Charles Place, Bushwick. Open Thurs-Mon 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Ends May 20.
- Charles Atlas “The Illusion of Democracy” at Luhring Augustine, 25 Knickerbocker Avenue, Bushwick. Open Tues-Sat 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Ends May 20.
- “E-Vapor-8″ at 319 Scholes, Bushwick. Ends May 18.