Wednesday, January 4

La Ronde at MoMAWhat’s Showing Today? Wednesday, January 4
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Today the MoMA begins its three-afternoon Auteurist History of Film run of the great Max Ophüls’s La Ronde.

One of Ophüls’s most treasured works, 1950’s La Ronde is the first film of the transient filmmaker’s final years settled in France, which followed a sojourn in Hollywood during the 1940s, itself preceded by films made in France, the Netherlands, Italy and the artist’s native Germany. It’s these films from the 1950s, which also include Le Plaisir, Madame de… and Lola Montès for which Ophüls is best known. La Ronde is based on an 1897 play by Arthur Schnitzler, one, appropriately enough, initially circulated among friends and not publicly performed until 1920; its narrative proceeds from character to character through an ensemble cast linked by sexual dalliances, ultimately returning back to the woman with whom it first began. In an essay for the Criterion Collection, Terrence Rafferty writes, “The elegant structure manages to convey both the transience of individual passions and the durability of passion itself as a motivating force in human behavior. Love doesn’t last, but it makes the world—the hermetic little world of this play, anyway—go round.” Last night, a friend asserted the film is wry metaphor for sexually transmitted disease, which led to our comparing it to David Cronenberg’s Rabid and The Fly. In any case, it’s perfect material for Ophüls, a consummately cinematic artist who mines incredible psychological depth from his characters and scenarios, not shying away from manic-depressive extremes, all rendered through ingeniously choreographed cinematography and art direction with a rich patina of self-reflexivity. In his hands, the work’s circular structure is no mere dramatic device, but something that informs its whole.

La Ronde plays today through Friday at 1:30 pm.

Also Recommended

Kings County Cinema Society returns to Freddy’s today with Blue in the Face, Wayne Wang and Paul Auster‘s follow-up to Smoke. Harvey Keitel, Lily Tomlin, Michael J. Fox, Jim Jarmusch and Lou Reed compose the cast of this improvisatory comedy about Brooklyn life. Filmmaker Keith Miller and DP Alex Mallis will also be in attendance to present a trailer for their Brooklyn-lensed Welcome to Pine Hill, which plays Slamdance this year.

Clint Eastwood stars under the auspices of director Don Siegel in The Beguiled at 92YTribeca. He plays a wounded Union soldier recovering in a Confederate girls boarding school who attempts to sleep his way through its pupils. The Beguiled is notable for its unique, at times genuinely eerie southern gothic atmosphere.


Closely Watched Films at 92YTribeca
Series Details

  • The Beguiled (Don Siegel). Details. Hosted by Elliott Kalan. 35mm. 1971. 105 min. 7:30 pm.

Newfilmmakers at Anthology Film Archives

  • Documentary Series. Work by Michael Harkins, Madeline Youngberg, Germano Cecere, Christoph Faulhaber and Orrin Luc. 6:00 pm.
  • First short film program. Work by Rio Puertollano, Ryan o’Leary, Kyle Thrash and Nick De Ruve. 7:15 pm.
  • Second short film program. Work by Bill Schaumberg, Germano Cecere, Eri Yokoyama, Moema Umann and Erik Peterson. 8:15 pm.
  • Interrogate This: Psychologists Take on Terror (Maryanne Galvin). Video. 2011. 90 min. 9:45 pm.

Castles in the Sky: Miyazaki, Takahata & The Masters of Studio Ghibli at IFC Center
Series Details

  • Kiki’s Delivery Service (Hayao Miyazaki). Details. 35mm. 1989. 102 min. 10:40 am.
  • Ponyo (Hayao Miyazaki). Details. 35mm. 2009. 101 min. 10:40 am and 5:45 pm.
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (Hayao Miyazaki). Details. 35mm. 2005. 114 min. 12:40 and 10:00 pm.
  • The Cat Returns (Yiroyuki Morita). Details. 35mm. 2002. 75 min. 12:40 and 4:05 pm.
  • My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki). Details. 35mm. 1988. 86 min. 2:15 pm.
  • Castle in the Sky (Hayao Miyazaki). Details. 35mm. 1986. 124 min. 3:00 pm.
  • Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Hayao Miyazaki). Details. 35mm. 1984. 116 min. 5:30 pm.
  • Whisper of the Heart (Yoshifumi Kondo). Details. 35mm. 1995. 111 min. 7:50 pm.
  • Porco Rosso (Hayao Miyazaki). Details. 35mm. 1992. 94 min. 7:50 pm.
  • Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki). Details. 35mm. 2002. 125 min. 9:45 pm.

Italian Treasures at MoMA
Series Details

  • Weekend Wives/Week-End Italian Style (Dino Risi). Details. 1965. 98 min. 4:00 pm.

The Contenders 2011 at MoMA
Series Details

  • Pariah (Dee Rees). Details. 2011. 8:00 pm.

The Battle for Brooklyn (Michael Galinsky & Suki Hawley) at Exit Art. Details. 2011. 93 min. 7:30 pm.
Blue in the Face
 (Paul Auster & Wayne Wang) with Welcome to Pine Hill trailer at Freddy’s. Details. 1995. 83 min. 8:30 pm. 
La Ronde
 (Max Ophüls) at MoMA. Details. 1950. 97 min. 1:30 pm.


Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceyland) at Film ForumDetails. 2011. 157 min. 1:00, 5:30 and 8:30 pm.
A Separation (Asghar Farhadi) at Film ForumDetails. 2011. 123 min. 1:15, 4:00, 6:45 and 9:10 pm.
Laura (Otto Preminger) at Film ForumDetails. 35mm. 1949. 88 min. 1:00, 2:50, 4:40, 6:30, 8:20 and 10:10 pm.



Below listed North-South