Anthology continues our cherished tradition of celeb(/denig)rating Valentine’s Day by presenting a toxic yet sublime pairing of two radically anti-romantic (and save for their tone, virtually identical) films: Maurice Pialat’s grueling, autobiographical study of a dysfunctional off-and-on relationship, WE WON’T GROW OLD TOGETHER, and Albert Brooks’s hilarious yet no less painful MODERN ROMANCE, along with a gut-punch chaser of Andrzej Zulawski’s POSSESSION, a batshit crazy depiction of an imploding marriage that’s perhaps the masterpiece of dysfunctional relationship films.
Last year’s pinch-hitter slot was given over to the great Elaine May’s THE HEARTBREAK KID, which in the spirit of Valentine’s Day Massacre is at once a hilariously funny and bitterly corrosive depiction of male/female relations. THE HEARTBREAK KID should properly have been part of the lineup from the very beginning, and so this year it consolidates its position as a permanent part of the (anti-)festivities. And to make amends for the grievous oversight of omitting May in past years, she’ll be doubly represented this time, with the added bonus of her directorial debut, A NEW LEAF, a jet-black comedy that’s outrageously cynical yet in its way genuinely heartwarming (forgive us).
Thanks to Brian Block (Bleeding Light Film Group), Jack Durwood (Paramount), Johan Ericsson (Swedish Film Institute), Michael Horne & Christopher Lane (Sony), and Jacob Perlin (The Film Desk).