Despite its outsize acting and bold Technicolor, "Imitation of Life" (1959) — director Douglas Sirk's final Hollywood film — offers a subversive critique of American notions of race, gender and class.
In keeping with our November tradition of celebrating food through film in all its gastronomic glory, we're screening Ang Lee’s 1994 comedy-drama “Eat Drink Man Woman,” an early offering by the Taiwenese filmmaker who went on to direct “Brokeback Mountain” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”
Wes Craven’s 1994 attempt to rejuvenate the “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise is a meta offering that's even darker than the original.
Partway through Jafar Panahi's second feature film, the main character breaks the fourth wall, rips off her costume and declares she doesn’t want to act anymore, leaving it up to the crew to decide how to respond.
Though many of writer and director Céline Sciamma’s films interrogate the complicated act of looking, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” takes direct aim at the notion of the artistic muse, a tension that’s heightened by a backdrop of forbidden queer romance and the female gaze.
Until director Jennie Livingston’s 1990 documentary “Paris Is Burning,” few people beyond those intimately involved knew about the thriving subculture of drag pageants, which had been a haven for queer people of color for decades.
“Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One," directed by William Greaves, is rife with disorienting split-screen editing, metacommentary and fully-indulged tangents.
The second-to-last film completed film by Orson Welles, the director behind “Citizen Kane,” “F for Fake” is a trailblazing, video essay-esque exploration of essential themes at the heart of artmaking, like authenticity and authorship.
“Little Fugitive” (1953) — a black-and-white movie about a 7-year-old boy who goes on the run to Coney Island after mistakenly thinking he’s killed his older brother — was so influential that Francois Truffaut claimed in a New Yorker interview that “our [French] New Wave would never have come into being” if directors Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin and Raymond Abrashkin hadn’t brought it into existence.
In “The Gleaners and I” (2000), an unusual and discursive documentary, Agnes Varda wields a handheld digital camcorder for the first time and offers a poetically associative perspective on those who glean — or collect and make use of what is discarded by others — out of either poverty or conviction.
“Time,” a 2020 documentary by Garrett Bradley, is about Sibil Fox Richardson’s fight for the release of her husband, Rob, who spent over two decades away from his family due to an armed robbery prison sentence. The film is shot entirely in black and white, but alternates between scraps of home movie footage from Rob’s incarcerated years and the family’s present-day attempt to transcend the scars left on them by the prison-industrial complex.
At first blush, Nicholas Ray’s “Johnny Guitar” (1954) seems like a traditional Western, rife with steeds, saloons and shootouts. Upon closer inspection, however, much about this film is askew. Take Johnny Guitar himself, played by Sterling Hayden, a visitor from out-of-town who doesn’t carry a gun and broaches conflict via philosophical monologue and a strum on the six-stringed instrument he got his name from. Check out the film at Riverdale 10 VIP Cinema on Tuesday, Jan. 17.