Videology Essentials: THE WIND WILL CARRY US
The unexpected death of Abbas Kiarostami left us suddenly without one of the world’s absolute finest directors, and, according to numerous reports, at least two films that were conceived but never finished. Nevertheless, he also left behind an oeuvre with more films deserving the word “masterpiece” than possibly any other, and his work in the ’90s is unmatched in quality and quantity in the modern cinema.
His last film of that decade, The Wind Will Carry Us contains Kiarostami’s familiar humanism and reflexivity in its story of Behzad, a journalist who poses as a production engineer to document the mourning rituals of the inhabitants of a remote Kurdish town. The woman, over 100, continues to live, and Behzad finds himself learning to appreciate the lifestyle and charms of the home while struggling to film something without violating its essence. Kiarostami relegates no less than a dozen speaking parts exclusively to off-screen space and often elides significant narrative events as he interrogates the limits of the film medium – it’s no coincidence that he filmed exclusively on digital after this film. Nevertheless, the sophistication and idiosyncrasies of The Wind Will Carry Us never overwhelm the story or undermine the commentary on gender equality, and rural labor and progress vs. its urban counterparts.
Godfrey Cheshire, whose writing on post-revolutionary Iranian Cinema in the early ’90s were instrumental in granting it wider recognition, will be present for a discussion after the film. Godfrey has recently contributed essays for the Criterion releases of Close-Up, Certified Copy and Taste of Cherry and is a staff writer for RogerEbert.com.
In the 1970s, Nick MacDonald made several films in and around his New York City neighborhood about topics such as the Vietnam War, Women’s Liberation, the Attica prison riot, and the role and limits of “armchair criticism.” Made independently on shoestring budgets, MacDonald’s films are radical both politically, in their advocacy for skepticism toward power and acknowledgment and awareness of films strengths and limitations as an activist’s medium, as well as aesthetically, in their mix of skits, primary sources, and reflexive narration that expand the horizons of documentary filmmaking. His films have been archived by the Museum of Modern Art and praised by Richard Porton, Jonathan Rosenbaum, J.R. Jones and others. Nick MacDonald will join us in-person for a Q&A!
The Grand Budapest Hotel + Mendl’s Pastry
Enjoy Wes Anderson’s delightful and decadent The Grand Budapest Hotel with an equally rich confection, crafted by Agatha herself. Each ticket includes your very own Mendl’s Courtesan au Chocolat, courtesy of Caprices by Sophie! The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the adventures of Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes,) a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between WWI and WWII, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune — all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing continent.
Thanks to your positive reaction to our Mars Attacks! drinking game, we’ve decided to play on with a pair of Edgar Wright films in anticipation of his upcoming Baby Driver. We have a Hot Fuzz drinking game in the works for you for June 2, and a Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World one for June 23! Be on the look out for Cornetto ice cream, inside jokes and catch phrases, repeated visual cues, and much more! Complete guidelines will be provided at each event.
WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER S’mores Roast
Videology is going back to camp! Relive the summers of your youth and marvel at AN awesome cast as we watch the 2001 cult-classic, Wet Hot American Summer!
The setting is Camp Firewood, the year 1981. It’s the last day before everyone goes back to the real world, but there’s still a summer’s worth of unfinished business to resolve. At the center of the action is camp director Beth, who struggles to keep order while she falls in love with the local astrophysics professor. He is busy trying to save the camp from a deadly piece of NASA’s Skylab which is hurtling toward earth. All that, plus: a dangerous waterfall rescue, love triangles, misfits, cool kids, and talking vegetable cans. The questions will all be resolved, of course, at the big talent show at the end of the day.
Also check out Roger Ebert’s 1-star review of the movie written in the form of a poem.
DON SIEGEL’S THE BEGUILED
With Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled due out at the end of the month, we thought it would be a good time to take another look at Don Siegel’s source material, a slow-burn gothic thriller that perhaps best exemplifies the director’s maverick spirit. Featuring Clint Eastwood playing against type and a poor marketing campaign – the Cannes Film Festival wanted to screen it, but the film’s producers didn’t want to give it the appearance of an art-house film – The Beguiled was doomed to dismal box-office fortunes. Nevertheless, American critics appreciated it, and the French immediately hailed it as a major work. More than 45 years later, the film has lost none of its singularity nor its power, and may finally achieve the popular recognition it deserves.
PLUS: MUBI Presents Paris, Texas; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Last Men In Aleppo; Brooklyn Horror Film Festival Presents Personal Shopper, American Cool: Shaft, The Shining on Father’s Day, The Young Girls of Rochefort, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and more!