I turned 24 on Monday, and decided to celebrate by heading down to New York City for a couple of days. When people always ask me where I’m from, I say I’m from there. It’s bogus, I know, and in violation of all kinds of rules, but the fact remains that no other place on Earth feels more like home.
One of the things I did was check out some films I missed out on in the last couple months of the year, including I’m Not There, Todd Haynes’ Bob Dylan movie. I loved it, and am still putting together many thoughts about it, but it’s definitely my favorite film from last year. It’s just masterful.
I saw I’m Not There at Film Forum, located on Houston Street in the Village. It was my first time there, shamefully enough. In film nerd circles, especially the ones I went to school with, it was whispered about as a kind of Mecca, a sacred temple to the gods of film, and it was that pretentiousness/seriousness that made me avoid it for so long. You know, back when I was an asshole. But I survived, and I’ll definitely be going back now that I’ve finally gotten serious about film.
One of the things that sets Film Forum apart, though, is its reputation as a repertory house. They just finished a Otto Preminger retrospective, for example, and Sidney Lumet’s getting one from the 8th to the 28th of February. As Devin’s written before, rep houses are few and far between, and the good ones are increasingly rare. The New Beverly in Los Angeles seems to be gaining quite a good reputation for itself, and I know Eli Roth has his own personal programming slate coming up. However, if you’re on the East Coast and can make it up to New York, you’ll definitely want to make time for Film Forum between March 28 and May 1.
During those five weeks, Film Forum is launching an unbelievable, remarkable retrospective in celebration of United Artists’ 90th Anniversary. I could talk about how films are meant to be shared cultural experiences, and I could talk about how there are some films that demand to be seen on the big screen, and how there are some films that I’ve avoided seeing because I want to see them on the big screen first, but I’ve already talked too much. I ought to just let the films stand for themselves.
Here are just some of the films that will be playing at the Film Forum during its UA Celebration:
Raging Bull. Manhattan. Paths of Glory. The Killing. The Thief of Baghdad. Stagecoach. Red River. Annie Hall. The Apartment. Goldfinger. Dr. No. The Great Escape. Midnight Cowboy. The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. West Side Story. Night of the Hunter. Some Like It Hot. The General. Sweet Smell of Success. The Thomas Crown Affair (McQueen Edition). A Hard Day’s Night. Sunday, Bloody Sunday. Steamboat Bill, Jr. Marty. City Lights. Coming Home. The Magnificent Seven. The Long Goodbye. Kiss Me Deadly. The Mark of Zorro. Last Tango in Paris. The Manchurian Candidate (Sinatra Edition).
As George Clooney would say in the “I will watch it on cable a lot, but not an Oscar picture” movie Michael Clayton, “Got your heart racing, don’t I?” Check out Film Forum on the web at www.filmforum.org for more information.
If you love movies, and live in New York, you should not miss this. I know I’ll be there for as much of it as I can.