I have now seen three Straub-Huillet films, and can state with confidence that UCLA’s retrospective is exhilarating and vital stuff. Better still, if Fortini/Cani is any measure, the new DCPs look really, really good. From the Cloud to the Resistance (1978, DCP) and These Encounters of Theirs (2005, 35mm) show on Friday. I will say that Straub-Huillet apparently prefer not to subtitle all the dialogue in their work, so that may be a factor in any forthcoming programming.
The New Beverly has The Last Picture Show (1971, 35mm) and its sequel, Texasville (1990, 35mm) on a double bill, and while the latter isn’t my dream companion (that’d be Red River, for reasons obvious to anyone who’s seen Picture Show), I also haven’t seen Texasville so really who am I to say. I will say that as fine a film as The Last Picture Show is in any form, seeing it in a theater, on film, is an absolutely exquisite experience in which everyone should take part at one point or another.
Cinefamily is still going strong on Almodovar, boasting Volver (2006, 35mm), Matador (1986, DCP), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988, DCP), Bad Education (2004, 35mm), I’m So Excited (2013, DCP), Dark Habits (1983, DCP), Talk to Her (2002, 35mm), and Kika (1993, DCP) over the Friday-Sunday period, plus All About My Mother (1999, 35mm) on Wednesday and What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1984, DCP) and The Skin I Live In (2011, 35mm) on Thursday. My Almodovar-loving fiancée reports that Matador and Kika are not her cup of tea, but firmly stands by the rest.
Cinefamily’s Silent Treatment residency brings in a new restoration, complete with a new score, of Lois Weber’s ballet film The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916, DCP). The Silent Treatment tends to show films mostly from the 1920s, so it’s a thrill whenever they dip into the teens, especially for a filmmaker so underexposed as Weber. The one film of hers I’ve seen (the short Suspense) is outstanding, so I am very hopeful I’ll be able to see this.
The American Cinematheque’s two branches – the Aero and the Egyptian – have a heavy mix of firm classics and genre pleasures, between The Producers (1968, 35mm), Bullitt (1968, 35mm), The Magnificent Seven (1960, 35mm), Cabaret (1972, DCP), and Last Tango in Paris (1972, 35mm) on one hand, and Deep Red (1975, 35mm), Creepshow (1982, 35mm), and Demon Seed (1977, 35mm) on the other. Whatever your pleasure, it’s tough to go wrong. Me being as horror-averse as I am, I haven’t seen any of the latter batch, but my pals on that side of the fence are always urging me to see these. Like all y’all, I quite like the aforementioned classics, though I suppose here is where I confess I’ve never seen The Producers or The Magnificent Seven.
LACMA’s Tuesday matinee is William Dieterle’s society crime film Jewelry Robbery (1932, 35mm), which is hardly the finest of Pre-Code films about the extremely wealthy, but it does have Kay Francis and William Powell and delivers on the essential pleasures one would rightly expect.