By Christopher Bonet
[Photo: F.W. Murnau’s “Nosferatu,” Film Arts Guild/Kino]
Oct 1 -8
NYC’s Anthology Film Archives presents another of its Essential Cinema series, this time focusing on one of the premier documentarians of the Soviet Cinema, Dziga Vertov. Be sure to catch his influential experimental film “The Man with a Movie Camera.”
This month-long series at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art provides a centenary tribute to the provocative director and offers a chance to view his most beloved films with his seldom-seen work. We recommend catching the rarely screened German version of his 1953 “The Moon is Blue,” shot while his American actors took breaks.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (in Beverly Hills) continues its ongoing retrospective, showcasing each of the Oscar winners for Best Documentary between the years 1961 and 1976. This month’s screenings focus on the years 1965 and 1972, featuring films about civil unrest in Czechoslovakia in 1968 and interviews with American soldiers in Vietnam about the My Lai Massacres.
Enjoy a dose of good ol’ fashioned carny culture at the Coney Island Film Festival in Brooklyn. Opening night offers live performances by sideshow and burlesque stars, along with a screening of “American Carny: True Tales of the Circus Sideshow.”
The New Yorker Festival returns for its seventh year in a celebratory weekend of public discourse on arts and ideas taking place at multiple venues in NYC…that’s at the time of writing this already almost entirely sold out. Damn. We’d go to the “Milos Forman talks with David Denby” if only we could.
San Francisco hosts the first ever festival dedicated solely to films starring man’s best friend. Comedian Fred Willard will be present for a special screening of Christopher Guest’s “Best in Show.” Ironically, dogs are not allowed in the theater.
Polygamy is all the rage in 2006: first HBO’s “Big Love” and now “Banking on Heaven,” a new doc about the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints communities of Colorado City, AZ and Hilldale, UT. Producer/writer Laurie Allen, who escaped the polygamous lifestyle at age 16, will be on hand for a discussion following this screening, at Tucson, AZ’s Loft Cinema.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music rewards cult director Monte Hellman this month with a retrospective that includes many of his much-loved low-budget genre films, which often starred Jack Nicholson or Warren Oates. Be sure to catch the Nicholson-penned “Ride in the Whirlwind,” followed by a Q & A with the director.
Oct 13-Nov 1
From Boris Karloff to Peter Boyle, Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” has been a cultural icon of the American cinema since the earliest days of Hollywood sound. This year marks the 75th anniversary since the release of Universal’s classic version of “Frankenstein,” and DC’s AFI Silver Theatre honors this horror legacy with a retrospective of Hollywood re-imaginings and re-tellings of the Shelley classic.
This Austrian film festival dedicates itself to showcasing the newest feature films of every genre and structural form imaginable. This year’s festival will include a special tribute to British punk documentarian Peter Whitehead and the special program “Tales of the Jungle,” which explores the use of the jungle as a cinematographic motif in film.
Quentin Tarantino promises to be on hand at the Alamo Theater in Austin, TX, for a special full-length screening of his “Kill Bill” films. It’s already sold out, but we’re hoping this will eventually lead to either a theatrical or DVD release of the full-length cut. C’mon…please?
American Cinematheque puts together an awesome series of Russian sci-fi, fantasy and horror films at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, sprawling from “Aelita: Queen of Mars” to Tarkovsky’s masterpiece “Solaris.”
Vampires and films have always been joined at the hip from F. W. Murnau’s silent “Nosferatu” to Joel Schumacher’s unintentionally (?) camp “The Lost Boys.” Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre has a bloodsucking horrorthon spanning the ages.