By Christopher Bonet
[Photo: “Sacco and Vanzetti,” Willow Pond Films, screening as part of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival]
The Museum of Modern Art in New York City presents this contemporary retrospective of films produced by Universal Pictures. Some highlights include the Hugh Grant comedy “About a Boy,” the Matt Damon thriller “The Bourne Identity” and Steven Soderbergh’s “Out of Sight”
Jan 4Feb 8
The Egyptian Theater in Santa Monica, California presents this retrospective on the films of the past that either failed at the box office or received negative critical reception during their initial release. From classical Hollywood to foreign films, film noirs to westerns, nearly all of the titles in this series are not yet available on DVD. This is a rare chance to see some classic Michael Powell films, so be sure to check out this month-long series.
In honor of the late, great director, this month-long retrospective at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village showcases Altman’s work, from his Oscar-nominated films “Nashville” and “Gosford Park” to underrated gems “Thieves Like Us” and “California Split.”
Jan 6Feb 11
This yearly series presents a select group of films presented by the New York Film Critics Circle. This year’s selections include great documentaries from the past 70 years, including Terry Zwigoff’s “Crumb,” Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s “Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills” and the influential Dziga Vertov silent “The Man with a Movie Camera.”
This annual film festival enters its 16th year as it showcases films about the worldwide Jewish experience. Takes place at the Walter Reade Theater in New York City.
Director Mary Lance will be on hand for a question and answer session following a screening of this documentary about the reclusive female artist Agnes Martin, filmed alone in her New Mexico studio as she reminisces about the New York City art scene of the 1950s.
Helen Mirren in Person
British actress Helen Mirren made history this past year with three separate Golden Globe nominations and stands as the forerunner for the Best Actress Oscar for her work in “The Queen.” Mirren will be available for both days at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and will take part in discussions following screenings of some of her earliest works, including Michael Powell’s “Age of Consent,” Pat O’Connor’s “Cal” and the Terry George film “Some Mother’s Son.”
The Diet Pepsi of award shows hits the Beverly Hills Hilton this year, honoring the year’s best in film and television. Warren Beatty receives this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award for all of his pre-“Town & Country” work. The Golden Globes will be broadcast live on NBC.
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston presents this film festival that screens socially-conscious documentaries; highlights for this year include Peter Miller’s “Sacco and Vanzetti,” about the infamous Red Scare case of the 1920s and Gaston Biraben’s “Captive,” about the 1976 military coup in Argentina.
The festival that is commonly referred to as “by filmmakers for filmmakers” begins alongside the ever-popular-but-declining-in-credibility Sundance Film Festival. This year’s festival made headlines following the removal of the video game “Super Columbine Massacre RPG!” from the program, the first game or film ever to be removed from the festival.
The most influential American independent film festival is back at Park City, UT. This year’s festival includes new films from favorites David Gordon Green, Justin Lin and Hal Hartley, and will also feature new directorial features from actors such as Steve Buscemi, Sarah Polley and Justin Theroux. We’re hoping this year’s festival will return to a focus on the films instead of the celebrity culture its recently been known for because…well…we really don’t want to see Paris Hilton there again.
The American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica presents this retrospective on one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema, the legendary Akira Kurosawa. Highlights for this series include “Stray Dog,” “Rashomon,” “Throne of Blood,” “Yojimbo”….we really can’t lie. They’re all masterpieces.
Jan 26Feb 27
Let’s face it, Barbara Stanwyck still remains as one of the most iconic figures of the film noir genre, immortalized through her role as Phyllis Dietrichson in Billy Wilder’s “Double Indemnity”. Throughout her career, Stanwyck would continue to challenge the studio system in non-traditional female roles, later earning her four Best Actress nominations and an Honorary Oscar for her screen work. Be sure to catch some of her best films at the Silver Theatre and Cultural Center at the American Film Institute in Hollywood for this monthlong retrospective.
The countdown to the Oscars continues as the Screen Actors Guild awards the greatest film and television performances of 2006. The SAG awards will air live on TNT.