By Christopher Bonet
[Photo: Playing in Manhattan and Queens this month, Lee Marvin in “The Big Red One,” United Artists, 1980]
May 6 Jun. 1
The AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in DC honors one of the greatest screen comedians with this month-long retrospective of the funniest Buster Keaton films ever made. Highlights include “Our Hospitality” and “The General.” Each screening will be shown with piano accompaniment.
Writer Barry Gifford will be on hand at Brooklyn’s BAM for a Q&A after screening of the quintessential David Lynch film, 1990’s “Wild at Heart,” which he wrote. Gifford will also be available after the screening to sign copies of his new novel “Memories of a Sinking Ship.”
May 11 24
Legendary badass Lee Marvin receives a long overdue retrospective courtesy of the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York City. From “The Killers” to “The Big Heat,” Marvin proved to be one of cinema’s greatest villainous actors. Marvin also showed that he’s got some pretty strong pipes in “Paint Your Wagon,” which will also be screened.
May 12 Jun 10
The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens presents this retrospective of the works of tough-talking, cigar-chomping cult director Sam Fuller, one of the most well-known directors of war films. Highlights include the recent restoration of 1980s “The Big Red One,” the classic noir “Pickup on South Street” and a screening of Fuller’s first directorial effort, 1951’s “The Steel Helmet.”
May 16 28
One of the most prestigious (if not the most prestigious) international film festivals descends upon the moderately-sized French city of Cannes. This year’s film festival will include “The Age of Darkness” from Canada’s Denys Arcand, the indie “Paranoid Park” from Gus Van Sant, and Wong Kar Wai’s English language debut “My Blueberry Nights,” which will, hopefully, be ready for its premiere.
May 18 Jun 7
The Film Forum in New York City presents this retrospective on the nonfiction works of noted auteur and eclectic filmmaker Werner Herzog. Noteworthy screenings include the Kuwait-based doc “Lessons of Darkness,” 1997’s “Little Dieter Needs to Fly” (which inspired “Rescue Dawn,” Herzog’s soon-to-be-released fiction film), and “Grizzly Man.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills honors iconic star John Wayne on the occasion of his 100th birthday with a theatrical premiere of a new restoration of 1954’s “The High and the Mighty,” which Wayne co-produced and stars in. The film is the story of an experienced but burned-out airline pilot who must save the day when his plane’s engine fails on a flight from Hawaii to San Francisco.
May 24 Jun 17
Purportedly known as the largest film festival in the world, this three-week festival returns to the city of Starbucks and grunge on May 24th. This year’s festival promises to host a diverse lineup of independent, foreign, and documentary films; the official lineup will be released on May 10th at the festival’s official website.