BAM's annual film festival returns for its fifth year with a kick-ass slate of films. Featuring lots of high-profile indies that have been making waves at other festivals, it also "remains a hometown festival," the press release reads, "with nearly half our main slate by Brooklyn filmmakers." We're psyched about making new discoveries and catching up with names we've been hearing about, but if your resources are limited and you want to know what's, like, essential to see, you shouldn't go wrong with any of these, because we were already excited to see them before we heard they were playing at BAM.
This 16mm feature by Jem Cohen, who I know from his collaborations with REM and Vic Chesnutt, depicts a budding casual friendship between a guard and a visitor against the backdrop of Vienna's Kunsthistorisches museum. Jonathan Rosenbaum called
it "magisterial." In Film Comment
, our own Nicolas Rapold wrote
"it’s a film that works through an unshowy sense of empathy in practice and through the accumulation of small visual discoveries and often unexpected incisive insights."
I Used to Be Darker
Matthew Porterfield's last film, Putty Hill
, was one of the best of 2011, a poetic, fourth-wall-breaking portrait of people living in a depressed part of Baltimore dealing with the death-by-overdose of one of their friends. So we're super-psyched to see this, his new film, also set in Baltimore and also what sounds like an ensemble portrait.
Joe Swanberg isn't for everyone, or so we're often reminded on Twitter, but I think he's great and that you should see any of all of his movies, including this one, which has been called a "departure"—it's a romantic comedy about coworkers at a Chicago brewery who like each other but shouldn't, and then all go on a camping trip. It'll be a nice companion piece to Swanberg's All the Light in the Sky
at our very own Northside Film Festival.
Andrew Bujalski's new movie is supposed to be great! And though you'll be able to see it at Film Forum in July, why not take the opportunity to tell your friends, all jaded-like when they're psyched about this movie about men vs. machines in 1980, shot on hyperreal video, that the movie is already so last month.
Anything at the Harvey
The 834-seat Harvey Theater on Fulton Street is getting a movie screen, which sounds amazing; there aren't enough giant movie theaters anymore. So, you should see anything that's showing here... maybe Ain't Them Bodies Saints
, the opening night film starring Casey Affleck. You'll probably want to see it when it gets an August release, but then there won't be a screen as awesome as this one to see it on.
Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart