Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week

Posted By on Wed, Oct 2, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Come and Get it Howard Hawks Frances Farmer
Come and Get It (1936)
Directed by Howard Hawks
Worth seeing for the star-making performance of the great Frances Farmer, who burned out a few years later, this starts as a Hawksian portrait of manly “pine monkeys” at work, the captain of industry who leads them (Edward Arnold) and the gutsy woman who loves him (Farmer), complete with thrilling sequences of trees careening downhill and torpedoing into the water as men stand coolly just out of reach. The second half, in which the rich and now thoroughly civilized Arnold stumbles through a midlife crisis triggered by his longing for his lost love’s daughter (also Farmer), feels like a different movie—maybe because Hawks was replaced midway through the shoot by William Wyler. Elise Nakhnikian (Oct 5 Nov 2 at Moving Image, part of its The Complete Howard Hawks)

Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean Robert Altman Sandy Dennis Cher Karen Black
Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982)
Directed by Robert Altman
What could have been a claustrophobic adaptation of Ed Graczyk’s overheated play is transformed into a charmed, diaphanous drama by the man behind the camera and the women in front. The conceit of James Dean fan-club reunioners peeling away layers of denial works with the likes of Sandy Dennis, Cher, and, in a gender-bending role, the late Karen Black singing Graczyk’s lyrics. The Texas Woolworth dime store becomes a dream world, flashing between 1955 and 1975 with the neat trick of a store-length mirror and ingenious lighting. Justin Stewart (Oct 4-6 at IFC Center, part of its Texas on Screen)

Manila in the Claws of Light Lino Brocka Bembel Roco Filipino film
Manila in the Claws of Light (1975)
Directed by Lino Brocka
Brocka’s great, foundational Filipino film—richly photographed by Mike de Leon, and screening on DCP in a new World Cinema Foundation restoration—opens with black-and-white views of ordinary people wandering run-down city streets, then turns to color as it zooms in on a young man staring up at a window from the corner of Ongpin and Misericordia. He is a poor provincial boy named Julio (Bembel Roco) who has come to Manila to rescue his love Ligaya (Hilda Koronel) from a prostitute’s life, and who must sell himself through menial and disreputable jobs to survive while he searches for her. Manila shows the poor, society’s prisoners, dreaming of liberty. Brocka once said that he would make 10 films for the studios in order to realize one for himself, by which he meant for his people. Aaron Cutler (Oct 2 at Lincoln Center, part of the Revivals series at the New York Film Festival)

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