The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, June 17-23

06/17/2015 10:00 AM |


The Brood (1979)
Directed by David Cronenberg
Cronenberg’s ideas were so far beyond what cinema was capable of expressing that it took him until his fifth feature for his technique to catch up with his genius. Though Shivers and Rabid, his twin psychosexual zombie movies, are the best kind of assault on your senses and unconscious fears, The Brood is sensitively, seamlessly crafted. Cronenberg covers Nic Roeg’s Don’t Look Now, another forensic autopsy of a marriage, like Nick Cave covers Leonard Cohen’s “Avalanche,” by cutting with a sharper knife, letting more ugliness and blood spill out. When a woman submits to an experimental therapy, which horrifically externalizes emotional pain, her family members start receiving fatal visitations from dwarf-like wraiths. Her estranged husband plays detective while trying to keep their daughter safe. His rational mind (he’s an architect) grinds against mounting signs of an irrational phenomenon, which mirrors his wife’s realization that the ones who are “supposed” to love us hurt us worse than strangers ever could. Fantastic compositions aptly externalize Cronenberg’s surgical knowledge of human behavior. Scout Tafoya (June 19, 20, midnight at the Nitehawk)