Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Your suggestions

Thanks for all the tips. There are more suggestions pouring in than I received last year, and I’m relieved that the theme is going over so well.

Here are some reactions to your thoughts……

Mrs. Bates is definitely a great movie mom to feature alongside MILDRED PIERCE and MOMMIE DEAREST.

I saw the French Quebecois film C.R.A.Z.Y at a film festival and was surprised it didn’t get released here, since it was so entertaining and inventive (although it reminded me a bit of Alain Berliner’s MA VIE EN ROSE). I’ll look at it again…..

I’d forgotten about LALEE’S KIN, which impressed me when I was on a documentary award panel in 2001. I was thinking of inviting Al Maysles with GREY GARDENS, and now this gives me another film of his to present.

Donald Sosin sent me a lot of tantalizing choices. I got stuck at the top of his list, with Herbert Brenon’s 1924 PETER PAN. I showed that film several times at Cornell Cinema when I worked there in the 80s, and I’d love to introduce it to kids and families here. Great cinematography by James Wong Howe, and a pleasure for grownups too.

LE SOUFFLE AU COEUR is a good idea, although its treatment of incest may be too tasteful. I think I prefer Francois Ozon’s SITCOM, which has greater shock value, as John Waters would say. The DVD comes with a precociously twisted early short by Ozon called FAMILY PHOTO, in which he murders the members of his (real) family before posing them for the camera.

Keep the suggestions coming, and I'll keep adding titles to my video queue...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saving Face is a good representation of family.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Steve Evans said...

Ozu's Late Spring would make a solid entry to ensure an international flair:


Hitchcock's Psycho would make for provocative counterprogramming.

Terms of Endearment explores mother-daughter relationships in a weepy way.

Screen The Graduate and you'll likely fill the venue.

-- Steve Evans

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Levinson's "Avalon," a wonderful movie about family relations, the immigration experience, and the rising (and falling) economic tides. Also a story of "kin" aging and it has very good actors.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Jim Barns said...

You mentioned documentaries and I know a wonderful family documentary- Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern. I think that if I ever need to restore my faith in life, I would watch this. It won at the Sundance Festival.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Barbara Siek said...

It would be refreshing to see a fine foreign film rarely shown here. May I suggest any one of these intriguing "kin" films starring the superb British actor Dirk Bogarde: "Providence" (1977),dir. by Alain Resnais. Bogarde gives a fine performance as he shifts between reality and the various nightmare versions of his character conjured up by his writer-father (John Gielgud) during a drunken, all-night stupor to forget his painful, decaying body, and distorted by guilt-driven angst over past neglectful relationships with his son and family. Kinship at its worst with a twist.

Or Jack Clayton's "Our Mother's House" (1967), with Bogarde as a n'er-do-well father, who returns when the children's mum dies. The British entry at the Venice Film Festival.

Or Bogarde in Bertrand Tavernier's "Daddy Nostalgie" (1990) about an ex-pat with a heart condition now retired in France with his wife. 'Daddy' reaches out to his daughter (Jane Birken) in a last attempt to heal their relationship. Sensitive performances by all.


Barbara Siek

6:16 AM  
Blogger August Benjamin said...

A 20+ minute short by director Sharat Raju, an AFI grad, called American Made, could be a great addition to the lineup.
An American sikh family gets stranded in the desert when their car breaks down sometime after 9/11, and the turbaned father is unable to fix the car or get any passers-by to pull over to help them. His twentysomething son confronts him, saying that no one is going to pull over to help them because, with his turban, they take him for a terrorist. Great dialog illuminates the conflict of cultures and generations.

Film website:

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Erin Armontrout said...

I know I'm jumping in a bit late, but I saw a film about a month ago that is relevant and one of the most amazing foreign films that I've seen: FIRE. This film was made in 1996 by film maker Deepa Mehta who afterwards became hated in her native India because the subject matter was considered outrageous by Fundamental Hindus: riots, burning down of theaters, ripping of posters, and the need of a body guard when traveling home are just a few things she has endured, but she still makes the films she sees worthy of being made. It's about 2 women, sister-in-laws stuck in loveless marriages who find love in each other. There isn't even a word in the Indian language for lesbian, yet there is a film that exsists about it and it's effect on their family.

2:12 AM  

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