Friday, May 01, 2009
BAM Cinematek has kicked off The Late Film, a series that focuses on onset-of-winter features (not necessarily final productions) of noted auteurs. It got underway with last night's showing of Billy Wilder's mangled 1970 release The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, which came in for additional mauling based on reviews I read this week. It's not at all bad--but it's not all that great, either (though who knows what we're looking at, given all the cuts?), and a lot of the films in the series tend to be middling and sort of interesting, rather than revelatory. That applies to Alfred Hitchcock's uneven Marnie (1964), John Ford's 7 Women (1966), which my film group watched some years back, Michael Powell's Age of Consent (1969), with Helen Mirren in her debut, and Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut (pictured, 1999), which I've never really been tempted to revisit. But throwing the occasional spotlight on movies that aren't Psycho, Stagecoach, Black Narcissus, and Dr. Strangelove is why repertory cinema exists, so the series has an intrinsic value. And I saw Robert Altman's The Company (2003) at BAM when it was a new movie, so I feel like I've become part of the repertory experience.