Saturday, February 2, 2013

Miguel Gomes' "Tabu", Abbas Kiarostami's "Like Someone in Love" & Hong Sang-Soo's "In Another Country" at NWFF, Grand Illusion Cinema & Landmark Theatres: Feb 8 - 21

What was one of greatest pieces of new cinema I saw last year is finally in theaters! By turns nostalgic, political, haunting, humorous, romantic, lush and equal parts emotional as it is cerebral, Miguel Gomes' "Tabu" comes to the Northwest Film Forum at the end of next week. Beyond the string of adjectives above what more can be said about this visual ode to memories (or dreams? or films? or dreams of films?) of Colonialism and times past? I think it's placement on these Films of the Year lists is both telling and very, very much deserved. As lovers of modern film and it's evolving language of past and future, you owe it to yourself to catch this one. But again, don't trust my take, read the merited encomium from Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian and Dennis Lim for the New York Times.

And more quality cinema the following week with the return of Abbas Kiarostami and his newest (well, ok, screened as far back as Cannes 2012, so it's been awhile) "Like Someone In Love" finally landing at the Landmark Theatres simultaneous with New York's Film Society of Lincoln Center "A Close-Up of Abbas Kiarostami" retrospective of the Iranian master-filmmaker. Spanning four decades of the director's work and everything from recognized masterpieces like "Taste of Cherry", "Ten", "Where Is the Friend's Home?" to rarely (or unscreened in the west) early works like "Solution No. 1", "Fellow Citizen" to more recent film essays such as "Five: Dedicated to Ozu" and narrative films like 2009's Cannes Best Actress-winning "Certified Copy". The 24 film short and feature length series spanning documentary, meta-fiction, drama and the blurring of all lines between, an exhibition of Kiarostami is a true director of the Postmodern era. The retrospective celebrating his contribution to modern cinema and acting as a showcase for his most recent fusion of those personal obsessions we've come to know how art for; "Like Someone in Love" treading that tenuous ground of undefined 'authority' on events depicted, much like that of "Certified Copy", but this time it's the viewer who's given insight into the inverted identity and roles acted out as the character's lives. Oh yes, it also showcases one of his other major obsessions; beautiful women, in transit, shot from the interior of automobiles in vibrant, teeming, kaleidoscopic urban settings.

Also in the way of new things international cinema, coinciding with the above we also get the newest from Korean master of everyday tales populated by lives filled to the brim with wayward miserablism, Hong Sang-Soo. And if that doesn't sound like an endorsement, well, know that I'm usually divided on his work, but the artistry, humor and humanism of his films almost always wins me over by the end. So thank you Grand Illusion for bringing "In Another Country". This is coinciding with the return screening (after a short run at NWFF) of the excellent "We Don't Care About Music Anyway" documentary on the Onkyo, Noise and Improv Japanese urban music cultures. Another bold music document from the very fringes of sound can be seen the following week as The Grand illusion screens Norway's monolithic masters of atmospheric Free-Improv Supersilent, and their live concert film, "7" for two nights only.