Film Forum (NYC)

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
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Ugarte
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:37 pm

Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#126 Post by Ugarte » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:39 am

Brava, FrauBlucher. For all its warts the Film Forum is a gem. Every time I go there I'm thankful that it still exists. In the past five years I've probably attended two or three times a month, sometimes much more -highlights include The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, the Stanwyck fest, six or seven rare or famous Ozus, a Kronos/Invaders From Mars double feature, the Etaix Fest rescheduled thanks to the hurricane, La Traversee de Paris, Beauty And the Devil, the Robert Ryan Festival, a wonderfully worn print of Kurosawa's High And Low and many more. If I have to sit too close or way off to the side, it's only my own fault for not getting there earlier.For the FF and the theaters noted in other posts, we New Yorkers are a spoiled lot.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#127 Post by HerrSchreck » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:38 pm

Indeed--is it really that unexpected that we can't go see Ozu or Stan Brakhage in a giant sized cinema with a two story screen?

This is par for the course, and anyhow not far off in physical specs of screen and surroundings from the average multiplex anyways . . . full first run feature screens just keep getting smaller and smaller as theaters get subdivided into multi-title houses to recoup costs (not "get", but "already have been"), whereby the FF specs aren't that much of a contrast from many of the cinemas one sits down in nowadays.

Of course it's fabulous to go see something like the rerelease of Blade Runner at The Zeigfield, a theater which is fully intact and representative of virtually all movie theaters running up to the 1980's. Hell, even porn back inna old days was projected in giant vintage cinemas. It's just a different age . . . I would say the best place to go catch avant, vintage/silent titles in NYC remains the MoMA cinema. That's just about as close as one can come to seeing these gems on the great ol vintage giant screen.

But I am so so very happy that FF still is chugging along. And you of COURSE must get there early and charge down the aisles when let in to nail your perfect seat. You snooze you lose and rest your head on the pillar in front of you.

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Morgan Creek
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:55 am
Location: NYC

Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#128 Post by Morgan Creek » Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:20 pm

Agree with my friend HerrSchreck on this. NYC has lost so many bookstores, record shops, etc. over the past decade that I can only give silent thanks on a daily basis that FF still exists. Over the years there have been many attempts to keep rep houses alive (Thalia, the much-missed 80 St. Marks, with its gobsmackingly battered prints, endless reruns of the same double bills, and sepulchral snack bar), and failed attempts to launch new ones (among others,there was a place on 57th that lasted a few months, from what I recall), but FF and Anthology and the institutional-based places (MOMA, Lincoln Center) mercifully survive.

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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#129 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:37 pm

I'm only a recent transplant to NY, so I know how lucky we have it here. It was another year before someone explained to me that so many of the repertory houses had already closed before I moved here, but even what 'little' remains is so much better than most cities. In my first year here alone, I saw probably two dozen films, projected on the big screen in excellent 35mm prints, that I had been dying to see for so many years. These were films that were nearly impossible to find in Illinois, moreso in decent quality, and now I was knocking them off the list on a weekly basis.

And that's repertory releases alone, never mind new releases that rarely get screened in theaters outside of NY. (And those that do usually see sporadic distribution. I first realized this when I recommended Everyone Else to some friends in Chicago. It had been held over at IFC Center for a number of weeks, but in Chicago, it was at the Gene Siskel Center for three nights only, and those weren't even consecutive nights, they were spread out over several weeks.)

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FrauBlucher
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Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#130 Post by FrauBlucher » Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:48 am


rrenault
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#131 Post by rrenault » Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:50 am

Film Forum, Anthology Film Archives, Lincoln Center, MOMA, Museum of the Moving Image, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and I suppose the IFC Center are the ones to be aware of. The Alliance Francaise also does screenings. The IFC Center, however, seems to cater more to the Williamsburg/Greenpoint crowd.

As for FF and Anthology still being around, I'm sure there's enough demand that a small handful of repertory houses can still survive without asking for handouts.

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FerdinandGriffon
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:16 am

Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#132 Post by FerdinandGriffon » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:39 am

rrenault wrote:As for FF and Anthology still being around, I'm sure there's enough demand that a small handful of repertory houses can still survive without asking for handouts.
Both FF and Anthology are non-profits, and both only survive thanks to handouts.

Perkins Cobb
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm

Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#133 Post by Perkins Cobb » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:40 pm

rrenault wrote:Anthology Film Archives, Lincoln Center, MOMA, Museum of the Moving Image, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and I suppose the IFC Center are the ones to be aware of.
Fixed.

No, seriously, Film Forum has a new print of Resnais's sublime Je t'aime, je t'aime coming up; I've seen it on 35mm in a real theater, but if you haven't, it's worth tolerating Film Forum for.

rrenault
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#134 Post by rrenault » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:43 am

FerdinandGriffon wrote:
rrenault wrote:As for FF and Anthology still being around, I'm sure there's enough demand that a small handful of repertory houses can still survive without asking for handouts.
Both FF and Anthology are non-profits, and both only survive thanks to handouts.
Okay, well I didn't realize that. Does the same go for the Filmotheque Quartier Latin or Le Nouveau Latina in Paris? Because everytime I go to the former it's packed. The Accattone isn't what it used to be it seems. But I don't think we can blame this state of affairs solely on lack of interest in "film as art", but rather the existence of high def physical media. At least that's what my cinephile uncle seems to think, that the DVD spelled the death knell of the repertory theater/arthouse.

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dad1153
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:32 am
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Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#135 Post by dad1153 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:01 pm

rrenault wrote:Film Forum, Anthology Film Archives, Lincoln Center, MOMA, Museum of the Moving Image, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and I suppose the IFC Center are the ones to be aware of.
What, no love for Angelika and the NY branch of Landmark Sunshine? Landmark's weekend repertory midnight showings are pretty rad, and some really cool indies (like Lake Bell's "In A World...") can hang in there for weeks after their initial release. Heck, last Saturday night I walked from Film Forum's "Generation War" (ended at 11:35PM) to Landmark's close-to-sellout packed midnight showing of "Akira" in about 20 minutes. In-between, just blocks away from these two, were IFC Center, AFA and Angelika. Winston Zeddemore is right: I love this town. :-)

Ugarte
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Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#136 Post by Ugarte » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:12 pm

Yes, three more cheers for Angelika and Sunshine. As dad1153 says, you can have a full day, or weekend, of movies just by strolling from the Film Forum, up to IFC and east to the Sunshine. But re "In A World"...didn't it play for a suspiciously long time at the Sunshine, with attendance dwindling to almost nothing for weeks? I found it to be a mediocre, self indulgent film...a vanity project for the lightly talented Lake Bell.

rrenault
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Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#137 Post by rrenault » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:30 pm

But the Angelika seems more focused on new releases, unless things have changed in the interim. Much like Lincoln Plaza, the Angelika's really just an 'indie' theater.

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FerdinandGriffon
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Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#138 Post by FerdinandGriffon » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:34 pm

The Angelika is truly a blot on the landscape, almost always the home of middlebrow pap, shown in coffin-shaped theaters manned by incompetent projectionists and lazy usher staff and constantly interrupted by the subway service below. Worst "indie" theater in New York by a wide margin.

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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#139 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:42 pm

The one thing I like about the Angelika is the cafe area - it's a nice place to rest or wait for a friend. (Comfy couches, nice movie posters for decor, and the option of getting coffee, pastries, etc.)

But otherwise, yes, it's a blot on the landscape. You forgot the perpetually dim projection that makes everything look a stop too dark and the way the place is designed so that as soon as the movie's done, you're pretty much shown the door.

One cool memory - I saw Melancholia there and Questlove wound up sitting in front of me. Didn't block my view, but that head of hair is unmistakable.

rrenault
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#140 Post by rrenault » Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:56 pm

Here in Paris, "indie" theaters don't really exist in the sense they do in NYC since the bona fide "arthouse" stuff like Kiarostami's Like Someone in Love or Philippe Garrel's La Jalousie will get shown in the same theatre with more mainstream fare like Nebraska or The Wolf of Wall Street even!

P.S. The screening room at the Museum of the Moving Image probably has the coolest interior of any of the major NYC repertory venues.
Last edited by rrenault on Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rrenault
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Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#141 Post by rrenault » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:00 pm

FerdinandGriffon wrote:
Perkins Cobb wrote:If there is one, I'll always choose a good Blu-ray or even DVD over seeing a print there.
That's just crazy talk. You may have to switch around once or twice but I'm 5' 9" and I almost never have a problem getting a clear eyeline at FF. Sure, it's a postage stamp screen, but so is Anthology's second theater, and if you can't stomach that then you're missing out on some of the best programming in the city. Almost all of the repertory houses in Paris are postage stamps (or handkerchiefs, as the French call them) and that did nothing to stop my time there from being the greatest cinephilic experience of my life, or Accatone being my favorite theater in the world.

I like big screens too, but the drop in experience quality that a viewer suffers from the move to a small venue is tiny in comparison to that which comes with home video (which I don't turn my nose up at either!).
I'm shorter than you are. I generally don't have a problem wherever I go, although yesterday I got stuck behind a 6'2 guy with a fro on top of it when I went to go see The Leopard at the Filmotheque Quartier Latin.

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jindianajonz
Jindiana Jonz Abrams
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Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#142 Post by jindianajonz » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:35 pm

rrenault wrote:P.S. The screening room at the Museum of the Moving Image probably has the coolest interior of any of the major NYC repertory venues.
Are you talking about the tiny Egyptian one? I was there a few weeks ago but didn't get a chance to see anything.

Curiously both MoMI and MoMA had temporary exhibits on indie video games; some of those were a blast! If you're looking for a great way to kill 20 minutes, google the game "Today I Die"

rrenault
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Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#143 Post by rrenault » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:42 pm

jindianajonz wrote:
rrenault wrote:P.S. The screening room at the Museum of the Moving Image probably has the coolest interior of any of the major NYC repertory venues.
Are you talking about the tiny Egyptian one? I was there a few weeks ago but didn't get a chance to see anything.

Curiously both MoMI and MoMA had temporary exhibits on indie video games; some of those were a blast! If you're looking for a great way to kill 20 minutes, google the game "Today I Die"
No, I'm talking about this one:

http://www.lobsintl.com/images/MMI-INT0 ... tfolio.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Black Hat
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:34 pm
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Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#144 Post by Black Hat » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:56 pm

Interesting to hear how good the Museum of the Moving Image theater is as I've never been there. I'm still annoyed I missed the Howard Hawks retrospective a few months ago. I love the theater at MOMA, saw The Leopard there and it was fantastic. The other thing that's nice about MOMA is that the ticket can be put towards membership or museum admission. The whining about Film Forum is over blown, especially as they have the best programming, I'm 6'3 and even tho it's not Lincoln Center or MOMA, it's plenty fine as long as you get there early for seats. The worst one by far is actually BAM, the screen is better but the seats and rows are way too cramped for anybody tall.

As for other theaters that show mainstream stuff let me recommend the AMC on 84th & Broadway. That is a great theater, I'm talking leather couches that you can press a button to bring up a leg rest to comfortably lay down and watch a movie, I've never seen anything like it. Was great for the 3 hours of Wolf of Wall Street

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Black Hat
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Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#145 Post by Black Hat » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:01 pm

Yeah the Angelika Cafe is nice but if you give me a choice between there and Sunshine, I'll go Sunshine every time.

rrenault
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#146 Post by rrenault » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:13 pm

Well generally the screenings at MOMA are included in the museum admission, which of course means that any screening beginning betweem 4 and 8 PM on a Friday is free altogether. MOMI screenings are also included in museum admission.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#147 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:11 pm

Also with MoMA, if you get a ticket to one film, you can get tickets to other films playing that day at no additional cost. Same with MOMI.

I've only taken advantage of that a few times because quite frankly, I'm not a big fan of sitting in a theater all day unless it's brutally hot and I need the air conditioning, and even then, I'd have to venture to a place like MoMA via subway, which is ridiculously inhuman in the summer. (Why, I have no idea - subway stations at every other major city I've been to, whether it's Chicago or D.C., feel perfectly fine in the summer.)

Perkins Cobb
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Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#148 Post by Perkins Cobb » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:07 pm

Black Hat wrote:The whining about Film Forum is over blown, especially as they have the best programming, I'm 6'3 and even tho it's not Lincoln Center or MOMA, it's plenty fine as long as you get there early for seats. The worst one by far is actually BAM, the screen is better but the seats and rows are way too cramped for anybody tall.
Do you mean upstairs or downstairs? The theater downstairs at BAM is pretty nice, but I hate it when they move rep screenings upstairs -- the sightlines are terrible and, as you say, the aisles are absurdly narrow.

As for the Film Forum's programming, that's a matter of taste and so I guess it's pointless to argue ... but I'd nonetheless argue that Bruce is just cycling comfortably through the greatest hits most of the time, while MoMA, FSLC, and Anthology are consistently offering much more varied and challenging programs.

Perkins Cobb
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm

Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#149 Post by Perkins Cobb » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:15 pm

hearthesilence wrote:I've only taken advantage of that a few times because quite frankly, I'm not a big fan of sitting in a theater all day unless it's brutally hot and I need the air conditioning, and even then, I'd have to venture to a place like MoMA via subway, which is ridiculously inhuman in the summer.
Indeed - I generally just take the summer off from going to rep screenings, because even if the theater is nicely air conditioned, I'm so overheated by the time I get there that I can't enjoy the film. If there's something ultra-rare, I'll take a taxi; otherwise, forget it.

The other thing that's maddening about MoMA's all-for-one movie admissions is that they space the screenings out (about an hour or 75 minutes between screenings) just enough that it's too long to sit around and wait, but not long enough to go out and have a walk around the park or a leisurely meal somewhere. It made sense back when you could go up and kill some time in the galleries in between, but now that the admission is separate, I wish they'd program true double features.

rrenault
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Re: Film Forum (NYC)

#150 Post by rrenault » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:40 pm

What about the Thalia........................just kidding.

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