Friday, May 11, 2012

Experiment This! A Preview of Migrating Forms 2012

           For those in New York, tonight begins one of the city’s smaller film festivals, but also one of its best, full of cinematic delights. Now in its fourth year, the Migrating Forms festival is broad in scope, grabbing from all over the globe and often choosing the most unique works of experimental cinema one can think of. It also has some really amazing and extremely rare retrospective screenings as well. It runs ten days, from tonight and next Sunday, down at Anthology Film Archives. Tickets are $10 for individual screenings, but they offer a number of deals (three films for $20). Here are five must sees for those planning to attend:

1. Fritz Lang’s Indian Epics

People either remember Fritz Lang for his amazing silent and early sound films (Metropolis, M) or his intense American noirs (The Big Heat, Scarlett Street), but near the end of his career, Lang went on to make two epic scale films about the clash between East and West. The Tiger of Eschanpur and The Indian Tomb play in 35mm, making this one of the few chances you’ll be able to see these in their perfect form. (Sunday, May 13th at 7pm and 9pm).
2. Century of Birthing

If your cup of tea includes Satantango and Out 1, then does Migrating Forms have the film for you. Filipino director Lav Diaz’s latest feature runs a staggering six hours as it traces two stories, a filmmaker struggling to finish his opus, and a Christian cult in a rural region. Using long takes, Diaz’s film will challenge those with short bladders, but wow those looking for something unique from a country whose cinema rarely makes it to the States. (Saturday, May 19th at 12pm)

3. Remembering Raúl Ruiz

Last year’s Mysteries of Libson was one of the cinematic achievements of 2011, and I was shocked to learn hours after leaving my screening, that its director Raúl Ruiz had passed on. Ruiz directed over 100 films in half as many years, and Migrating Forms salutes him by screening one of his best known features, On Top of the Whale, as well as a series of shorts and readings from his book Poetics of Cinema. (Tuesday, May 15th at 7pm. Shorts and readings at 9pm)

4. Parodies of Experimental Cinema

Ed Halter, a critic and curator of film, presents what should be a fascinating lecture on how the mainstream perceives the experimental. Halter will screen and discuss clips from Hollywood films and television that present and parody experimental cinema, and how we can view that perception as a history of avant-garde cinema. (Wednesday, May 16th at 7pm)

5. Chuck Jones’ Centennial

What could be better than the Looney Tunes? On the heels of the centennial of celebrated animator Chuck Jones, Migrating Forms presents a collection of some of his best shorts, including my personal favorite, What’s Opera, Doc? (Friday, May 18th at 7pm)

No comments: