Not to be missed is MoMA’s 13th annual film festival To Save and Project, the International Festival of Film Preservation, organized by Joshua Siegel and Dave Kehr, curator and adjunct curator at MoMA Department of Film. This year’s edition will feature newly restored and short films, nearly all of them New York and North American premieres: from Dario Argento to Yasujiro Ozu, many and diverse are the participating filmmakers. Three weeks of screenings of restored and unreleased versions will reveal new or rediscovered treasures of the History of cinema. Highlights will include an extraordinary collection of Welles films from the Munich Filmmuseum including rarities celebrating this year’s centennial, rediscoveries of Silent and World Cinema, Hollywood and Independent American films including two innovative pre-Codex works directed by William K. Howard, Animation Cinema in collaboration with NYU Orphan Film Symposium and European Classics among which a number of Italians.
Special mention goes to the presence of Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai due Commerce, 1080 Burxelles (1975), completely refurbished by the Belgium Cinémathèque Royale. Babette Mangolte, cinematographer of the film, and Nicola Mazzanti, director of the Cinémathèque, will be both present at the Festival to introduce the screening of Akerman’s masterpiece as well as of the early short Saute ma ville (1968) and Je tu il elle (1975), in honor and remembrance of the recent passing away of the cinematographer. Jeanne Dielman, written and directed by Chantal Akerman and starring Delphine Seyrig in the role of a methodic bourgeois, is one of the most influential film of the 70s showing a completely new style in female movie, in which “slowness” is its characteristic feature. The narrative follows the daily life of a woman reproducing, through the time of her actions and the shooting, the anxiety and boredom of the feminine existence. Je tu il elle also explores a different rhythm of narration opposing, to the speed of consumption, the slowness of Akerman’s observation on reality and human being: at the same time subversive and coherent with some porn and road movies’ conventions, a solitary young woman embodies and develops the two main themes of the film, alienation and casualty. Finally, Saute ma ville, first auto-produced film of a young Akerman, is a tragicomic portrait of a feminine condition, innocent and explosive at the same time, as the same filmmaker was. Influenced by Jean-Luc Godard’s (1965), synthesis of pain and crazy enjoyment, this small treasure of a rebellious time perfectly represents the curious and experimental spirit of an artist that simply destroyed all conventions.
The festival is running today to Nov. 25th. To discover more, check it out here.