At the Museum
Goings-on at Museum of the Moving Image
The ghost of Bogart hovers over two films from the 1970s that are screening in the Snubbed series, selections that exemplify the Academy’s indifference to unlikable antiheroes adrift in diffuse underworlds.
Tsuchimoto made more than a dozen more films about Minamata, which reflects a level of personal dedication unrivaled by most other documentarians. He also made films about student revolts, the plight of the average fisherman, Siberia, and Afghanistan.
Translating Poe to a visual medium is an inherently tricky endeavor: though the plots of his stories lend themselves to film, the everlasting poignancy of his work is his deft use of language to conjure moods of ominous ineffability.
That tension that Caan carries merely by being on-screen might be best exemplified in The Gambler, the 1974 film directed by Karel Reisz from a James Toback script. It follows Caan as Axel Freed, a clever Harvard-educated literature professor and gambling addict from a well-to-do New York Jewish family.
The film dissects the status of Bangladesh as a postcolonial nation that, like many other postcolonial nations, tries to establish itself as a free nation while holding onto symbols that tie it back to the period it wants to (impossibly) outgrow.
These evidential images provide a midpoint between knowledge and history, and between a subjective and objective truth. This is the framework for Loznitsa’s archival cinema: a kind of foundation on which we can build a better understanding of the world.