Thursday, May 25, 2017

The entire spectrum of political action here in the US has been bewildering; the Resistance has been continuing but the constant barrage of laws, bills, and executive orders unleashed by the current administration and its allies has been unrelenting.

In this atmosphere, trying to maintain some semblance of continued activity, cultural and otherwise, seems chimerical. Nevertheless, we go on. And so there have been various festivals and film events. There's so much going on in New York, it is hard to keep track of everything.

Some of the film events which have happened in the last five months include Rendez-vous With French Cinema, New Directors/New Films, and Son of Universal (restorations of more films from Universal Studios from the '20s and '30s, at The Museum of Modern Art). The Human Rights Watch Film Festival is coming up, and it has had some of its press screenings. And soon, there will be the BAM CinemaFest, which is always one of my favorite festivals of the year.

BAM CinemaFest started as a round-up of films from other festivals. In its first year, the attempt was to find films which festivals such as the New York Film Festival on down were passing on, and the scope was international. But by the second year, the focus was specifically on American independents, and this has given BAM CinemaFest a very defined place in the New York film scene. This is the festival where directors such as Sophie Takal and Alex Ross Perry have found a welcome showcase, and there are always discoveries, directors working in other parts of the country whose work deserves to be more widely known. It's always one of the highlights of the year, and a source of real discovery.