Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday week at the Walter Reade: Sicilian Mafia, Iraq and Composer's Block

Well, why not? As we broach that festive week between Christmas and the New Year, closing out of one of the worst years -- socially, economically, politically -- of my seven-decade lifetime, why not exult in a group of movies (generally downbeat but very well made) said to be the most popular of those shown at the Walter Reade Theater during 2009. In addition to Marco Amenta's very fine drama The Sicilian Girl (shown above), based upon the from-life tale of the young girl who stands up to her family and community in order to see justice done; Kathryn Bigelow's critically successful and much-award-laden The Hurt Locker, and the one all-out feel-good movie of the group, Hernán A. Golfrid's Music on Hold, look for Götz Spielmann's revenge drama Revanche, Martin Provost's award-winning biopic of outsider artist Séraphine, Giuseppe de Santis' Bitter Rice (from the recent Life Lessson/Italian Neo-Realism series, Ray's Pather Panchali, Welles' Macbeth, Tarkovsky's Solaris, Mitch McCabe's Youth Knows No Pain and Citizen Havel, Pavel Koutecký and Miroslav Janek's documentary about Václav Havel.

I've seen most of these films, but must go back for a second look at Amenta's The Sicilian Girl (my original review can be found here), one of my favorite films from last year's Open Roads series of new Italian cinema -- which certainly deserves a theatrical/DVD/On-Demand release here in the states. (It plays tomorrow, Saturday, December 26, at 1pm and again Tuesday, December 29, at 6:15pm.) I'll also have my first experience with Bigelow's Hurt Locker -- which, after all the awards it has won over the past few weeks, I hope will live up to its hype.

This series, titled Back by Popular Demand and sponsored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, starts tomorrow, Saturday, December 26, and plays through Thursday, December 31. The complete schedule, with dates and times can be found here (click and scroll down).

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