Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lou Castel, icon of the art-film 60s, gets a mini-retrospective courtesy of FIAF

Is there an actor less redolent of the holiday season than Lou Castel, shown at left? Hardly. (Unless it might be one of the gentlemen playing an elf in the recently-released Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale.) Still, we must not look a gift horse in the mouth. Mr. Castel -- though born with the name Ulv Quarzéll in Bogotá, Colombia, and who has now performed in some 128 different roles for film and TV and worked for famous international directors including, even, some who are French -- is coming to New York for an in-person evening and three-Tuesday, mini-retrospective of his very interesting work.

Beginning his career (that's earlier Castel, at right) in Italy as an uncredited extra for Visconti on The Leopard, the perfor-mer's big break came two years later when he starred as the epileptic anti-hero of Bellocchio's Fists in His Pockets, still one of the strangest and most subtly unsettling of movies, due to the off-kilter quietude that the director and his star manage to impart. "Fists" is just one of the several Castel films to be shown in the popular monthly Cinema Tuesdays series provided by FIAF in its commodious auditorium of Florence Gould Hall.

The series opens on December 7 -- Pearl Harbor Day! -- at 12:30 and 4pm with a double bill of Irma Vep (99 minutes) and a 13-minute short from 1998 that Castel directed and starred in called Just in Time. On the evening of December 7 at 7pm, the actor/director/writer will be present for a Q&A following the screening of Irma Vep moderated by Sam Di Iorio, Associate Professor of French at Hunter College. Prior to the screening, we'll have the unique opportunity to meet Castel and listen as he does an intimate reading of two original English texts written by him: Tropical Subject and Love is Like a Violin that Skreeks. 

Also in the series will be Philippe Garrel's La naissance de l’amour (The Birth of Love), to be shown December 14 at 12:30, 4 & 7:30pm.  Made in 1993, the 94-minute black-and-white movie stars Castel and Jean-Pierre Léaud. The last two features in the series, both shown on the same Tuesday, December 21 (the following week encompasses the post-Christmas/pre-New Year holiday break), are the under-seen and quite provocative La question humaine (Heartbeat Detector from 2007, above) -- directed by Nicolas Klotz and running 143 minutes, which will be shown at 12:30 & 4pm -- and finally at 7:30 that evening, the famous I pugni in tasca (Fists in the Pocket from 1965, shown below) in black-and-white, running 108 minutes.

You can discover the entire program here, and then click here to purchase ticket and here for directions to FIAF's Florence Gould Hall (59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues).

No comments: