Did You See This?

But the World Goes ’Round

Anna Diop and Rose Decker in Nikyatu Jusu’s Nanny (2022)

As people say their goodbyes on Twitter, a platform that—even with no one running it—may actually take a while to sputter out, the world of cinema, to paraphrase Liza Minnelli, goes round and round and round. The sixth edition of American Fringe, a showcase of truly independent cinema cocurated by Richard Peña and Livia Bloom Ingram, opens today at the Cinémathèque française in Paris and will run through the weekend. Cary Grant fans in Bristol will spend their weekend celebrating the working-class heritage of Archibald Leach.

EO, the first feature Jerzy Skolimowski has directed in seven years, begins its theatrical run in New York today. It’s “a shocking and tender tour de force about life, love, death, and the wretched disregard human beings hold toward other living creatures,” writes Manohla Dargis in the New York Times. “No movie that I’ve seen this year has moved me as deeply, made me feel as optimistic about cinema, or engaged me with such intellectual vigor.”

Here’s what else has been going on this week:

  • Critic and Acropolis Cinema programmer Jordan Cronk has already put together his best-of-2022 list, and he’s selected the trilogy of films Douglas Sirk made with Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Munich film students in the 1970s as the year’s best revival. For Sight and Sound, Phuong Le revisits Interlude (1957), the first film Sirk made in Germany after leaving his home country in 1937. “As in so many of his films, Sirk uses a love triangle as a prism to view the fragile parameters of feelings,” writes Le. Noting that Fassbinder once remarked that the Munich in Interlude “seems false,” Le finds that “the fact that Interlude opts to see Germany through the rose-tinted glasses of an outsider inspires a strangely moving kind of optimism.”

  • As Raymond Ang emphasizes in Vogue, MoMA’s retrospective Mike De Leon: Self-Portrait of a Filipino Filmmaker, currently running through the end of the month, is an opportunity to familiarize ourselves with an underappreciated artist. Ang calls In the Blink of an Eye (1981) a “horror film about filial piety” that “goes beyond genre thrills to skewer both patriarchal family dynamics and, indirectly, the oppressive strongman leadership of the Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who at the time of the film’s release was on his ninth year of martial law.” Josh Siegel, a curator at MoMA, tells Ang that De Leon’s recent shorts linking the Marcos regime to Rodrigo Duterte’s are the filmmaker’s “attempt to come to terms with the fact that history is cyclical and dictatorships and exploitation and corruption are rearing their ugly heads again, not only in the Philippines but across the world.”

  • Nikyatu Jusu’s debut feature, Nanny, the winner of a Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, sees a limited theatrical release next Wednesday, so now is the time to catch up with Jusu’s short films on the Criterion Channel. In Nanny, Anna Diop plays Aisha, an undocumented Senegalese immigrant who is hired by a well-to-do Manhattan couple to look after their young daughter, Rose. “One of the film’s notable accomplishments,” writes Lidija Haas in the New Republic, “is that it paints a credible picture of the inevitably compromised relationship between Aisha and her charge, and that the growing suspense as to whether something dreadful will happen—to them both, to one by means of the other—does not require that either of them be idealized or made inherently frightening. The conditions just are what they are.”

  • “What is Donald Sutherland’s deal?” asks Howard Hampton. “He’s been acting in movies for nearly sixty years, an eternal presence who seems ingrained in the medium itself yet feels impossible to account for. Born in Canada in 1935, trained in England, he parlayed the rangy physique of a silent-movie Lincoln and the long, unmanageable face of an Expressionist caricature into a distinct form of stardom . . . I’m not sure there is another actor who has ever spent so much time getting into our heads and yet still has remained so enigmatic, out of reach.” While you’re paging through the Metrograph Journal, be sure to read Nick Pinkerton’s interview with James Gray.

  • Over the years, Sam Raimi and Joel and Ethan Coen have collaborated on a few projects, most recently cowriting The Hudsucker Proxy (1994). A “dialogue of sorts opened up between the Coens’ next film, 1996’s Fargo, and Raimi’s 1998 film A Simple Plan, two snowbound Minnesota neonoirs about criminal schemes gone gruesomely awry,” writes Scott Tobias at the Reveal. “Both have an unexpected austerity to them relative to their directors’ previous work, Raimi’s especially, while still allowing for strong punctuations of pulpy violence. Both amass staggering body counts as the ineptitude of their amateur crooks proves more deadly than the ‘no-rough-stuff type of deal’ in Fargo or the, well, simple plan in A Simple Plan. And both are about money—greed, yes, but also social class, financial insecurity, and the very American idea that it will lead to a happier, more fulfilling, more dignified life.”

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