What do a club devoted to model trains and the legendary film critic and painter Manny Farber have in common? These two lines intersect in Jean-Pierre Gorin’s lovely and distinctly American film, which takes as its subject the desire to re-create the past (the locomotive aficionados’ elaborate worlds in miniature, Farber’s teeming canvases) and expands to something richly philosophical and surprisingly funny. Routine Pleasures is a masterful meditation on America’s landscapes, real and imagined.
With his lush and sensual visuals, pitch-perfect soundtracks, and soulful romanticism, Wong Kar Wai has established himself as one of the defining auteurs of contemporary cinema.
Four charming comedies from Eric Rohmer.
Melvin Van Peebles’s edgy, angsty, romantic first feature could never have been made in America. Unable to break into a segregated Hollywood, Van Peebles decamped to France, taught himself the language, and wrote a number of books in French, one of which, La permission, would become his stylistically innovative feature debut.
Melvin Van Peebles
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
A triumph at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival, the revelatory debut feature from codirectors (and twin brothers) Arie and Chuko Esiri is a heartrending and hopeful portrait of everyday human endurance in Lagos, Nigeria.