PRINT December 2016

Film: Best of 2016

James Quandt

Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, Lothringen! (Lorraine!), 1994, 35 mm, color, sound, 21 minutes. Colette (Emmanuelle Straub).

1 JEAN-MARIE STRAUB AND DANIÈLE HUILLET (Museum of Modern Art, New York) MoMA’s comprehensive retrospective, awaited for decades, proved that the deracinated duo were, like Bresson, the most voluptuary of ascetics.

2 FROM THE BRANCHES DROPS THE WITHERED BLOSSOM (Paul Meyer) The much-abused term restoration finds authentic meaning in Belgian director Paul Meyer’s long-forgotten 1960 portrait of immigrant coal miners in the Borinage: an emergent classic of neorealist cinema.

3 SIERANEVADA (Cristi Puiu) Puiu’s brilliant, baleful comedy about a Romanian family gathering could be retitled Waiting for Ciorbă.

4 THE DEATH OF LOUIS XIV (Albert Serra) Whereas Roberto Rossellini’s 1966 chronicle of the monarch’s rise to power focused on sartorial style as political stratagem, Albert Serra, the Catalan connoisseur of libertinage, concentrates on the king’s attenuated demise by gangrene.

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