Film: Best of 2017

James Quandt

1 “THE BOAT IS LEAKING. THE CAPTAIN LIED.” (Fondazione Prada, Venice) This exhibition, curated by Udo Kittelmann, ingeniously interlaced work by Thomas Demand, Anna Viebrock, and German director Alexander Kluge, offering a bracing reminder of the latter’s wit, compassion, political acumen, and formal audacity.

View of “The Boat Is Leaking. The Captain Lied.,” 2017, Fondazione Prada, Venice. Floor: Anna Viebrock, Runners,
2009. Walls: Anna Viebrock, Four Doors, 2017. Center: Alexander Kluge, Die sanfte Schminke des Lichts (The Soft Makeup of Lighting), 2007. Photo: Delfino Sisto Legnani and Marco Cappelletti.

2 JEAN VIGO (Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna, Italy) The restoration of Vigo’s tragically abbreviated oeuvre, including a reference print of L’Atalante (1934), proved the high point of this year’s Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, though his silent short À propos de Nice (1930), a film stubbornly resistant to musical accompaniment, was regrettably live scored.

Jean Vigo, L’Atalante, 1934, 35 mm, black-and-white, sound, 89 minutes. Jean (Jean Dasté).

3 ZAMA (Lucrecia Martel) Martel transforms Antonio di Benedetto’s slim, existential novel of stanched desire and deferred prospects into a fiercely elliptical and political film. The sound design alone is a work

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