Nina Menkes retrospective planned for early 2012

Last Updated: December 23, 2011By Tags:

We’re being aggressed by bad Hollywood fare on a weekly basis—two Steven Spielberg movies (The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse, both reviewed this week) out in theatres at the same time (this is quite a boon for the manufacturers of Kleenex) and am sorry to say that civilization is in decline. So a retrospective about an obscure but worthy artist will be just the right panacea to recharge our batteries, feel better about ourselves and rediscover what filmmakers were supposed to be like.

Reading from the following paragraph taken from an L.A. Weekly article published this past June could you guess which filmmaker is being referred to?

“[Blank] has remained one of the few American directors whose feature films – in both form and thought – are genuinely radical. The filmmaker’s main preoccupation is violence in all its forms, and the approach, oblique yet intuitive, has yielded results that have more to say on the subject than any American director since Peckinpah or Cassavetes.”

It’s about Nina Menkes, an American filmmaker (of Israeli origin) with nine feature films (and plenty of shorts and a broad photographic opus) to her credit and whose work has been premiered at Sundance and broadcast on PBS, the Sundance Channel, German television and European networks. She shoots in 35 mm in a realist style of filmmaking—a cult classic lover’s delight! Reading the filmography posted on her site I was especially intrigued by her 1991 film Queen of Diamonds, which has been called one of that year’s best films by the L.A. Times and other publications.

The retrospectives, which will take place in New York (March 9-16) and Los Angeles (February 18–March 7), will feature eight of Menkes’s films, including her two early short films, A Soft Warrior (1981), documenting a serious illness suffered by her sister, and The Great Sadness of Zohara (1983), which traces the solitary, mystical journey of a Jewish girl who leaves Jerusalem for Arab lands.

For more information contact Anthology Film Archives and UCLA Film Archives.

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