Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Eternity And A Day (1998)

WHO: Directed by Theo Angelopoulos, the master Greek filmmaker who was killed in a car accident at the age of 76 over a year ago.

WHAT: I haven't seen Eternity and a Day but it's certainly one of Angelopoulos's most lauded works. In fact it was awarded the top prize at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival (the Palme d'Or) a unanimous decision by a jury headed up by Martin Scorsese.

WHERE/WHEN: Screens today only at the Castro Theatre, at 4:20 and 9:20 PM.

WHY: The 2013 Cannes competition line-up isn't announced until next week, but already there are are people trying to guess at contenders for the top award. Of course, not every Palme d'Or winner truly stands the test of time as a great film (anyone want to make the case for Pelle the Conqueror or Fahrenheit 9/11 right now?) and in fact an upcoming screening series in New York called Booed At Cannes is a reminder of how a poor reception at Cannes screenings doesn't exactly doom a film to more obscurity than a good one does. (Although it's interesting to note that two Palme winners appear in that series: Taxi Driver and Wild At Heart.) I hope this series travels here, as there's hardly a film in it I wouldn't like to see (or re-see) on the big screen.

Upon sampling Angelopoulos's The Travelling Players on VHS years ago I realized that the big screen was the only place for me to really take in the Greek master's motion pictures, so I determined to wait for screenings to appear at local cinemas. It's been a long wait; as far as I know today's showings are the first 35mm screenings of one of his films here since The Weeping Meadow got a short run at the Balboa seven and a half years ago.

Other films that have won the top Cannes prize (not always called the Palme d'Or but that's a long and complicated story) that are set to screen in Frisco Bay theatres soon include Michaelangelo Antonioni's Blow Up next Wednesday at the Castro, Francesco Rosi's The Mattei Affair at the San Francisco International Film Festival, Wild At Heart and Pulp Fiction, which both screen in upcoming slots in the New Parkway's Thursday night "Parkway Classics" series, and Amour, the most recent winner and Eternity and a Day's double-bill-mate at the Castro today.

HOW: Eternity and a Day screens from a 35mm print, and its co-feature Amour is a digital production screened on DCP.

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