Little Known Films: On Guard

THE FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY addition of this newsletter is crying out for an epic! And not just any epic. A French swashbuckling epic! Superstars Daniel Auteuil (Après Vous) and Fabrice Luchini (Gemma Bovery) happily return to Palisades in this recently rediscovered and gloriously restored film from the novel Le Bossu (The Hunchback) by Paul Leval.

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TIME AND SPACE IN BOGLIASCO, ITALY

CHARLES BUKOWSKI WROTE A POEM called Air and Light and Time and Space in which he rages against the excuses proffered by people who want to create but are always finding reasons why they cannot. He declares with singular passion that if you’re serious about it you’ll be able to create under any circumstances, such as working in the coal mines 16 hours a day, or ignoring a cluster of (your own) small children weeping in the corner, or howling at cats crawling up your back, or left with only parts of your mind and body while trying to keep upright as the earth shifts under your feet.

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Bulletin Board: December 2016

Grace Knowlton recently exhibited her work in three venues. In November, the Outside In had a show of her drawings and the Pomona Cultural Arts Center exhibited some of her sculptures. The Union Arts Center is currently exhibiting her work through Friday, January 6, 2017 in a mixed-media show titled Full Circle.

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Little Known Films: Après Vous

Altruism breeds nothing but trouble for Antoine (Daniel Auteuil), the generous soul at the heart of Pierre Salvadori’s romantic comedy Après Vous. Late for dinner with his girlfriend Christine because he’s stayed after hours lending a helping hand at his brasserie job, Antoine takes a shortcut through the park and stumbles upon Louis (Jose Garcia), a lovelorn sap whose misery over the loss of his girlfriend Blanche has driven him to suicide. Antoine prevents Louis from hanging himself, yet this compassionate act sets in motion a farcical chain of entangled events in which he, Louis, Blanche, and neglected, unhappy Christine — who rightfully resents how much attention her beau lavishes on strangers — all learn about the true nature of friendship and love.

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Little Known Films: Troubled Waters (De USYNLIGE) 2008 NORWAY 115 mins.

This film has haunted me since I first saw it in 2010, so I felt the October issue would be the perfect time to write about it. Troubled Water sets out on a formidable task: to examine the nature of human loss and reconciliation in the wake of a Dostoevsky type tragedy. Profoundly sad and thought provoking, this meditative work is a clear triumph for humanist cinema; a true genre film that meets and exceeds the highest of expectations and is virtually guaranteed to move its audience like no other.

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Little Known Films: Listen to Me Marlon (2015) Documentary, 103 Mins

Despite his towering public profile, Marlon Brando was a deeply private man. Yet in the documentary Listen to Me Marlon, the actor lowers his defenses to reveal his innermost thoughts. Director Steven Riley’s film is a fascinating collage probing its subject’s psyche and is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen.

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Little Known Films: 3 Idiots (2009) India 171 minutes.

Bollywood has finally come to Palisades but don’t let the title mislead you - yes, the film is about three people, but idiots stands for ‘I’ll do it on my terms.’ With a wicked twist at the end, it charts the journey of three engineering students with a perfect balance of pathos and gags. Told in retrospect, it features constant clashes with their college dean and concludes with the three friends meeting up as adults.

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Little Known Films: Gemma Bovery

Oh, to be beautiful and bored. It has been over 150 years since Gustave Flaubert shocked the world with “Madame Bovary,” his groundbreaking book about a provincial doctor’s wife who embarks on a tragic affair to escape her dull, routine life. And ever since, the character of Emma Bovary has become both a literary and cinematic archetype, fueling an entire subgenre of stories about women looking to escape their circumstances, only to find hard consequences following dalliances outside their marriage and home. It’s a story that still resonates today.

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Little Known Films: I Know Where I’m Going! (1945) United Kingdom, 91 minutes.

From Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, the writing and directing team who brought you The Red Shoes, comes their personal favorite and least known work. I Know Where Im Going! is a dizzyingly delirious blend of romance, comedy, adventure, mythology, mysticism and folklore.

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Little Known Films: Tim’s Vermeer (2013) Documentary 80 Mins.

Everyone at one time has stood before a painting in an art museum and thought, I wish I could have done that. Frequently the work prompting the awe is by an Old Master, maybe a Rembrandt selfportrait, a winter scene by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, a Rubens nude. Most of us, of course, never act on the wish, claiming either various lacks (of talent, time, ambition) or simple humility in the presence of unattainable genius.

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Tidal Memories and Other Photographs

Palisades resident David Wolk’s haunting photographs were presented in a show titled, Tidal Memories and Other Photographs at the Flywheel Gallery in Piermont during the month of February.

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Little Known Films: Jodorowsky’s Dune A 2013 Documentary, 90 minutes.

This little known film is about a film that was never made at all. In fact, it remains one of the great ‘what ifs’ in movie history. What if Alejandro Jodorowsky, the eccentric Chilean- French auteur behind such psychedelic midnight movies as El Topo and The Holy Mountain, had adapted Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel Dune?

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Little Known Fims: I Knew It Was You

This is a little known film about a little known person. It is an exploration into the life of the exceptional actor John Cazale. Cazale’s film career consisted of just five movies, but all of them were Academy Award® nominees for Best Picture; THE GODFATHER, THE GODFATHER: PART II, THE CONVERSATION, DOG DAY AFTERNOON and THE DEER HUNTER. Even though three won, Cazale was never nominated. Instead, he is remembered by his colleagues as one of the brightest talents of his day, but yet, just three decades after his promising career ended with his untimely death by lung cancer, Cazale is largely unknown to the general public.

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Book Club

I was at a dinner party a little while ago where someone asked me if Iʼd read Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast. I had absolutely wanted to, but in the chronic frenzy of my life, Iʼd forgotten all about it. I couldnʼt believe I was messing up an opportunity to appear au courant. But now I have read it, and if there is such a thing as redemption in this world, Iʼll get some now by telling you about it.

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Little Known Films: Il Divo, the Spectacular Life of Guilio Andreotti (2008) Italy 110 mins

In Rome, at dawn, when everyone is sleeping, one man is awake. That man is Giulio Andreotti, the 41st prime minister of Italy. He's awake because he has to work, write books, move in fashionable circles, and last, but not least, pray. Calm, crafty and inscrutable, Andreotti was synonymous with power in Italy for over four decades. He died in 2013 at the age of 94.

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Little Known Films: Monsieur Hire (1989)

France 81 minutes.

FINALLY available on DVD and on the late Roger Ebert’s list of Great Movies comes one of the best French films ever made and only now being widely seen. Monsieur Hire based on a haunting short story by Georges Simenon, directed by Patrice Leconte (The Hairdresser's Husband), and starring Michel Blanc, tells the story of a quiet, tidy middle aged man who runs a small tailoring business in Paris. He bothers no one and, in return, is persecuted by his neighbors for his aloofness - they bang on his door, throw flour over him, and whisper under their breath when he walks by. It’s true that he seems indifferent to this abuse but this doesn’t explain why he endures it. In fact the reason is simple - Alice (Sandrine Bonnaire). Every night he returns home to his darkened apartment, cooks a boiled egg, puts on the same piece of classical music, and stands at his window, staring across the alley and into Alice’s apartment. She is a young woman and the attraction seems obvious but, somehow, this is more than simple voyeurism.

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NON PROFIT MAKES BIG IMPRESSION: THE JACOB BURNS FILM CENTER

The Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) is a non-profit cultural arts center dedicated to: presenting the best of independent, documentary, and world cinema; promoting 21st century literacy; and making film a vibrant part of the community. Located on a 47,500 square foot, three-building campus in the center of Pleasantville, the JBFC is just 30 miles outside of New York City and 25 minutes from Palisades.

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BOOKS & GREETINGS RECEIVES GRANT FROM AUTHOR WILLIAM PATTERSON

Books are the quietest and the most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.
Charles William Eliot

Books & Greetings, located at 271G Livingstone Avenue in Northvale, opened on July 7th of 2007. In addition to the latest “must-read” books, there’s a greeting card section, a well stocked toy department, and an assortment of gifts such as lotions, candles, candy and stationery. Owners Kenny Sarfin and wife Michele who live in Tappan, chose the Northvale Square mini-mall because it provided ample parking. Sarfin had previously worked in Manhattan at a family-run Hallmark store that had been in business for 49 years.

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Little Known Films: Haute Cuisine (Les Saveurs du Palais)

France 2013, 95 minutes
WARNING: This film should not be watched on an empty stomach

THIS BEAUTIFULLY FILMED and briskly paced biopic is based on the real life case of Danièle Delpeuch, a modest, provincial chef and restaurant-owner who in the late 1980s was summoned by President François Mitterrand to be his personal cook at his official residence, the Elysée Palace. Danièle becomes Hortense (Catherine Frot) and Mitterrand becomes the President, played by the 87-year-old non-actor Jean d'Ormesson, better known as a writer and journalist (in the latter role he was, for many years, one of Mitterrand's fiercest adversaries). The President has developed a hankering for the traditional regional cuisine he knew in his youth and decided that Hortense is just the woman he needs to provide him with “the best of France.”

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Water, Water Everywhere

So was it love at first sight? I asked Palisades resident Joanne Barak. After she and her husband Tuvia had seen a collage at Andrew Goffe and Jeff Levin’s home down by the river done by renowned local artist Christina Biaggi they commissioned her to create a similar collage for their new Palm Beach condo. “No,” Joanne answered, “but I distinctly heard music in my head when I first walked in and saw Christina’s collage wrapped around a large column off the main hallway." It was a stormy day and her seven by twelve foot mural, appropriately titled, “The River,” captured the mood of the Hudson River out the window just beyond it.

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