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13th of December 2018

Movies



3 Film Series to Catch in N.Y.C. This Weekend

Our guide to film series and special screenings happening this weekend and in the week ahead. All our movie reviews are at nytimes.com/reviews/movies.

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‘DETOUR’ at Film Forum (Nov. 30-Dec. 6). There’s something heretical about seeing Edgar G. Ulmer’s Poverty Row classic “Detour” in a pristine restoration. The essence of low-budget filmmaking and a landmark of film noir, Ulmer’s brisk, grimy contemplation of the anonymity of the American road and the cruelties of fate seems tailor-made for beat-up prints and cheap DVDs. Even so, the spruce-up looks great. Tom Neal stars as a pianist who hitchhikes from New York to Los Angeles. He winds up with a dead man riding shotgun and, later, under the thumb of Ann Savage, as perhaps the most pitiless femme fatale of the era. It’s a vehicular week at Film Forum, which is also showing a seven-day run of “Highway Patrolman,” a scattershot Mexican feature from Alex Cox (“Repo Man”) released in New York in 1993, with Roberto Sosa as a corrupt traffic officer.212-727-8110, filmforum.org

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CHRISTIAN PETZOLD: THE STATE WE ARE IN at the Film Society of Lincoln Center (Nov. 30-Dec. 13) In a deceptively spare style that packs volumes into every glance and cut, this superb German director makes movies that are at once economical and enigmatic, and that often refract history through film history. His most recent feature, “Transit,” which kicks off the series on Friday before a scheduled opening in March, is set in the early days of Nazi-occupied France, mostly in Marseille, where an assortment of exiles await passage to safety. Although the movie takes place in the early 1940s, Petzold does not disguise the contemporary locations he shot on. If “Transit” is a hall-of-mirrors “Casablanca,” “Phoenix” (on Saturday and Dec. 9) reworks “Vertigo”: A Holocaust survivor (Nina Hoss), her face altered by surgery, reunites with her husband (Ronald Zehrfeld) — who thinks she looks just enough like his wife to collect an inheritance. Those eager for more should check out the Cold War-set “Barbara” (on Dec. 11 and 13) and the “ghost trilogy” (including “Yella,” on Sunday and Dec. 9). This career-spanning retrospective also includes Petzold’s early television work.212-875-5601, filmlinc.org

UGO TOGNAZZI: TRAGEDIES OF A RIDICULOUS MAN at the Museum of Modern Art (Dec. 5-30). Even before the death of Bernardo Bertolucci on Monday, MoMA had planned to lead off this retrospective on the actor Ugo Tognazzi with one of Bertolucci’s most neglected films — and one of his most difficult to see. “The Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man” (showing on Wednesday and Dec. 30) stars Tognazzi as a cheese factory owner whose son is kidnapped. Reviewing the film in The New York Times in 1982, Vincent Canby greeted it as a step away from the opulence of Bertolucci’s acclaimed 1970s films and a return to the still-personal style of the director’s less flashy earlier work. Other titles screening in the Tognazzi series include “Porcile” (“Pigsty”) (on Thursday and Dec. 14), directed by Bertolucci’s mentor Pier Paolo Pasolini, and “La Cage aux Folles” (on Dec. 7 and 23).212-708-9400, moma.org

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