The Green Years by Paulo Rocha
The Green Years by Paulo Rocha

Film at Lincoln Center (FLC) announces the expanded August lineup for its Virtual Cinema. Launched in March of this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the FLC Virtual Cinema has allowed New Yorkers to continue to enjoy FLC’s world-class programming from the comfort and safety of their homes. Thoughtfully curated by FLC’s esteemed programming team, the Virtual Cinema lineup features a wide-ranging mix of new releases, recent festival favorites, restored classics, and repertory titles. A portion of all Virtual Cinema rentals support Film at Lincoln Center, helping to ensure it remains a vibrant center for the cinema community.

July and August additions to the FLC Virtual Cinema lineup include:

  • Exclusive restoration of innovative animated shorts by polish master craftsman Walerian Borowczyk
  • Koji Fukada’s compelling revenge drama A Girl Missing
  • New 4k restorations of Paulo Rocha’s first two features The Green Years and Change of Life
  • Robert Kramer’s enduring Route One/USA 
  • Bas Devos’ absorbing Belgian drama and Cannes standout Ghost Tropic 

Film at Lincoln Center rounds out its summer programming with an extensive catalog of free digital offerings, including recent talks with RaMell Ross, Garrett Bradley, Kelly Reichardt, Judd Apatow, and Abel Ferrara; our new ‘Cinema Stories’ video series featuring personal stories by renowned filmmakers; a treasure trove of Q&As and interviews from the FLC archives; and more. All videos are available on the Film at Lincoln Center YouTube channel. Read more about the featured titles and filmmakers. 

Film at Lincoln Center Walerian Borowczyk

Born in Poland during the 1920s, Walerian Borowczyk trained as a painter and sculptor before establishing himself first as a poster artist and later an animation filmmaker. After relocating to France during the late 1950s, Borowczyk made his international debut with a series of films co-created with Polish graphic designer and cartoonist Jan Lenica. These startling, often comic short films were as innovative as they were provocative—pioneering in both their narrative strategies and stylistic elements (cut-out and hand-painted animation), and influential to artists as wide-ranging as Terry Gilliam and collaborator Chris Marker. Borowczyk was the subject of a long-overdue retrospective in 2015. Film at Lincoln Center is pleased to continue recognizing his cinematic contributions with a special presentation of newly restored versions of these short films and Konstanty Gordon’s short newsreel documentary about poster art, co-written by Borowczyk.

Once Upon a Time / Byl sobie raz

Walerian Borowczyk & Jan Lenica, Poland, 1957, 9m

While not the first cut-out animation, this is without a doubt, one of the most innovative. In effect, Borowczyk and Lenica transformed the economy, wit, and intelligence of the Polish poster into cinema. It is also notable for a groundbreaking electro-acoustic soundtrack courtesy of the Experimental Studio of Polish Radio.

Strip-Tease

Walerian Borowczyk & Jan Lenica, Poland, 1957, 2m

Borowczyk and Lenica are at their most expressive in this crude paper miniature. 

Requited Sentiments / Nagrodzone uczucie

Walerian Borowczyk & Jan Lenica, Poland, 1957, 8m

Borowczyk and Lenica’s second collaboration is a politically correct romance told through the paintings of Jan Płaskociński. Playful, witty, and ironic, Requited Sentiments is augmented by a rousing score courtesy of the Warsaw Gasworks Brass Orchestra.

Banner of Youth / Sztandar mlodych

Walerian Borowczyk & Jan Lenica, Poland, 1957, 2m

In this miniature newsreel interlude made for the journal of the Polish Youth Union (ZMP), Borowczyk and Lenica recycle the montage of found footage in Once Upon a Time and add on a hand-painted element.

The School / Szkoła

Walerian Borowczyk, Poland, 1958, 7m

In Borowczyk’s first solo outing as a director, a soldier is subjected to a series of increasingly ridiculous training maneuvers until finally retreating into daydreams and fantasy. The School is almost exclusively made up of photographs of actor Bronisław Stefanik ordered to create movement, recalling the innovation of Norman McLaren as well as early and pre-cinema techniques.

House / Dom (pictured above)

Walerian Borowczyk & Jan Lenica, Poland, 1959, 11m

A young woman inside a house succumbs to a succession of daydreams, fantasies, and nightmares. Arguably Borowczyk and Lenica’s masterpiece, House served as Borowczyk and Lenica’s ticket to the West. The result is a veritable compendium of animation techniques, which both look back at the European avant-garde of the 1920s (Cocteau, Richter, Ray, Ernst, Calder, Duchamp, etc.) while paving the way for the likes of latter-day Czech surrealist Jan Švankmajer. It also features a remarkable electro-acoustic soundtrack by Włodzimierz Kotoński.

Street Art / Sztuka ulicy

Konstanty Gordon, Poland, 1957, 10m

Co-written by Borowczyk, Konstanty Gordon’s short newsreel documents Poland’s poster art scene in the late ’50s.

A Girl Missing by Koji Fukada

Opens July 31

A Girl Missing 

Koji Fukada, Japan, 2019, 111m

Director Koji Fukada and star Mariko Tsutsui have created one of the most memorable, enigmatic movie protagonists in years in this compelling and beautifully humane drama. Middle-aged Ichiko works as a private nurse in a small town for a family, functioning as caregiver for the entire female clan’s elderly matriarch, and befriending the two teenage daughters. When one of the girls disappears, Ichiko gets caught up in the resulting media sensation in increasingly surprising and devastating ways. Fukada keeps the story tightly focused on Ichiko’s perspective, illustrating with patience and compassion the different forms of trauma that can be created by one event, and—in keeping with the themes of his internationally acclaimed Harmonium—how easily and frighteningly a life can spiral out of control. A NYFF57 selection and Film Movement release.

The Green Years by Paulo Rocha

Opens August 7

The Green Years / Os Verdes Anos

Paulo Rocha, Portugal, 1963, 91m

Widely considered the founding text of the New Portuguese Cinema, Rocha’s coming-of-age film reflected a new attitude in the wake of post-Salazar modernization of urban life in the 1960s. Nineteen-year-old Julio heads to Lisbon from the provinces and gets a job as a shoemaker for his uncle Raul. But when he meets Ilda, a confident young housemaid who becomes a regular shop visitor, his working-class values collide with the bourgeois trappings of modern life. Rocha subverts melodramatic conventions by avoiding easy psychology or clearly defined goals, and favors mise-en-scène over narrative, reflecting a country at odds with its national character. A Grasshopper Film release. New digital restoration!

Change of Life Paulo Rocha

Opens August 14

Change of Life / Mudar de Vida 

Paulo Rocha, Portugal, 1966, 90m

Paulo Rocha’s second feature, conceived as a direct response to his mentor Manoel de Oliveira’s Rite of Spring (which Rocha worked on as well), is a masterpiece of “sculpted reality,” using fictional conceits and non-actors cast as themselves to create an ethnographic portrait of Furadouro, a remote Portuguese fishing village. The dramatic premise is about a soldier returning home to a place that has changed in both subtle and obvious ways during his absence, serves as a pretext for Rocha to respectfully examine the specificities of Furadouro’s people, their daily routines and rituals, and their evolving relationships with the village’s history. A Grasshopper Film release. New digital restoration!

Route One/USA by Robert Kramer

Opens August 21

Route One/USA 

Robert Kramer, USA, 1990, 255m

In 1988, nearly a decade after leaving the US, Robert Kramer and his friend and frequent collaborator Paul “Doc” McIsaac (Ice, Doc’s Kingdom), a physician who for years worked in Africa, returned to the States to travel the length of Route 1, from the Canadian border to its end in Key West. With Kramer behind the camera and Doc conducting interviews, the pair take on a coolly ambiguous, outside-looking-in perspective toward the personalities and trends of ‘80s America while paying particular attention to the downtrodden, making stops and conversation at, among other places, a Native American reservation in Maine, Walden Pond, a Georgian diner, and evangelical churches that preach the “truth” about the Anti-Apartheid Movement and the dangers of Disney. Made by one of the co-founders of the radical-left documentary film group Newsreel, Route One/USA is an indispensable, sobering portrait of the multitudinous challenges facing the nation—as monumental and relevant today as it was thirty years ago. Newly digitized and restored with the support of the Centre National du Cinema (CNC). An Icarus Films release.

Ghost Tropic by Bas Devos

Opens August 28 

Ghost Tropic 

Bas Devos, Belgium/Netherlands, 2019, 85m

A finely observed nocturnal odyssey set in the wake of the 2016 Brussels bombings, Bas Devos’s third feature beholds the quotidian drama of an immigrant’s experience in Belgium with a hushed but deeply expressive intensity, viewed in long takes and vivid 16mm detail. After work one night, Khadija (Saadia Bentaïeb), a cleaning woman of North African origins, falls asleep on the last subway train and wakes up at the end of the line with no choice but to make her way across the city on foot. While friendly encounters and vaguely portentous events proliferate around Khadija, the film gives way to her curiosity of the city and its multicultural spaces with remarkable tenderness and compassion. A Cinema Guild release. 

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