This weekend à la Cinematheque

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Friday night: Vincente Minnelli’s Lust for Life (1956), an über-polychromatic, cinematic portrait of Vincent van Gogh (played by Kirk Douglas), this film has the reputation as being Minnelli’s most confessional melodrama, though it also has the reputation as being a somewhat masturbatory testament—what’s more self-flattering than using the image of history’s most famous tortured artist as an allegory for oneself?—from one of Hollywood’s most grandiose figures. The screening begins, as usual, at 7:30PM, and, in my myopic estimation, it ought to be terribly good.

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Saturday night: Grigori Aleksandrov’s Volga, Volga (1938), a musical comedy that holds the rather remarkable distinction of having been Stalin’s favorite film—an interesting tidbit that should by no means be downplayed. Last Saturday’s screening from the Aleksandrov series, The Circus, was a lot of head-scratching fun; thus, I’m going into Volga, Volga with more or less high expectations. You’d never believe it but the screening begins at 7:30PM. Definitely be there if you’re a cultural—as opposed to a practicing—red, or if you’re an orthodox Groucho-Marxist (like yours truly).

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