Since the first two weekends exhausted all but one of the films director Todd Haynes and producer Christine Vachon have made together, the third weekend of SFMOMA’s Sparks on Celluloid: Haynes + Vachon is comprised almost entirely of their favorite movies. Rainer Werner Fassbinder makes a return appearance with his 1981 Lola, which shares a Sirk-esque visual aesthetic with last week’s Ali: Fear Eats the Soul but which is, in fact, an update of Josef von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel. (Enough with the remakes, mid-1970s German film industry! Why don’t you come up with an original idea for a change?)
Starring Arlo Guthrie and based on Guthrie’s song, Arthur Penn’s 1969 curio Alice’s Restaurant never quite reached the iconic counterculture status of its summer contemporary Easy Rider. Also unappreciated is Alfred Hitchcock’s 1956 The Wrong Man, one of his bleakest works as well as his only collaboration with Henry Fonda. There’s also a welcome screening of a movie all festivals should include regardless of topic: Charles Laughton’s lone directorial effort, 1955’s The Night of the Hunter. The remaining Haynes-Vachon joint is 2015’s Carol, based on a Patricia Highsmith novel and featuring Oscar-nominated performances by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara — and produced by Harvey Weinstein, because nothing and nobody gets away clean these days.
Sparks on Celluloid: Haynes + Vachon, Week 3
Now playing at SFMOMA