The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, February 24-March 1

golden-eighties Golden Eighties (1986)
Directed by Chantal Akerman
This poignant musical comedy unfolds almost entirely inside a shopping mall called the Toison d’Or (“Golden Fleece”) filled with male and female workers whose amorous yearnings for one another compete with their attention to their jobs. The cast includes repeat Akerman performers Pascale Salkin and Delphine Seyrig, who dreamily, painfully sing love songs composed by Marc Hérouet with lyrics that the late Akerman wrote. “Golden Eighties is a movie very clearly of Chantal’s creation,” says the filmmaker Andrew Bujalski (Results), who studied with Akerman as an undergraduate film major. “Even when venturing far from expectations (can you imagine the director of Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles making a colorful pop musical set in a shopping mall?), her eyes and ears are unmistakable. Though she seemed to concur with the assessment of Jeanne Dielman as her masterpiece, it saddens me to think that people might forget that Chantal—who was certainly a brilliant, ‘serious’ artist in the deepest sense of the word—was extremely funny and valued humor enormously. Nearly all of my memories of her are, in one way or another, comical. I was a college senior when we met. She was my thesis advisor, and she encouraged me not to worry about doing serious work. You can be funny, she said, just be funny—or something along those lines. It was only many years later that I realized that this was surely something that some part of her wanted for herself.” Aaron Cutler (February 24, 8:45pm at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s “Film Comment Selects”)

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