The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, June 8-14

szindbad 1971

Szindbád (1971)
Directed by Zoltán Huszárik
Adapted from the short stories of Gyula Krúdy, a beloved Proustian author of the Magyars, Szindbád is an autumnal, reflective, and poetic film set during fin de siècle Hungary, and centers on a dying libertine’s thoughts and memories. Although named after the character in One Thousand and One Nights, Szindbad is more of a wilting Casanova. A womanizer and a gourmand, he both regrets and revels in his past pursuits of the flesh and stomach. Counter to the long shot, long take aesthetic that’s the default mode for European art cinema then and now, Huszárik—a graphic artist and painter as well—opts for montage editing. Haptic inserts, rich in sensuality and eroticism, of water droplets, globules of food oil, and blooming flowers, are counterpoised with the film’s melancholic tone channeled through Szindbád. A life lived purely for pleasure never seemed so gloomily romantic. Tanner Tafelski (June 10, 13, 10pm; June 17, 5pm; June 25 7:30pm, in a new digital restoration, at the Spectacle’s Huszárik retrospective)

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