The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, November 3-December 6

repertory-east-of-borneo East of Borneo (1931)
Directed by George Melford
Turns out Joseph Cornell was perfectly correct to make Rose Hobart the sole focus of his gaze when viewing Melford’s unexceptional white-woman-in-tropical-peril potboiler. (Cornell’s collage film plays with this, its source, at MoMA.) The pacing is sludgy, dialogue trite, and all the expected Orientalism is in offensive place. But at certain moments, limitations become primitive strengths: tracking shots through the California “jungle,” filmed in gleamingly underlit black-and-white on film that can barely capture anything, turn mysterious and moody, with a passing panther registering almost as if it were a moment out of Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Vadim Rizov (November 30-December 2, 4pm; December 3, 4 7pm at MoMA with Rose Hobart)

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