The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, April 26-May 2

nyc repertory cinema-how to be lovedHow to Be Loved (1963)
Directed by Wojciech Has
In Has’s masterful melodrama, a Polish radio-show personality, Felicja, takes a plane to Paris. During the flight, she reminisces about her experiences in Nazi-occupied Warsaw during World War II. Has, whose passion was to make time vividly felt in cinema, moves fluidly between Felicja’s flight conversations and jitters and her reminiscences: In the latter, we see her as an aspiring ingénue, whose theatrical career dreams are interrupted when she falls love with a hapless conspirator—played by “the Polish James Dean,” Zbigniew Cybulski—and hides him from the Gestapo. Felicja pays a high price for her resistance work. Yet Has’s portrait isn’t so much heroic as it is a visceral, at times disturbing, investigation of complex desires and motives. A potent study of self-denial, How to Be Loved shows characters that craft memories to fit their image of themselves, and are shattered, when reality breaks through. Ela Bittencourt (April 27-May 3 at MoMA, showtimes daily, alongside a run of Has’s The Noose (1958), in conjunction with the New York Polish Film Festival, which will also present Has’s The Saragossa Manuscript (1965) at the Museum of the Moving Image on April 30. Annette Insdorf, author of the new Intimations: The Cinema of Wojciech Has, will be present at various MoMA and MoMI screenings.)