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Man Facing Southeast (1986) Directed by Eliseo Subiela In his work, Argentine auteur Eliseo Subiela (1944-2016) blended surrealism and magical realism in narratives that are partly philosophical, partly spiritual. Man Facing Southeast is his best-known film, if it’s known at all now in the US. A humanistic lo-fi sci-fi movie, it shares affinities with The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Starman (1984), and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s...
Costume Party is a monthly column exploring fashion, personal style, and historical aesthetics in film. Luis Buñuel’s Belle de Jour (1967) is a constant on any list of the most fashionable films, but the women in his 1970s output are just as well-dressed. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) and That Obscure Object of Desire (1977), playing at Film Forum as part of their double feature series, both showcase a variety of chic ensembles...
Diary of a Chambermaid Directed by Benoît Jacquot Opens June 10 at Lincoln Plaza There’s perverse pleasure in defiling beauty; thus Benoît Jacquot’s Diary of a Chambermaid, set in a luminous French countryside peopled with carefully costumed snobs, hypocrites, anti-Semites and thieves. "Costumed" not because they make much effort to conceal their sins, but because this is a period piece; Jacquot’s quick and vicious version is the fourth screen adaptation of French writer Octave Mirbeau’s 1900 novel,...

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