The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, July 20-26


The Weeping Meadow (2004)
Directed by Theo Angelopoulos
Somewhere between the sensibilities and styles of Miklos Jancso and Ermanno Olmi, you’ll find Angelopoulos, cinema’s great collector of pilgrims. He hugged weary travelers and war orphans to his breast, refracting their humanity across great, glorious vistas. The great canvas of a movie screen never wanted when his images struck them, filling every frame with pained longing and battered hope. His characters, great big parades of them, trek across the unknown, crossing rivers, fields and great expanses of time on their way towards Angelopoulos’s modern Greece, a place rent asunder by obfuscatory financial policies. A film like The Weeping Meadow, his penultimate work, ought to serve as a reminder about what happens when you turn brother against brother, but no one ever really heeds that lesson. So it stands not only as a testament to the work the much-missed master specialized in—film as modernist frescos depicting history through the movement of communities—but as a beautifully optimistic hope that we might learn from our storied past. It slowly uncovers heaving throngs of working-class families, their destinies intertwined, spilling from one era to the next. Time escapes his characters, however hard they grip the present. Scout Tafoya (July 23, 6:30pm at the Museum of the Moving Image’s Angelopoulos retrospective)


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