The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, February 15-21

nyc repertory cinema-gods country

God’s Country (1986)
Directed by Louis Malle
In 1979, Malle went to Glencoe, Minnesota and shot footage for a PBS documentary. The project fell through, but Malle returned to the Midwest farming town of 5,000 people in 1985, meeting up with people he interviewed six years earlier. And then a year later, PBS aired his completed film, God’s Country. In the first two-thirds of the film, Malle captures the texture and feel of the town, interviewing and interacting with bankers, police officers, softball players, convenience store and Dairy Queen owners, fathers, mothers, children, young people, and old people. It amounts to a picture of a traditional, conservative, hospitable yet prejudiced, and homogenous town filtered through Malle’s editorializing narration. In the last section, when Malle returns, the mood has changed. Turns out Reagonomics was for the worse, putting this farming economy into a depression and jeopardizing the livelihoods of many in Glencoe. Tanner Tafelski (February 19, 4pm at Film Comment Selects)


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