The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema, March 29-April 4

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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 Nest (1975), not to mention that K-PAX (2001) would later rip off its narrative. A jaded and cynical doctor at a mental asylum, Dr. Denis (Lorenzo Quinteros), finds a new patient in his care, Rantes (Hugo Soto), who claims to have come from another planet to investigate the ills of humans. Skeptical, Dr. Denis does all he can to cure Rantes of his complex. As Dr. Denis studies him, Rantes becomes more and more Christ-like, and when another is-she-or-isn’t-she alien shows up, she turns into the Virgin Mary in a pietà pose. Tanner Tafelski (March 31, 7pm at the Museum of the Moving Image as part of a multi-venue Subiela tribute within the Havana Film Festival New York)