Thursday, January 31, 2013

DFT's winter season of delights

The Detroit Institute of Arts’ Detroit Film Theatre (DFT) winter series has been running a full month. There are several screenings of the many films that remain - the series runs until late April - that interest me. One of the DFT’s most popular annual events is the screenings of the Academy Awards nominations for short films. The DFT has turned over the first three weekends in February for repeat showings. There are five animated films and a similar number of live action shorts. There will also be one evening when the DFT shows documentary nominated shorts – Feb. 21.....Barbara (Christian Petzold), the German film set in former East Germany about a physician exiled to a desolate rural hospital, will also be screened in February. This was shown at the Windsor International Film Festival (WIFF) in November.....One of my favourite jazz musicians saxophonist Ornette Coleman is profiled in Ornette: Made in America (Shirley Clarke) screening Feb. 23....A 1965 Czech film, Daisies (Vera Chytilová), looks like an absurdist delight as two young women, gazing at the bizarre and “spoiled” world around them, go on a spree of pranks mocking everything around. That’s March 9.....One of my most anticipated films is Jay Bulger’s Beware of Mr. Baker (picture above), a doc about, you guessed it, that wild drummer Ginger Baker, formerly of Cream and Blind Faith. Apparently he’s notoriously outrageous, crazed, perhaps even cruel. Who knew? Not me. Time to haul out my Wheels of Fire album!.....In terms of avant garde cinema France’s Jacques Rivette is perhaps the greatest exponent. His classic 1974 film Celine and Julie Go Boating will be shown in April.....And rounding things out is Max et Les Ferrailleurs (Claude Sautet, 1971), a seedy noirish crime drama. That’s in late April.....For the complete schedule go to

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