The official publication date is still a few weeks off, but copies of “When Movies Mattered,” a collection of pieces mainly from my tenure as the film critic of the Chicago Reader, is already shipping from Amazon. (You’ll find a handy link — nudge, nudge — on my homepage.) David Schwartz, the stunningly brilliant, rakishly handsome Chief Curator of the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, has, for his own inscrutable reasons, kindly decided to mark this momentous event in the publishing world by scheduling two days of screenings this coming weekend at his fine institution.
On Saturday, March 26 at 2 pm, I’ll be introducing (briefly, I promise) a new 35-millimeter print of that pre-codiest of pre-code movies, Raoul Walsh’s overflowing 1932 romantic comedy “Sailor’s Luck,” after which I’ll appear with David for a discussion. At 5 pm, we’ll have a 35 of Walter Hill’s rarely seen 1978 “The Driver,” a superbly terse, controlled and witty existential thriller, which will be followed at 7 pm by Luis Bunuel’s 1977 “That Obscure Object of Desire,” in the recent restoration distributed by Rialto Pictures.
On Sunday, March, 27, we’ll have Jonathan Demme’s wonderfully congenial 1980 “Melvin and Howard” at 4:30 pm, followed at 7:30 by Jean-Luc Godard’s distinctly more aggressive from that same year, “Every Man for Himself, in a handsome print from The Film Desk. More details here, on MOMI’s site.
There will be copies of the book available in MOMI’s shop, and me available to sign them. If you’re in the area, please do stop by. I look forward to renewing old acquaintances and, I hope, making some new ones.
In the meantime, movies continue to matter in the New York Times, where my column this week is on the interesting collection of silent films by Mikio Naruse that Criterion is releasing on its Eclipse label.