- This event has passed.
Programmers’ Notebook: On Love
the first in a new recurring series in which BAM’s film programming team responds to a thought-provoking theme. This wide-ranging survey presents some of cinema’s most perceptive portraits of this fundamental emotion in all of its disparate forms—romantic, familial, fraternal, self-love, love of nature, love as passion, love as pain, and everything in between.
The series opens on Valentine’s Day with Gina Prince-Bythewood’s celebrated debut feature, Love & Basketball (2000), in which Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps’ passion for the game is rivaled only by their passion for each other. The series’ panoramic view of romantic love includes Pedro Almodóvar’s noir and melodrama-drenched Russian nesting doll of storytelling, gender identity, and desire Bad Education (2004); the independent classicNothing But a Man (Roemer, 1964), shot during the tumultuous summer of 1963, in which a black railroad worker’s growing radicalism threatens his relationship with a preacher’s daughter; and Wim Wenders’ dreamily poetic road movie Paris, Texas (1984). It will also include Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s rigorously stylized Sirkian masterpiece Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974); season 1, episode 6 of Pose, “Love is the Message” (2018)—Janet Mock’s directorial debut—in which ball emcee Billy Porter confronts his boyfriend’s death and his own HIV positive status; and Paul Thomas Anderson’s instant-classic of couture, masochism, and mushrooms Phantom Thread (2017). Dee Rees’s Fort Greene-set breakout debut about a teenage lesbian’s first love and family struggles, Pariah (2011), will screen alongside the short To Be Free, directed by Pariah star Adepero Oduye; Oduye will appear for a post-screening discussion, moderated by The New York Times’ Jazmine Hughes.
On Love also explores the bonds of familial love and friendship, including A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), in which robot boy Haley Joel Osment longs for a mother’s love; John Cassavetes’ searing, masterful portrait of a brother and sister (played by Cassavetes and wife Gena Rowlands), Love Streams (1984); Late Spring (1949), a delicate father-daughter story by the great chronicler of family relations Yasujiro Ozu; and Claudia Weill’s frank, funny, and keenly observant New York classic of best friendship Girlfriends (1978).
Representations of love extend beyond the interpersonal to include awed love of nature in Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro (1988); the parallel acts of devotion of women searching for victims of the Pinochet regime and the filmmaker’s own fascinated wonder at the night sky in Chilean documentarian Patricio Guzmán’s Nostalgia for the Light (2010); and a Brazilian Formula 1 champion’s single-minded dedication to racing in Asif Kapadia’s documentary Senna (2010).