BYE BYE BRAVERMAN (Sidney Lumet, 1968)
Film Society of Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65th St. at Amsterdam Ave.
Thursday, November 3, 6:30, and Saturday, November 12, 3:45
Series runs November 3-13
When Leslie Braverman suddenly dies at the ripe old age of forty-one, four of his childhood friends reunite to attend the funeral in this very different kind of road movie. Morroe Rieff (George Segal), Barnet Weinstein (Jack Warden), Felix Ottensteen (Joseph Wiseman), and Holly Levine (Sorrell Booke) have one helluva time trying to get to temple on time as they battle traffic, a crazy cabbie (Godfrey Cambridge), and other urban impediments on their way from Sheridan Square to Brooklyn — even though they don’t know exactly which funeral house to go to. Jessica Walter as Inez Braverman, Phyllis Newman as Miss Mandelbaum, and Alan King as a wacky rabbi add to the fun. Based on Wallace Markfield’s 1964 novel, To an Early Grave, this charming little cult fave was written by longtime television variety show scribe Herb Sargent (Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson), directed by Sidney Lumet (Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon), and shot by Boris Kaufman (one of Dziga Vertov’s brothers). This very funny absurdist comedy will sneak up on you when you least expect it. Bye Bye Braverman is screening November 3 at 6:30 (introduced by series coprogrammer J. Hoberman) and on November 12 at 3:45 as part of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s “Hollywood’s ‘Jew Wave’” festival, eighteen (chai!) films made between 1968 and 1977 by and/or about Jewish characters, including such rarities as Ján Kadár’s The Angel Levine (with Zero Mostel as Morris Mishkin and Harry Belafonte as Alexander Levine) and Stuart Rosenbert’s Move (with Elliott Gould and Paula Prentiss), such lesser-known favorites as Karel Reisz’s The Gambler and Michael Roemer’s The Plot Against Harry, and such timeless gems as Woody Allen’s Annie Hall and Ted Kotcheff’s The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. Among those showing up to talk about the films are Gould (Robert Altman’s California Split), Walter Bernstein (Martin Ritt’s The Front), James Toback (The Gambler), Charles Grodin (Elaine May’s The Heartbreak Kid), Buck Henry (Herbert Ross’s The Owl and the Pussycat), and Gould again with the Safdie brothers (Ingmar Bergman’s The Touch.)