This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

ESTER KRUMBACHOVÁ — UNKNOWN MASTER OF THE CZECHOSLOVAK NEW WAVE: VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS

Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

Valerie (Jaroslava Schallerová) comes of age rather early in Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS (VALERIE A TÝDEN DIVŮ) (Jaromil Jireš, 1970)
Film Society of Lincoln Center, Francesca Beale Theater
144 West 65th St. between Broadway & Amsterdam Aves.
Saturday, May 25, 6:30, and Monday, May 27, 8:30
Series runs May 24-29
212-875-5050
www.filmlinc.org

The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s “Ester Krumbachová: Unknown Master of the Czechoslovak New Wave” series, presented in collaboration with the Czech Center New York, pays tribute to the career of writer, director, set designer, and costume designer Ester Krumbachová (1923-96), who was blacklisted by the communist government for her work. The six-day festival consists of ten films by such directors as Karel Kachyňa (Coach to Vienna, The Ear), Vojtěch Jasný (All My Compatriots), Věra Chytilová (Fruit of Paradise, Daisies), and Jan Němec (Diamonds of the Night), Krumbachová’s onetime husband and muse. On May 25 and 27, Jaromil Jireš’s Valerie and Her Week of Wonders will be shown, an extremely strange, totally hypnotic film on which Krumbachová served as writer and production designer. (Producer and curator Irena Kovarova will introduce the latter screening.) Based on the 1945 Gothic novel by Vítězslav Nezval (which was written ten years earlier), Valerie is a dreamy adult fairy tale, inspired by “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and other fables, about the coming of age of Valerie, a nymphette played by thirteen-year-old Jaroslava Schallerová in her film debut. Valerie lives with her icy, regal grandmother, Elsa (Helena Anýzová), in a remote village, where visiting missionaries and actors are cause for celebration. In addition, Valerie’s best friend, Hedvika (Alena Stojáková), is being forced to marry a man she doesn’t love. Valerie, who is in possession of magic earrings, is being courted by the bespectacled, bookish Eaglet (Petr Kopriva) as well as the Constable (Jirí Prýmek), who just happens to be an evil, ugly vampire who has a mysterious past with Elsa. Also showing an untoward interest in the virginal Valerie is the local priest, Gracián (Jan Klusák).

But don’t get too caught up in the hallucinatory narrative, which usually makes little sense. Characters’ motivations are inconsistent and confusing (especially as Jireš delves deeper and deeper into Valerie’s unconscious), plot points come and go with no explanation, and the spare dialogue is often random and inconsequential. And don’t try too hard looking for references to the Prague Spring, colonialism, and communism; just trust that they’re in there. Instead, let yourself luxuriate in Jan Curík’s lush imagery, Lubos Fiser and Jan Klusák’s Baroque score, Krumbachová’s enchanting production design, and Jan Oliva’s weirdly wonderful art direction. Valerie’s white bedroom is enchantingly surreal, a private world in a darkly magical Medieval land beset by incest, rape, fire, murder, self-flagellation, paganism, and monsters, everything dripping with blood and sex. No, this is most definitely not a fantasia for kids. “Ester Krumbachová: Unknown Master of the Czechoslovak New Wave” runs May 24-29 and also includes Zbyněk Brynych’s . . . and the Fifth Horseman Is Fear in addition to all the films listed above as well as Krumbachová’s own The Murder of Mr. Devil, the only film she directed, screening with introductions May 24 and 27.

FLEET WEEK 2019

Fleet Week will feature celebrations, commemorations, and memorials May 24-30 in all five boroughs (photo courtesy Fleet Week New York)

Fleet Week will feature celebrations, commemorations, and memorials May 22-28 in all five boroughs (photo courtesy Fleet Week New York)

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and other locations in all five boroughs
Pier 86, 12th Ave. & 46th St.
May 22–28
www.intrepidmuseum.org
militarynews.com

The U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard will be pouring into New York City for Fleet Week, which takes place May 22-28 at the Intrepid, in Times Square, and at other locations. The annual celebration, which began in 1982, leads into Memorial Day weekend, reminding everyone that the holiday is not just about barbecues and beaches. Below are only some of the highlights, all free and open to the public. Admission to the museum, which is hosting many indoor demonstrations, exhibitions, and performances, is $24-$33 but free for all U.S. military and veterans.

Wednesday, May 22
Parade of Ships, New York Harbor, Pier 86, 8:00 am

Musical Performance: U.S. Fleet Forces “Brass Band,” South Street Seaport, 12 Fulton St., 12:30

Musical Performance: Navy Band Northeast’s “Ceremonial Band,” Washington Square Park arch, 4:00

Thursday, May 23
USNA Yard Patrol Squadron, visiting ship tour, Pier 86, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

USCGC Lawrence Lawson, visiting ship tour, Pier 86, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Musical Performance: U.S. Fleet Forces “Brass Band,” Union Square Park, noon

Thursday, May 23
through
Saturday, May 25

Navy Dive Tank, Military Island, Times Square, 10:00 am - 5:00

Friday, May 24
USNA Yard Patrol Squadron, visiting ship tour, Pier 86, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

USCGC Lawrence Lawson, visiting ship tour, Pier 86, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

USCG Silent Drill Team, Military Island, Times Square, 2:30

USMC Martial Arts Program demonstration, Military Island, Times Square, 3:15

Summer Movie Night: Top Gun (Tony Scott, 1986), Intrepid Flight Deck, 7:00

Musical Performance: U.S. Fleet Forces “Brass Band,” Military Island, Times Square, 7:30

Saturday, May 25
U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force Auxiliary/Civil Air Patrol, LEGOLAND New York Resort, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Intrepid Education, American Red Cross, Restored and Antique Military Vehicle Clubs, Guide Dog Foundation/America’s Vet Dogs — The Veterans K-9 Corp, American Legion and FDNY, Pier 86, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

USCGC Lawrence Lawson, visiting ship tour, Pier 86, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Musical Performance: RamCorps, University of Mobile, Pier 86 main stage, noon

Facepainting: Faces by Derrick, Pier 86, noon - 4:00

Musical Performance: Latin Giants of Jazz, Pier 86 main stage, 1:00

USCG Silent Drill Team, Rockefeller Center Plaza, 2:00

Musical Performance: USMC Battle Color Detachment, including the USMC Silent Drill Platoon and Drum and Bugle Corps, Marine Day at Prospect Park, 3:30

Musical Performance — America's Sweethearts: Vintage Vocal Trio, Pier 86 main stage, 3:00 & 5:00

Musical Performance: 78th Army Band, Pier 86 main stage, 4:00

Musical Performance: Navy Band Northeast’s Rock Band “Rhode Island Sound,” Military Island, Times Square, 6:00

Musical Performance: USMC Battle Color Detachment, including the USMC Silent Drill Platoon and Drum and Bugle Corps, Father Duffy Square, Times Square, 8:00

Sunday, May 26
U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force Auxiliary/Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Intrepid Education, American Red Cross, Restored and Antique Military Vehicle Clubs, Guide Dog Foundation/America’s Vet Dogs — The Veterans K-9 Corp, LEGOLAND New York Resort, American Legion, and FDNY, Pier 86, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

USCGC Lawrence Lawson, visiting ship tour, Pier 86, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Facepainting: Faces by Derrick, Pier 86, noon - 4:00

Musical Performance: RamCorps, University of Mobile, Pier 86 main stage, noon & 2:00

Musical Performance — America's Sweethearts: Vintage Vocal Trio, Pier 86 main stage, 1:00 & 3:00

Musical Performance: singer, songwriter and Marine Corps veteran Laura Rice, Pier 86 main stage, 4:00

Musical Performance: Navy Band Northeast’s Rock Band “Rhode Island Sound,” Military Island, Times Square, 5:00

Monday, May 27
U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force Auxiliary/Civil Air Patrol, Intrepid Education, LEGOLAND New York Resort, and FDNY, Pier 86, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Memorial Day Ceremony, Pier 86, 11:00 am

Facepainting: Faces by Derrick, Pier 86, noon - 4:00

USCGC Lawrence Lawson, visiting ship tour, Pier 86, noon - 6:00 pm

USCGC Silent Drill Team Performance, Pier 86, 2:00

Gazillion Bubble Show: Interactive Bubble Garden, Pier 86, 2:00 - 6:00

American Cornhole League: Games and Challenges, Pier 86, 2:00 - 6:00

USCGC Search and Rescue Demonstration, West End Pier 86, 3:00

MoCA FILMS PRESENTS THE LOST ARCADE WITH IRENE CHIN

THE LOST ARCADE

The Lost Arcade follows the story of the rise and fall of the last old-fashioned arcade in New York City

THE LOST ARCADE (Kurt Vincent, 2015)
The Museum of Chinese in America
215 Centre St.
Thursday, May 23, $15 (includes museum admission), 6:30
855-955-MOCA
www.mocanyc.org
www.arcademovie.com

New York City has seen a dramatic rise in the closing of long-beloved institutions in the twenty-first century as gentrification and rent hikes soar. When filmmaker Kurt Vincent heard rumors that the Chinatown Fair arcade game haven was on the way out, he brought his camera to the Mott St. spot to document what it meant to him and the community that has been built around it since it opened back in 1944. “After all these years, the path to the arcade was ingrained, even in dreams,” he narrates at the beginning of The Lost Arcade, describing a dream he had. “As I stood in front of the doors, I could smell the arcade. The smell was a primordial memory hidden deep in my mind, somewhere beyond time and space, and somehow, in my dream, I connected with this distant and abstract memory.” Director-producer-editor Vincent and producer-writer Irene Chin, who previously collaborated on the experimental short The Bachelorette Party, have created a love letter to Chinatown Fair, affectionately known as CF, which has seen its ups and downs over the years, including a boom during the golden age of arcades in the 1980s and a problematic drop in the 2000s as kids stayed home to play video games on their computers and televisions. Vincent speaks with Anthony Cali Jr., who practically grew up in CF; former CF employees Henry Cen, Norman Burgess, Derek Rudder, and Akuma Hokura and their boss, Sam Palmer, who bought the place after visualizing it in a dream; and Lonnie Sobel, who attempted to resurrect it after its initial closure.

Teenagers and adults went to CF to play such old-fashioned games as Pac-Man, Ski Bowl, Space Invaders, Defender, Frogger, and Centipede, marvel at the dancing, tic-tac-toe-playing chicken, and visit the so-called museum in the back. Ol’ Dirty Bastard even filmed his 1995 “Brooklyn Zoo” video there. “All my pride and my disappointment and my joy was held in that quarter,” Hokura says, describing the importance of playing arcade games, which used to cost twenty-five cents. The film also has a very cool video-game-inspired score by Gil Talmi. Much like the analog games that lined each side of the narrow CF, the film has an analog feel to it, along with a sweet-natured sentimentality for the way things used to be in an ever-changing New York City. The Museum of Chinese in America is screening The Lost Arcade on May 23 at 6:30, followed by a Q&A with Chin; the evening also includes wine and admission to the museum, which currently has on display the exhibits “With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America” and “The Moon Represents My Heart: Music, Memory and Belonging.”

REICH RICHTER PÄRT

(photo by twi-ny/mdr)

A flash mob sings Arvo Pärt’s “Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima” in room of Gerhard Richter wallpaper and tapestries (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

The Shed
Level 2 Gallery in the Bloomberg Building
545 West 30th St. at Eleventh Ave.
Tuesday - Sunday through June 2, four times daily, $25
646-455-3494
theshed.org

The Shed, the new performance space at Hudson Yards, has made a rather inauspicious debut. The experimental play Norma Jeane Baker of Troy, inaugurating the five-hundred-seat black-box Griffin Theater, is a critical and popular flop, with bad reviews, walkouts, and lots of empty seats. The first art installation, an untitled work by Trisha Donnelly, initially cost ten dollars but was made free after a less-than-enthusiastic reaction to the exhibit, which consists of trees on gurneys in a dark room where Leontyne Price’s rendition of “Habanera” from Carmen repeats over and over. But the immersive Reich Richter Pärt is a bit more on track, though it too has its drawbacks. “We’re only getting started,” artistic director Alex Poots told me after a recent performance; Poots previously did wonderful things at the Manchester Festival and Park Ave. Armory.

Curated by senior program advisor Hans Ulrich Obrist and Poots, Reich Richter Pärt is a two-room, fifty-minute multidisciplinary collaboration between eighty-two-year-old American composer Steve Reich, eighty-seven-year-old German visual artist Gerhard Richter, and eighty-three-year-old Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. The audience is first let into an expansive white space with high ceilings; the walls feature vertical wallpaper and jacquard woven tapestries that emulate Rorschach-like strips that are supposed to resemble stained glass, as if the room is a cathedral. Visitors are given too much time to walk around and look at the images; many break off into conversations and take out their cell phones until a group of men and women starts singing, a flash mob performing Pärt’s lovely choral work “Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima,” about three Portuguese shepherd children who claimed to see an apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1917. The choral work, which is dedicated to Richter and was inspired by Psalms 8.2 (“From the mouths of children and infants you create praise for yourself”), is performed by either the Choir of Trinity Wall Street Performing Ensemble or Brooklyn Youth Chorus.

(photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Gerhard Richter and Corinna Belz’s abstract film screens with live score by Steve Reich (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

The crowd is then led into a second large room, where people can grab folding chairs and sit wherever they like in the empty space between a wall on one side with a screen and a small orchestra on the other, either the Ensemble Signal or the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), depending on the date. (I saw the former, conducted by Brad Lubman. Poots suggested sitting very close to the musicians for the optimal experience, so I joined such visitors as Marina Abramovic and Francis Ford Coppola.) The orchestra plays Reich’s newly commissioned score, created specifically for an approximately half-hour film by Richter and Corinna Belz, which brings to life Richter’s algorithmic processing of his 2016 abstract painting Abstraktes Bild (946-3), using a computer to fold it in half and half again, dividing it into 1/4096ths and then proceeding in the other direction, creating a hypnotic, kaleidoscopic animation in which the painting morphs from bands of bold color, which also line two walls, into yet more Rorschach-like shapes and figures slowly marching across the screen until it all double back to the color strips. (The original work is on view as well.) The film follows the principles Richter employed in his “Patterns” series, which Reich adapted for his thrilling score. As with the first part of the presentation, the second goes on too long, but it’s still a wonder to behold, an example of the kind of fascinating promise the Shed holds.

WALKING ON WATER

Christo takes a spin around his massive project in Andrey M Paounov’s Walking on Water

Christo takes a spin around his massive project in Andrey M Paounov’s Walking on Water

WALKING ON WATER (Andrey M Paounov, 2018)
Film Forum
209 West Houston St.
Opens Friday, May 17
212-727-8110
filmforum.org

Andrey M Paounov’s Walking on Water, opening this weekend at Film Forum, reveals a lot about large-scale installation artist Christo, and you can find out even more when the Bulgarian-born eighty-four-year-old curmudgeonly religious icon / rock star participates in Q&As with Paounov on Friday and Saturday at 7:00 and Sunday at 4:45. In 1961, Christo and his wife and artistic partner, Jeanne-Claude, started creating massive public works, wrapping fabric around the entire Reichstag in Berlin, placing hundreds of yellow umbrellas in Tokyo and blue umbrellas in California concurrently, and lining the pathways of Central Park with dozens of saffron-colored gates, among other impressive spectacles that gave a pop art sheen to land art, which had been the preserve of Robert Smithson, James Turrell, and Walter De Maria, among others. In 1969, Christo and Jeanne-Claude began trying to realize The Floating Piers project, an expansive walkway that would make visitors feel like they were strolling on the water itself. Jeanne-Claude passed away in 2009, and five years later Christo became determined to make The Floating Piers a reality.

The film follows him as he finds his location — Lake Iseo in Northern Italy — adamantly chooses his materials, meets with local politicians, and has something to say about each step of the process, giving Paounov near-total access as Christo experiences bumps and bruises and gets his eyelashes trimmed. He argues with his nephew and right-hand man, Vladimir Yavachev, over numerous details; gets frustrated with computers; complains about the cover of a catalog (“This is horror story,” he says); is thwarted by bad weather; and nearly has a meltdown when crowd control gets out of hand. He approaches everything with the exacting eye of an artist, taking in the beauty of nature while seeking perfection, and nothing less, from the large crew working for him.

Christo is worshipped everywhere he goes; not only does his name evoke Jesus’s but so does the purpose of The Floating Piers, inviting men, women, and children to traverse the lake on foot similarly to what Jesus did on the Sea of Galilee. Christo even has long (white) hair that flaps in the wind. His eyes light up when he visits the Vatican and marvels at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling and when he takes a helicopter ride to survey the installation, providing filmgoers with breathtaking views. There is also a terrific score by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans that ranges from sweet and gentle to percussive and pulsating. As ornery as Christo seems to be, he smiles when he needs to, like when he stops by a party loaded with rich collectors, is stopped by fans for selfies, or gazes lovingly at the rich natural landscape surrounding Lake Iseo; it’s all part of his genius.

Paounov (Georgi and the Butterflies, The Mosquito Problem and Other Stories) put the film together with seven hundred hours of footage that had already been recorded before he was hired in 2016, adding to that what he then shot, wisely eschewing talking heads and interviews and instead presenting Christo and his captivating world uncensored and unfiltered, which is a real treat. “Art is not a profession. You don’t work from nine to five,” Christo tells a classroom of small children in his broken English. “To be artist, you are all the time artist. There is no moment when you are not artist.” Walking on Water is an intimate fly-on-the-wall documentary about the creative process and one man’s intense determination to make the planet a better place, one work of art at a time.

DELANYMANIA

Samuel R. Delany will be at Metrograph for a pair of special programs

Samuel R. Delany will be at Metrograph for a pair of special programs

Metrograph
7 Ludlow St. between Canal & Hester Sts.
May 17-19
212-660-0312
metrograph.com
www.samueldelany.com

In Fred Barney Taylor’s 2009 documentary The Polymath, about writer, filmmaker, and social historian Samuel R. “Chip” Delany, Jonathan Lethem explains, “He embraces the whole of intellectual curiosity while remaining committed to an artistic practice. He’s a philosophical, confessional, and fictional genius. How often is this encountered in American literature? I don’t know that there’s any precedent. Geniuses are usually monomaniacs; they do one thing to the utmost. Well, Chip does several things to the utmost.” Metrograph is honoring the seventy-seven-year-old Delany’s life and career with the three-day series “Delanymania,” featuring films by and about him or that made an impact on him. “They’re films I liked early, and they contributed to my own appreciation of science fiction, films, and writing (This Island Earth), and an appreciation of the cost of difference (The Boy with Green Hair, Touch of Evil), and what I wanted to do with the movement of bodies in The Orchid (Gold Diggers of 1937, The Seventh Seal),” he notes about the program. Delany, a New York City native and the author of such science-fiction tomes as Dhalgren and Babel-17, will be at Metrograph for several screenings, introducing shows and participating in Q&As for The Polymath with Taylor on May 17 at 6:00 and for “3 Films by Samuel R. Delany” on May 18 at 3:30. The latter consists of his only film as a director, the controversial 1971 experimental work The Orchid, and two extremely low-budget DIY shorts by his then-partner, Frank Romeo, Bye, Bye Love and The Aunts.

The Orchid

Metrograph will show Samuel R. Delany’s only film as a director, The Orchid

The Orchid is Delany’s Un Chien Andalou, a bizarre, surreal, delightfully amateurish tale of a businessman with a thing for protractors and other basic mathematical equipment who has strange encounters on the streets of New York City with a little boy, a man carrying a microphone, and members of a cultlike group than don bizarre masks, take off their clothes, and take part in odd rituals. Produced by Barbara Wise, the film features a playful score by John Herbert McDowell; Adolfas Mekas, brother of Jonas, was the production coordinator. Writing as K. Leslie Steiner, Delany opined that when the film “primiered [sic] at the World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago that September (Delany himself was not present), it caused a riot. Outraged fans tried to shout the film off and even pulled down the screen.” Chip Delany is credited as script boy for Bye, Bye Love, in which two brothers (Frank De Fay and Martin Zone) from upstate head to the Big Apple to become famous by recording their version of the Everly Brothers classic “Bye Bye Love,” and The Aunts, in which a group of women (Cass Morgan, Katie McDonough, Mayda Sharrow, and Pat Tortorici) gossip away in a small kitchen as a young girl (Jocelyn Mason) listens in from her bedroom. Delany’s father was an undertaker and his mother was a library clerk, which explains a lot. In conjunction with “Delanymania” and other cinematic literary events, Metrograph is hosting a Spring Film Book Fair on May 18 and 19 from 11:00 to 6:00, promising “thousands of rare, vintage, and out of print items, including biographies, monographs, hundreds of periodicals, plus memorabilia, scripts, novelizations, and other extraordinary pieces of ephemera.”

JEAN-CLAUDE CARRIÈRE: YOYO / HEREUX ANNIVERSAIRE

YOYO

All the wealth in the world can’t make a lonely millionaire (Pierre Étaix) happy in Yoyo

YOYO (Pierre Étaix, 1965) / HEREUX ANNIVERSAIRE (Pierre Étaix & Jean-Claude Carrière, 1962)
MoMA Film, Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
Thursday, May 9, 4:30, and Wednesday, May 15, 7:00
Series runs May 9 - June 16
www.moma.org

French auteur Pierre Étaix’s strange and beautiful films were long inaccessible, the subject of nearly two decades of legal wrangling, but on May 9 and 15, MoMA will be presenting his 1965 bittersweet black-and-white slapstick charmer, Yoyo, as part of its “Jean-Claude Carrière” series, celebrating the screenwriter and master collaborator who worked with such legends as Luis Buñuel, Louis Malle, Miloš Forman, Jean-Luc Godard, Andrzej Wajda, Nagisa Oshima, and Peter Brook; the eighty-seven-year-old Carrière will introduce the May 9 screening. (In April 2010, Étaix was finally able to once again bring his films to the public, his entire output restored and making their New York debut at a festival at Film Forum in October 2012.) Étaix, who wrote Yoyo with Carrière, stars as a ridiculously wealthy but extremely bored man who lives alone in an ornately decorated, absurdly large chateau. It’s 1925, and he has servants for absolutely everything, as well as his own private band and flappers, but he pines for his lost love, Isolina (Claudine Auger). One day she arrives with a traveling circus, along with a young boy (Philippe Dionnet) who turns out to be his son. She at first rejects the multimillionaire, but when he loses it all on Black Tuesday, the three of them form their own traveling circus, with the boy ultimately turning into a popular clown named Yoyo (played as an adult by Étaix) and seeking to restore the chateau and his family.

YOYO

French auteur Pierre Étaix takes clowning around very seriously in rediscovered classic

The first section of the film is a glorious homage to the silent film era and other cinematic comedians, with Étaix evoking his mentor, Jacques Tati; Charlie Chaplin; Buster Keaton; and, later, Jerry Lewis, with whom he’d appear as Gustav the Great in Lewis’s never-to-be-seen Holocaust film The Day the Clown Died. Nouvelle Vague cinematographer Jean Boffety (An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge; Je t’aime, je t’aime) shoots Yoyo in a sharp, gorgeous black-and-white, composing breathtaking shots that boast a dazzling symmetry that must make Wes Anderson giddy with delight, while Étaix fills the film with ingenious sight gags that would make Ernie Kovacs proud (just wait till you see the supposed still-life painting), all anchored by Jean Paillaud’s memorable musical theme. But once the stock market crashes and talkies take over, dialogue enters the picture, and the camera is often off balance, the perfect symmetry a thing of the past. With Yoyo, Étaix, who had previously made Le Soupirant and would go on to make The Great Love and En pleine forme, was influenced by the sudden, tragic death of his father, his love of the circus — he had already worked under the big tent, and he would leave films to become a clown in a traveling circus in the early 1970s — and his viewing of Fellini’s (look for the La Strada poster) resulting in a film that sometimes gets a little lost and too surreal, but he ultimately brings things back around as Yoyo grows into a star and the story travels through the arc of twentieth-century entertainment, from the silent era to talkies to television. Truffaut called it “a beautiful film in which I loved every shot and every idea, and which taught me many things about movies.”

MoMA festival pairs

Pierre Étaix and Jean-Claude Carrière’s Heureux Anniversaire kicks off Carrière festival at MoMA with Yoyo

It’s a real treat that Étaix’s work is undergoing this rediscovery; lovers of Michel Hazanavicius’s The Artist will particularly enjoy Yoyo, which is being shown with Heureux Anniversaire, Étaix and Carrière’s deliriously funny black-and-white short that won the 1963 Oscar for Best Live Action Short Subject. As a woman (Laurence Lignières) prepares a special anniversary dinner at home, her husband (Étaix) gets trapped in all kinds of craziness as he desperately tries to make it home in time, but the traffic and parking gods are against him. Hysterical slapstick ensues virtually without dialogue, like a classic silent film with a wacky score. And you’ll never be able to look at Mr. Bean the same way again. “Jean-Claude Carrière” runs May 9 to June 16 and includes such other works Carrière wrote and/or directed as Philip Kaufman’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Godard’s Every Man for Himself, Buñuel’s The Phantom of Liberty, and Wajda’s Danton, with Carrière introducing several screenings.