Film List
Tue, 09/04/2012

The Israel Film Center is now making nearly 40 of its films available for online streaming. Given that the center has one of the best collections of Israeli film between here and Tel Aviv, this is a fabulous opportunity to catch up with what has become one of the world’s most vibrant and inventive cinemas. Sign-up is free. Israel Film Center at www.israelfilmcenterstream.org.

Keep The Lights On,” a new autobiographical drama by Ira Sachs (“Married Life,” “Forty Shades of Blue”) traces the relationship between a gay filmmaker and his deeply closeted partner over a decade. Sachs is always a deft observer of the pains of love and the difficulties of achieving a connection. With Zac Booth, Julianne Nicholson, and Thure Lindhart. Angelika Film Center (18 W. Houston St., [800] 326-3264, angelikafilmcenter.com) and the Clearview Chelsea (260 W. 23rd St., [212] 777-FILM, www.clearviewcinemas.com). Opens Sept. 7.

Radio Unnameable” is a vivid portrait of Bob Fass who, along with fellow Jew Larry Josephson, helped invent the free-form radio format. As recounted in this new film by Paul Lovelace and Jessica Wolfson, Fass kept us up late for years, doing the overnight on WBAI when that station really had something different to offer. Arlo Guthrie introduced “Alice’s Restaurant” on his show, and unannounced on-air guests included people like Allen Ginsberg, Kinky Friedman, Abbie Hoffman, Bob Dylan and Carly Simon. I can feel tears of nostalgia forming already. Film Forum (209 W. Houston St., [212] 727-8110, www.filmforum.org). Opens Sept. 19.

Jean Epstein: The Sound Films” is the second half of a comprehensive retrospective of the work of the one of the greatest pioneers of French Film. Although Epstein is probably better known for his groundbreaking work in silent film, including “The Three-Sided Mirror” and “Fall of the House of Usher,” his sound features are equally scintillating, and very rarely shown in the U.S. The program features almost a dozen of his own works and a recent documentary about his career. Anthology Film Archives (Second Ave. and Second St., [212] 505-518, www.anthologyfilmarchives.org). Sept. 21-30.

CineBeasts Presents: An Evening of restored archival Lower East Side Films,” The roving film series CineBeasts brings to Anthology Film Archives an evening of historic short films focusing on the Lower East Side, all newly restored by the National Center for Jewish Film. The evening will also include a panel discussion. Anthology Film Archives (Second Ave. and Second St., [212] 505-518, www.anthologyfilmarchives.org). Opens Oct. 4.

La Rafle” is a major-budget French film about the infamous round-up of Jews who were taken to the Vel d’Hiv stadium before being sent East to their deaths. Directed by screenwriter Rose Bosch, the film stars Melanie Laurent, Jean Reno, Gad Elmaleh, Anne Brochet and Sylvie Testud and is, to date, the most elaborate recreation of these events by a French filmmaker. Quad Cinema (34 W. 13th St., [212] 255-2243, www.quadcinema.com). Opens Oct. 5.

Simon and the Oaks” is a coming-of-age story set in Sweden during the Second World War and after, that focuses on the relationship between awkward teen Simon (Bill Skarsgård, Skellan’s son) and a refugee Jewish family. Directed by Lisa Ohlin from a best-selling novel, the film set a record with 13 nominations for the Swedish equivalent of the Oscars. Paris Theatre (4 W. 58th St., [212] 688-3800, www.theparistheatre.com). Opens Oct. 12.

The Other Son,” a French feature directed by Lorraine Lévy, has one of the most improbable yet fascinating plot lines of the season. Two young men – one Israeli, the other Palestinian – discover they were accidentally switched at birth. A potentially interesting variation on the Romeo-and-Juliet theme, this will be helped immensely by a strong cast headed by Emmanuelle Devos and Pascal Elbé. Theater TBA. Opens Oct. 26.

The Other Israel Film Festival is back for its sixth run, with season three of “Arab Labor,” and documentaries ranging in topic from the plight of gay and lesbian Palestinians to the story of the oldest beauty academy in Tel Aviv. Always an excellent event, this year it offers online streaming of many films at OtherIsraelOnDemand.org. JCC in Manhattan (334 Amsterdam Ave., [646] 505-5708, www.jccmanhattan.org) and the Cinema Village (22 E. 12th St., [212] 924-3363, www.cinemavillage.com). Nov. 8-15.

The Law in These Parts,” marks the return of Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, director of “The Inner Tour” and “James’s Journey to Jerusalem. The film, which won best documentary prizes at the Sundance and Jerusalem festivals, is a hard-nosed look at how the law is administered in the Occupied Territories; it features, with interviews with many of the leading Israeli attorneys and lawmakers who crafted the codes. Film Forum (209 W. Houston St., [212] 727-8110, www.filmforum.org). Nov. 14-27.