American Cinematheque’s ‘Bleak Week’ Heads to NYC

For the past three years, the American Cinematheque has presented “Bleak Week,” an annual festival devoted to the greatest films ever made about the darkest side of humanity. This year, the festival will not only be unspooling in Los Angeles June 1 – 7 — with special guests including Al Pacino, Lynne Ramsay, Charlie Kaufman, and Karyn Kusama — but will travel to New York for the first time with a week of screenings at the historic Paris Theater starting June 9.

“We are honored to co-present ‘Bleak Week: New York’ in partnership with one of the most beautiful movie palaces in the world,” Cinematheque artistic director Grant Moninger told IndieWire. “This year, over 10,000 people will attend ‘Bleak Week: Year 3’ in Los Angeles, proving that audiences are hungry for such powerful and confrontational cinema. Many people thought they were alone in their desire to explore films with uncomfortable truths, but the truth is that they are part of a large community, and now this community comes together on both sides of the country.”

More from IndieWire

The program at the Paris is as broad in styles and approaches as it is consistent in quality, with 25 films that span a variety of genres and time periods, hailing from 11 countries. Highlights include includes a new 4K restoration of David Fincher’s “Se7en,” Steve McQueen’s “Shame,” William Friedkin’s “Sorcerer,” Michael Haneke’s “The Piano Teacher,” and 35mm screenings of John McNaughton’s “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer,” Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom,” Tsai Ming-liang’s “The River,” Béla Tara and Ágnes Hranitzky’s “The Turin Horse,” and David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.”

While the opportunity to see these films on the big screen with an audience is significant in and of itself, the Cinematheque has provided added value for several screenings with an impressive roster of guests. Isabella Rossellini will present her father Roberto’s neorealist masterpiece “Rome, Open City” on the same day that one of Roberto Rossellini’s most devoted disciples, Paul Schrader, appears for a Q&A with his 1979 stunner “Hardcore.” Eliza Hittman will participate in a Q&A for “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” and Kenneth Lonergan and J. Smith-Cameron will be on hand to discuss Lonergan’s director’s cut of “Margaret.”

Other guests include director Jerry Schatzberg, who will appear for a discussion of “Panic in Needle Park,” and actor Daniel London and cinematographer Peter Sillen, who will discuss “Old Joy.” Elem Klimov enthusiast Ari Aster will be there on the festival’s opening day to introduce Klimov’s devastating “Come and See,” and that WWII classic will be complemented by Stanley Kubrick’s Vietnam War masterpiece “Full Metal Jacket,” complete with an in-person Matthew Modine Q&A.

Bleak Week – Year 3 runs from Saturday, June 1 to Friday, June 7 at the American Cinematheque. Bleak Week: New York runs from Sunday, June 9 to Sunday, June 16 at the Paris Theater.

Best of IndieWire

Sign up for Indiewire's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.