War Zones Make Lousy Playgrounds

Two new films, both opening Friday, put children at the heart of adult terrors. My review of them is here.

I've seen four of the films in the New Directors/New Films series so far, but nothing that has jumped up and grabbed me by the shirtfront shouting "See me!" I'll fill you in with more details over the weekend, by which time I hope to have raised that number a bit.

In the meanwhile, the most exciting news of the spring may be the Dziga Vertov series that will be playing at MoMA beginning April 15. (Don't forget to pay your taxes, comrades.) With guest presenters that will include Ken Jacobs, Willliam Kentridge, Guy Maddin and Peter Kubelka, a roundtable discussion on Vertov's work and the premiere of Michael Nyman's "remake" of Man With a Movie Camera, this looks pretty good. But the most important aspect of the program is that the museum is touting it as "the most comprehensive retrospective" of Vertov's films ever shown in the United States. Fourteen of the Kino-Week programs will be having their US premiere, and a newly restored full-frame print of Movie Camera will be shown. Skip the latest gross-out bromance and the next Jennifer Anesthesia romcom, and see some real cinema goddammit.