WERNER HERZOG IN LOS ANGELES

In support of the release of his new documentary MEETING GORBACHEV, director Werner Herzog is in town this week, making several public appearances.

MEETING GORBACHEV was co-directed by André Singer.

MEETING GORBACHEV, and conversation with WERNER HERZOG

Tuesday, April 30, at 7:30 pm.

Bing Theater, LACMA

5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4, at 7 pm.

Nuart Theatre

11272 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Los Angeles.

WERNER HERZOG IN CONVERSATION, with career film clips

Thursday, May 2, at 7:30 pm.

Linwood Dunn Theater

1313 Vine Street, Hollywood.

From top: Meeting Gorbachev, Werner Herzog (left) and Mikhail Gorbachev; Gorbachev in Moscow in the late 1980s; Herzog in front of the Kremlin. Images courtesy of The Orchard and the Toronto International Film Festival.

FÉLIX MARITAUD IN SAUVAGE

In SAUVAGE—a scathing dramatization of a male prostitute’s decline and fall—the underground hides in plain sight, in the parks and back streets of Strasbourg. Starring Félix Maritaud as a 22-year-old hustler with no name (in interviews, writer-director Camille Vidal-Naquet refers to him as Leo), the film conveys with blunt force and clarity the haphazard reality of a group boys who—by necessity or expedience—have become dazed spectators to their own abjection.

As it turns out, this sense of distance is a vital requirement for the job. In the sex trade, the worker’s ego and subjectivity are useless during business hours. Leo’s fatal flaw is that he’s looking for too much life in “the life.” In love with a fellow hustler (Éric Bernard, as Ahd), Leo also likes to kiss his clients (another taboo), and is both ageist and unwilling to alter his habits. The idea of settling down with an older sugar daddy is nothing he can entertain for long. And as he plaintively asks a doctor who has just given him a poor bill of health, “Why would I change?”

Unwashed, unfed, and unloved, Leo and his tricks come and go throughout the night. In a touch Cocteau would appreciate, one of the johns—an angel of death—drives a black Jaguar, his periodic appearance heralded by a haunting piano interlude on the soundtrack.

Maritaud—already a young veteran of queer French cinema (Robin Campillo‘s BPM and Yann GonzalezKnife + Heart)—breaks the mold with a performance that reaches an unshakable core of desperation. This exclusive engagement of SAUVAGE at the Nuart ends on Thursday.

SAUVAGE

Through May 2.

Nuart Theatre

11272 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Los Angeles.

From top: Félix Maritaud in Sauvage; Maritaud (center) with two clients; Maritaud; with Éric Bernard (left); Maritaud. Images courtesy Strand Releasing.

WARHOL WOMEN AT LÉVY GORVY

Forty-two paintings of women by Andy Warhol—including portraits of Gertrude Stein, Ethel Scull, Liza Minnelli, Dolly Parton, Golda Meir, Debbie Harry, Marilyn Monroe, and the artist’s mother Julia Warhola—are now on view at Lévy Gorvy in Manhattan.

In a silver-tin-foil-covered room in the gallery, a selection of Warhol’s 1964–1966 Screen Test shorts will play on a loop. Among the artist’s subjects for these 3-minute films were Yoko Ono, Edie Sedgwick, Marisa Berenson, Barbara Rubin, Amy Taubin, Susan Sontag, Niki de Saint Phalle, Cass Elliott, Donyale Luna, Holly Solomon, Maureen Tucker, and Nico.

“I don’t think I’ve ever met a collector today who is in between, let’s say, 25 to 65 [years old] who will tell me, ‘I won’t collect Warhol,’ and I don’t know that about any other artist… Our great-grandchildren will still be collecting Warhol more than many of the artists that are more pricey today.” — Dominique Lévy

WARHOL WOMEN

Through June 15.

Lévy Gorvy

909 Madison Avenue (at 73rd Street), New York City.

Andy Warhol, from top: Judy Garland (Multicolor), 1978, acrylic and silkscreen on canvas; Wilhelmina Ross, from the series Ladies and Gentlemen, circa 1974–1975; Triple Mona Lisa, 1964, acrylic and silkscreen on canvas; Kimiko Powers, 1972, acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas; Aretha Franklin, 1986, synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas; Red Jackie, 1964, acrylic and silkscreen on canvas, photograph courtesy Froehlich Collection, Stuttgart. Images © 2019 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Paintings photographed by Tim Nighswander, courtesy Lévy Gorvy.

LOOPHOLE OF RETREAT

Okwui Okpokwasili, Françoise Vergès, Lorraine O’Grady, Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, and Dionne Brand are among the many artists, authors, and educators who will be at the Guggenheim this weekend for the LOOPHOLE OF RETREAT conference.

This “daylong gathering dedicated to the intellectual life of black women” was organized by Simone Leigh, Tina Campt, and Saidiya Hartman, author of Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments.

LOOPHOLE OF RETREAT—A CONFERENCE

Saturday, April 27, from 1 pm.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

1071 Fifth Avenue (at 88th Street), New York City.

The name of the conference—and Leigh’s concurrent show at the museum—refers to a chapter title in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs, who referred to the opening line of the poem “The Task” (1784) by William Cowper.

From top: Okwui Okpokwasili (left), Poor People’s TV Room, 2017, courtesy of the artist; Lorraine O’Grady, Art Is. . . (Girl Pointing), 1983/2009, chromogenic color print, courtesy of the artist and Alexander Gray Associates, New York, © 2015 Lorraine O’Grady, Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York); Simone Leigh with a wax mold of a braid for the High Line Plinth piece Brick House, at Stratton Sculpture Studios in Philadelphia, photograph by Constance Mensh. Brick House will be on view in Manhattan from June 2019.

FORBIDDEN HOLLYWOOD

“My head is splitting! The wine last night, the music, the delicious debauchery!” — Charles Laughton, as Emperor Nero, in The Sign of the Cross

The sensual freedom that constituted much of the imagery of Hollywood’s silent period persisted into the sound era for four more years until a nationwide morals crusade reached critical mass in 1934, and strict enforcement of the Hays Code began.

Small-town church-goers were pushed to the brink by The Sign of the Cross (1932)—Cecil B. DeMille‘s notorious epic—which purloined a “Christian” story and served up nudity, violence, a lesbian dance sequence, and Emperor Nero as a raging queen. Needless to say, big city audiences responded to DeMille’s decadence with curiosity and enthusiasm, flocking to cinemas wherever it was playing.

In its Forbidden Hollywood—When Sin Ruled the Movies program, the UCLA Film and Television Archive is screening The Sign of the Cross in a 35mm print restored from DeMille’s personal nitrate copy.

Also on the bill: John M. Stahl‘s Only Yesterday (1933)—Margaret Sullavan‘s film debut—depicting out-of-wedlock childbirth, feminist and socialist advocacy, and an openly gay couple (Franklin Pangborn and Barry Norton)—scenarios that would disappear from Hollywood scripts for the next thirty years.

Mark A. Vieira will sign copies of his book Forbidden Hollywood: The Pre-Code Era before the screening.

THE SIGN OF THE CROSS and ONLY YESTERDAY

Friday, April 26, at 7:30.

Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum

10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.

From top: Fredric March and Claudette Colbert in The Sign of the Cross (1932); Charles Laughton (left), Colbert, and March in The Sign of the Cross; Laughton (right) with George Bruggeman in The Sign of the Cross; Margaret Sullavan and John Boles in Only Yesterday (1933); Sullavan (left) and Billie Burke in Only Yesterday; Burke (left), with Reginald Denny, and Sullavan (right) in Only Yesterday. Colbert, Laughton, and March photographs © Paramount Pictures, courtesy of the studio and Photofest. Sullavan, Boles, and Burke photographs © Universal Pictures, courtesy of the studio and Photofest.