Cinema of Despair

Co-presented by American Cinematheque

The Paris Theater is proud to partner with the American Cinematheque to bring you BLEAK WEEK NEW YORK from June 9-16. For the past three years, the Cinematheque has hosted Bleak Week: Cinema of Despair, a weeklong festival in Los Angeles that spotlights some of the greatest films from around the world to explore the darkest sides of humanity, as well as some of the bleakest points in human history. A harrowing, yet powerful lineup of films defined by stark imagery, unimaginable tragedies, existential fear, nihilism and shocking acts of brutality, this series features the world’s leading filmmakers who wholly embrace a cinema of despair in pursuit of unpleasant truths and raw empathy.

Highlights include:

June 9:
Director Ari Aster (Midsommar)
to introduce Elem Klimov's Come and See

June 9:
Star Daniel London and DP Peter Sillen
will speak after a screening of Kelly Reichardt’s Old Joy
with The Future of Film is Female's Brittany Shaw

June 10:
Q&A with Kenneth Lonergan and J. Smith-Cameron
after Margaret: Extended Cut
with journalist Tomris Laffly

June 12:
Never Rarely Sometimes Always followed by a
Q&A with writer/director Eliza Hittman
with journalist Tomris Laffly

June 13:
Director Jerry Schatzberg
Q&A following The Panic In Needle Park
moderated by critic Glenn Kenny

June 14:
Matthew Modine Q&A after
Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket
moderated by TIME film critic Stephanie Zacharek

June 15:
Paul Dano Q&A after
Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood
screening on 35mm

And wrapping up Bleak Week New York on Father's Day, June 16 will be two very special events with two very special guests:

Rome, Open City
Isabella Rossellini will present her father
Roberto Rossellini's neorealistic classic at 2:45 PM,
showing on 35mm courtesy of Cinecittá

Paul Schrader will present his harrowing tale of fatherhood from 1979,
followed by a Q&A

This inaugural New York edition of Bleak Week includes 25 films, including nine 35mm prints and nine unique in-person appearances by some of our favorite storytellers of stark cinema. The program spans a variety of genres and time periods, hailing from 11 countries, including France, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Brazil, Taiwan, Sweden, Austria, Hungary, Australia, and the USA. Such a wide scope demonstrates the multitude of ways filmmakers have addressed humanity’s collective, periodic sense of despair throughout history. 

Some filmmakers approach this task on an epic scale, as seen in Elem Klimov’s anti-war masterpiece COME AND SEE (1985), featuring an in-person introduction by filmmaker Ari Aster. Other legendary filmmakers explore the more intimate ways that friends, family, and lovers can unleash cruelty on one another, as in Ingmar Bergman’s CRIES AND WHISPERS (1972), or Leo McCarey’s MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW (1937) (screening in 35mm).

In a special Father’s Day edition of Bleak Week on Sunday, June 16th, Isabella Rossellini will appear in person to introduce and discuss her father Roberto Rossellini’s masterpiece of Italian neorealism, ROME, OPEN CITY (1945), being presented in a 35mm archival print courtesy of Cinecittà. Additionally, Paul Schrader will partake in a Q&A following his 1979 classic HARDCORE, starring George C. Scott as a father searching for his missing daughter within the Los Angeles porn industry.

More Bleak Week New York special in-person appearances include Q&As with Kenneth Lonergan and J. Smith Cameron following the extended director’s cut of MARGARET (2011), Matthew Modine will discuss his role in Stanley Kubrick’s FULL METAL JACKET, Jerry Schatzberg in conversation about THE PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK (1971), Eliza Hittman joining with NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS (2020), and actor Daniel London and DP Peter Sillen will discuss their work on Kelly Reichardt’s OLD JOY (2006)

Additional series highlights include a new 4K restoration of David Fincher’s SEVEN (1995), Steve McQueen’s SHAME (2011), William Friedkin’s SORCERER (1977), Michael Haneke’s THE PIANO TEACHER (2001), and 35mm screenings of John McNaughton’s HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER (1986) (print courtesy of John McNaughton), Pier Paolo Pasolini’s SALÓ, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM (1975), Tsai Ming-liang’s THE RIVER (1997), Béla Tara and Ágnes Hranitzky’s THE TURIN HORSE (2011), and David Lynch’s TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME (1992).

An international array of films ripe for rediscovery by from across cinema history include Aleksei German’s sci-fi epic HARD TO BE A GOD (2013), Pedro Costa’s IN VANDA'S ROOM (2000), Lukas Moodysson’s LILYA 4-EVER (2002), Warwick Thornton’s SAMSON & DELILAH, Dorothy Arzner’s MERRILY WE GO TO HELL (1932), and Héctor Babenco’s harrowing PIXOTE (1980). 

Tickets are now on sale for this exciting collaboration between the Paris Theater and American Cinematheque, with additional screenings and special guests to be announced in the coming days.


Just added! New screenings, plus new special guests to introduce select screenings 

New screenings added of THE SWORD OF DOOM at 9:30 pm on June 12 and AU HASARD BALTHAZAR at 9:00 pm on June 16.

Introducing the 8:30 pm show of SEVEN on June 9, the 4:00 pm show of SORCERER on June 10 and the 1:30 pm show of THE TURIN HORSE on June 15 will be noted entertainment journalist Jordan Hoffman.

Introducing the 9:30pm show of THE SWORD OF DOOM on June 12, the 10:00 pm show of TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME on June 15 and the 9:00 pm show of AU HASARD BALTHAZAR will be David Fear, Senior Editor and critic at Rolling Stone.

Introducing the 10:15 pm show of HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER on June 13 and the 10:15 pm show of SALÓ, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM on June 14 will be writer and freelance film critic Simon Abrams.

Introducing the 11:00 am show of MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW on June 15 will be Vadim Rizov, Director of Editorial Operations at Filmmaker Magazine.