Great ’60s Flicks at the NW Film Forum

There’s some really great ’60s films now and soon playing at the NW Film Forum.

Running now through Jan. 5 (this Thursday, so chop chop) are Barbarella (a new 35mm print…though be warned that “new” is often a relative term to certain distributers) and Danger: Diabolik (also in 35, though not a new print). They are running concurrently, but it is not a double-feature (’tis pity).

Both are great examples of ’60s art direction run gloriously riot, and what is especially pleasing to me about the pairing is the fact that are also at opposite ends of the budget spectrum. Barbarella was a high-dollar luau, while Diabolik was made on the cheap by Italian genre master Mario Bava. If you gotta pick between the two, I’d recommend Diabolik since you never ever get to see the thing in 35mm.

Up next this Friday (Jan. 6) is I Am Cuba, an absolute masterpiece that should not be missed. It’s also a brand new 35mm print, with new subtitles and (oh no?) a “new soundtrack.” (God only knows what that’s supposed to mean. According the NY Film forum’s site [no relation], the new soundtrack eliminates “that pesky overdub which once gave an unwelcome instant Russian translation of the Spanish dialogue.”) Regardless, yes it’s genuine USSR Inspected Propaganda, but it also includes some of the most astonishing cinematography of the period (East or West) and is entertaining in its own right. I’ve only ever seen this on DVD, and I cannot wait to see this in 35mm.

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