Milestones

It's been over a quarter of a century since I saw Robert Kramer and John Douglas's epic 16-millimeter feature about the American counterculture (1975, 195 min.) at the New York Film Festival—far too long ago for me to summon up a coherent account or opinion of it today (which is why, contrary to the Block Museum schedule, I won't be introducing this rare screening). But at the very least, this highly ambitious political film on 60s communal lifestyles should be a provocative and revealing period piece. A radical independent influenced in part by Jacques Rivette, Kramer wound up living in Paris when his early films (In the Country, The Edge, Ice) had a much bigger impact there than in the U.S. He returned home on occasion to make some of his most memorable work, such as Route One (1989), though tragically his films are scarcely known here. The great French critic Serge Daney was especially taken with Milestones, calling it “the anti-Nashville”; this program is part of a series related to Daney and his work, which continues next weekend with several precious and rarely screened films.

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