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Young Love: Anderson, Apitchatpong Get NYC Retros

The main event: PTA & Joe, set to duel next month

By S.T. VanAirsdale

Born within three weeks of each other in 1970, Paul Thomas Anderson and Apitchatpong Weerasethakul have made more intoxicating, confounding, infuriating and influential films in the last decade than virtually any of their contemporaries and even some directors nearly twice their age. Now, in the kind of head-on cosmic crash that could only happen over New York, a pair of brief January retrospectives have been announced for each filmmaker in Astoria and the East Village, respectively.

Anderson is first up, with each of his first four features -- Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Punch-Drunk Love -- screening Jan. 5-6 at the Museum of the Moving Image. The latter film will screen with the short Blossoms & Blood, featuring Punch-Drunk outtakes and video art from the late Jeremy Blake. Notably absent: Anderson's 1993 debut short Cigarettes & Coffee. He's not coming either, though I suppose he's off the hook after dropping by the Museum's There Will Be Blood preview last week with Daniel Day-Lewis.

Old Joe, meanwhile, will be in attendance Jan. 18 at Anthology Film Archives, which is hosting a three-day weekend of his work Jan. 17-19. His two most recent features -- Syndromes and a Century and Tropical Malady -- are set for screening, but the emphasis is on a pair of short film and video programs comprising documentaries, installations and experimental efforts from 1994-2007. Still, one would wish there was room for his first two features, 2000's Mysterious Object at Noon (from which the Anthology program takes its name) and 2002's sublime Blissfully Yours, neither of which have played nearly enough for New York audiences. (And that's not even counting The Adventures of Iron Pussy, the tranny avenger musical co-directed by its star, Michael Shaowanasai.) Maybe next time, when he's, like, 45 and has another five masterpieces to tack onto a program at MoMA. We'll be here.

Posted at December 21, 2007 2:25 PM

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