Anthology Film Archives


February 14 – February 17

Anthology marks Valentine’s Day 2012 with a double-feature we’ve long been dreaming of, a toxic yet sublime pairing of two radically anti-romantic films: Maurice Pialat’s grueling, autobiographical study of a dysfunctional off-and-on relationship, WE WON’T GROW OLD TOGETHER, and Albert Brooks’s hilarious yet no less painful MODERN ROMANCE. These two films are like flip sides of the same coin – Pialat’s may depict brutal emotional violence while Brooks’s is explicitly comic, but look past their disparate tones and you’ll find that the two films are nearly identical. Both focus with almost unbearable intensity on a pair of mismatched lovers and their perpetual conflict, dissecting male narcissism, insecurity, and egotism with surgical precision and self-deprecatory ruthlessness. And when you factor in the subterranean vein of absurd humor coursing through Pialat’s film, and the frank confrontation with the tragedy of contemporary relationships that underlies MODERN ROMANCE, the two films become even more closely intertwined.

So, if you find yourself rebelling against the blind, commercialized sentimentality of Valentine’s Day this February, there can be no better antidote than the strong medicine of a Maurice Pialat/Albert Brooks double-whammy. We can’t recommend both films highly enough – even while we dare you to undergo the trial of seeing them in one sitting!

Thanks to Michael Horne & Christopher Lane (Sony) and Jacob Perlin (The Film Desk).

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