The Carlyle, New York's ultimate no-tell hotel to the celebrity and moneyed class, gives up a few of its secrets in a delightful documentary that plays peek-a-boo with the establishment's fabled policy of tight-lipped silence regarding guests who have ranged from presidents and royals to the Rolling Stones and Hollywood stars including Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty, and is rumored to have been the site of trysts between JFK and Marilyn Monroe. What happened in the Carlyle stayed in the Carlyle long before there was a Vegas, and longtime guests and fans (including George Clooney, Anjelica Huston, Wes Anderson, and Alan Cumming) drop hints and tell amusing tales. Director Miele (CRAZY ABOUT TIFFANY'S, SCATTER MY ASHES AT BERGDORF'S) puts together an insider tour from the Café Carlyle, where cabaret artist Bobby Short once ruled Manhattan's nightlife, to the stations staffed by loyal concierges, elevator operators, and maids whose evident love for the place makes it feel like home to guests. DCP digital. (BS)
Always At The Carlyle
2018, Matthew Miele, USA, 91 min.
May 24 at 8:15 PM: This screening is a Movie Club event facilitated by Philippe Gills, Chef Concierge at The Langham Chicago.
2017, Agnès Varda and JR, France, 89 min.
"Enormously pleasurable." - Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"A powerful, complex and radical work." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Leave it to 89-year-old Agnès Varda to make the zippiest, zestiest documentary of the year, a worthy successor to her late-career, notebook-like masterpieces THE GLEANERS & I and THE BEACHES OF AGNÈS. This time she takes along as her companion and co-director the photographer and installation artist JR, whose omnipresent dark glasses remind Varda of her former New Wave compatriot Jean-Luc Godard (who will figure in the film's bittersweet climax). Agnès and JR zigzag across northern France in his van/photo-booth, taking large-format pictures of the people they meet and turning them into gargantuan murals plastered on the sides of buildings, railroad cars, and cargo containers. The pattern of these spontaneous encounters seems almost random, but collectively they form an evocative mosaic that captures the spirit of present-day, working-class France. In French with English subtitles. DCP digital. (MR)