The Nation Magazine‘s film critic Stuart Klawans writes: “The Metrograph is showing ….. Lynne Sachs’s almost tactile resurrection of the resistance to the Vietnam War, Investigation of a Flame” in his review of Icarus Films at 40 Retrospective!, screening.
“This column has put me in a retrospective mood, since it marks my 30th anniversary writing about films for The Nation. So it’s fortunate that I have a 40th anniversary to write about, and a series to peg it to. For the second half of September, the Metrograph theater in Manhattan is offering a birthday salute to the distributor Icarus Films, screening 56 titles that demonstrate a principle dear to both that company and me: the conviction that a movie can have strong social or political content and still do something interesting as film.
I had the good luck to write on just that theme for one of the first pictures I reviewed here, Marcel Ophüls’s Hôtel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie, and dozens of other films in the series implicitly make the same point. The Metrograph is showing, among others, Chris Marker’s epic (or perhaps encyclopedic, or maybe satiric) recent history of the global left, A Grin Without a Cat; Patricio Guzmán’s gorgeous meditation on astronomy and the collection of human remains, Nostalgia for the Light; Chantal Akerman’s magnificent, wordless journey into the regions of her unlived past, D’Est; Lynne Sachs’s almost tactile resurrection of the resistance to the Vietnam War, Investigation of a Flame; and, for those in a truly retrospective mood, Heddy Honigmann’s Forever, an infinitely touching documentary about the Père Lachaise cemetery and its visitors. If the Metrograph is far from you, please be aware that almost all of the films in the Icarus series are available on streaming services, making it possible for you, too, to look back, and look around.