"JEWELS AND JIM" SERIES OF RIDLEY'S LONGTIME FAVORITE FILMS, SEPT 23-26 IN NASHVILLE
Nashville's nonprofit film center, The Belcourt, is hosting a series titled "Jewels and Jim: Ridley's Believe It or Not" next weekend (September 23-26), a tribute to Jim Ridley, the Nashville Scene editor who passed away suddenly this past April. Ridley wrote many insightful reviews of Brian De Palma films, and hosted screenings at the Belcourt. De Palma's Femme Fatale is included in next weekend's rather incredible series of films, and will be screened from a 35mm print on Saturday, September 24th at 8pm.
The series page uses the following pull-quote from Ridley's 2003 review of the film: "Brian De Palma’s curse is to know more about movies, and movie history, than the hacks who keep calling him a Hitchcock scavenger. In the case of this exhilarating and deviously multifaceted thriller—a film-studies dissertation hidden in a bottomless box of chocolate-covered sin—accusing him of ripping off Hitchcock is like accusing Todd Haynes of ripping off Sirk. Not just a daredevil piece of cinematic storytelling, juggling multiple plots, paths and even destinies, this is a master class in how to visually organize a movie. When it comes out on DVD, spend an afternoon tracing its running-water motif—and watch open-mouthed as an uproariously trashy thriller suddenly yields a complex symbolic and spiritual order. I hear there’s nekkid women in it too."
The series page includes the following description from Nashville Scene managing editor D. Patrick Rodgers:
For many years, Nashville Scene editor and Middle Tennessee native Jim Ridley was a constant fixture at the Belcourt. A true talent, Jim was an exceptionally gifted journalist and critic, respected for his work with the Scene, where he was a writer and editor for well over two decades.
In April, Jim died suddenly at the age of 50. But his passion for film, a passion that drove our arts community to greater heights and very directly played a role in saving the Belcourt from the brink of demise lives on in those of us who knew him and those of us who read him.
For the Belcourt’s Jewels and Jim series—named for François Truffaut’s 1962 masterpiece JULES AND JIM, one of Ridley’s longtime favorites—several of Jim’s friends, family members and fellow Belcourt-frequenting cinephiles picked out films that pay homage to the man. These are films that Jim loved, that you may have found him discussing as he held court in the Belcourt’s lobby late at night after a screening.
From Martin Scorsese’s MEAN STREETS to Jonathan Demme’s Talking Heads concert documentary STOP MAKING SENSE, from Chuck Jones’s classic animated short “Duck Amuck” to Chia-Liang Liu’s 8 DIAGRAM POLE FIGHTER, the Jewels and Jim series, like Jim himself, is all over the map. Some of these films are funny, some are dark, some are hopeful, and some are technically astounding. But every last one of them is an absolute treat, a gem picked by Jim, begging to be shown on one of the Belcourt’s screens.
Meanwhile, The Belcourt is nearing the end of its De Palma series, of which Saturday's Femme Fatale is also a part, along with this Wednesday's 35mm-screening of De Palma's Mission: Impossible.