As odd as it may seem to imagine the Buffalo Film Seminars anywhere but the Market Arcade, with the beleaguered Main Street cinema closed (for now, at least), the much-loved series hosted by Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian has found a new home: Dipson’s Amherst Theatre (3500 Main St.).
The series, held at 7 p.m. every Tuesday, started last week with D. W. Griffith’s “Broken Blossoms.” On Sept. 2, the series features another acknowledged classic, Fritz Lang’s still-creepy “M.”
The remainder of this fall’s lineup is so unrelentingly solid (Bresson! Buñuel! Varda! Kurosawa!) that it is hard to call out highlights — every week is a highlight. But nevertheless, there are a few can’t-miss selections.
Specifically, there is a killer three-week run starting on Oct. 21 that starts with Nicolas Roeg’s “Performance,” a screening that offers a rare opportunity to see Mick Jagger slithering through “Memo From Turner” on the big screen.
“The Spirit of the Beehive” on Oct. 28 is impossibly sad and gorgeous, easily one of the most striking films about childhood ever made.
And Roman Polanski’s “Tess” (Nov. 4) is an epic take on Hardy’s tragic “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” that has aged remarkably well.
The series then features two modern favorites, “Tootsie” (Nov. 11) and “Fargo (Nov. 18), and the original Norwegian version of “Insomnia” (Nov. 25). Perhaps only the series finale, Mike Nichols’ “Charlie Wilson’s War” (Dec. 2), could be called questionable, but it’s a nicely out-of-the-box choice featuring one of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman’s finest supporting turns.
Two other non-classics highlight the week’s other screenings. Joel Schumacher’s adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera” failed to capture the zeitgeist upon release, but remains notable for the performance of future “Shameless” star Emmy Rossum. It closes out the Riviera Theatre’s summer film series at 7 p.m. Sept. 4.
Lastly, Zach Braff’s infamously Kickstarter-ed “Wish I Was Here” was, to put it mildly, no “Garden State.” But it’s an intriguing curio all the same. It screens at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 6 and 9 in the Fredonia Opera House.