The whisperings have begun. Blame it on a weak Cannes, the demise of Wellspring, a generalized cultural malaise, or just the law of averages asserting itself after the banner years of 2004 and '05, but there's a definite sense emerging that 2006 may wind up being a down year for art movies. The fall festival lineup promises better things to come, but one of the great things about living in New York is that even in these days of DVD, HD, and other sundry acronyms, there remain plenty of opportunities, of a range unmatched anywhere else in the country, to see great films of the past on the big screen. Last fall's repertory calendar was distinguished by its Japanese programs, including the New York Film Festival's Shochiku series and retros devoted to masters Kenji Mizoguchi and Mikio Naruse. Mizoguchi makes another pass this year (September 8 through 21, Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street), but overall the season has a decidedly more "traditional" (read:... More >>>