On April 30, BAMcinématek began a week-long series dedicated to the career of Ellen Burstyn. Martin Scorsese’s 1974 Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore holds a special place in the program: Not only does it contain Burstyn’s sole Oscar-winning performance, but it’s the one film in the series for which she appears for a post-screening Q&A (after the 7:30 showing). In the film, Burstyn plays Alice, a recently widowed mother trying to carve out enough money from lounge singing to support herself and her son (Alfred Lutter). The film, in effect, is Scorsese’s “woman’s picture,” which is remarkable considering that his macho breakthrough, Mean Streets, premiered only a year earlier. His empathy for the material is made clear both through his fervid stylistic engagement — the camera movement is as wild as his Michael Ballhaus collaborations — and Burstyn’s determined zeal.
Sat., May 3, 2, 4:30 & 7:30 p.m., 2014
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 30, 2014