I’ve been reading about the Metrograph, a recently opened two-screen cinema at 7 Ludlow Street, and so this evening I dropped by. Nice two-story place. Brick exterior, spare design, darkish lighting. An upscale, refined salon for cineastes and cool cats. Beautiful wooden seats in theatre #1. (I didn’t visit theatre #2.) A restaurant and book shop upstairs. Exotic flavored popcorn (i.e., turmeric and cayenne pepper). They have the temerity to charge $4.00 for a roll of Reed’s cinnamon mints.

No marquee, austere, subdued but warmish.

I went to a 9:15 pm screening of Luchino Visconti‘s The Damned (’69), the classic ’30s-era melodrama about Naziism, steel mills, power and perversity. I haven’t seen it since the ’70s, but I have to say it underwhelmed. Makes its points about Germany’s Krupp family, leaves a strong impression but the shock value has worn off, and so you pay closer attention to the particulars.  I was surprised by how plain and even tedious the cinematography (by Pasquale De Santis and Armando Nannuzzi) seems at times — way too many zoom-ins and zoom-outs.

They showed an English-language version, which felt strange and even awful at times.

Helmut Berger is still a pervy hoot; Dirk Bogarde, Ingrid Thulin, Helmut Griem, etc. I didn’t hate it but it certainly hasn’t gained.