5 Film Series to Catch in N.Y.C. This Weekend

Our guide to film series and special screenings happening this weekend and in the week ahead. All our movie reviews are at nytimes.com/reviews/movies.

‘DREAM OF A CITY’ AND MANFRED KIRCHHEIMER’S NEW YORK at Maysles Cinema (May 24-30). Kirchheimer, an experimental documentarian and a city symphonist of New York, is perhaps best known for 1981’s “Stations of the Elevated,” which finds rhythm and poetry in graffiti-covered subway cars. This retrospective is organized around a run for his newly completed “Dream of a City,” which was shot six decades ago — from 1958 to 1960 — and uses the construction of one high-rise as a starting point to celebrate life throughout New York at the time. Kirchheimer will appear at screenings this weekend, and all showtimes pair the 39-minute “Dream of a City” with another similar-length film.
212-537-6843, maysles.org

FILMAFRICA at BAM Rose Cinemas (through May 27). This annual series at BAM starts the New York African Film Festival, which takes place around the city. Because this year is the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, the BAM lineup zeros in on Rwanda, with movies about the genocide (the HBO film “Sometimes in April,” directed by Raoul Peck of “I Am Not Your Negro”) as well as more recent Rwandan films like “Finding Hillywood” (on Friday and Saturday), which explores the country’s developing film industry.
718-636-4100, bam.org

THE HOUR OF LIBERATION: DECOLONIZING CINEMA, 1966-81 at Film Forum (May 24-June 13). The anticolonial movements of the 1960s were both expressed and documented in cinema. Film Forum captures the spirit of those times in this series, which opens with classics like “The Battle of Algiers” (on Friday and Saturday and in June) and Ousmane Sembène’s “Black Girl” (showing throughout the coming week and in June) and expands to all corners of the globe. The freewheeling Brazilian feature “Macunaíma” (on Tuesday and Wednesday and in June) infuses its 1928 source material with the concerns and rebellious mood percolating during Brazil’s military dictatorship, while Med Hondo’s “Soleil O” (on Thursday, May 31 and June 1), about a Mauritanian accountant in Paris, has been newly restored as part of an initiative to preserve historically significant African films.
212-727-8110, filmforum.org

[Read about the events that our other critics have chosen for the week ahead.]

ESTER KRUMBACHOVA: UNKNOWN MASTER OF THE CZECHOSLOVAK NEW WAVE at Film at Lincoln Center (May 24-29). In its first retrospective since its name change in April, Film at Lincoln Center highlights a secret weapon of 1960s and ’70s Czechoslovak cinema: Krumbachova was a costume designer on Jan Nemec’s World War II film “Diamonds of the Night” (on Saturday and Tuesday); a screenwriter, cast member and costume designer on Vera Chytilova’s “Daisies” (on Friday and Monday); a screenwriter and production designer on the fairy-tale fantasia “Valerie and Her Week of Wonders” (on Saturday and Monday); and, once, a feature director in her own right (“The Murder of Mr. Devil,” on Friday and Monday).
212-875-5601, filmlinc.org

‘LIANNA’ at the Quad Cinema (May 28, 7 p.m.). John Sayles and the actress-producer Maggie Renzi will appear in person at this screening of Sayles’s 1983 feature, about a faculty wife at a New Jersey university (Linda Griffiths) who falls in love with a psychology professor (Jane Hallaren). At the time, the film was received as trailblazing for its depiction of lesbian love. “Though ‘Lianna’ is about a subject that only yesterday was called explosive, and that even now is not all that commonplace, the film Mr. Sayles has made about Lianna’s rude awakening — to herself and the world — mostly avoids melodramatics,” Vincent Canby wrote in his review for The New York Times.
212-255-2243, quadcinema.com

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