THANK YOU AND GOOD NIGHT
NEW 4K RESTORATION
Exclusive NYC Engagement
(1991) Comedy turns up in unexpected places in THANK YOU AND GOOD NIGHT, a voyage into the realm of obsession, guilt and matzoh balls. Grandma was headed for the afterlife. Was it too late to get to know her? From a 1950s movie palace to the psychiatrist’s couch, from the Lone Ranger to the Holland Tunnel to outer space, Oxenberg blasts off on an urgent search for answers to the unanswerable questions: “Was her life really rotten or did she make herself miserable?” and “Who gets the color TV?” For everyone who has ever wished they could see someone just one more time. Long out of circulation since Film Forum’s 1992 premiere —and never released on DVD or streaming — this new restoration is an opportunity to discover a wildly innovative, lost masterwork of documentary filmmaking. 83 mins. 4K restoration by IndieCollect.
Presented with support from Film Forum’s Documentary Fund.
Leadership gifts received from: Hugo Barreca, Leon and Michaela Constantiner, Ostrovsky Family Fund.
A JANUS FILMS RELEASE
“BREATHTAKINGLY ORIGINAL. (Oxenberg) redefines the very essence of the genre, and does so from the start. The movie's first scene-set after her grandmother's death, and setting up the documentation of her grandmother's final illness-is a burst of lucid but immensely complex dramaturgy and assemblage, a marvel of associative imagination, both inner and artistic. It sets the tone and the style for the entire film, which blends documentary and fiction, drama and comedy, spontaneous confession and analytical contemplation, intimate experience and historical resonance, observation and artifice. It's one of the most thrilling, astonishing opening sequences to a movie that I've ever seen.
“WILDLY IMAGINATIVE. One of the most important recent film restorations. Delving deep into family stories and childhood memories, Oxenberg filmed her grandmother, her mother, herself, and other family members throughout Joffe's [her grandmother's] waning days. Unresolved conflicts and unhealed traumas are revealed in interviews and her own confessional voice-over-and brought to life in comedic dramatizations and elaborately decorative Rube Goldberg-esque reconstructions. The movie savors the intimate and the anecdotal (involving Joffe's friends, recipes, and tchotchkes) even as it leaps into grand metaphysical theatre. Pondering the mysteries of death with her grandmother and other relatives, Oxenberg crafts a poignant, tragicomic crowd scene-filmed at a surprising New York location and set to music by Curtis Mayfield-that's among the most exalted modern cinematic metaphors.”
– Richard Brody, The New Yorker
“An innovative blend of cinema verite, drama, and comic surrealism featuring cutout figures of the film maker and her grandmother along with childlike manifestations of metaphysical transformations.”
– Stephen Holden, The New York Times