When an actor as talented as Philip Seymour Hoffman is lost, those who appreciate his work often flock to re-experience it. Three months have gone by since Hoffman's passing, but there's still a plethora of work by the man yet to be seen.
One of those unreleased films, which has been making its festival run recently, is John Slattery's feature debut, God's Pocket. With the film soon to be opening on Friday, May 16, at multiple Miami theaters, one has organized a small retrospective of his films as a tribute to the actor.
Spanning two weekends, the Bill Cosford Cinema and the Norton Herrick Center for Motion Picture Studies will be presenting three films starring Hoffman, accompanied by introductions and presentations.
See also: Remembering Phillip Seymour Hoffman
The celebration of his talent begins this Friday, May 9, at 8:45 p.m., with one of Joel and Ethan Coen's best: The Big Lebowski. By no means is this one of Hoffman's biggest roles -- in fact, his presence pales in comparison to that of some others -- but the Coen's ridiculous noir-comedy itself is a riveting one. It's perfect for a Friday night with a big audience of people who are sure to laugh just as much. The film will be presented with an introduction from Christina Lane, director of Norton Herrick Center for Motion Picture Studies and author of MAGNOLIA from the Wiley-Blackwell Series in Film and Television.
The following day brings a change of pace from the comic styling of the Coen brothers. At 5 p.m., the theater will be showing Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut Synecdoche, New York. Kaufman, who wrote great works like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich, and Adaptation, delivers an ambitious, existential work about a theater director struggling to create his new work -- so much so that he recreates New York City in a warehouse, blurring the lines of fiction and reality. Alongside The Master, it's easy to consider this one of Hoffman's best performances, and wonderful to see it in a tribute to him. Instead of an introduction, this film will be followed by a presentation by film scholar Michael Hable on the work of Charlie Kauffman and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
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Closing the weekend on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. will be the most recent film in the series, The Late Quartet. While some would consider this film about a world-renowned string-quartet to be rather melodramatic, what it does best is showcase every actor within it as much as possible. Alongside the ever-talented Catherine Keener and Christopher Walken (among others), Hoffman's performance here is as satisfying as it gets. Regardless of its flaws, there's a love for classical music present in every moment of the film, and it certainly makes for the kind of film to wind a weekend down. Hable will also be following this film with a presentation, this time solely on the career and legacy of Hoffman.
As much as it'd be nice to see even more of Philip Seymour Hoffman's work here, particularly something involving those films with director Paul Thomas Anderson, getting the chance to check out some of these on the big screen again is a wonderful chance.
General admission is $9. Admission is $7 for Seniors (62+), University of Miami alumni, faculty, staff, and non-UM students. Free for UM students. To purchase tickets online or for more information, visit cosfordcinema.com.