It’s been years since the Hollywood heyday of Barbet Schroeder, but the Aero Theater’s July 28 double bill, kicking off a five-film retrospective of the Iranian-born Swiss German filmmaker’s work, offers a welcome reminder of his versatility. With its lean, pungent Charles Bukowski script, “Barfly” (1987) is a superbly atmospheric tour of the lower depths and a bravura showcase for Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway as two very different lost souls, drawn together in a way that seems improbably right.
Schroeder followed that success in 1990 by shifting to the opposite end of the social spectrum. The result was “Reversal of Fortune,” a diabolically entertaining peek inside the doomed marriage of Claus and Sunny von Bülow, played, respectively, by Jeremy Irons (in a performance that won him an Academy Award) and Glenn Close.
The retrospective continues July 29 with Schroeder’s “The Valley (Obscured by Clouds)” (1972) and “More” (1969), and on July 30 with his most recent feature, “Amnesia” (2015).