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Séance Screenings

Bringing classic and neglected films back to light and life!


March 1 (Wednesday) 8:30 pm
March 8 (Wednesday) 9 pm

Film Portrait

Directed by Jerome Hill
US 1970, 16mm, color, 54 min.

He earned an Academy Award for his film portrait of Albert Schweitzer, but in his finest work, the innovative Film Portrait, Jerome Hill (1905–1972) became his own subject. The son of an enormously wealthy Minnesota family (his father, James J. Hill, built the Great Northern Railway Company), Jerome eschewed business for the arts. He was a gifted painter, a successful documentary director, and a major supporter of the film avant-garde. (Three decades after his death, a foundation bearing his name continues the philanthropic work he began on behalf of young artists.) His great summary work presents us with singular entry into a life worthy of a Henry James novel, utilizing the rich array of techniques that defined the American experimental cinema. As critic and filmmaker Jonas Mekas notes: "Since the period dealt with in this film coincides with the development of Cinema as a Young Art, and the development of the Avant-garde Film as a form of cinema, Film Portrait becomes also a film about the art of cinema."

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March 1 (Wednesday) 8:30 pm (with "Film Portrait" above)
March 8 (Wednesday) 9 pm (with "Film Portrait" above)

JLG/JLG

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
France/Switzerland 1994, 35mm, color, 63 min.
French with English subtitles

As Godard once remarked, "The cinema is an x-ray machine in which one photographs one’s own disease." In his moving self-portrait, we discover that the disease has a name: cinephilia. Made on the cusp of the centennial of the cinema and the director reaching his mid-sixties, JLG/JLG captures the complexity and brilliance of Godard’s work in film as it touches on a multitude of concerns, from memory and painting to the Swiss Alps, money, and tennis.

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March 13 (Monday) 9:15 pm
March 15 (Wednesday) 9 pm

Cassandra Cat (Az Prijde Kocour)

Directed by Vojtech Jasny
Czechoslovakia 1963, 35mm, scope, color, 101 min.
With Vlastimil Brodsky, Jan Werich, Jiri Sovak
Czech with English subtitles

A modern fairy tale, Cassandra Cat takes place in a small Czech town that is visited suddenly by an old magician, his beautiful assistant, and a cat endowed with the strange power to reveal people’s true natures. A remarkable blending of fantasy and everyay life, the film won the Special Jury prize at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival. As its director, Vojtech Jasny has noted, "My film may be viewed as a fairy tale, a comedy, a ballet or even an opera. But most of all, it is a kind of philosophical, topical narrative." Jasny, who left Czechoslovakia after the 1968 Soviet invasion and worked for more than a decade in West Germany, currently lectures on film at New York University.

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Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700