This series concludes its look at the ways in which cinema is involved in the production of space, the architectonics of visuality, and the fashioning of the body.
May 2 (Tuesday) 6:30 pm
France/GB/Netherlands 1996, 35mm, b/w and color, 126 min.
With Vivian Wu, Ewan McGregor, Yoshi Oida
Cantonese/English/Japanese/Mandarin with English subtitles
Greenaway (The Draughtsmans Contract; The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover) deploys a broad arsenal of formal effects (varying screen widths, multiple imagery, textual inscription) to impart the complex story of a beautiful fashion model-turned-writer who is obsessed with calligraphy and the flesh. Based on the classic tenth-century text by Sei Shonagon of the same title, radically transposed by Greenaway to modern day Japan and the information age, The Pillow Book melds a timeless erotics and a fascination with language that is at once erudite and libidinal into a dreamlike, startlingly beautiful, and sometimes shocking narrative.
May 3 (Wednesday) 6:30 pm
Italy 1992, 35mm, color, 104 min.
With Carlo Cecchi, Anna Bonaiuto, Renato Carpentiere
Italian with English subtitles
Martone belongs to a new generation of directors who have put Naples at the forefront of Italian filmmaking. His intelligent first feature (now succeeded by Wounded Love and others) provides a fictionalized account of the days leading to the suicide of the well-known intellectual and political radical Renato Caccioppoli (Cecchi) in 1959. The camera follows him as he moves, unkempt and depressed, through a variety of settings and social situations, revealing the vicissitudes of this complex Italian city through his distanced interactions. The film changes mood decisively with the scene of Renatos funeral, a carnivalesque series of encounters with ironic and self-interested friends and acquaintances.