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The Moving Image: Film and Visual Representation

November 1 (Wednesday) 7 pm

Craig's Wife

Directed by Dorothy Arzner
US 1936, 16mm, b/w, 75 min.
With Rosalind Russell, John Boles, Billie Burke

Rosalind Russell’s wild performance dominates Dorothy Arzner’s adaptation of George Kelly’s play about a woman’s struggle to control every inch of her home. By assuming the housewife’s perspective and confining plot and conflict to discrete moments within the home, Craig’s Wife takes the cult of domesticity to a strange extreme. Through the director’s subtle yet subversive treatment of domestic space, a fascinating portrait emerges of a housewife who walls herself up, brick by brick, in a pathological tomb of her own creation.

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November 8 (Wednesday) 7 pm

Toute Une Nuit

Directed by Chantal Akerman
France/Belgium 1982, 35mm, color, 90 min.
With Aurore Clement, Tcheky Karyo, Jan Decorte
French with English subtitles

On a sultry summer night in Brussels, various bodies in search of love collide: some succeed, others do not. Fashioned from the shards of two dozen pulverized melodramas, Akerman’s urban nocturne foregrounds small gestures as it captures the shape of solitude itself. Locations criss-cross as characters meet and embrace, dance and split up, yank one another into cabs, or merely watch the action from doorways and stairwells. The choreography of indoors and out, upstairs and down, attraction and rejection distills the complex machinations of urban romance into a sweetly rhythmic dance.

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November 29 (Wednesday) 7 pm

Contempt (Le Mépris)

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
France/Italy 1963, 35mm, color, 103 min.
With Brigitte Bardot , Michel Piccoli, Jack Palance
French with English subtitles

Based on Alberto Moravia’s novel Il Disprezzo (A Ghost at Noon), Godard’s early masterpiece focuses on the breakup of a marriage as it delivers sharp commentary on the state of international filmmaking. A scriptwriter (Piccoli), conscripted to craft an adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey, is caught between the film’s earnest director (Fritz Lang) and its crass producer (Palance), who imagines a vulgarization of the story. Marital and professional contempt reach a crescendo as the locale shifts from Rome to a modernist villa in Capri, where Godard places the moral choices into stark relief.

December 13 (Wednesday) 7 pm

Blade Runner

Directed by Ridley Scott
US 1982, 35mm, color, 117 min.
With Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Rutger Hauer

Ridley Scott’s influential adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? defined a new standard for the science-fiction genre through its mesmerizing, noirish vision of a dystopic future. In a decaying, hi-tech Los Angeles of 2019, former cop Rick Deckard (Ford) is charged with terminating a group of renegade "skin jobs"—genetically engineered androids who have returned to earth from the colonies they were sent to serve. Spectacular sets designed by Syd Mead and Lawrence G. Paull helped Scott to achieve his vision for a "film set forty years hence, made in the style of forty years ago."

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