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Séance Screenings

Bringing classic and neglected films back to light and life!


November 12 (Sunday) 7 pm

Two-Lane BLacktop

Directed by Monte Hellman
US 1971, 35mm, color, 103 min.
With James Taylor, Dennis Wilson, Warren Oates

Made during the post–Easy Rider period, when Hollywood briefly became infatu-ated with independent filmmaking, Two-Lane Blacktop features singer James Taylor and the Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson as two drag-racing buddies who embark on a cross-country trip. Director Monte Hellman mixed imagery of the open roads with action sequences featuring his hip young performers and a sound track of contemporary rock hits by performers like The Doors and Kris Kristofferson. The film’s episodic structure and unresolved narrative lines earned it critical acclaim, but it was not a box-office success. Two-Lane Blacktop is now regarded as a classic of independent cinema for its reworking of genre conventions, for the existential twists and reflexive turns it takes, and for the perspective it provides on the uniquely American obsession for the open road.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition "Customized: Art Inspired by Hot Rods, Low Riders, and American Car Culture," at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, October 25 through December 31.

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December 14 (Thursday) 7 pm
Live Piano Accompaniment by Yakov Gubanov

The Golem (Der Golem—wie er in die Welt Kam)

Directed by Paul Wegener and Carl Boese
Germany 1920, 35mm, b/w, silent, 75 min.
With Paul Wegener, Albert Steinrück, Ernst Deutsch

In sixteenth-century Prague, a rabbi creates a monster out of clay to help his people fight against the emperor’s expulsion of the Jews from the ghetto. Considered the most visually striking of the various film versions of the ancient Jewish legend (Wegener, who portrays the monster here, alone made three films on the subject, of which this is the last), The Golem is remarkable for its dramatic sets by Hans Poelzig and for its use of chiaroscuro, which eerily captures the mystery and remoteness of the Middle Ages. Wegener’s lumbering gait was imitated by Boris Karloff years later in James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931). We thank the George Eastman House for the loan of this rare archival print.

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