September 26 (Tuesday) 7 pm
Live Piano Accompaniment by Martin Marks
einer Menscheit im Jahre 2000)
Directed by Fritz Lang
Germany 1926, 35mm, b/w, silent, 130 min.
With Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich
The greatest science-fiction film of the silent cinema, Metropolis was made by Lang at Berlins UFA studio with an unprecedented budget for its huge sets, inspired by the New York skyline. Set in the twenty-first century, the story is derived partly from medieval legends, partly from the dystopic vision of a future of intensified conflict between capital and labor. Photographed in Expressionist style and designed to display powerful geometric symmetries, many of the films sequences are unforgettable, especially the dramatic laboratory creation of the robot-woman.
October 10 (Tuesday) 7 pm
The great German director Murnau, known especially for his use of moving camera shots to explore three-dimensional space, arrived in Hollywood as sound films were coming into vogue. His first American film, shot silent but released with a musical track, was based on a melodramatic German novel. Murnau, along with renowned cameramen Karl Struss and Charles Rosher, transformed the material by merging the psychological realism of the domestic drama with a lyrical depiction of both the quiet country village and the bustling cityconnected by the protagonists celebrated streetcar journey through the different visual landscapes.
October 17 (Tuesday) 7 pm
Live Piano Accompaniment by Yakov Gubanov
Directed by Dziga Vertov
USSR 1929, 35mm, b/w, silent, 80 min.
Truly an experimental documentary, Dziga Vertovs masterpiece exemplifies the montage aesthetic of the Soviet avant-garde of the 1920s through its kinetic juxtaposition of shots and sped-up and slowed-down motion. Using his own concept of the "kino eye"the cinema eye that illuminates the real world as not ordinarily seenVertov creates a city symphony depicting a day in the life of an urban metropolis.
October 24 (Tuesday) 7 pm
The second film of Antonionis celebrated trilogy (initiated by LAvventura and concluding with LEclisse) is a key work of modernist cinema. Exploring the alienation of the Milanese bourgeoisie within the landscape of the city and the lavish villas of its periphery, La Notte follows a couplean exhausted novelist coasting on his reputation (Mastroianni) and his disenchanted wife (Moreau)from an afternoon visit to a dying friend in a hospital, through a book-launching party at the home of an industrialist, to the couples separate nocturnal forays.
October 31 (Tuesday) 7 pm
US 1948, 35mm, b/w, 96 min.
With Barry Fitzgerald, Don Taylor, Howard Duff
This highly influential neo-realist thriller, shot on location in New Yorks teeming streets, tells an ordinary murder tale through the accumulation of procedural police details. But its real mission was to impart an authentic impression of the city and its everyday life through the use of hidden cameras and gritty, quasi-documentary photography, which earned an Oscar for cinematographer William Daniels. The narrators final words have become a widely quoted urban cliché: "There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them."