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March 12 (Monday) 7 pm


Directed by Stanley Kubrick
US 1962, 35mm, b/w, 152 min.
With James Mason, Sue Lyon, Peter Sellers

Stanley Kubrick’s sixth film, a brilliant adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s darkly humorous and controversial novel, tells the story of a middle-aged man’s unusual sexual obsession with a precociously seductive, barely pubescent teenager, filtered through an aura of incest. Although Nabokov is credited with writing the screenplay, his final published manuscript differs from the finished film, in which Kubrick greatly expanded the role of Peter Sellers.

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March 19 (Monday) 7 pm

Stranger than Paradise

Directed by Jim Jarmusch
US 1984, 35mm, b/w, 89 min.
With John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson

When sixteen year old Eva from Hungary invades the domain of her New York cousin, Willie, and his friend, Eddie, she is at first a source of color in their lives. A year later, after rescuing Eva from a midwestern winter and her eccentric Aunt Lotte, the quirky cabal heads south for an existential vacation in a paradise called Florida. Jarmusch’s low-budget film won the Camera d’Or at Cannes.

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January 7 (Sunday) 2 pm and 7 pm

The Trial (Le Procès)

Directed by Orson Welles
France/Italy/West Germany 1962, 35mm, b/w, 120 min.
With Anthony Perkins, Jeanne Moreau, Orson Welles

Hailed as a masterpiece by European critics but dismissed as a failure by the British and American press, The Trial is arguably Welles’s finest film after Citizen Kane (and with Kane, the only other film over which he exercised complete creative control). Welles’s rendition of Franz Kafka’s nightmarish story of a man arrested for a crime that is never explained to him is entirely faithful to the novel, even with the necessary transpositions made to update the action. Anthony Perkins portrays Josef K., a sensitive, "twitchy" individual pursued by a repressive bureaucracy, obsessed by an undefined guilt, and bewildered by the burden of living. Replete with unforgettably baroque, expressionistic imagery, The Trial evokes a caustic vision of the modern world, where implausible events seem like everyday occurrences

April 16 (Monday) 7 pm

The Mirror (Zerkalo)

Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
USSR 1976, 35mm, b/w and color, 108 min.
With Margarita Terekhova, Anatoli Solonitsyn, Ignat Daniltsev
Russian with English subtitles

Tarkovsky poetically depicts the unconscious/semiconscious reminiscences of a character confined temporarily to his bed by illness. In an oblique, keenly poetic approach that finds no equal in modern cinema, the film juxtaposes nostalgic visions of the director’s childhood in war-torn exile (seen as hypnotic, slow-motion dream sequences) with stark World War II newsreels. Highly personal yet visually captivating, this film consists of non-linear series of visions and associations that utilize powerful visual symbolism and fascinating camera work.

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April 23 (Monday) 6:30 pm

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Directed by Philip Kaufman
US 1988, 35mm, color, 171 min.
With Daniel Day-Lewis, Juliette Binoche, Lena Olin

Based on the acclaimed novel by Milan Kundera, Kaufman’s film explores the highly active love life of a charming Czech surgeon (Day-Lewis) against the backdrop of the Prague Spring of 1968 and the subsequent Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Real footage of the military crackdown and street violence is woven into the humorous, voyeuristic tale of a man who lives "light" (his request to "take off your clothes" becomes the film’s mantra) but is inevitably brought into contact with the seriousness of the times.

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