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Béla Tarr’s Werckmeister Harmonies
Julien Duvivier’s Au bonheur des dames
Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Flowers of Shanghai

March 23 (Friday) 7 pm
March 24 (Saturday) 9 pm
March 29 (Thursday) 7 pm
March 31 (Saturday) 7 pm

Werckmeister Harmonies (Werckmeister harmóniák)

Directed by Béla Tarr
Hungary 2000, 35mm, b/w, 145 min.
With Lars Rudolph, Peter Fitz, Hanna Schygulla
Hungarian with English subtitles

Six years after his monumental Sátántangó, one of the key works of the 1990s and a film that will become a reference point for anyone wanting to understand post-communist Eastern Europe, Béla Tarr returns with Werckmeister Harmonies, another transcendent allegory that bears his unmistakable stamp. Turning to a book that bears the beautiful title The Melancholy of Resistance, written by his longtime collaborator and scriptwriter, László Krasznahorkai, Tarr again traverses the territory of empty lives, alcoholic evenings, and muddy roads. The story is set in a remote Hungarian town whose quiet desolation is disturbed by an outsider who touches on the locals’ frustrations with uncanny prescience.

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Special Event at the Sanders Theater--all seats $14/$10
Live Orchestral Accompaniment by Octuor de France
April 9 (Monday) 8 pm

Au Bonheur des Dames

Directed by Julien Duvivier
France 1929, 35mm, b/w, silent, 85 min.
With Armand Bour, Pierre de Guingand, Dita Parlo

One of the last great works of the silent cinema, Au bonheur des dames was French director Julien uvivier’s stylish screen adaptation of the novel by Emile Zola, about an orphaned girl who moves to Paris and goes to work for her family’s rival, the glamorous department store named Au bonheur des dames. Duvivier, director of some sixty-five films made over the course of a fifty-year career, became one of the most acclaimed practitioners of French poetic realism through such works as Pépé Le Moko and Carnet de bal. This restored film will be accompanied by a live performance of the internationally renowned ensemble Octuor de France, under the direction of celebrated Canadian pianist and composer Gabriel Thibaudeau.

This special program is cosponsored by the French Consulate in Boston, with generous support from Gras Savoye. We additionally thank La société selmer, Christian Duvivier,La Cinémathèque français, and Pierre-Henri Duleau.

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Director Hou Hsiao-hsien in Person
April 12 (Thursday) 7 pm

Flowers of Shanghai (Hai shan hua)

Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien
Taiwan/Japan 1998, 35mm, color, 124 min.
With Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Michiko Hada, Michele Monique Reis
Chinese with English subtitles

Breaking with his chronicling of the social history of modern Taiwan, Hou Hsiao-hsien, one of cinema’s modern masters, focuses in this most recent work on the world of late 19th century Shanghai. The film captures in striking detail the complex social network surrounding the so-called "flower houses" or upscale brothels in the British sector of the city and portrays the lives of several "flower girls," who depend on their ability to win and retain the affections of their wealthy clients. Rivaling Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon in the richness of its candle-lit interiors and the brilliance of its cinematography, Flowers of Shanghai has garnered major festival prizes and almost universal critical acclaim.

Presented in conjunction with the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University.

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