November 6 (Tuesday) 7 pm
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
France/Italy 1965, 35mm, b/w, 100 min.
With Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Akim Tamiroff
French with English subtitles
This classic of the French New Wave cinema is a dazzling amalgam of film noir and science fiction that features tough gumshoe Lemmy Caution (Constantine) as an intergalactic agent sent to conquer Alpha 60, a strange city from which love and tenderness have been banished. Godard pursues his theme of alienation in a technological society by turning contemporary Paris into an icily dehumanized city of the future.
November 13 (Tuesday) 7 pm
November 14 (Wednesday) 7 pm
In this brilliant send up of the absurdities of modernist architecture, actor-director Tati reprises the beloved character of Monsieur Hulot, who does battle with urban space as he observes a group of American tourists on their peregrinations around a Paris of modern office blocks and skyscrapers. The extraordinary metropolis of glass and concrete, designed by Eugene Roman, combines with Tati’s incomparable articulation of sound, image, and performance in this hilarious yet poignant analysis of the modern condition.
November 20 (Tuesday) 7 pm
Directed by H. C. Potter
US 1948, 35mm, b/w, 94 min.
With Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Melvyn Douglas
Fed up with crowded big-city living, advertising executive Jim Blandings (Grant) decides to seek a roomy house in the country. Construction of the new home, however, is bogged down by a myriad of problems, from doors and windows that don’t fit to plumbing that won’t function to a wife more concerned with coordinating colors than containing costs. Blandings—an expert at crafting catchy, seductive advertisements—buys into his own exaggerated sales pitch, but just as he becomes absorbed in the romantic image of a wonderful, extravagant home he becomes equally embittered over the reality of the actual product.
November 27 (Tuesday) 7 pm
Directed by Tsai Ming-liang
Taiwan 1994, 35 mm, color, 118 min.
With Yang Kuei-mei, Chen Chaojung, Lee Kang-sheng
Chinese with English subtitles
New Wave Taiwanese director Tsai, best known for his critically acclaimed Rebels of the Neon God, here follows three love-deprived city dwellers through the flow of urban life. The stories of a middle-aged real estate agent, a possibly gay purveyor of burial lockers for a designer cemetery, and a headstrong street vendor intertwine with Tsai’s stylized portrayal of the city to create a comic yet haunting vision of modern urban life.
December 4 (Tuesday) 7 pm
December 5 (Wednesday) 7 pm
Directed by Peter Greenaway
United Kingdom 1987, 35mm, color, 108 min.
With Brian Dennehy, Chloe Webb, Lambert Wilson
This visually stunning work by Peter Greenaway chronicles the self-destructive decline of an American architect, in Rome to mount an exhibition on the eighteenth-century architect Etienne-Louis Boulée. An obsession with his stomach causes him to lose his wife, his creativity, and perhaps even his sanity. Extravagant in detail and color, the film—in true Greenaway form—is packed with art and architectural references, obsessions and omens, and exquisite traces of life and death.
December 11 (Tuesday) 7 pm
Directed by Wim Wenders
West Germany/France 1987, 35mm, b/w and color, 128 min.
With Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Peter Falk
German with English subtitles
Inspired by a poem from Rilke and cowritten by acclaimed Austrian playwright Peter Handke, Wings of Desire follows a pair of angels who descend to earth to eavesdrop on the lonely, melancholy populace in the streets and buildings of pre-unification Berlin. Aided by the haunting, mostly monochromatic images of veteran cinematographer Henri Alekan, Wenders creates a spiritual documentary of the city and a haunting portrait of what it means to be human. He earned a Best Director award at Cannes for this meditative work, aptly dedicated to three of his own cinematic "angels": Ozu, Truffaut, and Tarkovsky.