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Séance Screenings

January 14 (Monday) 7 pm
January 20 (Sunday) 7 pm


Directed by Allan King
Canada 1967, 35mm, b/w, 100 min.

When this feature-length documentary was released in 1967 it won critical acclaim around the world and, simultaneously, received a television ban that was to last more than thirty years. In the winter of 1966, director Allan King took his crew to a residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed children in Toronto. The intention of Warrendale, an alternative to juvenile delinquent homes and psychiatric institutions, was to provide a “family,” an atmosphere of support in which children could feel safe communicating their feelings. The harsh reality however reveals an environment in which the boundaries of privacy, both psychic and physical, were eliminated in the name of treatment. Warrendale is an intense and profoundly moving documentary that will challenge viewers to rethink how our culture treats emotionally disturbed children. 

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January 16 (Wednesday) 7 pm
January 18 (Friday) 9 pm


Directed by Tony Richardson
UK/France 1966, 35mm, color, 103 min.
With Jeanne Moreau, Ettore Manni, Keith Skinner
French with English subtitles

Tony richardson’s deliciously wicked film--with a script begun by Jean Genet but completed by the director when the playwright disappeared after only a week--stars Jeanne Moreau as the ostensibly prim schoolmistress of a small French village. Beneath Mademoiselle’s breast, however, bubbles a hotbed of repressed passion, which she releases in random acts of secret and rather symbolic violence around the village: opening the floodgates to drown the farm animals, setting barns and homes aflame. The villagers pin the crimes on a sexy, newly arrived Italian lumberjack; Mademoiselle pins her hopes on seducing him. Richardson’s sumptuous mise-en-scène, marked here by his exclusive use of stationary camera compositions, creates narrative tableaux of classic proportions and an ample canvas for Moreau to paint her luscious performance on.

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January 29 (Tuesday) 8:30 pm
January 30 (Wednesday) 9 pm
January 31 (Thursday) 7 pm

How I Won the War

Directed by Richard Lester
UK 1967, 35mm, color, 109 min.
With Michael Crawford, John Lennon, Roy Kinnear

The Vietnam war was in full swing when Richard Lester (A Hard Day’s Night, The Knack) made this trenchant black comedy in 1967 about the absurdity of war. Set in World War II, John Lennon and Roy Kinnear star as ill-fated enlisted men under the inept command of Lieutenant Earnest Goodbody (Crawford), an ill-educated military functionary who must lead his platoon behind enemy lines in the Sahara desert to build a cricket court for a prominent visitor. Lester studied famous battles in detail and uses actual newsreel material in lampooning the conventions of the war-movie genre. How I Won the War is a flawed work but with virtues that outweigh its ambitious reach and a prescience that allows it to speak to our times.

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