Introduced by Teruyo Nogami and Peter Grilli
March 14 (Thursday) 7 pm
Directed by Adam Low
US/UK/Japan 2001, video, color, 115 min.
This new documentary surveys the life and career of Japan’s great director, from his youthful days as a painter and left-wing radical to his entrance into the film industry in the 1930s, his brilliant arrival on the international scene with Rashomon at the Venice Film Festival in 1951, and his long postwar career. Using archival footage and interviews with family and friends, director Adam Low goes beyond mere biography to paint a psychological portrait of a complex artist who was marked by the familial and political upheavals of his youth and conflicted by cultural conundrums in his later years.
Teruyo Nogami, one of Japan’s most respected film authorities, served as Kurosawa’s most trusted assistant throughout his long career. Her recently published Tenki Machi (Waiting for Good Weather) is a best-selling collection of essays on her fifty-year association with Kurosawa and his films. Peter Grilli, President of the Japan Society of Boston and a specialist on Japanese culture, was a friend of Kurosawa’s from the late 1970s until the director’s death. He organized the first complete retrospective of the director’s films and is co-producer of this new documentary.
Introduced by Critic Gerry Peary
March 28 (Thursday) 8 pm
Directed by John Ford
US 1962, 35mm, b/w, 123 min.
With John Wayne, James Stewart, Lee Marvin
Even those who disdain westerns appreciate The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance as an American classic: a grand movie that combines politics, law, journalism, history, and education with a love triangle as tragic and moving as Cyrano de Bergerac. The film’s flashbacks are Ford’s six-gun salute to the volatile America of yesteryear, where John Wayne rides tall, Lee Marvin (as Liberty) is the baddest bad man on the range, and the cactus rose grows untamed in the desert. All this changes, however, when Jimmy Stewart comes West with law books in his hand. The epiphanic last shots are worthy of Joyce.
Film critic Gerry Peary is a former guest curator here at the Harvard Film Archive and a widely read columnist for the Boston Phoenix.
April 4 (Thursday) 8 pm
Directed by Vlada Petric, with Anthony Flackett
US 2002, video, color, 30 min.
During his twenty-five years teaching film here at Harvard, founding HFA curator Vlada Petric amassed hundreds of images that reflect his pursuit of "cinematic artifacts." This video essay—at once a reflection on Petric’s theory of film aesthetics and a nostalgic examination of a life devoted to film—is the result of his collaboration with video artist Anthony Flackett.
Directed by Vlada Petric and Purisa Djordjevic
US 2001, video, color, 10 min.
Made exclusively of material a friend recorded from television during the 78 days of NATO bombing in Yugoslavia in 1999, Petric’s "video poster" employs three different versions of the popular song "C’est si bon" to comment humorously on the tragic events that occurred in his native land before Milosevic’s fall.
Directed by Dimitri Udovichki, with Vlada Petric
Russia 2001, 16mm, color, 12 min.
While visiting the Moscow Film Institute (VGIK), Petric supervised a first-year student’s project, shot in Belgrade and edited in Moscow—prelude to a feature-length film the pair is planning.
Directed by Sabrina Zanella-Foresi
US 2002, video, color, 12 min.
With Vlada Petric
This "instant video report" is a hysterical-ontological documentation of Petric’s cinematic journey to the 1998 Pordenone Silent Film Festival in Italy.