Director Chris Eyre in Person
September 22 (Sunday) 7 pm
Directed by Chris Eyre
US 2001, 35mm, color, 86 min.
With Graham Greene, Eric Schweigr
Following up on the enormous success of his first feature, Smoke Signals, Native American director Chris Eyre again focuses a sharp eye on the joys and sorrows of life on the “rez.” Skins, based on the novel by Adrian C. Louis, investigates the complex love-hate relationship that develops between two Sioux Indian brothers living in the shadow of Mount Rushmore on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Rudy Yellow Lodge (Schweig) is a reservation policeman who struggles to “clean up the public image of his people.” Mogie, the older brother he once idolized, is now a caustic drunk who flaunts the Indian stereotype Rudy abhors. Through biting humor and striking visuals, Eyre produces a rich portrait of racism and brotherhood, alcoholism and laughter in this tale of murder, betrayal, and ultimate redemption.
This preview screening is co-sponsored by the Four Directions Summer Research Program at the Harvard Medical School.
October 4–5 (Friday–Saturday) 7 pm, 9 pm
October 10–12 (Thursday–Saturday) 7 pm, 9 pm
October 19 (Saturday) 7pm, 9 pm
Directed by Roy Andersson
Sweden/France 2000, 35mm, color, 98 min.
With Lars Nordh, Steffan Larsson, Bengt C.W. Carlsson
Swedish with English subtitles
Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Cannes, Songs from the Second Floor is composed of forty-five precisely staged vignettes that present a series of personal tragedies and city-wide crises in the no man’s land of a perpetually overcast, postindustrialized Europe. An outrageous sense of global doom builds as a furniture shop owner burns down his store to collect the insurance money, a traffic jam brings a city to paralysis, a nightclub magician’s trick of sawing a man in half goes dreadfully wrong, and an immigrant is assaulted in full view of a crowd awaiting a bus. Director Roy Andersson, once dubbed “the unknown genius of contemporary cinema,” brings his precise mise-en-scène and surrealist visuals to bear on the underlying absurdity of modern existence with a humor that has been compared to that of Beckett, Kafka, and Keaton. A mordant black comedy turned nightmare, Songs from the Second Floor is a searing meditation on millennial decadence.
October 6 (Sunday) 7 pm
Directed by Abbas Kiarostami
Iran/France 2002, 35mm, color, 94 min.
Farsi with English subtitles
Kiarostami’s most recent film offers an extraordinarily revealing look at the condition of women in present-day Iran. Ten (much as Taste of Cherry before it) is set entirely within the confines of a moving car—a private “road movie” in which speech is unrestrained behind closed doors. The story follows the divorced mother of a seven-year-old boy over the course of several days as she chauffeurs her son, her sister, a pious elderly women, a streetwalker, and others on various errands around town. Each trip becomes a conversation that touches on the characters’ emotional lives and, no less intriguingly, on the social realities of life in contemporary Tehran. The woman’s annoyance at all the bad drivers around her provides a lightly comic counterpoint to which Western audiences will easily relate.