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March 2-April 14, 2004  

Texture Analysis: Fashion and Film

March 2 (Tuesday) 7 pm

Friday Night (Vendredi soir)

Directed by Claire Denis
France, 2002, color, 90 min.
With Valerie Lemercier, Vincent Lindon

Claire Denis (Beau Travail, Chocolat, Nenette and Boni) conjures up a spellbound night in Paris. Laure, having packed up her possessions to move in with her lover, is more unsettled about this new commitment than she appears. Heading out for a last dinner with friends, she becomes stuck in a terrible traffic jam. As she takes in the sights and sounds around her—the blare of horns and arguments, the shimmer of lights and camaraderie—Laure encounters a stranger who will change her life. Intensely erotic and romantic, Friday Night is a lyrical ode to unexpected pleasures, to the independence of self, and to the most beautiful city in the world.

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March 9 (Tuesday) 7 pm

The Pillow Book

Directed by Peter Greenaway
France/UK/Netherlands, 1996, b/w and color, 126 min.
With Cantonese/English/Japanese/Mandarin with English subtitles
Mandarin/French/Taiwanese with English subtitles

Greenaway deploys a broad arsenal of formal effects (varying screen widths, multiple imagery, textual inscription) to impart the complex story of a beautiful fashion model-turned-writer who is obsessed with calligraphy and the flesh. Based on the classic tenth-century text by Sei Shonagon of the same title, radically transposed by Greenaway to modern-day Japan and the information age, The Pillow Book melds a timeless erotics and a fascination with language that is at once erudite and libidinal into a dreamlike, startlingly beautiful, and sometimes shocking narrative.

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March 16 (Tuesday) 7 pm
March 23 (Tuesday) 7 pm
April 6 (Tuesday) 7 pm
April 13 (Tuesday) 7 pm
April 14 (Wednesday) 7 pm

In the Mood for Love (Hua yang nian hua)

Directed by Wong Kar-wai
France/Hong Kong, 2000, color, 98 min.
With Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung
Cantonese and Mandarin with English subtitles

A swooningly cinematic unfolding of romantic desire, Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love paints the industrious world of 1960s Hong Kong in luxuriant color, texture, and sound. This paean to love follows two lonely professionals from the same apartment building who circle each other romantically after they begin to suspect their spouses are having an affair. At once restrained and sensual, the film layers detail upon detail to create a ravishing, hypnotic portrait of urban desire.

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