Film Series / Events

Search All Film Series (1999-present)
Browse All Film Series

March 3-May 5, 2004  

Frames of Mind

March 3 (Wednesday) 7 pm

The Eclipse (L’Eclisse)

Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
Italy, 1962, b/w, 124 min.
With Monica Vitti, Alain Delon, Lilla Brignone
Italian with English subtitles

In this final installment of the trilogy that began with L’Avventura and La Notte, Antonioni once again presents a middle-class couple in crisis, here against the closely observed background of the urban environment. After an initial breakup with her lover, Vittoria (Vitti) drifts into the classic Antonioni condition, wandering aimlessly through an alienating milieu. In what is perhaps his most compelling deployment of the architectural setting, Antonioni displays an unparalleled visual style, using spatial perspective and graphic delineation to create his vision of the modern world. In the film’s famous final sequence, the narrative space of the story is revisited in the absence of its characters, suggesting perhaps, as Georges Sadoul has noted, the nature of solitude as man’s accustomed state.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

March 10 (Wednesday) 7 pm

Rear Window

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
US, 1954, color, 112 min.
With James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter

An intriguing study of obsession, Rear Window tells the story of L. B. “Jeff” Jefferies (Stewart), a temporarily wheelchair-bound photographer who uses his convalescent time to spy on the tenants of other apartments on his block through his own “rear window.” Amid a growing suspicion that one of his neighbors has committed murder, he enlists his girlfriend (Kelly) and maid (Ritter) to gather evidence, with near-tragic results. Hitchcock’s use of camera angles, shot predominantly from Jefferies’s apartment window, draws viewers into the tantalizing world of voyeurism.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

March 17 (Wednesday) 6 pm

L’Invitation au Voyage

Directed by Germaine Dulac
France, 1927, b/w, silent, 36 min.

One of the major figures of the French film avant-garde of the 1920s and an early feminist, Germaine Dulac combined narratives of psychological realism with the visual techniques of the French Surrealist movement. In the rarely screened L’Invitation au Voyage, she employs a minimum of plot and maximum of atmosphere to convey her tale of the intense desire generated between a bored young wife and a handsome naval officer who meet in a Paris cabaret.

Meshes of the Afternoon

Directed by Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid
US, 1943, b/w, 18 min.
Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid

Dancer, ethnographer, philosopher, and “visual poet” Maya Deren began making films in the early 1940s—psychodramas in which the filmmaker navigates a path through anxiety-laden psychodramas. In her first and most famous work, a woman (Deren) dreams within dreams about suicide and about inanimate objects that assume threatening aspects.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

March 28 (Tuesday) 7 pm

Get Your Man

Directed by Dorothy Arzner
US, 1927, b/w, silent, 48 min.
With Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Harvey Clark

One of Dorothy Arzner’s earliest films as a director, this romantic comedy was made for Paramount as a vehicle for its star, Clara Bow. Cast as an American in Paris, Bow finds herself stranded overnight in a wax museum together with a dashing French nobleman (Rogers). A love is born, but inevitable complications follow that can be overcome only through the happy marriage of American ingenuity (including Clara staging an automobile accident) and aristocratic values. As the title suggests, love manages to win out in the end.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

March 24 (Wednesday) 7 pm

Touch of Evil (L’Anglaise et le Duc)

Directed by Orson Welles
France, 1958, b/w, 112 min.
With Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Orson Welles

With its celebrated opening sequence—required viewing for each new generation of cineaste—Orson Welles’s final American studio production is a minor masterpiece of genre filmmaking and a dramatic tour-de-force unmatched in his truncated career. Set on the Mexican border during a tense period in the drug war, this taut tale of corruption and deceit invests the police procedural with a prescient examination of ethnic, class, and political differences. Beneath the suspense, Welles crafts a frightening portrait of personal degradation in his singular role as the dissolute police chief still nursing a passion for an aging bargirl, memorably played by Marlene Dietrich.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

April 7 (Wednesday) 7 pm

Rashomon

Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Japan, 1950, b/w, 88 min.
With Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyo
Japanese with English subtitles

One of the first Japanese films to receive worldwide acclaim, Rashomon is the twelfth-century tale of a murder told from the multiple, irreconcilable perspectives of the crime’s participants and witnesses. The murdering bandit (Mifune), the spirit of the victim, the widow, and a woodcutter each retell their versions of the event as Kurosawa casts a critical eye on the unstable nature of truth.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

April 21 (Wednesday) 7 pm

Lost in Translation

Directed by Sofia Coppola
US, 2003, color, 102 min.
With Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi

A bittersweet tale of modern melancholy and cultural alienation, Sofia Coppola’s second feature offers an ebullient visual style built almost entirely on the atmosphere of Tokyo’s strange blend of the international and the indigenous. A washed-up American actor visiting Japan to film a whiskey commercial (Murray), finds himself adrift in the strange, airless atmosphere of a sleek Tokyo hotel. He strikes up a friendship with a fellow guest (Johansson), the young wife of a photographer who is similarly bored and uneasy about the direction of her life. The actor’s inability to communicate with his wife and the girl’s difficulties with her husband bring them together in the strange and utterly foreign dream world of Tokyo at night as the pair negotiates flirtatious steps toward a romance that never materializes.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

April 28 (Wednesday) 7 pm

The Matrix

Directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski
US 1999, color, 136 min.
With Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne

One of the top grossing films of the 1990s, Andy and Larry WachowskiÕs The Matrix set a new benchmark in movie special effects. Blending the kind of classic science-fiction stories found in Alien, Soylent Green, and The Terminator with Chinese martial-arts films, Japanese animation, and American comic art, and adding a touch of mysticism to the mix, the Wachowskis created an unparalleled vision of a future that seems very like our own presentÑwith a surreal twist.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

May 5 (Wednesday) 7 pm

Memento

Directed by Christopher Nolan
US 2000, b/w and color, 113 min.
With Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

Leonard (Pearce) is an insurance investigator seeking revenge on the man who raped and murdered his wife. His single-minded quest is complicated by an accident that has left him with no short-term memory, and he relies on a complex system of scribbled notes, Polaroids, and tattoos to guide him in his paranoid pursuit of retribution. Director NolanÕs neo-noir thriller relies on the intricate use of editing to create the desperate aura of a mind - and a narrative - in search of memory and cohesion. Using a combination of black-and-white and color cinematography and a complex narrative structure, Memento succeeds in placing the audience and the protagonist on equal and ambiguous footing.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top
Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700