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March 1 - April 26, 2005

Fashion and Film

March 1 (Tuesday) 7 pm

The Leopard

Directed by Luchino Visconti
Italy, 1963, color, 195 min.
With Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale, Alain Delon
English and Italian with English subtitles

Based on the novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, Visconti’s sumptuous epic explores the decline of traditional aristocratic values through a portrait of a powerful family. As the aging Prince Fabrizio of Salina, Burt Lancaster exudes dignity and exhaustion as a patriarch resisting the ascendancy of the bourgeoisie following Italy’s Risorgimento. Within the family, the transformation to a unified Italy is represented by Fabrizio’s nephew (Delon)–who leaves to fight with Garibaldi–and his beautiful fiancée (Cardinale). The film, which won the Palme d’Or at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival, was shortened and dubbed for international release but has since been restored.

March 8 (Tuesday) 7 pm

Notebook on Cities and Clothes (Aufzeichnungen zu Kleidern und Städten)

Directed by Wim Wenders
West Germany, 1989, color, 79 min.
With Wim Wenders, Yohji Yamamoto
German with English subtitles

As its title suggests, Notebook on Cities and Clothes is more a gathering of ruminations than a documentary. Commissioned by the Centre Pompidou to document Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto, director Wenders created a film essay that goes far beyond fashion as it explores the analogies between designing clothes and assembling a movie. The work is a poetic kaleidoscope of two artists, the designer and the director, and of two metropolises, Tokyo and Paris, whose architecture of light and astonishing perspectives mediate the artists’ respective crafts. Notebook was among Wenders’ first experiments in video, and the diaristic immediacy of the digital form became an important tool in the filmmaker’s subsequent feature work.

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March 15 (Tuesday) 6:30 pm

Friday Night (Vendredi soir)

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

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.

March 22 (Tuesday) 7 pm
March 23 (Wednesday) 7 pm

The Pillow Book

Directed by Peter Greenaway
France/UK/Netherlands, 1996, b/w and color, 126 min.
With Vivian Wu, Ken Ogata, Yoshi Oida
Cantonese, English, Japanese and Mandarin 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 of the same title by Sei Shonagon, radically transposed by Greenaway to modern-day Japan and the information age, The Pillow Book melds a timeless eroticism 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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April 5 (Tuesday) 7 pm

The Bride Wore Red

Directed by Dorothy Arzner
US, 1937, b/w, 103 min.
With Joan Crawford, Robert Young, Franchot Tone

Arzner’s second (and only credited) film with Joan Crawford explores the effects that external appearance can have on men’s perception of women. A poor café singer spends two weeks masquerading as an heiress at a posh resort, only to find herself falling in love with the local postman while being courted by a rich playboy.

April 12 (Tuesday) 7 pm
April 13 (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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April 26 (Tuesday) 7 pm


Directed by Man Ray
France, 1926, b/w, 17 min.

This prototypical example of Dadaist surrealism suggests the structure of a woman’s dream but with some of Man Ray’s most radical techniques in play, the film defies synopsis. The title comes from an old Basque expression which loosely translates to “don’t bother me.”

Puce Moment

Directed by Kenneth Anger
US, 1949, color, 6 min.


Thanks in part to his California upbringing, Anger’s quintessentially underground films often engage in a subversive dialogue with Hollywood. Puce Moment, a fragment of an incomplete film titled Puce Women, follows the fetishistic dressing ritual of a glamorous woman as she prepares to walk her dogs. The short film demonstrates Anger’s preoccupation with classic Hollywood as he both laments its decline and provides a tongue-in-cheek exploration of Hollywood iconography.

Lines Horizontal

Directed by Norman McLaren and Evelyne Lamart
Canada, 1962, color, 6 min.

MacLaren and Lamart give their unique interpretation of “visual music” in this animated short. A series of horizontal lines come to life with the accompaniment of an absorbing score by folk artist Pete Seeger.

You Be Mother

Directed by Sarah Pucill
UK, 1990, color, 7 min.

Sarah Pucill questions the traditional female role as provider in society in this experimental work in which she creates a collage of domestic objects to reflect her modest heroine’s interior struggle.

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