Film Series / Events

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

July 1 - August 21, 2005

Treasures From The Harvard Film Archive

The Harvard Film Archive pays homage to the art-house programs of a bygone era by assembling a summer season of double-feature screenings drawn from its extensive collection of 9,000 prints. This summer, we have decided to retire our alphabetical organization in favor of a series of pairings motivated by directors, actors, writers, and less conventional thematic concepts. This program features rare screenings by filmmakers such as Nicholas Ray, Samuel Fuller, Jean Renoir, Carlos Saura, and Marcel Carné. A single admission fee provides entry to both features on a given evening.


Directors: King Vidor

July 1 (Friday) 7 pm
July 3 (Sunday) 8:30 pm

Our Daily Bread

Directed by King Vidor
US, 1934, b/w, 74 min.
With With Karen Morley, Tom Keene, Barbara Pepper

Working with a cast that included relative unknowns, and eschewing the techniques and gloss of commercial production, Vidor created one of the few films to portray the impact of the Great Depression on working-class Americans. An urban couple decides to leave the city and take a chance on a plot of farmland bequeathed to them by an elder family member. They are eventually joined by several others who transform their modest plot into a thriving agricultural collective. No Hollywood studio would touch Vidor's overtly leftist drama, leaving him free to boldly confront the harsh financial realities of the period.

July 1 (Friday) 8:30 pm
July 3 (Sunday) 7 pm

Cynara

Directed by King Vidor
US, 1932, b/w, 75 min.
With Ronald Colman, Kay Francis, Phyllis Barry

Although acclaimed for his powerful social dramas (The Crowd, Our Daily Bread), director King Vidor was equally adept at exploring matters of the heart with a cynical edge. Ronald Colman stars as a married London barrister who innocently begins an affair with a young salesgirl. The tryst quickly escalates, leading to a crime of passion. Audiences were not keen to see Colman in such a morally corrupt role, but Vidor was unyielding in his efforts to uncover the hypocrisies of polite society.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Directors: René Clair

July 2 (Saturday) 7 pm
July 4 (Monday) 8:45 pm

À nous la liberté

Directed by René Clair
France, 1931, b/w, 104 min.
With Raymond Cordy, Henri Marchand, Paul Olivier
French with English subtitles

Two convicts attempt a jailbreak but only one succeeds. The escapee goes on to become a successful businessman working for a corporation which favors automation over human ingenuity. His comfortable existence is challenged when he is revisited by his former prisonmate. One of Clair's true masterworks, the film is often cited as the inspiration for Chaplin's Modern Times. Like Chaplin, Clair succeeds in combining a strong social critique with uproariously funny comic moments.

July 2 (Saturday) 9 pm
July 4 (Monday) 7 pm

Under the Roofs of Paris (Sous les toits de Paris)

Directed by René Clair
France, 1930, b/w, 92 min.
With Albert Préjean, Pola Illery, Edmond T. Grèville
French with English subtitles

The street life of Paris in the 1920s provides an exceptionally vivid backdrop to this lyrical story of a love triangle between a street singer, his best friend, and the woman they both love. From the graceful opening pan across the (studio-recreated) rooftops of the title, to the multiple variations of its memorable theme song, the enchantment of Clair's first talkie has remained intact. Even the slight awkwardness of the semi-synchronized soundtrack, as scratchy as if played on a wind-up phonograph, complements its nostalgic, almost anachronistic visuals. That, plus Lazare Meerson's elegantly spare sets, Armand Bernard's jingly score, and the naïve but affecting performances, make for a miniaturist masterpiece.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Directors: Grigori Chukhrai

July 5 (Tuesday) 7 pm

Ballad of a Soldier

Directed by Grigori Chukhrai
Soviet Union, 1959, b/w, 89 min.
With Vladimir Ivashov, Zhanna Prokhorenko, Antonina Maksimova
Russian with English Subtitles

A Russian solider is granted leave after single-handedly defeating the Nazis in battle. As he journeys home to visit his mother, he witnesses the unimaginable devastation of the Russian landscape, yet finds inspiration in the undying optimism of his fellow countrymen. Ukrainian-born Grigori Chukhrai proved to be one of the masters of the new Soviet cinema during the Khrushchev Thaw, when censorship was far less prevalent. He generated international acclaim including an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay for this powerful reflection on the post-Stalinist era.

This double-feature is co-presented with the Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute.

July 5 (Tuesday) 8:45 pm

The Forty-First (Sorok Pervyi)

Directed by Grigori Chukhrai
Soviet Union, 1956, color, 88 min.
With Izolda Izvitskaya, Oleg Strizhenov, Nikolai Kryuchkov
Russian with English Subtitles

One of the first significant films to be produced during the post-Stalinist thaw of the 1950s - a period of reform led by Khrushchev - Chukhrai's The Forty-First focuses on a love story between a revolutionary soldier and her prisoner. Winner of a special prize at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival, this remake of Yakov Protazanov's silent classic recasts the historic struggle between the Tsarists and the revolutionaries in light of the horrors of World War II.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Directors: Carlos Saura

July 6 (Wednesday) 7 pm

Cria! (aka Raise Ravens) (Cria Cuervos)

Directed by Carlos Saura
Spain , 1976, color, 107 min.
With Geraldine Chaplin, Ana Torrent, Conchi Perez
Spanish with English subtitles

 

After witnessing the death of each of her parents, Ana believes that she has a deeper understanding of the world than many of the adults in her life. As the boundaries between fantasy and reality collapse, she finds herself surrounded by ghosts of her family's past. Geraldine Chaplin assumes the dual role of Ana as an adult and her deceased mother and, along with Torrent, gives the film a powerful emotional resonance. Saura made the film at the time of Franco's death, and intended the film to be a meditation on the uncertain political future of mid-1970s Spain.

July 6 (Wednesday) 9 pm

The Hunt (aka The Chase) (La Caza)

Directed by Carlos Saura
Spain, 1966, b/w, 91 min.
With Ismael Merlo, Alfredo Mayo, Jose Maria Prada
Spanish with English subtitles

 

A rabbit hunt serves as the context for one of Saura's more severe critiques of Franco's regime. Three men and a boy embark on the hunting expedition which traverses territory where the older men fought in battle during the Spanish Civil War. As tempers rise among the ex-soldiers, their animal prey are brutally slaughtered, much to the horror of their youthful companion. The Fascist government would not allow any explicit references to the Civil War in Saura's work, but the director's sentiment about the horrors suffered by his fellow countrymen remains gruesomely vivid.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Directors: Jacques Tourneur

July 7 (Thursday) 7 pm

Nightfall

Directed by Jacques Tourneur
US, 1957, b/w, 78 min.
With Aldo Ray, Brian Keith, Anne Bancroft

A series of chance occurrences leads an unsuspecting man on a leisurely hunting trip into the middle of a bank robbery gone haywire. Aldo Ray stars as the hunter who encounters two thieves on the lam. He inadvertently finds himself holding their big score, and is accused of murdering his best friend. In the tradition of Tourneur's noir classic Out of the Past, the film shifts time and location, crafting a cinematic space rife with possibility. Anne Bancroft co-stars as the model introduced to Ray as the narrative begins to unfold, and who provides an unusual moment of digression when she showcases the fashions of the times.

July 7 (Thursday) 8:30 pm

Great Day in the Morning

Directed by Jacques Tourneur
US, 1956, color, 92 min.
With Virginia Mayo, Robert Stack, Ruth Roman

Union and Confederate soldiers battle over gold in the Colorado Territory as the nation prepares for civil war in this solid Western from Jacques Tourneur. Robert Stack stars as a Southerner sent to make a claim for gold who finds himself distracted by the lure of a proper fashion designer (Mayo) and a tawdry saloon girl (Roman). Although better known for his atmospheric thrillers and noirs, Tourneur proves adept at infusing a studio genre picture with his complex worldview.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Directors: Nicholas Ray

July 8 (Friday) 7 pm

Run for Cover

Directed by Nicholas Ray
US, 1955, color, 93 min.
With James Cagney, Viveca Lindfors, John Derek

Two drifters, one a gunslinger with a checkered reputation (Cagney), the other a younger man with a mysterious past (Derek), meet while riding into a Western town. When the townspeople mistake them for train robbers, the younger man is seriously wounded, and develops a bitter resentment toward the community. When the town's residents realize their mistake, the two men are appointed sheriff and deputy, but the new sheriff finds his authority undermined when he puts his faith in the young man he barely knows. Ray was no stranger to psychodrama, and in this western, produced in the period between more notable works such as Johnny Guitar and Rebel Without a Cause, he focuses on the Freudian anxiety elicited from the unorthodox father-son relationship which emerges between Cagney and Derek.

July 8 (Friday) 8:45 pm

The Lusty Men

Directed by Nicholas Ray
US, 1952, b/w, 113 min.
With Susan Hayward, Robert Mitchum, Arthur Kennedy

In one of his great screen performances, Robert Mitchum stars as a former rodeo rider who agrees to serve as mentor to a rising star of the circuit (Kennedy). As the upstart becomes a success he grows to resent his teacher, and eventually challenges him in the rodeo ring. Mitchum's stoic style proved to be a winning complement to Ray's complex character design. Although better known for his Technicolor melodramas, Ray uses documentary footage of actual rodeos to give the film a mark of authenticity.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Directors: Fuller in Germany

July 9 (Saturday) 7 pm

Verboten!

Directed by Samuel Fuller
US, 1959, b/w, 93 min.
With James Best, Susan Cummings, Tom Pittman

An American serviceman stationed in postwar Berlin strikes up a forbidden relationship with a young German woman who saved his life. He must also contend with the growing influence of the Werewolves, a group of young nationalists bent on reviving the Nazi movement. Fuller fashioned the film as an indictment of German denial in the aftermath of war, epitomized by his vèritè-style recreation of the Nuremburg trials in which the director assumes the role of narrator.

July 9 (Saturday) 8:45 pm

Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street (Tatort - Tote Taube in der Beethovenstrasse)

Directed by Samuel Fuller
West Germany , 1973, color, 102 min.
With Glenn Corbett, Christa Lang, Anton Diffring
English and German with English subtitles

In this Godardian take on the private eye genre, Glenn Corbett stars as an American agent who travels to Bonn in search of the man who killed his partner. He becomes immersed in a seedy German underworld of drugs and pornography. Due to Fuller's bone-dry wit, it is unclear whether he seeks to celebrate or dismantle the film's noirish conventions, but it is undoubtedly a joy to watch him at his most reflexive, giving sly nods to both Alphaville and Rio Bravo.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Directors: Renoir in Hollywood

July 10 (Sunday) 7 pm
July 12 (Tuesday) 8:45 pm

The Southerner

Directed by Jean Renoir
US, 1945, b/w, 92 min.
With Zachary Scott, Betty Field, J. Carrol Naish

A Southern family struggles to make ends meet as they invest all of their energy into a small, infertile plot of land. Their pluck and determination is met with scorn by the local townspeople, who do nothing to help them overcome their hardship. Renoir's portrait of the American South is often regarded as his strongest Hollywood production. The filmmaker succeeds in capturing the provinciality of a region desperately holding true to tradition in the face of modernization. The film's incisive script features contributions from legendary writer William Faulkner.

July 10 (Sunday) 8:45 pm
July 12 (Tuesday) 7 pm

Diary of a Chambermaid

Directed by Jean Renoir
US, 1964, b/w, 91 min.
With Paulette Goddard, Burgess Meredith, Hurd Hatfield

Paulette Goddard stars as Celestine, a social climbing chambermaid who is determined to use her new position with the wealthy Lanlaire family to advance her social station. Among the supporting cast, Burgess Meredith is particularly amusing as the Lanlaires' wacky neighbor. Jean Renoir faced puzzlement from American audiences who could not understand the questionable morality of his characters. While he was indifferently dismissed by French critcs and audiences, one notable exception is Andre Bazin, who described it as a 'burlesque tragedy,' perhaps giving inspiration to Luis Buñuel, who remade the film in 1964.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Directors: Alan Clarke

July 11 (Monday) 7 pm

The Firm

Directed by Alan Clarke
UK, 1988, color, 90 min.
With Gary Oldman, Lesley Manville, Philip Davis

Although often overlooked in favor of his contemporaries such as Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, Alan Clarke was one of the major filmmakers to emerge in Thatcher-era England. In The Firm, Gary Oldman portrays a football hooligan attempting to organize rival gangs, known as ìfirms,' in advance of the upcoming European championships. Clarke's final film before his untimely death in 1990 critiques both the government which failed to address the concerns of violence at football matches and the hooligan community whom the director disdained for destroying the integrity of his beloved sport.

July 11 (Monday) 8:45 pm

Road

Directed by Alan Clarke
UK, 1987, color, 67 min.
With Neil Dudgeon, Jane Horrocks, David Thewlis

Alan Clarke is credited with launching the careers of British talent such as Gary Oldman and Tim Roth (who would both later imitate his style in their respective directorial debuts) but he went largely unnoticed beyond England, as most of his films were produced for the BBC. Road was adapted from Jim Cartwright's acclaimed stage play for British television, with glorious results. In a Northern industrial town, young people wander the streets in search of entertainment. Clarke uses Steadicam shots to capture the extended conversations between characters who reside in a community who blighted by economic hardship but still find simple joys in living.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Writers and Directors: Jean Giono and Marcel Pagnol

July 13 (Wednesday) 6:30 pm

Harvest (Regain)

Directed by Marcel Pagnol
France, 1937, b/w, 127 min.
With Gabriel Gabrio, Orane Demazis, Fernandel
French with English subtitles

A down-on-her-luck cabaret singer (Demazis) and an itinerant scissor grinder (Fernandel) wander through the French Alps, when they pass a deserted village where a half-wild hunter (Gabrio) resides. The singer is moved by the loner's devotion to the land, and agrees to stay with him and bring life to the once-barren village. Based on a novel by Jean Giono, Harvest was initially delayed for release in New York when censors balked at the film's adulterous subject matter, but it went on to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

July 13 (Wednesday) 8:45 pm

The Baker's Wife (La femme du boulanger)

Directed by Marcel Pagnol
France, 1938, b/w, 123 min.
With Raimu, Ginette Leclerc, Charles Moulin
French with English subtitles

A provincial baker (Raimu) is distraught when his young wife (Leclerc) leaves him for a shepherd (Moulin). The comical baker is no longer able to provide his services for the town, which leads the villagers to form a search party for his betrothed, lest they continue to be denied their daily bread. Although based on a novel by Jean Giono, the film was carefully tailored to the comedic skills of French clown Raimu.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Writers and Directors: Cesare Zavattini and Vittorio De Sica

July 14 (Thursday) 7 pm
July 16 (Saturday) 9 pm

A Brief Vacation (Una Breva Vacanza)

Directed by Vittorio De Sica
Spain/ Italy, 1973, color, 112 min.
With Renato Salvatori, Florinda Bolkan, Daniel Quenaud
Italian with English subtitles

A factory worker becomes increasingly frustrated with her inability to provide adequate financial support for her disabled husband and her three children. When she is diagnosed with tuberculosis, she is sent to recuperate in a sanatorium in the Italian Alps, where she discovers a new joy for life in the arms of another man. De Sica returned to his humanist-neorealist roots with this film, the last to be released in the United States.

July 14 (Thursday) 9 pm
July 16 (Saturday) 7 pm

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis

Directed by Vittorio De Sica
West Germany/Italy, 1970, color, 94 min.
With Lino Capolicchio, Dominique Sanda, Fabio Testi
Italian with English subtitles

A middle-class student (Capolicchio), invited to research his thesis in the private library of the wealthy Finzi-Contini family, ends up falling in love with the family's beautiful daughter (Sanda). As the anti-Semitic edicts imposed by Mussolini in the late 1930s begin to take effect, the Jewish Finzi-Continis remain oblivious to the severe consequences they must inevitably face. The film was regarded by many critics as a return to form for De Sica, who spent much of the 1960s directing Sophia Loren vehicles It was awarded the 1972 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Writers and Directors: John Osborne and Tony Richardson

July 15 (Friday) 7 pm

Tom Jones

Directed by Tony Richardson
UK, 1963, color, 121 min.
With Albert Finney, Susannah York, David Warner

John Osborne and Tony Richardson lightened up quite a bit from their heady works of 'kitchen sink' realism with this rousing adaptation of Henry Fielding's novel. Abandoned as an infant, Tom Jones (Finney) is raised by a wealthy squire and grows up to become a charming man, beloved by all except the squire's rightful heir (Warner). Eschewing societal pressure to behave in a gentlemanly manner, Tom follows his libido through a series of romantic liaisons. The film was a big winner at the 1964 Academy Awards, including prizes for Richardson and Osborneóquite surprising given the film's bawdy content.

July 15 (Friday) 9:15 pm

The Entertainer

Directed by Tony Richardson
UK, 1960, b/w, 96 min.
With Laurence Olivier, Joan Plowright, Alan Bates

Writer John Osborne and director Tony Richardson became two of the strongest voices of the British working class with their string of 'kitchen sink' realist films of the late 1950s and early 1960s. All the more surprising, then, was the news that Shakespearean actor Laurence Olivier would take on the role of the less-than-regal Archie Rice, an aging vaudevillian who will stop at nothing to keep his career alive. As he pours his heart out on stage, his personal life is in shambles: he cheats on his alcoholic wife and coerces his son to join the military. The arrival of his estranged daughter provides the only hope for Archie's redemption. Joan Plowright, who would later marry Olivier, made her screen debut as Archie's daughter.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Writers and Directors: Lillian Hellman and William Wyler

July 17 (Sunday) 7 pm

These Three

Directed by William Wyler
US, 1936, b/w, 93 min.
With Miriam Hopkins, Merle Oberon, Joel McCrea

Lillian Hellman adapted her controversial stage play ìThe Children's Hour' for her first collaboration with director William Wyler. Miriam Hopkins and Merle Oberon star as college friends who work together at a posh private school for girls. Their sheltered world of privilege is turned upside down when a vengeful schoolgirl (played with malicious glee by Bonita Granville) enlists the aid of her high society grandmother to ruin the reputations of her headmistresses. William Hays, enforcer of the Production Code, insisted that the title of the film be changed to avoid direct association with the then-currently running stage play, and also demanded that all lesbian content in the original material be removed.

July 17 (Sunday) 8:45 pm

Dead End

Directed by William Wyler
US, 1937, b/w, 93 min.
With Humphrey Bogart, Joel McCrea, Claire Trevor

Set during an eventful day in a New York City slum, Dead End stars Humphrey Bogart as gangster Baby Face Martin, who returns to his old neighborhood and finds that nobody wants to see him. His mother is ashamed of his criminal past and his ex-girlfriend has become a syphilitic prostitute. Only the 'Dead End Kids' (in their screen debut) seem to welcome him, so they may learn his crooked way of life on the streets. Lillian Hellman's script remains faithful to Sidney Kingsley's popular stage play, and Wyler creates a gritty, urban milieu thanks to the visionary eye of cinematographer Gregg Toland.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Actors and Directors: John Garfield and Abraham Polonsky

July 18 (Monday) 7 pm
July 20 (Wednesday) 9 pm

Force of Evil

Directed by Abraham Polonsky
US, 1948, b/w, 78 min.
With John Garfield, Thomas Gomez, Roy Roberts

Before they were victimized by the Hollywood blacklist, actor John Garfield and writer/director Abraham Polonsky collaborated on two of the more daring films produced in 1940s Hollywood. Force of Evil marked Polonsky's directorial debut and focuses on growing corruption in the booming postwar economy. Garfield portrays a smooth-talking mob lawyer who tries to devise a way to consolidate the numbers racket at the expense of legitimate businessman like his brother (Gomez), who struggles to keep his small business operational within the boundaries of the law. A noir with a strong political agenda, the film nearly disappeared until it was championed by Martin Scorsese, who often cited it as a major influence on his own work.

July 18 (Monday) 8:30 pm
July 20 (Wednesday) 7 pm

Body and Soul

Directed by Robet Rossen
US, 1947, b/w, 104 min.
With John Garfield, Lilli Palmer, Hazel Brooks

John Garfield garnered an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of a tough-as-nails fighter who rises up from his impoverished roots on New York's Lower East Side to earn a shot at the middleweight title. But the crown comes at a cost as the fighter must sign a contract with a crooked racketeer in order to get his chance at the title fight. As in Force of Evil, Abraham Polonsky's screenplay features a searing indictment of moral corruption within the capitalist system.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Actors and Directors: Oliver Reed and Michael Winner

July 19 (Tuesday) 7 pm

I'll Never Forget What's 'is Name

Directed by Michael Winner
UK, 1967, color, 97 min.
With Orson Welles, Oliver Reed, Carol White

A successful advertising executive (Reed) with all of the trappings of the good life (big salary, devoted wife, beautiful mistresses) suddenly decides to throw it all away one day when he walks into his office with an axe and chops his desk into pieces. He journeys through Swinging London on a search for his integrity and finds it at a small literary publication. But his former boss (Welles) will stop at nothing to lure him back into the corporate world. Marianne Faithfull makes a memorable film debut shouting a never-before-heard-on-film expletive in an over-the-top television commercial.

July 19 (Tuesday) 9 pm

The Jokers

Directed by Michael Winner
UK, 1967, color, 94 min.
With Michael Crawford, Oliver Reed, Harry Andrews

An inspired caper film, The Jokers focuses on two brothers, one a successful architect (Reed), the other a university dropout (Crawford), who become fed up with society and devise a scheme to steal the Crown Jewels. To carry out their plans, the hapless duo plant bombs all over town, leading them on a curious journey from the party circuits of Swinging London to the halls of Scotland Yard. The familiar heist scenario is given a breath of fresh air thanks to lively performances from Reed and Crawford.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Actors and Directors: Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini

July 21 (Thursday) 7 pm
July 23 (Saturday) 8:45 pm

Europa 51

Directed by Roberto Rossellini
Italy, 1952, b/w, 118 min.
With Ingrid Bergman, Alexander Knox, Ettore Gianini
English language version

Europa 51 is the second in a trilogy of post-neorealist films that Rossellini made in the early 1950s with Ingrid Bergman. In each of the films, he cast the celebrated actress in roles that gave him a new perspective through which to capture aspects of Italian society. Here, Bergman plays a wealthy American living in Rome whose life is shattered by the suicide of the beloved young son whom she has ignored. Taking the advice of a politically engaged friend, she turns to families in real need and finds solace in selfless acts of giving. The world from which she came, however, interprets such 'communistic' activities as a sign of madness.

July 21 (Thursday) 9:15 pm
July 23 (Saturday) 7 pm

Fear (La Paura)

Directed by Roberto Rossellini
West Germany/Italy, 1954, b/w, 84 min.
With Ingrid Bergman, Mathias Wieman, Renate Mannhardt
English language version

The final screen collaboration between Rossellini and Bergman also marked the end of their volatile personal relationship. Bergman plays the wife of a prominent scientist who is blackmailed by her lover's mistress. When she discovers the truth behind the extortion plan, she is driven to violent measures. The Rossellini-Bergman collaborations frequently dwelled on darker emotions; here, they are manifested in a thriller plot with uncharacteristic Hitchockian flair.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Actors and Directors: Lillian Gish and D. W. Griffith

July 22 (Friday) 7 pm - Live Piano Accompaniment

Hearts of the World

Directed by D.W. Griffith
US, 1918, b/w, 98 min.
With Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Dorothy Gish

Following the success of Intolerance, D.W. Griffith was commissioned by the British government to craft a film which would encourage U.S. entry into World War I. Hearts of the World follows the travails of two American families living in France who are drawn into the horrors of battle when Germany invades France and bombards their once-tranquil village. Lillian Gish stars as Marie, the plucky daughter who falls for Douglas, her neighbor. The idealistic couple is forced to postpone their planned nuptials when he volunteers for the French army and risks his life battling the Germans. More than mere propaganda, the film ranks as one of Griffith's greatest achievements thanks to his honest depiction of war and its toll.

July 22 (Friday) 9 pm - Live Piano Accompaniment

True Heart Susie

Directed by D.W. Griffith
US, 1919, b/w, 70 min.
With Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Clarine Seymour

This pastoral romance is the last film in which Griffith draws directly upon his warmest memories of a bucolic childhood, and final reflection on a quickly vanishing America. Without the intervention of subplots, chases, sexually imperiled heroines, and the rest of his beloved melodramatic preoccupations, Griffith employs an urban/country dialectic, a typical strategy of the time, to valorize the virtues of the country girl (Gish) who carefully waits for her man to return to his senses after being ìcorrupted' by a city woman.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Writers: Joseph Conrad

July 24 (Sunday) 7 pm

Sabotage

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
UK, 1936, b/w, 76 min.
With Sylvia Sidney, Oskar Homolka, John Loder

Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent (not to be confused with Hitchcock's own film Secret Agent) provides the inspiration for one of the Master of Suspense's most puzzling works. The owner of a small movie theater (Homolka) secretly plots to destroy London, unbeknownst to his wife (Sidney) and her younger brother, who both live with him. This was the last film produced by Hitchcock for Gaumont-British, the company that pushed him toward his eventual place in Hollywood when they cut back on production costs.

July 24 (Sunday) 8:45 pm

The Duellists

Directed by Ridley Scott
UK, 1977, color, 95 min.
With Keith Carradine, Harvey Keitel, Albert Finney

Set during the Napoleonic era, the film begins with an order handed down to an aristocratic cavalry officer (Carradine) who is asked to imprison an officer of more common heritage (Keitel) for wounding a fellow cavalryman in a duel. The felonious soldier takes offense at the order and challenges the aristocrat to a duel which continues over the course of fourteen years. Director Ridley Scott gives a rich visual texture to Joseph Conrad's story of dying traditions.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Writers: George Bernard Shaw

July 25 (Monday) 7 pm

Pygmalion

Directed by Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard
UK, 1938, b/w, 89 min.
With Leslie Howard, Wendy Hiller, Wilfrid Lawson

George Bernard Shaw's play 'Pygmalion' is a spiritual source for Hollywood romantic comedies, with its emphasis on transformation, education, and the need for two people to acknowledge each other as equals. This British film version of the play is a superb realization, co-directed by Howard, who undoubtedly brought warmth to the proceedings, and Asquith, renowned for his elegant film style and penchant for realism. Typically sensitive and easy-going as a performer, Howard brings some salt and edginess to his performance as Henry Higgins, and the young Wendy Hiller as Eliza Doolittle is, as always, a weird and fascinating film presence.

July 25 (Monday) 8:45 pm

Major Barbara

Directed by Gabriel Pascal
UK, 1941, b/w, 100 min.
With Wendy Hiller, Rex Harrison, Robert Morley

Wendy Hiller stars as Major Barbara Undershaft, a Salvation Army worker who rebels against her father (Morley), a munitions factory owner. She is wooed by a young Classics professor (Harrison) who becomes frustrated when she devotes all of her time to her charity work. Her life is further complicated when the Salvation Army accepts a sizable donation from her wealthy father. George Bernard Shaw's satire of capitalist drive is given fusty warmth thanks to the performances of Hiller, Harrison, and Morley.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Writers: Eugene O'Neill

July 26 (Tuesday) 7 pm - Live Piano Accompaniment

Anna Christie

Directed by John Griffith Wray
US, 1923, b/w, 75 min.
With Blanche Sweet, William Russell, George F. Marion

A Swedish sailor wastes his earnings on alcohol while his family awaits his return from the sea. Silent screen star Blanche Sweet plays the tragic sailor's daughter who reunites with her father in New York, only to cause more friction in their relationship when she falls for a young seaman. Among the many film adaptations of his work, Eugene O'Neill cited John Griffith Wray's interpretation of Anna Christie as the best.

July 26 (Tuesday) 8:30 pm

The Long Voyage Home

Directed by John Ford
US, 1940, b/w, 107 min.
With John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, Barry Fitzgerald

One of John Ford's greatest and most overlooked films, this moody, melancholic rendition of four Eugene O'Neill one-act plays focuses on sailors lost in lonely life on the sea. Featuring an ensemble of character actors including Thomas Mitchell, John Qualen, Barry Fitzgerald, and Mildred Natwick, the film features an out-of-character performance from John Wayne as a young, gawky Swede who remains sheltered from the torturous shipboard life by his crewmates. The extraordinary camerawork from Gregg Toland, just prior to his work on Citizen Kane, provides an appropriate counterbalance to Ford's sentimentality.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Writers: Harold Pinter

July 27 (Wednesday) 7 pm

The Homecoming

Directed by Peter Hall
UK/US, 1973, color, 111 min.
With Cyril Cusack, Ian Holm, Michael Jayston

In North London, an all-male beehive of inactivity is ruled with a foul mouth and an iron hand by the abusive Max (Paul Rogers) and his brother, the priggish Sam (Cusack). When Max's son Teddy (Jayston) brings his wife Ruth (Vivien Merchant) home to meet his family for the first time, he gets both more and less than he bargained for. To Teddy's rueful discomfort, Ruth's presence exposes a labyrinth of Freudian dread, venal family values, and naked neediness that could only come from the mind of Harold Pinter. Director Peter Hall re-imagines his original Royal Shakespeare Company stage triumph as a bleached, claustrophobic delirium that exploits the jagged tempos and seductive tensions of Pinter's best play as no theater staging could.

July 27 (Wednesday) 9 pm

Betrayal

Directed by David Hugh Jones
UK, 1983, color, 95 min.
With Jeremy Irons, Ben Kingsley, Patricia Hodge

A love affair told in reverse, David Hugh Jones' direction of Harold Pinter's semi-autobiographical play (for which he wrote the script) explores the complex emotions which drive marital infidelity. A suave literary agent has an affair with the wife of a book publisher who also happens to be his best friend. Each actor is perfectly cast: Irons embodies the deluded dreams of the agent, Kingsley is frighteningly seething as the publisher, and Hodge sympathetically conveys her conflicted desire for both men.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Writers: Sam Shepard

July 28 (Thursday) 7 pm

Fool for Love

Directed by Robert Altman
US, 1985, color, 106 min.
With Sam Shepard, Kim Basinger, Harry Dean Stanton

In this adaptation of his acclaimed stage play, Sam Shepard stars as Eddie, a drifter bent on reuniting with his old flame May (Basinger). He finds her in a motel room, awaiting the arrival of her new boyfriend (Randy Quaid). As Eddie and May bounce each other off the walls of the room, their darkest secrets are revealed. In the 1980s, Robert Altman worked on several pieces originally produced for the stage, and this film is generally regarded as his most successful attempt to capture both the theatrical elements of the source material and his own cinematic vision. Harry Dean Stanton is a welcome, ethereal presence as the Old Man.

July 28 (Thursday) 9 pm

Far North

Directed by Sam Shepard
US, 1988, color, 90 min.
With Jessica Lange, Charles Durning, Tess Harper

Sam Shepard made his directorial debut with this story of a dysfunctional Midwestern family. Jessica Lange stars as the daughter who left home for New York City but is compelled to return when her father (Durning) falls from his horse. He demands that she shoot the horse, and while she tries to fulfill his wishes, her sister and her niece conspire to free the animal. Although the performances are a bit broad, perhaps owing to Shepard's stage experience, he succeeds in creating an odd and memorable cadre of characters.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Writers: Tennessee Williams

July 29 (Friday) 7 pm

Suddenly Last Summer

Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
US, 1959, b/w, 114 min.
With Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift

Based on the Tennessee Williams one-act play, this film is rife with the playwright's favorite themes of obsession and madness. Director Mankiewicz was known for his ability to draw effective and highly theatrical performances from his actors. Mankiewicz intercuts cinematographer Jack Hildyard's high contrast hallucinogenic flashback sequences with this story of incest, homosexuality, and madness. Critic Arthur Knight called it ìa wholly admirable rendering into film of a work at once fascinating and nauseating, brilliant and immoral.'

July 29 (Friday) 9:15 pm

The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (aka The Widow and the Gigolo)

Directed by Josè Quintero
UK, 1961, color, 103 min.
With With Vivien Leigh, Warren Beatty, Lotte Lenya

Celebrated theater director Josè Quintero crossed over into film in order to adapt this Tennessee Williams novel for the screen. Vivien Leigh (already known for her portrayal of a Williams heroine a decade earlier in A Streetcar Named Desire) plays the title character, an American widow who has abandoned a waning career on the New York stage and come to Rome to assuage her spirits. Ready to assist Mrs. Stone is the legendary stage actress Lotte Lenya, cast as a procuress, and a very young Warren Beatty, the gigolo who attracts her attentions. The real star of this film, however, is the Eternal City itself, captured here in its various moods, glimmering and textured, gauzed and misty, by cinematographer Harry Waxman.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Writers: Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin

July 30 (Saturday) 7 pm

Quiet Days in Clichy (aka Not so Quiet Days) (Stille dage i Clichy)

Directed by Jens Jørgen Thorsen
Denmark, 1970, b/w, 100 min.
With Paul Valjean, Wayne Rodda, Ulla Koppel
English and Danish with English subtitles

A struggling writer and a charming stud with a taste for young girls weave their way through a decadent Paris paved with wanton women, wild orgies, and outrageous erotic adventures. Based upon the long-banned novel by Henry Miller, the film was deemed obscene on its release by the United States Government which promptly seized all English-language prints until the film was ultimately cleared in Federal Court.

July 30 (Saturday) 9 pm

Henry & June

Directed by Philip Kaufman
US, 1990, color, 136 min.
With Fred Ward, Uma Thurman, Maria de Medeiros

Based on the journals of Anaïs Nin, the film chronicles the love triangle which developed between Nin (Medeiros), Henry Miller (Ward) and his wife, June (Thurman) in 1930s Paris. As Miller toiled away at his loosely autobiographical Tropic of Cancer, Nin explored her desires for both the writer and his enigmatic wife. Henry & June generated much controversy as the first film to garner the MPAA's NC-17 rating, designed as a more palatable alternative to the stigmatizing X rating. Beyond the hype, the film provides a sensuous rendering of French bohemia.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Actors: Harold Lloyd

July 31 (Sunday) 7 pm - Live Piano Accompaniment

The Freshman

Directed by Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor
US, 1925, b/w, 76 min.
With Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Brooks Benedict

Harold Lloyd plays a college freshman who dreams of success on the gridiron despite being the butt of many a practical joke on campus. When his tryouts fail, he is relegated to the position of water boy. But when the big game comes, Harold gets his chance for glory. This satire of collegiate life and football mania was Lloyd's biggest box-office success.

July 31 (Sunday) 8:30 pm

The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (aka Mad Wednesday)

Directed by Preston Sturges
US, 1947, b/w, 89 min.
With Harold Lloyd, Jimmy Conlin, Raymond Walburn

Twenty-two years after The Freshman, Harold has settled into a quiet desk job. But when he gets his first taste of a potent cocktail, he breaks out of his daily rut with hilarious results. Lloyd teamed up with screen wit Sturges for his final film, which features some outrageous visual gags. Producer Howard Hughes was not amused, and proceeded to re-cut the film and release it under a new title.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Actors: Barbara Stanwyck

August 1 (Monday) 7 pm
August 3 (Wednesday) 9 pm

The Miracle Woman

Directed by Frank Capra
US, 1932, b/w, 90 min.
With Barbara Stanwyck, Sam Hardy, David Manners

Barbara Stanwyck gives a superlative early performance as a young evangelist who is transformed into a big-time religious phenomenon by a carnival promoter. Frank Capra based his film loosely on the life of scandal-prone preacher Aimee Semple McPherson, softening the hard edges of the story by redeeming the heroine through her unselfish love for a blind aviator. Handsomely lit by Capra regular Joseph Walker and crisply written by Jo Swerling (Lifeboat, Guys and Dolls), The Miracle Woman is arguably Capra's first sound-film masterpiece.

August 1 (Monday) 8:45 pm
August 3 (Wednesday) 7 pm

Ball of Fire

Directed by Howard Hawks
US, 1941, b/w, 111 min.
With Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper, Dana Andrews

An academic (Cooper) who resides in a boarding house with seven colleagues plans to write a dictionary of American slang. A series of dangerous and fortuitous events places nightclub singer Sugarpuss O'Shea (Stanwyck) at their doorstep. When her mobster boyfriend (Andrews) comes looking for Sugarpuss, things get complicated for the smitten linguist and the doting cadre of professors. A loose parody of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, the film features a crackling screenplay written by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Actors: Fernandel

August 2 (Tuesday) 7 pm

The Sheep Has Five Legs

Directed by Henri Verneuil
France, 1954, b/w, 100 min.
With Fernandel, Edouard Delmont, Françoise Arnoul
French with English subtitles

French comic actor Fernandel plays six different roles ñ quintuplet brothers and their father ñ in this farce about a family reunion. A cantankerous vintner resents his five sons for leaving home to go to school and never returning. The town doctor (Delmont) seeks to reconcile the family and goes out in search of each son with often-hilarious results. Structured as a series of sketches which showcase Fernandel's comic skills, the film was tailored to the actor's unique brand of physical comedy.

August 2 (Tuesday) 9 pm

The Law is the Law

Directed by Christian-Jaque
Italy/ France, 1958, b/w, 95 min.
With Fernandel, Totò, Nino Besozzi
French with English subtitles

This comedy of manners marked the first on-screen pairing of the great screen clowns of European cinema: Fernandel and TotÚ. A French customs agent battles wits with an Italian smuggler in a fictional town on the Franco-Italian border. His plans to nab the bandit are undermined when he learns that he was born an Italian citizen and no longer has legal authority to pursue his prey. The superstar casting of both Fernandel and TotÚ helped make the film one of the most commercially successful European films of the 1950s.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Actors: Simone Signoret

August 4 (Thursday) 7 pm
August 6 (Saturday) 9 pm

La Ronde

Directed by Max Ophüls
France, 1950, b/w, 97 min.
With Anton Walbrook, Simone Signoret, Gèrard Philippe
French with English subtitles

Based on Arthur Schnitzler's play, which depicts love as a bitterly comic merry-go-round, La Ronde was deemed 'immoral' by American censors and was banned from entering the country for many years. Told in ten sketches in which an interconnecting group of lovers changes partners until the liaisons come full circle, La Ronde is a perfect example of Ophüls' wit and elegant amorality, as well as the unmatched mastery of his fluid mise-en-scéne. Despite its censorship problems, the film was a great box-office success in France, Britain, and North Americaónot the least, perhaps, because of its all-star cast, which, in addition to Walbrook, Signoret, and Philippe, includes Serge Reggiani, Simone Simon, Danielle Darrieux, and Jean-Louis Barrault.

August 4 (Thursday) 9 pm
August 6 (Saturday) 7 pm

Thèrése Raquin (aka The Adultress)

Directed by Marcel Carné
France/ Italy, 1953, b/w, 102 min.
With Simone Signoret, Raf Vallone, Jacques Duby
French with English subtitles

Although better known for his escapist romances of the 1940s, Marcel Carné adapted Emile Zola's renowned novel for this naturalist film noir. Simone Signoret stars as the title character, a bored housewife who finds refuge from her marriage when she becomes passionately and tragically involved with an Italian truck driver. Pedro Almodóvar cited the film as one of many significant influences on his film, La Mala educación.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Actors: Martin and Lewis

August 5 (Friday) 7 pm

Jumping Jacks

Directed by Norman Taurog
US, 1952, b/w, 96 min.
With Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Mona Freeman

A paratrooper (Martin) calls on his old vaudeville partner (Lewis) to revive their act to entertain his fellow soldiers. In order to perform at the military base, the hapless comedian poses as an enlisted man and must convince his friend's superiors that he is skilled in parachuting, leading to a series of riotous misunderstandings which place the untrained soldier deep in enemy territory. The most successful of the duo's military comedies features Jerry flailing in army gear while Deano croons 'Do the Parachute Jump.'

August 5 (Friday) 9 pm

The Stooge

Directed by Norman Taurog
US, 1953, b/w, 100 min.
With Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Polly Bergen

Jerry Lewis cited The Stooge as his favorite onscreen pairing with Dean Martin, perhaps due to the film's seemingly autobiographical content. Martin plays a nightclub singer whose career is stalled until he is paired with an outrageous vaudeville comedian played by Lewis. As their stars rise, the singer decides to go solo, only to be heckled during his performances by his former partner. Although filmed prior to Jumping Jacks, the film was shelved for two years in favor of one of the duo's more commercially successful military comedies.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Actors: Charles Laughton

August 7 (Sunday) 7 pm

Hobson's Choice

Directed by David Lean
UK, 1954, b/w, 107 min.
With With Charles Laughton, John Mills, Brenda de Banzie

A stubborn, widowed bootmaker (Laughton) lords over his employees and his three daughters while they keep his business operational and he spends his days at the pub. When his eldest daughter (de Banzie), once dismissed by her father as a spinster, falls for a bootmaking apprentice (the late John Mills), the patriarch finds his unstable world challenged by the new couple, who set up a rival boot shop. Harold Brighouse's stage play was adapted for the screen twice before David Lean offered his unique spin on this Victorian-era drama.

August 7 (Sunday) 9 pm

Sidewalks of London (aka St. Martin's Lane)

Directed by Tim Whelan
UK, 1938, b/w, 85 min.
With Charles Laughton, Vivian Leigh, Rex Harrison

Charles Laughton and Vivien Leigh star as street musicians performing on the sidewalks of London's theater district. Laughton's world-weary busker takes Leigh's homeless waif under his wing and helps her refine her struggling act. When she catches the eye of an opportunistic theater owner (Harrison), her star quickly rises while her former partner continues to toil in the streets. Although written specifically for the talents of Laughton, who gives one of his finest performances, the film features a compelling turn from Leigh as a morally conflicted performer.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Actors: Wendy Hiller

August 8 (Monday) 7 pm

I Know Where I'm Going

Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
UK, 1945, b/w, 92 min.
With Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey, George Carney

Wendy Hiller stars as an opportunistic young woman who travels to the Scottish Hebrides to marry a wealthy industrialist. En route to the remote island, she is stranded in a Scottish village by bad weather and distracted by the advances of a naval officer (Livesey) who seems intent on disrupting her best laid plains. Powell and Pressburger pay tribute to the beauty of the British landscape with this exquisitely photographed romantic comedy.

August 8 (Monday) 8:45 pm

Outcast of the Islands

Directed by Carol Reed
UK, 1952, b/w, 102 min.
With Ralph Richardson, Trevor Howard, Wendy Hiller

Joseph Conrad's writing has never been easily translated to the screen. In the wake of his greatest triumph, The Third Man, Carol Reed made a bold, if flawed, effort to interpret Conrad's An Outcast of the Islands. Set on a remote Malaysian island (although filmed in Sri Lanka), the film stars Trevor Howard as a morally degenerate British expatriate who hides from his past indiscretions and betrays those closest to him, including Lingard (Richardson), a ship's captain who raised him since boyhood. Wendy Hiller returned to the screen after a self-imposed seven-year absence as Mrs. Almayer, the preserver of British tradition and colonialist etiquette.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Actors: Alistair Sim

August 9 (Tuesday) 7 pm

An Inspector Calls

Directed by Guy Hamilton
UK, 1954, b/w, 80 min.
With Alastair Sim, Jane Wenham, Brian Worth

A family dinner in early 1900s Yorkshire is disrupted when an inspector (Sim) arrives to inform the guests that a young woman has been murdered. The family members reflect privately on their relationships to the deceased and their potential responsibility for her death, but a supernatural twist provides the final moral judgment. In this adaptation of a popular J.B. Priestley stage play, Alastair Sim gives one of his finest performances as the mysterious inspector.

August 9 (Tuesday) 8:30 pm

The Belles of St. Trinian's

Directed by Frank Launder
UK, 1954, b/w, 92 min.
With Alastair Sim, Joyce Grenfell, George Cole

In this riotous comedy based on Ronald Searle's popular cartoons, Alastair Sim takes on the dual role of Miss Fritton, the headmistress at the prestigious St. Trinian's School for Girls, and her bookie brother. The bookie secretly enrolls his daughter in the school so that she may pick up racing tips from a classmate whose father owns a prize racehorse. He quickly realizes that his only way to beat the horse is to kidnap him, but when some of the prank-minded students get the same idea, his plans fall apart. This sharp satire of British society sets its sights on the country's education system, which had been the subject of much controversy in the wake of World War II.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Anything Goes: Film within a Film

August 10 (Wednesday) 7 pm
August 12 (Friday) 9 pm

Frankenstein

Directed by James Whale
US, 1931, b/w, 71 min.
With Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, John Boles

A mad scientist creates a living monster from corpses in one of the most celebrated and imitated horror films of all time. Boris Karloff is utterly fascinating as the monster who experiences the basic stages of human development, childlike in his initial fascination with a world that turns with hostility against him. In the original version, Dr. Frankenstein boldly declares, ìNow, I know what it is like to be God!' but American censors exercised ultimate power demanding that the dialogue be removed.

August 10 (Wednesday) 8:30 pm
August 12 (Friday) 7 pm

The Spirit of the Beehive (El Espíritu de la colmena)

Directed by Victor Erice
Spain, 1973, color, 98 min.
With Fernando Fernán Gómez, Teresa Gimpera, Ana Torrent
Spanish with English subtitles

Set in post-Civil War Spain, The Spirit of the Beehive is a haunting, allegorical film about innocence and illusion. Ana and Isabel, two lonely young sisters, see the film Frankenstein at a makeshift theater. Ana is unsettled by the brutal acts of the monster and the townspeople in the film, and desperately seeks an explanation. Taking her to an abandoned barn, Isabel claims to see the immortal spirit of the monster in the well, prompting Ana to become obsessed with the idea of befriending it. The Spirit of the Beehive is at once a deceptively lyrical tale of idyllic childhood memories and a disturbing portrait of isolation.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Anything Goes: Dysfunctional Families

August 11 (Thursday) 7 pm
August 14 (Sunday) 9 pm

Les Enfants Terribles (aka The Strange Ones)

Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville
France, 1950, b/w, 105 min.
With Nicole Stéphane, Edouard Dermithe, Renèe Cosima
French with English subtitles

A brother and sister develop an obsessive relationship with each other and hide from the outside world in the confined space of their shared bedroom. When the sister brings an outsider into their secluded life, passions are stirred leading to tragic consequences. Based on a novel by Jean Cocteau (who also provides the film's memorable voiceover narration), this minimalist work was filmed almost entirely on the stage of the Theatre Pigalle and features a stirring soundtrack of works by Vivaldi and Bach.

August 11 (Thursday) 9 pm
August 14 (Sunday) 7 pm

Fists in the Pocket

Directed by Marco Bellocchio
Italy, 1965, b/w, 105 min.
With Lou Castel, Paola Pitagora, Marino Masé
Italian with English subtitles

The members of a middle-class Italian family are afflicted with varying disabilities including epilepsy, blindness, and mental illness. Augusto (Masè), the one family member who is not disabled, hesitates to marry his girlfriend for fear that she will be burdened with his family's problems, and he continues to dutifully fulfill his role as breadwinner for the clan. His younger brother, Alessandro (Castel) devises a plan to relieve his brother of these responsibilities by murdering each of his family members. This first feature from Marco Bellocchio is an unforgiving indictment of Italian bourgeois life.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Anything Goes: Mexico

August 13 (Saturday) 7 pm
August 15 (Monday) 7 pm

Que Viva Mexico!

Directed by Sergei M. Eisenstein; adapted by Grigori Aleksandrov
USSR/US/Mexico, 1932, b/w, 85 min.
Russian with English subtitles

In 1930, Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein signed a contract with the novelist Upton Sinclair and various other investors (including the Gillette Razor Company) to shoot a film in Mexico. By the end of 1931, with some 50 hours of film shot, Sinclair became restive at the apparently unending flow of footage and suspended the project. Eisenstein left for the Soviet Union, expecting the rushes to be sent to him for completion. They never arrived, however, and the project languished for more than forty years until Grigori Aleksandrov, Eisenstein's former editor, obtained the material and constructed the most well-known of the many versions that imagine what Eisenstein might have done. The result is a glorious and compelling vision of a mystical Mexico, ravishingly photographed by Eduard Tisse. Told in five segments, with the ultimate ambition of creating "a poem of love, death, and immortality," Eisenstein explores different aspects of indigenous life, as well as the plight of the Indians after the Spanish conquest and Catholic indoctrination.

August 13 (Saturday) 8:45 pm
August 15 (Monday) 8:45 pm

Santa Sangre

Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky
Mexico/Italy, color, 123 min.
With Axel Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra, Guy Stockwell

Like some Fellini-esque nightmare, this heady mix of circus freaks and weird religious and hallucinatory images (an armless virgin saint, writhing snakes, zombie brides) is rife with disturbing psychological undercurrents. Traumatized at an early age by a violent argument between his knife-throwing father and trapeze-artist mother, former child magician Fenix, now 20, escapes from an asylum into the outside world. Reunited with his jealous mother, Fenix becomes her èarms' in a bizarre pantomime act, a role which dangerously spills over into real life.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Anything Goes: Nuns

August 16 (Tuesday) 7 pm

Mother Joan of the Angels

Directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz
Poland, 1961, b/w, 105 min.
With Lucyna Winnicka, Mieczyslaw Voit, Anna Ciepielewska
Polish with English subtitles

A Marxist study of the supernatural, filled with austere, sharply photographed black-and-white images, Kawalerowicz's best known film abroad is based on the actual events which occurred at a monastery near Loudun, where a group of nuns experienced a Satanic possession. Through dense dramatic conflicts, expressionistic settings, and powerful performances, Kawalerowicz created a psychologically and philosophically complex allegory of good versus evil and chastity versus eroticism.

August 16 (Tuesday) 9 pm

Thérèse

Directed by Alain Cavalier
France, 1986, color, 94 min.
With Catherine Mouchet, Hélène Alexandridis, Aurore Prieto
French with English subtitles

Based on the life of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, a Carmelite nun who died at a young age and was later canonized, Alain Cavalier's film offers an observational portrait of a woman driven by divine inspiration. Catherine Mouchet portrays the young nun who devoted her life to her beliefs, only to succumb to tuberculosis at age twenty-four. Cavalier's visual style recalls late Bresson with his use of minimalist props, costumes, and settings, which bring life to this transcendental figure.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Anything Goes: The Brothers Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky

August 17 (Wednesday) 7 pm

A Nest of Gentry

Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky
USSR, 1969, color, 111 min.
With Irina Kupchenko, Leonid Kulagin, Beata Tyszkiewicz
Russian with English subtitles

A disenchanted landowner (Kulagin) tires of his adulterous wife (Tyskiewicz) and falls deeply in love with his neighbor's daughter (Kupchenko). Based on Turgenev's A Nest of Gentlefolk, the film marked the first in a series of literary adaptations by Konchalovsky after his more politically-minded work had been attacked by Russian censors. Though still a student in acting school, Konchalovsky's brother Nikita Mikhalkov also appears in the film.

This double-feature is co-presented with the Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute.

August 17 (Wednesday) 9 pm

Slave of Love

Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov
USSR, 1976, color, 94 min.
With Yelena Solovey, Rodion Nakhapetov, Aleksandr Kalyagin
Russian with English subtitles

A Moscow film crew plans to shoot a silent drama in Odessa during the height of the Civil War. The cameraman (Nakhapetov) who has deep affection for the film's star (Solovey) secretly shoots the atrocities carried out by the White Guard for a documentary he is making, a film he hopes will change the star's view of the government. The screenplay for this powerful, reflexive drama was co-written by Mikhalkov's brother, Andrei Konchalovsky.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Anything Goes: King Lear

August 18 (Thursday) 6:30 pm

King Lear

Directed by Peter Brook
UK/ Denmark, 1971, b/w, 137 min.
With Cyril Cusack, Susan Engel, Tom Fleming

Based on Peter Brook's famous stage production of the tragedy, this film is considered one of the best cinematic renditions of any Shakespeare play. The interior sequences exemplify the great director's sense of dramatic space while the exterior scenes (shot in freezing Jutland) enhance the dramatic conflict through the authentic atmosphere. Numerous masters of the British stage perform their parts with unusual emotional power and expressive means suitable for the camera.

August 18 (Thursday) 9 pm

King Lear (Korol Lir)

Directed by Grigori Kozintsev
USSR, 1969, b/w, 139 min.
With Jüri Järvet, Elza Radzina, Valentina Shendrikova
Russian with English subtitles

Grigori Kozintsev, who earlier adapted William Shakespeare's Hamlet, constructs a stark, expressionistic version of the Bard's great family tragedy, King Lear. Jüri Järvet gives one of the more energetic performances in the title role, as the aging monarch who betrays his most loyal daughter, Cordelia (Shendrikova). The film was based on Dr. Zhivago author Boris Pasternak's Russian translation of Shakespeare's play, and features a score by Shostakovich.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Anything Goes: 80s Rebels

August 19 (Friday) 7 pm

Rumble Fish

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
US, 1983, b/w and color, 94 min.
With Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane

Amidst a sea of candy-colored teen movies from the 1980s came this stark, expressionistic interpretation of S.E. Hinton's popular novel, directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Matt Dillon stars as Rusty James, an angry young man who gets caught up in a series of rumbles as he struggles to match the reputation of his even-angrier older brother, Motorcycle Boy (Rourke). The film's cast of notables includes Dennis Hopper as the alcoholic father of the two brothers, Diane Lane as the idealized girlfriend, and Chris Penn and Nicholas Cage as Rusty's fellow rumblers.

August 19 (Friday) 9 pm

Reckless

Directed by James Foley
US, 1984, color, 90 min.
With Aidan Quinn, Daryl Hannah, Kenneth McMillan

Not-so-subtle shades of Rebel Without a Cause hang over the debut feature from director James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross). Johnny Rourke (Quinn), a football player who would rather ride his motorcycle, falls for Tracey (Hannah), a well-to-do cheerleader. She won't give him the time of day until a New Wave soundtrack by Romeo Void and Kim Wilde inspires her to follow her heart. Like many '80s teen movies which end with the triumphant notes of Bob Seger, the film is set in an anonymous, economically depressed Rust Belt town, giving it a realist milieu which provides a fitting contrast to the feel-good New Romanticism of the period.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Anything Goes: Zombies

August 20 (Saturday) 7 pm

Dawn of the Dead (aka Zombies)

Directed by George Romero
Italy/ US, 1978, color, 139 min.
With David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger

Set during the morning after the events of Romero's Night of the Living Dead, this sequel combines horror movie thrills with a pointed critique of American consumerism. Two SWAT team members briefly escape the threat of their flesh-eating adversaries at a Philadelphia area television station. As the zombies discover their hideout, the two men flee by helicopter along with two of the station's employees to a local shopping mall where they barricade themselves inside. Amidst the film's gorier scenes are fascinating moments of down time in which Romero's characters wander the space of the mall, at first looking for supplies but eventually indulging in the rare privilege of free shopping.

August 20 (Saturday) 9:30 pm

Strange Behavior (aka Dead Kids)

Directed by Michael Laughlin
Australia/US/New Zealand, color, 87 min.
With Michael Murphy, Louise Fletcher, Dan Shor

A local police officer (Murphy) on the trail of a presumed serial killer discovers some strange goings-on at the local college where his son (Shor) has volunteered to participate in a series of bizarre science experiments. This sly, revisionist zombie film became a cult favorite in the 1980s for its satirical and frightening view of American conformity. Shot in New Zealand, the film's tongue-in-cheek script was written by Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Chicago) and features an atmospheric soundtrack by Tangerine Dream.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Anything Goes: Two French Girls

August 21 (Sunday) 7 pm

Rendez-vous

Directed by André Téchiné
France, 1985, color, 82 min.
With Juliette Binoche, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Lambert Wilson
French with English subtitles

An aspiring actress (Binoche) arrives in Paris and develops an intense sexual relationship with both a timid real estate agent (Wadeck Stanczak) and his disturbed roommate (Wilson), an actor who performs in public sex shows. While her romantic entanglements become destructive, her acting career prospers when a mysterious theater director (Trintignant) casts her in the leading role of a production of Romeo and Juliet. André Téchiné was awarded Best Director at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival for this provocative work, which he co-wrote with Olivier Assayas.

August 21 (Sunday) 8:45 pm

36 Fillette

Directed by Catherine Breillat
France, 1988, color, 88 min.
With Delphine Zentout, Etienne Chicot, Jean-Pierre Léaud
French with English subtitles

A fourteen-year-old girl (Zentout) goes on vacation with her family in Biarritz with the goal of losing her virginity. She seduces a forty-something businessman (Chicot) but has second thoughts when the time comes to consummate their relationship. She finds some solace when she encounters a famous French personality at the resort (played by former angry young man Jean-Pierre Léaud) who offers some world-weary advice. No stranger to controversial material, Catherine Breillat (Romance, Anatomy of Hell) offers a more restrained vision of female sexuality than the more provocative explorations of her later films.

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