March 7 (Tuesday) 7 pm
Directed by Wim Wenders
West Germany 1989, 35mm, 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.
March 14 (Tuesday) 7 pm
Directed by Claire Denis
France 2002, 35mm, 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.
March 21 (Tuesday) 7 pm
March 22 (Wednesday) 7 pm
Directed by Peter Greenaway
France/UK/Netherlands 1996, 35mm, b/w and color, 126 min.
With Vivian Wu, Ewan McGregor
Cantonese, English, Japanese, and Mandarin with English subtitles
The controversial British filmmaker and artist Peter Greenaway deploys a broad arsenal of formal effects (varying screen widths, multiple imagery, textual inscription) to construct this complex story of a beautiful fashion model-turned-writer, who is obsessed with calligraphy and the flesh. Based on the classic tenth-century Japanese text by Sei Shonagon of the same title, and 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.
April 4 (Tuesday) 7 pm
Directed by Dorothy Arzner
US 1937, 35mm, 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 (Wednesday) 7 pm
Directed by Wong Kar-wai
France/Hong Kong 2000, 35mm, 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
Directed by Wong Kar Wai
Hong Kong 1991, 35mm, color, 94 min.
With Maggie Cheung, Leslie Cheung, Carina Lau
Cantonese, Tagalog, English, Mandarin and Filipino with English subtitles
Days of Being Wild is the first of Wong Kar-Wai’s films to feature the aesthetics and themes that continue to define his filmmaking. The first collaboration between Wong and cinematographer Christopher Doyle, the film bears Wong's distinct visual style, and begins to explore the questions of friendship, sensuality, and longing that are subjects for his later films. Set in 1960 Hong Kong, Wong uses flashbacks and flashforwards to play with the concepts of chronology and memory, and the film uses Wong’s favorite actors Leslie Cheung (as ladies’ man Yuddy), Maggie Cheung (as a shy concessions worker), and Tony Leung (in a brief appearance).
April 25 (Tuesday) 7 pm
Directed by Luchino Visconti
Italy 1963, 35mm, 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.