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APRIL 11 - MAY 3 2006

Objects in Motion

This program was curated by Despina Kakoudaki. Special thanks to French Cultrual Services, Julie Buck, Ruth Lingford, Lorelei Pepi, Carrie Lambert-Beatty, Eric Rentshcler and David Rodowick.


April 11 (Tuesday) 9 pm

The Golem (Der Golem—wie er in die Welt Kam)


Directed by Paul Wegener and Carl Boese
Germany 1920, b/w, silent, 75 min.
With Paul Wegener, Albert Steinrück, Ernst Deutsch

In sixteenth-century Prague, a rabbi creates a monster out of clay to help his people fight against the emperor’s expulsion of the Jews from the ghetto. Considered the most visually striking of the various film versions of the ancient Jewish legend (Wegener alone made three films on the subject), The Golem is remarkable for its dramatic sets by Hans Poelzig and for its use of chiaroscuro, which eerily captures the mystery and remoteness of the Middle Ages. Wegener’s lumbering gait was imitated by Boris Karloff years later in James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931).

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April 12 (Wednesday) 9 pm

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

NostalghiaDirected by Jim Sharman
US 1975, color, 98 min.
With Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Meatloaf

“It’s astounding! Time is fleeting! Madness takes control!”  Brad and Janet (Barry Bostwick and Sarandon) play two squares who stumble upon the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Curry). The all-time midnight movie classic, Jim Sharman’s riotous adaptation of a failed stage show, nearly met the same fate until it was resurrected by late-night film fanatics who incorporated an unforgettable interactive element. Peter Hinwood portrays the unwitting eponymous robot designed to relieve the transvestite doctor’s “tension,” and very loosely modeled on the idealized monster men of yesteryear.

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April 19 (Wednesday) 9 pm

Twilight Zone Showcase: Androids-R-Us


Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
Sweden/GB/France 1986, color, 143 min.
With Erland Josephson, Allan Edwall, Susan Fleetwood
English/Swedish with English subtitles

"The place is here, the time is now, and the journey into the shadows that we're about to watch could be our journey.” This is how the first aired episode of the series grimly announced its unique mix of gothic dread and political paranoia in 1959. Season after season, this highly influential series presented the question "What would it mean to design artificial humans?" The four episodes we have selected from the highly successful series, give this question the characteristic “Zone” treatment.  Witness if you will the trials of these lonely, innocent people, confronting impossible dilemmas and existential crises. You have just entered—The Twilight Zone.

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May 2 (Tuesday) 9 pm

Animating Objects

In this exploratory program we combine experimental work with fantasy films that present bodies with detachable parts, state-sponsored productions that feature surprisingly eloquent statues and mechanical processes, and animated films that bring objects and tools to life.  These diverse experiments showcase the complex relationship between our lasting attachment to inanimate things, and the modern need to experiment with bodily and intellectual detachment. This short film program includes the following films by Alain Resnais.

Statues Also Die (Les Statues meurent aussi)

Directed by Chris Marker and Alain Resnais
France 1953, b/w, 30 min.
French Language Print

The collaborative film, banned for more than a decade by French censors as an attack on French colonialism (and now available only in shortened form), is a deeply felt study of African art and the decline it underwent as a result of it contact with Western civilization. Marker’s characteristically witty and thoughtful commentary is combined with images of a stark formal beauty in this passionate outcry against the fate of an art that was once integral to communal life but became debased as it fell victim to the demands of another culture.

Le Chant du Styrène

Directed by Alain Resnais
France 1958, 16 mm, color, 19 min.
French Language Print

Commissioned by a polystyrene manufacturer to depict this "noble material...entirely created by man," Resnais frightened his sponsors with this surrealistic film set to a poem by Raymond Queneau and music by Pierre Barbaud. "Perhaps the freest of Resnais's shorts" (Roy Armes).
Program notes courtesy of French Cultural Services.

Toute la mémoire du monde

iDirected by Alain Resnais
France 1956, b/w, 20 min.
French with English subtitles

Resnais in microcosm: time, space, and memory are the hidden subjects of a documentary on the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. The camera follows long walkways, examines dusty corners, rides the elevators. One is reminded of de Chirico, of Cocteau's Orpheus, of Godard's Alphaville; of heaven and of hell.
Program notes courtesy of French Cultural Services.

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May 3 (Wednesday) 7 pm

Dolls

iDirected by Takeshi Kitano
Japan 2002, color, 114 min.
With Miho Kanno, Hietoshi Nishijima, Tatsuya Mihashi
Japanese with English subtitles

Dramatic love takes center stage in these three interwoven stories inspired by Japanese bunraku puppet theater and featuring beautifully stylized, stage-like sets and costumes. A man flees his arranged wedding when he finds out his true love has attempted suicide, binding himself to his incapacitated sweetheart with red satin; an aging gangster discovers the girlfriend he abandoned thirty years ago remains devoted to him; and a pop star who has withdrawn from society after a disfiguring car accident is confronted with one truly fanatic follower. Despite his deliberate foregrounding of theatrical artifice, Kitano creates an absorbing allegory of love and sadness

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May 3 (Wednesday) 9:15 pm

Being John Malkovich

iDirected by Spike Jonze
US 1999, color, 112 min.
With John Cusack, Catherine Keener, Cameron Diaz

A one-of-a-kind black comedy, Being John Malkovich is the first film collaboration between director Spike Jonze and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. John Cusack is Craig Schwartz, an eccentric unemployed puppeteer who takes a job as a file clerk in a bizarre office where he uncovers a portal into the mind of actor John Malkovich.  Complications arise when a coworker (Keener) convinces Craig to capitalize on his discovery, while his frowzy wife (Diaz) enters the portal and decides she prefers being a man.  John Malkovich gives a hilarious, unforgettable performance as himself.

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