Film Theory

Thursday, August 25 at 1pm


Everything Everywhere All At Once

Directed by Daniels Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (U.S. 2022) 140 min. DCP. With Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, James Hong, Jamie Lee Curtis. English, Mandarin and Cantonese with English subtitles.

A hilarious and big-hearted sci-fi action adventure about an exhausted Chinese American woman (Yeoh) who can’t seem to finish her taxes, Everything… is the indie-hit box office sensation of 2022 – and proved to be wunderkind distributor A24’s highest-grossing movie worldwide.

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Thursday, September 1 at 1pm

BLOW-UP

Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni (U.K. 1966) 107 min. DCP. With David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles.

Antonioni’s first English-language film and biggest commercial success sets a metaphysical mystery in the world of mid-sixties swinging London fashion. A high-profile photographer’s (Hemmings) ennui is shaken when he believes he accidentally photographed a murder involving a young woman (Redgrave) in a city park.

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Thursday, September 8 at 1pm

HER

Directed by Spike Jonze (U.S. 2013) 126 min. DCP. With Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt, Rooney Mara.

In one of Spike Jonze’s most deeply affecting films about the human need to connect, a shy, lonely writer falls in love with the disembodied voice of an artificially intelligent—and conscious—operating system.

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Thursday, September 15 at 1pm

IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE

Directed by Wong Kar-Wei (Hong Kong 2000) 98 min. 35MM. With Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung, Siu Ping Lam. Cantonese with English subtitles.

Hong Kong, 1962: Chow Mo-wan (Leung) and Su Li-zhen (Cheung) move into neighboring apartments on the same day. Their encounters are formal and polite—until a discovery about their spouses creates an intimate bond between them. At once delicately mannered and visually extravagant, Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love is a masterful evocation of romantic longing and fleeting moments. With its aching musical soundtrack and exquisitely abstract cinematography by Christopher Doyle and Mark Lee Ping-bin, this film has been a major stylistic influence on the past decade of cinema, and is a milestone in Wong’s redoubtable career.

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Thursday, September 22 at 1pm

THEY LIVE

Directed by John Carpenter (U.S. 1988) 95 min. 35MM. With Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster.

A special pair of sunglasses allows a construction worker to see American society as it really is: run by powerful aliens who control the general population with subliminal messages to buy, breed, submit, and conform. John Carpenter’s subversive sci-fi/horror movie has become a major cult classic, and “one of the forgotten masterpieces of the Hollywood Left”  (Adapted from Cleveland Institute of Art notes).

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Thursday, September 29 at 1pm

GOOD MORNING aka OHAYO

Directed by Yasujiro Ozu (Japan 1959) 93 min. 35MM. With Koji Shidara, Masahiko Shimazu, Chishu Ryu, Kuniko Miyake. Japanese with English titles.

Ozu’s hilarious Technicolor reworking of his silent I Was Born, But . . . , Good Morning is the story of two young boys in suburban Tokyo who take a vow of silence after their parents refuse to buy them a television set. Shot from the perspective of the petulant brothers, Good Morning is an enchantingly satirical portrait of family life that gives rise to gags about romance, gossip and the consumerism of modern Japan.

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Thursday, October 6 at 1pm

BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN

Directed by Sergei M. Eisenstein (USSR 1925) 75 min. 35MM With Alexander Antonov, Vladimir Barsky, Grigori Alexandrov. Russian with English subtitles.

An immortal classic of world cinema, Battleship Potemkin showcases Eisenstein’s influential theory of montage, used to depict the famous 1905 revolt by the crew of a Russian warship. The extraordinary and oft-quoted Odessa Steps sequence announced the emergence of a revolutionary art from a revolutionary society. Presented on a new 35mm print that restores dozens of missing shots!

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Thursday, October 13 at 1pm

BLACK GIRL

Ousmane Sembène (Senegal 1966) 80 min. DCP. With Mbissine Therese Diop, Anne-Marie Jelinck, Momar Nar Sene. French with English subtitles.

Ousmane Sembène was one of the most groundbreaking filmmakers who ever lived, as well as the most renowned African director of the 20th century — and yet his name still deserves to be better known in the rest of the world. His feature debut was the stirring Black Girl, a deceptively simple story about a young Senegalese woman who moves to France to work for a wealthy white family and finds herself a prisoner, both figuratively and literally. Sembène’s layered critique of the lingering colonialist mindset of a supposedly postcolonial world is a radical political statement — and one of the essential films of the 1960s. Preceded by Borom sarret, Sembène’s acclaimed 1963 short.

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Thursday, October 20 at 1pm

THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS

Gillo Pontecorvo (U.S. 1966) 121 min. 35MM. With Brahim Hadjadj, Jean Martin, Yacef Saadi. In Arabic and French with English subtitles.

A grippingly realistic political thriller, Pontecorvo’s sympathetic re-enactment of the Algerian National Liberation Front’s decision to declare urban warfare on French troops still feels like it was ripped from today’s headlines; indeed, it was screened at the Pentagon in 2003 to wise up Baghdad occupiers. “Even today it’s easy to see why [this film] outraged French officials (who banned it until 1971) and astonished everyone else. No other fiction filmmaker had so accurately replayed a recent, world-shaking conflict. No one else had pursued the truth by creating a big film with so few trained performers… And apart from Orson Welles, no one before had so imaginatively imitated the look of a newsreel… The term docudrama was not yet in wide use, and already Mr. Pontecorvo’s film overshadowed the nascent genre (Stuart Klawans, The New York Times).”

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Thursday, October 27 at 1pm

VIVRE SA VIE

Jean-Luc Godard (France 1962) 85 min. 35MM. With Anna Karina, Sady Rebbot, Brice Parain, André S. Labarthe. French with English subtitles.

Vivre sa vie was a turning point for Jean-Luc Godard and remains one of his most dynamic films, combining brilliant visual design with a tragic character study. The lovely Anna Karina, Godard’s greatest muse, plays Nana, a young Parisian who aspires to be an actress but instead ends up a prostitute, her downward spiral depicted in a series of discrete tableaux of daydreams and dances. Featuring some of Karina and Godard’s most iconic moments — from her movie theater vigil with The Passion of Joan of Arc to her seductive pool hall strut — Vivre sa vie is a landmark of the French New Wave that still surprises at every turn.

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Thursday, November 3 at 1pm

NEWS FROM HOME

Chantal Akerman (France/U.S. 1976) 85 min. DCP. French with English subtitles.

Letters from Chantal Akerman’s mother are read over a series of elegantly composed shots of 1976 New York, where our (unseen) filmmaker and protagonist has relocated. Akerman’s unforgettable time capsule of the city is also a gorgeous meditation on urban alienation and personal and familial disconnection.

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Thursday, November 10 at 1pm

MIRROR

Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky (Russia, 1974) 106 minutes. DCP. With Margarita Terekhova, Ignat Daniltsev, Larisa Tarkovskaya. Russian with English subtitles.

A senses-ravishing odyssey through the halls of time and memory, Andrei Tarkovsky’s sublime reflection on 20th century Russian history is as much a film as it is a poem composed in images, as much a work of cinema as it is a hypnagogic hallucination. In a richly textured collage of varying film stocks and newsreel footage, the recollections of a dying poet flash before our eyes, dreams mingling with scenes of childhood, wartime, and marriage, all imbued with the mystic power of a trance. Largely dismissed by Soviet critics upon its release due to its elusive narrative structure, Mirror has since taken its place as one of the titan director’s most renowned and influential works, a stunning personal statement from an artist transmitting his innermost thoughts and feelings directly from psyche to screen.

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Thursday, November 17 at 1pm

8 1/2

Directed by Federico Fellini (Italy, 1963) 138 minutes. 35MM. With Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimée, Sandra Milo. Italian with English subtitles.

Marcello Mastroianni plays Guido Anselmi, a director whose new project is collapsing around him, along with his life. One of the greatest films about film ever made, Federico Fellini’s  turns one man’s artistic crisis into a grand epic of the cinema. An early working title for was The Beautiful Confusion, and Fellini’s masterpiece is exactly that: a shimmering dream, a circus, and a magic act.

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Thursday, December 1 at 1pm

FLEE

Directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen (Denmark/France/Sweden/Norway, 2021) 90 minutes. DCP.  With Daniel Karimyar, Farhan Karimyar, Fardin Mijdzadeh.Danish. English, Russian, Swedish, and Dari with English subtitles.

Grand Jury Prize winner at last year’s Sundance Festival, Flee is filmmaker Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s  poignant story of belonging and the search for identity. Amin’s life has been defined by his past and a secret he’s kept for over 20 years. Forced to leave his home country of Afghanistan as a young child with his mother and siblings, Amin now grapples with how his past will affect his future in Denmark and the life he is building with his soon-to-be husband. Told brilliantly through the use of animation to protect his identity, Amin looks back over his life, opening up for the first time about his past, his trauma, the truth about his family, and his acceptance of his own sexuality. 

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