National Cinemas 2014

This class examines trends in contemporary World Cinema studying a range of styles and their connection (or disconnection) to national and cultural identity. Professor: Eric Faden. Screenings are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, August 27 at 7pm


Directed by Jûzô Itami (1985 Japan) 114 min. With  Ken Watanabe, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Nobuko Miyamoto. Japanese with English subtitles.
Itami described his off-beat comedy as a “ramen western… about people in a situation where sex and eating are not yet clearly separated.”  Two truck drivers help a young widow improve her noodle restaurant in this wild film.


Wednesday, September 3 at 7pm



Directed by Fritz Lang (1931 Germany) 111 min. DCP. With Peter Lorre, Gustav Grundgens, Theo Lingen. German with English subtitles.
Lang’s story of a tormented man with a compulsion to kill little girls, who is pursued by both the city’s law enforcement and its criminal underworld, puts both a pathetic murderer and morality on trial. A seminal reflection on justice, a precursor to film noir and an ingenious, haunting example of early sound design.


Wednesday, September 10 at 7pm

Run Lola Run

Directed by Tom Tykwer (Germany 1998) 79 min. With Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup. German with English subtitles.
Lola runs not for her own life but for her boyfriend, who has lost a hundred thousand marks of drug money. Tykwer’s breathless roller-coaster of a film gives flame-haired Lola three races against time, three chases through the streets of Berlin, three chances to cheat death.


Wednesday, September 17 at 7pm


Directed by Jacques Tati (France 1967) 123 min. With Jacques Tati, Barbara Dennek, Jacqueline Lecomte. In multiple languages with English subtitles.
Tati thrust the endearingly clumsy, resolutely old-fashioned Monsieur Hulot into a bafflingly modernist Paris for this monumental achievement. With every inch of its super-wide frame crammed with inventiveness, Playtime is a gloriously choreographed, absurdist satire about confusion in the age of technology.


Wednesday, September 24 at 7pm


Directed by Michael Haneke (France 2005) 117 min. 35mm. With Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Maurice Bénichou. French with English subtitles.
Winner of the Best Director prize at Cannes, Haneke’s thriller unearths France’s colonialist guilt and present-day racism via its depiction of an affluent couple tormented by anonymous calls, disturbing drawings and surveillance tapes. Each clue points to an ugly secret, leading to the film’s famously enigmatic final shot.


Wednesday, October 1 at 7pm

Late Spring

Directed by Yasuziro Ozu (Japan, 1949) 108 min. 35mm. With Chishu Ryu, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka. Japanese with English subtitles.
One of the most powerful of family portraits from one of cinema’s greatest directors, Late Spring tells the story of a widowed father who feels compelled to marry off his beloved only daughter. Eminent Ozu players Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara command this poignant tale of love and loss in postwar Japan.

Wednesday, October 8 at 7pm

Spirited Away

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki (Japan 2001) 125 min. DCP. Voices by Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki. Japanese with English subtitles.
Anime master Miyazaki’s Spirited Away was the biggest box office hit of all time in Japan and helped redefine the possibilities of animation for American audiences. In the film’s fabulist world a girl is separated from her parents in an abandoned theme park that turns out to be a magic kingdom. Screening with the 1st part of 5 Centimeters per Second (Makoto Shinkai, 2007). 


Wednesday, October 29 at 7pm

Divine Intervention

Directed by Elia Suleiman (France/Morocco/Germany/Palestine 2002) 92 min. With Elia Suleiman, Manal Khader, George Ibrahim. Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles.
Divine Intervention follows ES, a character played by the Palestinian filmmaker himself. Burdened with a sick father, a stalled screenplay and an unrequited love affair, ES navigates situations metaphorizing the dreams and nightmares of Palestinians and Israelis living in uncertain times.


Wednesday, November 5 at 7pm

City of God

Fernando Meirelles, Katia Lund (Brazil/France 2002) 129 min. With Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino, Phellipe Haagensen. Portuguese with English subtitles.

Rio de Janeiro, the world’s most notorious slum, is a place where combat photographers fear to tread, police rarely go and residents are lucky if they live to the age of 20. Within this world a young boy grows up to discover he has the ability to view the harsh realities of his surroundings with an artistic eye. In the face of impossible odds, his ambition to become a professional photographer may be his only way out..


Wednesday, November 12 at 7pm

The Wind Will Carry Us

Abbas Kiarostami (Iran 1999)118 min. DCP. With Behzad Dorani, Noghre Asadi, Roushan Karam Elmi. Persian with English subtitles.

Palme d’Or winning-director Abbas Kiarostami’s acclaimed film documents the arrival of an engineer and his colleagues from Tehran in a remote village in Iranian Kurdistan. Assumed by the locals with whom they form an ambivalent relationship to be archaeologists or telecom engineers, the visitors have really come to document local mourning rituals. Haunting and visually stunning, The Wind Will Carry Us is an absorbing meditation on life and death, and the divisions between tradition and modernity.


Wednesday, December 3 at 7pm

Y tu Mama Tambien

Alfonso Cuarón (Mexico 2001) 106 min. 35MM. With  Maribel Verdú, Gael García Bernal, Daniel Giménez Cacho. Spanish with English subtitles.

A decade before his Hollywood blockbuster Gravity, Cuarón made this provocative road movie, which follows the exploits of two teenage boys and an older, flirtatious female companion as they set off in search of a mythical beach but end up on a journey of self-discovery. The drama broke box-office records in Mexico and was a huge crossover hit in the U.S.