Tuesday, August 21 at 7pm
Chloé Zhao (U.S. 2017) 103 min. DCP. With Brady Jandreau, Lane Scott, Cat Clifford.
“A horse’s purpose is to run in the prairies; a cowboy’s is to ride.” What does a cowboy become when he can no longer ride? This is the defining conflict for The Rider’s protagonist, a skilled rodeo cowboy and horse trainer recovering from a near-fatal accident that abruptly halted his career, all while caring for his 15-year-old sister and living with a borderline alcoholic father with a gambling problem. Returning to the docudrama technique that earned her debut feature (Songs My Brothers Taught Me, 2015) critical acclaim, Zhao integrates the real lives of her actors into her storytelling, achieving a rare authenticity. Embracing the humanity of its characters and exploring definitions of masculinity without glorification or judgment, The Rider is less a Western than a film about the real American West. (Adapted from TIFF program notes.)
“Ms. Zhao’s commitment to her craft — she knows how to take care and when to take risks — matches [her subject’s]. She has an eye for landscape and an acute sensitivity to the nuances of storytelling, a bold, exacting vision that makes The Rider exceptional among recent American regional-realist films.” — A.O. Scott, The New York Times
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Tuesday, August 28 at 7pm
BORN IN FLAMES – Preservation Print!
Lizzie Borden (U.S. 1983) 85 min. 35MM. With Honey, Adele Bertei, Jean Satterfield.
A landmark of early 1980’s American independent cinema, Lizzie Borden’s imaginative Born in Flames is an all-out attack on our patriarchal society and a call to arms for women everywhere – a call made two years before Margaret Atwood published The Handmaid’s Tale. An instant classic of feminist cinema upon its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, the film is set slightly in the future and uses documentary techniques alongside invented narratives to tell the story of a feminist insurgency against the incumbent “Socialist Democratic” government. Preserved by Anthology Film Archives with restoration funding from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation. Co-presented with Bucknell’s Program in Women’s & Gender Studies.
“Borden’s very sense of what constitutes a story, and how to realize it in images and sounds, is as radical as the social politics that she asserts… Leftism, Borden asserts, isn’t enough; a political revolution, to have any deep effect, must be a revolution in ideas and attitudes, a cultural and an intimate revolution that itself involves the media and the arts — and of which Born in Flames itself is an example.” — Richard Brody, The New Yorker
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Tuesday, September 4 at 7pm
HE WALKED BY NIGHT – Restoration Print!
Inspired by the true story of Erwin “Machine Gun” Walker’s shocking Los Angeles crime spree (1945-46), He Walked By Night is a superbly crafted documentary-style noir thriller. The film’s swift narrative structure alternates between a methodical LAPD team and their psychotically-cunning cop killer target. Jack Webb, in his first credited film role, plays a forensic technician. The friendship that developed between Webb and the film’s technical advisor (an LAPD Sergeant) is widely credited as the birth of Dragnet and today’s pulp-TV police procedural. Esteemed cinematographer John Alton’s expressionistic imagery is particularly well-showcased during the dramatic finale, photographed on location in the storm drains of Los Angeles. (Adapted from UCLA program notes). Restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.
Something’s Coming: Bernstein at 100
WEST SIDE STORY – 50th Anniversary Restoration with Music Program!
Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins (U.S. 1961) 151 min. DCP. With Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn.
In celebration of the centenary year of composer Leonard Bernstein’s birth, we present one of the most beloved of his musical scores. The young lovers in the Romeo and Juliet-inspired West Side Story come from rival New York gangs: the white Jets and their Puerto Rican rivals, the Sharks. Rumbles and tragedy are in the offing once Tony (Beymer), the co-founder of the Jets – who is now trying to go straight – falls for Maria (Wood), the sister of the Sharks’ leader. With Jerome Robbins’ edgy choreography, Stephen Sondheim’s expressive lyrics, Bernstein’s rhapsodic score and the timeless power of songs like “America,” West Side Story “remains a landmark of musical history” (BOMB Magazine). Co-presented with Bucknell’s Music Department, this special evening will feature a pre-film program of Bernstein music, performed by lyric soprano Emily Martin, pianist Qing Jiang and cellist Lisa Caravan.
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Tuesday, September 18 at 7pm
DRACULA: PAGES FROM A VIRGIN’S DIARY
Guy Maddin (Canada 2002) 75 min. 35MM. With Zhang Wei-Qiang, Tara Birtwhistle, David Moroni, C.M.
Canadian cult auteur Guy Maddin’s ravishingly stylized cinematic creation transposes the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s interpretation of Bram Stoker’s classic vampire yarn from stage to screen, forging an erotically charged feast of dance, drama and shadow. Maddin’s Dracula is a Gothic grand guignol of the notorious Count and his bodice-ripped victims, fringed with the expressionistic strains of Gustav Mahler. It’s “a new kind of cinema, the welding of silent-film technique, avant-garde imagery, and 21st century technology… Victorian sexuality and melodrama are brought together in a shadowy world of expressionistic images and an athletic, almost rabid, choreography” (The New Yorker). Introduced by Erica Delsandro, Professor in Women’s & Gender Studies, in conjunction with her course, “History of Sexuality.”
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Tuesday, September 25 at 7pm
ANDREI RUBLEV – Restoration!
Andrei Tarkovsky (1966 Soviet Union) 183 min. DCP. With Anatoli Solonitzine, Ivan Lapikov, Nikolai Grinko. Russian with English subtitles.
With his second feature, a towering epic that took him years to complete, Andrei Tarkovsky (Stalker, Solaris) waded deep into the past and emerged with a visionary masterwork. Threading together several self-contained episodes, the filmmaker follows the renowned icon painter Andrei Rublev through the harsh realities of 15-century Russian life, vividly conjuring the dark and otherworldly atmosphere of the age. Appearing here in Tarkovsky’s preferred cut, as well as the version that was originally censored by Soviet authorities, Andrei Rublev is an arresting meditation on art, faith and endurance, and a powerful reflection of artistic constraints in the director’s own time. Co-presented with Bucknell’s Program in Russian Studies. Introduced by Professor of Russian Ludmila Lavine.
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Tuesday, October 2 at 7pm
RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD
Catherine Bainbridge, Alfonso Maiorana (Canada 2017) DCP. 103 min.
Winner of the Sundance World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award, Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World brings to light a profound and missing chapter in the history of American music: the Indigenous influence on popular music. Featuring a long list of music artists, historians, family members and experts, Rumble includes interviews with icons Charley Patton, Jimi Hendrix, Buffy Sainte-Marie and many more! Co-presented with Bucknell’s Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Gender, as part of their year-long programming series Indigeneity: Making the Visible Seen. Introduced by Professor Cymone Fourshey, who teaches in Bucknell’s Department of History and Department of International Relations; and Professor Obed Lira, who teaches in Bucknell’s Spanish Department.
SURREALISM AND FILM: BUÑUEL, DALÍ & VIGO
The iconic, disorienting Un chien andalou (Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, France, 1929, 17 min. 35MM) was famously and intentionally scandalous; Buñuel described it as “nothing other than a desperate, impassioned call for murder.” The film provoked “outrage focused on the film’s sexual and anticlerical content, [but] it may have been Buñuel’s refusal of the conventional link between scenes that audiences found most deeply upsetting” (Dave Kehr, The New York Times).
Jean Vigo, reviewing Un chien andalou in 1930, wrote, “Can there be any spectacle more terrible than the sight of a cloud obscuring the moon at its full? The prologue can hardly have one indifferent. It tells us that in this film we must see with a different eye.” That same year, at the tender age of twenty-five, Vigo made his own landmark film, À propos de Nice (France 1930, 23 min. DCP), a silent cinematic poem that reveals, through a thrilling and ironic use of montage, the economic reality hidden behind the facade of the Mediterranean resort town of Nice. Vigo’s debut is both a scathing and invigorating look at 1930s French culture, and was described by the director himself as a continuation of the film he most admired, Un chien andalou.
Vigo’s second film, Zéro de conduite (France 1933, 44 min. DCP), was banned until after World War II – presumably, the revolutionary sensibility of “the natural child of Surrealism and anarchy” alarmed censorship authorities. The film’s historical importance is today transcended by its effervescence and charm. Vigo’s enormously influential portrait of prankish boarding-school students, based on the director’s own experiences as a youth, presents childhood as a time of unfettered imagination and brazen rule-flouting. It’s a sweet-natured vision of sabotage made vivid by dynamic visual experiments—including the famous, blissful slow-motion pillow fight. This program is presented in anticipation of SURREALISMS, the inaugural conference of the the newly-formed International Society for the Study of Surrealism (ISSS), to be hosted by Bucknell University November 1-4.
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Tuesday, October 23 at 7pm
ANTIGONE — Not Available on Home Video!
Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet (France, Germany 1991) 100 min. 35MM. With Astrid Ofner, Ursula Ofner, Werner Rehm, Libgart Schwarz. German with English subtitles.
This imagining of Sophocles’ timeless tragedy – in which a fearless young woman refuses to allow the body of her murdered brother to go unburied, and is consequently entombed alive for her defiance of the king – was filmed in the ancient Teatro di Segesta, in Sicily. Its directors, Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, were a fiercely intellectual husband-wife duo whose decades-spanning oeuvre aimed to spark a revolution among the masses. Cinema has never seen a collaboration like theirs, and Antigone’s themes of bloodlust, rebellion and sacrifice resonate in their late 20th century telling as powerfully as they do today. The film’s final text is Brecht’s warning in 1952 against those who prepare the wars of the future. Tiresias’s last utterance remains timely: “And as I have looked back and round myself, look you ahead and shudder.” Presented in conjunction with Bucknell’s 2018 first year reading of Antigone, and introduced by visiting scholar Sally Shafto, translator and editor of Writings (2016), a collection of Straub-Huillet’s criticism, manifestos and other writing. Shafto’s visit is made possible thanks to the support of the University Lectureship Committee.
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Tuesday, October 30 at 7pm
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
Wes Craven (U.S. 1984) 91 min. DCP. With Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund.
The victims in this genre-defining slasher film are killed in the vulnerable state of sleep – while exploring the realm of dreams to which the cognitive power and immersion of cinema is often compared. “One, two, Freddy’s coming for you…” Presented by the Bucknell Film Club, and preceded by the winners of the club’s annual 24-Hour Halloween Horror Film Challenge.
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Tuesday, November 6 at 7pm
FACING THE DRAGON — Filmmaker in Person!
Sedika Mojadidi (U.S/Afghanistan 2017) 80 min. Dari with English subtitles.
Following its recent New York Premiere at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s 2018 Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Facing the Dragon comes to Lewisburg, presented by Afghan-American director Sedika Mojadidi. As the U.S. withdraws forces and aid from Afghanistan, the Taliban regains its hold. Mojadidi joined two awe-inspiring women on the front lines: Nilofar, a successful doctor-turned-member of parliament, driven in her mission to secure peace and well-being for women; and Shakila, a top investigative journalist committed to exposing the truth about what is happening in her troubled country. Under increasing threats of violence, the two women are forced to choose between their sense of duty and love for Afghanistan, and the safety of their families (Festival notes). Winner of the 2018 Human Rights Watch Film Festival Nestor Almendros award for courage in filmmaking.
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Tuesday, November 13 at 7pm
BISBEE ’17 — Exclusive Engagement!
Robert Greene (U.S. 2018) 112 min. DCP.
Sundance award winning director Robert Greene’s (Actress, Kate Plays Christine) newest film is set in Bisbee, Arizona, an eccentric old mining town just miles away from both Tombstone and the Mexican border. Radically combining documentary and enacted genre fantasies, Bisbee ’17 follows several members of the close-knit community as they collaborate with the filmmakers to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Bisbee Deportation, a long-buried secret involving the day that nearly 2,000 immigrant miners were violently taken from their homes and abandoned in the desert. November 13
“Greene peels the layers of oblivion off history like so many layers of paint. The film is a large-scale study of political psychology, an expedition of historical archeology, and a form of drama therapy for a community that, in crucial ways, reflects the pathologies and conflicts of the country at large. A passionately ambitious, patiently empathetic mapping of modern times.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker
FROM BEHIND THE WALL
This program, co-sponsored by the Lewisburg Prison Project (LPP), brings together three videos that give intimate access to the voices and experiences of prisoners – those in solitary confinement communicating with loved ones, and those rising up at Attica prison in 1971. Introduced by Rebecca Armstrong, LPP Outreach Coordinator. A discussion will follow the screening.
SPACE GHOST Laurie Jo Reynolds (U.S. 2007) 25 min.
Activist and filmmaker Laurie Jo Reynolds collaborated with former and current inmates at Tamms Correctional Center in southern Illinois, their families, and other artists to launch Tamms Year Ten, a volunteer grassroots legislative campaign seeking to reform or close the notorious supermax prison designed for sensory deprivation. That same year, she made Space Ghost, which compares the experiences of astronauts and prisoners to illustrate the physical and existential aspects of incarceration.
FREE WORLD PENS Nika Khanjani (Canada 2015, 21 min.)
A film about family and solitary confinement, Free World Pens takes shape through letters from a man incarcerated in Texas, whose words echo in the mind of his sister as she walks freely through Montreal.
The 1971 Attica prison uprising was a signature moment of radical resistance in the American Civil Rights movement. The subsequent retaking of the prison, however, is an open wound and “the bloodiest one-day encounter between Americans since the Civil War,” according to the findings of the investigating New York State Special Commission.
Evidence of the Evidence explores this history through an interrogation of archival materials, including never before seen video recordings shot by a police trooper during the four-day rebellion.
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Tuesday, December 4 at 7pm
FILM/MEDIA STUDIES SHOWCASE
The final student projects are unveiled! Featuring films from ENFS 253 – Introduction to Film/Media Production; ENFS 335 (Spring 2018) – Webseries; ENFS 335 (Fall 2018) – Advanced Post-Production; and ENFS 340 – Film/Media Production Practicum: Camera/Movement.
There will be a pre-screening reception at 7pm.