Introduction to Film/Media Studies

Monday, August 22 at 7pm

MULHOLLAND DRIVE

Directed by David Lynch (U.S. 2001) 147 min. 35 MM. With Naomi Watts, Laura Elena Harring, Justin Theroux.

A midnight wreck on winding Mulholland Drive opens this outlandish neo-noir. “Fashioned from the ruins of a two-hour TV pilot rejected by ABC in 1999, David Lynch’s erotic thriller careens from one violent non sequitur to another… Whatever Mulholland Drive was originally, it has become a poisonous valentine to Hollywood.” (J. Hoberman, Village Voice)

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Monday, August 29 at 7pm

DELICATESSEN  

Directed by Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet (France, 1991) 99 min. DCP. With Marie-Laure Dougnac, Dominique Pinon, Jean-Claude Dreyfus. French with English subtitles.

“A fearsomely intense movie that mixes moods with formidable assurance (Los Angeles Times),” Delicatessen portrays an unemployed circus clown who applies for a job as a handyman at an apartment building in post-apocalyptic France, unaware that the ad is meant to lure people to slaughter (the butcher/landlord provides human meat for his tenants). When the clown and the butcher’s daughter fall in love, it takes all their wits to escape the knife in this surreal fantasy from the directors who later imagined the sinister The City of Lost Children (1995); Jeunet drew even greater attention six years later with the Oscar nominated Amélie.

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Monday, September 5 at 7pm

MOONLIGHT

Directed by Barry Jenkins (U.S. 2016) 111 min. DCP. With Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Trevante Rhodes.

Writer-director Barry Jenkins’ sophomore feature is an impeccably crafted study of African-American masculinity from a vital creative voice in contemporary cinema. Though his story is set in Miami, Jenkins shuns the familiar neon-lit aesthetic that the likes of Michael Mann have associated with the Florida hot spot. Instead, he shows a different kind of life, miles away from South Beach, in an area hit by a crack epidemic. It’s here that we meet young Chiron, a survivor reckoning with his complex love for his best friend. Although Moonlight’s themes could be called “universal,” they are firmly grounded in a specific understanding of African-American experience (Adapted from Boston Independent Film Festival TIFF program notes).

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Monday, September 12 at 7pm

RUN LOLA RUN

Directed by Tom Tykwer (Germany 1998) 79 min. 35MM. 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.

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Monday, September 19 at 7pm

SOUND OF METAL

Directed by Darius Marder (U.S. 2019) 121 min. DCP. With Lauren Ridloff, Mathieu Amalric, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci, Riz Ahmed.

In this stunningly crafted and performed film, noise-punk drummer Ruben (Ahmed) suffers a crisis when he begins to lose his hearing. When a doctor tells him his condition will worsen, he thinks his career and life are over. His girlfriend and bandmate Lou (Cooke) checks the former addict into a unique rehab center for the deaf hoping it will prevent a relapse. Despite being welcomed and accepted just as he is, Ruben struggles to reconcile his new normal with the life he once knew (Brattle Theater Film Notes).

Sound of Metal “isn’t a story movie. It’s a movie movie, which you should open your eyes and ears to and pay some attention; it would have been wonderful to experience in a theater. Writer-director Darius Marder’s achievement lies in his ability to build drama, tension, and emotion through the changing visual and sonic textures of the film, for which the director and his sound designer Nicolas Becker have built a rich, complex soundtrack that dips in and out of the world of the hearing and what Ruben is experiencing.” – Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine

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Monday, September 26 at 7pm

CASABLANCA

Directed by Michael Curtiz (U.S. 1942) 102 min. 35MM. With Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Paul Henreid.

Boasting a stellar cast, this iconic American film is renowned for its “impudent wit and doomed romanticism, all of it held together by voluptuously emotional anti-fascist sentiment”(David Denby, The New Yorker). Coming up on a century after its release, Casablanca maintains its status as one of the best loved films in the history of American cinema. 

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Monday, October 3 at 7pm

FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE

Directed by Sergio Leone (Italy 1965) 132 min. DCP. With Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volontè.

Sergio Leone, Clint Eastwood and composer Ennio Morricone reteamed soon after the release of the original A Fistful of Dollars with this loose sequel. Eastwood’s Man with No Name teams up with the equally lethal Colonel Douglas Mortimer (Van Cleef) in order to take down – and receive the bounty for – the clever, ruthless and psychotic ‘El Indio.’ As the two bounty hunters chase down Indio and his gang, they leave in their path a lot of bullets and a lot of blood (Glasgow Film Notes).

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Monday, October 17 at 7pm

Early Cinema Program

Professor Eric Faden will give a multimedia presentation on early cinema featuring actualities by Lumière (1895 – 1896), a restored 35MM print of A Trip to the Moon (Georges Méliès, France,1903) and others.

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Monday, October 24 at 7pm

War of the Worlds – Radio Drama!

Orson Welles (U.S. 1938) Approx 60 min.

The legendary mass panic caused by Welles’ transmission about alien invasion has been questioned – just how many (or few) of the 12 million Americans listening, when Welles and his actors interrupted the regular programming to “report” the invasion, were truly gripped by fear, has likely been hyped. Nevertheless, this controversial moment in broadcasting history is fascinating, and a justly infamous work by one of American media’s most ingenious, mischievous and creative artists.

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Monday, November 14 at 7pm

Ringu

Hideo Nakata (Japan 1998) 96 min. DCP. With Nanako Matsushima, Miki Nakatani, Yûko Takeuchi. Japanese with English subtitles.

In this J-Horror classic, a television journalist investigates an urban legend about a cursed VHS tape that murders the viewer seven days after they watch it. The highest grossing Japanese horror movie in history still manages to shred nerves with its quiet, phantasmic elegance; it’s the only VHS fetish movie to inspire an entire subgenre, as well as dozens of remakes and rip-offs. Criminally absent from theaters since its original theatrical release in 1998, the time is now for Ringu to terrify the world. Again. Restoration courtesy of Arrow Films and the American Genre Film Archive.

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