Wednesday, August 23 at 7pm
There’s Something About Mary
Directed by Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly (U.S. 1998) 119 min. 35MM. With Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon, Ben Stiller.
“The raunchy, hilarious — and surprisingly tender — comedy convulsed audiences and dazzled critics 20 years ago. In 2000, the American Film Institute ranked Mary No. 27 on its list of the 100 greatest American comedies, between Being There and Ghostbusters” (Los Angeles Times).
“The Farrellys’ sharp writing and precise execution of slapstick liken Mary closer to a postmodern take on the screwball romantic comedy. The legacy of the film is heavily, almost exclusively, influenced by the raunchy comedic set pieces — which remain humorous today. Viewers are left in awe that a major studio widely released a film with these sequences… few comedies as of late are this smart, curious, and hilarious in their confrontation of troublesome masculine fantasies.” (Collider).
Wednesday, September 6 at 7pm
Directed by Joyce Chopra (U.S. 1985) 91 min. DCP. With Laura Dern, Treat Williams.
Suspended between carefree youth and the harsh realities of the adult world, a teenage girl experiences an unsettling awakening in this haunting vision of innocence lost. Based on Joyce Carol Oates’ celebrated short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” and produced for PBS’ American Playhouse, the narrative debut from director Joyce Chopra features a revelatory breakout performance from Laura Dern as Connie, the fifteen-year-old black sheep of her family whose summertime idyll of beach trips, mall hangouts, and innocent flirtations is shattered by an encounter with a mysterious stranger (a memorably menacing Treat Williams). Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, Smooth Talk captures the thrill and terror of adolescent sexual exploration as it transforms the ingredients of a standard coming of age portrait into something altogether more troubling and profound.
Wednesday, September 20 at 7pm
Directed by Preston Sturges (U.S. 1948) 105 min. DCP. With Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell, Rudy Vallée, Edgar Kennedy.
In this pitch-black comedy from legendary writer-director Preston Sturges, Rex Harrison stars as Sir Alfred De Carter, a world-famous symphony conductor consumed with the suspicion that his wife is having an affair. During a concert, the jealous De Carter entertains elaborate visions of vengeance, set to three separate orchestral works. But when he attempts to put his murderous fantasies into action, nothing works out quite as planned. A brilliantly performed mixture of razor-sharp dialogue and uproarious slapstick, Unfaithfully Yours is a true classic from a grand master of screen comedy.
Wednesday, September 27 at 7pm
Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini (Italy/France 1971) 111 min. 35MM. With Franco Citti, Ninetto Davoli, Angela Luce. Italian with English subtitles.
In The Decameron, based on the sexually supercharged tales of Boccaccio, the outspoken Italian postwar artist Pier Paolo Pasolini (filmmaker/poet/novelist/painter/playwright, Christian, Communist and self-proclaimed “inconvenient guest” of modern society) plays the role of an aspiring fresco painter who is advised that his completed work will never be as satisfying as his dream of that work. A bawdy comedy and one of the director’s most popular films, this first installment in Pasolini’s “Trilogy of Life” established the raw viscerality of the series, combining gorgeous period locations with poetry, social satire, slapstick and sexuality.
Wednesday, October 4 at 7pm
Directed by Stan Brakhage (U.S. 1984) 89 min. 16MM.
The final “chapter” of the autobiographical cycle Book of the Film, Stan Brakhage’s Tortured Dust premiered at New York’s Collective for Living Cinema on April 13, 1984, and has received scant attention since. Given Brakhage’s stature as an artist and the toll this work took on him, the film deserves closer attention. Perhaps the inner torments and traumatic life changes that stalked the making of Tortured Dust prevented it from becoming one of Brakhage’s major aesthetic achievements. After completing the film, he confessed to having a strong feeling of “exhaustion with old forms.” But it is precisely because Tortured Dust exhibits psychological rawness, unchecked narcissism, emotional vulnerability, and displaced eroticism that it remains an invaluable expression of an artist whose intuitive impulses as a filmmaker allowed his work to seize truths that he could not consciously fathom or tolerate. This is consistent with what he believed to be the revelatory power of cinema. [Brakhage’s daughter] Neowyn said that often, while watching one of his films, her father would remark in surprise at an image, a feeling, a connection that struck him as unforeseen, more honest, more truthful than he could have known it would be when he made it. Such was the paradox of a man whose genius grasped and trusted the percipient power of his chosen art form even in the face of his inner demons (excerpted from Tony Pipolo’s Art Forum essay CLOSE-UP: FAMILY BUSINESS).
Wednesday, October 18 at 7pm
Kevin Jerome Everson
Directed by Kevin Jerome Everson (U.S.) TRT 102 min.
This program of shorts by Kevin Jerome Everson spans nearly a decade of the prolific artist’s films. “Everson, arguably one of the most important experimental filmmakers currently working, is an artist who thinks through the particular problems of cinema by making it. His tireless output exemplifies American painter and film critic Manny Farber’s description of ‘termite art’ as having “’o sign that the artist has any other object in mind other than eating away the immediate boundaries of his art, and turning these boundaries into conditions of the next achievement.’ Everson’s films, light and deeply affective, are never not alive: each new film surprises. His themes, though clearly identifiable, are never forced; they emerge organically through the course of his work. Everson’s oeuvre is one of the most significant records of contemporary African American life “(Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art).
Films to be screened:
- Brown Thrasher (2020, 3 min.)
- Rams 23 Blue Bears 21 (2017, 8 min.)
- Three Quarters (2015, 5 min.)
- Erie (2010, 81 min.)
- Grand Finale (2015, 5 min.)
Wednesday, November 1 at 7pm
The Golden Coach
Directed by Jean Renoir (France 1952) 103 min. 35MM. With Anna Magnani, Odoardo Spadaro, Nada Fiorelli. Italian with English subtitles.
Anna Magnani (“the miraculous choice that gives this film its gusto and its piercing beauty,” wrote Pauline Kael) stars as the bewitching head of a commedia dell’arte troupe who casts her spell over three men while travelling in 18th century Peru. Another dazzling Technicolor masterpiece, described by Jonathan Rosenbaum as “essential viewing… a celebration of theatricality and a meditation on the beauties and mysteries of acting—it’s both a key text and pleasurable filmmaking at its near best.
Wednesday, November 8 at 7pm
Directed by Chantal Akerman (Belgium, France 1975) 201 min. 35 MM. With Delphine Seyrig, Jan Decorte, Henri Storck. In French with English subtitles.
A singular work in film history, Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman meticulously details, with a sense of impending doom, the daily routine of a middle-aged widow whose chores include making the beds, cooking dinner for her son, and turning the occasional trick. Made when the artist was only twenty-five years old, the movie can be seen as an exacting character study, as one of cinema’s most hypnotic and complete depictions of space and time and–as it was hailed by feminist critics when it came out–as an impressive alternative to well-intentioned but conventional political documentaries and features.
Wednesday, November 29 at 7pm
Some Came Running
Directed by Vincente Minnelli (U.S. 1958) 137 min. 35MM. With Frank Sinatra, Arthur Kennedy, Shirley MacLaine.
Five years after his triumphant turn in the film of James Jones’s novel From Here to Eternity, Frank Sinatra stars in another Jones adaptation: the 1,200-page chronicle of postwar disillusionment and small-town hypocrisy Some Came Running, shrewdly directed by Vincente Minnelli. In one of his most textured portrayals, Sinatra is Dave Hirsh, an embittered ex-GI who returns to his Midwestern hometown to write the next chapter of his life. He’s torn between the “respectable” influences of his social-climbing brother (Kennedy) and schoolteacher love interest (Martha Hyer), and the decadence embodied by gambler Dean Martin (brilliant in his first pairing with Sinatra) and floozy Shirley MacLaine (in her breakout role) (Film at Lincoln Center notes).