Tuesday Film Series SP 23

Tuesday, January 17 at 7pm


Marlon T. Riggs (U.S. 1995) 87 min. DCP. 

The final film by Marlon Riggs, Black Is…Black Ain’t uses his grandmother’s gumbo as a metaphor for the rich diversity of Black identities, Riggs’ camera traversing the country, bringing us face to face with Black folks young and old, rich and poor, rural and urban, gay and straight. Riggs mixes performances by choreographer Bill T. Jones and poet Essex Hemphill with commentary by noted cultural critics Angela Davis, Bell Hooks, Cornel West, Michele Wallace, Barbara Smith and Maulana Karenga to create a flavorful stew of personal testimony, music, and history. The film marshals a powerful critique of sexism, patriarchy, homophobia, colorism and cultural nationalism in the Black family, church and other Black institutions. As Cornel West concludes, “We’ve got to conceive of new forms of community. We each have multiple identities and we’re moving in and out of various communities at the same time. There is no one grand Black community.” Presented as part of Martin Luther King Week programming. Introduced by Jaye Austin Williams, Professor of Performance Studies, Critical Black Studies, and Theatre & Dance.


Tuesday, January 24 at 7pm

DUEL – Digital Restoration!

Directed by Steven Spielberg (U.S. 1971) 90 min. DCP. With Dennis Weaver.

Rushing across the desert, Dennis Weaver passes a slow-moving, 18-wheeler truck – which then seems to take it personally… Spielberg’s sleeper hit was originally made for television, for ABC’s “Movie of the Weekend.” Introduced by History Professor James Goodale.

“It takes less than a minute of watching Duel, Steven Spielberg’s feature-length debut, to realize you’re in the hands of a master director. And it takes even less time than that to suspect as much, because the opening shots alone, a POV from a camera attached to the front bumper of a red Plymouth Valiant, have an unsettling visceral jolt to them, despite the mundane action of the car pulling out of a suburban driveway and heading on its way. ” – Scott Tobias, The Guardian


Tuesday, January 31 at 7pm

The Eternal Daughter – Exclusive Area Engagement!

Directed by Joanna Hogg (UK/U.S. 2022) 96 min. DCP. With Tilda Swinton.

One gloomy night, a middle-aged filmmaker and her elderly mother arrive at a fog-enshrouded hotel in the English countryside. An ominously brusque clerk, an apparent lack of other guests, and disturbing sounds from the room above theirs bode a less-than-welcome arrival. Yet all is not what it seems on this increasingly emotional trip into the past for these two women, one of whom has definitely been here before. Joanna Hogg (The Souvenir), among today’s foremost filmmakers, uses this Victorian gothic scenario for an entirely surprising, impeccably crafted, and, finally, overwhelming excavation of a parent-child relationship and the impulse toward artistic creation. And Tilda Swinton, in a performance of rich, endless surprise, turns in one of the most remarkable acting feats in her astonishing career (Film at Lincoln Center).  An A24 release.

“Given Hogg’s interest in memory and her expressionistic use of space it was perhaps inevitable that she’d make a ghost story, though The Eternal Daughter doesn’t as much conform to the genre template as playfully nip at its edges. ” – Manohla Dargis,  Critic’s Pick, The New York Times


Tuesday, February 7 at 7pm

GEOGRAPHIES OF SOLITUDE – Exclusive Area Engagement!

Directed by Jacquelyn Mills (Canada 2022) 113 min. 16MM to DCP.

“For the last 40 years, environmentalist and naturalist Zoe Lucas has been living on Sable Island, a slender strip of land off the coast of Nova Scotia, cataloging its flora and fauna, as well as the growing amounts of waste that wash up on its shores. Director Jacqueline Mills travels there to follow Lucas in her everyday routine, as she wanders the island, observes plants and insects, checks in on seals and wild horses, removes globules of plastic from the sand. They record everything, one with paper and pen, the other via 16mm film; everything here leaves a trace. Mills enters into a relationship with the island too, burying film stock among living roots or attaching microphones to the wooden frame of an abandoned building, helping this place make sounds and images of its own, as ravishing and resonant as all the others. So many things can be gleaned from one small island: the gentle daily grind of science, the concurrent isolation and interconnectedness of any space in the world, the accumulated matter and meaning of a life’s work and a vast ecosystem, the need to make the workings of any documentary visible. A film that never tries to hide what it is: the blissfully organic result of an encounter.” – James Lattimer, VIENNALE

Geographies of Solitude shows us that conversations between artists and scientists are uniquely poised to reveal the truths of the so-called natural and human worlds, and that documentary methods can preserve the wonder of a little-seen, though not entirely untouched, place.” –Esmé Hogeveen, BOMB MAGAZINE


Tuesday, February 21 at 7pm


Directed by Robert Florey (U.S. 1937) 62 min. 35MM. With Anna May Wong, Philip Ahn, Charles Bickford, Buster Crabbe, Cecil Cunningham.

Created as a star vehicle for Anna May Wong, the Los Angeles-born daughter of a Chinese immigrant family and the first Asian American female star in Hollywood, Daughter of Shanghai was a Paramount vehicle that teamed Wong up with sympathetic French émigré director Robert Florey and high school friend/on-screen love interest Philip Ahn, as the first Asian G-man depicted on screen. Together, they elevate this B-movie thriller to another level, featuring two Asian American lead characters in an era of accepted “yellow face” (where white actors often played Asian characters), and, as a fresh departure, a plot centered around the villainy of white characters (Adapted from UCLA Film & Television Archive notes). Preserved by the Library of Congress. Presented in conjunction with the Griot Spring Series Programming Legacies of Race and Hollywood: Anna May Wong.


Tuesday, February 28 at 7pm

Anatomy of a Murder

Directed by Otto Preminger (U.S. 1959) 160 min. DCP. With Eve Arden, James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara.

Courtroom drama at its peak, with both emotional pyrotechnics and nervously hilarious comedy relief, as small town ex-Prosecutor James Stewart defends Ben Gazzara for the murder of wife Lee Remick’s rapist — with lace-trimmed panties the key. With George C. Scott (in his first major role) as the prosecutor, McCarthy silencer Joseph N. Welch as the judge, Eve Arden as Stewart’s knowing gal Friday, and a Duke Ellington (onscreen as “Pie-Eye”) score (Film Forum notes). Introduced by visiting historian Chris Keathley (Middlebury College).

“Spellbinding, infused by an ambiguity about human personality and motivation that is Preminger’s trademark.” – Jonathan Rosenbaum, The Chicago Reader


Tuesday, March 7 at 7pm

No Bears

Directed by Jafar Panahi (Iran 2022) 107 min. DCP. With Jafar Panahi, Naser Hashemi, Vahid Mobaseri, Bakhtiar Panjeei, Mina Kavani, Reza Heydari. Farsi, Azerbaijani, Turkish with English subtitles.

One of the world’s great cinematic artists, Jafar Panahi has been carefully crafting self-reflexive works about artistic, personal, and political freedom for the past three decades, despite his oppression at the hands of the Iranian government. Now, as the international film community vehemently denounces his summer 2022 arrest and continued imprisonment for his vocal support of a fellow artist’s independence, Panahi has gifted us all with a new virtuosic sleight-of-hand. In No Bears, as in many of his recent titles, Panahi plays a fictionalized version of himself, in this case relocated to a rural border town to remotely direct a new film in nearby Turkey – the story of which comes to sharply mirror disturbing events that begin to occur around him. As he struggles to complete his film, Panahi finds himself thrust in the middle of a local scandal, confronting the opposing pulls of tradition and progress, city and country, belief and evidence, and the universal desire to reject oppression.


Tuesday, March 21 at 7pm


Directed by Spike Lee (U.S. 2000) 136 min. 35MM. With Damon Wayans, Savion Glover, Jada Pinkett Smith.

With this blisteringly funny, unapologetically confrontational satire, writer-director Spike Lee examined the past, present, and future of racism in American popular culture, issuing a daring provocation to creators and consumers alike. Under pressure to help revive his network’s low ratings, television writer Pierre Delacroix (Wayans) hits on an explosively offensive idea: bringing back blackface with The New Millennium Minstrel Show. The white network executives love it, and so do audiences, forcing Pierre and his collaborators to confront their public’s insatiable appetite for dehumanizing stereotypes. Shot primarily on unvarnished digital video and boasting spot-on performances from Wayans, Savion Glover, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tommy Davidson, Michael Rapaport, Mos Def, and Paul Mooney, Bamboozled is a stinging indictment of mass entertainment at the turn of the twenty-first century that looks more damning with each passing year. Introduced by Jaye Austin Williams, Professor of Performance Studies, Critical Black Studies, and Theatre & Dance, in conjunction with her class Black Film and Antiblackness.


Tuesday, March 28 at 7pm


Andrei Tarkovsky (USSR 1979) 161 min. DCP. With Aleksandr Kaidanovsky, Anatoly Solonitsyn, Nikolai Grinko. Russian with English subtitles.

One of the most immersive and rarefied experiences in the history of cinema, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker embarks on a metaphysical journey through an enigmatic post-apocalyptic landscape. A hired guide (the “Stalker”) leads a writer and a scientist into the heart of the Zone, the restricted site of a long-ago disaster, where the three men seek the Room, a place rumored to fulfill one’s most deeply held desires. Adapting a science-fiction novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, and making what would be his final Soviet feature, Tarkovsky created a challenging and visually stunning work, his painstaking attention to material detail and sense of organic atmosphere further enriched by this vivid new digital restoration. At once a religious allegory, a reflection of contemporary political anxieties, and a meditation on film itself, Stalker envelops the viewer by opening up a multitude of possible meanings. Introduced by Lenora Murphy, Professor in the Russian Studies Program, in conjunction with her class From Russia to the Stars: Russian Sci-Fi Through the Ages.

“New York always whispers about Tarkovsky, since he is a hero to the kind of film nerd who gravitates toward lonely dystopias full of rats. But with the pitch of Tarkovsky conversation at a high, and the administration’s climate policy pitching at a historic low, the time has come to give Stalker its due as the great apocalyptic opus for the climate change era.” – Josephine Livingstone, New Republic


Tuesday, April 4 at 7pm

Aftersun – Exclusive Area Engagement!

Charlotte Wells (UK/U.S. 2022) 99 min. DCP. With Paul Mescal, Frankie Corio.

In one of the most assured and spellbinding feature debuts in years, Scottish director Charlotte Wells has fashioned a textured memory piece, taking place over the course of a brooding weekend at a coastal resort in Turkey. The charismatic Paul Mescal and naturalistic newcomer Francesca Corio fully inhabit Calum and Sophie, a divorced father and his daughter often mistaken for brother and sister, who share a close and loving bond that creates an entire world unto itself. Wells employs an unusual and gorgeous aesthetic that brings us into the interior space of this parent and child, even as she judiciously withholds details, an approach that finally grants the film a singular emotional wallop. Aftersun reimagines the coming-of-age narrative as a poignant, ultimately ungraspable chimera, informed by the present as much as the past. Winner of the French Touch Prize of the Jury at this year’s Cannes Festival (Lincoln Center program notes).

A “tender and devastating first feature… It’s hard to find a critical language to account for the delicacy and intimacy of this movie. This is partly because Wells, with the unaffected precision of a lyric poet, is very nearly reinventing the language of film, unlocking the medium’s often dormant potential to disclose inner worlds of consciousness and feeling.” – A.O. Scott, New York Times


Tuesday, April 11 at 7pm

ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED – Exclusive Area Engagement!

Laura Poitras (2022) 122 min. DCP.  With Nan Goldin.

Directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is an epic, emotional and interconnected story about internationally renowned artist and activist Nan Goldin told through her slideshows, intimate interviews, ground-breaking photography, and rare footage of her personal fight to hold the Sackler family accountable for the overdose crisis.

“If you’ve ever doubted how art, rage or action can make meaningful change, Goldin’s combination of all three fighting an opioid crisis that nearly killed her is exhilarating proof of the power of ‘screaming in the streets,’ to borrow what the queer artist David Wojnarowicz — one of many close friends of Goldin’s whom the AIDS epidemic took — wryly described as a necessary ritual of the living in a time of too much death… Poitras, whose gift for suspenseful contemplation is on full display here, layers her subject’s frank memories and insights over a rolling bounty of her photographs — the style evokes Goldin’s legendary slideshows, the most famous of which is ‘The Ballad of Sexual Dependency’ (which is excerpted). We even hear a shutter click occasionally too, a sonic touch that gently reinforces the intimacy of our watching and listening, while the sparsely deployed Soundwalk Collective score and other music cues feel like an ethereal bridge between Goldin’s past epiphanies and present crusade.” – Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times


Tuesday, April 18 at 7pm

CHOCOLAT – Restoration Re-Release!

Directed by Claire Denis (1988) 105 min. DCP.  With Mireille Perrier, Isaach De Bankolé. French with English subtitles.

Claire Denis drew on her own childhood experiences growing up in colonial French Africa for her multilayered, languorously absorbing feature debut, which explores many of the themes that would recur throughout her work. Returning to the town where she grew up in Cameroon after many years living in France, a white woman ( Perrier) reflects on her relationship with Protée (De Bankolé), a Black servant with whom she formed a friendship while not fully grasping the racial divides that governed their worlds.

“Denis quasi-autobiographical Chocolat, a child’s-eye view of French colonialism, is austere yet vivid… The brilliant prelude to a great career,” – J. Hoberman, New York Times


Tuesday, April 25 at 7pm


Directed by Alfred Hitchcock (1958, U.S.) 128 min. 35MM. With James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes.

In 2018, Hitchcock’s hallucinatory nightmare of loss, obsession and desire rose to the top of the list – that is the respected annual greatest films of all time list, a poll published by the British Film Institute; that year, Vertigo took the number one title from Citizen Kane for the first time in fifty years. Last December, Hitchcock’s undisputed masterpiece was unseated, sliding down to number two, to make way for Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles. It’s been turbulent at the top, but whether Vertigo is the best or among the very, very best is really neither here nor there–it’s magnificent, and here is your chance to see for yourself, on 35MM! As the film critic B. Kite wrote, you haven’t really seen Vertigo until you’ve seen it again.