Spring Film Series 2014

Suspense Under the Sun

We love our film noir at the North Carolina Museum of Art, but sometimes, one shivers in broad daylight. This spring we present a richly ornamented retelling of a classic fairy tale, two meditations on the Nazi menace infiltrating our happy homes, and paired adaptations of a classic suspense novel by Patricia Highsmith, the plots different enough to keep you guessing twice.  You can pull the shades, but you can’t hide.

April 11:

Blancanieves (2012) Written and Directed by Pablo Berger.  Maribel Verdú, Emilio Gavira, Daniel Giménez Cacho. (104 min) PG-13

A dazzling retelling of Snow White, set in 1920s Seville, Spain, pits a heartless stepmother against a fiery girl who dreams of being a torero, like her father.  Winner of Goya Awards (the Spanish Oscars) for Best Film, Actress and Production Design, this is a stunningly original new silent masterpiece. “Melancholy, eerie and erotic.  A film to treasure” (The Guardian). Film notes for Blancanieves.

April 18:

Went the Day Well? (1942) Directed by Alberto Cavalcanti.  Leslie Banks, C.V. France, Valerie Taylor (92 min) PG

A bucolic English village becomes the front line when Nazis, disguised as British soldiers, arrive to prepare Britain for enemy invasion. Graham Green’s story is potent wartime propaganda, Hitchcockian in its suspense and unease.  “Contemplates some pretty grim stuff, but with equipoise, discipline and a sense of humor that embody exactly the virtues it sets out to defend” (Village Voice).

April 25:

The Stranger (1946) Directed by Orson Welles.  Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young (115 min).

After the fall of the Third Reich, a Nazi official has reinvented himself as a beloved teacher in a Connecticut prep school, courting a judge’s daughter.  As golden autumn darkens into winter, a war crimes investigator dogs his trail.  The only Welles film to make a profit on release, it’s “a grade A gooseflesh raiser” (Time Magazine). Film Notes for The Stranger.

May 2:

Purple Noon (1960) Directed by René Clément.  Alain Delon, Maurice Ronet, Marie Laforêt (118 min). R

Alain Delon stars as Tom Ripley, a shape shifting charmer freeloading off his rich friends on the sun-baked Italian coast, his calm surface hiding sinister motives. Sensual and opulent, with a La Dolce Vita shimmer, “it lingers in the mind as an irresistibly satisfying slice of worldly enjoyment.” (Criterion essay by Geoffrey O’Brien). Film Notes for Purple Noon.

May 9:

Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) Directed by Anthony Minghella.  Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett (140 min).

Sociopath Tom Ripley is hired to insinuate himself with a dissolute playboy, and melts into the lifestyle with amoral aplomb.  Minghella’s  “ hypnotic, sensually charged adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s fascinating reptilian murder story has the same kind of complex allure that made The English Patient so mesmerizing” (New York Times). Film Notes for Mr. Ripley


Fridays, 8 pm
East Building
Museum Auditorium

Tickets $7 ($5 Students, NCMA members)

By phone:             (919) 715-5923      
In person: Museum Box Office, East Building.

c.moviedivaApril 2014