Winter Film Series 2004


The 2004 Winter Film Series provides three months of tempting reasons to leave your nest and see classic films on the big screen! By popular consensus, this year the majority of screenings will be SATURDAY nights at 7:30 PM. The NCMA will be open three Friday nights during the series, and films will be shown those nights, so please note days and times for each screening carefully.

January will be devoted to foreign language cinema from the glory days of the international art film, February and the first weekend in March will mark the passing of elders Gregory Peck, Katharine Hepburn and Bob Hope and the series concludes with treasures from the Library of Congress, a Bollywood extravaganza and Russian Ark introduced by NCMA Chief Curator, John Coffey.

Thanks to Mike Mashon and Patrick Loughney at the Library of Congress, Paul Ginsburg at the Universal Studio Archive and David Spencer and Ray Regis at the N.C. School of the Arts Moving Image Archive.


Saturday, January 10:

8 ½ (1963) Directed by Federico Fellini. Starring Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimee, Sandra Milo, Claudia Cardinale. (135 min.)

Fellini’s directorial alter-ego, evading a nervous breakdown at a posh spa, is swamped by a wave of doubts as he contemplates his next film. He’s besieged by flashbacks, collaborators, daydreams, nightmares and women, women, women. “8 ½ is a film by a filmmaker making a film about a filmmaker trying to make a film about himself as a man and as a filmmaker” (Ted Perry). “All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster’s autobiography” (Fellini). Film notes for 8 ½.


Friday, January 16:

The Hidden Fortress (1958) Directed by Akira Kurosawa. Toshiro Mifune (139 min.)

A princess fleeing through enemy territory is escorted by a brave warrior and two squabbling friends. Sound familiar? This sweeping historical epic is a rip-roaring adventure film filled with humor and excitement. Star Wars director George Lucas was inspired to create his own epic by this most light hearted of Kurosawa’s magnificent samurai films. “What I expect from (Kurosawa’s) works are beauty, agony, love of life, loss of life, rebirth, lessons learned, betrayal, visual metaphors, action, sweep, epic scope, delicate nuance, dreams, nightmares, children, wisdom, doom and hope” (Steven Spielberg). New 35mm print. Film notes for The Hidden Fortress.


Saturday, January 17:

Breathless (1959) Directed by Jean-Luc Godard. Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg (90 min.)

An amoral thug who styles himself after Humphrey Bogart and an aimless girl selling the Herald Tribune live on the edge, falling in and out of bed and soulless crime. A jazzy Paris of the imagination intoxicates this subversive film noir. “Breathless is generally regarded as the seminal film of the French New Wave and it still feels revolutionary—and seductively dangerous—today” (Elliot Wilhelm). Introduced by NC State Film Studies Professor Devin Orgeron. Film notes for Breathless.


Saturday, January 24:

The Seventh Seal (1957) Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Max von Sydow, Bengt Ekerot, Bibi Andersson (96 min).

A disillusioned knight returning from the Crusades treks across a Europe decimated by the Black Plague. He plays chess with Death for his soul, giving Bergman a chance to question God’s silence in the face of unrelenting misery. “It is wholly extraordinary, being at once mystical, realistic and poetic. It stands in the company of the great foreign films.” (NY Post). Film Notes for The Seventh Seal.


Saturday, January 31:

Aguirre, Wrath of God (1973) Written and directed by Werner Herzog. Klaus Kinski, Helena Rojo, Del Negro (93 min).

Aguirre, a demented conquistador searching for the golden city of El Dorado, leads a doomed expedition through the Amazonian jungle. Herzog seeks arduous location shoots, here in remote Peru, to enable his manic visions. “Is Aguirre mad? Was Kinski? Was Herzog? Yes, yes and yes—and this is not to be missed.” (Peter Bradshaw). Shown with the short film, “The Dove.” Introduced by NC State Film Studies Professor Marsha Orgeron. Film notes for Aguirre.


Saturday, February 7:

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) Directed by Richard Mulligan. Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Phillip Alford (129 min).

America’s #1 hero, according to the latest American Film Institute poll, is gentle, principled Atticus Finch, a widowed attorney defending an innocent black man against a rape charge in a small Alabama town. “There have been few films to capture so accurately the way children see the world around them as a place of terror and magic.” (Peter Thompson). Author Harper Lee said of Peck, playing a character inspired by her father, “In that film, the man and the part met.” New 35mm print from Universal Studios Archive. Film notes for Mockingbird


Saturday, February 14:

Roman Holiday (1953) Directed by William Wyler. Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert (119 min).

A valentine to Rome, as a princess eludes her minders for a few hours of freedom, a Vespa ride, some gelato, a really cool haircut and the promise of amore with reporter Gregory Peck. “Audrey Hepburn gives the popular old romantic nonsense a reality which it seldom had before. Amid the rhinestone glitter of Roman Holiday’s make-believe Paramount’s new star sparkles and glows with the fire of a finely cut diamond.” (Time Magazine). Film Notes for Roman Holiday


Friday, February 20:

Bringing Up Baby (1938) Directed by Howard Hawks. Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant (102 min).

A dizzy deb and befuddled paleontologist search the wilds of Connecticut for a lost leopard, an intercostal clavicle and a wire haired terrier named George. The film inexplicably flopped in its day, but now audiences appreciate the breathless dialogue and inspired slapstick as an example of pure screwball perfection. Cary Grant is “the greatest sexual stooge the screen has ever known: his side steps and delighted stares turn his co-stars into comic goddesses.” (Pauline Kael). Shown with “Singapore Sue” (1932) a musical short with Cary Grant’s first film appearance. 35mm Print from NC School of the Arts Moving Image Archive. Film notes for Bringing Up Baby.



Saturday, February 21:

The Philadelphia Story (1941) Directed by George Cukor. Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey (112 min).

Tracy Lord’s pre-wedding plans to a social climbing stiff descend into chaos with the arrival of a team of society snoops hosted by her former husband. Can either a sensitive slumming scribe or a suave society scion bring her to her senses? “As raucous as it is at times, it is also civilized in a way that keeps it fresh today.” (Patrick McGilligan). Shown with the (1941) WB cartoon “Hollywood Steps Out”). Introduced by NC State Film Studies Professor Maria Pramaggiore. Film Notes for The Philadelphia Story.


Saturday, February 28:

Adam’s Rib (1949) Directed by George Cukor. Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Judy Holliday, David Wayne (102 min).

Married attorneys Adam and Amanda Bonner spar in and out of the courtroom in the best of the Hepburn-Tracy films. A satire deconstructing a fumbled crime of passion, this mid-century feminist fable has a light touch and gives gender sterotypes the old switcheroo. “One of the most perfectly rounded comedies of the Golden Age. As time passes, it seems only more modern, loving and wise.” (Patrick McGilligan) Shown with the musical short “Vout-O-Rooney” (1946) starring hepcat Slim Galliard. Film notes for Adam's Rib.


Friday, March 5:

Road to Morocco (1942) Directed by David Butler. Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour, Anthony Quinn (83 min).

Hope and Crosby tangle with a Bedouin chieftan, a conniving princess and one very cranky camel in this surreal and self-referential film. This favorite “Road” film is from Hope’s heyday, when he was a top box office moneymaker, huge radio star and idol of WWII servicemen. “The hilarious, non-stop gag engine, song-and-dance routines and ad-libbed patter between the two men set the comedy standard for decades, from Jerry Lewis to the Farrelly brothers.” (Ed Halter) Shown with the (1936) Bob Hope short comedy: “Calling All Tars.” Feature: new 35mm print from Universal Studios Archive, short: 35mm archive print from the Library of Congress. Film notes for Road to Morocco


Saturday, March 6:

Cat and the Canary (1939) Directed by Elliott Nugent. Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, Gale Sondergaard (72 min).

A creaky “Old Dark House” comedy filled with ghouls, bodies and the reading of the will is retooled into the first “Bob Hope” movie, taking full advantage of his wisecracking coward persona. “…his hip swiveling swagger a reminder that he was a pretty good vaudeville hoofer, his gleaming eyes beaming the promise that his brain is filled with snappy gags and that any woman in sight is fair game for merciless flirtation..” (Ken Tucker). Shown with the (1936) Bob Hope short comedy: “Shop Talk.” 35mm archive prints from the Library of Congress. Film notes for Cat and the Canary


Saturday, March 13:

The Patsy (1928) Directed by King Vidor. Marion Davies, Marie Dressler, Dell Henderson (64 minutes).

Often slandered as merely the devoted mistress of media mogul WR Hearst, in fact, comedienne Davies sparkled on screen. Here, she faces off against her imposing mother, a social climber trying to push Marion’s older sister into society. “(Davies) had a bouncy, elfin personality, she was a natural clown with a great gift for mimicry and her porcelain prettiness photographed like a dream.” (Elliot Stein) Shown with “Pass the Gravy” starring Max Davidson. Live music by Maestro David Drazin. 35mm archive print from the Library of Congress. Film notes for The Patsy


Saturday, March 20:

Two Seconds (1932) Directed by Mervyn Le Roy. Edward G. Robinson, Preston Foster, Vivienne Osborne. (68 minutes)

In the two second gap between when the juice flows to the electric chair and John Allen fries, he relives his tragic entanglement with a conniving floozie. A great Warner Brothers Pre-Code melodrama feeds us the raw meat of the Great Depression “This is Robinson, great American actor, in the most intense minutes of his film career” (Mick La Salle) Shown with 2 Vitaphone shorts 35mm archive prints from the Library of Congress. Film notes for Two Seconds


Saturday, March 27, Special Time: 6:30 pm

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2000) Directed by Karan Johar. Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor (3 hrs 30 min. plus intermission).

Unequalled star power, glamour, laughter, tears and fabulous musical numbers enrich this superb Bollywood extravaganza. Amitabh, India’s greatest movie star (in a 2000 BBC online poll, he beat out Laurence Olivier and Alec Guiness as the best actor of the century) enforces Indian family values in the face of his sexy sons’ rebellious romantic yearnings. If you think nobody is making movies like they used to during the classic Hollywood cinema era, guess again. Film Notes for K3G.


Saturday, April 3:

Russian Ark (2002) Directed by Aleksandr Sokurov. Sergei Dontsov, Mariya Kuznetsova (96 min).

A gossipy French marquis meanders through the 33 rooms of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, conducting a personal reverie on Russian history. The director rehearsed for 7 months with his cast of 2000 and 3 live orchestras because he had one day in the museum to film his superb technical feat, a single unbroken take. “Russian Ark spins a daydream made of centuries.” (Roger Ebert). Introduced by NCMA Chief Curator John Coffey.



Tickets: $5 General Public, $3.50 NCMA Members, students, Cinema, Inc. members

Passes for 10 screenings: $35 General Public, $25 NCMA Members, Cinema, Inc. members

Showtime: 7:30 pm unless otherwise noted in the Museum Auditorium. Box office and auditorium will be open on the Saturday nights the NCMA is closed.

NC Museum of Art: 2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh NC, Box Office: (919) 715-5923, map to the museum and other info at

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