Winter Film Series 2005


Welcome to the 2005 Winter Film Series! Screenings will honor the careers of film legends Marlon Brando and Fay Wray, and we’ll show new 35mm prints (in regional revival premieres) of foreign-language classics, a pair of crisp 35mm Hitchcock prints from the Library of Congress, Buster Keaton with live music by maestro David Drazin, a couple of recent films/future classics and two special art themed evenings, one on Henri Matisse and another on Vermeer.

The WFS returns to Friday nights at 8:00 p.m.

The museum galleries and the Blue Ridge Restaurant will be open prior to the films.

January 7:

Playtime (1967) Written, directed by and starring Jacques Tati (108 min).

Tati’s alter ego, quirky M. Hulot, wanders puzzled through a depersonalized, sterile Paris dominated by anonymous office blocks and glass barriers. Originally filmed in 70mm, Playtime is a monumental comedy, virtually without dialogue, not only irresistibly witty, but a commentary on the coldly alienating spaces that were beginning to dominate urban architecture. Tati's huge sets and grand vision cost a fortune and bankrupted him, but Playtime remains "one of the grandest visions ever committed to celluloid" (John Ewing). New 35mm print. Film notes for Playtime.

 

January 14:

Un Modele Pour Matisse (2003) Directed by Barbara F. Freed (67 min).

Celebrate the final weekend of the Matisse Picasso exhibit with this affectionate documentary about Henri Matisse and his nurse, muse and model, Sister Jacques Marie, who shares stories of their artistic and spiritual collaboration on the Vence Chapel. Introduced by the filmmaker.

January 21:

I Vitteloni (1953) Written and directed by Federico Fellini. Franco Interlenghi, Alberto Sordi. (101 min)

“The Overgrown Calves” is a buddy movie about five aimless young men carousing, goofing off and contemplating their grown-up futures in Post-War Italy. Fellini’s first international hit is an unforgettable view of post-adolescent malaise. It won the top prize at the Venice film festival, and its autobiographical elements will resonate both with anyone who fondly recalls a group of youthful pals, and those who relish Fellini's career. New 35 mm print. Film Notes for I Vitelloni.

January 28:

Fanny and Alexander (1982) Directed by Ingmar Bergman. Pernilla Allwin, Bertil Guve. (188 min)

Fanny and Alexander’s idyllic childhood in turn of the century Sweden is shattered by their father’s death and their mother's remarriage to a stern minister, not unlike Bergman's own father. The filmmaker sets aside his often moody world-view in his last theatrical feature. "Pure enchantment...Comedy, tragedy, romance, realism and fantasy blend into a perfect evocation of childhood, place and period...A superlative culmination of (Bergman's) 37 years as one of the cinema's greatest artists." (Holt Foreign Film Guide). New 35 mm print. Film notes for Fanny and Alexander.

 

February 4:

Sherlock, Jr. (1924) Written, directed by and starring Buster Keaton. With Kathryn McGuire (44 min)

A day-dreaming projectionist falls asleep on the job and magically walks into the detective thriller on-screen. Keaton’s surreal gag-filled masterpiece melds state-of-of the art technology, thrilling stunts and vaudeville hi-jinks. This peerless film revels in both the cinematic medium and Keaton's extraordinary acrobatic skills. Live music by Maestro David Drazin. Shown with perfection itself: the Keaton short “One Week.” Film Notes for Sherlock, Jr.

 

February 11:

Streetcar Named Desire (1951) Directed by Elia Kazan. Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden (122min).

Brando’s raw, intense performance as brutish Stanley Kowalski redefined mid-century acting with a bolt of dramatic lightning. But it was Leigh (as fragile Blanche DuBois) Hunter and Malden who won Oscars for their roles. Kazan directed Tennessee Williams' landmark play on stage, and Brando consigned this ground-breaking performance, one of the great moments in theatrical history, to celluloid. 35mm print from NC School of the Arts Film Archive. Film notes for Streetcar Named Desire.

 

February 18:

Girl With a Pearl Earring (2003) Directed by Peter Webber. Colin Firth, Scarlett Johansson (100 min) PG-13 for sexual content.

Johannes Vermeer’s artistic passions are aroused by the delicate beauty of his new serving girl in this paean to painterly creation. Johannson and Firth bring a seething, if restrained, desire to the mundane acts of dusting furniture and grinding pigment. The exquisite photography evokes a moody 17th Century Holland. Introduced by NCMA Curator Dennis Weller.

February 25:

All the Real Girls (2003) Written and directed by David Gordon Green. Paul Schneider, Zoey Deschanel, Patricia Clarkson. (108 min) R for language and some sexuality.

N.C School of the Arts directing wonderkind Green’s second film is a wistful exploration of a small town lothario’s infatuation with his best friend’s sister. Tender and leisurely, this film won the Jury Prize for Emotional Truth at the Sundance Festival. Introduced by Devin Orgeron of the NC State Film Studies Department.

March 4:

Shadow of a Doubt (1943) Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Joseph Cotton, Teresa Wright (108 min)

Hitchcock’s personal favorite of his films explores the moral rot threatening placid Santa Rosa, California. Uncle Charley is a charmer, but does his adoring niece want to discover his dreadful secret? Few films have the audacity to present a villain as the central character, and Cotten's subtle performance chills. Archival print from the Library of Congress. Film notes for Shadow of a Doubt.

 

March 11:

Saboteur (1942) Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Robert Cummings, Priscilla Lane (108 min).

There used to be another word for terrorist—saboteur. A mysterious fire at a defense plant triggers a cross-country mistaken identity chase that ends with a thrilling battle atop the Statue of Liberty. This film harkens back to Hitchcock touchstones The Thirty Nine Steps and forward to North by Northwest. Archival print from the Library of Congress. Introduced by Marsha Orgeron of the NC State Film Studies Department. Film Notes for Saboteur.

 

March 18:

King Kong (1933) Directed by Merian C. Cooper. Robert Armstong, Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot (100 min)

The Empire State Building was brand new when the terrifying giant ape King Kong conquered it, forever redefining the horror film. Wray’s shrieks, too, defined a genre, as well as her long career. Willis O'Brien's meticulous stop-motion animation brings emotion and poignancy to the fate of a jungle monarch brought low by the big city. My father saw this film when it came out--he was eight years old. He never quite recovered from the excitement. Vault print from the NC School of the Arts. Film Notes for King Kong.

 

March 25:

In the Mood for Love (2000) Directed by Wong Kar-Wai. Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung (98 min) Rated PG for thematic elements.

A shabby apartment building in 1960s Hong Kong harbors the forbidden passions of two outwardly mild neighbors who realize their spouses are having an affair. Sumptuous cinematography and Cheung’s luscious wardrobe dominate this modern Asian cinema classic."This may be one of the swooniest movies ever made about love, and it luxuriates in its tailspin" (Elvis Mitchell). Film Notes for In the Mood for Love.

 

April 1: RESCHEDULED:

I Vitteloni (1953) Written and directed by Federico Fellini. Franco Interlenghi, Alberto Sordi. (101 min)

“The Overgrown Calves” is a buddy movie about five aimless young men carousing, goofing off and contemplating their grown-up futures in Post-War Italy. Fellini’s first international hit is an unforgettable view of post-adolescent malaise. It won the top prize at the Venice film festival, and its autobiographical elements will resonate both with anyone who fondly recalls a group of youthful pals, and those who relish Fellini's career. New 35 mm print. Film Notes for I Vitelloni.

 

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Unless otherwise noted, films will be introduced by NCMA Film Curator Laura Boyes. Thanks to Mike Mashon at the Library of Congress and David Spencer at the School of Filmmaking Archive at the NC School of the Arts for the loan of archival prints.