2008 Winter Film Series
All films will be shown in 35mm and will begin at 8 pm on Friday nights
This year we begin the series in February, with our annual presentation of a silent film with live music. A UCLA archival print of Chicago, the source of the Oscar winning musical, will screen, accompanied by a 1920s jazz-influenced score by Chicago maestro David Drazin. We will have our regular series of cinematic treats from the Library of Congress and a selection of “Arabian Nights” films will examine alternative views of the Middle East. Two long time friends of the NCMA series, Marsha Orgeron and Devin Orgeron of the NC State Film Studies Department, have selected films to complement their new books. We’ll have copies for sale, and they will even autograph them for you!
Although movies are unrated, older children and teens will find the titles in the series enriching and challenging. All films are shown in new or archival 35mm prints.
Silent film with Live music!
Chicago (1927) Directed by Frank Urson (or maybe Cecil B. De Mille) Phyllis Haver, Victor Varconi, Eugene Palette (118 min).
Naughty Roxie Hart shoots her lover down in the original silent version of Oscar’s 2002 Best Picture. The spicy Roaring 20s exposé stars flirtatious Phyllis Haver. The true life Roxie shrugged, “Gin and guns, either one is bad enough, but together they get you in a dickens of a mess, don’t they?” Live music by David Drazin. UCLA archival print. Film notes for Chicago.
The Earrings of Madame De…(1953) Directed by Max Ophuls. Danielle Darrieux, Charles Boyer, Vittorio De Sica (105 min)
A beautiful countess rummages amongst her jewels to find a bauble to pay her debts. Thus, a pair of diamond earrings begin a journey, their worth fluctuating depending on their sentimental value. Ophuls’ elegantly swirling camera is pure seduction. “The greatest film of all time” (Andrew Sarris). Film Notes for Madame De...
Pierrot le Fou (1966) Directed by Jean Luc Godard. Jean Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina (110 min).
A family man escapes with the baby sitter in an existential caper inspired by Bonnie and Clyde, and the director’s own proverb, “All you need for a movie is a girl and a gun.” “The epitome of New Wave Pop Art romanticism” (Village Voice). Film notes.
Don’t pick up Hitchhikers, Part 1
Detour (1945) Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer. Tom Neal, Ann Savage (67 min).
A loser accepts a ride in the wrong car and meets a deadly dame in this sleazy noir with—like its heroine-- sharp claws and a bad attitude. “No one who has seen it has easily forgotten it” (Roger Ebert). NC State Film Studies Professor Devin Orgeron will introduce and sign copies of his new book Road Movies.
Mafioso (1962) Directed by Alberto Lattuada. Alberto Sordi, Norma Bengell (99 min).
An efficient factory foreman, yearning for the lemon-scented sun in his Sicilian village, packs up the wife and kids for a long delayed holiday. Paying routine respects to the Don has chilling consequences when he’s asked for a favor that can’t be refused. “An utter blast!” (NY Times). Film notes for Mafioso.
Killer of Sheep (1977) Directed by Charles Burnett. Henry Gayle Sanders, Kaycee Moore (83 min.)
A sensitive soul living in LA’s Watts ghetto grows numb from his slaughterhouse job. Precious vignettes in the daily life of an African American family fill this legendary film, shot on weekends in the mid-70s for $10,000. Re-released to acclaim as the best of 2006, “An American masterpiece” (New York Times).
Grass (1925) Directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack (70 min)
Before making King Kong, real life ethnographic filmmakers Cooper and Schoedsack filmed the Bakhtiari tribe of Persia (now Iran) during their thrilling and dangerous annual migration to animal pasture lands across a raging river and up a 15,000 ft mountain. This breathtaking silent documentary has a recorded soundtrack of Iranian music. Film notes for Grass.
Arabian Nights (1942) Directed by John Rawlins. Maria Montez, Jon Hall, Sabu (86 min).
Action packed Technicolor Hollywood Orientalist tale with Dominican Montez as Scheherazade, Jon Hall as Baghdad’s Caliph, and Sabu, the only Indian actor ever to make it big in Western movies, as the smartest cookie of all. Shemp is on hand as Sinbad the Sailor in a campy fantasy adventure. Universal archival print. Film notes for Arabian Nights.
Kabul Express (2006) Written and directed by Kabir Khan. John Abraham and Arshad Warsi (104 min)
Documentary filmmaker Kabir Khan fictionalizes his post 9/11 reportage in Afghanistan, as two Indian reporters search for a Taliban soldier to interview. Fortuitously (or not) their truck is hijacked by one, desperate to reach the Pakistan border. Dark humor (Arshad is as flippant as a 1930s newshound) alternates with terror as they, their Afghan driver, an American girl reporter and the kidnapper argue over the blame for Afghanistan’s despoilment. Everyone agrees that taking American money is a trap, since the US changes loyalties capriciously, “they drain the country of its oil and fill it with Coke and Pepsi.” Breathtakingly filmed in Afghanistan with a piercing blue sky shimmering over the expanse of rubble and endless dusty roads. “Exemplary filmmaking” (BBC). Film notes for Kabul Express.
A Time for Drunken Horses (2000) Written and directed by Bahman Ghobadi. Ayoub Ahmadi, Rojin Younessi. (80 min).
Three Kurdish children struggle to survive in a drama set in village of director Ghobadi’s birth. Smuggling is the main occupation in the wintery Iran-Iraq border lands, and 12 year old Ayoub joins a dangerous caravan, evoking the journey in Grass. “…a film of stunning vistas -- and aching tenderness” (San Francisco Chronicle).
Three on a Match (1932) Directed by Mervyn Le Roy. Bette Davis, Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak (63 min)
Three old pals meet after ten years, and defy superstition to light three cigarettes with a single match: one life careens out of control. A hard boiled collision of women’s picture and gangster film, it’s drenched in Great Depression Pre-Code cynicism. Film notes for Three on a Match.
Man Who Came to Dinner (1942) Directed by William Keighley. Bette Davis, Monty Wooley, Ann Sheridan (114 min).
A cranky radio personality slips on the ice while visiting remote Ohio and must recuperate in the hinterlands during Christmas, in this comedy gem by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. Wooley was born to play sardonic Sheridan Whiteside, scowling as perfect storm of wisecracks circles his wheelchair. Film notes for Man Who Came to Dinner.
The Hitch Hiker (1953) Directed by Ida Lupino. Edmond O’ Brien, Frank Lovejoy, William Talman (71 min).
Lupino, one of the few woman directors in classic Hollywood, orchestrates this nail biting noir, about two genial fishermen who pick up a murderous hitch hiker. Introduced by Marsha Orgeron, Director of the NC State Film Studies program, who will sign copies of her new book, Hollywood Ambitions: Celebrity in the Movie Age.
All films are 35mm prints and begin Fridays at 8:00 pm
The galleries and the Blue Ridge Restaurant will be open prior to screenings
Box Office: (919) 715-5923
Tickets: $5.00/$3.50 NCMA Members
Series Passes $35/$25 NCMA Members
Introductions are by Film Curator Laura Boyes unless otherwise noted.
For more information about the NC Museum of Art: ncartmuseum.org