Winter Film Series 2016

Shall We Dance?

January begins with a spectacular 4K digital restoration of Carol Reed’s The Third Man as we continue to show off our new DCP projection and renovated auditorium.  Our cold weather theme should keep you warm, as we explore dance on screen in musicals, ballets, in silent film, and in best Dancing With the Stars style, with ballroom dance around the world.  We’ll twirl with Busby Berkeley’s chorus girls, glide with Astaire and Rogers, reflect on Bob Fosse’s career, tango and swing dance, and swirl in a Dada dreamscape. We’ll have some special guest intros, including the Carolina Ballet’s Artistic Director, Robert Weiss, and have a special swing dance lecture and demonstration.  We’ll ask you Fridays this season…shall we dance? 

January 8:

The Third Man (1949) Directed by Carol Reed. Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli.(93 min)  DCP Restoration

A pulp fiction author whose noble instincts seem out of place after WW II searches for an old friend.  The shadowy rubble of partitioned Vienna gave a chill to American audiences, clearly foreshadowing the maze of Cold War panic and paranoia.  "A fun-house Casablanca…set in the broken heart of Europe--an uncanny Vienna populated by a multi-national assortment of rogues and fools" (Village Voice). Film Notes for The Third Man.

January 15:

42nd Street (1933) Directed by Lloyd Bacon. Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell (89 min) 35mm archive print from the Library of Congress

THE classic movie musical, as winsome chorine Keeler is forced to take the stage when the star breaks her ankle. Crackling with Pre-Code naughtiness, blooming with Busby Berkeley’s mad choreography and awash in Warner Brothers’ New Deal era grit, this “remains the quintessential Depression spectacle” (NY Times). Shown with the Laurel and Hardy short “Me and My Pal.” Film notes for 42nd Street

January 22:

The Gay Divorcee (1934) Directed by Mark Sandrich.  Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton (107 min) 35mm archive print from the Library of Congress

A dancer is mistaken for a “correspondent” hired by a pert blonde to feign adultery in able to get her divorce.  The rhapsodic Astaire and Rogers, in their first starring film, swirl amidst an apotheosis of Art Deco glamour.  “The repartee is sharp, the plot is delightfully ridiculous, and the numbers — like ”Night and Day” and the epic Oscar winner ”The Continental” — are knockouts.” (EW).  Film notes for The Gay Divorcee.

January 29:

Tales of Hoffman (1951) Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.  Moira Shearer, Ludmilla Tcherina, Robert Helpmann, Leonide Massine (133 min) DCP Restoration

An uncanny ballerina, a slinky Venetian courtesan and a gentle soprano flirting with death are the three lost loves of a poet.  The team behind The Red Shoes brings an opera-ballet to the screen in scintillating Technicolor with a touch of the surreal and a rush of spectacle.  A favorite of director Martin Scorsese, it “comes close to genius as a shock of pure cinema” (Time Out). Introduced by Carolina Ballet Artistic Director Robert Weiss.

February 5:

Kiss Me, Kate (1953) Directed by George Sidney. Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Ann Miller (109 min) Blu-Ray

Two egomaniacal Broadway stars, played by preening Keel and Winston-Salem’s trilling Grayson, bicker through a musical version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.  Sadly, this brilliant Cole Porter musical won’t screen in 3-D, so Ann Miller can’t “tap into your lap,” but you can imagine it! “The most magical moment is when a very young Bob Fosse dances in "From This Moment On" to his own choreography…A treat, on no account to be missed” (BBC). Shown with Biffle and Shooster short "Schmo Boat." Film notes for Kiss Me, Kate

February 12:

All That Jazz (1979) Directed by Bob Fosse.  Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Ann Reinking (123 min) DCP

Bob Fosse’s sprawling, frantic autobiography/meditation/rant is a razzle dazzle musical about a driven perfectionist addicted to cigs, sex, speed, and booze.  It’s unique, a blackly comic musical about open heart surgery tinged with the edgy subjectivity of 70s cinema. Nervy and jangling, Scheider’s take on Fosse’s egomania results in one of the rare song and dance films devoid of optimism.  “The best film I think I have ever seen” (Stanley Kubrick). Film Notes for All That Jazz

February 19:

Lady in the Dark (1944) Directed by Mitchell Leisen. Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Warner Baxter. (100 min.) 35mm print from Universal Film Archive

Brittle Allure magazine editor Liza Elliott can't shake her malaise and reluctantly enters psychotherapy, triggering a series of bonkers Technicolor dreams, including appearing in the most expensive costume in Hollywood history.  An infuriatingly patronizing shrink prods Liza to choose between work and home, and three men, symbolizing money, love and career.  “The plethora of many combinations of brilliant colors stamps the production as perhaps the finest ever turned out in tints” (Variety).Film notes for Lady in the Dark

February 26:

Buck Privates (1941) Directed by Arthur Lubin.  Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, The Andrews Sisters (84 min) 35mm print from Universal Film Archive.

A pre-Pearl Harbor slapstick propaganda charm offensive, Buck Privates is overflowing with great 40s songs (the Andrews Sisters sing “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy) and championship swing dancing.  The enigmatic friendship between former burlesque comics Bud and Lou spotlights their complex verbal jousting, and oh, yes, you’ll learn how to shoot craps.  “Lou Costello is the best comic working in the business today” (Charlie Chaplin). Swing dance talk and demo by Adam Spleen and Abagail Browning.

March 4:

Why Be Good? (1929) Directed by William A. Seiter.  Colleen Moore, Neil Hamilton, Bodil Rosing.  (81 min).  DCP restoration.  Live music by David Drazin.

Pert Kelly is the cat’s pajamas, a go-getting shopgirl by day, and heedless flapper by night.  When this carefree Charleston champ snags a millionaire, will the temptation to misbehave overwhelm her?  Until recently a lost film, this is a new restoration of a sparkling Jazz Age comedy.  "I was the spark that lit up Flaming Youth, Colleen Moore was the torch” (F. Scott Fitzgerald). Film Notes for Why Be Good?

March 11:

Strictly Ballroom (1992) Written and directed by Baz Luhrmann.  Paul Mercurio, Tara Morice, Bill Hunter (94 min) 35mm print from Park Circus Films

Luhrmann’s first film evoked his rural Australian family’s passion for ballroom dance in a zany  mockumentary about a determined aspirant for the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix Amateur Championship.  A maverick’s forbidden steps blend with the flamenco fire of a bespectacled wallflower, but will the rebels triumph?  “Funny thing about Strictly Ballroom, you see every trick up its sleeve, and you still keep smiling” (Rolling Stone). Film Notes for Strictly Ballroom

March 18:
Shall We Dance (1996) Written and directed by Masayuki Suo.  Koji Yakusho, Tamiyo Kusakari, Naoto Takenaka (136 min) Japanese with English subtitles. 35mm print from Park Circus Films

A buttoned-down salaryman gazes out his commuter train window at a wistful dancer, and decides to try ballroom dancing, even though the flagrant touching and emotional display are considered shameful in Japan. He slowly discovers that self-expression is necessary for happiness.  “Holds forth the sunny possibility that beyond the most timid exterior there may be a tangoing Walter Mitty to be found” (NY Times).

March 25:

Cuban Fury (2014) Directed by James Griffiths.  Nick Frost, Rashida Jones, Chris O’ Dowd (98 min) DCP

Portly cubicle drone Bruce has banked down the fires fueling his passion for competitive salsa dancing.  Challenged by a horrible workplace bully, and his dawning feelings for the new boss, Bruce (Frost, soloing without Simon Pegg, his usual comic partner) dons the ruffled satin shirt once more to a pulsing soundtrack of Latin superstars.  "Ratatouille meets Billy Elliot… An enjoyably lightweight comedy thanks mostly to Frost and his endearing castmates.” (Newsday). Film Notes.

April 1:

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004) Directed by Guy Ferland. Diego Luna, Romola Garai, Sela Ward, John Slattery (86 min) PG-13 35mm print

Poor Katey has to move to Havana, Cuba, and live with her family in a fancy hotel, while her daddy flogs Fords to the locals.  But, it’s November, 1958, and Revolution is brewing.  She loves dancing with dreamy waiter Javier, but will Castro toss all the gringos out before they can compete in the big Latin Ballroom contest?  “I'll admit it if you will.  "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights" is a pelvis-gyrating, ponytail-releasing, shirt-unbuttoning good time” (Chicago Tribune). Film notes.



All films are shown in 35mm when possible, check listings for format

Fridays at 8:00 pm unless noted

The galleries and Iris Restaurant will be open prior to screenings

Box Office: (919) 715-5923

Tickets to most films: $7.00/$5.00 NCMA Members

Special Events may have different pricing

Introductions are by Film Curator Laura Boyes unless otherwise noted.

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