a highly-opinionated selection of things happening around town, and sometimes out of town. this month's page here.
fri. jan. 2 the astrologer MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theater blade runner (director's cut) MIDNIGHT @ nuart tue. jan. 6 heathers @ ham & eggs wed. jan. 7 lost & found film club: toon town 10:30 PM @ silent movie theater thu. jan. 8 boyhood @ the contenders @ hammer the molochs, drinking flowers, tracy bryant @ harvard & stone avatar and aether: visionary women and the cinematic occult 7 PM @ moca grand sun. jan. 11 a series of mysteries: the 52nd ann arbor film festival traveling tour @ filmform @ spielberg @ egyptian tue. jan. 13 a girl walks home alone at night @ the contenders @ hammer wed. jan. 14 telecaves @ hyperion tavern wie man sieht: in memory of filmmaker harun farocki: night one 7 PM @ filmforum @ goethe-institut thu. jan. 15 chain and the gang, sex stains @ satellite triptides @ los globos fri. jan. 16 budos band @ regent theater big dick FREE @ mrs fish sun. jan. 18 subversive cinema FREE 7 PM @ beyond baroque memories of underdevelopment @ veggiecloud bella vista @ filmforum @ spielberg @ egyptian tue. jan. 20 super man chu, duel of the iron fist @ new beverly igby goes down 7:20 PM @ greg proops film club @ silent movie theater why don't you play in hell? 10:30 PM @ silent movie theater the women (1939) 1 PM @ lacma wed. jan. 21 the new centurions, the last run @ new beverly why don't you play in hell? 10 PM @ silent movie theater wie man sieht: in memory of filmmaker harun farocki: night two 7 PM @ filmforum @ goethe-institut thu. jan. 22 telecaves FREE @ human resources le rayon vert @ veggiecloud the new centurions, the last run @ new beverly gone in 60 seconds (1974), speedtrap @ egyptian the bubble @ aero why don't you play in hell? 10 PM @ silent movie theater timbuktu FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc stark girlhood FREE (RSVP) @ melnitz movies @ ucla james bridges tokyo chorus FREE 7 PM @ csun armer triptides, black sea FREE @ harvard & stone the race for the south pole @ mush! to the movies: a polar film club @ filmforum @ velaslavasay panorama fri. jan. 23 the shining MIDNIGHT @ nuart bouquet @ pehrspace duel, the car @ egyptian goodbye to language 3d 7:30 9:15 PM @ aero sansho the bailiff @ ucla film archive bad hair 1:00 3:00 8:30 PM @ downtown independent sat. jan. 24 soylent green MIDNIGHT @ new beverly diamonds are forever, the man with the golden gun @ egyptian goodbye to language 3d 7:30 9:15 PM @ aero the guitar mongoloid + ruben ostlund shorts 4:30 PM @ silent movie theater the godfather part ii @ lacma bad hair 4:00 6:00 PM @ downtown independent sun. jan. 25 comanche station 5:50 9:10 PM, ride lonesome 7:30 PM @ new beverly goodbye to language 3d 4:00 7:30 9:15 PM @ aero madam satan 7 PM, dynamite @ ucla film archive norte the end of history FREE (RSVP) 1 PM @ usc stark bad hair 12:00 5:00 PM @ downtown independent forest of bliss: a tribute to robert gardner @ filmforum @ spielberg @ egyptian mon. jan. 26 ride lonesome, comanche station @ new beverly goodbye to language 3d 7:30 9:15 PM @ aero utamaro and his five women @ ucla film archive bad hair 4:30 6:30 PM @ downtown independent tue. jan. 27 goodbye to language 3d 7:30 9:15 PM @ aero bad hair 3:00 5:00 PM @ downtown independent wed. jan. 28 the don is dead, mr. majestyk @ new beverly goodbye to language 3d 7:30 9:15 PM @ aero bad hair 3:30 5:30 PM @ downtown independent triptides @ the echo calendar FREE @ hammer wie man sieht: in memory of filmmaker harun farocki: night three 7 PM @ filmforum @ goethe-institut thu. jan. 29 la art book fair @ moca geffen the don is dead, mr. majestyk @ new beverly vanishing point, fear is the key @ egyptian goodbye to language 3d 7:30 9:15 PM @ aero seven samurai @ lacma bad hair 3:30 5:30 PM @ downtown independent i was born but... FREE 7 PM @ csun armer body/head @ the echo fri. jan. 30 la art book fair @ moca geffen true romance MIDNIGHT @ new beverly the french connection, the driver @ egyptian fantasia @ aero vampire's kiss MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theater taxi driver, up tight! @ lacma life of oharu @ ucla film archive sat. jan. 31 la art book fair @ moca geffen tales from the crypt MIDNIGHT @ new beverly the gold rush 3:30 PM @ egyptian high crime, the family @ egyptian the life aquatic with steve zissou 5 PM, barry lyndon @ lacma solitude & escape: marvelous movies with amir george 8 PM @ epfc body/head (7:30) FREE @ getty sun. feb. 1 la art book fair @ moca geffen the plague dogs 8 PM @ silent movie theater the ten commandments 7 PM @ ucla film archive telecaves @ mata joe gibbons: confessions of a sociopath @ filmforum @ spielberg @ egyptian mon. feb. 2 the plague dogs @ silent movie theater dead meadow FREE @ the continental room (fullerton) tue. feb. 3 the plague dogs @ silent movie theater gentlemen prefer blondes 1 PM @ lacma wed. feb. 4 good people go to hell saved people go to heaven FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc stark wie man sieht: in memory of filmmaker harun farocki: night four 7 PM @ filmforum @ goethe-institut plasmodian telecaves FREE @ hyperion tavern thu. feb. 5 dirt dress FREE @ harvard & stone blume in love @ veggiecloud le revelateur (w/ live score) @ silent movie theater passing fancy FREE 7 PM, woman of tokyo @ csun armer fri. feb. 6 the big lebowski MIDNIGHT @ nuart the loons, love revisited @ el cid the godfather, the godfather part ii @ egyptian cemetery man MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theater annie hall, fingers @ lacma story of the last chrysanthemum @ ucla film archive sorcerer FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc norris the eskimo baby @ mush! to the movies: a polar film club @ filmforum @ velaslavasay panorama sat. feb. 7 saturday morning cartoons: mysteries 12 PM @ silent movie theater the cheat, the golden chance @ ucla film archive we got power: punk rock films by david markey 8 PM @ epfc sun. feb. 8 routine pleasures @ veggiecloud the phantom tollbooth (1970) 11 AM @ ucla film archive daredevils @ filmforum @ spielberg @ egyptian mon. feb. 9 folk music films FREE 6 PM @ documental @ unurban tue. feb. 10 corners, adult books @ echoplex how to marry a millionaire 1 PM @ lacma stephanie barber's jhana and the rats of james olds or 31 days/31 videos 8 PM @ epfc tiny ruins @ the echo wed. feb. 11 the warlocks, dream boys @ bootleg llyn foulkes one man band FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc stark wie man sieht: in memory of filmmaker harun farocki: night five 7 PM @ filmforum @ goethe-institut thu. feb. 12 animation breakdown: devin flynn & friends 10 PM @ silent movie theater dragnet girl FREE 7 PM, a story of floating weeds @ csun armer the blow, anna oxygen @ satellite fri. feb. 13 four frightened people, this day and age @ ucla film archive return to oz FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc stark the goonies, pee-wee's big adventure @ lacma l.a. witch, cherry glazerr @ the echo sat. feb. 14 mantrap 12:30 PM @ the silent treatment @ silent movie theater casablanca 6:30 9:15 PM @ silent movie theater the plainsman @ ucla film archive blade runner (director's cut) 5 PM, fight club @ lacma sun. feb. 15 a new leaf @ veggiecloud l.a. zine fest 11AM-5PM @ homenetmen the 47 ronin (pt. 1 & 2) 7 PM @ ucla film archive colleen green @ the smell festival of (in)appropriation #7 @ filmforum @ spielberg @ egyptian tue. feb. 17 river of no return 1 PM @ lacma how to shoot a crime FREE @ hammer wed. feb. 18 wie man sieht: in memory of filmmaker harun farocki: night six 7 PM @ filmforum @ goethe-institut thu. feb. 19 the only son FREE 7 PM, there was a father @ csun armer fri. feb. 20 union pacific @ ucla film archive back to the future, return to oz @ lacma sat. feb. 21 kiss of the spider woman @ ucla film archive antibalas @ the broad stage wittgenstein 5 PM @ lacma sun. feb. 22 an unmarried woman @ veggiecloud tue. feb. 24 the seven year itch 1 PM @ lacma winter @ the echo wed. feb. 25 wie man sieht: in memory of filmmaker harun farocki: night seven 7 PM @ filmforum @ goethe-institut thu. feb. 26 late spring FREE 7 PM, a hen in the wind @ csun armer fri. feb. 27 six organs of admittance @ echo jessica pratt @ carpenter house (long beach) the crusades, the godless girl @ ucla film archive triptides @ hollywood sound studios sat. feb. 28 jessica pratt @ the echo mon. mar. 2 llyn foulkes one man band FREE @ lacma wed. mar. 4 wie man sieht: in memory of filmmaker harun farocki: night eight 7 PM @ filmforum @ goethe-institut thu. mar. 5 early summer FREE 7 PM @ csun armer sat. mar. 7 the loons, the unclaimed @ redwood dead meadow, the warlocks, drinking flowers @ bootleg wed. mar. 11 blank tapes @ the echo thu. mar. 12 tokyo story FREE 7 PM @ csun armer fri. mar. 13 wand @ the echo thu. mar. 19 early spring FREE 7 PM @ csun armer fri. mar. 20 sea lions @ the echo nanook of the north @ mush! to the movies: a polar film club @ filmforum @ velaslavasay panorama sun. mar. 22 moon duo @ the observatory (santa ana) tue. mar. 24 moon duo @ los globos wed. mar. 25 ravished armenia FREE @ hammer thu. mar. 26 tokyo twilight FREE 7 PM @ csun armer thu. apr. 2 equinox flower FREE 7 PM @ csun armer sun. apr. 5 his name is alive, bell gardens @ the echo wed. apr. 8 tame impala @ fox theater tue. apr. 14 fka twigs @ ace hotel theatre aghet - ein volkermord FREE @ hammer thu. apr. 16 floating weeds FREE 7 PM @ csun armer sat. apr. 18 charles bradley @ the roxy thu. apr. 23 late autumn FREE 7 PM @ csun armer thu. apr. 30 the end of summer FREE 7 PM, good morning @ csun armer fri. may 1 sleater-kinney @ palladium thu. may 7 an autumn afternoon FREE 7 PM @ csun armer fri. may 15 psycho california @ the observatory (santa ana) sat. may 16 psycho california @ the observatory (santa ana) sun. may 17 psycho california @ the observatory (santa ana) WHAT IT IS: AGHET - EIN VOLKERMORD The prizewinning film Aghet – Ein Völkermord (Armenian for "the catastrophe") by acclaimed German film maker Eric Friedler tells the story of the Armenian genocide, one of the darkest chapters of the First World War. Though there is an international consensus that up to 1.5 million Armenians died in the Ottoman Turkish Empire the Armenian genocide is still not recognized by Turkey as a historical fact. Aghet – Ein Völkermord deals with the political motives for this continuing silence. This innovative German documentary relies on authentic testimonies by European and American personnel stationed in the Near East at the time and Armenian survivors. Famous German actors give these eyewitnesses finally the opportunity to make their voices heard. Director Eric Friedler joins us for a discussion following the screening. (2010, Dir. Eric Friedler, 90 min). ANIMATION BREAKDOWN: DEVIN FLYNN & FRIENDS Most well known for his Webby-awarded series Y’all So Stupid, Devin Flynn has animated for an all-star selection of tripped-out wonders: Wonder Showzen, Aquateen Hunger Force Movie, Xavier: Renegade Angel and Yo Gabba Gabba, as well as music videos for Flying Lotus and The Alchemist. Join Devin and friends for a night of weird and wooly clips! THE ASTROLOGER “You’re not an astrologer... YOU’RE AN ASSHOLE!” — Arthyr Chadbourne, in The Astrologer Our compatriots at Austin, TX’s American Genre Film Archive bring us a lost masterwork of such feverish potency that it immediately evokes memories of Top 10 Cinefamily Bizarro Moments Of All-Time like Dangerous Men, Lost In The Desert and After Last Season. The brainchild of writer/director/star/supposed celebrity astrologer Craig Denney, 1975’s The Astrologer is a self-aggrandizing yet completely dislocating auto-biopic journey into “What makes a world-famous zodiac peddler tick?” Natch, it involves humble beginnings as a carnival huckster, diamond smuggling, African jail, Indiana Jones-level daring-do, carousing in Valley dive bars with haggard-as-hell barflies, an avant-garde film-within-the-film (titled The Astrologer), slo-mo food fights and more Moody Blues than you can handle. No situation is too nutz for Denney to flash his irascible smirk at — and no single scene will ever prepare you for what the next will be. A shattering missive from the outermost limits of cinematic sanity — and the most delirious film find of 2014, discovered amongst the impossible hodgepodge of over one thousand donated 35mm prints from a single humungous batch. Dir. Craig Denney, 1975, 35mm, 77 min. An Autumn Afternoon (1962), 113 mins. The last film by Yasujiro Ozu was also his final masterpiece, a gently heartbreaking story about a man’s dignified resignation to life’s shifting currents and society’s modernization. Though the widower Shuhei (frequent Ozu leading man Chishu Ryu) has been living comfortably for years with his grown daughter, a series of events leads him to accept and encourage her marriage and departure from their home. As elegantly composed and achingly tender as any of the Japanese master’s films, An Autumn Afternoon is one of cinema’s fondest farewells. BLUME IN LOVE (1973, Dir: Paul Mazursky) In a series of flashbacks, coxcombical divorce lawyer Stephen Blume (George Segal) recalls the infidelities that led to the breakup of his marriage, but discovers he’s still in love with his wife. Now he’ll have to get past her new boyfriend, a burnout musician named Elmo played an unflappably suave Kris Kristofferson. THE BUBBLE aka THE FANTASTIC INVASION OF PLANET EARTH 1966, Kino Lorber, 91 min, USA, Dir: Arch Oboler Writer-director Arch Oboler, who kicked off the original 3-D movie craze with BWANA DEVIL, devised this “Twilight Zone”-esque sci-fi spine-tingler to showcase “Space-Vision,” which produced a widescreen 3-D image from a single strip of film. Michael Cole and Deborah Walley star as newlyweds whose plane is forced to land near a town whose inhabitants appear to be living on autopilot. This one is packed with great visual gimmicks - when the drink tray floats by, you’ll find yourself reaching for a beer! Introduction by 3-D historian Robert Furmanek. Discussion following the film with actor Michael Cole and editor Igo Kantor, moderated by Mike Schlesinger. 3-D! Newly Restored DCP! CALENDAR A photographer traveling in Armenia for a calendar project realizes that his wife, an Armenian translator, is falling in love with their driver and unofficial tour guide. The Academy Award–nominated director Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter) reveals the unraveling of a marriage through a series of flash-forwards. (1993, Dir. A. Egoyan, 74 min.) A Q&A with Dr. Carla Garapedian of the Armenian Film Foundation and Robert Lantos, producer of Ararat, follows the screening. The Cheat (1915) Edith Hardy, a social climbing stockbroker's wife, is bored by her husband's frugality, and complains of the same to wealthy Japanese importer Hirushu Tori, a member of her glittering social circle. Treasurer of a charitable fund, Edith rashly sinks $10,000 in an investment which quickly goes south. Seeking help from Tori, Edith luridly falls under his influence until the scandal blows wide open. Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Co., Inc. Director: Cecil B. DeMille. Screenwriter: Hector Turnbull, Jeanie Macpherson. Cinematographer: Alvin Wyckoff. Cast: Fannie Ward, Sessue Hayakawa, Jack Dean, James Neill, Hazel Childers. 35mm, b/w, silent, 59 min. In-person: Betty Lasky. Live musical accompaniment provided by Cliff Retallick. The Crusades (1935) In the quest to reclaim Jerusalem from Islamic warrior Saladin, Richard the Lionhearted sees an opportunity to escape a politically expedient marriage, but soon finds it necessary to grudgingly take a bride (Berengaria, princess of Navarre) as a condition of assistance from her father in his campaign. Their budding romance, developing an ever-loftier tone, becomes the film’s tender heart as Richard finds purpose in battle, and even solidarity with Saladin himself. Paramount Productions, Inc. Director: Cecil B. DeMille. Screenwriting: Harold Lamb, Dudley Nichols, Waldemar Young. Cinematographer: Victor Milner. Editor: Anne Bauchens. Cast: Henry Wilcoxon, Loretta Young, Ian Keith, C. Aubrey Smith, Alan Hale. 35mm, b/w, 125 min. DAREDEVILS Filmmaker Stephanie Barber in person! Filmforum welcomes back filmmaker Stephanie Barber for the Los Angeles premiere of her first feature film, DAREDEVILS. A portrait of risk and language, DAREDEVILS, presents the experimental narrative of a writer as she interviews a well-known artist and feels the reverberations of their discussion throughout her day. Visually spare, still and verbose, the video considers three formal handlings of language—a dialog, two monologues and a song. “Here, the excitement of ideas, and of seeing, functions like the rising and falling of serotonin levels, moments of ecstasy leading to inevitably painful ends. Moments bend within that split second when happiness turns into melancholy on contact with the intellect.” -- From “Notes on Daredevils” by Rachael Rakes Dragnet Girl (1933), 100 mins. Tokiko leads a double-life as an office typist and the mistress of a retired champion boxer and small-time ringleader named Jyoji. Hiroshi, a new recruit to the gang, hero worships Jyoji and neglects his studies. Hiroshi's sister Kazuko begs Jyoji to spare her brother from their shady dealings, but inadvertently casts a spell on Jyoji. After several reversals, Jyoji returns to Tokiko's arms. They decide to come clean, but not before pulling one last job to help Hiroshi and Kazuko. Dynamite (1929) Director Cecil B. DeMille's first all-talking picture, also released in a silent version, features a pampered society girl who will lose her trust fund if she isn't married and living with her husband by a certain date—unless he dies before, in which case she keeps the cash. Strategically selecting a death row inmate, her world is turned upside down when the man is freed and turns up at her penthouse to live up to his vows. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. Director: Cecil B. DeMille. Screenwriter: Jeanie Mcpherson. Cinematographer: Peverell Marley. Editor: Anne Bauchens. Cast: Conrad Nagel, Kay Johnson, Charles Bickford, Julia Faye, Joel McCrea. 16mm, b/w, 128 min. Early Spring (1956), 145 mins In his first film after the commercial and critical success of Tokyo Story, Ozu examines life in postwar Japan through the eyes of a young salaryman, dissatisfied with career and marriage, who begins an affair with a flirtatious co-worker. Early Summer (1951), 125 mins The Mamiya family is seeking a husband for their daughter, Noriko, but she has ideas of her own. Played by the extraordinary Setsuko Hara, Noriko impulsively chooses her childhood friend, at once fulfilling her family’s desires while tearing them apart. A seemingly simple story, Early Summer is one of Yasujiro Ozu’s most complex works—a nuanced examination of life’s changes across three generations. The Criterion Collection is proud to present one of the director’s most enduring classics. The End of Summer (1961), 103 mins. The Kohayakawa family is thrown into distress when childlike father Manbei takes up with his old mistress, in one of Ozu’s most deftly modulated blendings of comedy and tragedy. Equinox Flower (1958), 118 mins. Later in his career, Ozu started becoming increasingly sympathetic with the younger generation, a shift that was cemented in Equinox Flower, his gorgeously detailed first color film, about an old-fashioned father and his newfangled daughter. The Eskimo Baby Germany, 1918, 65 min., B&W, Digital Projection Directed by Heinz Schall Silent with score by Maud Nelissen This rare, winning German silent film stars comedy diva Asta Nielsen as Ivigtut, and Freddy Wingardh as a young polar explorer, Knud Prätorius (whose character is, perhaps, modeled on Danish explorer and anthropologist Knud Rasmusen). Prätorius brings Ivigtut back home with him to Berlin from her Eskimo village, where she experiences a confounding and comical Western culture. THE FAMILY CITTÀ VIOLENTA 1970, 100 min, Italy, Dir: Sergio Sollima Killer Charles Bronson is chased by double crossers while on a vacation with main squeeze Jill Ireland and, after mucho mayhem, left for dead. But Bronson re-emerges from prison to hunt through the New Orleans underworld for his traitorous comrades. He gets more than he bargained for, running into duplicitous Ireland and her new hubby, mob boss Telly Savalas, who wants to hire Bronson - and won’t take no for an answer. “One stylish action scene after another…whipped into a frenzy by Ennio Morricone's shredded electro soundtrack...” - Grady Hendrix, New York Sun. FEAR IS THE KEY 1972, Paramount, 103 min, USA, Dir: Michael Tuchner Adapted from Alistair MacLean’s novel, this British revenge thriller stars Barry Newman as a tough guy who isn’t quite what he seems, with a great Roy Budd soundtrack, a car chase to rival that of BULLITT and a wonderful closing twist to sweeten the deal. Keep an eye out for Ben Kingsley in his feature debut! The Festival of (In)appropriation #7 Curators Jaimie Baron and Greg Cohen and filmmaker Maria Magnusson in person! The Festival of (In)appropriation returns to Filmforum with its seventh program of cutting-edge experimental found footage shorts. Whether you call it collage, compilation, found footage, détournement, or recycled cinema, the incorporation of previously shot materials into new artworks is a practice that has generated novel juxtapositions of elements which have produced new meanings and ideas that may not have been intended by the original makers, that are, in other words “inappropriate.” Founded in 2009, the Festival of (In)appropriation is a yearly showcase of contemporary short audiovisual works that appropriate film or video footage and repurpose it in “inappropriate” and inventive ways. This year’s show is curated by Jaimie Baron, Greg Cohen, and Lauren Berliner. FINGERS Written and directed by James Toback; with Harvey Keitel, Tisa Farrow, Jim Brown, Michael V. Gazzo, Marian Seldes. James Toback, screenwriter of the original The Gambler, made his film-directing debut with this edgy urban drama. Harvey Keitel gives a darkly magnetic performance as Jimmy “Fingers” Angelelli, a brilliant young pianist with a penchant for Bach who squanders his potential by working as a collector for his loan-shark father (Michael V. Gazzo, The Godfather Part II’s Frankie Pentangeli). Featuring charismatic performances by Jim Brown as Jimmy’s mentor and Tisa Farrow (Mia’s sister) as his muse, Fingers is a prime example of ’70s cinema at its boldest and most personal. Toback’s friend Pauline Kael called it “a howl of ambition” and “exuberantly melodramatic," and the film was remade by French director Jacques Audiard (A Prophet) in 2005 as The Beat That My Heart Skipped. Albert Wolsky, the seven-time Academy Award nominee who won Costume Design Oscars for All That Jazz and Bugsy, created the gritty yet stylish looks of Keitel and his costars. 1978, 91 minutes, color, DCP Floating Weeds (1959), 119 mins. In 1959, Yasujiro Ozu remade his 1934 silent classic A Story of Floating Weeds in color with the celebrated cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa (Rashomon, Ugetsu). Setting his later version in a seaside location, Ozu otherwise preserves the details of his elegantly simple plot wherein an aging actor returns to a small town with his troupe and reunities with his former lover and illegitimate son, a scenario that enrages his current mistress and results in heartbreak for all. Together, the films offer a unique glimpse into the evolution of one of cinema’s greatest directors. A Story of Floating Weeds reveals Ozu in the midst of developing his mode of expression; Floating Weeds reveals his distinct style at its pinnacle. In each, the director captures the joy and sadness in everyday life. Four Frightened People (1934) A British socialite, an introverted chemist (Herbert Marshall), a famous journalist and a mousy schoolteacher (Claudette Colbert) renegotiate their personas and power relations when they are put off of a cruise ship beset with disease, and must survive the Malayan jungle with only the help of a native guide. Tellingly, in director Cecil B. DeMille's world, the jungle humbles the self-important, and brings out the animal in the formerly meek, infusing this absurdist DeMille curiosity with trenchant social commentary. Paramount Productions, Inc. Director: Cecil B. DeMille. Screenwriter: Bartlett Cormack, Lenore Coffee. Cinematographer: Karl Struss. Editor: Anne Bauchens. Cast: Claudette Colbert, Herbert Marshall, Mary Boland, William Gargan, Leo Carrillo. 35mm, b/w, 95 min. The 47 Ronin (Pt. 1 & 2) (Japan, 1941) Genroku Chushingura In the early years of the 18th century, the retainers of slain Lord Asano, led by the loyal Oichi, set out to avenge themselves against the man whose treachery was responsible for their master’s death over a matter of court protocol. The most famous version of the most famous of Japanese tales, this epic was produced at the behest of the military government with propagandistic intent, but was made with a conviction, humanity and graphic genius that transcend the circumstances of its production. Koa Eiga, Shochiku Co. Ltd. Producer: Nobutaro Shirai. Director: Kenji Mizoguchi. Screenwriter: Yoshikata Yoda, Kenichiro Hara. Based on the play by Seika Mayama. Cinematographer: Kohei Sugiyama. Editor: Takata Kuji. Cast: Chojuro Kawarasaki, Yoshizaburo Arashi, Utaemon Ichikawa, Mano Misamu, Shizue Yamagishi. 35mm, b/w, in Japanese with English subtitles, 241 mins. The Godless Girl (1929) In this curious exposé, atheist high school student Judith fervently spreads her message to fellow pupils, leading to a violent and tragic clash with faithful campus Christians. Both Judith and Christian student Bob are transported to reform school, where hardships bridge the distance between them. This UCLA Film & Television Archive restoration represents a rare artifact from the early days of sound-on-film, offering music and some dialogue, while an all-silent version was also released. DeMille Pictures Corp. Director: Cecil B. DeMille. Screenwriter: Jeanie Macpherson. Cinematographer: Peverell Marley. Editor: Anne Bauchens. Cast: Lina Basquette, Marie Prevost, Noah Beery, Eddie Quillan, Mary Jane Irving. 35mm, b/w, 128 min. The Golden Chance (1915) Seamstress Mary Denby sews to survive, taking up the slack left by her unemployed and alcoholic husband, Steve. Mary is invited by her wealthy employer to masquerade as a society girl to attract the attention of a wealthy businessman, Roger. Learning of the scheme, Steve plots to exploit Roger or kill him. The violent outcome vaults Mary to a new world, fraught with moral complexity. Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Co., Inc. Director: Cecil B. DeMille. Screenwriter: Jeanie Macpherson. Cinematographer: Alvin Wyckoff. Cast: Cleo Ridgely, Horace B. Carpenter, Edythe Chapman, Wallace Reid, Ernest Joy. 35mm, b/w, silent, 74 min. In-person: Betty Lasky. Live musical accompaniment provided by Cliff Retallick. Good Morning (1959), 93 mins. Ozu’s hilarious Technicolor reworking of his silent I Was Born, But . . . , Good Morning (Ohayô) is the story of two young boys in suburban Tokyo who take a vow of silence after their parents refuse to buy them a television set. Shot from the perspective of the petulant brothers, Good Morning is an enchantingly satirical portrait of family life that gives rise to gags about romance, gossip, and the consumerism of modern Japan. Good People Go to Hell, Saved People Go to Heaven Good People Go to Hell, Saved People Go to Heaven explores evangelical End Times belief and culture along the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. To evangelical believers, the hurricanes of 2005 were signs of the oncoming Rapture, and a direct message from God that Americans must redeem themselves from sin. The film begins with a stark image of an itinerant Christian cross-carrier named Lance. Dressed like a popular culture image of Jesus, Lance preaches End Times gospel as he walks the back highways along the Mississippi River. To Lance and fellow born-again Christians, Jesus will return to “rapture the faithful,” to literally lift believers into heavenly skies while the rest of humankind is left behind to suffer apocalyptic horrors. Lance tends to the poor, the hungry, and the broken. And he prays for the world’s sinners—all non-Christians. THE GUITAR MONGOLOID + RUBEN OSTLUND SHORTS “Ruben Östlund’s feature debut is set in Jöteborg: a fictional Swedish city resembling the director’s own hometown of Göteborg (Gothenburg). His focus is on outsiders and nonconformists, in particular the titular musician — a young man facing dire obstacles in life. The mostly nonprofessional cast brings a documentary quality to this loosely scripted communal portrait, wrought with compassion and touches of humor. Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2005 Moscow International Film Festival, The Guitar Mongoloid is shot in typical Östlund fashion, with an observant camera capturing life from fixed positions.” (Film Society of Lincoln Center) Plus, Ruben Östlund’s short films Autobiographical Scene Number 6882 & Incident by a Bank before the feature! The Guitar Mongoloid Dir. Ruben Östlund, 2004, DCP, 89 min. Autobiographical Scene Number 6882 Dir. Ruben Östlund, 2005, DCP, 9 min. Incident by a Bank Dir. Ruben Östlund, 2009, DCP, 12 min. A Hen in the Wind (1948), 84 mins. With her husband away at the frontline battlefields dressmaker Tokiko (Kinuyo Tanaka) supports herself and young son, Hiroshi, as best she can. Opportunistic vendors inflate the cost of scarce goods making existence extremely difficult. To survive an emergency when Hiroshi becomes ill, Tokiko is forced into prostitution one night, in the local brothel, to pay for his required healthcare. Upon her husbands return home, she confesses the unfortunate truth, unaware that making him cognoscent of her independent act, brought on by desperation, may be savagely misconstrued. She is unprepared for the extent of his outburst. HIGH CRIME LA POLIZIA INCRIMINA LA LEGGE ASSOLVE 1973, Ambassador, 100 min, Italy, Dir: Enzo G. Castellari Cop Franco Nero, frustrated with superior James Whitmore's slow accumulation of evidence, goes after a drug ring, confronting mob boss Fernando Rey and rich importer Silvano Tranquilli. As Nero steps on more toes, people die, and now his girlfriend and daughter are in harm's way. Unrelenting and unforgiving, one of the best collaborations between Nero and Enzo G. Castellari (director of the original INGLORIOUS BASTARDS). HOW TO SHOOT A CRIME Drawn from police archives and conversations with Brian Weil, who was filming the aftermath of over sixty murders in Miami, How to Shoot a Crime (1987) is a film about framing death. This eighteen-minute experimental narrative inspires debates on surveillance, photographic journalism, media manipulation, and the role of the witness in artistic practice. Cultural theorist Sylvère Lotringer and author Chris Kraus discuss their collaborative film. I Was Born, But… (1932), 100 mins. One of Ozu’s most popular films, I Was Born, But . . . is a blithe portrait of the financial and psychological toils of one family, as told from the rascally point of view of a couple of stubborn little boys. For two brothers, the daily struggles of bullies and mean teachers is nothing next to the mortification they feel when they realize their good-natured father’s low-rung social status. Reworked decades later as Ozu’s Technicolor comedy Good Morning, it’s a poignant evocation of the tumult of childhood, as well as a showcase for Ozu’s expertly timed comedy editing. Joe Gibbons: Confessions of a Sociopath The experimental film world was blown away (“shocked” is not the right word, really) by the news just this month that acclaimed and singular filmmaker Joe Gibbons had been arrested for robbing a pair of northeastern banks. Not only that, but the only weapon he had employed in doing so was one with which he had extensive familiarity: a video camera, almost certainly documenting the robberies for inclusion in an in-progress work. The New York Post, in their condescending coverage of Gibbons’ apprehension (“Bank Robber Appears to be Screwball Former Professor”), referred to his “art” and his identity as a “visual artist” exactly like that - in quote marks. Well, to hell with the New York Post and to hell with the banks, Joe Gibbons is not only an artist, but a truly great artist, one who has for decades blended autobiography and fantasy into a richly confessional, bitingly hilarious, unparalleled first-person media/dream-fulfillment. The “Joe” in Gibbons’ films is not simply Joe Gibbons, and the already blurry distinction between his movie identity and real-guy Joe is smeared out of proportion and recognition the more of his work you see. He pushes deep, carefully hidden buttons of shame, hilarity, discomfort, and incredulity within us as his viewers/friends/victims/confidants, unpacking his neuroses and pretensions like a weird-smelling, slightly overstuffed carry-on bag being disallowed on the plane. Ultimately Joe Gibbons is the underworld king of the filmic first-person; there are scant few pretenders to his throne - no one even wants to try or would know where to begin. (Mark Toscano). For this screening, Filmforum is grateful to share Gibbons’ semi(?)-autobiographical masterwork Confessions of a Sociopath (2001- ) and other items to be determined. Joe is currently in a New York jail cell, but his honorarium for this program will be placed in a support fund being set up by his friends while he’s temporarily indisposed. Late Autumn (1960), 128 mins. The great actress and Ozu regular Setsuko Hara plays a mother gently trying to persuade her daughter to marry in this glowing portrait of family love and conflict—a reworking of Ozu’s 1949 masterpiece Late Spring. Late Spring (1949), 108 mins. One of the most powerful of Yasujiro Ozu’s family portraits, Late Spring (Banshun) tells the story of a widowed father who feels compelled to marry off his beloved only daughter. Eminent Ozu players Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara command this poignant tale of love and loss in postwar Japan, which remains as potent today as ever—and a strong justification for its maker’s inclusion in the pantheon of cinema’s greatest directors. LE RAYON VERT [THE GREEN RAY] (1986, Dir: Eric Rohmer) Courtesy of the Film Desk "An absorbing, empathic portrait of a complex woman caught between her own obstinacy and melancholy." -Melissa Anderson, The Village Voice The fifth in Rohmer's "Comedies and Proverbs" cycle, this mordantly funny film follows one wandering, wistful August in the life of Delphine (Marie Rivière, who co-wrote her role), a young Parisian for whom les grandes vacances becomes both a neurotic burden and a quest for grace. LE REVELATEUR For those who favor the hallucinatory and the abstract, start revving your psychedelic engines for a dose of French master Philippe Garrel’s potent, shimmering physicality. Tragically unknown in the U.S. despite a significant global following, Garrel has charted an unlikely course from avant-garde provocateur to festival favorite in a revelatory four-decade career. Tonight, one of his earliest, most incendiary shorts is live-scored by harpist Mary Lattimore and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Ziegler, whose recent albums for the Thrill Jockey label (Slant of Light and The Withdrawing Room) weave an elaborate web of picturesque synthscapes. Le Révélateur — made during Garrel’s youthful “Zanzibar Collective” period spent on the Paris ‘68 frontlines — “is a fractured and elliptical, but instinctive, elemental, and haunting rumination on the process of awakening, maturation, psychological trauma, and transformation of childhood memory” (Strictly Film School) Dir. Philippe Garrel, 1968, digital presentation, 67 min. Life of Oharu (Japan, 1952) Saikaku Ichidai Onna “Death is easy, but life is not so simple.” So learns once beautiful, but now aging prostitute Oharu, who must endure hardship after hardship on her slow descent into the lowest rungs of society. Mizoguchi beautifully renders the tragedy through carefully composed long takes, psychologically charged camera movements, and a delicate handling of actors. As embodied by the remarkable, infinitely touching Kinuyo Tanaka, Oharu stands as arguably the most poignant and enduring of the director’s many “fallen” women. Shintoho Eiga, Koi. Producer: Hideo Koi. Director: Kenji Mizoguchi. Screenwriter: Yoshikata Yoda. Based on a novel by Ibara Saikaku. Cinematographer: Yoshimi Hirano. Editor: Toshio Goto. Cast: Kinuyo Tanaka, Toshiro Mifune, Tsukie Matsuura, Ichiro Sugai, Masao Shimizu. 35mm, b/w, in Japanese with English subtitles, 136 min. LOST & FOUND FILM CLUB: TOON TOWN Craving cartoons? Anxious for animation? We’ve been saving up a stockpile of celluloid silliness and stop-motion mayhem guaranteed to inspire. From totally mod mid-century offerings by major studios like Disney & Paramount, to hand-painted experiments, crude claymation and cockroach-infested Canadian jukeboxes — this shorts mix will rearrange your mind, one frame at a time. Animated G.I. Joes, plasticine pervs and wisecracking numerals await. We’ll even pull out some rarely screened Fleischer films from the dawn of the art form. Best of all, the entire collection of shorts will be projected from original 16mm & 35mm prints. Painted movie pictures of the ordinary kind? Forget it, film freaks, it’s Toon Town. Madam Satan (1930) Produced during director Cecil B. DeMille’s brief residency at MGM (and following a period of independent production), this pre-Code comedy concerns the elaborate plan of a wealthy socialite to regain the heart of her philandering husband by means of a costume ball on a dirigible, at which the wife will seduce the husband while disguised. This unique vision of jazz-age decadence is one of the strangest and most arresting of DeMille's sex comedies. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. Director: Cecil B. DeMille. Screenwriter: Jeanie Macpherson, Gladys Unger, Elsie Janis. Cinematographer: Harold Rosson. Editor: Anne Bauchens. Cast: Kay Johnson, Reginald Denny, Lillian Roth, Roland Young, Elsa Peterson. 35mm, b/w, 116 min. MANTRAP According to Clara Bow, the Twenties’ “It” girl herself: “the best silent picture I ever made”. Proving she wasn’t just a pair of bare ankles, the then-20-year-old took it upon herself to upgrade her scripted Mantrap character Alverna from boring and drab to a flirtatious minx. Clara foregrounds a delicious love triangle amongst a charming number of classic L.A. palm trees in what director Victor Fleming (The Wizard of Oz, Gone With The Wind) stages as the backwoods of Canada. The silent era provided one of our culture’s first forums for female sexual empowerment — and Clara’s effortless embodiment of emancipated eroticism here makes Mantrap the vehicle for her fantastic breakthrough performance. Dir. Victor Fleming, 1926, 35mm, 86 min. (Archival print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive) MEMORIES OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT (1967, Dir: Tomás Gutiérrez Alea) This classic essay film explores life in Havana after the revolution. Told through the eyes of a bourgeois writer whose social set and family have all emigrated to Miami, Alea uses newsreels, dramatized scenes, vérité documentary, and travelogue—visiting such local landmarks as Hemingway's old house—to collage a portrait of Cuba at a certain moment. Nanook of the North US, 1922, 79 min., B&W, Digital Projection Directed by Robert Flaherty Silent with score by Timothy Brock In this ground-breaking work, Flaherty essentially originated the common form of documentary in telling the tale of Nanook and Nyla - glimpses into the life of a protagonist as he faces challenges in nature. PRECEDED BY: The Idea of North US, 1995, 14 min., B&W, 16mm Projection Directed by Rebecca Baron "In the guise of chronicling the final moments of three polar explorers marooned on an ice floe a century ago, Baron's film investigates the limitations of images and other forms of record as a means of knowing the past and the paradoxical interplay of film time, historical time, real time and the fixed moment of the photograph. Marrying matter-of-fact voiceover and allusive sound fragments, evidence and illustration, in Baron’s words, "meaning is set adrift"."--New York Film Festival, 1997, Views from the Avant-Garde program notes A NEW LEAF (1971, Dir: Elaine May) Walter Matthau plays a spoiled heir whose inheritance has run out. Just in time, he finds a clumsy, bookish heiress, played by May herself, and hatches a sinister plan to get his lavish lifestyle back. Norte, the End of History An embittered law student commits a brutal double murder; a family man takes the fall and is forced into a harsh prison sentence; a mother and her two children wander the countryside looking for some kind of redemption. Lav Diaz’s epic reimagining of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment is both an intimate human drama and a cosmic treatise on the origin of evil. Unfolding across the sun drenched fields and dark city streets of the Filipino island of Luzon, Norte, the End of History is a tale of murder, hate and hope from one of the world’s most uncompromising cinematic visionaries. Running time: 250 minutes. In Tagalog, with English subtitles. The Only Son (1936), 82 mins. Yasujiro Ozu’s first talkie, the uncommonly poignant The Only Son is among the Japanese director’s greatest works. In its simple story about a good-natured mother who gives up everything to ensure her son’s education and future, Ozu touches on universal themes of sacrifice, family, love, and disappointment. Spanning many years, The Only Son is a family portrait in miniature, shot and edited with its maker’s customary exquisite control. Passing Fancy (1933), 101 mins. The first of many films featuring the endearing single-dad Kihachi (played wonderfully by Takeshi Sakamoto), Passing Fancy is a humorous and heartfelt study of a close, if fraught, father-son relationship. With an ever more sophisticated visual style and understanding of fragile human relationships, Ozu seamlessly weaves rib-tickling comedy and weighty family drama for this distinguished precursor to a brilliant career. THE PLAGUE DOGS This rarely-screened masterpiece of animation is a disturbingly poignant experience you’ll not soon forget. A fascinating follow-up to 1978’s landmark Watership Down, The Plague Dogs can be bleak, but is totally absorbing in the way that any pulse-pounding, life-or-death human (or anthropomorphized) drama can be. Determined to escape the confines of an evil laboratory, two dogs make a flight for freedom into the rugged hills. When they accidentally break a vial used by plague researchers on their way out, the human world launches the deadliest hunt. Here is a world where animals are not a blank slate for our ideals and morality, but are the direct expression of the animals themselves; Humanity is the bad guy, and the audience is not left off the hook. The film’s starkness is lent a further heaviosity by top-tier British voice talents like John Hurt, Nigel Hawthorne, Judy Geeson and Patrick Stewart. With a beautifully lifelike visual style (Pixar’s Brad Bird was among the film’s animation crew), this rare 35mm presentation will leave you astounded. Dir. Martin Rosen, 1982, 35mm, 103 min. The Plainsman (1937) As profiteers sell sophisticated rifles to Indians, General George Custer enlists newly-married and domesticated "Buffalo" Bill Cody (James Ellison) to transport ammunitions to a key fort, and "Wild" Bill Hickok (Gary Cooper), a confirmed bachelor but carrying a torch for stagecoach drive "Calamity" Jane (Jean Arthur), to neutralize warlike Sioux Chief Yellow Hand. Mixed results await the iconic American heroes of this epic adventure, whose friendship forms the centerpiece of this nostalgic apologia to American expansionism. Paramount Pictures, Inc. Producer: Cecil B. DeMille. Director: Cecil B. DeMille. Screenwriter: Waldemar Young, Harold Lamb, Lynn Riggs. Cinematographer: Victor Milner, George Robinson. Editor: Anne Bauchens. Cast: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, James Ellison, Charles Bickford, Helen Burgess. 35mm, b/w, 113 min. RAVISHED ARMENIA The 1919 silent film Ravished Armenia tells the incredible story of Aurora Mardiganian, an Armenian girl caught up in the 1915 Armenian Genocide. After witnessing the murder of her family, Aurora was kidnapped, forced to march over fourteen hundred miles, and sold into slavery before finally escaping to Europe and then the U.S.. Her story was the basis for a hugely popular book and film, starring Aurora herself, which was seen by thousands of people around the world. Filmmaker Carla Garapedian, from the Armenian Film Foundation, and Anthony Slide, author of Ravished Armenia and the Story of Aurora Mardiganian and former film historian of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, bring Aurora’s story to life with rare film clips and photos. ROUTINE PLEASURES (1986, Dir: Jean-Pierre Gorin) In this documentary essay, Gorin explores the painting career of legendary film critic Manny Farber, as well as a group of model train enthusiasts. The film looks at American landscapes, real and imagined, and the urge to recreate the past, to contain it. SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS: MYSTERIES The wind blows sinisterly through the trees…an owl howls in the night..a group of teenagers and their random mascot bursts forth from a Gothic house, running for their lives. Will it be Old Man Rivers, who owns the abandoned amusement park? Will it be the dastardly Dr. Claw? If your childhood was anything like ours, then these images are firmly a part of it. From the small sleuths to the daring nitwit detectives, from knee-high P.I.s to Rescue Rangers, cartoon crime solvers and mystery gangs have been a welcome staple since we can remember. Plus, nothing says Saturday Morning like cartoon procedurals’ comforting takes on routine, closure and smalltown weirdos with a beef against roving packs of whippersnappers. So follow the footprints, polish your magnifying glass and prepare your Scooby Snacks, ‘cause this month’s show is a winding trip through the spooky cartoon mysteries of the past. STEPHANIE BARBER’S JHANA AND THE RATS OF JAMES OLDS or 31 DAYS/31 VIDEOS Between June 25th and August 7th 2011 Stephanie Barber moved her studio into the Baltimore Museum of Art where she created a new video each day in a central gallery open to museum visitors. The goal of this project, entitled Jhana and the rats of James Olds or 31 days/31 videos, was to create a series of short, poetic videos in the playful and serious footprints of Oulipo games and daily meditations; creating one new video each day. The exhibit was both a constantly changing installation as well as a collaborative performance in which museum visitors were present as spectator and often creative partner. Barber will show a selection from the series of 31 videos with discussions and storytelling between each piece. FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE! A Story of Floating Weeds (1934), 86 mins. In 1959, Yasujiro Ozu remade his 1934 silent classic A Story of Floating Weeds in color with the celebrated cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa (Rashomon, Ugetsu). Setting his later version in a seaside location, Ozu otherwise preserves the details of his elegantly simple plot wherein an aging actor returns to a small town with his troupe and reunities with his former lover and illegitimate son, a scenario that enrages his current mistress and results in heartbreak for all. Together, the films offer a unique glimpse into the evolution of one of cinema’s greatest directors. A Story of Floating Weeds reveals Ozu in the midst of developing his mode of expression; Floating Weeds reveals his distinct style at its pinnacle. In each, the director captures the joy and sadness in everyday life. Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (Japan, 1939) Zangiku Monogatari In 19th-century Meiji-era Tokyo, a young actor, Kikunosuke, breaks away from his adoptive father’s Kabuki practice after a family servant, Otoku, is dismissed. When they are reunited as lovers, Otoku encourages Kikunosuke to rededicate himself to his art—he is an oyama, playing female roles, but she is the one who makes the ultimate sacrifice. Director Kenji Mizoguchi’s first film for Shochiku Studios is a key work in defining his mature style, encapsulating his ideas on the vampiric nature of artistic production, and altogether making for what scholar Joan Mellen called “one of the most brilliant satires of the Japanese family system.” Shochiku Co. Ltd. Producer: Nobutaro Shirai. Director: Kenji Mizoguchi. Screenwriter: Yoshikata Yoda. Based on the novel by Shofu Muramatsu. Cinematographer: Shigeto Miki, Yozo Fuji. Editor: Koshi Kawahigashi. Cast: Shôtarô Hanayagi, Kokichi Takada, Gonjuro Kawarazaki, Kakuko Mori, Yoko Kawarazaki. 35mm, b/w, in Japanese with English subtitles, 143 min. There Was a Father (1942), 87 mins. Yasujiro Ozu’s frequent leading man Chishu Ryu is riveting as Shuhei, a widowed high school teacher who finds that the more he tries to do what is best for his son’s future, the more they are separated. This Day and Age (1933) In director Cecil B. DeMille's modern-dress follow-up to The Sign of the Cross (1932), a group of high school students, temporarily acting as public officials (police chief, district attorney) as part of an educational exercise, take advantage of their positions to entrap and try a dangerous criminal who has murdered a local tailor. A thunderous paean to public engagement, the film rings with typically DeMillean moral certitude, pitting good citizens against lawless gangsters. Paramount Pictures, Inc. Director: Cecil B. DeMille. Screenwriter: Bartlett Cormack. Cinematographer: Peverell Marley. Editor: Anne Bauchens. Cast: Charles Bickford, Richard Cromwell, Judith Allen, Harry Green, Bradley Page. 35mm, b/w, 86 min. Tokyo Chorus (1931), 90 mins. Combining three prevalent genres of the day—the student comedy, the salaryman film, and the domestic drama—Ozu created this warmhearted family comedy, and demonstrated that he was truly coming into his own as a cinema craftsman. The setup is simple: Low wage–earning dad Okajima is depending on his bonus, and so are his wife and children, yet payday doesn’t exactly go as planned. Exquisite and economical, Ozu’s film alternates between brilliantly mounted comic sequences and heartrending working-class realities. Tokyo Story (1953), 137 mins. A profoundly stirring evocation of elemental humanity and universal heartbreak,Tokyo Story is the crowning achievement of the unparalleled Yasujiro Ozu. The film, which follows an aging couple’s journey to visit their grown children in bustling postwar Tokyo, surveys the rich and complex world of family life with the director’s customary delicacy and incisive perspective on social mores. Featuring lovely performances from Ozu regulars Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara, Tokyo Story plumbs and deepens the director’s recurring theme of generational conflict, creating what is without question one of cinema’s mightiest masterpieces. Tokyo Twilight (1957), 141 mins. One of Ozu’s most piercing portraits of family strife, Tokyo Twilight follows the parallel paths of two sisters contending with an absent mother, unwanted pregnancy, and marital discord. Union Pacific (1939) With America building two railways destined to meet in the middle, corrupt banker Asa Barrows stands to gain an advantage if the Central Pacific Railway is finished first—and sets out to sabotage the Union Pacific Railway by any means. The ensuing plot puts Barrow's troublemaker Dick Allen (Robert Preston) and Union Pacific troubleshooter Jeff Butler (Joel McCrea) at odds, as they also vie for the affection of train engineer's daughter Mollie Monahan (Barbara Stanwyck). Paramount Pictures, Inc. Director: Cecil B. DeMille. Screenwriter: Walter DeLeon, C. Gardner Sullivan, Jesse Lasky, Jr. Cinematographer: Victor Milner. Editor: Anne Bauchens. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Akim Tamiroff, Robert Preston, Anthony Quinn. 35mm, b/w, 135 min. AN UNMARRIED WOMAN (1976, Dir: Paul Mazursky) A story of 1970's women’s sexual liberation. Jill Clayburgh stars as Erica, a woman who’s been left by her husband and finds herself living alone in New York City for the first time. Pauline Kael writes: “Jill Clayburgh has a cracked, warbly voice — a modern polluted-city huskiness...When Erica's life falls apart and her reactions go out of control, Clayburgh's floating, not-quite-sure, not-quite-here quality is just right." Utamaro and His Five Women (Japan, 1946) Utamaro o Meguru Gonin no Onna Woodblock print-master Utamaro shuts out the turbulence of the rambunctious 17th-century Edo period by painstakingly and conscientiously practicing his art, with the help of five selflessly devoted models. The outside world refuses to be ignored, though, and an incensed local magistrate devises a particularly insidious punishment for Utamaro by banning him from drawing for 50 days—here there is an echo of director Kenji Mizoguchi’s own struggles for creative freedom under both the censorious wartime government and the American Occupation. This artistic self-portrait is a key illustration of Mizoguchi’s theme of sacrifice: of women for men, and of creator for creation. Shochiku Co. Ltd. Director: Kenji Mizoguchi. Screenwriter: Yoshikata Yoda. Based on the novel by Kanji Kunieda. Cinematographer: Shigeto Miki. Editor: Shintarô Miyamoto. Cast: Minosuke Bando, Kinuyo Tanaka, Kotaro Bando, Hiroko Kawasaki, Toshiko Iizuka. 35mm, b/w, in Japanese with English subtitles, 95 min. Wittgenstein Iconoclastic English director Derek Jarman’s biographical film about the Austrian-born philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein is one of his last and most stylistically inventive creations. Filming for only two weeks in a London studio on a minuscule budget, Jarman presents Wittgenstein’s story in a form far removed from the traditional biopic, with scenes from the life of the philosopher (played as a child by Clancy Chassay and as an adult by Karl Johnson) presented on minimalist sets, heightened by Sandy Powell’s colorful and imaginative costuming. Jarman went on to make only one more feature before his death in 1994, the experimental Blue, and Wittgenstein’s supporting cast includes British cinema veteran (and mother of Daniel Day-Lewis) Jill Balcon, Michael Gough as Bertrand Russell and Jarman regular Tilda Swinton as Lady Ottoline Morrell. 1993, 70 minutes, color, DCP | Directed by Derek Jarman; written by Jarman, Terry Eagleton, Ken Butler; with Karl Johnson, Michael Gough, Tilda Swinton, John Quentin, Kevin Collins, Clancy Chassay. Woman of Tokyo (1933), 47 mins. To put her brother Ryo through college, Chikako works as a diligent typist by day, and moonlights as a scholar's translator - or so she has Ryo believe. However, her chaste reputation is put into question when a police investigation suggests that she might lead a double life, both as an office worker, and a cabaret hostess. When Ryo's girlfriend Harue discloses the findings of her policeman brother Kinoshita, a violent confrontation ensues, leading to Ryo's suicide.