Emory Presents Restored Films, Polish Masterpieces and Pinter in Free Screenings This Fall
ATLANTA (August 11, 2014) – The Emory Cinematheque, a weekly series of free film screenings, presents a rich and varied slate of programming this fall, beginning Wednesday, August 27 with the atmospheric noir THE CHASE (1946). Directed by Arthur Ripley, it is the first of twelve films from the “UCLA Festival of Preservation” tour. This program is followed by three films scripted by the Nobel-prize winning playwright Harold Pinter, and a selection of eleven films from the series entitled “Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema,” which is currently touring North America. Also in the works is an October-November program of contemporary Japanese films, details forthcoming. All screenings take place Wednesdays (and some Fridays) in White Hall 208 on the Emory campus and start at 7:30pm. Admission is free, no tickets required. All films are in 35mm or DCP.
The “UCLA Festival of Preservation” series showcases cherished classics and seldom seen gems of American film culture, all recently restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Highlights include the 1949 low budget noir classic GUN CRAZY, pre-Code comedies and mystery films, Robert Altman’s underappreciated psychological thriller That Cold Day in the Park (1969) and documentaries about the pioneering photographer Eadweard Muybridge and the eminent poet Robert Frost. The September 10 program features two silent films with live piano accompaniment by the acclaimed Donald Sosin: the 1928 The Clara Bow comedy Mantrap (1926), directed by Victor Fleming, best known for The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind, and the DeMille Pictures melodrama Midnight Madness (1928). “The UCLA series is our third collaboration with this major archive,” says Film and Media Studies Professor Matthew H. Bernstein; Bernstein is also a member of the National Film Preservation Board which advises Librarian of Congress Dr. James Billington on saving our celluloid past. “American cinema is one of our country’s greatest and most influential artistic achievements. We are delighted to celebrate the arduous work of archives such as UCLA in preserving and restoring our film heritage for future generations. Besides, these films, most of them outside the canon, are fascinating and fun to watch. This is a rare opportunity for all Atlanta cinephiles to see them for free in glorious 35mm on the big screen.”
The “Screenplay By Harold Pinter” series offers three of the Nobel Prize-winning British playwright’s most accomplished and innovative works for the screen, complementing Theater Emory’s Pinter Fest program this fall. Two films—The Servant (1963) and Accident (1967)—highlight Pinter’s fruitful partnership with Joseph Losey, an American-born director who remained in Europe after he was targeted by the House Un-American Activities Committee. The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981), which Pinter adapted from the novel by John Fowles, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay. All three films demonstrate Pinter’s ability to adapt novels, as well as his much-noted ability to create a sense of menace and ambiguity underlying the surface of human relationships.
“Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema” represents a selection of recent Polish film restorations curated by Martin Scorsese. The touring series is organized by Scorsese’s Film Foundation in partnership with Propaganda Foundation, DI Factory and CRF, distributed by Milestone Films in cooperation with Janus Films. Dr. James Steffen, Emory’s Film and Media Studies Librarian and a scholar of Soviet and East European film, states: “Almost everyone who studies film as an art form has seen at least one film by Andrzej Wajda or Krzystof Kieślowski, but the Polish film industry in fact has developed an incredible wealth of talent for a country of its size. Some of the most exciting restorations in this series include Pharaoh (1969), a jaw-dropping historical epic about ancient Egypt directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz, and two surreal literary adaptations by Wojciech Has: The Saragossa Manuscript (1964) and The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973). For years it has been difficult to find good quality, full-length prints of these films. The new restorations are a revelation.”
For more information on the series, contact Maureen Downs at mndowns [at] emory [dot] edu or (404) 727-6761.
FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS
UCLA Festival of Preservation
Wednesday, August 27 at 7:30PM
THE CHASE (1946). Directed by Arthur Ripley, 86 minutes, 35mm
This underrated, dreamlike and quintessentially fatalistic film noir focuses on a poor ex-GI (Robert Cummings) who finds work with a successful businessman (Steve Cochran) and his brooding sidekick (Peter Lorre), but then meets the boss’s trophy wife (Michele Morgan).
Wednesday, September 3 at 7:30PM
GUN CRAZY (1950). Directed by Joseph H. Lewis, 86 minutes, 35mm
One of the most revered and copied low-budget film noirs in Hollywood history, Gun Crazy very loosely adapts the Bonnie and Clyde story to delirious effect, complete with location shooting and deep focus, long take cinematography.
Wednesday, September 10 at 7:30PM
MANTRAP (1926). Directed by Victor Fleming, 75 minutes, 35mm.
MIDNIGHT MADNESS (1928). Directed by F. Harmon Weight, 64 minutes, 35mm.
Mantrap focuses on a flirtatious wife (1920s “it” girl Clara Bow) interested in two men in the wilds of Canada; in the romantic melodrama Midnight Madness, a golddigger (Jacqueline Logan) marries a wealthy diamond miner (Clive Brook), who becomes determined to show her a life of poverty in South Africa. Live piano accompaniment by Donald Sosin
Wednesday, September 17 at 7:30PM
INTERNATIONAL HOUSE (1933). Directed by Edward Sutherland, 68 minutes, 35mm
THIRTY DAY PRINCESS (1934). Directed by Marion Gering, 74 minutes, 35mm
BUSY BODIES (1933). Directed by Lloyd French, 19 minutes, 35mm
This tri-part program of pre-Code films includes three different types of early thirties comedy: the anarchistic International House features racy language and an all-star lineup of vaudeville and radio performers, including W.C. Fields, George Burns, Gracie Allen and Cab Calloway (performing “Reefer Man). Thirty-Day Princess is an overlooked, charming romantic comedy of disguise starring Cary Grant and Sylvia Sidney. Busy Bodies features Laurel and Hardy at their finest as they mess up the works at a sawmill in true slapstick tradition.
Wednesday, September 24 at 7:30PM
DOUBLE DOOR (1934). Directed by Charles Vidor, 75 minutes, 35mm
SUPERNATURAL (1933). Directed by Victor Halperin, 65 minutes, 35mm
An early thirties double feature of the dark side: Double Door adapts a smash hit gothic stage melodrama of the Gaslight variety, in which an older woman keeps a sister and brother captive; Supernatural concerns a solid citizen (an oddly cast future screwball comedy queen Carole Lombard) who becomes demonically possessed.
Wednesday, October 1 at 7:30PM
That Cold Day in the Park (1969)
Directed by Robert Altman, 112 minutes, 35mm
Robert Altman’s fourth feature film (a year before M*A*S*H*) is an unjustly overlooked, atmospheric and compelling psychological drama about a lonely single woman (Sandy Dennis) and the handsome, apparently homeless mute man (Michael Burns) she takes in after first spying him on a park bench outside her window.
Friday, October 10 at 7:30 PM
Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer (1975). Directed by Thom Andersen, 59 minutes, 35mm
Robert Frost: A Lover’s Quarrel with the World (1963). Directed by Shirley Clarke, 51 minutes, 35mm
Two major American documentary filmmakers offer fascinating portraits of two major American artists: Thom Anderson’s innovative essay film on Muybridge, the photographer and motion study specialist who photographed racehorses for Leland Stanford’s famous bet; and Shirley Clarke’s Academy-Award winning profile of the four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Poet Laureate author of “The Road Less Traveled” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”
Screenplay by Harold Pinter
Friday, September 12 at 7:30PM
THE SERVANT (1963). Directed by Joseph Losey, 116 minutes, DCP
An incisive portrayal of class and power relations in England, with superb performances, told through the story of a servant (Dirk Bogarde) who insinuates himself into the household of a decadent upper class bachelor (Edward Fox). Directed by Joseph Losey.
Friday, September 19 at 7:30PM
ACCIDENT (1967). Directed by Joseph Losey, 105 minutes, DCP
Through an intricate flashback structure, the film portrays Oxford professor (Dirk Bogarde) who betrays everyone around him in a midlife crisis of quiet desperation. One of Pinter’s most highly regarded screenplays, and his second collaboration with Joseph Losey.
Friday, September 26 at 7:30PM
THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT’S WOMAN (1981). Directed by Karel Reisz, 124 minutes, 35mm
In this adaptation of John Fowles’ highly popular and influential 1969 novel, a Victorian-era romance is juxtaposed with the relationship between the two actors playing the roles. Directed by British New Wave veteran Karel Reisz.
Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema
Wednesday, October 8 at 7:30PM
ASHES AND DIAMONDS / Popiół i diament (1958)
Directed by Andrzej Wajda, 110 minutes, DCP
The crowning film of Andrzej Wajda’s war trilogy, Ashes and Diamonds depicts the crisis experienced by a Polish Home Army soldier when he is assigned to assassinate a Communist Party official. The lead actor Zbigniew Cybulski gives an iconic performance, inspired in part by James Dean.
Wednesday, October 15 at 7:30PM
Directed by Andrzej Munk, 85 minutes, DCP.
One of the leading directors of the Polish Film School in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Andrzej Munk suggests the futility of heroism through two ironic stories set during World War II.
Wednesday, October 22 at 7:30PM
JUMP / Salto (1965)
Directed by Tadeusz Konwicki, 105 minutes, DCP
A parable about a prophet-like stranger (Zbigniew Cybulski) who arrives by train in a small town and has various interactions with the townspeople, evoking the painful legacy of the German occupation.
Friday, October 24 at 7:30PM
BLACK CROSS / Krzyżacy (1960)
Directed by Aleksandr Ford, 173 minutes, DCP
The most widely viewed Polish film at the time of its release, the medieval epic Black Cross depicts the heroic Polish campaign against the invading Order of the Teutonic Knights. For many years the film has been almost impossible to see in its original widescreen format until this restoration. Also known as Knights of the Teutonic Order.
Wednesday, October 29 at 7:30PM
PHARAOH / Faraon (1965)
Directed Jerzy Kawalerowicz, 153 minutes, DCP
This stunningly photographed historical epic meticulously recreates the world of ancient Egypt through the story of Ramses XIII, a young pharaoh who clashes with the powerful priestly class.
Wednesday, November 5 at 7:30PM
THE WEDDING / Wesele (1972)
Directed by Andrzej Wajda, 108 minutes, DCP
Based on the classic 1901 play by Stanisław Wyspiański, the film depicts a cross-section of Polish society through the wedding between a young intellectual and a peasant woman. The festivities are interrupted by visits from ghosts of the past.
Friday, November 7 at 7:30PM
THE SARAGOSSA MANUSCRIPT / Rękopis znaleziony w Saragossie (1964) Directed by Wojciech Has, 183 minutes, DCP
In eighteenth century Spain, a Walloon Guard (Zbigniew Cybulski) encounters—or imagines—a world of conspiracies and the supernatural. A frame story akin to The One Thousand and One Nights, the film is adapted from an absolute masterpiece of Polish literature, the 1810 novel of the same name by Jan Potocki.
Wednesday, November 12 at 7:30PM
THE ILLUMINATION / Iluminacja (1972)
Directed by Krzysztof Zanussi, 93 minutes, DCP
A young physicist comes to grips with the fundamental problems of life in this unique philosophical essay, a blend of documentary footage, experimental techniques and animation. Winner of multiple prizes, the film brought Krzysztof Zanussi recognition as a major figure in world cinema.
Wednesday, November 19 at 7:30PM
THE HOURGLASS SANATORIUM / Sanatorium pod Klepsydrą (1973)
Directed by Wojciech Has, 124 minutes, DCP
Wojciech Has employs a surreal visual style to translate the Jewish writer Bruno Schulz’s phantasmagorical stories of life in the Drohobycz Ghetto onscreen. One of the great Polish writers of the 20th century, Schulz was killed by a Gestapo officer in 1942.
Wednesday, December 3 at 7:30PM
BLIND CHANCE / Przypadek (1981)
Directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski, 124 minutes, DCP
The main source of inspiration behind Run Lola Run (1998), Blind Chance depicts three alternate lives for a young man depending whether he catches a train. Through this device Krzysztof Kieślowski represents the wrenching choices that people must make in Communist-era Poland.
Friday, December 5 at 7:30PM
A SHORT FILM ABOUT KILLING / Krótki film o zabijaniu (1987)
Directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski, 86 minutes, DCP
Kieślowski won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival for this harrowing portrayal of three lives brought together by fate: an alienated young man driven to murder, the taxi driver who becomes his chosen victim, and the idealistic lawyer who defends the murderer. A feature-length reworking an episode from Kieślowski’s television series The Decalogue, the film offers a profound “psychological and ethical study of murder.”