MARCH 10 11 12 13 15 16
FRI 5, 7 & 9, SAT 1, 3 , 5, 7 & 9 SUN 1, 3, 5, & 7 MON 7 & 9, WED 7 & 9, THU 7 & 9
WELCOME BACK, MR. MCDONALD
DIRECTOR: KOKI MITANI Winner of the Best Film Award in Japan and a hit at this year's Portland International Film Festival, Mitani's riotous screwball comedy is set during the live broadcast of a radio melodrama on the nation's number-one station. On paper, the play to be performed is a syrupy romance written by the winner of an amateur script contest-a shy, fantasy-prone housewife. But minutes before air-time, the production's egotistical stars demand to change the script-and even their characters-and all hell breaks loose beneath the on-air light. In moments, the simple love story becomes a sprawling, improbable, incoherent, epic action-adventure that rockets off in a new direction at every commercial break. (103 mins.)
MARCH 24 FRI 8 P.M.
LIVE PERFORMANCE @ THE ALADDIN THEATRE
THE ASYLUM STREET SPANKERS:
THE GOLD RUSH
DIRECTOR: CHARLES CHAPLIN Tonight we welcome The Asylum Street Spankers, Austin's acclaimed contemporary vaudeville troupe for a live performance of their score for THE GOLD RUSH. Their southern melange of 20s jazz, hillbilly stomp and sexed-up blues promises to lend fresh perspective to this classic film for which Chaplin most wanted to be remembered. THE GOLD RUSH provides some of the classic moments of screen history-unparalleled comedy set pieces including the famous chicken transformation scene, the banquet of boots and the Fatty Arbuckle-inspired dance of fools. Chaplin's
signature tramp, this time the "Lone Prospector," fights to win the affection of the beautiful dance hall girl (Georgia Hale). (82 mins.)
Location: Aladdin Theater, 3116 SE 11th.
Special Admission: $10
APRIL 6 THU 7 P.M.
THE EIGHTH ANNUAL
SHORT ATTENTION SPAN FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL
DIRECTORS: VARIOUS Bored by long films, even way too long shorts? This annual showcase of work from around the world proves that brevity is not only the soul of wit-it's the tonic for our ever-shortening attention spans. A frenetic collection of fifty films and videos- from the surreal to the serious to the dramatic and the depraved- each of which is under two inutes. (90 mins.)
APRIL 10 12 MON 7 & 8:45 P.M., WED 7 & 8:45 P.M.
DIRECTOR: MASASHI YAMAMOTO "An urban fairy tale that flies in the face of the stereotypical image of Japan: the well-ordered, law-abiding nation whose citizens aspire to designer wardrobes and lifelong job security. Director Yamamoto creates a richly colored tableaux in which squalor, brutality and degradation are commonplace-offset by moments of great tenderness and feeling. A series of vignettes involve a junkie-office worker in search of a fix; a female wrestler preparing to return to her native Mexico; a Pakistani in love with a Japanese prostitute; and two gangsters in search of an abducted car. Tokyo is portrayed as a savage urban jungle, as many-layered and as multi-cultural as any other major city."-Film Forum, New York. "Interesting stylistic and visual flourishes, not to mention a hipper-than-hip soundtrack." -TIME OUT. (84 mins.)
APRIL 27 THU 6 P.M.
2000 ACADEMY STUDENT FILM AWARDS JURYING
Tonight the Film Center hosts the regional finals of the 27th Annual Student Academy Awards, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Cheer and jeer (quietly of course) alongside the jurors as they view the top entries from film school students in nine western states, selecting the best animation, documentary, dramatic and alternative films, which will be forwarded to Los Angeles for the final national competition in May. Free Admission.
APRIL 28 29 30
FRI 7 & 9, SAT 5, 7 & 9, SUN 5 & 7 P.M.
DIRECTOR: ZIAD DOUEIRI Charm and poignancy distinguish Ziad's (a cinematographer for Quentin Tarantino), fluid, polished tale of three teenagers-two Muslim boys and a Christian girl-growing up amidst the devastation of Lebanon's civil war in the mid 1970s. Inspired by the director's childhood, this bittersweet comedy is centered on the energetic Tarek, an aspiring filmmaker who is delighted when school is closed down due to the escalating hostilities. He sees it as an opportunity to run free with his pal Chamas and, with Super 8 camera in hand, they turn the city into their own cinematic playground. But the realization soon sets in that the city has been partitioned into religiously controlled zones and the fighting is going to impact their own families. Capturing the enthusiam of youth as well as the sociopolitical climate of the times, Ziad's debut film has won international acclaim, including the International Critics Prize at the Toronto Film Festival. (105mins.)
MAY 5 6 7
FRI 7 & 9, SAT 5, 7 & 9, SUN 5 & 7.
DIRECTOR: TAHMINEH MILANI Country girl Fereshteh and city girl Roya, schoolmates at Tehran University in the early 1980's, become friends when the former tutors the latter to pay her way through architecture school. Their friendship and innocent fun are clouded only by a young man who stalks Fereshteh demanding that she marry him. Soon his persistence leads to circumstances that compel her father to make her withdraw from school and marry a man she doesn't love. Her friend Roya, meanwhile, liberated in a society where a woman's freedom is invariably attached to her father, brother or husband, lives the life they both had earlier dreamed about. "The two female characters in my film are a single person with two personalities-the heroine's actual personality and her potential personality, what she is and what she wants to be but can't because of society and its mores."-Tahmineh Milani. (101 mins.)
MAY 12 13
FRI 12 8 p.m., SAT 13 7 p.m.
THE 38TH ANNUAL
ANN ARBOR FILM FESTIVAL TOUR
The Film Center is pleased to present the best of the 38TH ANN ARBOR FILM FFESTIVAL, one of the oldest and most respected festivals celebrating American and international independent and experimental cinema. From animation to the avant garde, the ANN ARBOR FILM FESTIVAL is the only festival in the nation devoted solely to short works originating in 16mm. This year's winners are still being decided as we go to press, but the tour promises to boast a diverse selection of the celebrated and the unknown. (2 hrs.)
MAY 25 THU 7 p.m.
Regional film and videomakers are encouraged to bring or send work for open screening. Admission is free and there is no charge to show work. To ensure we can arrange for the equipment you require, please make sure your works arrive at the Film Center office, 1219 S.W. Park, by May 18. free admission
MAY 26 27
FRI 7 P.M., SAT 7 P.M.
26TH BEST OF THE NWFILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL
Join us as we smack a bottle of champagne against this year's Tour-a collection of critical and audience favorites from the 26th Northwest Film & Video Festival. Okay, so the Tour has already played to eager crowds in Anchorage and Haines Alaska and the Pacific Cinematheque in BC, but it still needs a proper send-off before it travels to Seattle, Olympia, Bend, Eugene, Kalispell, Montana and even Athens, Georgia. (2 hrs.)
A BRIEF HISTORY OF ERROL MORRIS
No contemporary filmmaker has redefined the possibilities of the documentary form more than Errol Morris, whose novel recreation of events, expressive use of the camera and unorthodox interrogations have shaped an equally personal selection of subjects. Always strange and often distressingly funny, Morris' idiosyncratic films have managed to get pet owners to bare their souls, turkey hunters to share their metaphysical visions, snatch a man from death row and delve into the mysteries of human existence with captivating style. The release of Morris' latest feature, MR DEATH: THE RISE AND FALL OF FRED A. LEUCHTER JR., a portrait of a self-styled electric-chair designer, who naively falls into the grip of Holocaust revisionists, provides the perfect occasion for a review of his singular collection of investigations. In Morris' first-person cinema, we find new perspectives on life and death, good and evil and truth and fiction through the lives of people we would otherwise never meet. Thank you to Lion's Gate Films for making this series possible.
MARCH 17 18 FRI 7 P.M. SAT 7 P.M.
GATES OF HEAVEN
Morris made his first film after reading a news item in the San Francisco Chronicle headlined "450 Dead Pets Going to Napa Valley." Earning the praise of Rogert Ebert as "one of the most profound, and funniest films ever...about success and failure, dreams and disappointments, and the role that pets play in our loneliness," the film chronicles the financial demise of one pet cemetery and the ascendance of another. Via head-on, dead-pan interviews, Morris draws out the bereaved pet owners, in the process etching a poetic portrait of American desperation. (85 mins.)
FRI 8:45 P.M. SAT 8:45 P.M.
Initially intending to make a film entitled NUB CITY, about a bizarre form of insurance fraud in Vernon whereby an inordinate number of the locals had seemingly had "accidental" amputations, Morris shifted his focus when he realized (also after a few death threats) that the "normal" locals were even more interesting. An obsessed turkey hunter, a sedentary cop with no crime to fight, an overly earnest preacher obsessed with the word "therefore," and a couple convinced that the sand is radioactive and "grows," highlight a collection of fascinating eccentrics. (60 mins.)
MARCH 19 20
SUN 6 P.M. MON 7 P.M.
THE THIN BLUE LINE
Morris referred to his landmark third film as "the first murder mystery that actually solves a murder" and which resulted in the freeing of an innocent man from death row in a Texas prison. While researching a possible film about a habitually unsympathetic prison psychologist nicknamed "Dr. Death," Morris met Randall Adams, who was awaiting execution for the murder of a Dallas policeman. After studying the court records and other evidence, Morris became convinced Adams was railroaded and set about proving, through startling interviews, visits to the crime scene and stylized reenactments, that Adams was innocent. "Brilliant...a vision that is both poetic and perverse."-Janet Maslin, THE NEW YORK TIMES. (106 mins.)
SUN 8 P.M., MON 9 P.M.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME
Morris' collage of interviews, animations, and illustrative scenes about the physics of black holes playfully brings to life the brilliant mind of British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in adventurous fashion. The film's story is theoretical, but its star and subtext is Hawking, himself afflicted with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Hawking communicates his ideas using words selected from a computer menu, uttered by way of a voice synthesizer, all set against a background of swirling constellations, a chicken floating in space and a cup that shatters and recomposes. In Morris's view, the collapse of Hawking's body fueled the expansion of his mind, echoing the natural paradoxes of his theories and those of everyday life. (84 mins.)
MARCH 22 23
WED 7 P.M. THU 7 P.M.
FAST CHEAP & OUT OF CONTROL
Less a documentary than a mediation on people and the way they express passion for their work and their relationship to nature, FAST CHEAP & OUT OF CONTROL weaves together footage of four men: a hedge trimmer who has spent his life perfecting topiary shapes; an MIT scientist working to create insect like robots; a researcher who studies naked molerats in an elaborate indoor farm; and a lion tamer. As each describes his passion for his chosen specialty, Morris and cinematographer Robert Richardson cast a spell with footage of their labors, decontextualized newsreel and Hollywood film footage and slow-motion tableaux. (82 mins.)
STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
Temple Grandin, who admits to feeling more comfortable around animals than humans, has devoted her life to helping animals die with dignity and without fear. The film's title comes from her best-known invention, a circular system of ramps for leading cattle from their pens to death. Morris' signature blend of humor and morbidity is everywhere evident in his portrait of an exceptional woman. (27 mins.)
SCANDINAVIAN FILM FESTIVAL
Organized by the Washington Commission for the Humanities, this outstanding survey of new Scandinavian films is being presented in Seattle, Portland, Chicago and Boston with support from The Scandinavian Channel, The Swedish Institute, Nordic Cultural Fund and The American Scandinavian Foundation. Special thanks to Lyall Bush at the Washington Humanities Commission for making these film available and to the Scandinavian Channel for sponsoring the Portland presentation.
MARCH 24 FRI 7:30 P.M.
THE MAGNETIST'S FIFTH WINTER
DIRECTOR: MORTON HENRIKSEN Charlatan or healer? Just who is the mysterious stranger who arrives in a northern Swedish town in 1829 where Dr. Selander lives with his blind daughter? Calling himself a magnetist- part hypnotist, part healer- Meisner claims that he can cure diseases that have evaded the town's doctors. Ignoring the objections of his colleagues, Selander allows Meisner to attempt to cure his daughter, who soon falls in love with the charismatic healer. It isn't long, however, before rumors begin to circulate about the magnetist's past. (117 mins.)
MARCH 25 SAT 7 P.M.
THE GLASSBLOWER'S CHILDREN
DIRECTOR: ANDERS GRONROS This Hansel and Gretel fairy tale begins in the enchanted town of All Wishes when the Lady of the castle sighs, "I wish I had children." Her Lord, to make her happy, lures away the two children of a local glassblower, whose beautiful but impractical objects keep his family poor. The Lord lures Klas and Klara over the River of Forgotten Memories to the castle, where they face a horrific choice-all their wishes will come true if they agree to forget their parents forever. Gronros'
visually exquisite film is based on the popular story by Maria Gripe and stars Pernilla August and Stellan Skarsgaard (GOODWILL HUNTING). (110 mins.)
MARCH 26 SUN 5 P.M.
DIRECTOR: HRAFN GUNNLAUGSSON In 1643, a young idealist named Jon Magnusson graduates at the top of his Seminary. Because of his outstanding performance, he is immediately consecrated as a pastor. After he marries the widow of his predecessor--30 years his senior- the couple falls prey to attacks by Satan's sorcerers. Magnusson's ideals remain unshaken, sustained by his faith in the victory of God and the possibility of saving the sorcerers souls. Gunnlaugsson, writer and director of THE RAVEN trilogy of films, once again weaves history and mythology into a rich and intriguing story. (114 mins.)
SUN 7:15 P.M.
THE ONE AND ONLY
DIRECTOR: SUSANNE BIER Sus, who works at a beauty clinic and just wants her kitchen done over, is hiding her ovulation cycle from her handsome husband. Sonny, who wants a big Italian family just like the one he grew up in, eventually discovers her ruse, and it isn't long before Sus finds herself getting used to a new waistline. She soon discovers, however, that Mr. Family's attention is not hers alone. Just as she faces her crumbling marriage, the contractor installing her dream kitchen confesses his mad love. Denmark's biggest comedy hit last year is a gentle, romantic farce about love's devious ways. (100 mins.)
MARCH 29 WED 7 P.M.
A SUMMER BY THE RIVER
DIRECTOR: MARKKU POLONEN Set on a river in Eastern Finland in the mid-1950s, A SUMMER BY THE RIVER is a story of a father's quest to win his son's admiration. Tenho, who has led an easy life in the city at his wife's expense, is left a single parent when his wife dies of pneumonia. Needing work, Tenho takes a summer job as a log floater, work that proves much more of a challenge than he bargained for. But as month follows month he learns to measure himself against his son's expectations, not his own. Based on his own experiences, Polonen's story recalls colorful films from Finland's past that use life in the glorious forests and rivers as their background. (85 mins.)
MARCH 30 THU 7 P.M.
DIRECTOR: NILS GAUP A story of obsession, murder and a search for freedom and acceptance, MISERY HARBOUR is based on the life and work of Aksel Sandemose, of one of Scandinavia's most controversial authors. A young writer named Espen tells the story of his escape from a town where one either submitted to a life of compliance or became an outcast. Determined to avoid both fates, Espen finds work as a deckhandon a British ship bound for adventure and freedom. Reaching neither, he jumps ship in Newfoundland near the little town of Misery Harbour. There he meets the girl of his dreams, but love turns to jealousy when one of the men from the ship mysteriously appears in town. (102 mins.)
THU 8:45 P.M.
DIRECTOR: OLE CHRISTIAN MADSEN Young Junes, a promising boxer, is in a bind. He is growing tired of his life of crime while at the same time his best friend is pushing him deeper into a dangerous world. During a burglary, the two friends find a stash of drugs, and loyalties are tested. Madsen's debut film is a vivid hand-held, hip-hop portrait of life on the streets of Copenhagen, where for some, crime calls. (110 mins.)
MARCH 31 FRI 7 P.M.
DIRECTOR: AGUST GUDNUNDSSON In 1913, on a remote island in the middle of the Atlantic, a village gathers to celebrate the wedding of Harald-the eldest son of a prominent island family-and the lovely Sirsa. Rumor has it Sirsa is really in love with Harald's younger brother, Ivar, a handsome, reckless romantic. But another young woman is in love with Harald and weeps at the mere mention of the wedding. Gossip dominates the conversations of he wedding guests, and a shipwreck off the coast commences a series of unexpected events that will ignite passions and further entangle this web of relationships. (87 mins.)
FRI 8:45 P.M.
DIRECTOR: AKI KAURISMAKI Widely hailed as Kaurismaki's best film, DRIFTING CLOUDS combines his trademark dour, deadpan humor with introspection and even a bit of uncharacteristic optimism. Lauri, a tram driver, loses his job, leaving his wife Ilona to support them on her earnings as a hostess at one of Helsinki's top restaurants. But when the restaurant closes, Ilona finds herself unemployed as well. Desperate, she allows herself to be courted by a suave con man who hires her to run his less than successful cafe. Set during a period of recession, DRIFTING CLOUDS paints a bleak, albeit sometimes comic, portrait of being caught in a downward spiral. (96 mins.)
APRIL 1 SAT 7 P.M.
WAITING FOR THE TENOR
DIECTOR: LISA OHLIN On an autumn night a writer named Thomas meets his childhood friend Hoffman and on the spot they decide to make a dream come true: to adapt Thomas's old play "Waiting for the Tenor" into a film, with Hoffman in the lead as the boozing, opera-loving womanizer. Writing the script awakens memories of the life-changing summer of 1961 when Thomas's father loomed large, a time that though past, still defines their lives. Ohlin's critically acclaimed and visually arresting film explores male friendship, fatherhood, love and the complexities of all human relationships. (95 mins.)
SAT 8:45 P.M.
DIRECTOR: JUHANI AHO "Literature," Kaurismaki has written, "is full of triangle dramas. But few of them can beat Juhani Aho's "Juha" (1911) for deepness of emotions." Produced as a daring experiment in silent filmmaking and a tribute to the beginnings of the cinema, JUHA is reminiscent of Murnau's SUNRISE and other melodramas of the 1920s. A simple and honest farmer named Juha loses his young wife, Marja, to the lure of a big city and the clutches of a charismatic stranger. The excitement of her adventure quickly fades when Marja is faced with the looming evils of big city life. She soon longs to escape and struggles to regain the simple, country life and the husband she had left behind. Filmed in black and white, the film is accompanied with a score by the composer Anssi Tikanmaki. (78 mins.)
APRIL 2 SUN 5 P.M.
IN THE HOUSE OF ANGELS
DIRECTOR: MARGRETH OLIN Hailed by many as the best Norwegian film of 1998 and the winner of numerous national and international film awards, IN THEHOUSE OF ANGELS is Olin's moving portrayal of a home for the elderly. There, away from their accustomed lives and isolated from family, the residents struggle to keep their independence, dignity, sanity and to live with all of the desire, yearning, hope and romance of their younger years. Shot in striking color by cinematographer Seven Grovel, and accompanied by the music of Mike Scott of The Waterboys, Olin has fashioned a loving , disquieting look at the end of life's journey with simplicity and grace. (97 mins.)
APRIL 2 SUN 7 P.M.
BYE BYE BLUE BIRD
DENMARK/FAEROE ISLANDS 1999
DIRECTOR: QUATRAIN After years overseas, two hip girlfriends, Ran and Barb, return to the islands of their birth to resolve lingering family issues. Problems quickly arise, particularly with Barb's Danish stepfather, and the two friends flee. They hitch a ride with one of the locals, Ruin, who has problems of his own-something he would rather not discuss. The drive along the country road of the Faeroe Islands in an old Ford with its zebra upholstery turns darker when the women realize that they must come to terms with their past. "A rare item, a comic, poignant road movie from the remote North Atlantic."-INTERNATIONAL FILM GUIDE (88 mins.)
ICONS REBELS & VISIONARIES:
ARTISTS ON FILM
Our 12th annual survey celebrating makers of the visual, performing and moving image arts and architecture showcases seventeen works exploring the extraordinary creativity of artists as diverse as Todd Haynes, Mario Botta, Matthew Barney, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Richard Condo, Ub Iwerks, Christo and Jean Claude, Oliver Hockenhull, Paul Taylor, Alfred Hitchcock, Edward Curtis, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Gilbert and George, I.M. Pei., David O. Selzinck and Enzo Cuccchi. Special thanks to our co-sponsors, BOORA Architects, P.C., Fletcher Farr Ayotte, Architects, Savage Fine Arts, Sienna Architecture Company, Laura Russo Gallery, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, and Zimmer Gunsel Frasca Partnership.
APRIL 1 2
SAT 7:30 P.M. SUN 7 P.M.
BUILDING HEAVEN, REMEMBERING EARTH:
CONFESSIONS OF A FALLEN ARCHITECT
BRITISH COLUMBIA 1999
DIRECTOR: OLIVER HOCKENHULL "The architect of BUILDING HEAVEN, REMEMBERING EARTH is an invention, and as such he favors the shapelessness of memory and desire over the symmetry of buildings. Fallen from heights unknown, he takes us on a journey to rediscover man's spiritual and intellectual aspirations as they are expressed through the built environment. Beginning with a glimpse of Brueghel's "Tower of Babel," this wild and opinionated essay peruses some of the world's most resonant architectural sites, among them the Pantheon of Rome, Palladio's Rotunda, Renzo Piano's New Metropolis, Barcelona for Gaudi, then Mies van der Rohe, the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and the Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar, India. Hockenhull makes exuberant use of digital video's ability to compose and fragment images. Towering, ornamental and unyielding structures acquire distorted scale and unexpected malleability. The architect searches for man's identity, trapped somewhere between the unpredictability of nature and the rigidity of the constructed environment, suggesting that somewhere in between chaos and form lies the space of our humanity and, perhaps, a new architecture."-Steve Seid, Pacific Film Archive. (105 mins.) Director Oliver Hockenhull in attendance. Oliver Hockenhull will present a workshop "Producing the personal Documentary" Saturday, April 1, 2-5 p.m. Tuition $20, which includes admission to the screening; free for film center certificate students.
APRIL 6 THU 7 P.M.
THE FUNDAMENTAL GILBERT AND GEORGE
DIRECTOR: GERALD FOX "Always be smartly dressed, well groomed, relaxed, friendly, polite and in complete control." The first of Gilbert and George's "Laws of Sculptors" gives the simplest account of their eccentric and (to some) baffling joint personae. Since the late 1960s, when they left art school and proclaimed themselves living sculptures, Gilbert and George have presented themselves as devoid of personality and imagination, artistically interchangeable citizens of a world, sexual and otherwise, of their own making. Fox follows the controversial "godfathers"of contemporary British art on their daily routines, eliciting a wealth of commentary on the evolution and meaning of their work, the many controversies that have surrounded them for almost three decades, and the fruits of being internationally famous for being infamous. (104 mins.) ADMISSION: FREE
APRIL 7 8
FRI 8 P.M., SAT 7:30 P.M.
TAMARO. STONES AND ANGELS:
MARIO BOTTA AND ENZO CUCCHI
DIRECTOR: VILLI HERMANN TAMARO is a remarkable paean to visual perfection focusing on the creation of a stunning chapel in the town of Ticino at the foothills of the alpine mountains of Switzerland. The film introduces us to Swiss Italian architect Mario Botta (best known here for the SF Museum of Modern Art) and Italian painter Enzo Cucchi, who met in the 80s and decided to collaborate on a deeply personal project. Botta's hilltop refuge, which seems to be at once medieval and modern, and Cucchi's frescoes, depicting visions of the Mediterranean world, bring the mountains and the sea together to create a uniquely visioned environment and a poetic meting of artist and architect. (77 mins.)
THE MUSEUM ON THE MOUNTAIN
DIRECTOR: PETER ROSEN Rosen's film documents, over a six year period of time, the creation of the Miho Museum, an extraordinary building designed by architect I.M. Pei to house the Shumei Family collection of ancient art. Nestled in the mountains on a 247-acre site near Kyoto, the environmentally protected area presented unusual challenges for Pei and his team to overcome. A merging of cutting-edge technology and ancient tradition, of western and eastern cultures, and of architecture and nature, Pei categorized his attempt to provide a place for people to reflect on the deeper meaning of art as the most ambitious and risky of his career. (58 mins.)
APRIL 13 15 16
THU 7 P.M., SAT 5 P.M., SUN 5 P.M.
COMING TO LIGHT:
EDWARD CURTIS AND THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN
DIRECTOR: ANNE MAKEPEACE A self-taught man who rose to prominence as a society photographer in Seattle in the1880's, Edward Curtis found his calling after winning a prize for a portrait Chief Seattle's daughter. Curtis embarked on a thirty year mission to document Native American life-a project which took him into the worlds of the Hopi, Navajo, Blackfoot, Kwakiutl and dozens of tribes spread throughout the West. Traveling hundreds of thousands of miles, much of it in a constant search for funding, Curtis sacrificed all. The result: forty thousand photographs that have come, not without controversy, to define our image of Indian life, ten thousand audio recordings, a full-length film (THE LAND OF THE WAR CANOES), and the mother of all photography portfolios, the twenty-volume THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN. Meticulously researched and wonderfully graced with interviews by still living elders who were captured in their youth by Curtis' camera, the remarkable dimensions of an astounding life and body of work come to light. (86 mins.)
APRIL 20 THU 7:30 P.M.
DIRECTOR: TODD HAYNES SAFE is an unsettling and uncategorizable experience that, like Haynes' earlier films (POISON, SUPERSTAR: THE KAREN CARPENTER STORY) uses themes of disease, ostracism, and transformation to define the spiritual malaise in contemporary culture. Carol (Juliana Moore) is a housewife leading a repressed, relentlessly normal life in an affluent California suburb...until a mysteriously debilitating illness sets her apart. Estranged from her once secure world, she finds a new home at "Wrenwood,"a quasi-religious retreat in New Mexico for fellow sufferers of "environmental" allergies. As Carol retreats into "safety" perhaps she is merely exchanging one form of salvation for another. Brilliantly executed and blackly funny, SAFE is an insightful meditation on the perils of conformity. (121 mins.) Director Todd Haynes in attendance,
APRIL 27 THU 7 P.M.
CHRISTO'S VALLEY CURTAIN
DIRECTORS: DAVID MAYSLES, ALBERT MAYSLES, ELLEN HOVDE GIFFARD Five hundred feet high and a quarter of a mile long, Bulgarian-born American artist Christo's bright-orange curtain, strung across Rifle Gap, Colorado, captured the imagination of art and non-art audiences in a way no work before it ever had. Unfurled only briefly before the wind ripped it away, the intertwined process and product of his artistic and engineering feat was captured by the Maysles with savvy zest. Chronicling not only Christo's conceptual vision, but the range of reactions of the engineers, construction workers and students who implemented the project, the film also captures the bemused reactions of the locals, who stand in for people everywhere who have suddenly had their idea of what art is redefined. (27 mins.) WITH
DIRECTORS: ALBERT MAYSLES, DAVID MAYSLES, CHARLOTTE ZWERIN Taking the experience of The Valley Curtain and running with it, Christo's next major project was "Running Fence," an eighteen-foot high white nylon curtain fence that ran twenty-four miles across the undulating Sonoma and Marin county hills in Northern California before plunging into the sea. Wryly capturing multiple points of view on the definition of art, artists, creativity, perception, values, bureaucracy and the American political process, the Maysles document all phases of the ephemeral project with delightful results. "Twentieth-century art is not a single individual experience. It is the very deep political, social, and economic experience I live right now with everybody here."-Christo. (58 mins.)
APRIL 30 SUN 7 P.M.
THE HAND BEHIND THE MOUSE:
THE UB IWERKS STORY
DIRECTOR: LESLIE IWERKS Few movie stars can rival the fame of Mickey Mouse and few filmmakers the career of Ub Iwerks, the famed mouse's creator and Walt Disney's closest friend and chief animator. Winner of two Oscars for his creative technical genius, Iwerks and Disney began in Kansas City in 1920 with the founding of a graphics office, Iwerks-Disney. Iwerks, fascinated with drawing, and Disney, an "awfully good salesman," formed the perfect partnership. The rest, as they say, is history. First-time director Leslie Iwerks, the animator and technical wizard's granddaughter, has fashioned an affectionate treasure trove of clips and photos celebrating his career-from the youthful Mickey to FLIP THE FROG, MARY POPPINS, THE BIRDS, FELIX THE CAT and much much more. . (92 mins.) Director Leslie Iwerks in attendance
MAY 4 THU 7 P.M.
SPEAKING IN STRINGS
DIRECTOR: PAOLO DI FLORIO Italian-born, New York raised Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg is a true original, a classical musician who is a far cry from most of her more reserved or intellectually rigorous peers. Off stage she is irreverent, spontaneous and possessed by a rare passion, an emotion she readily brings to her soloist career as a virtuoso violinist. Tracing her career from age 17 when she won the Naumberg Foundation International Music Festival, to her 1982 Carnegie Hall debut, to her celebrity as an almost pop figure, director Di Florio intimately captures the joys and sorrows of finding the balance between a personal life and the demands of her art. Not just for music aficionados, SPEAKING IN STRINGS speaks to all interested in the lifelong shaping of one's life. 1999 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary. (83 mins.)
MAY 5 6
FRI 8 P.M., SAT 5 & 7 P.M.
DIRECTOR: JOHN MCNAUGHTON At the request of Pace Wildenstein Gallery in New York, John McNaughton (HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER, MAD DOG AND GLORY, WILD THINGS) started work on a short about the painter George Condo, high-priest of "artificial realism," and friend to a circle which included William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. The short soon grew into a feature length documentary, as McNaughton, digital camera in hand (now blown up to 35 mm), immersed himself into Condo's creative process, shadowing the various stages the artist's work from idea to execution. An amused reflection on art and its making, Burroughs and Ginsberg appear shortly before they died. (87 mins.)
MAY 7 SUN 7 P.M.
HITCHCOCK, SELZNICK AND THE END OF HOLLYWOOD
DIRECTOR: MICHAEL EPSTEIN In the 1930s, the Hollywood film industry did not attach much value to the contribution of the director. Studio owners left their stamp on the films, and if the director disagreed he was simply replaced. In 1939, it was in this system that British director Alfred Hitchcock found himself when he was hired by David O. Selznick, producer of the epic GONE WITH THE WIND. Selznick, a Russian Jew born into privilege, and Hitchcock, son of a working-class Catholic, could not have been more different. The collaboration between the two legendary figures lasted seven years, yielding successes like REBECCA, SPELLBOUND and NOTORIOUS. It also ushered in a new era, in which the studio system made way for the director as author. A development that simultaneously heralded Selznick's downfall and Hitchcock's definitive fame, it makes Epstein's film both a double portrait and a depiction of a critical period in the history of American film. (84 mins.)
MAY 11 14 THU 7:30 P.M., SUN 7 P.M.
MAN RAY: PROPHET OF THE AVANT-GARDE
DIRECTOR: MEL STUART Man Ray (1890-1976) is the quintessential modernist figure: photographer, painter, object maker and collagist, filmmaker and printmaker, poet, essayist and philosopher. Beyond his Dada spirit, he also had, in a most modern sense, a unique vision of himself as his own invention. Although his innovations touched almost every field of art, Ray is particularly renowned as one of the masters of 20th century photography. During his fifty-year career his radical images and famous artists' portraits impacted generations of younger artists. Following his career from early days in Brooklyn to glory in Paris, Stuart provides a compelling introduction to one of the century's most inspiring artistic minds. (55 mins.)
THE SECRET OF MARCEL DUCHAMP
DIRECTOR: CHRIS GRANLUND Drawing on Duchamp's letters and published writings, archive material, and interviews with Duchamp biographer Calvin Tompkins and a variety of other friends and associates, Granlund searches for the real Marcel Duchamp: revolutionary thinker, dedicated bachelor turned devoted husband at the age of 67...the artist who thrilled the modern art world in the 1920s and then disappeared to become a chess champion. Building a narrative around his secret final work, "Etant Donnes," to which he dedicated the last 20 years of his life, Granlund tries to solve the mystery of one of art's most enigmatic personalities. (50 mins.) ADMISSION: FREE
MAY 18 THU 7 P.M.
DIRECTOR: MATTHEW DIAMOND Paul Taylor is considered by many to be the world's greatest living choreographer, having created a stunning body of work over the last forty years. When the curtains open on the Paul Taylor Dance Company, audiences see a skilled troupe of dancers soar through the works of his formidable genius. But behind the scenes lies a complex world of ambition, emotion, creation and hard-nosed decisions. Matthew Diamond's film views the tensions in an organization that sees itself alternatively as an artistic tool and as an international business. At the same time, it gets to the core of Taylor's talent as he wrestles with the making of "Piazzolla Caldera" a tango-inspired dance that is the centerpiece of the company's new season and of the film. (98 mins.) FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FILM, VISIT THE OFFICIAL WEB SITE OF DANCEMAKER AT www.dancemaker.org
MAY 19 20 FRI 7:30 P.M., SAT 7:30 P.M
DIRECTOR: MATTHEW BARNEY Since his debut in 1991, New York-based artist Matthew Barney has conducted a multi-media exploration of the human body through performances, photographs, drawings, sculpture and, most recently, his controversial CREMASTER film series. Filmed and numbered out of sequence, his newest work, CREMASTER 2, is an epic, avant-garde, gothic western featuring Barney as Utah serial killer Gary Gilmore, who searches for Harry Houdini (Norman Mailer) in his post-execution afterlife. Barney's visually stunning and intricately symbolic framework, which includes a bullfighting ring sculpted from salt, an enormous fiberglass beehive (Utah being the beehive state), Dave Lombardo from the speed metal band Slayer, and the Canadian Mounted Police, weaves together in an extravagant ($1.7 million), indulgent, ritualistic universe quite unlike anything you may have contemplated. (79 mins.)
DIRECTOR: MATTHEY BARNEY CREMASTER 5 opens in a vast opera house where the sole patron, the Queen of Chains (Ursula Andress, regal in her glass-globe hair piece) sings, in untranslated Maygar, while her thoughts wander to lost love and water-nymphs perform a bizarre fertility ritual in pools beneath her dias. Shot in the Isle of Man, Budapest and New York, Barney explores themes of biological transformation, himself taking on the multiple roles of a magician, a diva and a giant. "Mr. Barney is obsessed with rites, pageantry, competition, masculinity and pecking orders. The word "cremaster" he has explained, is the name for the muscle that determines the height of a man's testicles. Each of his films imagines a different pagan ceremony, involving some sort of athletic challenge, in a different location."-Stephen Holden, NEW YORK TIMES. (54 mins.)
NW MAVERICKS: INDIES TO WATCH
From the 1989 Cannes triumph of SEX, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE to the runaway popular success of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, the 90s was a breakthrough decade for American independent feature filmmakers. With visions of Sundance-and maybe Miramax-dancing in their heads, some 2,000 independent features were produced in the US last year, all of them searching for an audience. NW MAVERICKS provides a sampling of recent films made in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, BC by accomplished and emerging filmmakers. Well-crafted, daring and with a Northwest nuance all their own, these films have found their niche on the Festival circuit, and could easily share the screen at any indie forum. Join in a filmmakers' roundtable on Sunday afternoon, April 16, 4-6 p.m. as Gregg Lachow (MONEY BUYS HAPPINESS), Kelley Baker (BIRDDOG), Reginald Harkima (A GIRL IS A GIRL) and Bill Bailey (PERSONALS) share their perspectives on making feature films in the Northwest.
APRIL 1 2
SAT 7:30 P.M., SUN 7 P.M.
BUILDING HEAVEN, REMEMBERING EARTH:
CONFESSIONS OF A FALLEN ARCHITECT
BRITISH COLUMBIA 1999
DIRECTOR: OLIVER HOCKENHULL "The architect of BUILDING HEAVEN, REMEMBERING EARTH is an invention, and as such he favors the shapelessness of memory and desire over the symmetry of buildings. Fallen from heights unknown, he takes us on a journey to rediscover man's spiritual and intellectual aspirations, as they are expressed through the built environment. Beginning with a glimpse of Brueghel's 'Tower of Babel,' this wild and opinionated essay peruses some of the world's most resonant architectural sites."-Steve Seid, Pacific Film Archive. (105 mins.) DIRECTOR OLIVER HOCKENHULL IN ATTENDANCE. Oliver Hockenhull will present a workshop "Producing the personal Documentary" Saturday, April 1, 2-5 p.m. Tuition $20, which includes admission to the screening; free for Film Center Certificate Students.
APRIL 14 FRI 7:30 P.M.
MONEY BUYS HAPPINESS
DIRECTOR: GREGG LACHOW Seattle's Gregg Lachow has made three innovative features in the 90s. We begin with his latest and most realized MONEY BUYS HAPPINESS, and move closer to the nerve that begot such a unique filmic voice with THE WRIGHT BROTHERS (1997) and THE SEVEN MYSTERIES OF LIFE (1994). Part absurdist comedy, part realist character study, rooted in the tradition of Cassavetes or Truffaut, MONEY BUYS HAPPINESS examines the relationship between two ill-fated lovers on the verge of divorce: Money and Georgia. When a mutual friend commits suicide, they inherit his piano, sending them on an epic journey across town, piano in tow. "A thoughtful & lyrical film [MONEY] takes to heart Chekhov's belief that people can be doing the most mundane things, while underneath, they are destroying one another's lives."-VARIETY. (104 mins.) Director Gregg Lachow in attendance
APRIL 15 SAT 7:30 P.M.
DIRECTOR: KELLEY BAKER "Portland director Kelley Baker has made an engaging, funny and beautiful first feature. Harv Beckman is a novelist who has left his teaching job in order to run his father's used car lot in "white-trashville"-Portland's S.E. 82nd Avenue. Harv sees his problems snowball when his elderly mechanic, Earl, blows $35,000 on a 1948 Kaiser for the lot. Harv miraculously gets a loan to pay it off, and then, poof! The car is stolen. The search for the car leads Harv into another mystery... BIRDDOG tells an engrossing story and reveals-with colorful characters and funky pot lots-a love for Portland's east side, past and present."-Kim Morgan, WILLAMETTE WEEK (95 mins.) Director Kelley Baker in attendance
APRIL 16 SUN 7:30 P.M.
GIRL IS A GIRL
BRITISH COLUMBIA 1999
DIRECTOR: REGINALD HARKEMA "One of the most honest looks at 20-something dating rituals ever dramatized on film. Painfully awkward, constantly missing one another's point and separated by the great wall of gender, these young lovers leave you wondering how people ever get together at all. Told through the eyes of Trevor, a nice guy looking for the ideal woman, A GIRL IS A GIRL follows him through three problematic relationships. Harkema actually manages to make us feel sympathy for this well-intentioned but highly deluded victim of the beauty myth, who finds fashion magazines a preferable alternative to porn. Not surprisingly, when he finds himself dating a bona fide fashion model, he's forced to see the difference between the marketing-driven female ideal, and the bony truth."-Katherine Monk, THE VANCOUVER SUN (96 mins.) Director Reginald Harkema in attendance.
APRIL 21 FRI 7:30 P.M.
DIRECTOR: BILL BAILEY "Dick (Luke Heyerman) can tell right away where a blind date is headed. Usually nowhere. Until he meets Jane (Jana Hamblin), a young woman who has torn herself away from the vortex of daytime TV long enough to meet for an afternoon date. Their awkward first moments give way to a twisted, voyeuristic journey as they read through the personal ads together. "Bailey's film exudes an absurd, low-budget style that's something like Woody Allen and Mike Leigh on a double date with THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN."-Dale E. Basye, WILLAMETTE WEEK (87 mins.) Director Bill Bailey in attendance
APRIL 22 SAT 7: 30 P.M.
BRITISH COLUMBIA 1998
DIRECTOR: BRUCE SWEENEY "Bruce Sweeney's answer to Mike Leigh's NAKED is the darkly humorous, darkly erotic DIRTY, a film with a highly evocative sense of place, and a highly provocative feel forthe messier side of life- i.e sex. Local Diva Babz Chula heads the cast as Angie, a dope-dealing, middle-aged mom involved in a spank-happy sexual relationship with David, a university student half her age....A devotee of Brit master Leigh's directorial methods, Sweeney puts his ensemble cast through a lengthy, improvisational-based rehearsal process before shooting; the result shows in the film's assured performances. DIRTY is a sizzling sophomore feature."-VARIETY " (94 mins.) Director Bruce Sweeney in attendance.
APRIL 28 FRI 7 P.M.
THE WRIGHT BROTHERS
DIRECTOR: GREGG LACHOW In this highly original and fanciful eccentric chronicle of the lives of Orville and Wilbur Wright, their turn of the century is as close as was ours. Set simultaneously in the past and present, the two intrepid bicycle mechanics play out their remarkable story of great hopes and grand designs as the 1990's roar by. One part symptom of shooting a period piece on a low budget, it is also Lachow's way of exploding THE WRIGHT BROTHERS into a warm and graceful meditation on dreamers and dreaming, perception and history. Winner of the Judge's Award at the 24th Northwest Film and Video Festival. "The vision, the peculiarly American expansiveness of it, the venturing into uncharted territory and its consequences-all this and more, Lachow evokes with wit and inspiration...a very real and original talent."-Kevin Thomas, LOS ANGELES TIMES (104 mins.)
FRI 9 P.M.
THE SEVEN MYSTERIES OF LIFE
DIRECTOR: GREGG LACHOW Two young women and a three-year-old boy kill time in a small town while awaiting the return of a mysterious friend who has apparently traveled back in time to prevent the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. A quirky, offbeat, time travel road movie, SEVEN MYSTERIES OF LIFE helps redefine this ever popular slacker pic. (88 mins.)
APRIL 29 SAT 7 P.M.
BINGO! THE DOCUMENTARY
DIRECTOR: JOHN JEFFCOAT In 1995, John Jeffcoat stumbled upon his first large-scale Bingo operation. With visions of smoky gymnasiums and players whose concentration levels rival yoga masters, Jeffcoat began to research the history of the game in the U.S. and abroad. Winner of a Judge's Award at the 26th Northwest Film & Video Festival, BINGO! THE DOCUMENTARY reveals an unexpected subculture thriving below the gloss of American kitsch. "A surprisingly funny and touching documentary about a much maligned American pastime."-Matt Groening (63 mins.) Preceded by a live Bingo game! Director John Jeffcoat and producer Deryn Williams in attendance.
Carnival in the Eye of the Storm
War/ Art/ New Technologies: KOSOV@
The Film Center is pleased to cosponsor and host Pacific Northwest College of Art's presentation of "Carnival in the Eye of the Storm-War/Art/New Technologies: KOSOV@." The film series is part of a program that also includes a major international exhibition and conference. Curated by Trebor Scholz, an artist and faculty member at PNCA, the program examines "The Art of War and the War of Art," the absence of the political in the mainstream media reporting on the war in Kosov@," the impact of new technologies such as the World Wide Web, and the internationalization of political communities caused by this conflict. Kosovo/Kosava is referred to in the context of this program as Kosov@ in the attempt to retain both the "o" and "a" characters used in both (Serbian and Albanian) spellings.
Along with the film series, the exhibition will take place April 6-29 at PNCA's Feldman Gallery, Swigert Commons and the New Media Gallery. The conference will be held at the NW Neighborhood Cultural Center April 14-16. For more information about the conference and exhibition visit the website http://projects.pnca.edu/kosovo or call 821-8900 x 363. Film series passes are available: $25 for all films; $10 for a Day Pass for that day's screenings. Conference passes are also available for $25 for all three days; $10 for any one day. Joint film and conference passes are also available. This project is sponsored in part by grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, Feldman Gallery, National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Council for the Humanities, Regional Arts and Culture Council, R&H Construction and Mercy Corps International.
APRIL 7 9 14 16
FRI 7 P.M., SUN 7 P.M., FRI 7 P.M., SUN 7 P.M.
DIRECTOR: DAN REED "THE VALLEY is a unique documentary about the Kosovo war from inside Kosovo itself, crisscrossing the front lines, during vicious fighting which killed thousands and displaced 450,000 people. Filmed during the height of the carnage in September 1998, the weeks immediately preceding the first NATO bombing threats, and six months before the first bombs fell on Serbia, it shows how the spiral of fear, hatred and killing, fueled by ancient myths, took on a logic of its own. As much about the delusions of the combatants as the fear and horror of ethnic war, THE VALLEY remains a painful, behind-the-scenes looks at the war in Kosovo." -Dan Reed (70 mins.)
APRIL 7 15 FRI 8:30 P.M., SAT 9:30 P.M.
DIRECTOR: ANRI SALA Anri Sala, the young son of the former head of the Communist Youth Alliance discovers a twenty-year-old 16mm film, the record of an interview with his mother. But the film is silent, the soundtrack lost with time along with the idealism that it captured. His mother no longer remembers what was said. Intent on finding the lost soundtrack, Anri seeks out anyone who might remember, including the producers of the film, but must eventually take the film to lip readers at a school for the deaf. Finally confronting his mother with her younger self, past and present collide to offer a moving reflection on the chaos of personal and national history. (26 mins.)
APRIL 7 FRI 9 P.M.
MACEDONIA: THE NEXT BOSNIA?
DIRECTOR: JULIAN CHOMET Shot secretly in Macedonia, Albania, Serbia and Greece, Chomet records street riots, pro-war rallies, and first-hand accounts of government sanctioned murders. Woven together with the observation of outside observers, a chilling picture is revealed of the situation in Macedonia, where 500,000 ethnic Albanians live in constant fear and civil war threatens the stability of the whole region. (27 mins.)
FRI 9:30 P.M.
YUGOSLAVIA: ORIGINS OF WAR
DIRECTOR: CHRISTOPHE TALCZEWSKI Using only archival and unpublished material, Talczewski provides a detailed background to the ethnic conflict in the former Yugoslavia. Focusing on the fighting's roots from the beginning of the 20th century, the high price of nationalism-throughout Eastern Europe-comes distressingly to light. (60 mins.)
APRIL 8 13 15
SAT 4 P.M., THU 7 P.M., SAT 5:30 P.M.
BEYOND THE WALLS OF KOSOVO
DIRECTOR: ALEKSANDAR MANIC At the height of the tension in Kosovo in the Spring of 1998, Prague-based Serb filmmaker Alexander Manic, armed only with a digital camera, crossed the borders of his native land in the hope of capturing the human face of a region largely misunderstood by the outside world. From his unique position as an ethnic Serb, Manic penetrates the lives of both Serb and Albanian families, exploring the religious, ethnic and historic symbolism of his torn landscape and people. (60m ins.)
APRIL 8 SAT 5:15 P.M.
DIRECTOR: EMIR KUSTURICA Winner of the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, UNDERGROUND is the national epic of a non-existent nation, tracing the inglorious history of Yugoslavia through three wars, each defined against separate forms of fascism: Nazi occupation during World War II, the high Cold War period's Tito-centrism and the crumbling civil-war ruin from within. No less than epic in scope and ambition, this visionary masterpiece is "mad, passionate, mordant, ferociously intelligent...exhilarating."-Dave Kerr, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS. (167 mins.)
APRIL 8 14 16
SAT 9 P.M., FRI 9:30 P.M., SUN 8:30 P.M.
PREDICTIONS OF FIRE
DIRECTOR: MICHAEL BENSON In 1991, Slovenia's violent secession from Yugoslavia struck a first spark in the Balkan War. Using an inventive combination of reportage, dramatization, archival footage, animation and miniatures, PREDICTIONS OF FIRE offers a revealing portrait of the internationally acclaimed Slovenian music and arts collective NSK, as seen through the lens of Balkan and recent Central European history. "A post-modern, quasi Godardian sensibility to show how politics invades every facet of artistic creation and how integral ideology is to the understanding of the structure and signification of images."-VARIETY. (95 mins.)
APRIL 9 SUN 4 P.M.
DIRECTOR: SAHIN SICIC "The fate of Sarajevo can befall any European city," warns the epigraph that ends Sicic's film, an anti-travelogue of frightful immediacy and impact. A moody, Steadicam, ground-level tour through rubble-strewn, shell-shocked streets, abandoned to all but the most marginalized survivors. (27 mins.)
APRIL 9 SUN 8:30 P.M.
YELLOW WAAPS: ANATOMY OF A WAR CRIME
DIRECTOR: ILAN ZIV The Yellow Wasps was a Serbian paramilitary unit operating in Bosnia in 1972. They called themselves volunteer patriots, but to their victims they were criminals, sent to pillage and murder as part of a long-standing plan of Serbian aggression. Now refugees, the victims, "cleansed" from their homes, recount their tales of torture and massacre by the Yellow Wasps. (70 mins.)
APRIL 13 THU 8:15 P.M.
A CRY FROM THE GRAVE
DIRECTOR: LESLIE WOODHEAD Why did we stand by passively? It is one of the confrontational questions posed by A CRY FROM THE GRAVE, a reconstruction of the 1995 massacre of more than 7000 Muslims in Srebrenica. With archival footage, news footage, spoken memories and, until recently, unknown images, the film tries to find an answer to this and other mysteries, especially how, at the end of a century of unspeakable human tragedy, such horrific genocide could still take place. Winner of the Special Jury Award at the 1999 Amsterdam International Documentary Festival. (104 mins.)
APRIL 15 SAT 7 P.M.
PRETTY VILLAGE, PRETTY FLAME
DIRECTOR: SRDJAN DRAGOJEVIC Loosley based on a true incident, Dragojevic's multi-layered narrative focuses on a bloody, ten-day stand-off between Muslims and the Serbs they have trapped in a tunnel linking Zagreb with Belgrade. The Brotherhood and Unity Tunnel is used as a symbolic staging ground in which the desperate soldiers act out serio-comic vignettes covering a wide rage of topics before they are killed off one by one. While a bracing antiwar diatribe, the film is also as cinematically inventive and gorgeously produced as it is politically strident. "Wilder in its black humor than M.A.S.H., bolder in its vision than any movie Stanley Kubrick has made, this is one of the most audacious anti-war statements ever committed to the big screen. "-VARIETY. (128 mins.)
APRIL 15 16 SAT10 P.M., SUN 4:30 P.M.
VICTIM OF GEOGRAPHY
PRODUCER: PICTORIAL HEROES "Filmed between 1995-99, VICTIM OF GEOGRAPHY is an anthem from a camcorder generation that walks on the weird, wild wired sides of pre-millennium Europe. On a journey that begins in the ruins of Sarajevo and ends at Scotland's most northerly extreme (Cape Wrath), it offers a postcard from the abyss. A glimpse of Europe on edge. A soul dive into and across troubled times and shifting territory."-Doug Aubrey. (60 mins.)
APRIL 9 SUN 2 P.M.
DIRECTOR: SERGEI EISENSTEIN In this epic achievement, Sergei Eisenstein exploited his point about the musical nature of the film medium to the fullest. The drama of the invasion of Russia by Teutonic Knights in 1242 is orchestrated in a fusillade of images accompanied by Prokofiev's heroic musical score. Eisenstein moves from his concern with the masses as heroes to the individual and to tragic heroes shaped by historic missions. Made as an acutely timed patriotic cry for the defense of the homeland on the eve of World War II, the film includes some of cinema's most striking images, including the famous ice battle scenes near the film's conclusion. (107 mins.)
APRIL 22 25
PART I SAT 2 P.M., PART II TUE 7 P.M.
WAR AND PEACE
DIRECTOR: SERGEI BONDARCHUCK More than five years of effort and close to $100 million were poured into this monumental film version of Tolstoy's epic novel. Running over six hours, it offers vividly drawn portraits along with awesome spectacles ranging from the Battle of Borodino and the looting and burning of Moscow by Napoleon's army to the splendor of the grand ball preceding the conflict. Director Sergei Bondarchuck illuminates the historic and philosophical aspects of the novel thorough the character's involvement in the action rather than through lengthy dialogue. The result is a visually rich and meticulously detailed re-capturing of the events that transformed Europe and Russia in the early 19th century. Academy Award, New York Film Critics and National Board of Review Awards for Best Foreign Film. (377 mins.) Shown in two parts.
MAY 2 TUE 6 P.M.
DIRECTOR: ANDREI TARKOVSKY Based on the life of fifteenth-century Russian monk and icon painter Andrei Roublev, Tarkovsky's film follows his experiences in a country ravaged by Tartar invaders. The period is vividly recreated, with all the barbaric violence and natural beauty which influenced the painter throughout his life. After killing a man to save a peasant girl from rape, Roublev vows never to paint or speak again. Yet long afterwards, upon watching a young boy masterfully crafting a giant bell, Roublev's creative flame is rekindled, and the final reel bursts into color as he returns to his canvas. "A masterwork of extraordinary depth and spiritual power...the kind of highly charged image-making that makes Russian cinema great."-Jay Carr, THE BOSTON GLOBE (185 mins.) Introduced by Anne McClanan, Assistant Professor of Art History, Portland State University
AN UNFOLDING HORIZON:
THE FILMS OF HOU HSIAO-HSIEN
Although he's well known to critics and film festival habitués, Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien is not a household name. But he is as important to this moment in movies as the New Wave directors were to the 60s, and it is only the treachery of the marketplace that has kept him from the sort of renown in the West once enjoyed by Godard and Truffaut. Hou burst onto the international scene in 1983 with The BOYS FROM FENGKUEI and has since given us a body of work almost unparalleled in modern cinema: impassioned, eloquent, profoundly human and stunningly beautiful. Drawing from traditional Chinese painting and theatre, Hou has created an entirely new form of cinematic storytelling-densely textured, rich in human detail and full of emotional delicacy. With his latest film, the almost impossibly exquisite period piece FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI, Hou moves onto an entirely new level-this is as nuanced as filmmaking gets, but it's also a deeply sensual experience: you can practically smell the opium fumes drifting through the 19th century brothel where the action is set. Challenging yet profoundly simple, historically rich yet rivetingly emotional, Hou Hsiao-hsien is that rarity of rarities, a genuine master.-Kent Jones, Film Society of Lincoln Center. Special thanks to Wendy Lidell and Susan Fedak of WinStar Cinema for making these films available to American audiences.
MAY 12 13
FRI 7 P.M., SAT 7 P.M.
FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI
DIRECTOR: HOU HSIAO-HSIEN An exquisitely formal film adapted from an 1894 novel by Han Ziyun, FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI takes place within a 19th century brothel's ornate jewel box rooms, where enervated "callers" and their chosen flower girls practice elaborate, repetitive rituals of social intercourse and consumerism. The artificial decor is Sternbergian, as are the long-buried passions and masked despair of the beautiful people who meet in the brothel's airless compartments-each with a pool of golden lamplight at its center-to measure out their lives in gambling, saki cups, rich food and pipes of opium. "Hou builds on the geisha melodramas of Mizoguchi and Naruse-the cruelty of sexual commerce, the women's debts, the madam's bossiness, the two-faced nature of a courtesan's attachments-and strips down this narrative genre to its essence..."-Philip Lopate, Film Comment. (125 mins.)
MAY 14 17
SUN 7 P.M. WED 7 P.M.
GOODBYE SOUTH, GOODBYE
DIRECTOR: HOU HSIAO-HSIEN A loose, free floating tale of three luckless young men, lost souls who work in the no man's land between marginality and criminality, GOODBYE SOUTH, GOODBYE documents the sad drift of Taiwan towards a modern, impersonal form of life. We follow the trio across a variety of locations and survival schemes: a gambling den; a pig farm where they hope to make a killing; a karaoke bar in Shanghai and gangster hang-out; but they are mostly at home while they're in motion-in cars, on motorbikes, on trains, going through the city scapes, country roads or car washes. This beautiful film is a sad poem of motion, a lament for souls in the process of getting lost. (116 mins.)
MAY 18 19
THU 7 P.M., FRI 7 P.M.
A CITY OF SADNESS
DIRECTOR: HOU HSIAO-HSIEN A CITY OF SADNESS, the first of a three-part historical trilogy, is set during the most infamous period in Taiwan's history, beginning with the Japanese surrender in 1945 and ending with the terrible "February 28 incident" in 1947 and its aftermath, which marked the beginning of the island's 40-year stretch under martial law. But unlike most historical epics, Hou's film is told strictly through the eyes of ordinary citizens: a family of three brothers, their father and a few friends. "This tragic, serenely beautiful film, whose narrative cuts through time like a scythe cutting through tall grass and whose images sing with light and color, reminds us that history isn't something that merely happens to the famous, but to all of us. A film that soars into a new form of metaphysical poetry that has no equal in modern cinema. (159 mins.)
MAY 20 21 FRI 7 P.M., SAT 7 P.M.
THE PUPPET MASTER
DIRECTOR: HOU HSIAO-HSIEN Drawn from the memoirs of Li Tien-lu, THE PUPPETMASTER is the second chapter in Hou's tripartite history of Taiwan. Li, Taiwan's most famous puppeteer, remembers his troubled childhood, his days on the road with a troupe of traveling puppeteers, working anti-Japanese propaganda into his theatre, and all the wonderful and terrible experiences that shaped this feisty 84-year-old. Hou's film is epic in scope but personal in outlook, astonishingly rich in atmosphere but as unforced as the passing moment. Here is life as it is apprehended by an artist who pulls the strings of his marionettes and can only assume that someone pulls his: "I regard my life as a drama and a dream." (142 mins.)
MAY 24 25 WED 7 P.M., THU 7 P.M.
GOOD MEN, GOOD WOMEN
DIRECTOR: HOU HSIAO-HSIEN The final installment in Hou's historical trilogy is conjugated in three tenses. A film actress starts receiving faxed pages of the diary she kept during her days as a barmaid, when she was the mistress of a gangster. At the same time she is preparing to play Chiang Bi-yu, an anti-Japanese resistance fighter from the 40s who returns to Taiwan in the 50s only to be imprisoned as a subversive during the paranoid days of the "White Terror," Taiwan's horrific equivalent of the "red scare." The film masterfully slips back and forth between the ordinary present, the actress's past (in vibrant color) and the rich black and white past of Chiange, whose heroism puts contemporary life in sad relief. "If you care about the future of world cinema you can't afford to miss it."-Jonathan Rosenbaum, CHICAGO READER. (108 mins.)
MAY 26 27
FRI 7 P.M., SAT 7 P.M.
A TIME TO LIVE, A TIME TO DIE
DIRECTOR: HOU HSIAO-HSIEN Out of his own childhood experience, Hou weaves a tapestry of collective memory. A family emigrates from mainland China to Taiwan in 1947, settling down in a small village. While the older generation looks homeward, the children start putting down roots-the son matures from new kid on the block to teenage rebel. Hou mines everyday details and events for uninsistent but cumulative significance that is the profound stuff of life, history. Winner of the International Critic's Prize at the Berlin Film Festival, Hou's film is part social history, part vivid evocation of the cycles of human growth and change. (137 mins.)
MAY 28 SUN 7 P.M.
DUST IN THE WIND
DIRECTOR; HOU HSIAO-HSIEN Against the wishes of their elders, two young lovers quit high school and move to Taipei to find jobs. The crowded city has more workers than work, and the couple are soon confronted by the bitter taste of economic reality. Their relationship is further strained when the boy is drafted. "Hou's feeling for the textures of everyday life...gives this unhurried but deeply affecting drama deceptively subterranean impact that gradually rises to the surface. The very natural and, for the most part, underplayed performances by nonprofessionals are especially impressive."-Jonathan Rosenbaum, CHICAGO READER (109 mins.)