november/december 2001


fritz lang:
dark master


little hitlers


visiting artists & special screenings

 

"I like to think all my so-called crime pictures are documentaries."

fritz lang

nazi satire

film series

VISITING ARTISTS AND SPECIAL SCREENINGS

yo la tengo

bela tarr

The great Austrian-born director Fritz Lang arrived in America in June of 1934 via France, where he had spent the previous year as a refugee from the Nazi regime, having (famously) turned down Goebbel's invitation to become the head of the Third Reich's newly centralized film industry. An internationally renowned director because of the success of expressionist masterpieces he had made in Germany during the 20s (the DR.MABUSE series, METROPOLIS and M), Lang quickly established a reputation in Hollywood as an uncompromising taskmaster who disregarded American production practices, exacting long hours from his crews and treating his actors as "puppets." Though Lang acknowledged he "was something Hollywood always hated—a perfectionist," a small group of sympathetic colleagues recognized that his consummate craftsmanship and attention to detail were part of his defining characteristics as a director, and that his background and training as a painter and architect enabled him to give each film a distinctive "look," rich in detail and atmosphere.

Lang's signature theme—the struggle that individuals wage against a predetermined fate in a fearful and often violent universe—was reflected in his own peculiar destiny. Between1936 and 1956, he directed 22 American pictures, starting with FURY, and though many of them were solid hits, he never achieved the stability and fame he was accorded in his German years. Withstanding obstreperous producers, insufficient budgets, and studio interference, Lang maintained his unique artistic vision; whether working in the area of melodrama, the western, the noir thriller, or the Brechtian parable, Lang left an indelible stamp on every project he touched. No matter the subject or the period, Lang's films have an immediacy and a "truth" that is distinctly modern.

Recognition of Lang's American career was late in coming, beginning in the mid-50’s when French critics and soon-to-be directors Eric Rohmer, Jacques Rivette, and François Truffaut saw in Lang's American career an extension and deepening of his German themes, but with an icy detachment they particularly admired. In the introduction to “Fritz Lang in America,” Peter Bogdanovich wrote: "Lang's world—whether it’s the18th-century England of MOONFLEET or the middle-class railroad community of HUMAN DESIRE—is one of shadows and night — ominous, haunted—filled with foreboding and violence, anxiety and death. The tears he elicits for the damned figures who inhabit it—the couple in YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, the whore in MAN HUNT, the artist in SCARLET STREET, the moll in THE BIG HEAT—are born from the depth of his personality; in his words, they have “all my heart.”

co sponsored by trilogy. Special thanks to Ian Birnie, Film Curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, for organizing this series.

NOV 16 17 FRI 7 P.M., SAT 7 P.M.
WHITSELL AUDITORIUM
FURY
US 1936
DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG A filling station owner is unjustly accused of a kidnapping by the people of a small town who try to lynch him and set fire to the jail; though he escapes, becoming an embittered man who lives only to see his tormentors prosecuted. Shot in a stark and symbolic style derived from German expressionism, Lang's hugely successful first American film contains the themes that were to mark his future work. The still-disturbing scenes of mob violence inspired critic Lewis Jacobs to write, "Lang's camera piled detail upon detail from the point of view of the spectator, the victim, the community and the law… an inspired commentary on bigotry, provincialism, and intolerance." (94 mins.)

DOUBLE FEATURE

FRI 8:45 P.M., SAT 8:45 P.M.
YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE
US 1937
DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG Eddie is a three-time loser who wants to work for a living, but nobody will give him a chance except Joan, who thinks that an innocent man has nothing to fear. "In this early version of the Bonnie and Clyde story, the young outcasts are seen as innocent victims of the indifference and cruelty of society—a view the audiences of the period readily shared. Perhaps the finest of Fritz Lang's American movies and certainly one of the finest American melodramas of the 30s." —Pauline Kael. (86 mins.)

NOV 18 SUN 6 P.M.
WHITSELL AUDITORIUM
THE BIG HEAT
US 1953
DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG The killing of an innocent wife propels a vengeful cop, a sadistic thug, his doomed moll, and a duplicitous widow into an escalating maelstrom of violence in this noir thriller that ranks among Lang's greatest films. "Do you think there are many people today who believe in punishment after death? No. So what are they afraid of? Only one thing—pain. In order to make the audience a collaborator, to make them feel…violence becomes an absolutely legitimate dramatic element." — Fritz Lang. (90 mins.)

DOUBLE FEATURE

SUN 7:45 P.M.
BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT
US 1956
DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG Lang's final American film opens with an execution and ends with a man being led off to death row. It is populated with characters who ruthlessly pursue their own interests at any cost. "In [Lang's] last American films, there's nothing left but the design... There's only the trap: it's as if you're observing a lab experiment. Few filmmakers have a keener understanding of the way cinema functions. Or, for that matter, the way the world functions."—Martin Scorsese. (80 mins.)


NOV 23 24 FRI 7 P.M., SAT 7 P.M.
GUILD THEATRE
WOMAN IN THE WINDOW
US 1944
DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG When his wife and children leave on vacation, a genial professor visits the apartment of a beautiful woman whom he meets while admiring her portrait in a gallery window. Just as rapidly, he’s plunged into murder and blackmail. "Not only a dazzling piece of suspense, but also a characteristically stark demonstration of Lang's belief in the inevitability of fate: Robinson, basically a good man, makes one small slip… and he's doomed." —Time Out. (99 mins.)

DOUBLE FEATURE

FRI 8:45 P.M., SAT 8:45 P.M.
RANCHO NOTORIOUS
US 1952
DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG Lang conceived RANCHO NOTORIOUS as a vehicle for Marlene Dietrich, and the diva rules as Altar Deane, queen of the Chuck-a-Luck Ranch, a "safe house" for killers and outlaws. Using beautifully painted backdrops and a theme song to remind the audience that "the wheel of Fate spins the old, old story of HATE, MURDER AND REVENGE,” Lang's hero is a man who arrives at the ranch seeking the killer of his fiancée only to become indistinguishable from the villain he hates. "Unique among westerns, going beyond even the school of the psychological western…there will be no possibility of a return to a pastoral existence, no happy ending."—Lotte Eisner. (89 mins.)

NOV 25 SUN 6:00 P.M.
GUILD THEATRE
THE BLUE GARDENIA
US 1953
DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG A Los Angeles switchboard operator may or may not have murdered her seducer after being plied with "pearl divers" in a Hawaiian lounge, but this tabloid crime tale is also a bleak portrait of the lot of the working woman in a postwar urban America spiked with loneliness, alcohol, and sexual harassment. "What richness of observed detail, what a delightful representation of the life of three young American employees…What a modern conception of cutting in the flat sequences…Fritz Lang fights neo-realism on its own ground." —Eric Rohmer. (90 mins.)

DOUBLE FEATURE

SUN 7:45 P.M.
THE HOUSE BY THE RIVER
US 1950
DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG This difficult-to-see film, made for Republic pictures and embraced by French critics, is classic Lang: a novelist, sexually aroused by a perfume, accidentally kills his wife's maid but intentionally frames his brother for murder. The limited setting —a detailed and atmospherically lit Victorian mansion— recurring shots of mirrors and water, nocturnal scenes, and a moody score by avant-garde composer George Antheil all contribute to one of Lang's "most unified, disciplined and imagistically powerful films."—Tom Gunning. (88 mins.)


NOV 30 DEC 1 FRI 7 P.M., SAT 7 P.M.
GUILD THEATRE
CLASH BY NIGHT
US 1952
DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG From the opening documentary footage of the Monterey fishing industry to the sexually charged fight in a projection booth made lethal with whirling film reels and red hot lamps, Lang adds a realism that transforms Clifford Odets’ 10-year-old play into cinema. With the aid of three seasoned actors, adequate rehearsal time, and a sympathetic producer, Lang brought the picture in on time, despite Marilyn Monroe's habitual lateness, drawing from the actress a performance Pauline Kael called "appealing in an unmannered style that is very different from her later acting." (105 mins.)

DOUBLE FEATURE

FRI 9 P.M., SAT 9 P.M.
HUMAN DESIRE
US 1954
DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG At the insistence of his producers, Lang changed the protagonist of Emile Zola's novel (and Renoir's 1937 film) “La Bête Humaine” from a sexual psychopath to a "normal American boy," thus shifting the emphasis from compulsion to attraction. The lure of sexuality and murder is played out against the Langian geometry of train tracks, shadows, and oblique camera angles heightened by Gloria Grahame's harrowing performance as the greedy, unhappy wife of jealous railway worker. "It is a solid and strong film, a beautiful block whose sharp edges follow the classical rules of cutting, the images are frank, brutal, each of them has its own beauty." —François Truffaut. (90 mins.)


DEC 7 FRI 7 P.M.
GUILD THEATRE
MOONFLEET

US 1955
DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG In this swashbuckler, a noble-born but penniless lad is sent by his dying mother to place himself under the protection of her former lover, a roguish buccaneer who heads a gang of smugglers working the Dorset coast. In conceiving his 18th- century setting, Lang turned to Hogarth engravings for his inspiration, and he uses the dark-hued seascapes and Gothic church yards as backdrops to emphasize the Romantic quest of a son for a father, and to portray loves lost, found and betrayed. Although shooting in CinemaScope for the first time (a format he later described as "good only for funerals and snakes"), Lang crafted one of the most visually striking beautiful works of his career. "Both METROPOLIS and MOONFLEET share the same bleak view of the universe where man grapples with his personal destiny and inevitably loses." —Andrew Sarris.
(89 mins.)


DEC 13 14 THU 7 P.M., FRI 7 P.M.
GUILD THEATRE
MAN HUNT
US 1941
DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG While in Berchtesgaden, a big-game hunter catches Hitler in the sights of his rifle, and though he fails to kill Der Führer, he is detained and then pursued by menacing Nazis. Made on the eve of the U.S. entry into World War II, MAN HUNT, the first of Lang's four films to deal with the Nazis, "takes place in an improbable, chiaroscuro London reminiscent of Pabst's THREEPENNY OPERA. Lang builds the tension slowly and inexorably, tightening the trap of the hero's isolation—his sole ally a Cockney prostitute, touchingly played by Joan Bennett."
—Philip Kemp. (105 mins.)

DOUBLE FEATURE

THU 9 P.M., FRI 9 P.M.
HANGMEN ALSO DIE
US 1943
DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG Working independently of studio interference, Lang hired the recently arrived and penniless Bertolt Brecht to collaborate on a film based on the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the notorious Nazi executioner of Prague. Though the result dissatisfied Brecht as dramatized ideology, the film succeeds superbly as a noir thriller. "The atmosphere is dark and oppressive, the Nazis are portrayed as ideological gangsters, and the themes of loyalty and betrayal, passive and active resistance, beautifully worked out. Superb performances throughout, while James Wong Howe’s photography perfectly captures the spirit of the occupied city, where hiding places are few and far between."—Time Out. (131 mins.)

DEC 15 16 SAT 7 P.M., SUN 6 P.M.
GUILD THEATRE
THE MINISTRY OF FEAR
US 1944
DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG Lang's most Kafkaesque film starts like a dream: to the sounds of a loudly ticking clock, a young man is released from a prison (make that an insane asylum), heads to a train station(where the train is not running), and arrives at a fair, where he inexplicably wins a cake intended for a Nazi spy! Conceived as a routine thriller and previously considered one of Lang's minor films, FEAR is now seen as being "directly in the line of DR. MABUSE and SPIES with its seamless action, its strict logic, and its ability to control a multiplicity of incident" and is rightly appreciated as "the work of a perfectionist that makes each film his own."— Lotte Eisner. (85 mins.)
DOUBLE FEATURE

SAT 8:45 P.M., SUN 7:45 P.M.
WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS
US 1956
DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG A reporter on a daily newspaper is prepared to risk the life of his fiancée in order to beat his rivals in the race to catch the "lipstick killer" who is terrorizing the women of New York. Lang is less interested in suspense than he is in the atmosphere of a big city paper, and the film's detailed recreation of the newsroom and the ruthless behavior of the individuals who populate it confirm Lang's opinion that "[this] is an honest picture… this is one picture I like very, very much." (100 mins.)


DEC 20 THU 7 P.M.
GUILD THEATRE
THE RETURN OF FRANK JAMES
US 1940
DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG Lang traveled extensively throughout his early years in America, and his love for its landscape and history can be seen in the visual compositions of the two color westerns he made back-to-back for Fox. Although he had little to do with the script of THE RETURN OF FRANK JAMES, this successful sequel about a man seeking to avenge his brother's murder conforms perfectly to Lang's view that "westerns are based on a very simple and essential ethical code. All simple morals are important for the success of a film. Even with Shakespeare the moral is simple. The struggle of good against evil is as old as the world." (92 mins.)

DOUBLE FEATURE

THU 7 8:45 P.M.
WESTERN UNION
US 1941
DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG A seasoned operative of the Western Union Co. does battle with Easterners and Native Americans in his attempt to forge a nationwide telegraph system. Lang's research into stringing cable and raising poles gives the (largely fictional) heroics the veneer of realism. Relaxed performances from Scott and Young, humorous scenes, and beautiful Arizona locations contributed to Lang's second commercial hit in a row. (94 mins.)


DEC 21 22 FRI 7 P.M., SAT 7 P.M.
GUILD THEATRE
SCARLET STREET
US 1945
DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG An unhappily married bank clerk and Sunday painter becomes so enamored of a whore that he is driven to steal in order to keep her in luxury. Unfortunately, he learns too late that her heart belongs to her pimp. Based on Renoir's great LA CHIENNE, Lang transposed the setting from 30s Montmartre to 40’s Greenwich Village, and the film stands as one of the greatest (and frankest) depictions of sexual obsession in American cinema. "SCARLET STREET is Lang’s most European American film…its surface is very similar to that of THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, with the same cameraman (Milton Krasner) creating an anonymous, melancholy urban world."— Gavin Lambert. (103 mins.)

DOUBLE FEATURE

FRI 8:45 P.M., SAT 8:45 P.M.
LA CHIENNE
FRANCE 1931
DIRECTOR: JEAN RENOIR. Renoir's first sound film, starring the great comedian Michel Simon, uses inventive camera movements and musical and audio effects to evoke the claustrophobic milieu of the Montmartre working class. "As Renoir is humanism, Lang is determinism. As Renoir is concerned with the plight of his characters, Lang is concerned with the structure of the trap."— Andrew Sarris. (91 mins.)


DEC 23 SUN 7 P.M.
GUILD THEATRE
YOU AND ME
US 1938
DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG A rarely seen and legendary failure, this Brechtian fable designed to illustrate that "you can't get something for nothing" and "crime does not pay" has some superb musical sequences (written by Kurt Weill, the composer of “The Threepenny Opera”) and boasts an elegant art deco production typical of Paramount. Set in a department store that hires ex-cons, with Raft and Sidney as star-crossed lovers, YOU AND ME is an "unusual mix of gangsterism, sentiment, Damon Runyonesque comedy and music… a genuinely odd but likable film."—Leonard Maltin. (90 mins.)

In recent years, we have seen the appearance of a new genre, the Holocaust comedy. While some have celebrated Roberto Benigni's Oscar-winning LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL and Mel Brooks’ mega-hit Broadway revival of THE PRODUCERS as "life affirming" or "intoxicating," others regard them as "a benign form of Holocaust denial." Why have these productions emerged at a time when discussion of Holocaust representation has become so widespread? What kinds of questions do such films raise about the conventions we have established for depicting the unimaginable events of the Holocaust on screen?

While it touches on issues that are hotly contested today, the Holocaust comedy has a history. With the creation of the anti-Hitler propaganda machine at the beginning of World War II, Hollywood filmmakers began making satires of the Nazis. As controversial in their day as the Holocaust comedies are now, these films tested the limits of camp and slapstick and played a little-known but crucial role in the evolution of the black comedy. In this film series, we will screen five examples of the Nazi satire, accompanied by a panel discussion with members of the Portland arts community on November 21.—Sarah Hoff

NOV 15 16 17
THU 7 P.M., FRI 9 P.M., SAT 4:30 & 9 P.M.
GUILD THEATRE
THE PRODUCERS
US 1968
DIRECTOR: MEL BROOKS The great Zero Mostel plays down-and-out Broadway producer Max Bialystock, a character of Ben Jonsonian magnitude reduced to making love to elderly widows in an effort to raise financial backing. Gene Wilder is his hyper-nervous accountant who unintentionally comes up with a dubious get-rich-quick scheme requiring a colossal flop. The two agree on the sure-fire disaster “Springtime for Hitler,” a kitschy musical tribute to Adolf written by a crazed, unassimilated Nazi (Kenneth Mars). Amazingly, the tasteless Busby Berkeley-meets-Leni Riefenstahl musical turns out to be a huge Broadway hit. The hilarious farce, a cult classic, earned Brooks an Oscar for best original screenplay and spawned the current Broadway production starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. (88 mins.)


NOV 21 WED 7 P.M.
GUILD THEATRE
TO BE OR NOT TO BE
US 1942
DIRECTOR: ERNST LUBITSCH Jack Benny and Carole Lombard (in her last screen role) star in Lubitsch’s World War II comedy about a Polish theatre company mixed up in espionage in Gestapo-ruled Warsaw. Widely criticized at the time as being in poor taste for trying to find humor in a desperate and tragic situation, this send-up of Nazi mystique and manners endures as a prime example of the famed “Lubitsch touch”—witty, stylish and broadly satiric in equal measure. (102 mins.)
Following the screening, series Curator Sarah Hoff will be joined by PICA Curator Stuart Horodner and Oregon Symphony Resident Conductor Murry Sidlin for a discussion of the films and issues presented in the series. Questions for the panelists may be emailed to the panelists in advance c/o info@nwfilm.org.


NOV 29 WED 7 P.M.
GUILD THEATRE
THE GREAT DICTATOR
US 1940
DIRECTOR: CHARLIE CHAPLIN
The screen’s greatest comedian satirizes Hitler by taking on two roles, a power-mad dictator and an amnesiac Jewish barber who ends up being mistaken for the dictator and forced to publicly impersonate him. This comedy was Chaplin’s first full talkie and the first time the little tramp was not the star; Chaplin later said that if he had known about the concentration camps at the time, he would not have done such a comic treatment of Hitler. (128 mins.)


DEC 6 THU 7 P.M.
GUILD THEATRE
SEVEN BEAUTIES
ITALY 1975
DIRECTOR: LINA WERTMULLER In this controversial fore runner to contemporary Holocaust comedies, a two-bit Italian thief turned soldier will do anything to survive a Nazi prison camp, including seducing the cruel female commandant. A scathing blend of politics and comedy distinguishes Wertmueller’s dark vision of moral corruption. "A handbook for survival, a farce, a drama of almost shattering impact…seductively beautiful to look at… as often harrowing as it is boisterously funny"—Vincent Canby, THE NEW YORK TIMES. “The success of this film represents a triumph of insensitivity.”—Pauline Kael, THE NEW YORKER. (115 mins.)


DEC 8 SAT 7:30 P.M.
GUILD THEATRE
TRAIN OF LIFE
BELGIUM/FRANCE 1998
DIRECTOR: RADU MIHAILEANU In an Eastern European shtetl in 1941, the village dreamer announces that the Nazis have scheduled their town for destruction. Along with the prediction comes inspiration: the shtetl will fake their own deportation by building a train and escaping to Palestine. The villagers reluctantly agree to this improbable scheme, which requires that some of them play Nazis. As it moves perilously towards freedom, the train becomes a vehicle for all sorts of revelations—emotional, political, psychological, romantic and comic. (103 mins.)

VISITING ARTISTS

NOV 8 THU 8 P.M.
guild theatre Music + Film Special Event:
SCIENCE IS FICTION: THE FILMS OF JEAN PAINLEVE
W/ LIVE ACCOMPANIMENT BY YO LA TENGO
French filmmaker Jean Painlevé (1902–89) was a man of myriad talents. Though relatively absent from cinema’s history books, Painlevé was the director of more than two hundred science and nature films and an early champion of the genre. Advocating the credo “science is fiction,” Painlevé scandalized the scientific world with a cinema designed to entertain as well as edify. He portrayed everything from sea horses, octupi and jellyfish to vampire bats and fan worms as endowed with human traits—the erotic, the comical, and the savage—and in the process won over the circle of surrealists and avant-gardists he befriended, among them the filmmakers Sergei Eisenstein, Jean Vigo, and Luis Buñuel. Tonight we present a program of classic Painleve works exploring the mysterious, abstract beauty of creatures from the world beneath the surface of the sea. Accompanying the films is Yo La Tengo, whose live melodic harmonies and evocative soundscapes creatively replace each individual film’s original music soundtrack. Don’t miss a magic evening of captivating sound and image. (90 mins.)
Advance tickets: $16 general; $14 members.
co sponsored by music millennium

DEC 8 9 SAT 7 P.M., SUN 4 & 7 P.M.
whitsell auditorium portland premiere
VISITING ARTIST BELA TARR
WERCKMEISTER HARMONIES

HUNGARY 2000
DIRECTOR: BELA TARR Considered by many to be the only true successor to Andrei Tarkovsky, Bela Tarr’s (SATANTANGO, DAMNATION) most recent film is another transcendent allegory that bears an unmistakable stamp. Turning to a book that bears the beautiful title “The Melancholy of Resistance,” Tarr traverses the territory of empty lives, alcoholic evenings and muddy roads in a desolate Hungarian village. When a circus comes to town, a strangely inactive, divided, and restless population awaits the promise of a magnificent whale and the appearance of the mysterious “Prince.” But as hopes are dashed frustration takes hold and an uneasy day of reckoning coen divinely influenced by Bela Tarr…he is one of the few genuinely visionary filmmakers.”—Gus mes. “I have beVan Sant. (145 mins.)

Bela Tarr is scheduled to present the film Saturday evening.

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

The following three screenings are part of the Association of Moving Image Archivists 11th Annual Conference:

NOV 6 TUE 7:30 P.M.
GUILD THEATRE
IF IT MOVES WE’LL SHOOT IT:
FILMS BY AMATEUR FILM CLUBS

“This screening delves into the prolific yet overlooked film world created by amateur filmmakers. For over sixty years, amateur filmmakers in the United States have been passionately pursuing their craft and exhibiting their movies primarily within their film clubs. Whether shooting in video or film, working alone or on a group production, documenting the wonders of nature or experimenting with homemade idiosyncratic methods of production, amateur filmmakers create for the love of it, and are dedicated to exploring the possibilities of their hobby while continuing their professional lives. Award winning films from California amateur film clubs will be presented, including MULTIPLE SIDOSIS, selected for the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry in 2000.”—Melinda Stone, Program Curator and Presenter. (90 mins.)


NOV 7 WED 8:30 P.M.
WHITSELL AUDITORIUM
HOME MOVIES AS FOLK ART
“Home movies form the largest body of work ever produced by American filmmakers—professional or amateur—beginning with 16mm in the 1920s and continuing with 8mm in the early 1930s and Super-8mm in the late 1960s. Average citizens made this huge, still largely under-appreciated wealth of material, from all walks of life, representing every cultural and sub-cultural group and lifestyle. In many cases these modest, though often beautifully made, films provide us with the only first-hand visual records of the significant rituals and routines of ordinary people and their lives we will ever have. In addition, these films convey a vivid sense of their times unsurpassed by any other medium. Tonight we will present a wonderfully diverse selection of home movies spanning many generations of everyday American life.” —Steve Anker, Program Curator and Presenter. (90 mins.)


NOV 8 THU 7:30 P.M.
WHITSELL AUDITORIUM
BIG AS LIFE: A RETROSPECTIVE OF
SMALL-GAUGE ARTISTS’ CINEMA IN AMERICA

“Beginning in the 1950s and continuing to the present, scores of moving picture and other visual artists have been attracted by the modest tools of Regular-8mm and Super-8mm to explore their own most intimate personal filmmaking. Excited rather than put-off by the relative cheapness, easy portability and informal attitudes engendered by these "non-professional" mediums, hundreds of aspiring and accomplished filmmakers achieved remarkably nuanced "small-gauge" expression through the reduced scale of 8mm photography, editing and public exhibition. In creating these works, these artists also deepened our cultural appreciation of the intimacies and spontaneities of 'ordinary' life. Tonight’s program presents films and film performances by seven artists featured prominently in “Big as Life”, a retrospective surveying the rich body of home-made artists' cinema as it has been made in America over the past fifty years.”—Steve Anker, Program Curator and Presenter. Special guests: filmmakers Scott Stark, Christian Farrell and Janice Crystal Lipzin. (120 mins.)


NOV 1 THU 7 P.M.
GUILD THEATRE SILVER SCREEN CLUB PREMIERE
VA SAVOIR
(WHO KNOWS?)

FRANCE 2001
DIRECTOR: JACQUES RIVETTE “A founder and leading light of the French New Wave, Jacques Rivette has now created his masterpiece. The luminous Jeanne Baliber plays Camille, a French actress who after three years in Italy returns to Paris in a production of Pirandello’s “As You Desire Me.” Yet the return is bittersweet, as Camille has never resolved her feelings for Pierre, the French academic she abandoned. Meanwhile, her current lover and stage director, Ugo, searches Paris for a lost manuscript, a process which leads him the home of a beautiful young student, Do—whose brother, Arthur, is involved with Pierre’s current wife, Sonia. As these various actual and potential couples duplicate, separate and commiserate, Rivette offers a brilliant reflection on life, romance, theater, art-making and love-making—and the impossibility of trying to consider these topics discreetly. Few films can be profitably compared to acknowledged masterworks such as RULES OF THE GAME or SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT; VA SAVOIR is that rare film which richly deserves such comparisons.” —NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL. (154 mins.)


NOV 16 17 18 FRI 7 P.M., SAT 3 & 7 P.M., SUN 4 & 6:30 P.M.
GUILD THEATRE PORTLAND PREMIERE
2001 BRITISH ADVERTISING AWARDS
GREAT BRITAIN
DIRECTORS: VARIOUS One of our most popular and looked-forward-to showcases of the year, this annual compilation, culled from over a thousand submissions, reflects the creativity, daring, dry wit and production excellence that have come to be the hallmarks of the best work of the British Advertising Industry. With a candor that often goes where American advertising fears to tread, these "commercials" manage to blur the lines between commerce, information, education and art in provocative fashion, thereby creating the ultimate genre: advertising as irresistible entertainment. Special thanks to the British Television Advertising Awards and the Museum of Modern Art. (90 mins.)


NOV 13 tue 7:30 P.M.
GUILD THEATRE PORTLAND PREMIERE
HOLD UP A MIRROR

What would you like to tell President Bush about the future?
How would you tell a brother in prison that you miss him?

Join us for the premiere of HOLD UP A MIRROR, a new video by 6 Portland area youth which addresses these and other compelling questions about growing up in the world today. The reslt of a collaboration between the Film Center’s Filmmakers-in-the-Schools Program and Multnomah Department of Community Justice, the video project was lead by videomaker Patrick Rosenkranz with technical support by Wayne Woods The student videomakers will be in attendance to answer questions about their work.


NOV 23 24 FRI 7 P.M., SAt 6& 8 P.M.
WHITSELL AUDITORIUM PORTLAND PREMIERE
HYBRID
US 2000
DIRECTOR: MONTEITH MCCOLLUM Winner numerous festival awards, HYBRID falls into the category of singularly unclassifiable. Agricultural pioneer Milford Beeghly spent 70 years cross-fertilizing corn stock, trying to come up with the perfect hybrid. Mostly, he just loved corn; his grownup kids testify that he lacked the knack for family life. Grandson Monteith’s portrait of his grandfather at age 100 refuses the expected as it evokes the lifestyle of the Midwest farm landscape and culture of an bygone era rather than presenting a conventional biography. As it unfolds with its own visually striking logic, the land, and corn itself, becomes a character in the story: cobs twirl, mate and joyously (it seems) strip themselves of their kernels; seeds sprout before your eyes; fields of corn become majestic unknown countries. In this haunted heartland, the past has slipped away, leaving only the husks of memory and the mysteries of man and nature. A VARIETY reviewer quipped that “given a sensibility somewhere between David Lynch and The Brothers Quay, perhaps McCollom’s next project should be a Bible belt noir.” (92 mins.)


NOV 28 WED 7 P.M.
GUILD THEATRE
TOKYO STORY
JAPAN 1953
DIRECTOR: YASUJIRO OZU Ozu’s sad, simple story is regarded by many as his masterpiece and regularly included in international critics’ top ten polls. Examining the widening gap between Japan’s generations, Ozu tells the story of an older couple’s visit to the city to see their children, who, absorbed with their own lives, treat them with indifference and ingratitude. Shunted delicately off to a resort, it takes illness and the death of the mother to spur painful family reconciliation. (134 mins.)


NOV 29 30 THU 7 PM., FRI 7 P.M
WHITSELL AUDITORIUM
TIME REGAINED
FRANCE 1999
DIRECTOR: RAoUL RUIZ Raoul Ruiz's adaptation of the final volume of “In Search of Lost Time” is a film at once wholly faithful to Proust and to the distinctive vision of its director. Inventing a cinematic equivalent to the novelist's "involuntary memory," Ruiz creates a permeable fiction in which every image opens on another, and every level of the remembrance-from Marcel's cozy childhood memories to his struggles to recall the past-exists on the same plane. The film is a casting miracle, as the actors, Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Beart, Vincent Perez, Pascal Gregory, Marie France Pisier, and John Malkovich are perfect physical and emotional matches for Proust's characters. (162 mins.)


DEC 1 2 SAT 7 & 9 P.M., SUN 3:30, 5:30 & 7:30 P.M.
WHITSELL AUDITORIUM PORTLAND PREMIERE
DJOMEH
IRAN 2000
DIRECTOR: HASSAN YEKTAPANAH Winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s Camera D’Or for Best First Feature, DJOMEH tells the story of a shy a young Afghani boy working in a rural diary farm in Iran who falls in love with a beautiful local girl. Beautifully realized by a former assistant to both Abbas Kiarostami and Jafar Panahi, this tenderhearted tale is a universal and moving meditation on the central emotions of our lives.“DJOMEH is further proof...that Iranian cinema is perhaps the purest and most visual in the world today…it effortlessly recreates the daily patterns of ordinary people’s live people’s lives while instilling… an ineffable sense of the transcendent”—Toronto Film Festival. (94mins.)


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