Release Date: October 13, 2010
Films at the National Gallery of Art this Fall Celebrate Norwegian and French Cinema, Classic and Avant-Garde Films, and D.C. Premieres
Washington, DC—Film still from Anna Karenina (Julien Duvivier,1948, 35 mm, 139 minutes), to be shown at the National Gallery of Art on Sunday, December 26, at 4:30 p.m.
Image courtesy of Photofest
The film program at the National Gallery of Art welcomes autumn with a host of unusual films, including a rare opportunity to survey the cinema of Norway in Figures in a Landscape: Nature and Narrative in Norway, presented in conjunction with the exhibition Edvard Munch: Master Prints (July 31–November 28, 2010).
In October, the Gallery takes film viewers to France with a 10-part film series celebrating the films of poetic realist Julien Duvivier, Julien Duvivier: The Grand Artisan and a series of films by Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, including their highly regarded feature Class Relations. The related film series Harun Farocki: Essays draws connections between the working methods of Straub and Huillet and their influence upon the seminal German artist Farocki, whose most recent essays will also be screened.
The rarely seen early short films of Polish auteur Roman Polanski will be presented in the program Polanski and the Łódź Film School in November, while Washington-area premieres include a new documentary on David Hockney and another on a trove of Russian paintings hidden in Central Asia during the Soviet period. Director Bruno Wollheim will introduce his new film, David Hockney: A Bigger Picture, at its Washington debut, and The Desert of Forbidden Art will bring filmmakers Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev to the nation's capital to introduce their extraordinary new documentary.
As 2010 draws to a close, the Gallery presents Film Design: Translating Words into Images, an illustrated discussion by Academy Award–winning production designer Patrizia von Brandenstein, known for her work on several feature films including Miloš Forman's Amadeus. Also in December, Force of Evil will be presented on the 100th birthday of director-screenwriter Abraham Polonsky, whose career came to a famous halt in the 1950s when he was blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studios.
Ciné-concerts are presented throughout the season with an assortment of performers accompanying work by Roman Polanski, Josef von Sternberg, and Benjamin Christensen. On Halloween, Christensen's 1922 study on witchcraft, Häxan—Witchcraft through the Ages, will include the American premiere of the recently rediscovered original score. Later, the Gallery welcomes the holiday season with a ciné-concert version of A Christmas Carol. The 1923 adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic will be accompanied by the premiere of a musical score by Kim Allen Kluge.
All films are shown in the East Building Auditorium. Programs are free of charge with seating available on a first-come, first-seated basis. Doors open approximately 30 minutes before each show. Programs are subject to change. Films are shown in original format. For current information, visit www.nga.gov/programs/film, or call (202) 842-6799.
Art Films and Events
David Hockney: A Bigger Picture
Director Bruno Wollheim in person
Saturday, October 2, at 2:00 p.m.
A new profile of David Hockney—culled from footage recorded during three years of trailing the seventy-three-year-old artist after his return to native Yorkshire—finds Hockney reinventing himself as a landscape painter, setting up easel in the countryside, and all but abandoning the camera that for so long has influenced his work. "This film may well be the best anyone will ever make about Hockney's process"—Andrew Billen. (Bruno Wollheim, 2009, digital beta, 60 minutes)
Thursday, October 14, 21, 28 at 2:00 p.m.
Peter Watkins' rarely screened docudrama on Edvard Munch is presented on the occasion of the National Gallery exhibition Edvard Munch: Master Prints. The famously controversial film, more than three hours in length, carefully portrays details from the artist's life in a blend of fiction and nonfiction. (Peter Watkins, 1974, 35 mm, Norwegian with subtitles, 200 minutes)
The Desert of Forbidden Art
Directors Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev in person
Sunday, October 17, at 4:00 p.m.
Filmmakers Pope and Georgiev present their latest film documenting a collection of modernist Russian art hidden in a museum in the remote Uzbek desert. For 27 years, curator Igor Savitsky rescued, acquired, and had donated art works that otherwise would probably not have survived the Soviet regime. (Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev, 2010, HD-Cam, 80 minutes)
Ciné-Concert: Saved from the Flames
Serge Bromberg in person
Saturday, October 23, at 4:30 p.m.
Film historian and performance artist Serge Bromberg presents (and accompanies on piano) selections from his unique Saved from the Flames collection—rare and restored short "orphan" films from the decades of nitrate production, including such rarities as 1930s footage of Django Reinhardt, and animations by Max Fleischer. (Approximately 100 minutes)
Ciné-Concert: Häxan—Witchcraft through the Ages
American premiere of the original score
Sunday, October 31, at 4:00 p.m.
One of the most fascinating works in the history of cinema is Christensen's visually stunning study of witchcraft, a blend of fictionalized vignettes and nonfiction texts exploring medieval sorcery practice. Often evoking paintings by Bosch, Häxan conveys a sense of dark emotion slowly let loose on a naive world. Accompanied by a live performance of the original 1922 musical score under the direction of Gillian B. Anderson. (Benjamin Christensen, 1922,
35 mm, Danish and Swedish with soft-titles, 110 minutes)
Iris Barry and American Modernism
Andrew Simpson on piano
Sunday, November 7, at 4:00 p.m.
Barry, founder of the film department at the Museum of Modern Art, was instrumental in first focusing the attention of American audiences on film as an art form. Born in Britain, she was also one of the first female film critics and a founder of the London Film Society. This program, part of the Gallery's American Modernism symposium, re-creates one of the events that Barry staged at the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford in the 1930s. The program includes avant-garde shorts by Walter Ruttmann, Ivor Montagu, Viking Eggeling, Hans Richter, Charles Sheeler, and a Silly Symphony by Walt Disney. (Approximately 75 minutes)
Polanski and the Łódź Film School
Saturday, November 13, at 4:30 p.m.
In the late 1950s, Roman Polanski made experimental short films that formed a foundation for his later filmmaking practice. Most of the seven shorts in this program were completed at the Łódź Film School, Poland's national film, television, and theater institute, one of the finest film academies in the world. The surreal scenarios and absurdist comedies include Uśmiech zębyczny (Teeth Smile, 1957), Dwaj ludzie z szafą (Two Men and a Wardrobe, 1958), Kiedy spadają anioły (When Angels Fall, 1959), and others. Live musical accompaniment by the Warsaw-based duo Sza/Za. (Approximately 106 minutes)
Saturday, November 20, at 2:00 p.m.
A portmanteau of 10 short stories by 10 filmmakers, the new feature Revolución offers personal reflections on the legacy of the Mexican Revolution viewed a full century later. At the same time, it provides a panorama of the current state of filmmaking in Mexico. Influential directors of the last decade, including Carlos Reygadas and Fernando Eimbcke, are featured alongside newer voices like Gael García Bernal and Mariana Chenillo. (2010, HD-Cam, 105 minutes)
Ciné-Concert: The Last Command
Music by the Alloy Orchestra
Saturday, December 4, at 2:30 p.m.
One of Josef von Sternberg's most complex works of the late silent cinema, The Last Command stars Emil Jannings as a former Czarist general, reduced to working as a Hollywood extra and cast as a Russian general in a film directed by ex-Bolshevik William Powell. (Jannings won the first-ever Oscar for Best Actor for his role). To accompany the Pirandellian plot, the three-member Alloy Orchestra performs their original found-percussion and keyboard score. (Josef von Sternberg, 1928, 35 mm, 88 minutes)
Film Design: Translating Words into Images
Illustrated discussion by Patrizia von Brandenstein
Sunday, December 5, at 2:00 p.m.
Crafting a motion picture's production design (settings, locations, costumes, ambience, mise-en-scène—in short, its entire appearance) is a complex process that not only requires artistic imagination and technical expertise, but also an ability to translate a screenplay into pictures. Production designer Patrizia von Brandenstein, the first woman to win an Academy Award for her design of Amadeus, discusses her ideas and methods for designing a film, illustrated with footage from four of her well-known works. (Approximately 75 minutes) Made possible by funds given in memory of Rajiv Vaidya.
Force of Evil
Introduction by Rebecca Prime
Sunday, December 5, at 5:00 p.m.
A restored print of this rarely screened and often underrated film noir is shown on the occasion of the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of blacklisted Hollywood writer-director Abraham Polonsky. In his film, the corruption of the numbers racket is a backdrop for the tragedy of two brothers (John Garfield and Thomas Gomez), akin to an allegory in carefully measured meter. "Like no other film of the period, Force of Evil stands as a testament . . . its mood compounded by fear of the McCarthy witch hunts"—Tom Milne. (Abraham Polonsky, 1948, 35 mm, 78 minutes)
Saturday, December 11, at 1:00 p.m.
A fictionalized account of Alice Liddell's 1932 visit to America quietly portrays in flashback her childhood friendship with author Lewis Carroll. Joining her reverie are several of Jim Henson's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland creatures—the Mad Hatter, Gryphon, Caterpillar, and Dormouse. (Gavin Millar and Dennis Potter, 1985, 35 mm, 94 minutes)
Thursday and Friday, December 16 and 17, at 1:00 p.m.
British director Ken Russell's early BBC biographies were among his best works. In this spare study of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Russell focused on the rift between the artist's aspirations and his day-to-day reality. Occasional surreal flourishes lend a touch of fantasy. (Ken Russell, 1967, 35 mm, 90 minutes)
Ciné-Concert: A Christmas Carol
Premiere of musical score by Kim Allen Kluge
Saturday, December 18, at 1:00 p.m.
A holiday music and film event features a 1923 adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic. An ensemble of strings, bells, and voice accompanies. Writes composer Kim Allen Kluge, "I was inspired by the ghostlike images caused by the film's deterioration. These luminous effects contribute to Scrooge's transformation. "Kluge's score, rooted in Victorian melodies, compliments the otherworldliness of the visuals. (Approximately 45 minutes)
The Brotherhood: The Love School
Wednesday and Thursday, December 29 and 30, at 1:00 p.m.
Two episodes from a vintage BBC series on the lives of the Pre-Raphaelites, featuring Ben Kingsley as Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Kika Markham as Jane Burden, are shown in conjunction with the exhibition The Pre-Raphaelite Lens: British Photography and Painting, 1848 –1875. (Piers Haggard, BBC, 1975, digital beta, 150 minutes)
Figures in a Landscape: Nature and Narrative in Norway
Norway's natural landscape has historically played a role in shaping form, content, and metaphor in the country's cinema. The vicissitudes of a hard climate, dramatic variations of daylight and twilight, dominance of the sea and wilderness, remoteness of rural and urban environments (and the traditional struggle to control) have all played a distinctive role, even contributing to a sense of national identity. The series presents a historical perspective on the relevance of natural phenomena and landscape in Norway's cinema, expressing changes over time. Special thanks to Jan Erik Holst, Lise Gustavson, and the staff of the Norwegian Film Institute.
The Growth of the Soil (Markens grøde)
preceded by A Tale of Harvest
Saturday, October 2, at 4:30 p.m.
The screen adaptation of Knut Hamsun's 1917 Nobel Prize–winning epic The Growth of the Soil was a landmark in Norwegian film, shot on location near Hamsun's home, and featuring a musical score by Leif Halvorsen. Homesteaders Isak and Inger, finding a sense of fulfillment working the soil, are suddenly faced with an unspeakable tragedy that alters their relationship to the land. (Gunnar Sommerfeldt, 1921, silent with English intertitles, 117 minutes)
A surreal parable about a man's vain attempts to grow crops on his infertile field, A Tale of Harvest unearths, in the end, a few surprises. (Aleksandra Niemczyk and Ola Moen, 2010, 35 mm, 12 minutes)
Cine-concert: The Bride of Glomdal
preceded by The Dangers of a Fisherman's Life
Introduction by Jan Erik Holst
Sunday, October 3, at 4:30 p.m.
Carl Theodor Dreyer's silent, folkoric Glomdalsbruden makes glowing use of fijords and open landscapes in a lyrical tale of love between a poor farmer's son and a wealthy squire's daughter, promised to another. "Here Dreyer turned to [Norway's] rolling stretches of hill and dale—calm long shots down a valley of peasants dancing around a fire with smoke obscuring the lake beyond . . . and two wedding parties, standing helplessly on opposite sides of a river"— Norwegian Film Institute. (Carl Th. Dreyer, 1926, 35 mm, 75 minutes)
Preceding the feature is the 1954 reconstruction of the first Norwegian short narrative, The Dangers of a Fisherman's Life showing the fjord outside Oslo. (1908 / 1954, 35 mm, Norwegian with subtitles, 5 minutes)
followed by Cold Tracks (Kalde Spor)
Friday, October 8, at 2:00 p.m.
Fierce "gypsy of the sea" Fendrik makes his living by poaching from his boat. When pretty Josefa enters his life, Fendrik is still powerless to change his wicked ways. Tancred Ibsen (grandson of Henrik) studied classical narrative structure in Hollywood, and this darkly sensual rendering of Gabriel Scott's novel proved extremely popular when released at home in Norway. (Tancred Ibsen, 1937, 35 mm, Norwegian with subtitles, 95 minutes)
Set during the Occupation, a central theme in postwar cinema, Cold Tracks is shot in daunting mountain locations in midwinter. An ex-Resistance leader tries to purge the ghosts of past betrayals as an almost unbearable nature presses down on him, a metaphor for his irrational guilt. (Arne Skouen, 1962, 35 mm, Norwegian with subtitles, 96 minutes)
Nine Lives (Ni liv)
Saturday, October 9, at 2:00 p.m.
A harrowing account from the real life of Jan Baalsrud—Norwegian resistance fighter and lone survivor of a Nazi attack in the winter of 1943—is based on his struggle, related in flashback, to escape across northern Norway to Sweden, neutral in the war. Blind from the snow, frostbitten, and dependent on the mercy of strangers, he manages to endure for weeks. (Arne Skouen, 1957, 35 mm, Norwegian with subtitles, 96 minutes)
Saturday, October 9, at 4:00 p.m.
Liv Ullmann returned to her native Norway in the late 1960s to play 17th-century heroine An-Magritt, from Johan Falkberget's classic novel. Part homage to writer Falkberget (1879– 1967)—a champion of the workers from Norway's remote copper mining regions—An-Magritt's resilient persona suffers through a rough life that ultimately leads her to defend the local culture, exploited by capitalism. (Arne Skouen, 1969, 35 mm, Norwegian with subtitles, 100 minutes)
The Hunt (Jakten)
preceded by A Year along the Abandoned Road
Sunday, October 10, at 4:30 p.m.
Friday, October 22 at 2:30 p.m.
In Erik Løchen's moody, modernist film, a romantic triangle unfolds in a remote rural setting with some unusual consequences. The New Wave–influenced mise-en-scène and elegant experimental structure (recalling Alain Resnais's Hiroshima mon amour, released the same year) bring the past to bear on the present, finally overwhelming it. (Erik Løchen, 1959, 35 mm, Norwegian with subtitles, 94 minutes)
Filmed in 70 mm over the course of 12 months along the remains of an old village path, A Year along the Abandoned Road is a stunning tour-de-force of technique, and one of the classic shorts of world cinema. (Morten Skallerud, 1991, 35 mm, 12 minutes)
Friday, October 15, at 2:30 p.m.
Director Nils Gaup transformed a 12th-century Sámi legend into a rousing screen adventure. A young boy witnesses the massacre of his family at the hands of the Tsjudes, an intimidating tribe from northwest Russia. Held hostage and forced to act as a scout, the boy manages, against all odds, to outsmart his captors. Pathfinder, the first feature made in the indigenous Sámi language, was filmed in Finnmark in the remote northeast of Norway. (Nils Gaup, 1987, 35 mm, subtitles, 88 minutes)
preceded by To See a Boat in Sail
Saturday, October 23, at 2:00 p.m.
Jernanger charts the shifting relationships between a world-weary mariner, a younger man bent on acquiring sailing skills, and two very different women. Backed by luminous cinematography of the harbor and waterways around Oslo, the narrative's candor and occasional whimsy make Jernanger "one of the best Norwegian films of the year"—Fredrik Fevang. (Pål Jackman, 2009, 35 mm, Norwegian with subtitles, 92 minutes)
Anja Breien's moving, minimalist narrative To See a Boat in Sail precedes the feature. (2001, 11 minutes)
An Enemy of the People (En folkefiende)
preceded by Oblique
Sunday, October 24, at 4:30 p.m.
Updating Henrik Ibsen's drama to the present day, An Enemy of the People retains the play's main motifs—a Norwegian coastal town, a tainted water supply, duplicitous officials, irrational townsfolk—but augments the action with contemporary concerns. "[Adjusting] the play works seamlessly, highlighting the timelessness of Ibsen's themes. Both Arthur Miller and Satyajit Ray made their own adaptations, but [this one] succeeds best. . . . "—Jay Weissberg. (Erik Skjoldbjaerg, 2005, 35 mm, Norwegian with subtitles, 90 minutes)
Media artist Knut Åsdam's short film Oblique depicts a suburban landscape, seen largely through a train's windows, and uses actors to focus on what he calls "human spatial identity disorder." (Knut Åsdam, 2008, 35 mm, 10 minutes)
Lake of the Dead (De dødes tjern)
Friday, October 29, at 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 30, at 2:00 p.m.
A 1950s ghost story with literary and folkloristic roots, Lake of the Dead became a model for subsequent mystery films. Six friends on a weekend outing far from Oslo discover that one member of their party, an early arrival, has disappeared. According to local legend, a phantom with one leg stalks the nearby lakeshore. (Kåre Bergstrøm, 1958, 35 mm, Norwegian with subtitles, 76 minutes)
The Ice Palace (Is-slottet)
Saturday, October 30, at 4:00 p.m.
With lighting, mise-en-scène, and color clearly inspired by Edvard Munch's Puberty and The Sick Child, this nearly wordless expressionistic drama, based on a 1963 novel, explores the emotional bonding between two adolescent girls. The near-mystical force of the secluded, ice-covered setting is rendered through prudent use of symbols and understated detail. (Per Blom, 1987, 35 mm, Norwegian with subtitles, 78 minutes)
Julien Duvivier: The Grand Artisan
Julien Duvivier (1896–1967), whose work of the 1930s helped define midcentury poetic realist cinema—studio-made narratives with proletarian characters set in shadowy, noirish milieus — was a master of many genres. Melodrama, thriller, literary adaptation, even comedy: Duvivier was adept at them all. While contemporaries like Jean Renoir are lauded as auteurs, Duvivier's consistently craftsman-like proficiency and vast productivity (more than seventy films) will, arguably, sustain for him a more lasting legacy. This series of 10 features samples Duvivier's work from the silent era to the eve of the French New Wave. "If I were an architect and had to build a monument to cinema, I would place Duvivier above the entrance"—Jean Renoir.
Ciné-Concert: Poil de carotte
Music by L'Octuor de France ensemble
Saturday, October 16, at 2:30 p.m.
"A family is a group of people living under the same roof who cannot stand each other." Freckled carrot-top André Heuzé is invariably at the wrong end of all the dirty tricks in his memorably dysfunctional family. Duvivier's adaptation of Jules Renard's 1894 novel was one of his best silent works. (1925, 35 mm, transferred to digital beta, silent with live music, 108 minutes)
Allô Berlin? Ici Paris
Sunday, November 14, at 4:30 p.m.
Long-distance switchboard operators in Paris and Berlin fall in love while "on line" and continue calling, with plenty of sugary banter and clever quips. When finally they meet face to face, fate calamitously intrudes. (1932, 35 mm, French with soft-titles, 89 minutes)
Pépé le Moko
Friday, November 26, at 2:30 p.m.
A notorious jewel thief hides out in the old Algiers Casbah until a glamorous "tourist" from Paris lures him to his demise. Pépé le Moko reached iconic status, inspired two remakes, an Italian parody (Totó le Moko), a cartoon character (Pepé le Pew), and even, arguably, had a bearing on Graham Greene's 1940s screenplay for The Third Man. (1936, 35 mm, French with subtitles, 94 minutes)
Voici le temps des assassins
Saturday, November 27, at 1:00 p.m.
An intense and well-crafted thriller set inside a reconstruction of the old Les Halles market, Voici le temps des assassins was one of New Wave critic François Truffaut's favorite French films. "Lest we forget that film noir has roots in the French, this gem offers the quintessential femme fatale, hooking the quintessential unsuspecting guy who quickly becomes suspecting, and dangerous"—Pacific Film Archive. (1956, 35 mm, French with subtitles, 114 minutes)
Sunday, November 28, at 4:30 p.m.
Making his rounds in a Second Empire apartment building, provincial social climber Gérard Philipe rises to respectability via the aid of eminently satisfied middle-class ladies. "Duvivier's re-creation of Paris in the overstuffed ‘80s is one of the most extraordinary historical evocations ever. . . a lavish satire on the triumph of business values over bourgeois morals" — Pauline Kael. (1958, 35 mm, French with subtitles, 115 minutes)
Introduction by Jay Carr
Saturday, December 11, at 4:00 p.m.
On the lam after a murder, Jean Gabin joins the Spanish Foreign Legion, finds romance with exotic dancer Annabella, and forms an unlikely friendship with Robert le Vigan. A stirring Orientalist fantasy filmed on location in Morocco and Spain on the eve of the Civil War, La Bandera has now been restored by Archives Françaises du Film. (1935, 35 mm, French with soft-titles, 100 minutes)
Sous le ciel de Paris
Sunday, December 12, at 4:00 p.m.
This elegant postwar masterpiece and day-in-the-life of fin-de-siècle Paris weaves a tapestry of tantalizing encounters among a random group of characters—a crazed sculptor, a worker on a picket line, an unlucky medical student, an old woman gleaning food for her cats, two kids on a boat ride, and a dewy newcomer from the country. (1951, 35 mm, French with soft-titles, 115 minutes)
Poil de carotte
Saturday, December 18, at 3:30 p.m.
Jules Renard's popular novel prompted Duvivier's second adaptation in the early sound era. Evoking his own painful childhood in rural France, he added a few absurdist twists to the tale, casting the brilliant Harry Baur as father and Robert Lynen as the young carrot-top this time around. (1932, 35 mm, French with subtitles, 92 minutes)
Tales of Manhattan
Sunday, December 26, at 2:00 p.m.
In the first of two shimmering English-language works with stellar casting (this one produced by Twentieth-Century Fox), a bespoke tailcoat passes through a multitude of owners, starting with rich actor Charles Boyer and ending with poor farmer Paul Robeson. (1942, 35 mm, 125 minutes)
Sunday, December 26, at 4:30 p.m.
A lavish international concoction directed by Duvivier, produced by Alexander Korda, photographed by Henri Alekan, scripted by Jean Anouilh, and featuring costumes designed by Cecil Beaton, this adaptation of Tolstoy's novel was cast with Vivien Leigh as Anna and Ralph Richardson as Karenin. While it did not survive at the box office, Anna Karenina remains one of the most stylishly romantic postwar movies. (1948, 35 mm, 139 minutes)
Straub and Huillet: The Work and Reaches of Creation
Artists Jean-Marie Straub and the late Danièle Huillet created an eccentric and personal cinematic style that used existing texts—poetry, plays, letters, music, and political writing—as the foundation for their craft. Just as Straub and Huillet's cinema was based on the work of others, their films, in turn, have been an inspiration to other artists. In addition to the feature Class Relations, the program includes three recent shorts and two films on Straub and Huillet's methods, as witnessed by Harun Farocki and Pedro Costa. Special thanks to Barbara Ulrich, Andréa Picard, Nellie Killian, and Michaël Agbohouto.
Straub and Huillet: From Three Texts
Saturday, November 13, at 2:00 p.m.
When Danièle Huillet died in 2006, her collaborator and partner of more than thirty years, Jean-Marie Straub, completed their final project, L'Itinéraire de Jean Bricard (The Itinerary of Jean Bricard, 2008), a beautiful short based on Jean-Yves Petiteau's nonfiction book on a French resistance fighter. Straub then went on to produce two shorts based on texts by Italian writer Cesare Pavese: Le genou d'Artemide (Artemis' Knee, 2008) and Le Streghe: Femmes entre elles (The Witches: Women among Themselves, 2009). Still and haunting, these films evoke Greek tragedy, still-life painting, and portraiture, while remaining wholly cinematic. (35 mm, French with subtitles, total running time 87 minutes)
Klassenverhältnisse (Class Relations)
preceded by Straub and Huillet at Work on Kafka's Amerika
Sunday, November 21, at 4:30 p.m.
Straub and Huillet's best-known feature, Class Relations, inspired by Kafka's unfinished allegory of capitalist society (Amerika), uses the depiction of its immigrant protagonist Karl Rossmann to explore the transfer of a fictional character from text to screen. (Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, 1984, 35 mm, German with subtitles, 126 minutes)
Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie?
Sunday, December 19, at 4:30 p.m.
Twenty years after Harun Farocki's documentary on Straub and Huillet's methodology, Pedro Costa released his own portrait of the filmmaking duo as they negotiate the editing of their 1999 feature film Sicilia! (Pedro Costa, 2001, 35 mm, French with subtitles, 109 minutes)
Harun Farocki: Essays
For more than four decades, in nearly a hundred films and media installations, German artist and writer Harun Farocki has analyzed the uses and purposes of contemporary image-making. One of Europe's most articulate theorists of visual culture, his films remain virtually unknown in the United States. Two recent essays, his best-known feature film, and a short introduction to the methods of his mentors Straub and Huillet introduce the work of this key media artist, who has now inspired generations of younger filmmakers. "Imagine a tryst between Andy Warhol and a Marxist Frederick Wiseman"—Paul Arthur.
preceded by Immersion
Saturday, November 20, at 4:30 p.m.
Deceptively simple in approach, In Comparison juxtaposes various methods of brick-making across societies. "The film shows us that certain production modes require their own duration, and that cultures differentiate around the time of the brick" — Farocki. (Harun Farocki, 2009, 16 mm, German with subtitles, 61 minutes)
From an observational perspective, Immersion reveals ways in which virtual reality is used by the military to train its soldiers prior to combat as well as to treat those who come back with post-traumatic stress disorder. (Harun Farocki and Matthias Rajmann, 2009, digibeta, German with subtitles, 20 minutes)
Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet at Work on Franz Kafka's Amerika
Sunday, November 21, at 4:30 p.m.
As an actor in Straub and Huillet's Class Relations, Haron Farocki recorded the exacting rehearsal methods of his mentors. The resulting film is both documentation and homage. (Harun Farocki, 1983, 16 mm, German with subtitles, 26 minutes) Note: The film is followed by Class Relations (see above).
Images of the World and the Inscription of War
Saturday, November 27, at 4:00 p.m.
A study of technology and war, image fatigue, and interpretation, Farocki's short feature is now considered a classic of the cine-essay genre. With both a scientific logic and a fervent conscience, he manages to represent familiar images in entirely new ways. "A fascinating film essay about photography. . . Farocki combines the freewheeling imagination of Chris Marker with the rigor of Alexander Kluge, and his materialist approach to editing sound and image suggests both Fritz Lang and Robert Bresson"—Jonathan Rosenbaum. (Harun Farocki, 1988, 16 mm, German with subtitles, 75 minutes)
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