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Archive of past screenings: 2001 Schedule

Jazz Film Series, January 8 - 25, 2001

Monday, January 8, 2001: "A CABIN IN THE SKY" (1943) MGM 99 minutes. 35 mm Director: Vincente Minnelli Producer: Arthur Freed Screenwriter: Joseph Schrank

Vincente Minnelli's all-black musical fantasy was based on the Broadway show and includes notable appearances by Louis Armstrong, Ethel Waters, Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, Lena Horne, Eddie Anderson, Butterfly McQueen, John "Bubbles" Sublett, and Ruby Dandridge. Ethel Waters and Rex Ingram reprised their roles from the original Broadway production for this film about a gambler's brush with the afterlife. Armstrong's small role as one of the devil's henchmen is a scene-stealer. The film, which was to have been the first of three MGM "all-Negro" musicals, featured the songs "Taking a Chance on Love" and "Cabin in the Sky."

Thursday January 11, 2001: "JAZZ CLASSICS No. 102, LOUIS ARMSTRONG AND HIS ORCHESTRA 1942-65" (1986) Videofidelity, Inc. 33 mins. ½" videocassette; "CBS NEWS SPECIAL: LOUIS ARMSTRONG 1900-1971" (1971) CBS, Inc. 59 mins. 16mm. Producer: Joan Richman

Jazz Classics compiled four 1942 soundies by Armstrong including "Swingin' On Nothin'," "When It's Sleepy Time Down South," "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You," and "Shine"--as well as some 1965 footage of the All-Stars performing their regular concert repertoire. These are interwoven with musical quotes from commercial jingles for Winston cigarettes and Colgate toothpaste.

The CBS News Special was an Emmy-nominated memorial tribute to Armstrong on the occasion of his death. Moving moments include shots of Armstrong's funeral with Al Hibbler and Peggy Lee singing "The Lord's Prayer," followed in the second half by a group interview and musical homage featuring Dizzy Gillespie, Tyree Glenn, Bobby Hackett, Earl "Fatha" Hines, Milt Hinton, Budd Johnson, Peggy Lee, and Buddy Rich.

Thursday, January 18, 2001: "PARIS BLUES " (1961) Pennebaker Productions/Diane Productions 98 minutes. 35 mm. b/w Director: Martin Ritt Producer: Sam Shaw Screenplay: Jack Sher, Irene Kamp, Walter Bernstein Music: Duke Ellington

Two expatriate American jazz musicians (Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier) find romance with two American teachers (Diahann Carroll and Joanne Woodward) in this look at the unconventional lifestyle of Left Bank nightclubs in Paris. Saxophonist Paul Gonsalves and trombonist Murray McEachern ghosted for the two principles. Jazz sequences feature Louis Armstrong as Wild Man Moore playing trumpet in a nightclub jam session. The superb music score of Duke Ellington is highlighted in such numbers as "Sophisticated Lady," "Take the ‘A' Train," "Mood Indigo," and "Blue Danube." Location scenes filmed in Paris lend an air of authenticity to such themes as drug culture, racial discrimination, and personal ambition which provide the backdrop for the story.

Monday January 22, 2001: "STEVE ALLEN SHOW No. 93" (1958) NBC-TV 51 mins. b/w; 3/4" video; "LOUIS ARMSTRONG: THE GENTLE GIANT OF JAZZ" (1978) COMCO Productions, Inc. 27 mins color 16mm. Director/Producer: Ann Zane Shanks; "WIDE WIDE WORLD" (1955) NBC Television 16mm. (excerpt) Director: Dick Schneider

The Steve Allen Show includes an interview with Louis Armstrong, who performs "I'm Confessin'" and "Mack the Knife," and recites the poem "Red Red Rose." Allen and Armstrong also do a parody of Leonard Bernstein and his appearances on "Omnibus" called "Bomnibus."

From the American Life Style series, Gentle Giant, hosted by Hugh Downs, honors the life of Armstrong and his accomplishmentsas a jazz musician. The episode includes newsreel footage and archival clips photographs of the artist.

The pilot for NBC's Wide Wide World series with Dave Garroway includes part of a jazz concert in Washington D.C. with Armstrong, Bobby Hackett, Velma Middleton and Woody Herman.

Thursday January 25, 2001: "HORACE PARLAN BY HORACE PARLAN" (2000) Rough Sea Productions 59 minutes. DVD Producer/Director: Don McGlynn (A Washington Premiere)

Pianist and composer Horace Parlan is best known for his collaborations with Charles Mingus, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Archie Shepp and Dexter Gordon. His compositions are rich and deeply textured, and his playing is all the more remarkable considering that when he was five years old, Parlan contracted polio which constricted the right side of his body.

Despite this setback, Harlan became a masterful pianist, forging a style which deftly emphasizes his left hand. After making some highly regarded recordings on Blue Note Records, works in the 1960s began to dwindle while social unrest, street violence, and racism were on the rise. In the early seventies Parlan moved to Denmark, where he found an atmosphere more conducive to his creativity. This intimate and touching portrait is told through revealing interviews and powerful performances.

PLUS...a surprise screening and sneak preview from McGlynn's current project, The Legend of Teddy Edwards.

Jazz Film Series Curator: Larry Appelbaum
Notes by Larry Appelbaum and Kim Tomadjoglou

The Jazz Film Series is co-sponsored by the Music Division
and the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division
in the Library of Congress.

Tuesday, February 27, 2001

Wege zur Kraft und Schöheit (The Way to Strength and Beauty) (UFA, 1925). Dir.: Wilhelm Prager. (22 min. [incomplete], si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

Sumurun (One Arabian Night) (UFA, 1920). Dir.: Ernst Lubitsch. Cast: Paul Wegener, Pola Negri. (91 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

Universum Film A.G. (UFA) remains one of the most influential studios in film history. As the epicenter of Germany's cinematic Golden Age, it was home to such artists as Fritz Lang, F.W. Murnau, and more. In conjunction with the Goethe Institute's exhibition of UFA posters, this week we present films from the studio's heyday, and continue later with more titles illustrating German Expressionism. We open with Ernst Lubitsch's Sumurun, an early showcase of what would become UFA's frequently opulent style. It is preceded by two reels from Wege zur Kraft und Schöheit, an openly political advocacy of the physical development of German youth for military service, and an illustration of UFA's talent for "educational" films as well.

Thursday, March 1, 2001

Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel) (UFA, 1930). Dir.: Josef von Sternberg. Cast: Emil Jannings, Marlene Dietrich. (89 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll. English language version).

Von Sternberg's masterpiece, vividly chronicling the psychological breakdown of a staid professor hopelessly enchanted by a cabaret singer. The film was simultaneously shot in both German and English, and although the former is certainly superior, we present the much less frequently shown English version tonight.

Friday, March 2, 2001

National Film Registry

Children of Divorce (Paramount, 1927). Dir.: Frank Lloyd. Cast: Clara Bow, Gary Cooper, Esther Ralston. (72 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Paramount).

The sins of the parents are visited upon their children in this, Clara Bow's follow up to It. Gary Cooper co-stars as her lust interest, although it becomes readily apparent these two are not made for each other. Tonight's print derives from an original camera negative, but this Library of Congress restoration was quite complicated. Much of the negative exhibited extensive nitrate melt, but using newer printing techniques, the Conservation Center was able to assemble a restored version from the negative and a safety master made thirty years ago. In addition, intertitles which had been haphazardly inserted into the negative sometime in the 1930s were reordered.

Tuesday, March 6, 2001

National Film Registry

Pillow Talk (Universal, 1959). Dir.: Michael Gordon. Cast: Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Tony Randall. (105 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Universal).

The first Doris-Rock pairing remains the best. She's an interior designer, he's a womanizing songwriter posing as Rex Stetson, Shy Cowboy, they're brought together by Tony Randall, hijinks ensue. Fabulous, inventive use of the widescreen format makes this more than just a charming curio.

Thursday, March 8, 2001

Depression Era Actresses

First Lady (Warner Bros., 1937). Dir.: Stanley Logan. Cast: Kay Francis, Preston Foster, Anita Louise. (82 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

Female stars dominated movie screens in the 1930s. The depression era's complications were reflected in the musicals, screwball comedies, and melodrama they starred in. Kay Francis, Carole Lombard, Irene Dunne, Joan Blondell, and Barbara Stanwyck were thirties film favorites, who portrayed characters that embodied the complex role of women during hard times. These actresses were among the best at depicting the struggles of women trying to get ahead in a world where getting by was difficult even for men. We celebrate them tonight and for the next four Thursday evenings (with the exception of March 22). Kay Francis was the queen of the Warner Bros. lot before being dethroned by Bette Davis. Like Davis, Francis made her fame and fortune as a popular leading lady in melodrama, though occasionally she appeared in comedy. First Lady is a witty political satire written by George S. Kaufman and Katherine Dayton about the rivalries between women in Washington society.

Friday, March 9, 2001

National Film Registry

Candy (ABC, 1968). Dir.: Christian Marquand. Cast: Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, Ewa Aulin, John Huston. (115 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll.)

Buck Henry's everything-and-the-kitchen-sink adaptation of Terry Southern's novel has a little something for everyone: Brando's gurumobile, a glass bottom limousine, and Ringo Starr as the Mexican gardener. This sexual satire hasn't aged too well, but a fascinating period piece nonetheless.

Tuesday, March 13, 2001

National Film Registry

Mystery Street (MGM, 1950). Dir.: John Sturges. Cast: Ricardo Montalban, Sally Forrest, Bruce Bennett. (93 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.,courtesy Warner Bros.)

Outstanding police procedural written by Sydney Boehm, who is best known for his script for The Big Heat. The skeleton of a murder victim (Jan Sterling) is reconstructed to establish her identity. Excellent photography using Cape Cod and Cambridge locations by the great John Alton.

Thursday, March 15, 2001

Depression Era Actresses

Virtue (Columbia, 1932). Dir.: Edward Buzzell. Cast: Carole Lombard, Pat O'Brien, Mayo Methot. (69 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Columbia)

Carole Lombard was one of the most successful and popular actresses of the 1930s. Her glamour girl looks and sex appeal never impeded her career as a dramatic actor or comedienne. She stars in Virtue, a pre-code melodrama, as a former prostitute trying to stay on the straight and narrow.

Friday, March 16, 2001

National Film Registry

Kiss Me, Stupid (UA, 1964). Dir.: Billy Wilder. Cast: Dean Martin, Kim Novak, Ray Walston. (126 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

Viewers are forewarned: this movie was given a condemned rating by the Catholic Legion of Decency upon its release in 1964. Not even that bit of notoriety could save Kiss Me, Stupid at the boxoffice. After the showing audiences might want to reflect on Dean Martin's unflattering screen persona. The three songs are from the George and Ira Gershwin trunk: two goofy numbers and one unexpected delight called "All the Livelong Day (and the Long, Long Night)."

Tuesday, March 20, 2001

Environmental Film Festival

Fang and Claw (RKO, 1935). Director: Frank Buck. (68 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

Tiger Fangs (PRC, 1943). Director: Sam Newfield. Cast: Frank Buck, June Duprez, Duncan Renaldo. (55 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

In the first half of the twentieth century, the name Frank Buck was synonymous with adventure in the jungles of Asia. For decades he was one of the leading hunters for big game, but not to kill them-instead to "bring 'em back alive" for the zoos in the United States and Europe. In 1930, he began a string of best-selling books, expanding to filmmaking in 1932. In time, both his books and movies encompassed not only factual accounts about his work, but also fiction inspired by it. Fang and Claw was his third documentary, while Tiger Fangs was a fictional story about the hunter's involvement in World War II espionage in the region. Through his books, films, and subsequent radio shows, circus appearances, and wild animal exhibits, Buck promoted a sympathetic understanding of Asian wildlife at a time when it was still a novelty to Western eyes.

Thursday, March 22, 2001

Environmental Film Festival

The Fighting Chance (Republic, 1955). Director: William Witney. Cast: Rod Cameron, Julie London, Ben Cooper. (70 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Paramount).

The Arizona Raiders (Columbia, 1965). Director: William Witney. Cast: Audie Murphy, Michael Dante, Buster Crabbe. (88 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Columbia).

From the 1930s to the 1970s, William Witney earned a reputation not only as one of the foremost action directors in both movies and television. He was also noted for his extraordinary use of the outdoors, particularly his sensitive handling of animals, both behind the camera and in dramas about them-especially horses. This evening's program offers two examples of Witney's characteristic work, The Fighting Chance, a horse racing story, and Arizona Raiders, a widescreen color western filmed in old Tucson.

Friday, March 23, 2001

National Film Registry

Save the Tiger (Paramount, 1973). Dir.: John Avildsen. Cast: Jack Lemmon, Jack Guilford. (101 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Paramount).

Brilliant, Oscar-winning performance by Lemmon as a morally conflicted businessman driven to arson and insurance fraud in an attempt to stave off bankrupcy.

Tuesday, March 27, 2001

National Film Registry

The Great Sinner (MGM, 1949). Dir.: Robert Siodmak. Cast: Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Melvyn Douglas. (110 min., sd., b/w., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

This grandiose production gave the talented Robert Siodmak a budget and he certainly dishes out production values: Wiesbaden on the Metro backlot. The gambling palace is worth a visit just to observe young Feodor win big and lose bigger. Before it's over he owes his soul (ie, the future royalties his masterpieces will bring in) to casino owner Melvyn Douglas.

Thursday, March 29, 2001

Depression Era Actresses

Three on a Match (Warner Bros., 1932). Dir.: Mervyn LeRoy. Cast: Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak, Bette Davis. (64 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

The General Electric Theatre: A Star in the House (Revue, 1955). Dir.: Rodney Amateau. Cast: Joan Blondell, John Sutton, Ellen Crosby. (30 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

Joan Blondell was the quintessential dame in numerous Warner Bros. features in the 1930s. She is best remembered for her work in pre-code gems like Gold Diggers of 1933 and Footlight Parade. Three on a Match, the story of three childhood friends whose lives take different paths, also stars two other Thirties film favorites Bette Davis and Ann Dvorak.

Friday, March 30, 2001

National Film Registry

Thoroughly Modern Millie (Universal, 1967). Dir.: George Roy Hill. Cast: Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Channing, Beatrice Lillie. (138 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Universal).

In anticipation of its imminent incarnation on Broadway, we present producer Ross Hunter's spoof of the Roaring Twenties, filmed with a legendary cast at the height of the Mod Sixties.

Tuesday, April 3, 2001

National Film Registry

The Glass Menagerie (Warner Bros., 1950). Dir.: Irving Rapper. Cast: Gertrude Lawrence, Arthur Kennedy, Jane Wyman, Kirk Douglas. (106 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

Our late, beloved colleague Phil DeSellem (April 1, 1947 - July 29, 2000) was a man of the theater, a musician, and a movie buff. For his birthday, we present the 1950 adaptation of The Glass Menagerie, which, despite the fact it was abhorred by Tennessee Williams, affords us a chance to see Gertrude Lawrence. Tom Wingfield (played here by Arthur Kennedy) was one of Phil's favorite roles.

Thursday, April 5, 2001

Depression Era Actresses

Forbidden (Columbia, 1932). Dir.: Frank Capra. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou, Ralph Bellamy. (87 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Columbia).

Barbara Stanwyck Show: Night Visitor (NBC, 1960). Dir.: Don Medford. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Julie London, Michael Ansara. (30 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy NBC).

Barbara Stanwyck was one of the most durable stars in Hollywood. She worked as an actress in movies and television until her death in the late 1980s. The talented star began her career in 1930s pre-code quickies like Night Nurse and Baby Face. Forbidden, a melodrama directed by Frank Capra, stars Stanwyck as a sacrificing mother.

Friday, April 6, 2001

Pre-Revolutionary Russian Cinema

Daydreams (Khanzhonkov, 1915). Dir.: Evgenii Bauer. Cast: Alexsandr Vyrubov, N. Chernobaeva. (42 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll. In Russian with English intertitles).

The Queen of Spades (Ermolev, 1916). Dir.: Yakov Protazanov. Cast: Ivan Mosjoukine, Vera Orlova. (54 min., si., b/w, video; LC Coll. In Russian with English intertitles).

The first of four nights celebrating pre-Revolutionary Russian cinema. Daydreams is a marvel of technique and narrative tension, with a Vertigo-like plot in which a man becomes obsessed with a woman who bears more than a passing resemblance to his late wife. The Queen of Spades stars the great actor Ivan Mosjoukine in an adaptation of the Pushkin story.

Tuesday, April 10, 2001

Pre-Revolutionary Russian Cinema

The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty (Sovkino, 1927). Dir.: Esther Shub. (90 min., sd., b/w, video; LC Coll.)

Documentary filmmaker Shub used archival news footage and stills taken by court photographers to chronicle the last gasp of the 300 year Romanov empire and the subsequent rise of communist rule.

Thursday, April 12, 2001

Depression Era Actresses

Back Street (Universal, 1932). Dir.: John Stahl. Cast: Irene Dunne, John Boles, ZaSu Pitts. (86 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Universal).

All Star Theatre: On the Beach (Screen Gems, 1956). Dir.: James Neilson. Cast: Irene Dunne, Richard Denning, Jo Ann Lilliquist. (30 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Columbia).

Irene Dunne starred in everything from musicals to melodrama during the Thirties and Forties. Her vocal talents were featured in Roberta, her comedic timing in The Awful Truth, and her ability to brings tears in Penny Serenade. Back Street, a popular "soaper" remade twice, was directed by the master of melodrama John Stahl.

Friday, April 13, 2001

National Film Registry

The Phenix City Story (Allied Artists, 1955). Dir.: Phil Karlson. Cast: Richard Kiley, Kathryn Grant, John McIntire. (100 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

This semi-documentary expose of the crime and vice rackets in Phenix City, Alabama, is one of the finest examples of independently produced urban thrillers that followed in the wake of the breakdown of the Hollywood studio system. The Library of Congress print includes a rarely seen prologue of interviews with Phenix City residents.

Tuesday, April 17, 2001

Pre-Revolutionary Russian Cinema

The Dragonfly and the Ant (Khanzhonkov, 1913). Dir.: Wladyslaw Starewicz. (7 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll. Russian intertitles).

The Lily of Belgium (Skobelev, 1915). Dir.: Wladyslaw Starewicz. Cast: Irina Starewicz. (13 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll. Russian intertitles).

Child of the Big City (Khanzhonkov, 1914). Dir.: Evgenii Bauer. Cast: Elena Smirnova, Nina Kozlianinova. (42 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll. In Russian with English intertitles).

Yurii Nagornyi (Khanzhonkov, 1916). Dir.: Evgenii Bauer. Cast: Amo Bek-Nazarov, Emma Bauer. (48 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll. No intertitles).

A tribute of sorts to A. Khanzhonkov and Co., the most notable (and versatile) of the early Russian film producers. We begin with two short trick films from Wladyslaw Starewicz. Child of the Big City is a stylish social melodrama, and Yurii Nagornyi is fascinating: a young girl is seduced and ruined by an opera singer, but her sister manages to extract revenge. The story is told in reverse order, and the production was hailed for its "Rembrandt-like illumination" upon release. Both features were directed by Evgenii Bauer, the workhorse of early Russian cinema (see April 24 for two more Bauers).

Thursday, April 19, 2001

National Film Registry

Appointment with Danger (Paramount, 1951). Dir.: Lewis Allen. Cast: Alan Ladd, Phyllis Calvert, Jan Sterling. (89 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Paramount).

In 1949 Alan Ladd had been miscast as the central figure in The Great Gatsby. Appointment with Danger, a hard as nails crime drama finds Ladd playing another tough guy. Not only is he up against a gang of thieves intent on robbing a mail shipment; he has to confront a disarming Catholic nun on issues of moral decency. Also, Ladd must handle an armful of trouble played by the wonderful as usual Jan Sterling. Midwestern locales photographed by one of the legendary Hollywood cameramen, John Seitz.

Friday, April 20, 2001

National Film Registry

Shadows (Lion, 1961). Dir.: John Cassavetes. Cast: Ben Carruthers, Lelia Goldoni, Hugh Hurd. (87 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

Cassavetes' first independent film, a haunting exploration of race relations and the power of bigotry over love in Beat-era New York City. Features a great score by Charles Mingus.

Tuesday, April 24, 2001

Pre-Revolutionary Russian Cinema

A Life for a Life (Khanzhonkov, 1916). Dir.: Evgenii Bauer. Cast: Olga Rakhmanova, Liliia Koreneva. (67 min., si., b/w, video; LC Coll. In Russian with English intertitles).

The Revolutionary (Khanzhonkov, 1917). Dir.: Evgenii Bauer. Cast: Ivan Perestiani, Vladimir Strizhevskii. (35 min., si., b/w, video; LC Coll. In Russian with English intertitles).

Khanzhonkov pulled out all the stops for A Life for a Life in an effort to match the European and American imports that were beginning to gain popularity in Russia. A standard issue melodrama of conflict within a wealthy family, it is sumptuous, although one critic said it sacrificed "the beauty of psychological truth" for that of "technical perfection." The Revolutionary is an excellent example of how many Russian filmmakers adjusted quite quickly to the events of 1917. Here, an exile is allowed to return home after the overthrow of Czar Nicholas, and quickly radicalizes his more conservative comrades.

Thursday, April 26, 2001

National Film Registry

The Appointment (MGM, 1969). Dir.: Sidney Lumet. Cast: Omar Sharif, Anouk Aimee, Lotte Lenya. (100 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy MGM-UA).

This story of sexual obsession is given the gilt-edge treatment by Carlo Di Palma's chic photography and opulent art direction by Piero Gherardi. The pictorial allure is needed to hold your interest. However, when the producer-distributor recut the picture, he eliminated necessary plot details that might explain the motivation for the heroine's dependency on her weak husband.

Friday, April 27, 2001

National Film Registry

Atlantic City (Paramount, 1980). Dir.: Louis Malle. Cast: Burt Lancaster, Susan Sarandon, Kate Reid. (104 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Paramount).

One of the few screen comic masterworks of the past thirty years, Atlantic City deserves to find a new audience. Burt Lancaster found perhaps his finest role (and script by John Guare) playing a one-time hood who ekes out an existence as a numbers runner. The prosperity brought about by the new casino-hotels hasn't trickled down his way.

Tuesday, May 1, 2001

L'Inferno (Dante's Inferno) (Milano, 1909). Dir.: Francesco Bertolini, Adolfo Padovan. Cast: Salvatore Papa, Arturo Pirovano. (64 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll).

Journey to the Beginning of Time (Gottwaldov, 1960). Dir.: Karel Zelman. Cast: James Lukas, Petr Hermann, Victor Betral. (87 min., sd., color, 16mm; LC Coll).

Journey to the Beginning of Time is a charming 1955 Czechoslovakian film (repackaged for US release) of four youngsters who discover a mysterious cave on the Central Park lake which takes them back 500 million years to Earth's beginnings. It is preceded by L'Inferno, an early film adaptation of Dante Alighieri's epic poem in which the poet Virgil accompanies Dante on a less-than-charming tour of Hell.

Thursday, May 3, 2001

Don Byron on Jazz Films

Virtuoso clarinetist, jazz scholar, and curator of BAM's Next Wave Festival, Don Byron holds an unquestioned place as "one of modern music's most challenging tricksters" (Jazziz). As part of a spring residency at the Library of Congress, Byron hosts a jazz-in-film evening in the Pickford Theater tonight, screening clips from his personal collection. On Friday, in the Coolidge Auditorium, Byron and a sextet of friends unveil his newest project: A Fine Line: Arias and Lieder, exploring music from Robert Schumann and Leonard Bernstein to Ornette Coleman, Stevie Wonder and Roy Orbison.

Friday, May 4, 2001

Variety (UFA, 1925). Dir.: E.A. Dupont. Cast: Emil Jannings, Maly Delschaft, Lya De Putti. (83 min., si., b/w, 35 mm; LC Coll.)

He's been ten years in jail, but circus "Boss" Huller is ready to tell his tale, a tale of betrayer and betrayed-and murder, of course. Huller leaves his wife and child for the beguiling, beautiful and quite unscrupulous Bertha, the classic conniving vamp. They sign on as aerialists in Artinelli's famous venue. But Bertha and her new boss get together and we all know what jealousy and revenge leads to. This film is famous for its dazzling camera work and superb cast. The trapeze sequence is not to be missed! For more German Expressionism, see Diary of a Lost Girl (June 7) and Chronicles of the Grey House (August 23).

Tuesday, May 8, 2001

Inherit the Wind (United Artists, 1960). Dir.: Stanley Kramer. Cast: Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gene Kelly. (127 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy MGM-UA).

A small town schoolteacher is jailed for daring to teach the theory of evolution. His trial becomes a major media event and attracts two famous attorneys: one argues for freedom of thought, the other is determined to prove the authority of the Bible. Ernest Laslo's black and white cinematography and the presence of acting titans Spencer Tracy and Fredric March make this the finest film version of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's classic play.

Thursday, May 10, 2001

The Chess Players (Chitra Productions, 1977). Dir.: Satyajit Ray. Cast: Sanjeev Kumar, Saeed Jaffrey, Richard Attenborough. (120 min., sd., color, 16mm; LC Coll. In English and Urdu with English subtitles.)

Moving from the public to the private sphere, from celebrations of the royal court to the street entertainment of ordinary men, Ray uses the metaphor of the chess game to examine the subject of historical change during the British takeover of India in 1856. The director's unique blend of various modes of representation (comedy of manners, animated cartoon, historical drama, documentary, and song and dance) make his first historical film rich in visual surfaces and unusually balanced with regard to its serene and calm view of a violent and radical period, culminating in the 1857 War of Indian Independence.

Friday, May 11, 2001

Starstruck (Palm Beach Pictures, 1982). Dir.: Gillian Armstrong. Cast: Jo Kennedy, Ross O'Donovan, The Swingers. (102 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Palm Beach).

The Hollywood musical's popularity reached its peak with the phenomenal success of The Sound of Music. In the years since, the musical film has become a moribund genre in the U.S. Fortunately, filmmakers and performers in such far-flung places as Australia, Spain, Finland, and Singapore have continued to produce works that emphasize the infectious pleasures of song and dance. Starstruck, updates the familiar musical plot of a young woman yearning to break into show business. The place is Sydney, the time is the 1980s, the music is punk-influenced rock 'n' roll, and those who crave fame must be at least a little outrageous. Gillian Armstrong captures the splashy splendor of the era. This series of musicals from around the world also includes ABBA: the Movie (May 31), Leningrad Cowboys Go America (June 19), That's the Way I Like It (July 26), and Carmen (August 17).

Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Les Gangsters

Bob Le Flambeur (O.G.C./Studios Jenner, 1956). Dir: Jean-Pierre Melville. Cast: Isabelle Corey, Roger Duchesne, Daniel Cauchy. (100 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll. In French with English subtitles).

French cinema has a rich history in the crime genre, from Louis Feuillade's silent serials and the poetic dramas of Marcel Carne, to the post-war noir thrillers of Jacques Becker, Yves Allegret, and Jules Dassin. Tonight is the first of five evenings that will showcase the work of some of the genre's major directors and stars of the 1960s and 70s. In Bob le Flambeur, a former crook, now a devoted gambler, joins forces with a couple of old pals to rob the Deauville casino. An intellectual with a passion for Hollywood cinema, Jean-Pierre Melville skillfully manipulated the mythology of the gangster film in a string of bleak and stylistically austere policiers made between 1966 and 1972. Bob le Flambeur, his first incursion into the genre, inspired by Huston's The Asphalt Jungle, is a compendium of techniques (budget location shooting, natural lighting, use of character actors in lead roles) soon to be embraced by the directors of the Nouvelle Vague, but quickly abandoned by Melville himself.

Thursday, May 17, 2001

Cesar et Rosalie (Fildebroc, 1972). Dir.: Claude Sautet. Cast: Romy Schneider, Yves Montand, Sami Frey. (100 min., sd., color, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Almi. In French with English subtitles).

Romy Schneider was an Austrian-born multilingual actress who achieved early fame in German language films before becoming one of the most popular stars of the French cinema. In her teens, she played the heroine in the series Sissi about the Austro-Hungarian royal family, later released in the United State as Forever My Love. Her career took on an adult shape and international dimensions during the 60s thanks to directors like Luchino Visconti (Boccacio '70) and Orson Welles (The Trial). She was among the busiest and most interesting leading ladies of the international screen and certainly, she was one of the great European beauties whose acting carried a full charge of sensual feeling. We celebrate her career with a small retrospective of three films (see also The Triple Cross on June 21 and The Passerby on July 13). In Cesar et Rosalie, Yves Montand portrays a super-confident self-made scrap-metal tycoon in love with Schneider. There are no obstacles to their happiness; they have everything-yet almost inexplicably, before our eyes, it evaporates. Nobody's fault, just bad luck.

Friday, May 18, 2001

Hong Kong

Happy Together (Jet Tone, 1997). Dir.: Wong Kar-Wai. Cast: Tony Leung, Leslie Cheung, Chang Chen. (98 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Miramax. In Chinese with English subtitles).

Irma Vep (Zeitgeist, 1996). Dir.: Olivier Assayas. Cast: Maggie Cheung, Jean-Pierre Leaud, Nathalie Richard. (96 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Miramax. In French and English with English


On-again, off-again lovers (Leung and Cheung) shuttle between Hong Kong, Buenos Aires and each other in Happy Together, a melancholy study of relationships and the road. It is followed by Irma Vep, in which a director of French art films (Leaud) hires Maggie Cheung (playing herself) to star in his remake of the silent serial Les Vampires. Will the director breathe life into a tired art form? This low-budget, partly improvised production projects a thrilling sense of unpredictability that shouts Yes, Dammit, Yes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Tsar Ivan the Terrible (Sharez, 1915). Dir.: Alexander Ivanov-Gai. Cast: Feodor Chaliapin, Nikolai Saltykov, Richard Boleslawski. (55 min., sd., b/w, video; courtesy Gosfilmofond).

Legend has it that when the great Russian operatic bass Feodor Chaliapin arrived in exile in New York harbor, he carried with him the only surviving copy of his silent film, Ivan the Terrible. In a characteristically theatrical gesture, when told how much import duty he would have to pay to bring the film into the country, he threw it overboard. But, like many of the best legends, this proves to be fiction. This flawed and rarely seen masterpiece of the early Russian cinema, preserving an extraordinarily powerful and poignant characterization by one of the last century's most compelling performers, will be screened in a restored version from the Gosfilmofond archive, complete with a new score by Chris Chambers, and intertitles prepared by Edward Morgan. Paul Fryer, who presented last spring's screening of Enrico Caruso's film My Cousin, returns to the Pickford to present Ivan the Terrible, and explore the tempestuous relationship between Chaliapin and the cinema.

Thursday, May 24, 2001

What's Opera, Doc? (Warner Bros., 1957). Dir.: Chuck Jones. Voice: Mel Blanc. (6 min., sd., color, video; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

Parsifal (Edison, 1904). Dir.: Edwin S. Porter. Cast: Robert Whittier, Adelaide Fitz-Allen. (25 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

In many ways, Richard Wagner's theory of the Gesamtkunstwerk (the complete work of art) finds its

fulfilment in the cinema. What might Wagner have attempted if he had the facilities of a modern

film studio, digital sound and CGI at his disposal ? Though very few successful films have ever been made of his work, Wagner has found a place in the contemporary popular culture of the cinema, particularly through the use of his music in film scores. Tonight's program, presented by Paul Fryer in association with the Wagner Society of Washington, explores the relationship between Wagner, the revered composer of the great music drama, and cinema, the great popular art form for the new century which Wagner did not live to see. The evening will culminate in a complete screening of Edwin S. Porter's 1904 version of Parsifal, which opened less than a year after the opera had its first American staging at the Met.

Friday, May 25, 2001

Archival Attractions

The Society for Cinema Studies Archives Committee presents an eclectic program of rare, seldom-seen archival films. Film scholars who serve on the committee will curate separate portions of the program, which will highlight short works and excerpts from features in the Library's collections, including animated works, Asian films, early cinema, exploitation pictures, obscure Hollywood titles and other orphan films.

Tuesday, May 29, 2001

The Bible (20th Century-Fox, 1966). Dir.: John Huston. Cast: George C. Scott, Ava Gardner, Peter O'Toole, Richard Harris. (174 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Fox).

Sprawling, overlong mishmash of the first 22 chapters of Genesis, directed by uncharacteristic heavy handedness by John Huston, who does quadruple duty as the Narrator, a puckish Noah, and the Voice of God. His resourceful assemblage of stock footage to illustrate the Creation is impressive, however.

Thursday, May 31, 2001

ABBA: the Movie (Warner Bros., 1977). Dir.: Lasse Hallström. Cast: ABBA, Robert Hughes. (95 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

Before directing international successes like The Cider House Rules and Chocolat, Lasse Hallström directed a great number of music videos for the Swedish pop supergroup ABBA, as well as this, their sole feature film. A radio reporter is assigned to interview Anni-Frid, Benny, Björn, and Agnetha during their tour of Australia, and must battle layers of handlers and managers to do so. The result is a entertaining encapsulation of a phenomenon which for some reason never gained a foothold in America.

Friday, June 1, 2001

National Film Registry

This Is the Army (Warner Bros., 1943). Dir.: Michael Curtiz. Cast: George Murphy, Joan Leslie, Lt. Ronald Reagan. (121 min., sd., color, 35mm; print from the UCLA Film and Television Archive, courtesy Warner Bros.)

Contemporary audiences might be baffled by the sight of men in drag performing a minstrel show in blackface. Or they might ask how two dozen vaudeville acts helped the Allies win the Second World War. This rousing, entertaining, and oddly prophetic flag waver won't supply too many answers, but watching this movie explains one thing: the need for entertainment during the most trying of times. We hope to be able to introduce one or more members of the original production of This Is the Army at tonight's screening. Music and lyrics by Irving Berlin.

Tuesday, June 5, 2001

Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man (Fiction Cinematografica, 1982). Dir.: Bernardo Bertolucci. Cast: Anouk Aimee, Ugo Tognazzi. (116 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros. In Italian with English subtitles).

After a series of international co-productions, Bertolucci returned to his native language and birthplace, Parma, for this unjustly neglected comedy-drama. A wealthy dairy farmer's son is kidnaped by terrorists (or so it seems), and he sells off his valued possessions in order to meet the ransom (or so it seems).

Thursday, June 7, 2001

Diary of a Lost Girl (Pabst Film, 1929). Dir.: G.W. Pabst. Cast: Louise Brooks, Fritz Rasp, Josef Rovensky. (99 min., si., b/w, 16 mm; LC Coll.)

Thymiane is a young girl set on a tragic course. She is raped by her father's shop keeper, impregnated and scorned. Her child is taken from her and she is banished to a reform school run by a shockingly sadistic pair. She escapes and finds unwitting sanctuary in what is revealed to be a brothel. She inherits money, gives it away, marries, is widowed, and is finally delivered over to good intentions. Time hasn't lessened this film's ability to pack a wrenching wallop and the incomparable Brooks overcomes despite the odds.

Friday, June 8, 2001

My Name Is Joe (Channel Four, 1998). Dir.: Ken Loach. Cast: Peter Mullan, Louise Goodall, David McKay. (105 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Artisian).

The subject of addiction becomes the departure point for Loach's exploration of other themes, such as unemployment, alcoholism, and personal relationships in this intimate portrayal of working-class family life in the Scottish city of Glasgow. Joe Kavanaugh, a recovered alcoholic, is drawn into the world of drugs and crime as he attempt to overcome social and economic pressures which threaten the stability of his emotional relationship with Sarah, his health-worker girlfriend. Loach probes deeply into the intimate feelings of the characters, whose individual life codes of conduct result in different courses of action, which ultimately bring them together as much as it drives them apart.

Tuesday, June 12, 2001

Hong Kong

Tokyo Raiders (Golden Harvest, 2000). Dir.: Jingle Ma. Cast: Cecelia Cheung, Tony Leung, Toru Nakamura. (118 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Golden Harvest. In Chinese with English subtitles).

A groom disappears before his wedding. Was it cold feet or something more sinister? His bride goes to Tokyo to find out with the help of a private eye and three cat-suited female assistants.

Thursday, June 14, 2001

Glasnost Cinema

Railroad Station for Two (Mosfilm, 1982). Dir.: Eldar Riazanov. Cast: Oleg Basilashvili, Lyudmila Gurchenko. (141 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll. In Russian with English subtitles).

Platon, on the run for the law for a crime that he did not commit, gets involved with a railway station mistress who keeps singing "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head." Platon misses trains, loses his ticket, passport, etc. The film is like a lot of American sex comedies where the protagonists start off loathing each other until the fifth reel, but in addition there is a good dose of social criticism, and the movie pokes fun at the flourishing black market and bureaucracy in general. Railroad Station for Two is the first of several Russian films made in the "glasnost" era and a bit beyond we're featuring in this calendar.

Friday, June 15, 2001

Underground (CiBy 2000, 1995). Dir.: Emir Kusturica. Cast: Miki Manojlovic, Lazar Ristovski. (167 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy New Yorker. In Serbian and German with English subtitles).

Set in Belgrade during WWII, Underground opens with a look at the manufacture of weapons in the Balkans and gradually evolves into a series of surreal situations as a black marketeer who smuggles arms to the partisans forgets to mention to the factory workers that the war is finally over. The workers continue producing weapons till finally, fifty years later, they become suspicious and break out of their underground shelter, only to convince themselves that the smuggler was right, the war was still going on.

Tuesday, June 19, 2001

Leningrad Cowboys Go America (Villealfa, 1989). Dir.: Aki Kaurismäki. Cast: Matti Pellonpää, Kari Väänanän, Nicky Tesco. (78 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Villealfa. In English and Finnish with English subtitles).

Mack Sennett meets rock 'n' roll in an absurd saga of a ragtag band from the tundra. Sporting pointy shoes and the world's largest pompadours, the frozen-faced octet leaves their homeland to try their luck in the States. A cross-country odyssey ensues, with plenty of gigs in sleazy bars en route. This deadpan musical road movie is the brainchild of cult director Aki Kaurismäki.

Thursday, June 21, 2001

The Triple Cross (Cineurop, 1967). Dir.: Terence Young. Cast: Christopher Plummer, Romy Schneider, Trevor Howard, Yul Brynner. (126 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

What makes this film worthy of attention is that, by inadvertence, it is a spoof of all spy movies. The stars have an immense amount of quiet hilarity with the stereotype roles. There is the Agent, brighter and slyer than his multiple masters; the German Baron, not so evil as he seems despite his monocle; the seductive Countess; and the Englishman with you know what kind of an upper lip.

Friday, June 22, 2001

The Promoter (Rank, 1952). Dir.: Ronald Neame. Cast: Alec Guinness, Glynis Johns, Petula Clark. (87 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Universal).

Captain's Paradise (British Lion, 1953). Dir.: Anthony Kimmins. Cast: Alec Guiness, Peter Bull, Charles Goldner. (84 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Canal+).

In tribute to the late Sir Alec Guinness, we present two of his less seen comedies from the Fifties.

In The Promoter, Guinness portrays an engaging lower-middle class young man on the make, who always happens to be in the right place at the right time. In the delightful Captain's Paradise, Sir Alec is Henry St. James, the captain of an international ferry who secretly maintains wives in two different ports.

Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Rabindranath Tagore (Govt. of India, 1961). Dir.: Satyajit Ray. Cast: Smaran Ghosal, Raya Chatterjee. (54 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

Two (New Mark International, 1964). Dir.: Satyajit Ray. Cast: Rabi Kiron. (13 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

Samapti (Ray Prod., 1961). Dir.: Satyajit Ray. Cast: Soumitra Chatterji, Aparna Das Gupta. (73 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

Rabindranath Tagore commemorates the one-hundredth anniversary of the leader of the Bengali renaissance, one of India's most celebrated public figures renowned for his outstanding literary, musical, and artistic achievements. In this biographical portrait, Ray utilizes a large amount of factual material to present a comprehensive view of the rich, eventful life and inner spiritual development of the man who most influenced his own creative work. It is followed by Two, in which Ray provokes the kind of reflection typical of his unsentimental and humanistic outlook on such issues as class difference, and war and peace. Commissioned in 1964 by the US public television service under the banner Esso World Theater, Two was described by Ray as a film that "packs quite a punch in its ten minutes." Based on a short story by Tagore, Samapti is about a young woman's rebellious transformation from tomboy to wife.

Thursday, June 28, 2001

Les Gangsters

Borsalino (Adel/Marianne/Mars, 1970). Dir: Jacques Deray. Cast: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Alain Delon, Michel Bouquet. (126 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Paramount. In French with English subtitles).

Two small-time crooks become fast friends and after a series of fist fights, shootouts and car chases are crowned kings of the Marseilles underworld. An entertaining gangster pastiche which cleverly utilizes the iconic personae of its two stars (Belmondo, all swagger and ebullience, and Delon, tight-lipped and subdued). When it was released in 1970, the film became France's biggest box-office hit ever and even sparked a retro fashion trend in Paris.

Friday, June 29, 2001

WR-the Mysteries of the Organism (Neoplanta Film, 1971). Dir.: Dusan Makavejev. Cast: Milena Dravic, Ivica Vidovic, Jagoda Kaloper. (90 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll. In Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles).

An avant-garde film inspired by a book called Dialectical Materialism and Psychoanalysis might not sound like a fun night out. But throw in sex, violence, rock and roll (the Fugs' Tuli Kupferberg in a maniacal, shotgun-toting role), and Dusan Makavejev's insatiable joie de vivre and you have one of the most entertaining movies ever to come out of the Eastern Bloc. Be the first on yours.

Friday, July 6, 2001

Providence (France 3, 1977). Dir.: Alain Resnais. Cast: Dirk Bogarde, David Warner, Ellen Burstyn, John Gielgud. (104 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Cinema 5).

A tour de force for all involved, but especially for Alain Resnais and the late Sir John Gielgud, who called Providence the "most exciting" film of his career. Clive Langham (Gielgud) is a dying novelist staving off mortality with the creation of one last work. After a surreal and sometimes comic night of fevered imaginings, morning arrives, and with it comes a moving revelation. A masterpiece, capped off by Miklos Rozsa's spectacular score.

Tuesday, July 10, 2001

Les Gangsters

The Outside Man (Cite/Mondial, 1972). Dir: Jacques Deray. Cast: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Ann-Margret, Roy Scheider, Angie Dickinson. (104 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy United Artists).

After assassinating a Mafia boss in Los Angeles, a Frenchman becomes himself the target of a mysterious killer. Of the several significant contributions director Deray made to the genre during the 1960s and 70s, this English language film is undoubtedly the best. Trintignant effortlessly transforms himself from a cool professional into a genuinely frightened human being running for his life while trying to navigate the bewildering world of L.A. culture.

Thursday, July 12, 2001

Glasnost Cinema

Lonely Woman Seeks Lifetime Companion (Kiev Film Studio, 1987). Dir.: Viacheslav Kristofovich. Cast: Irena Kupchenko, Alexander Zbruyev. (91 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll. In Russian with English subtitles).

Irina Kupchenko received the Best Actress Award at the Montreal International Festival for her portrayal of Klavdia Petronova in this"sad comedy." Klavdia is approaching an age where suitors are hard to come by, so she advertises in the paper for a companion. This leads this strong willed, independent woman into a relationship with an alcoholic whose life is a mess. Their attempts to work out their differences being the issue of communication and reaching out into sharp focus.

Friday, July 13, 2001

The Passerby (Almi, 1982). Dir.: Jacques Rouffio. Cast: Romy Schneider, Michel Piccoli, Helmut Griem. (115 min., sd., color, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Almi. In French with English subtitles).

Schneider's last film before her death at age 43. In it, plays dual roles: Lina, the wife of Max Baumstein, a noble leader of an organization similar to Amnesty International and Elsa, the wife of Michel, a German Jew. Most of the story is told in flashbacks and has a hectic spin of plot, dwelling equally in the present and past tenses, cutting between them to illustrate not only events of the holocaust itself, but their influence on a character's life, decades later.

Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Supercar: Phantom Piper (1961). Cast: Graydon Gould, Sylvia Anderson. (25 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

Fireball XL-5: The Doomed Planet (1962). Cast: Paul Maxwell, Sylvia Anderson. (25 min, sd., b/w , 16mm; LC Coll.)

Thunderbirds Are GO (Century 21, 1966). Dir.: David Lane. Cast: Sylvia Anderson, Ray Barrett, Alexander Davion. (98 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy MGM-UA).

Gerry Anderson was one of the most innovative and influential figures in science fiction television during the 1960s and 1970s. First, with his series of supermarionation shows, ostensibly aimed at the children's market, he did much to develop and refine techniques of handling puppet and model special effects, especially in the timeless series Thunderbirds. Second, Anderson carried forth the science fiction themes toward the adult television market as well when he watched to live-action with the series UFO. Merging both these arenas, in the late 1960s Anderson produced several feature films. Tonight and on July 24 we will examine all these sides of Anderson's talent, with one evening devoted to episodes of the supermarionation series and the widescreen movie Thunderbirds Are GO, and a second evening examining the shift from supermarionation to live-action series.

Thursday, July 19, 2001

Glasnost Cinema

Burnt by the Sun (Studio Trite/Camera One, 1994). Dir.: Nikita Mikhalkov. Cast: Nadia Mikhalkov, Nikita Mikhalkov, Oleg Menshikov. (152 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll. In Russian with English subtitles).

A harrowing film, as Stalinist realities invade an idyllic country existence during the 1930's purge trials. The film won the Academy Award for best foreign language film in 1994, and shared the Grand Jury Prize for best film at Cannes. A brilliant film and a stunning performance by Nadia Mikhalkov, the director's 6-year-old daughter.

Friday, July 20, 2001

Hong Kong

Descendant of the Sun (Shaw Brothers 1982). Dir.: Chu Yuan. Cast: Erh Tung Sheng, Chung Chu Hung, Ku Kuan Chung. (92 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Shaw Brothers. In Chinese with English subtitles).

Zu, Warriors from Magic Mountain (Golden Harvest 1983). Dir.: Tsui Hark. Cast: Cheng Siu Tsou, Lau Chung Yan, Yuen Biao. (96 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Golden Harvest. In Cantonese with English subtitles).

Welcome to the magical, fast-paced world of the Hong Kong supernatural. In fairyland, a good baby and a bad baby part ways. Will they meet again? Another highly inventive, colorful Shaw Brothers production. Shown with Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain, an eye-popping fantasy with such unforgettable characters as Countess (Brigitte Lin) and Long Brow, a guardian whose white eyebrows shoot out like silly string-DEADLY silly string-to fight the Blood Monster. Directed by Tsui Hark, who deserves better than his current Hollywood purgatory: Van Damme movies.

Tuesday, July 24, 2001

Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons: Lunarville 7 (1966). Cast: Francis Matthews, Ed Bishop. (25 min., sd., color, video; LC Coll.)

UFO: Identified (1970). Cast: Ed Bishop, George Sewell. (50 min., sd., color, video; LC Coll.)

The Day After Tomorrow: Into Infinity (1976). Cast: Ed Bishop, Brian Blessed. (52 min., sd., color, video; LC Coll.)

see July 17 for details

Thursday, July 26, 2001

That's the Way I Like It (Chinarunn, 1998). Dir.: Glen Goei. Cast: Adrian Pang, Medaline Tan, Dominic Pace. (95 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Chinarunn. In English and Hokkien with English subtitles).

Ah Hock's life looks pretty grim: he has a dull, dead-end job, his parents favor his studious brother, and he can't afford the motorcycle he daydreams about. The world becomes a brighter place when a new hit movie opens and Ah Hock decides to emulate the film's white-clad, disco-dancing star. Move over, Bruce Lee! A disco-besotted Singapore is the setting for an affectionate homage to Saturday Night Fever.

Friday, July 27, 2001

Black Cat White Cat (CiBy 2000, 1999). Dir.: Emir Kusturica. Cast: Bajram Severdzan, Srdjan Todorovic, Branka Katic. (135 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy USA Films. In Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles).

East European Gypsy culture provides the backdrop for this humorous tale of a small time hustler from the Danube who attempts to repay his failed business debts by arranging a marriage between his seventeen year old son and the sister of a wealthy and successful gangster. The latter is so desperate to see his sibling wed, that he strikes a deal with the equally desperate hustler, much to the chagrin of the couple involved. The notable musical score contributes significantly to the fast pace and hilarious moments which make this film one of Emir Kusturica's most celebrated.

Tuesday, July 31, 2001

Conquest: The Ladder of Life (CBS, 1960). (30 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy CBS).

A Brief History of Time (Triton, 1992). Dir.: Errol Morris. (80 min., sd., color and b/w; 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Triton).

Documentarian Errol Morris tackles physicist Stephen Hawking's improbable best seller on the creation of the universe, and examines Hawking's struggle with Lou Gehrig's Disease along the way. It is preceded by an episode of the CBS science series Conquest which explores evolution.

Thursday, August 2, 2001

Glasnost Cinema

Waiting for Gavrilov (Mosfilm, 1981). Dir.: Petr Todorovsky. Cast: Evgeni Evstigneev, Lyudmila Gurchenko. (79 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll. In Russian with English subtitles).

A big hit in Russia. A 38 year old woman decides to try again and remarry and is apparently jilted by her fiancee Gavrilov. The film follows her on her adventures as she wanders around Odessa on the day she was to be married. Lyudmila Gurchenko is terrific, Odessa looks like Paris, and perhaps because of that, the film has a rather French charm.

Friday, August 3, 2001

Glasnost Cinema

Come and See (Mosfilm, 1985). Dir.: Elem Klimov. Cast: Aleksei Kravchenko, Olga Mironova. (140 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy IFEX. In Russian with English subtitles).

Intensely harrowing, visceral and disturbing account of the Nazi invasion of Byelorussia, and its effect on a young boy. While not for the faint-hearted, many have called Come and See the most powerful and upsetting WWII film ever made.

Tuesday, August 7, 2001

A Dangerous Play (Nordisk Films Kompagni, 1912). Dir.: Leo Tscherning. Cast: Robert Dinesen, Dagny Schyberg, Frederik Jacobsen. (ca. 23 min., si., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

The Vampire Dancer (Nordisk Films Kompagni, 1911). Dir.: August Blom. Cast: Robert Dinesen, Clara Wieth, Carl Schenstrøm. (ca. 19 min., si., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

Homeless (Fotorama, 1911). Cast: Marie Niedermann, Aage Schmidt, Peter Nielsen. (ca. 34 min., si., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

Nordisk Films Kompagni of Denmark (known as Great Northern in the United States) was a tremendously successful producer of films both at home in Denmark and abroad from its founding in 1906 until World War I. The films were known for a naturalistic style of acting and for their sensational plots, often featuring long drawn-out kisses, considered quite erotic for the time. Several of these early films were deposited for copyright as Paper Prints at the Library of Congress shortly after their production in an effort to prevent illegal copying of the films, and this circumstance has aided in their preservation. In A Dangerous Play, a young woman has her boyfriend impersonate the man her father wants her to marry. In The Vampire Dancer, which features the first film "vamp," a dancer becomes obsessed with his female partner. In Homeless, an unfaithful wife leaves her family, runs into hard times, and later tries to kidnap her daughter.

Thursday, August 9, 2001

Woman in the Dunes (Toho, 1964). Dir.: Hiroshi Teshigahara. Cast: Hiroki Ito, Kyoko Kishida. (123 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Milestone. In Japanese with English subtitles).

An entomologist gets trapped in a sandpit. This is a plot for a movie? Adapted from his novel, screenwriter Kobo Abe fashioned a haunting, existential allegory reminiscent of Kafka, Beckett, and The Twilight Zone. Like Sisyphus, the main character is forced to endlessly labor at a hopeless task, but in doing so gains more than he loses.

Friday, August 10, 2001

Les Gangsters

The Sicilian Clan (Fox, 1968). Dir: Henri Verneuil. Cast: Jean Gabin, Alain Delon, Lino Ventura. (117 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy 20th Century-Fox. Dubbed).

A Sicilian crime family plans to steal several million dollars worth of jewelry from an exhibition in Venice. Adapted from a novel by Auguste Le Breton, the author of Jules Dassin's Rififi, this moody crime thriller stars three of France's four male superstars (only Belmondo is missing). Delon's implication in a real life murder trial at the time of the shooting (the notorious Markovic affair), helped the film's impressive box-office performance.

Tuesday, August 14, 2001

Love and Friendship (Nordisk Films Kompagni, 1911). Dir.: E. Schnedler-Sørensen. Cast: Agnete Blom, Clara Wieth, Aage Fønss. (ca. 26 min., si., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.).

Desdemona (Nordisk Films Kompagni, 1911). Dir.: August Blom. Cast: Valdemar Psilander, Thyra Reiman, Nicolai Brechling. (ca. 18 min., si., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.).

The Daughter of the Railway (Nordisk Films Kompagni, 1911). Dir.: August Blom. Cast: Valdemar Psilander, Karen Lund, Else Frölich. (ca. 31 min., si., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.).

Continuing with our mini-series of early Danish films, in Love and Friendship, a woman has an affair with her best friend's husband, leading to a climatic sword duel between the women. In Desdemona, the story of Othello is reflected in the lives of actors playing the roles. In The Daughter of the Railway, a baby abandoned and taken in by a railway magnate is later in adulthood courted by her own father, neither knowing their true relationship to one another.

Thursday, August 16, 2001

Casque D'Or (Paris Film, 1951). Dir.: Jacques Becker. Cast: Simone Signoret, Serge Reggiani. (94 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll. In French with English subtitles).

Jacques Becker (1906-1960) was a major French filmmaker who never quite got his due. Considered to be his masterwork, Casque D'Or is a tragic romance set in the underworld of 1890s Paris.

Friday, August 17, 2001

Carmen (Piedra, 1983). Dir.: Carlos Saura. Cast: Laura del Sol, Antonio Gades, Cristina Hoyos. (102 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Piedra. In Spanish with English subtitles).

Although Prosper Mérimée's novella has been filmed many times since the silent era, Carlos Saura's steamy, invigorating version makes the tale seem brand new. It is also one of a handful of dance movies to find an enthusiastic worldwide following. Carmen includes excerpts from Bizet's opera, but the breathtaking flamenco numbers give the story its dizzying passion. Laura del Sol is haunting in the title role.

Tuesday, August 21, 2001

Les Gangsters

The Crook (Films Ariane, 1970). Dir: Claude Lelouch. Cast: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Christine Lelouch, Charles Gerard. (120 min., sd., color, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy United Artists. Dubbed).

"Simon the Swiss", a lawyer turned criminal, kidnaps the son of a bank clerk with a plan to demand a ransom from the father's employer. Labeled as a "divertissement policier" by French critics, The Crook, which features all the hallmarks of a Claude Lelouch movie (mobile camera, fractured time structure, impressive color palette, lush Francis Lai score), has become one of the director's most enduring and popular works. Fans of pop-art camp should not miss the opening credit sequence.

Thursday, August 23, 2001

Chronicles of the Grey House (UFA, 1925). Dir.: Arthur von Gerlach. Cast: Arthur Kraussneck, Lil Dagover, Paul Hartmann. (108 min., si., b/w, 16 mm; LC Coll.)

The bleak moors and a wasted castle provide the setting for a grim tale of forbidden love, fratricide and expiation. The violent elements rend the airy landscape and beat in time to the turbulent swellings of the heart. Apparitions haunt the dense shadows and urgent horseman thunder across the backdrop of a pale sky. Cloaks billow and nostrils flare!

Friday, August 24, 2001

Knife in the Water (ZRF, 1962). Dir.: Roman Polanski. Cast: Zygmunt Malanowicz, Leon Niemczyk, Jolanta Umecka. (95 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll. In Polish with English subtitles).

Two men, one woman, and a boat. Who will survive? Co-written by Jerzy Skolimowski, Knife in the Water was Polanski's first feature-length film, and introduces themes he would return to time and again: infidelity, violence, and the psychological thrills and spills that take us there.

Film notes by Bill Barry, Cooper Graham, Wilbur King, Karen Lund, Mike Mashon, Madeline Matz, David Novack, Jennifer Ormson, Lynne Parks, Pat Padua, Christel Schmidt, Zoran Sinobad, Larry Smith, Brian Taves, and Kim Tomadjoglou.

Piano provided with funding from the Mary Pickford Foundation.

Tuesday, October 9, 2001

National Film Registry

The Cardboard Lover (Robert Z. Leonard, 1928) (MGM, 1928) Dir Robert Z. Leonard. With Marion Davies, Nils Asther. (ca. 100 min., 35mm).

An adaptation of the Jacques Deval play in which a perfect match is found when a "cardboard" lover is hired in order to save a smitten lover from imprudently marrying another.

Friday, October 12, 2001

World Treasures

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Michael Powell, 1943)

Tuesday, October 16, 2001

World Treasures

Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler, Part 1 (UFA, 1922). Dir Fritz Lang. With Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Paul Richter. (114 min, silent with music track, 16 mm).

"When mankind becomes ruled by terror, then is the hour for the master of crime." So affirms the nefarious Dr. Mabuse, the criminal mastermind whose genius for disguise and hypnotic powers aid him to control the minds of the rich and powerful to diabolical ends. A fitting role model for tyrants. A film utterly brilliant in all of its technical aspects, and a vivid allegory of postwar German decadence. Part 2 is shown Thursday night.

Thursday, October 18, 2001

World Treasures

Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler, Part 2: The Inferno of Crime (UFA, 1922). Dir Fritz Lang. With Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Paul Richter. (83 min, silent with music track, 16 mm).

Friday, October 19, 2001

World Treasures

Burn! (Europee, 1969). Dir Gillo Pontecorvo. With Evaristo Márquez, Norman Hill. (112 min, 35mm).

After Battle of Algiers, Gillo Pontecorvo extended his analysis of colonialism in this deeply political film. In the 1830s, British agent William Walker (Marlon Brando) is sent to the Caribbean island of Queimada. He helps foment a revolution among the sugar-cane workers against the Portuguese colonialists, but not with the workers' interests in mind. Powered by Brando's performance and Ennio Morricone's acclaimed score, Burn! is a complex and thought-provoking work.

Tuesday, October 23, 2001

National Film Registry

Manson (Robert Henrickson and Laurence Merrick, 1972)

Thursday, October 25, 2001

National Film Registry

The Devil's Rain (Robert Fuest, 1975)

Friday, October 26, 2001

National Film Registry

Burn Witch Burn (Sidney Hayers, 1962)
Taste of Fear (Seth Holt, 1961)

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

National Film Registry

Drácula (Univeral, 1931). Dir George Melford. With Lupita Tovar, Barry Norton. (95 min, 35mm, Spanish without subtitles).

Bela Lugosi's Dracula is, of course, the standards by which all others are judged, but tonight we'll also present Carlos Villarías as the Count by way of comparison. Universal filmed simultaneous English and Spanish language versions of Dracula, and even used the same sets (the Spanish version was shot at night; please note that our print is missing reel 3 and is NOT subtitled). Escúchelos... son los niños de la noche. ¡Qué música hermosa que ellos hacen!

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Veterans History Project

All Quiet on the Western Front (Universal, 1930). Dir Lewis Milestone. With Lew Ayres, Lewis Wolheim, Slim Summerville. (138 min, 35mm).

This powerful anti-war classic posed an unusual set of problems for the Library of Congress Motion Picture Conservation Center. While the Library held an almost complete copy of the film in the AFI/Universal Pictures Collection, the sound track presented many challenges. Since its initial showing in 1930, the film had been altered for presentation in foreign countries as well as re-release in the US, and in that time music tracks and other effects were added that both altered the otherwise grim tone of the film as well as muted the sound of bomb blasts and artillery shelling. Working with prints secured from around the world, Library technicians meticulously restored the original sound track. For the first time in seventy years, audiences can fully experience the aural and visual power of this film.

Thursday, November 1, 2001


Onimaru (Yoshishige Yoshida, 1988)

Friday, November 2, 2001


The Seven Samurai (Toho, 1954). Dir Akira Kurosawa. With Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura. (203 min, 35mm, Japanese with subtitles).

Relentless brilliant action film, endlessly imitated but never equaled.

Monday, November 5, 2001

Veterans History Project

World War II Shorts and Documentaries:
Gary Cooper on Behalf of Army and Navy Emergency Relief (3 min, 35mm)
Der Fuehrer's Face (Disney, 1943). Dir Jack Kinney. (6 min, 35mm)
Victory Bond Advertisements (16 min, 35mm)
Private Snafu: Booby Traps (Warner Bros., 1944). Dir Bob Clampett. (5 min, DVD).
Air Force Training Film: Variable Timed Fuses (10 min, 16mm)
Army/Navy Screen Magazine: Mail Call, Strictly GI (1944) (10 min, 16mm)
News of the Day, June 13, 1944 (9 min, 16mm)
George Stevens Color Footage, 1944 (15 min, 16mm)
The Fleet That Came to Stay (US Navy, 1946) Dir Budd Boetticher. (15 min, 16mm)
The House I Live In (RKO, 1945). Dir Albert Maltz. With Frank Sinatra (10 min, 35mm)

Tuesday, November 6, 2001

National Film Registry

The Dark Horse (Warner Bros., 1932). Dir Alfred Green. With Bette Davis, Guy Kibbee. (73 min, 35mm).

Considered a poor man's John Barrymore is his own day, Warren William is now recognized as one of the quintessential performers of the pre-Code era. His sleazy, amoral yet likable persona graced a series of rough and tumble Warner Bros. pictures during the early sound period. The Dark Horse stars William as a ruthless campaign manager who promotes a simple-minded rube for governor.

Thursday, November 8, 2001


Japanese Animation (1925-1945)

Friday, November 9, 2001

National Film Registry

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (Sam Peckinpah, 1974)

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

National Film Registry

Let Yourself Go: Songs by Irving Berlin. A Recorded Sound presentation.

Irving Berlin (1888-1989), the man who wrote "White Christmas" and "God Bless America" was the best known songwriter of the twentieth century. At long last a collection of Mr. Berlin's song lyrics will be published by Knopf later this year. To celebrate this occasion we present an evening of Irving Berlin songs on recordings and film, hosted by MBRS staffer David Novack.

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Veterans History Project

CBS News Special: Hill 943 (CBS, 1968). (54 min, 16mm)
Dear America–Letters Home From Vietnam (HBO, 1988). Dir Bill Couturié. (85 min, video).

CBS report of three soldiers in Vietnam as their company attempts to take a hill, followed by the acclaimed HBO documentary from 1988.

Thursday, November 15, 2001

National Film Registry

Holiday (Columbia, 1938). Dir George Cukor. With Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Lew Ayres. (90 min, 35 mm).

Adapted from a 1928 play by Philip Barry, this second screen version gave Hepburn and Grant their finest romantic pairing. The character played by Grant wants to set aside time for the purpose of self discovery. His fiancee wants him to make lots of money. This is one of the rare successful comedies having to do with personal matters of value.

Friday, November 16, 2001

Margaret Mead

Margaret Mead–An Observer Observed (Alan Berliner, 1996)

Monday, November 19, 2001

Veterans History Project

They Were Expendable (MGM, 1945). Dir John Ford. With Robert Montgomery, John Wayne, Donna Reed. (136 min, 35mm).

American PT boats defend the Phillipines during WWII. Real-life Naval officer Montgomery stars. A brilliant, if overlooked, film.

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

National Film Registry

Prime Cut (Michael Ritchie, 1972)

Monday, November 26, 2001

Veterans History Project

The Lost Battalion (MacManus, 1919). Dir Burton King. With Gaston Glass, Helen Ferguson. (79 min, silent, 35mm).

True story of a battalion of the U.S. Army's 77th Division that was surrounded by German forces and held out for six days, re-enacted by the actual participants. We'll also include a war bond short produced by Charlie Chaplin.

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

World Treasures

Cul de Sac (Roman Polanski, 1966)

Monday, November 28, 2001

Veterans History Project

The Bridges at Toko-Ri (Paramount, 1954). Dir Mark Robson. With William Holden, Frederic March, Grace Kelly. (104 min, 35mm).

Top notch film based on the James Michener novel. Holden stars as vet called back into action flying jets in Korea.

Thursday, November 29, 2001

Cary Grant

Only Angels Have Wings (Columbia, 1939). Dir Howard Hawks. With Richard Barthelmess, Rita Hayworth. (117 min, 35mm).

We mourn the passing of Cary Grant–who died 15 years ago today–with two evenings of films preserved from their original camera negatives. In Only Angels Have Wings, Grant plays a mail pilot in South America whose life–and those of his buddies–is turned upside down by the arrival of showgirl Jean Arthur. Quintessential Howard Hawks.

Friday, November 30, 2001

Cary Grant

Arsenic and Old Lace (Columbia, 1944). Dir Frank Capra. With Josephine Hull, Jean Adair. (124 min, 35mm).

Frank Capra's frantically paced adaptation of the Joseph Kesselring play is a treat, with Grant starring as man who discovers his spinster aunts are poisoning lonely gentlemen callers, and attempts to rectify the situation quickly so he can go on his honeymoon. Peter Lorre and Raymond Massey are particular delights in a cast brimming with memorably over-the-top performances.

Tuesday, December 4, 2001


Mr Thank You (Hiroshi Shimizu, 1936)

Thursday, December 6, 2001

Margaret Mead

Margaret Mead Films at the Library of Congress: An Overview

Friday, December 7, 2001

National Film Registry

Tora! Tora! Tora! (Fox, 1970). Dir Richard Fleischer, Toshiro Masuda, and Kinji Fukasuku. With Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten, So Yamamura. (144 min, 35mm).

The attack on Pearl Harbor told from both the American and Japanese perspectives. Compared to more recent Hollywood fare on the same subject, a much more satisfying cinematic experience.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001

Marlene Dietrich

The Ship of Lost Men (Max Glass, 1929). Dir Maurice Tourneur. With Fritz Kortner, Robin Irvine. (96 min, silent with music track, 35mm).

In conjunction with the Goethe Institut's poster exhibition, we present three nights of Marlene Dietrich films.

Thursday, December 13, 2001

Marlene Dietrich

I Kiss Your Hand, Madame (Stanley, 1929). Dir Robert Land. With Harry Liedtke, Charles Puffy. (61min, silent with music track, 35mm).
The Flame of New Orleans (Universal, 1941). Dir René Clair. With Bruce Cabot, Roland Young, Mischa Auer. (82 min, 35mm).

Friday, December 14, 2001

Marlene Dietrich

Morocco (Paramount, 1930). Dir Josef von Sternberg. With Adolphe Menjou, Ullrich Haupt. (100 min, 35mm).

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

Margaret Mead

Goona-Goona: An Authentic Melodrama of the Isle of Bali (Andre Roosevelt, 1932). With Wyan, Dasnee, Seronee, Ktot. (66 min, 35mm).

Goona-Goona is a quasi-exploitation film masquerading as a documentary, cloaking its melodrama with the trappings of anthropology. However, audiences of the time knew what they were seeing, and why (Steven Higgins, Musuem of Modern Art). We'll also screen some excerpts from raw footage taken by Margaret Mead in Bali, featuring some of the same performers seen in Goona-Goona.

Thursday, December 20, 2001

National Film Registry

The Bitter Tea of General Yen (Columbia, 1933). Dir Frank Capra. With Barbara Stanwyck, Nils Asther. (89 min, 35 mm) .

Not your typical Capra picture. An American woman is kidnapped in Shanghai by a Chinese warlord. Another character is an American war profiteer portrayed convicingly by Walter Connolly. Ms. Stanwyck looks great in her Chinese finery.

Friday, December 21, 2001

World Treasures

Amarcord (F.C. Produzioni, 1973). Dir Federico Fellini. With Magali Noel, Bruno Zanin. (127 min, 35 mm).

With much affection and humour, Fellini recalls his youth in the provincial town of Rimini during the rise of Mussolini. He exhibits yet again his finely tuned perception of the surreal qualities inherent in everyday life. Vividly portrayed characters fulfill ritualistic fantasies set to Nina Rota's fabulous score.

Thursday, December 27, 2001

National Film Registry

The Song of Love (Chester Franklin and Frances Marion, 1924). Dirs Chester Franklin, Frances Marion. With Norma Talmadge, Joseph Schildkraut. (ca. 87 min., 35mm,).

The daughter of an Arab chief in Algeria detests his ally, who seeks to marry her, and falls in love with a French spy, sacrificing herself for him.

Friday, December 28, 2001

Margaret Mead

Ubangi (Louis Neuman, 1931)
Untamed Africa (Wynant Hubbard, 1933)

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