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Classic Film Series - Fall 2006
FRIDAYS at 7:30 p.m.
(Unless otherwise noted)
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue
UAlbany's Downtown Campus
The Loss of Nameless Things
Nights of Cabiria, Shakespeare Behind Bars, The Blonds, The Cameraman,
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Poison, Boys Don't Cry,
Port of Shadows, A Letter to Three Wives, High and Low, Hyenas, Black Narcissus
Film producer CHRISTINE VACHON
Journalist/Author JOHN BERENDT

September / October / November / December

September 15
NIGHTS OF CABIRIA
(La Notti Di Cabiria)


Directed by Federico Fellini
(Italy/France, 1957, 117 minutes, b&w, 35mm)
In Italian with English subtitles
Starring Giulietta Masina, François Périer, Franca Marzi

Commonly honored on top-ten lists of best films ever made, The Nights of Cabiria follows the wanderings of a young prostitute through a desolate Roman neighborhood. Giulietta Masina, wife of director Federico Fellini, plays the waiflike heroine with an astonishing combination of pluck and innocence. Winner of the Oscar for "Best Foreign Picture," the film had been available only in murky and shortened prints until Rialto Pictures produced this luminous restoration for theatrical release in 1998.

Rialto Pictures
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September 29
SHAKESPEARE BEHIND BARS

Directed by Hank Rogerson
(United States, 2005, 93 minutes, color, DVD)

A finalist for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, this remarkable documentary chronicles the making of an all-male stage production of The Tempest by inmates at Kentucky's Luther Luckett Correctional Complex, a medium-security prison. Under the guidance of a professional Shakespearean actor, inmates select roles that reflect personal feelings about past mistakes and offenses. Filmmaker Hank Rogerson demonstrates the intelligence, likability and sensitivity of each actor before revealing the shocking nature of his crimes.

Murderers, Fugitives, Thieves. . .
Shakespeare would have loved these guys.

Shakespeare Behind Bars
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October 6
THE BLONDS
(Los Rubios)


Directed by Albertina Carri
(Argentina, 2003, 89 minutes, b&w and color, 35mm)
In Spanish with English subtitles
Starring Albertina Carri, Analia Couceyro, Santiago Giralt

This quirky, tragic, inventive autobiographical film about director Albertina Carri's murdered parents is a profound exploration of both the limits and possibilities of the documentary genre. Camera in hand, Carri goes off in search of information about two people she barely remembers, political activists who were "disappeared" during Argentina's "Dirty War." What she finds are elusive facts and contradictory accounts, all of them colored by Carri's own persistent childhood fantasies.

"Unpretentiously poetic and casually stylish, yet perversely precise…. [a] Borgesian hall of mirrors." - The Village Voice

[The Blonds"] "ambitiously attempts to find a fresh approach to a subject that still opens emotional wounds in Argentina. . ." - Deborah Young, Variety

Women Make Movies
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 October 13
THE CAMERAMAN

Buster KeatonDirected by Edward Sedgwick and Buster Keaton (uncredited)
(United States, 1928, 75 minutes, b&w, 35mm, silent w/accompaniment)
Starring Buster Keaton, Marceline Day, Harold Goodwin

Buster Keaton's madcap silent comedy feature about the challenges of filmmaking "includes some of the best asides on the techniques and psychology of shooting films ever captured in a movie" (The Chicago Reader). A streetcorner still photographer, played by Keaton, falls for a pretty MGM Newsreel employee, and sets out to become a movie-maker in order to win her approval. The film will be screened in a 1995 print that restores a full five minutes of footage that had previously been cut.

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October 20
MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL

Directed by Clint Eastwood
(United States, 1997, 115 minutes, color, 35mm)
Starring John Cusack, Kevin Spacey, Irma P. Hall, Jude Law

Clint Eastwood's moody, atmospheric and whimsical adaptation of John Berendt's runaway bestseller is the story of John Kelso, a New York journalist who becomes entranced by the beautiful architecture of Savannah, Georgia, and entangled in the lives of its eccentric inhabitants. When Jim Williams, an extravagant gay millionaire, shoots and kills Billy, his cocky young lover, Kelso stays on to investigate the murder and cover the trial.John Berendt

The film will be screened in connection with an appearance by author John Berendt on Tuesday, October 24, 2006.

Warner Bros Studio
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October 26 (Note: Thursday showing) - The Films of Christine Vachon
Poison POISON

Directed by Todd Haynes; produced by Christine Vachon
(United States, 1991, 85 minutes, b&w, 35mm)
Starring Edith Meeks, Millie White, Buck Smith, Anne Giotta

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, and a breakthrough work of gay cinema, POISON was producer Christine Vachon's first major film. The film features three intercut stories about social outsiders. Dark, sexual, and often brutal, POISON caused considerable outrage among conservatives because it had received a small portion of its funding from the NEA. John Frohnmeyer, then NEA Chairman and an appointee of the first President Bush, presented a spirited defense of the film, calling it, "neither prurient nor obscene." Rated NC-17

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 October 27 (Note: 7:00 pm Start Time) -  The Films of Christine Vachon
Boys Don't CryBOYS DON'T CRY

Directed by Kimberly Peirce; produced by Christine Vachon
(United States, 1999, 118 minutes, color, 35mm)
Starring Hilary Swank, Chloe Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard, Brendan Sexton III

One of the most talked-about films of the last ten years, director Kimberly Peirce's stunning first feature is based on the true story of Brandon Teena, a charismatic young woman who lived undetected as a man in a small Nebraska town. Well-liked and admired by both genders, Brandon is eventually unmasked, raped, and murdered by his own best friends. The film earned Hilary Swank (Brandon) a Best Actress Oscar, and Chloe Sevigny (Lana) a Best Supporting Actress nomination. Rated R

Christine Vachon

Independent film producer Christine Vachon will provide film commentary and answer questions immediately following the screening. Vachon will also hold an informal seminar at 4:15 p.m. on Friday, October 27th in the New Library, Room 340.

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November 3
PORT OF SHADOWS
(Le Quai des Brumes)


Directed by Marcel Carné
(France, 1938, 91 minutes, b&w, DVD)
In French with English subtitles
Starring Jean Gabin, Michel Simon, Michèle Morgan

The gorgeous black and white cinematography of Marcel's Carné's classic crime film help to establish the shadow-and-fog aesthetic of that genre, predating The Maltese Falcon, the first American film noir, by three years. Planning to escape France aboard a cargo ship in the port city of Le Havre, a young army deserter is delayed by a pretty girl, a little dog, a two-bit gangster, and a mysterious box. The U.S. National Board of Review named Le Quai des Brumes "Best Foreign Film" of 1939.

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November 10
A LETTER TO THREE WIVES

Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
(United States, 1949, 103 minutes, b&w, 35mm)
Starring Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern

Joseph Mankiewicz's neglected screwball comedy classic, winner of Oscars for "Best Director" and "Best Screenplay," has long been overshadowed by its director's better-known film, All About Eve, which appeared one year later. Three vacationing women receive a letter from a mutual friend who tells them she has run away with one of their husbands, a fact that prompts each of them to reflect on the course of their married lives.

"Over 50 years later, it not only stands up--it makes a lot of modern films about marriage look juvenile." - Katherine Monk, Montreal Gazette

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 November 17
HIGH AND LOW
(Tengoku to Jigoku)


Directed by Akira Kurasawa
(Japan, 1963, 110 minutes, b&w, 35mm)
In Japanese with English subtitles
Starring Toshirô Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Kyôko Kagawa

A brilliant commentary on social divisions in post-War Japan, High and Low takes its inspiration from an unlikely source: Ed McBain's 1959 police procedural novel, King's Ransom. A retail mogul is targeted by kidnappers who mistakenly seize his chauffeur's son, instead of his own, thereby creating a tricky and delicate ethical dilemma.

"High and Low illuminates its world with a wholeness and complexity you rarely see in film." - Paul Attanasio, Washington Post
A newly restored print with new subtitles will be shown.

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November 21 (Tuesday)
THE LOSS OF NAMELESS THINGS
7:00 p.m., Albany Public Library (Note: Day/Time/Location Changes)
161 Washington Ave, Albany


Directed by Bill Rose
(United States, 2004, 103 minutes, color, DVD)

In 1978 Oakley Hall III was a promising playwright on the verge of national recognition when his life was violently transformed in a mysterious fall from a bridge. The Loss of Nameless Things is the haunting story of Hall's fall from grace, of the vibrant group of artists who surrounded him--and what happens when, twenty-five years later, a theatre company discovers the very play he was writing the night he fell. Co-sponsored by the Albany Center Galleries and Friends of the Albany Public Library.

Followed by a reading by Oakley Hall III from his memoir Jarry and Me.
"A rare story, extremely well told" - William Kennedy
"A documentary as eloquent as its title." Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

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 December 1
HYENAS
(HYÈNES)


Directed by Djibril Diop Mambety
(Senegal, 1992, 110 minutes, color, 35mm)
In Wolof with English subtitles
Starring Ami Diakhate, Djibril Diop Mambety, Mansour Diouf

In this acclaimed second film by influential African director Djibril Diop Mambety, a wealthy, aging woman returns to the sleepy village she left many years previously, and offers a bounty to its citizens if they will murder the local storekeeper who seduced her as a girl, got her pregnant, and discarded her. A finalist for the Golden Palm at Cannes, Hyènas is a Senegalese adaptation of Swiss playwright Friedrich Dürrenmatt's 1956 play, "The Visit."

"This wicked tale, told with wit and irony, has all the ingredients of a crowd-pleaser." - Georgia Brown, The Village Voice

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December 8
BLACK NARCISSUS

Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
(United Kingdom, 1947, 100 minutes, color, 35mm)
Starring Deborah Kerr, Flora Robson, Jean Simmons

A much-admired psychological drama by the legendary team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Black Narcissus tells the tale of British nuns who attempt to establish a convent in the remote foothills of the Himalayas. The pressures of isolation, a harsh climate, natural calamities, and earthly temptations gradually cause the sisters to descend into spiritual doubt, petty jealousy, madness, and sexual hysteria. Restored for a rescreening at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005, the film received Oscars in 1948 for its breathtaking Art Direction and Cinematography.

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