Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Cinematheque announces Nov-Dec film schedule, including DOG EAT DOG

[Press release from the Cleveland Cinematheque.]

The first local showing of Paul Schrader’s Cleveland-shot crime film DOG EAT DOG is one of the highlights of the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque’s November-December film schedule. The movie, which stars Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe, plays exclusively on November 12 and 13.
Other highlights include 11 films by the revered, avant-garde husband and wife team of Jean-Marie Straub (b. 1933) and Danièle Huillet (1936-2006); eight early indie rarities by Oscar Micheaux and other “pioneers of African-American cinema”; and a November 5 book launch and film screening celebrating the publication of the new volume World Film Locations: Cleveland. The two-month schedule also includes many stand-alone first-run and classic films.
All of the Cinematheque’s November-December movies will show in the Peter B. Lewis Theater at the Cleveland Institute of Art, 11610 Euclid Avenue in the Uptown District of University Circle. Unless noted, admission to each program is $10; Cinematheque members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, and those age 25 & under $7. An added film on the same day costs an additional $7 (or the member price for that film).
Free parking for filmgoers is available in Lot 73 and the CIA Annex Lot, both accessed from E. 117th Street. Cinematheque programs are supported by Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.
For further information, visit; send an email to; or call John Ewing or Tim Harry at (216) 421-7450.

More information about the Straub-Huillet and “Pioneers” series is below, followed by the complete two-month schedule.


November 5 – December 17 (11 films)

OK, let the jokes and wisecracks begin. The films of Jean-Marie Straub (b. 1933) and his late wife Danièle Huillet (1936-2006) represent the apogee of serious, heady, humorless European “art” cinema—you know, the kind of snobby, impenetrable, off-putting stuff the Cinematheque shows all the time. (That’s irony, by the way.) The films of Straub-Huillet (as the duo preferred to be called) consist of extremely long, static takes; non-actors flatly declaiming texts; disjunctive editing; and anemic productions and anachronistic settings. Their movies are austere (Straub-Huillet often opt for direct recording of voices and music over post-production), severe, intellectual, alienating (in a Brechtian way), and political (in a Marxist way). “We make our films so that audiences can walk out of them,” said Straub once. Intentionally rejecting the drama and emotion that animate most motion pictures, Straub-Huillet make rigorous, “boring,” non-ingratiating works that keep viewers at a distance, provoke thought rather than audience identification, and boil their favorite subjects, history and literature (and cinema itself), down to essential, carefully considered words and images.

Despite their “deficiencies,” Straub and Huillet (who were born in France but worked mostly in Germany and Italy) are widely revered monuments to artistic purity and moral integrity. Their films are like no others. They are also rarely shown and hard to see in this country. So when the Museum of Modern of Art presented the first complete U.S. retrospective of their work this past spring, we just had to participate in the subsequent North American tour—especially since the films were being shown in 35mm prints or new digital restorations. The 11 films we screen in November and December represent a good cross-section of Straub-Huillet’s essential work. These movies are not for the casual moviegoer, but as critic David Thomson has said, “no one seriously interested in film should neglect them.” Special thanks to Thomas Beard.


THU 11/10 6:45 PM NOT RECONCILED & two shorts

SUN 11/20 6:30 PM MOSES AND AARON & short





November 12 – December 18 (4 different programs)

“Pioneers of African-American Cinema” is a major film history project undertaken by Kino Lorber, a New York film distribution company. This initiative sought to collect, restore, and re-release short and feature length films made by independent black filmmakers during the early part of the 20th century—primarily from the 1920s through the 1940s. These so-called “race” films were financed, produced, written, directed, distributed, and exhibited by people of color. This movie industry, largely centered in eastern cities, paralleled Hollywood’s, though on a much smaller scale.

The pioneers of African-American cinema tackled subjects that were mostly shunned by Hollywood: interracial romance, racism, religion, spiritual salvation and damnation, lynching. They also cultivated visual and narrative styles that were uniquely their own. Some of these filmmakers are now well known, like Oscar Micheaux, the prolific “D.W. Griffith of the race film,” and Spencer Williams. “Pioneers of African-American Cinema” includes films by both men, but also by others who were forgotten until now. Though the bulk of the “Pioneers” films are available only on DVD or Blu-ray as part of a five-disc Kino Lorber box set, some of the key movies in the collection have been transferred to DCP for theatrical showings. We will show eight of them in this eye-opening series.

SAT 11/12 5:00 PM WITHIN OUR GATES & short



SUN 12/18 6:30 PM BIRTHRIGHT & short

Friday, November 4, at 8:30 pm
New 4K Digital Restoration!
USA, 1961, Marlon Brando
At one time or another Rod Serling, Sam Peckinpah, and Stanley Kubrick all worked on this moody Western that ended up being the only movie Marlon Brando ever directed. A thinly-veiled retelling of the story of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, the movie follows a brooding outlaw (Brando) who seeks revenge on his old partner in crime (Karl Malden), now a respectable lawman with a family. Shot in VistaVision on the Monterey coast, the film has a visual grandeur that will be seen to its full advantage in this new 6K digital restoration, shown from a 4K DCP. With Slim Pickens, Timothy Carey, Ben Johnson, Katy Jurado, and Elisha Cook, Jr. 141 min. Members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, and those age 25 & under $8; no passes, twofers, or radio winners.
Saturday, November 5, at 5:00 pm
The Films of Straub-Huillet
W. Germany/Italy, 1968, Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet
Renowned Dutch keyboard player (and period instrument advocate) Gustav Leonhardt portrays Johann Sebastian Bach in this minimalist but moving film that looks at the last 27 years in the composer’s life through the eyes of his wife. Straub-Huillet’s classic is far from a traditional biopic and costume drama; for one thing, all the music in it was performed and recorded live before the camera, often in single takes. “Beautiful…Has the air of a crystal-clear meditation.” –Time Out Film Guide. Subtitles. DCP. 93 min. Special admission $12; members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, and those age 25 & under $9; no passes, twofers, or radio winners.
Saturday, November 5, at 7:00 pm
Book Launch & Panel Discussion!
Shot-in-University Circle Film Classic!
USA, 1968, Gerald Sindell
Tonight we celebrate the publication of the new book World Film Locations: Cleveland (Intellect Ltd, 2016) with a special screening of a little-known, locally shot feature film, followed by a panel discussion. The book, edited by Alberto Zambenedetti, Assistant Professor of Italian and Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto, is the latest in a series of books that explore the movies shot in major cities around the world. Double-Stop, one of 40+ movies covered in the volume, was filmed in Cleveland during the late 1960s, at the height of the city’s racial tensions. It is an earnest plea for tolerance and harmony in which a cellist in the Cleveland Orchestra (Jeremiah Sullivan) and his artist wife (Mimi Torchin) disagree about whether to bus their young son (Billy Kurtz) to an inner-city school, thus fostering integration. Written and directed by then 23-year-old Clevelander Gerald Sindell and shot on 35mm by a Hollywood crew, Double-Stop was filmed on locations in Shaker Heights, Bratenahl, and University Circle—including Severance Hall, where the Cleveland Orchestra was hired for two days of shooting. Zambenedetti and four other contributors to World Film Locations: Cleveland will participate in a panel discussion after the screening. They will also sell and sign copies of their book. Blu-ray. 76 min. Special admission $11; members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, and those age 25 & under $8; no passes, twofers, or radio winners. Special thanks to Tom Peterson.
Saturday, November 5, at 9:30 pm &
Sunday, November 6, at 8:40 pm
New 4K Digital Restoration!
USA, 1960, Leslie Stevens
Warren Oates had his first significant movie role in this nearly lost, recently rediscovered and restored crime film by the creator of TV’s The Outer Limits. Originally condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency, this suspenseful, salacious, low-budget movie follows two disreputable California drifters, Duke (Corey Allen) and Boots (Oates), as they stalk and spy on a beautiful young blonde with a home swimming pool and a bored husband. Duke, a low rent Lothario, wheedles his way into this woman’s life with the intention of luring her to his sexually inexperienced (and probably gay) partner. “A genuine rediscovery.” –NY Times. Cleveland revival premiere. DCP. 79 min.
Sunday, November 6, at 3:00 pm
A Special Event!
Film Classics in 35mm!
Pre- and Post-film discussion!
USA, 1958, Vincente Minnelli
Today The Musical Theater Project and the Cinematheque join forces to present a special screening of the beloved Lerner and Loewe musical that won the Oscar for Best Picture of 1958 (along with eight others, a record at the time). Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, and Louis Jourdan star in this charming color and scope concoction, an original screen musical (not a stage adaptation) set in turn-of-the-20th-century Paris, about a young French waif who is being trained to be a high-class courtesan, and the wealthy playboy who falls for her. From a Colette novel. TMTP artistic director Bill Rudman and Cinematheque director John Ewing will introduce the film, and also discuss it after the screening. 35mm. Total program time approx. 180 min.   Special admission $12; Cinematheque and TMTP members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, and those age 25 & under $9; no passes, twofers, or radio winners.
Sunday, November 6, at 6:30 pm
USA, 2015, Gus Van Sant
Matthew McConaughey, Naomi Watts, and Ken Watanabe star in the new film by Gus Van Sant, which was shown in competition at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The movie follows an American math professor as he journeys to Japan with the intention of killing himself in the lush “suicide forest” of Aokigahara at the foot of Mount Fuji. He meets a similarly depressed Japanese businessman in the woods. Music by Mason Bates. Cleveland theatrical premiere. DCP. 110 min.
Sunday, November 6, at 8:40 pm
See 11/5 at 9:30 for description
Thursday, November 10, at 6:45 pm
Film Classics in 35mm!
The Films of Straub-Huillet
W. Germany, 1965, Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub
Heinrich Böll’s novel Billiards at Half-past Nine, which traces 50 years of German social and political history through the story of a three-generation family, is bracingly brought to the screen in this stripped down, non-chronological, hour-long adaptation. Straub-Huillet’s first feature planted the flag for their radical reimagining of cinema. Subtitles. Preceded starting at 6:45 by two Straub-Huillet shorts: Machorka-Muff (1963), a satire of militarism and another Böll adaptation; and The Bridegroom, the Comedienne and the Pimp (1968), a three-part short featuring Hanna Schygulla and R.W. Fassbinder. Total 96 min. Special admission $12; members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, and those age 25 & under $9; no passes, twofers, or radio winners.
Thursday, November 10, at 8:45 pm &
Sunday, November 13, at 8:30 pm
France/Belgium, 2015, Alice Winocur
The second feature directed by the writer of the Oscar-nominated Mustang stars Matthias Schoenaerts as a French Afghan war vet with PTSD. He is hired by a wealthy but shady Lebanese businessman to protect his wife (Diane Kruger) and child at his lavish villa on the French Riviera. But do you really want a security guard who’s prone to anxiety and hallucinations even when all is calm? “A notable, unusual existential thriller…Terrifically suspenseful.” –Kim Newman, Empire. Cleveland premiere. Subtitles. DCP. 98 min.
NO FILMS FRI., 11/11
Saturday, November 12, at 5:00 pm
Pioneers of African-American Cinema
New Digital Restoration!
USA, 1920, Oscar Micheaux
The earliest surviving feature by the most famous maker of “race” films, Oscar Micheaux (1884-1951), is also the earliest surviving feature directed by an African American. (It’s a silent movie shown here with a new recorded score by Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky.) Made as an angry retort to the overt racism in D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, Within Our Gates follows an educated mixed-race woman as she tries to raise funds in the North for an all-black school in the South. Micheaux condemns attitudes and behaviors on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line, and some theaters refused to show the movie’s more inflammatory passages. The movie was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1992. “A special film from a special director…Deserves to be seen by a wide and a diverse audience.” –Dennis Schwartz. Preceded at 5:00 by Ebony Film Corp.’s 11-min. comedy Two Knights of Vaudeville (1915). Cleveland revival premiere. DCP. Total 84 min.
Saturday, November 12, at 6:45 pm &
Sunday, November 13, at 3:45 pm
Japan, 2015, Hirokazu Kore-eda
The latest film from the acclaimed Japanese director of Maborosi, Nobody Knows, and Still Walking is a gentle portrait of three twentysomething Japanese sisters, abandoned by their parents many years ago and living together in their grandparents’ home. When their estranged father dies, they are joined by a teenage half-sister they did not know about. From an acclaimed graphic novel. “A delicate, unforced meditation on the bonds of family and the joys and wonders hidden in everyday life.” –L.A. Times. “Might be Kore-eda’s best film yet. It is certainly one of the best films of 2016.” –San Francisco Chronicle. Cleveland premiere. Subtitles. DCP. 128 min.
Saturday, November 12, at 9:15 pm &
Sunday, November 13, at 6:30 pm
USA, 2016, Paul Schrader
From off the streets of Cleveland comes this colorful, darkly funny, violent tale of three ex-cons (Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Matthew Cook) who botch a kidnap job intended to insure their cushy retirement on easy street. This gritty, grungy, over-the-top crime movie was shot in northeast Ohio with contributions from numerous Cleveland Institute of Art students. Director Paul Schrader also co-stars. “Relentlessly twisted, violent, funny…As the unhinged, doped-up loose cannon of the group, Willem Dafoe is terrifyingly hilarious.” –Village Voice. Adults only! Cleveland premiere. DCP. 93 min.
Sunday, November 13, at 3:45 pm
See 11/12 at 6:45 for description
Sunday, November 13, at 6:30 pm
See 11/12 at 9:15 for description
Sunday, November 13, at 8:30 pm
See 11/10 at 8:45 for description
Thursday, November 17, at 6:45 pm &
Friday, November 18, at 7:30 pm
USA, 2016, Craig Atkinson
Winner of the Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, the first movie directed by the cinematographer of Detropia explores the rapid militarization of U.S. police forces. From the streets of Ferguson to the halls of Congress, this wide-ranging and unsettling film looks at the state of policing in contemporary America. “Chilling.” –Variety. “Eye-opening.” –The New Yorker. Cleveland premiere. DCP. 72 min.
Thursday, November 17, at 8:20 pm
France, 2014, various directors
We first showed this program of eight French animated short films from the 2015 Annecy International Animated Film Festival on Art House Theater Day, 9/24/16. It was such a strong program, we have decided to bring it back. Selected by the Annecy Festival’s Artistic Director, the eight movies reflect the diversity and excellence of French animation, and have subtitles when needed. Program includes: Alison, Yul and the Snake, Tigers Tied Up in One Rope, Sunday Lunch, A Slice of the Country, Rhizome, My Home, and In Deep Waters. This show is not appropriate for children. DCP. Total 78 min. Special thanks to Pervenche Beurier, Cultural Services of the Embassy of France, New York; and to Laurence Geannopulos, Cultural Services of the French Consulate, Chicago.
Friday, November 18, at 7:30 pm
See 11/17 at 6:45 for description
Friday, November 18, at 9:05 pm &
Sunday, November 20, at 3:45 pm
New 4K Digital Restoration!
Italy/France, 1962, Michelangelo Antonioni
Marcello Mastroianni, Jeanne Moreau, and Monica Vitti star in Antonioni’s celebrated marital drama that chronicles 24 hours in the lives of a Milanese novelist and his distraught wife. As in much Antonioni (L’Avventura, Blow-Up), the film has great formal beauty, an elliptical narrative, and lengthy sequences shot in real time. In 1963, Stanley Kubrick listed it as his seventh favorite film of all time. Long out of theatrical release in the U.S., La Notte hasn’t been shown at the Cinematheque in over 16 years. “Antonioni never made anything better…Cinema was never the same again.” –The Guardian. Cleveland revival premiere. Subtitles. DCP. 121 min.
Saturday, November 19, at 5:00 pm
Pioneers of African-American Cinema
New Digital Restoration!
USA, 1941, Spencer Williams
Actor Spencer Williams (1893-1969), best known for playing Andy in the Amos ‘n’ Andy TV show, also starred in and directed one of the most successful “race” films of all time, The Blood of Jesus. Set in a rural village, the film focuses on a dying woman whose soul is being fought over by both an angel of God and an agent of Satan. The latter lures her to a decadent jazz club. Preceded at 6:30 by Hell-Bound Train, a 1930 silent (with music track) by James and Eloyce Gist, husband and wife evangelicals who used the movie to supplement their sermons. The Devil also appears in their film—at the throttle of a train carrying sinners to perdition. The Village Voice notes that Hell-Bound Train “suggests a Fundamentalist Snowpiercer, the cars of the locomotive populated by bootleggers, drunks, pickpockets, and the (premarital) sex-crazed.” Cleveland revival premiere. DCP. Total 106 min.
Saturday, November 19, at 7:10 pm &
Sunday, November 20, at 8:50 pm
New Digital Restoration!
Japan, 1986, Juzo Itami
Long out of theatrical release, this foodie favorite was made years before food movies became their own genre. Described by its director as a “ramen Western,” Tampopo is a satirical comedy in which a Shane-like long-distance trucker stops by a small noodle shop on the outskirts of Tokyo one day. Appalled by what he orders, he proceeds to instruct the owner, a middle-aged widow, on all things noodle related—so that she can turn her sorry establishment into one of the best ramen restaurants in the country. He also imparts the links between eating and sex. “[A] gorgeous gastronomic comedy of table manners…Satisfies like a good meal, although it should not be seen on an empty stomach.” –The Holt Foreign Film Guide. Cleveland revival premiere. Subtitles. DCP. 116 min.
Saturday, November 19, at 9:30 pm
Film Classics in 35mm!
Gene Wilder, 1933-2016
USA, 1976, Arthur Hiller
The first of Gene Wilder’s four pairings with Richard Pryor is the best—and one of Wilder’s essential movies. Wilder plays a meek book editor traveling on an L.A.-to-Chicago train, where he witnesses the murder of another passenger. Soon he’s fearing for his own life, while trying to find the killer. Eventually he joins forces with a petty thief. With Jill Clayburgh, Patrick McGoohan, Ned Beatty, Clifton James, Ray Walston, Scatman Crothers, Richard Kiel, and Fred Willard. Script by Colin Higgins (Harold and Maude); music by Henry Mancini. 114 min. Special admission $11; members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, and those age 25 & under $8; no passes, twofers, or radio winners.
Sunday, November 20, at 3:45 pm
See 11/18 at 9:05 for description
Sunday, November 20, at 6:30 pm
The Films of Straub-Huillet
W. Germany/Austria/France/Italy, 1975, Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub
Arnold Schoenberg’s unfinished, 12-tone opera—about prophecy vs. demagogy as seen in the conflict between two biblical brothers—receives a spare but surprisingly effective treatment in this singular music film by the avant-garde team of Straub-Huillet.  “This is great cinema. Grade: A+.” –Dennis Schwartz. Subtitles. DCP. 105 min. Preceded at 6:30 by Straub-Huillet’s 15-min. Introduction to Arnold Schoenberg's “Accompaniment to a Cinematic Scene” (W. Germany, 1973), a condemnation of anti-Semitism based on both a Schoenberg letter to his former friend Wassily Kandinsky and on Bertolt Brecht’s 1935 speech to the International Congress in Defense of Culture. Special admission $12; members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, and those age 25 & under $9; no passes, twofers, or radio winners.
Sunday, November 20, at 8:50 pm
See 11/19 at 7:10 for description
NO FILMS 11/24 & 25;
Saturday, November 26, at 5:00 pm
Film Classics in 35mm!
France, 1938, Jean Renoir
Jean Renoir’s 1930s films, which include Boudu Saved from Drowning and Grand Illusion, rank among the greatest glories of world cinema. La Bête Humaine, made right before the director’s 1939 masterpiece The Rules of the Game, is a muscular Zola adaptation that stars Jean Gabin as a train driver propelled toward self-destruction by his overwhelming passion for the sultry wife of a deputy stationmaster. This powerful screen romance bridges the worlds of fatalistic 1930s French poetic realism and 1940s film noir; it will be shown in a 35mm print from France that is in the U.S. only temporarily. With Simone Simon. Subtitles. 100 min. Special admission $11; members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, and ages 25 & under $8; no passes, twofers, or radio winners.
Saturday, November 26, at 7:00 pm &
Sunday, November 27, at 8:15 pm
New Digital Restoration!
France, 1958, Louis Malle
Louis Malle’s first film—made when he was 25 and seen here in a new digital restoration in its correct 1.37 aspect ratio (for the first time)—is a nail-biting film noir. A French Vietnam vet (Maurice Ronet) and his mistress (Jeanne Moreau, in a star-making turn) plot the “perfect” murder of her wealthy husband—until an elevator breaks down a few floors from the crime scene! Miles Davis improvised the jazz score; the great Henry Decaë did the cinematography. “A terrific thriller.” –NY Times. Cleveland revival premiere. Subtitles. DCP. 91 min.
Saturday, November 26, at 8:55 pm &
Sunday, November 27, at 4:15 pm
Australia/Vanuatu, 2015, Martin Butler, Bentley Dean
Australia’s official submission for next year’s Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film is a tribal romance set on a small, remote, picturesque volcanic island in the South Pacific. The movie follows two young, star-crossed native lovers who thwart their elders and even threaten their society by running off together when one of them is promised in marriage to another. “A beautiful odyssey with strong spiritual undertones.” –Screen Int’l. Cleveland premiere. Nauvhal with subtitles. DCP. 100 min.
Sunday, November 27, at 6:30 pm
USA, 2015, Trey Edward Shults
We hope you had a pleasant Thanksgiving Day. Now watch the Thanksgiving from hell in this darkly comic and absolutely riveting indie drama, maybe the best film seen at this year’s Cleveland Int’l Film Festival. Krisha, a sixtysomething ex-flower child, returns for a holiday gathering to the extended family she mysteriously abandoned ten years earlier. Director Trey Edward Shults even acts in his tense, anxious debut feature, and Krisha Fairchild’s performance has been likened to those by the great Gena Rowlands. “Spectacular.” ­–The Wall St. Journal. “A bravura debut…[Proves] that one can still make a movie for no money at a family member's house and come away with a work of art, not just a calling card.–The Guardian. Blu-ray. 83 min.
Sunday, November 27, at 8:15 pm
See 11/26 at 7:00 for description
Monday, November 28, at 7:00 pm
A Special Event!
Filmmaker in Person!
USA. 2016, Lee Wilkof
Canton-born actor Lee Wilkof, who has appeared in almost 100 movies and TV shows since the late 1970s, is probably best known for originating the role of Seymour in the original off-Broadway production of the musical Little Shop of Horrors. But he was also nominated for a Tony Award for his role in the Broadway revival of Kiss Me Kate. Now he has made his debut as a film director, and he appears in person with his new movie tonight. No Pay, Nudity is a funny, poignant love letter to actors in which an aging thespian (Gabriel Byrne) struggles with a stalled career and his family and old friends. Nathan Lane, Frances Conroy, Donna Murphy, and Lee Wilkof co-star. “A delightful, Broadway Danny Rose-ish comedy.” –San Diego Reader. Cleveland premiere. DCP. 92 min. Special admission $12; members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, and ages 25 & under $9; no passes, twofers, or radio winners.
Thursday, December 1, at 6:45 pm &
Sunday, December 4, at 8:45 pm
USA, 2016, Kirsten Johnson
One of the most acclaimed films of 2016! Cinematographer Kirsten Johnson, who has shot some of the most provocative political documentaries of the past two decades (Citizenfour, The Oath, The Invisible War, This Film Is Not Yet Rated), steps out from behind the camera to present snippets of footage shot in Bosnia, Africa, the Middle East, and other international hotspots over the past 25 years. Johnson uses these clips to explore some of the key questions of non-fiction filmmaking: the relationship between image makers and their subjects; the tension between objectivity and intervention; and the tricky transformation of unfiltered reality into crafted narrative. “Cameraperson is about process and aesthetics, images and rules, but it is also about empathy and ethical dilemmas.” –Screen Int’l. Cleveland premiere. DCP. 102 min.
Thursday, December 1, at 8:50 pm &
Friday, December 2, at 7:15 pm
Pre-film Talk on Friday!
Spain, 2015, José Luis Guerín
The enchanting new film from the director of 2007’s exquisite, evanescent In the City of Sylvia is another meditation on art, beauty, women, and desire that erases the boundary between documentary and fiction. A real-life, sixty-something university instructor in Barcelona teaches a philology class on muses in art and literature. He seeks to inspire his mostly female students to become muses themselves. The professor’s notions—and his belief that “to teach is to seduce”—provoke a lot of discussions among his charges. Meanwhile, his wife is suspicious of his motives. “An exploration of the fine lines between art and life, fiction and documentary, intellectual rigor and emotional truths.” –Hollywood Reporter. Cleveland premiere. Subtitles. DCP. 92 min. Film scholar, author, and CWRU associate professor Linda Ehrlich will introduce Friday’s show starting at 7:15 pm. Linda will retire and leave Cleveland at the end of this semester, so we thank her for her long involvement with the Cinematheque.
Friday, December 2, at 9:25 pm &
Saturday, December 3, at 6:45 pm
50th Anniversary!
New 4K Digital Restoration!
Algeria/Italy, 1966, Gillo Pontecorvo
Here’s a new 4K digital restoration of the film that legendary movie critic Pauline Kael called “probably the most stirring revolutionary epic since Potemkin.” Often ranked among the 100 best movies of all time (and recently screened at the Pentagon), Gillo Pontecorvo’s stunning, urgent spectacle employs large crowds and non-professional actors—and no documentary or newsreel footage—to re-enact the tumultuous years of 1954-1957, when Algerian freedom fighters launched an urban guerrilla war against the French. Not surprisingly, the movie was once banned in France. Music by Ennio Morricone. Cleveland revival premiere. Arabic and French with subtitles. DCP. 123 min.
Saturday, December 3, at 5:00 pm
World War I + 100
David Drazin accompanies
USA, 1927, Mauritz Stiller
Chicago’s foremost silent film accompanist, David Drazin, accompanies a rarely shown silent film by Mauritz Stiller, the great Swedish director who discovered Greta Garbo and brought her to the U.S. But the star of Hotel Imperial (one of the two movies Stiller made in Hollywood) is Pola Negri, the Polish-born femme fatale who was also a hugely popular actress of the silent screen. Negri plays a chambermaid working at a hotel in Galicia during WWI who hides an Austro-Hungarian officer from the invading Russian army. Of course, she falls in love with him as well. 16mm. 76 min. Special admission $11; members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, and those age 25 & under $8; no passes, twofers, or radio winners.
Saturday, December 3, at 6:45 pm
See 12/2 at 9:25 for description
Saturday, December 3, at 9:10 pm &
Sunday, December 4, at 4:15 pm
various countries, 2016, various directors
Sixteen new animated short films from Belgium, Canada, England, France, Israel, Korea, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Scotland, and the U.S. (the first 12 of them are family friendly) are contained in this terrific new animation compilation. This is the latest edition of an annual show that has been assembled by curator Ron Diamond for 18 years now (but has been shown in theaters only for the last two). The program includes Alan Barillaro’s delightful Pixar short Piper and Pearl by Oscar winner Patrick Osborne, along with these gems: Ainslie Hendersen’s Stems; Cecilia Puglesi & Yijun Liu’s Shift; Iris Alexandre’s Crin-crin; Chris Ware, John Kuramoto & Ira Glass’s Mirror; bekky O’Neil’s Last Summer in the Garden; Vladimir Leschiov’s Waiting for the New Year; Kristian Pedersen’s Bøygen; Seoro Oh’s Afternoon Class; Dina Velikovskaya’s About a Mother; Joshua Gunn, Trevor Piecham & John McGowan’s Exploozy; Marc Héricher’s Corpus; Daniela Sherer’s Blue; Simon Cartwright’s Monoman; and Chloé Alliez’s All Their Shades. Cleveland premiere. DCP. Total running time 90 min.
Sunday, December 4, at 6:30 pm
The Films of Straub-Huillet
Italy/W. Germany/UK/France, 1979, Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub
Champions of Straub-Huillet regard this two-part film as one of the duo’s greatest works. Based on writings by Cesare Pavese, the movie begins with a series of dialogues between mythological gods and ancient heroes. Part two, set in the aftermath of WWII, finds a man returning to an Italian village where many anti-Fascist resistance fighters were murdered. Straub-Huillet thus illustrate that man’s fate has passed from the hands of the gods to the hands of man. “Straub and Huillet expand their concerns with dazzling scope and beauty: the struggle between gods and men, the eruption of the past into the present... The film constantly startles by its imaginative and historical leaps…A work of provocation which strips ornament and leaves essences, and whose integrity gives it a distinct sense of the sublime.” –Time Out Film Guide. Subtitles. DCP. 105 min. Preceded at 6:30 by Straub-Huillet’s 7-min. En rachâchant (France, 1982, 35mm), from a story by Marguerite Duras. Special admission $12; members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, and those age 25 & under $9; no passes, twofers, or radio winners.
Sunday, December 4, at 8:45 pm
See 12/1 at 6:45 for description
Thursday, December 8, at 6:45 pm &
Friday, December 9, at 7:15 pm
Spain/France/Uruguay, 2015, Federico Veiroj
The Buñuelian new film from the director of A Useful Life (the wry 2010 comedy set at a struggling Cinemateca Uruguaya) follows a shambling Spanish graduate student as he tries to formally sever his ties with the Catholic Church. Asking that his name be removed from baptismal records, he soon comes face to face with a clerical bureaucracy that is almost Kafkaesque. But this man-boy malcontent has other problems, mostly with his family and love life, and he retreats into fantastic flights of fantasy. “Deft, engaging, and teeming with ideas.” –Hollywood Reporter. No one under 18 admitted! Cleveland premiere. Subtitles. DCP. 80 min.
Thursday, December 8, at 8:25 pm &
Friday, December 9, at 8:55 pm
S. Korea, 2016, Kim Jee-woon
The new film from the director of A Tale of Two Sisters and The Good, the Bad, the Weird is a lavish, stylish, exciting cloak-and-dagger thriller in which Korean resistance fighters battle their country’s Japanese occupiers during the 1920s. It’s the official South Korean entry for next year’s foreign-film Oscar. “An unabashed delight...Unfolding in classic action style, this rousing gem has everything one wants for an evening’s entertainment.” –Variety. Cleveland premiere. Subtitles. DCP. 140 min.
Friday, December 9, at 7:15 pm
See 12/8 at 6:45 for description
Friday, December 9, at 8:55 pm
See 12/8 at 8:25 for description
Saturday, December 10, at 5:00 pm &
Sunday, December 11, at 4:30 pm
Puerto Rico/USA, 2016, Julio Quintana
Martin Sheen and Terrence Malick’s first collaboration since Badlands (Sheen stars; Malick produces) is a visually stunning, spiritual drama about a Latin American seaside village still devastated by a tsunami that, ten years before, destroyed an elementary school and killed 46 children. Even the local priest (Sheen) can’t provide solace to the community. But then one of the villagers begins to erect a mysterious structure from the ruins of the school… “Filmed in a gorgeous, dreamlike style and infused with heavy doses of mysticism and allegory, The Vessel is an impressive effort.” –Hollywood Reporter. The Vessel may bring Malick to mind, but it also feels like a major work by an exciting new talent.” –Village Voice. Cleveland premiere. DCP. 86 min. NOTE: The Vessel was shot in two versions. We will show the Spanish language version (with subtitles) on Saturday and the English language version on Sunday.
Saturday, December 10, at 6:50 pm
Film Classics in 35mm!
The Films of Straub-Huillet
W. Germany/France, 1984, Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub
Straub-Huillet’s “most approachable film” (The Holt Foreign Film Guide) is a deadpan, minimalist adaptation of Franz Kafka’s unfinished final novel Amerika. The movie follows a young European immigrant newly arrived in the U.S. (perversely, the movie was shot in Germany), whose optimism about the “New World” is soon crushed by workaday realities and his awareness of class differences and power dynamics. Subtitles. 35mm. 130 min. Special admission $12; members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, and those age 25 & under $9; no passes, twofers, or radio winners.
Saturday, December 10, at 9:20 pm &
Sunday, December 11, at 8:00 pm
25th Anniversary!
New Digital Restoration!
France, 1991, Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet
The feature debut of the French fantasists who subsequently made City of Lost Children and Amélie is a surreal, beautifully designed, Terry Gilliamesque black comedy set in a post-apocalyptic future. An ex-clown (Dominique Pinon) goes to work as a handyman in a shabby apartment building inhabited by bizarre, idiosyncratic tenants. The residents get their meat from a butcher shop on the ground floor of the building, but where does the butcher get his meat? Is the handyman in danger of becoming the next “daily special”? “Fast, funny…Entertains from sinister start to frantic finish.” –Time Out Film Guide. Cleveland revival premiere. Subtitles. DCP. 99 min.
Sunday, December 11, at 4:30 pm
See 12/10 at 5:00 for description
Sunday, December 11, at 6:30 pm
Pioneers of African-American Cinema
New Digital Restoration!
USA, 1946, Spencer Williams
This unauthorized adaptation of the W. Somerset Maugham story that became the classic movies Sadie Thompson and Rain tells of an amoral Harlem nightclub “entertainer” who flees to a Caribbean island. There an insistent Christian missionary tries to reform her. Director Williams plays a voodoo fortuneteller—in drag! Preceded at 6:30 by Williams’ Hot Biskits (1931), a 10-min. comedy about mini-golf. Cleveland revival premiere. DCP. Total 70 min.
Sunday, December 11, at 8:00 pm
See 12/10 at 9:20 for description
Thursday, December 15, at 6:45 pm &
Friday, December 16, at 9:35 pm
Tunisia/France/Belgium/United Arab Emirates, 2015, Leyla Bouzid
This acclaimed new movie has been called “the best fictional film yet about the Arab Spring” (Indiewire). On the eve of Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution, a smart and well educated young woman bucks her repressive society, defies her family, and forsakes medical school to become the lead singer in a politically outspoken rock band. This film has a 100% “fresh” critics rating on Cleveland premiere. Subtitles. DCP. 102 min.
Thursday, December 15, at 8:50 pm &
Friday, December 16, at 7:15 pm
USA, 2015, Terrence Malick
Terence Malick’s recent feature stars Christian Bale as a successful Hollywood screenwriter undergoing a spiritual crisis. He finds some solace in the women and excesses of Hollywood, but real meaningfulness proves elusive. Dismissed by many critics as mannered, sexist, and something of a self-parody, Malick’s lyrical but corrosive take on the movie industry also has its defenders, like The New Yorker’s Richard Brody, who calls it "one of the great recent bursts of cinematic artistry.” With Cate Blanchett, Antonio Banderas, Natalie Portman, Freida Pinto, et al. DCP. 118 min.
Friday, December 16, at 9:35 pm
See 12/15 at 6:45 for description
Saturday, December 17, at 5:00 pm &
Sunday, December 18, at 8:20 pm
Film Classics in 35mm!
A John Ford Christmas!
USA, 1948, John Ford
This color John Ford classic is one of the darnedest, strangest Westerns you’ll ever see (and even has a holiday angle)! Three outlaws (John Wayne, Pedro Armendáriz, Harry Carey, Jr.), on the run from a posse, are waylaid when they encounter a lone pregnant woman in the desert. To say more would spoil the surprises. With Ford favorites Ward Bond, Mildred Natwick, Jane Darwell, Guy Kibbee, and Ben Johnson. 106 min. Special admission $11; members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, and those age 25 & under $8; no passes, twofers, or radio winners.
Saturday, December 17, at 7:10 pm
The Films of Straub-Huillet
Double Feature!
Italy/France/Germany, 1999, Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub
Germany/France, 1996, Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub
Two short features by Straub-Huillet. The first is a compact adaptation of Elio Vittorini’s 1939 anti-fascist novel Conversation in Sicily (banned by Mussolini) in which a man returns to his Sicilian hometown after 15 years away. It was shot in luminous b&w by the great cinematographer William Lubtchansky. “Something as simple as a herring roasting on a hearth, or a meal of bread, wine and winter melon, takes on the humble aura of a Caravaggio painting in this masterful film…Straub-Huillet extol ordinary Sicilians who are poor of means but rich in spirit.” –The Museum of Modern Art. Subtitles. 35mm. 66 min. The second is a film version of Arnold Schoenberg’s rarely performed one-act opera, a withering portrait of a suffocating bourgeois marriage. Subtitles. 35mm. 62 min. Special admission $12; members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, and those age 25 & under $9; no passes, twofers, or radio winners.
Saturday, December 17, at 9:40 pm &
Sunday, December 18, at 4:15 pm
Israel, 2016, Elite Zexer
A story about modern Bedouins, made by a first-time Israeli female director, is Israel’s official submission for next year’s foreign-film Oscar. In a village in the Israeli desert, two Bedouin women—a mother and her teen daughter—each struggle for freedom in a society that is both repressive and tradition-bound, and changing. When her husband Suliman decides to take a young woman as his second wife, humiliated first wife Jalila is expected to help prepare (and later clean up) the wedding celebration. Meanwhile, daughter Layla, the apple of her father’s eye, goes to college, has a cell phone, and is learning to drive. But Jalila freaks out when she discovers that Layla is romantically involved with a young man at school, subverting her arranged marriage. “A tale of a mother and daughter trapped in a cycle of yearning and despair…A lovely, deeply affecting film.” –New York Magazine. Cleveland premiere. Arabic with subtitles. DCP. 87 min.
Sunday, December 18, at 6:30 pm
Pioneers of African-American Cinema
New Digital Restoration!
USA, 1938, Oscar Micheaux
In this sound drama by seminal African American filmmaker Oscar Micheaux (see 11/12 at 5 pm), a Harvard-educated black man returns to the segregated 1930s South to establish a school. There he encounters racist attitudes and family strife. Preceded at 6:30 by Michaeux’s 18-min. Darktown Revue (1931), a panoply of Harlem Renaissance nightclub and vaudeville acts, including comedians, a choir, and a bizarre African American monologist in blackface. Cleveland revival premiere. DCP. Total 91 min.
Sunday, December 18, at 8:20 pm
See 12/17 at 5:00 for description
NO FILMS DEC. 19 – JAN. 4;

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