Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Nine "landmark films by women" coming to the Cinematheque

[Press release from the Cleveland Cinematheque.]

Nine major movies by six groundbreaking female filmmakers will light up the screen at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque from January 14 through February 25 in the series "The Female Gaze: Landmark Films by Women."

All programs will be screened in the Peter B. Lewis Theater of 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, those with CIA or CSU I.D. cards, or those age 25 & under $7. Free parking for filmgoers is available in Lot 73 and in the Institute's Annex Lot, both accessed from E. 117th Street off Euclid Avenue. For further information, visit, call (216) 421-7450, or send an email to Cinematheque programs are supported by Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.

January 14 - February 25, 2017
Eight major films by six groundbreaking female filmmakers from the U.S., France, and Belgium have been recently restored and re-released. We show them in this series, along with another classic by a Hollywood pioneer.

SAT        1/14      7:15 PM                THE DUMB GIRL OF PORTICI & SHOES
SAT        1/21      5:00 PM                DANCE, GIRL, DANCE
SUN      1/22      6:30 PM                DANCE, GIRL, DANCE
THU      1/26      6:45 PM                LE BONHEUR (HAPPINESS)
SAT        1/28      5:00 PM                LE BONHEUR (HAPPINESS)
SAT        2/4        5:00 PM                DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST
SUN      2/5        6:30 PM                DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST
THU      2/9        6:45 PM                THE WATERMELON WOMAN
FRI          2/17      9:00 PM                JE TU IL ELLE (I YOU HE SHE) & NEWS FROM HOME
MON    2/20      6:45 PM                JE TU IL ELLE (I YOU HE SHE) & NEWS FROM HOME
SAT        2/25      7:00 PM                SMITHEREENS

Saturday, January 14, at 7:15 pm
Double Feature!
USA, 1916, Lois Weber, Phillips Smalley
USA, 1916, Lois Weber, Phillips Smalley
Two silent films by Lois Weber (1879-1939), the leading female director of early Hollywood, have been newly restored for their 100th anniversary. The Dumb Girl of Portici is not only the first screen epic directed by a woman, it's also the only film starring the legendary Russian ballet dancer and choreographer Anna Pavlova, one of the superstars of her day. Pavlova plays a mute girl, living in Spanish-occupied 17th-century Naples, who is seduced and abandoned by a Spanish nobleman, sparking a revolution. Pavlova's energy, face, and grace are something to behold, and the elaborate movie itself boasts original color tints and a new score by John Sweeney. Tonight's second feature, Shoes, is considered Weber's masterpiece. It's the heartbreaking account of a hardworking shop girl-the only wage earner in her family of six-who contemplates prostitution in order to afford to buy a new pair of shoes. New score by Donald Sosin. Cleveland revival premiere. DCP. Total 168 min. Special admission $11; members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, and those age 25 & under $8; no passes, twofers, or radio winners.

Saturday, January 21, at 5:00 pm &
Sunday, January 22, at 6:30 pm
Film Classics in 35mm!
USA, 1940, Dorothy Arzner
Dorothy Arzner was the only female film director working in Hollywood during the 1930s; this 1940 comedy-drama is considered her masterpiece. It tells of two Broadway chorus girls-one (Maureen O'Hara) an aspiring ballerina, the other (Lucille Ball) a burlesque hottie-who fall for the same wealthy playboy. Selected for the Library of Congress' National Film Registry in 2007, the movie boasts prescient feminist attitudes about the objectification of women. 35mm. 90 min. Special admission $11; members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, and those age 25 & under $8; no passes, twofers, or radio winners.

Thursday, January 26, at 6:45 pm &
Saturday, January 28, at 5:00 pm
New Digital Restoration!
France, 1965, Agnès Varda
A happily married young husband, living in the country with his dressmaker wife and two small children, begins an affair with an attractive postal clerk. But he feels he can love both women at the same time. Agnès Varda's sunny, beautifully photographed French New Wave classic is almost insipidly "pretty," with a cheerful color palate and music by Mozart that seem to run counter to the self-centeredness and infidelity on display. Subtitles. DCP. 80 min.

Saturday, February 4, at 5:00 pm &
Sunday, February 5, at 6:30 pm
New Digital Restoration!
USA, 1991, Julie Dash
The first feature by an African-American woman to receive a wide theatrical release is also one of the most beautiful color movies ever made. (This 25th anniversary restoration, done in conjunction with UCLA and overseen by cinematographer Arthur Jafa, should look stunning.) Set at the dawn of the 20th century, the film centers on a multi-generational family in the Gullah community on the Sea Islands off South Carolina. There these former West African slaves with many of their ancestors' Yoruba traditions contemplate leaving their economically depressed island for the growing northern industrial cities on the mainland. But how will they maintain their cultural heritage and folklore when they migrate even further from their roots? "The film stands as a landmark achievement not only in black cinema, but in independent cinema." -Sight & Sound. Cleveland revival premiere. DCP. 112 min.

Thursday, February 9, at 6:45 pm
New Digital Restoration!
USA, 1996, Cheryl Dunye
The first film directed by an African American lesbian is a breezy independent comedy that's been restored and re-released for its 20th anniversary. The movie follows Philadelphia video store clerk Cheryl (director Dunye) as she researches the life of a forgotten, 1930s black actress for a film she's making. Known as the "Watermelon Woman," this performer was relegated to "mammy" roles. Cheryl is also involved in her own race relations via a budding romance with a white woman (Guinevere Turner of Go Fish ). "A witty exploration of black American culture, past and present." -Time Out Film Guide. Cleveland revival premiere. DCP. 90 min.

Friday, February 17, at 9:00 pm &
Monday, February 20, at 6:45 pm
Double Feature!
New Digital Restorations!
France/Belgium, 1974, Chantal Akerman
France/Belgium/W. Germany, 1977, Chantal Akerman Two key works by the late, great Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman. The director herself stars in her minimalist first feature, Je Tu Il Elle. Reminiscent of early Fassbinder, it's the stark tale of an isolated young woman who writes love letters in her spartan apartment and ventures out only for two sexual encounters. News from Home, made after Akerman moved to New York City, juxtaposes evocative images of 1970s Manhattan with Akerman's voiceover reading of plaintive, sometimes scolding letters from her mother in Brussels. It's a haunting portrait of absence and homesickness. Cleveland revival premiere. Subtitles. DCP. Total 171 min.

Saturday, February 25, at 7:00 pm
Film Classics in 35mm!
USA, 1982, Susan Seidelman
Early 1980s Lower East Side New York is vividly rendered in Susan (Desperately Seeking Susan) Seidelman's debut feature, the first American independent film to compete for the Palme d'Or at Cannes. The movie follows a self-absorbed New Jersey girl (Susan Berman) who moves to Manhattan determined to break into the punk music scene. Richard Hell co-stars; music by The Feelies. "An energetic poem to late 1970s SoHo." -The Rough Guide to Film. New color print! Cleveland revival premiere. 90 min.

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