05/23/2014 – 05/29/2014

FRIDAY, MAY 23

Nosferatu

NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE    11:59PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    1979    107 mins.    DCP

Nosferatu the Vampyre cannot be confined to the category of ‘horror film.’ It is about dread itself, and how easily the unwary can fall into evil. It is a film of remarkable beauty, but makes no effort to attract or visually coddle us. There is often something fearful and awesome in Herzog’s depiction of nature. It is not uplifting so much as remorseless. I wonder if Kinski himself believed this was a role he was born to play.” – Roger Ebert, The Great Movies

 

A STAR IS BORN    7PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1954    154 mins.    35mm

A Star is Born is a tragedy. Not only for obvious reasons intra- and extratextual, but for its ability to capture the drudgery of machine-tooled Hollywood at the height of the studio era as it turned to face the threat of television, and the collateral of careers and dreams this transition left in its wake. It’s a glorious mess, unwieldy and top-heavy. But once you see it, you’ll be thinking about it for days.” – Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central

 

SANSHO THE BAILIFF    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1954    124 mins.    35mm

“Told with the stark simplicity of a fairy tale, Sansho The Bailiff demonstrates how compassion can overcome the forces of hatred and oppression, and shows how trying it is to remain decent and humane in an inhospitable world. Tragedy and transcendence are equally present, and their coexistence produces one of the most profoundly moving final scenes in film history.” – Scott Tobias, The A.V. Club

 

HOMETOWN    9:30PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1930    75 mins.    35mm

“In many ways Hometown is (or could have been) a Japanese The Jazz Singer. It has a similar early silent/sound hybrid style. It has characters who are torn between similar career conflicts. In The Jazz Singer Al Jolson must decide between being a jazz singer or a cantor. In Hometown the conflict is between art and the fame associated with popular music. In both cases the effects of the choices are felt on the people surrounding the singer.” – Donato Totaro, OffScreen

 

THE KID    7PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1921    68 mins.    35mm

“Frankly, it plays rather like a short with padding that distracts quite a bit from the film’s central tear-jerking dramatic question, which is whether the Tramp will be able to continue to care for the film’s titular abandoned child, played by five-year-old Jackie Coogan (who’s completely adorable and gives no indication whatsoever that he’s gonna grow up to be Uncle Fester, for heaven’s sake).” – Glenn Kenny, MUBI Notebook

 

BACK TO THE FUTURE    11:59PM    At Kendall Square Cinema. 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge MA 02139    1985    116 mins.    Digital Video

“While Zemeckis and Gale’s screenplay features plot galore, broad humor, and winking jokes that contrast the Eisenhower ’50s and the Reagan ’80s, it anchors everything in Marty’s burgeoning awareness that his parents, and indeed everybody in town, are human and flawed. As loud, fast, and spectacular as Back To The Future is, its tone is sweetly knowing. It’s a big movie with a small movie’s personality.” – Matt Zoller Seitz, Moving Image Source

 

SATURDAY, MAY 24

Mr Deeds

MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN    9PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1936    115 mins.    35mm

Gary Cooper created his most classically chivalrous comic character as Longfellow Deeds, the big-hearted small-town hero who inherits a fortune and tries to use it for the greater good. Capra makes you nostalgic for the time when mass comedy could be delicately calibrated, with gags building from scene to scene and within each scene. It’s a high point of American populist comedy.” – Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun

 

THE MATINEE IDOL    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1928    66 mins.    35mm

Long believed lost until a print turned up in France and was beautifully restored, Capra’s silent comedy contains much that anticipates his later flair. A Broadway star stumbles on a travelling theatrical troupe of hilarious ineptitude, and hires them for a cheap laugh to appear in the big city. The cruelty of the conceit is happily defused by the exuberant playing of Bessie Love, one of the screen’s great comediennes of the ’20s and ’30s.” – David Thomson, Time Out London

 

NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE    11:59PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    1979    107 mins.    DCP

See above.

 

BACK TO THE FUTURE    11:59PM    At Kendall Square Cinema. 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge MA 02139    1985    116 mins.    Digital Video

See above.

 

SUNDAY, MAY 25

The Story Of The

THE STORY OF THE LAST CHRYSANTHEMUMS    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1939    143 mins.    35mm

“This key work in the development of Kenji Mizoguchi has been hailed as his first masterpiece. It reflects two of his most prominent themes, the battle against social limitations and the oppression of women. Stylistically, it represents the first flowering of his trademark style, the use of long takes and fluid traveling shots to provide an almost invisible window into the lives of his characters.” – Rob Nixon, Turner Classic Movies

 

CITY LIGHTS    3:15PM & 7PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1931    87 mins.    35mm

“Today, the subject of City Lights is more clearly seen as the Tramp himself, precariously balanced between the domains of comedy and tragedy. Charlie is his own Don Quixote and his own Sancho Panza. A knight and a knave, a fool both damned and divine. Ultimately, Chaplin is the most satisfying of comedians because he is the most harmonious.” – Andrew Sarris, New York Observer

 

THE CIRCUS    1:30PM, 5:15PM & 9PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1928    71 mins.    35mm

“It’s easy to kick around words like ‘masterpiece,’ and like most movie critics, I probably do it too much. Be that as it may, if you’ve never seen The Circus before (as I hadn’t) it’s a thoroughly delightful discovery. It’s a brilliant combination of light and darkness, tenderness and violence and, yes, laughter and tears. If I see no better movie this year, I’ll be very happy with this one.” – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

 

SANSHO THE BAILIFF    4PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1954    124 mins.    35mm

See above.

 

MONDAY, MAY 26

Dirty Dancing

DIRTY DANCING    7PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    1987        100 mins.    35mm

“The movie is many things at once: a distaff coming-of-age story, a Marxist parable of dancing and sex as simultaneously class-reaffirming and class-leveling forces, a period piece, as well as a backstage musical, with an unwanted pregnancy enabling the aspiring performer to get her big break and shine (thus replacing the traditional 42nd Street ankle injury). Dirty Dancing is still the ultimate, filth-free teenage dream.” – Michał Oleszczyk, The House Next Door

 

MODERN TIMES    2:30PM & 7PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1936    87 mins.    35mm

“More than any previous Chaplin film, albeit setting the precedent for all subsequent ones, Modern Times was a statement—Chaplin’s conscious, if sentimental, attempt to locate his alter ego in the context of class struggle. The movie oscillates between delightful and cloying. Still, Modern Times remains Chaplin’s most sustained burlesque of authority: It’s replete with strikes and police riots.” – J. Hoberman, The Village Voice

 

TUESDAY, MAY 27

The Gold Rush

THE GOLD RUSH    5PM & 9PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1925    88 mins.    35mm

“The comic soul of the film is, in fact, quite black, even if Chaplin exploits every opportunity (beautifully) to transform the environment into a vaudeville stage. He makes the town funny, but retains its barbarism. Some accuse the director of succumbing to sentimentality, but he’s never less sublime than when he reaches for ridiculous, grandiose highs in romance, coincidence, and naked emotion.” – Jaime N. Christley, Slant Magazine

 

MODERN TIMES    7PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1936    87 mins.    35mm

See above.

 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 28

West Side Story

WEST SIDE STORY    3PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1961    152 mins.    DCP

To Sondheim, West Side Story is about the theater, and nothing else. Creator/choreographer Jerome Robbins and composer Leonard Bernstein set out to shred the conventions of song-and-dance stagecraft in order to find newer, more abstract ways of conveying raw emotion, and for the movie, Robbins and co-director Robert Wise continued the experimentWest Side Story works best as a spectacle of color and movement.” – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

 

THURSDAY, MAY 29

An American In Paris

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS    4:30PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1951    113 mins.    35mm

“The picture takes on its glow of magic when Miss Caron is on the screen. Why this should be is fairly obvious. Miss Caron is not a beauteous thing, in the sense of classic features, but she has a sweet face and a most delightful smile. Furthermore, she has winsomeness, expression and youthful dignity—and she can dance like a gossamer wood-sprite on the edge of a petal at dawn.” – Bosley Crowther, The New York Times

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