All films will be shown in 35mm and will begin at 8 pm
Au revoir au Monet
Army of Shadows (1969) Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. Simone Signoret, Lino Ventura (140 min).
Melville looked back on his own youth in the French Resistance’s clandestine war against the Nazis in this film only recently released in the U.S, undoubtedly, the most highly praised film of 2006. “Bleak and beautiful by turns, that rare work of art that thrills the senses and the mind.”—New York Times. Film Notes for Army of Shadows.
British Film Classics
The Fallen Idol (1948) Directed by Carol Reed. Ralph Richardson, Michele Morgan, Bobby Henrey (95 min).
Baines, the butler at the French Embassy in London, has a shrewish wife, a furtive lover, and a fierce admirer in the lonely little boy who unknowingly betrays him. Reed is best known for The Third Man, and this Hitchcock-style collaboration with writer Graham Greene is clever and nerve-wracking. Film Notes for The Fallen Idol.
Black Narcissus (1947) Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Deborah Kerr, David Farrar, Jean Simmons, Sabu (101 min).
A group of English nuns in the remote Himalaya struggle with faith, isolation and erotic repression—a place where a tube of lipstick is like a bolt of lightening. Cinematographer Jack Cardiff won an Oscar for the claustrophobic Technicolor convent, stunningly recreated in the studio’s tight confines. Introduced by Marsha Orgeron, NC State Film Studies.
Tokyo Story (1953) Directed by Yasujiro Ozu. Chishu Ryu, Chieko Higashiyama. (136 min).
An elderly couple travel arduously to the city to visit their grown children, whose busy lives exclude their aging parents. This sublime film, made late in the director’s career is filled with melancholy and affirmation, “the supreme masterpiece of one of the cinema's greatest masters.”—London Guardian. Film Notes for Tokyo Story.
Electric Shadows (2004) Directed by Xiao Jiang. Xia Lu, Jiang, Yihong (99 min.) Mandarin with English subtitles.
An obsessive love for the few movies allowed during China’s Cultural Revolution forms a powerful bond between two small town youngsters. This debutante feature by a female director is, “Enthralling…evokes the world experienced by two children who are so close that they are able share the same enchanted fantasy.”—New York Times. Film notes for Electric Shadows.
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957) Directed by Frank Tashlin. Jayne Mansfield, Tony Randall, Joan Blondell, Henry Jones. (93 min).
Desperate to retain the Stay Put Lipstick account, an ad man feigns a romance with sexpot Rita Marlowe. Director Tashlin was a Looney Toons auteur before bending his knack for eye garish surrealism to a human cast. “Tashin is the original pop culture Pop Artist.”—J. Hoberman. Film Notes for Will Success...?
Champagne for Caesar (1950) Directed by Richard Whorf. Ronald Colman, Celeste Holm, Vincent Price, Art Linkletter, Barbara Britton and Mel Blanc as Caesar. (99min.)
Mild mannered professor Beauregard Bottomley is refused a job by the owner of Milady Soap (a loony Vincent Price). Bottomley plots revenge; he’ll break the bank on the quiz show they sponsor, Masquerading for Money. This hilarious satire’s rib of big business dates from television's infancy. Film notes for Champagne for Caesar.
Lonesome Rhodes, a country boy with the gift of gab, is discovered by an ambitious producer and catapulted into, and corrupted by, television fame. A Face in the Crowd was ahead of its time in anticipating mass media power; a cautionary tale that many 1950s reviewers viewed as both unrealistic and unpatriotic. Introduced by David Fellerath, Indy Arts Editor and Film Critic. Film Notes for A Face in the Crowd.
China Syndrome (1979) Directed by James Bridges, Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas.
Crusading reporters suspect a meltdown looms at a nuclear power plant in this Watergate era thriller, released 12 days before the accident at Three Mile Island. Fonda and Lemmon were both nominated for Oscars, “well-acted, well-crafted, scary as hell”--Roger Ebert. Introduced by Devin Orgeron of the NC State Film Studies Dept.
Network (1976) Directed by Sidney Lumet. Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch.
Paddy Chayefsky’s satire of television news has become self-fulfilling prophecy and newscaster Howard Beale’s lament, “I’m not going to take it anymore” has entered the lexicon. “Two decades later, this iconic American New Wave renegade text is even more startling than it once was—was Hollywood ever this cerebral, this caustic, this ethically apocalyptic?”—Village Voice. Film Notes for Network.
Films from the Library of Congress
Thanks to Mike Mashon for the loan of the prints and the Film Foundation for funding restorations.
Sparrows (1926) Directed by William Beaudine. Mary Pickford, Roy Stewart, Gustav von Seyffertitz (84 min).
A plucky orphan rescues her fellow inmates from a Dickensian “baby farm” in this adventurous melodrama. “Sparrows is horrifically good—a bad dream that wakens to a happy ending, a fairy tale told with brilliant style, a comedy, a Grand Guignol, an expressionist thriller (Eileen Whitfield). Live music by Maestro David Drazin.
Mary Pickford was America’s Sweetheart, The Woman Who Made Hollywood, the beloved wife of another silent film superstar, Douglas Fairbanks, a superb actress, a hard-nosed business woman. She was an international celebrity starting in 1909, and with Fairbanks and Charles Chaplin, at the vanguard of a passionate fan interest in the lives of celebrities that had never been possible before at a global level. But, her appeal was not just her delicate beauty, her superb comic abilities, her dramatic command of the silent screen, and her renowned marriage. She was loved for a particularly American reason, her democratic belief that to be poor was more ennobling than to be rich. Her boisterous heroines triumphed over adversity and in an era just emerging from one that believed a proper lady was to be worshiped on a pedestal, she was spunky, brave, determined and independent, qualities that also defined Pickford in real life. And, of course, the woman who showed the world and idealized childhood, never had a childhood she could call her own, other than that on the screen. Film Notes for Sparrows.
Old Dark House (1932) Directed by James Whale. Boris Karloff, Charles Laughton, Gloria Stuart, Raymond Massey
On a dark and stormy night benighted travelers are stranded in a lunatic-filled mansion. Whale and Karloff, fresh off their monster hit, Frankenstein are aided by silky Gloria Stuart, Oscar nominated as Titanic’s old Rose. “The fun is how adroitly Whale tightropes between droll nonsense…and the macabre. Grade: A. --Entertainment Weekly. Film Notes for The Old Dark House.
Footlight Parade (1933) Directed by Busby Berkeley. James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell
Berkeley’s dazzling masterpiece has racy Pre-Code dialogue, Cagney (the best actor he ever worked with) and full indulgence of an obsession with chorine geography. The wisp of a plot involves the brief vogue for staged prologues before new-fangled talking pictures, and concludes with three massive production numbers of sharply escalating nuttiness. Film notes for Footlight Parade.
All films will be shown in 35mm prints and begin at 8:00 pm.
The galleries and the Blue Ridge Restaurant will be open prior to screenings
Box Office: (919) 715-5923
Tickets: $5.00/$3.50 NCMA Members
Series Passes $35/$25 NCMA Members
Introductions are by Film Curator Laura Boyes unless otherwise noted.
For more information about the NC Museum of Art: ncartmuseum.org