Winter Film Series 2017

 

The Winter Film Series is piquantly peripatetic this season, celebrating Ingrid Berman’s 100th birthday, reflecting NCMA exhibits on Elizabethan portraiture and Ansel Adams landscapes, transporting us to the North Carolina mountains of the early 20th century and basking in the forbidden lust and corruption of mid-century Mexican noir.

January 6:

All About Eve (1950) Written and Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Gary Merrill, Celeste Holm, George Sanders and Marilyn Monroe (138 min)

An ageing (forty!)Broadway powerhouse begins to regret admitting a meek acolyte to her inner circle.  Witty and sophisticated, winner of Best Picture, Writer and Director Oscars, it’s been called the bitchiest film ever made.  Davis said, “Mankiewicz is a genius--the man responsible for the greatest role of my career. He resurrected me from the dead." Film Notes for All About Eve.

January 13:

Gaslight (1944) Directed by George Cukor.  Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, Joseph Cotton.  (114 min) DVD

Bergman won her first Oscar in this Victorian era gothic noir as Paula, an opera student who falls in love with a mysterious stranger. They move into the abandoned house of her murdered aunt, and Paula fears she is going mad…or is she?  Eighteen year old Angela Lansbury makes her film debut as a saucy Cockney maid.  “One of Bergman's best performances, with Boyer not too far behind, and Lansbury unforgettable...." (TimeOut Film Guide). Film Notes for Gaslight.

January 20:

Voyage to Italy (1954) Directed by Roberto Rossellini.  Ingrid Bergman, George Sanders, Maria Mauban (97 min). DCP

In the shadow of a dormant volcano, a bored married couple, searching for reasons to be irritated with one another, travel to Naples to sell a family villa. Bergman’s passion for serious filmmaking, and  director Rossellini, caused her to abandon Hollywood glitz for Neo-Realism  at the height of her career.  “Rossellini’s finest fiction film…a crucial work, truthful and mysterious” (The Chicago Reader). Film notes for Voyage to Italy

January 27:

Ingrid Bergman in Her Own Words (2015) Directed by Stig Bjorkman.  Ingrid Bergman, Isabella Rossellinni, Alicia Vikander (114 min). In Swedish, English, Italian and French with English subtitles. DCP

Based on her own home movies, notes, letters and diaries, and interviews with her children, this documentary provides a fascinating look at the private life of one of cinema’s most radiant stars, a modern woman who lived life on her own terms.  Fresh from triumphs at international film festivals, this film is “cinephile catnip” (Manhola Dargis New York Times).

February 3:

Chimes at Midnight (1965) Written and Directed by Orson Welles.  Orson Welles, Jeane Moreau, John Gielgud (115 min) DCP

Welles shuffles four Shakespeare plays to create a hero of the roistering John Falstaff, magnificently inappropriate mentor to kings. More than one critic praised this recent restoration as the greatest Shakespeare film ever made. “Strange and entrancing, at times dreamlike and distant, at others brutally realistic…gorgeously, heartbreakingly sad, shot through with romantic surrender and the ache of loss” (Timeout). Introduced by actor, teacher and former Falstaff, Carl Martin.

February 10:

Much Ado About Nothing (1993) Directed by Kenneth Branagh.  Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton.  (111 minutes)  35mm PG-13

Shimmering in golden Tuscan light, feuding singletons Benedick and Beatrice feint and parry wisecracks about the futility of romance while succumbing themselves. Branagh and Thompson bring their real-life love to energize the Bard’s merry screwball rom-com.   “Branagh, it’s obvious, is trying to make Shakespeare as glamorous and yummy-sexy as possible…This isn’t a movie — it’s a party” (Entertainment Weekly). Film notes for Much Ado

February 17:

The Taming of the Shrew (1967) Directed by Franco Zeffirelli.  Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Cyril Cusack. (122 min) DCP

A swaggering fortune hunter “tames” a spitfire heiress in Shakespeare’s troubling courtship/ brawl.  Exceptional Renaissance production design and a Nino Rota score adorn a film meant to capitalize on the fiery romantic chemistry between an experienced Shakespearean and an iconic Hollywood star. “They are refereed by Franco Zeffirelli out of the corner of one winking eye. And if any crusty customer doesn't like it—well, a pox on him!” (Bosley Crowther New York Times). Film notes for Taming of the Shrew.

February 24:

My Darling Clementine (1946) Directed by John Ford.  Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature (97 min) DCP

Masterful John Ford stages the gunfight at the OK Corral with chiaroscuro magnificence against Monument Valley.  The Earps vow vengeance against the sociopathic Clanton boys after a murder and cattle rustling, but Wyatt bides his time. …a great western because of exactly what it delivers that westerns normally didn't: a measure of emotional maturity, a sense of dread and cost in regards to violence, a notion of frontier life being difficult and soul-hardening  (tcm.com). Film notes for My Darling Clementine.

March 3:

Shane (1953) Directed by George Stevens. Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin.  (118 min) 35mm IB Technicolor print from the UNCSA Film Archive

The Grand Tetons loom over the farm of a sodbuster, his wife and son, and the weary gunfighter who rides in one day looking to escape his past.   The breathtaking Oscar-winning cinematography sets the stage for a dramatic life and death conflict. “Shane wears a white hat and Palance wears a black hat, but the buried psychology of this movie is a mottled, uneasy, fascinating gray”  (Roger Ebert). Film notes for Shane

March 10:

Stark Love (1927) Directed by Karl Brown. Helen Mundy, Forrest James, Reb Grogan. (70 min) 35mm print from MoMA. Live music by Nathan Shirley

.Filmed on location in Western NC, with a largely non-professional cast, by D. W. Griffith’s brilliant cinematographer, Stark Love provides a documentary window into rural life of a century ago.  A rough mountain man works his wife to death, and compels a neighbor girl to take her place, while his son seethes with outrage and desire. “One of the little-known masterpieces of American film” (J.W. Williamson in Hillbillyland). Film Notes for Stark Love.

March 17:

The Kneeling Goddess (La Diosa Arrodillada) (1947) Directed by Roberto Gavaldon.  Maria Felix, Arturo de Cordova, Fortunio Bonanova (107 min) In Spanish with English subtitles DCP

Smoldering diva Maria Felix, known as “la devoradora de hombres” the man-eater, models for a sensuous nude statue, and her beauty ensnares a respectable man married to a delicate invalid.  “The most outré of melodramas, it’s a movie of flagrant symbols, blatant coincidences and astounding scenes… A femme fatale to rival any from 1940s Hollywood, Félix embodies a moral ambiguity beyond good and evil” (J Hoberman  NY Times). Notes for The Kneeling Goddess.

March 24:

The Other One (La Otra) Directed by Roberto Gavaldon (1946) Dolores del Rio, Agustin Irusta, Victor Junco (98 min) In Spanish with English subtitles DCP

What would film noir be without the evil twin?  Hollywood refugee Dolores del Rio returns to her native Mexico for the meaty roles she could no longer land in tinseltown, like this one about struggling working girl’s obsession with her rich and heedless sister.  “La Otra is a cruel and perfect film, one that first gets you to sympathize with its working girl — the world tries to push Poor Twin, a manicurist, into prostitution — and then makes her the villain” (Village Voice). Film Notes for The Other One.

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All films are shown in 35mm when possible, check listings for format

Fridays at 8:00 pm unless noted

The galleries and Iris Restaurant will be open prior to screenings

Box Office: (919) 715-5923

Tickets to most films: $7.00/$5.00 NCMA Members

Special Events may have different pricing

Introductions are by Film Curator Laura Boyes unless otherwise noted.

For more information about the NC Museum of Art: ncartmuseum.org