University of California, Berkeley Art Museum
Pacific Film Archive
In-person appearances, special series, and premieres:
A Thousand Decisions in the Dark: A Film Series with David Thomson
Thursdays, January 18, 25, February 1, 8, 15, 22.
Join us for enjoyable and stimulating screenings and discussions with author and film critic David Thomson, whom The Atlantic Monthly called the "greatest living film critic and historian" and the San Francisco Chronicle named "the best writer about the movies." Thomson, who was born in London and lives in San Francisco, is renowned as the author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film; the recently published biography, Nicole Kidman; Showman: The Life of David O. Selznick; Rosebud: The Story of Orson Welles; Warren Beatty and Desert Eyes and the novels Suspects and Silver Light. He contributes film commentary and criticism to The New York Times, Film Comment, Movieline, The New Republic, The Independent (U.K.), and Salon. We are delighted to welcome him to PFA with a selection of six films-Vertigo, Touch of Evil, Rio Bravo, Some Like It Hot, Pierrot le Fou, and Bonnie and Clyde-that illuminate his ideas about how the movies changed in the late fifties when, as he notes:
". . . classical Hollywood was in ruins-both as a business and as a way of telling stories. And so a group of films appeared-without any organizing principle-in which it was evident that such old codes as genre, suspense, comedy, happy ending, and stardom were being abandoned. . ." These films are also great fun, chosen by Thomson "because our shared knowledge of the movies will help generate a freer conversation."
The Lubitsch Touch
January 12, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, February 1, 3, 4, 9, 16.
Maker of some of the greatest comedies in Hollywood history, Ernst Lubitsch (1892-1947) was a master of elegant innuendo and sophisticated, cynical humor tempered with a sympathetic humanism. This series of 21 archival rarities and fine studio prints, from early German silents to 1940s masterworks, is a chance to experience the ineffable visual wit known as "the Lubitsch touch." On Sunday, January 21, Stefan Drössler, director of the Munich Filmmuseum, will give an illustrated lecture, focusing on Lubitsch's last two years in Germany and his subsequent move to Hollywood. Having worked in Max Reinhardt's theater company from 1911 to 1918, Lubitsch began his directing career with extravagant historical films (such as Madame Dubarry, which made Pola Negri an international star) and social comedies such as The Oyster Princess and the gender-bending I Don't Want to be a Man. In 1922, Mary Pickford brought him to the U.S., where he became famous for elegant and "continental" comedies and musicals, including Angel, starring Marlene Dietrich as the bored wife of a diplomat, Monte Carlo, and The Marriage Circle and its musical remake One Hour With You. Lubitsch's deft blend of worldliness and warmth can be seen in such films as the sparkling Trouble in Paradise, the beloved The Shop Around the Corner, Ninotchka, starring Greta Garbo, and Heaven Can Wait, his first color film.
A Theater Near You
January 11, 13, February 10, 11, 17.
Our ongoing repertory series offers East Bay audiences a choice selection of recent restorations and revivals. This season brings a pair of French crime classics by Jean-Pierre Melville: the moving Army of Shadows, based on recollections of members of the French Resistance, and Le Cercle rouge, a wonderful jewelry-store heist film starring Alain Delon, Yves Montand and Gian-Maria Volonté. We offer a new print of Satantango, Hungarian director Béla Tarr's legendary 7.5-hour epic set in a hapless post-Communist countryside. PFA's Jason Sanders calls this an "opus of melancholia . . . not so much a film as a place to visit, or stay." Additionally, we present the East Bay premiere of a twisted fairy tale, The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes by the eccentric animators The Brothers Quay, as well as their earlier feature Institute Benjamenta and two programs of new prints of their haunting short films.
African Film Festival
January 28, February 2, 18.
Vibrant voices and visions from recent African cinema, including the winner of UNICEF's Special Award for Children's Rights, A Child's Love Story, set in Dakar, Senegal. Winner of the Golden Bear at the 2005 Berlin Festival, U-Carmen eKhayelitsha translates the opera Carmen into Xhosa and sets it in Cape Town, South Africa. Also from South Africa is Conversations on a Sunday Afternoon, which touchingly melds a love of literature with a search for an elusive heroine and the stories of folks encountered on the streets of Johannesburg. The Night of Truth, from Burkina Faso, is an original and stylized vision of tragic conflicts. The festival also includes a program of short films, one of which centers on a letter to Santa from a young boy in Dakar.
Movie Matinees for All Ages
Saturdays, January 20, February 10, 24.
A wonderful way to introduce young people to the joys of the big-screen cinematic experience, and for us all to rediscover the pleasures of a Saturday afternoon at the movies. Our winter presentations are A Hard Day's Night, Harold Lloyd in Safety Last, and the 1962 Japanese battle of the titans, King Kong vs. Godzilla.
Human Rights Watch International Film Festival 2007
February 23, 24, 25.
The annual festival presented by the renowned advocacy organization Human Rights Watch presents truly committed cinema made by courageous filmmakers around the world. This year's program offers perhaps the finest film about the U.S. occupation of Iraq: My Country, My Country by onetime PFA intern and accomplished documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras; exposes the human cost of oil pipelines in Burma (Total Denial) and Baku, Azerbaijan (Source); and examines civil disobedience against the Vietnam War-era draft (The Camden 28), and the economics of coffee as a commodity (Black Gold). Films from the HRWIFF will also be shown on March 1, 8, 15, and 22 at Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco.
Yoko Ono: Imagine Film
Tuesdays, January 16, 23, 30, February 13.
In conjunction with the BAM gallery exhibition, Yoko Ono: Grapefruit, PFA presents four nights devoted to Ono's conceptually playful film work, focusing on her collaborations with John Lennon.
Together Again: Collectively Created Compilations
January 17, 24, February 7, 14, 21.
These inventive videos have been created by groups of artists working from a shared theme, aesthetic strategy, or specific directives. The projects range from rollicking responses to Marlo Thomas's iconic 1970s children's album Free to Be . . . You and Me, through cantankerous critiques of U.S. policy, to a repurposing of stock footage that is anything but generic.
Then, Not Nauman: Conceptualists of the Early Seventies
January 31, February 28.
Two programs of early 1970s conceptual video by Vito Acconci, John Baldessari, William Wegman, and others provide context for Bruce Nauman's work in the BAM exhibition A Rose Has No Teeth.
Tuesdays, February 6, 20, 27.
Three recent avant-garde films: Bill Brown's The Other Side, made along the U.S.-Mexico border, and artists William E. Jones and Sharon Lockhart in person with their respective films v. o. and Pine Flat.
Film 50: History of Cinema
Wednesday Matinees, January 17, 24, 31, February 7, 14, 21, 28, and continuing through May 2.
If you want to explore the history and aesthetics of film, this popular film-lecture series is the place to start. Film 50 is an undergraduate UC Berkeley course open to the public as space permits, with lectures by Marilyn Fabe. Films presented and analyzed in January and February include King Vidor's Show People, Billy Wilder's Sunset Blvd., and Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly's great musical Singin' in the Rain.
General admission to PFA screenings is $8 for one program, and $12 for double bills. BAM/PFA members and UC Berkeley students are admitted for $4/$8; UCB faculty and staff, non-UCB students, seniors, disabled persons and young people 17 and under, $5/$9. Tickets can be purchased from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the UC Berkeley Art Museum admissions desk, 2626 Bancroft Way; evenings at the PFA Theater Box Office; or by telephoning (510) 642-5249. Taped program information can be heard by telephoning (510) 642-1124. For additional ticket or program information, please call (510) 642-1412, or visit http://bampfa.berkeley.edu