From the Archive: Treasures of Eastern European and Soviet Cinema

6/21/13 to 7/20/13

As a tribute to the late George Gund III, who passed away in January, we showcase a selection of 35mm films that he donated to BAM/PFA over the years. These works, from Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the Soviet Union, honor Gund's passion for Eastern European cinema and his great generosity to the Bay Area film community.

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Past Films

  • The Maple and Juliana

    • Saturday, July 20 6:30 pm

    Stefan Uher (Czechoslovakia, 1972). (Javor a Juliana). Three wandering musicians fashion instruments out of a maple tree haunted by the spirit of a lovelorn girl, and are cursed as a result, in this fairy tale-cum-social allegory from Slovak director Uher (Sunshine in a Net). (92 mins)

  • And Give My Love to the Swallows

    • Friday, July 19 8:45 pm

    Jaromil Jires (Czechoslovakia, 1971). (A Pozdravuji Vlastovsky). Jires, famed for The Joke and Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, here adapts the experiences of a female Czech resistance fighter during WWII, who was imprisoned by the Nazis and sentenced to death. “Communicates an effect of spiritual intensity” (Peter Hames). (86 mins)

  • Five Evenings

    • Saturday, July 13 6:30 pm

    Nikita Mikhalkov (U.S.S.R., 1979). (Pyat vecherov). This classic by the great Mikhalkov (Dark Eyes) tells of the bittersweet reunion of former lovers who have been separated since Hitler's 1941 invasion of Russia. (100 mins)

  • Pastorale

    • Wednesday, July 10 7 pm

    Otar Iosseliani (U.S.S.R., 1975). In this exquisite film by Georgian director Otar Iosseliani, a string quartet's visit to a small village is treated with the gentle satire usually associated with the Czech New Wave. “Iosseliani is (Georgia's) greatest director” (Tom Luddy). (94 mins)

  • Photography

    • Saturday, June 29 6:30 pm

    Pál Zolnay (Hungary, 1974). (Fotográfia). Two photographers travel Hungary's back roads in this striking work about truth and photographic illusion. “Provokes serious thought about the nature of self-delusion, while never forgetting that people are still the most extraordinarily entertaining subject available to any filmmaker” (Variety). (80 mins)

  • The Cremator

    • Friday, June 28 9 pm

    Juraj Herz (Czechoslovakia, 1968). (Spalovac mrtvol). This eerie political horror-thriller recalls the German Expressionist works of Murnau and Lang as it follows a conscientious Prague cremator whose taste for the job dovetails with his new bosses: the invading Nazi army. One of the greatest, darkest films of the Czech New Wave. (100 mins)

  • The Girl

    • Friday, June 21 7 pm

    Márta Mészáros (Hungary, 1968). (Eltávozott nap). A lonely young working-class woman who has grown up in an orphanage seeks her real mother, only to find herself being passed off as a niece, in this Hungarian classic. (80 mins)

  • Love

    • Friday, June 21 8:40 pm

    Károly Makk (Hungary, 1971). (Szelerem). Winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes, Makk's Love is one of the great masterpieces of Hungarian cinema, “a marvelous film, made with a precision of eye and spirit which records real love” (New Yorker). During the Stalinist early fifties, an elderly woman romantically recalls her life and past loves. (86 mins)