Film 50: History of Cinema

1/22/14 to 5/7/14

BAM/PFA and the UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media copresent the film-lecture course Film 50, now celebrating its twenty-first year. This year's course, taught by Emily Carpenter, showcases an exciting lineup of world cinema classics. Open to the public as space permits.

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Past Films

  • The Five Obstructions

    • Wednesday, May 7 3:10PM

    Lars Von Trier, Jørgen Leth (Denmark, 2003). Lecture by Emily Carpenter. In this playfully profound documentary, Dogme demon Lars von Trier challenges great Dane filmmaker Jørgen Leth to remake The Perfect Human, his 1968 masterpiece, according to devious rules that test the elder statesman's creative and ethical limits. (90 mins)

  • After Life

    • Wednesday, April 30 3:10PM

    Hirokazu Kore-eda (Japan, 1999). Lecture by Emily Carpenter. Welcome to the afterlife of Kore-eda's remarkable film, where a busy crew of angels reenacts the favorite memories of the recently deceased. Entwining documentary and reality, After Life is, as Kore-eda states, "a film about memory, and also a film about what it means to make films." (115 mins)

  • My Own Private Idaho

    • Wednesday, April 23 3:10PM

    Gus Van Sant (U.S., 1991). Lecture by Emily Carpenter. Gus Van Sant's melancholic portrait of street hustlers in Portland follows a narcoleptic Mike (River Phoenix) and his best friend Scott (Keanu Reeves) as they embark on a journey to find Mike's mother. With “magnetic performances from Reeves and Phoenix" (Rolling Stone).

  • Contempt

    • Wednesday, April 16 3:10PM

    Jean-Luc Godard (France, 1963). New Digital Restoration! Lecture by Emily Carpenter. Godard's Homeric homage to Fritz Lang, “one of the defining moments of modernist filmmaking”(Film Comment). With Brigitte Bardot, Michel Piccoli, Jack Palance, and Fritz Lang himself. (103 mins)

  • Il posto

    • Wednesday, April 9 3:10PM

    Ermanno Olmi (Italy, 1961). Lecture by Emily Carpenter. Olmi's humane, funny, and heartbreaking portrait of a young man embarking on his first job in Milan captures the alienation and regimentation of the working world. (93 mins)

  • La Pointe Courte

    • Wednesday, April 2 3:10PM

    Agnès Varda (France, 1954). New 35mm print! Lecture by Emily Carpenter. Made outside the French film industry on a shoestring budget, Varda's 1954 debut about two reunited lovers in a Mediterranean fishing port has been called “truly the first film of the nouvelle vague.” (90 mins)

  • Los olvidados

    • Wednesday, March 19 3:10PM

    Luis Buñuel (Mexico, 1950). New 35mm Print! Lecture by Emily Carpenter. Luis Buñuel's unsentimental portrait of slum kids in Mexico City. “Its matter-of-fact brilliance continues to astonish” (BBC). (88 mins)

  • Umberto D.

    • Wednesday, March 12 3:10PM

    Vittorio De Sica (Italy, 1952). Lecture by Emily Carpenter. De Sica's “simple, almost Chaplinesque story of a man fighting to preserve his dignity is even more moving for its firm grasp of everyday activities. . . . A truly great film” (Chicago Reader). (89 mins)

  • Early Summer

    • Wednesday, March 5 3:10PM

    Yasujiro Ozu (Japan, 1951). Lecture by Emily Carpenter. "I was interested in getting much deeper than just the story itself; I wanted to depict the cycles of life, the transience of life" (Ozu). An exquisite, faintly melancholic portrait of a family, with the radiant Setsuko Hara as the daughter on whose marriage everything depends. (135 mins)

  • There's Always Tomorrow

    • Wednesday, February 26 3:10PM

    Douglas Sirk (U.S., 1956). Lecture by Emily Carpenter. Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray rekindle an old flame in Douglas Sirk's wonderful, melancholy melodrama that "demolishes the social fantasy of the 'happy home'” (Time Out). (84 mins)

  • Citizen Kane

    • Wednesday, February 19 3:10PM

    Orson Welles (U.S., 1941). Lecture by Emily Carpenter. A childhood memory is the ultimate red herring in Welles's audacious debut, which still tops many critics' lists of the best films of all time. “Inventing modern cinema is a tough act to follow,” Welles remarked later in his career. (119 mins)

  • Singin' In the Rain

    • Wednesday, February 12 3:10PM

    Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly (U.S., 1952). Lecture by Emily Carpenter. Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds dance their way across the screen in one of the greatest American musicals of all time, set during Hollywood's transition from silent films to sound. (102 mins)

  • M

    • Wednesday, February 5 3:10PM

    Fritz Lang (Germany, 1931). Digital Restoration! Lecture by Emily Carpenter. A precursor to American film noir, Fritz Lang's masterpiece is a terrifying excursion into an urban underworld where it is difficult to distinguish morally between the activities of organized crime and law enforcement. With Peter Lorre. (99 mins)

  • The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

    • Wednesday, January 29 3:10PM

    Alfred Hitchcock (U.K., 1926). Digital Restoration! Judith Rosenberg on piano. Lecture by Emily Carpenter. Hitchcock's first foray into the thriller genre, starring Ivor Novello as the eponymous lodger who just may be a serial killer. The director himself called it “the first true Hitchcock movie.” (90 mins)

  • Introduction to Film Language plus Avant-Garde Shorts

    • Wednesday, January 22 3:10PM

    Lecture by Emily Carpenter. Several short avant-garde films demonstrate the creative potential of film as an expressive medium. Plus an introduction film terminology.