Film 50: History of Cinema: The Cinematic City

1/23/13 to 5/1/13

This year, Film 50 focuses on the city, asking "What is it about the city that makes it such a rich subject for cinematic representation?" Films present the city variously as a dynamic visual attraction, a celebration of modernity, a dystopian nightmare, a psychic projection, or a vehicle for social commentary. A UC Berkeley course open to the public as space permits, with lectures by Marilyn Fabe (Department of Film and Media).

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Past Films

  • Manufactured Landscapes

    • Wednesday, May 1 3:10 pm

    Jennifer Baichwal (Canada, 2006). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. A pictorially ravishing tour of China's devastated industrial landscapes with photographer Edward Burtynsky. (90 mins)

  • The Truman Show

    • Wednesday, April 24 3:10 pm

    Peter Weir (U.S., 1998). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Jim Carrey stars as Truman Burbank, living a life completely planned (by the Hollywood producer of a reality show starring the unwitting Truman) in a completely planned community based on Seaside, Florida. (103 mins)

  • Touki Bouki

    • Wednesday, April 17 3:10 pm

    Djibril Diop-Mambéty (Senegal, 1973). Imported 35mm restored print! Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Two youths cruise the streets of Dakar on a motorbike, looking for adventure and scams, in this African Easy Rider, awash with the raw energy of urban Senegal and global psychedelic youth culture. “Surreal, richly sumptuous, quite extraordinary” (Telegraph UK). (88 mins)

  • Do the Right Thing

    • Wednesday, April 10 3:10 pm

    Spike Lee (U.S., 1989). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Lee's third feature, a lively, frequently hilarious but hard-hitting drama, charts mounting racial tensions on the hottest day of the year in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. “The funniest, most stylized, most visceral New York street scene this side of Scorseseland” (J. Hoberman, Village Voice). (120 mins)

  • Manhattan

    • Wednesday, April 3 3:10 pm

    Woody Allen (U.S., 1979). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Woody Allen's visual love poem to the city of his heart. With Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand's Manhatta. (107 mins)

  • The Battle of Algiers

    • Wednesday, March 20 3:10 pm

    Gillo Pontecorvo (Italy/Algeria, 1966). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. “Because of its perfect fusion of form and content, one of the most strikingly successful subversive films ever made (Amos Vogel).(123 mins)

  • Vertigo

    • Wednesday, March 13 3:10 pm

    Alfred Hitchcock (U.S., 1958). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Detective Jimmy Stewart combs the Bay Area looking for the secret behind Kim Novak's beauty in Hitchcock's sinister ode to voyeurism, death, and amorous fixation. “Perhaps the finest film starring San Francisco” (San Francisco Chronicle). (128 mins)

  • The 400 Blows

    • Wednesday, March 6 3:10 pm

    François Truffaut (France, 1959). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Truffaut's quintessential coming-of-age film is a lyrical but unsentimental portrait of adolescence and of Paris, naturalistically captured by cinematographer Henri Decaë. (99 mins)

  • The Third Man

    • Wednesday, February 27 3:10 pm

    Carol Reed (U.K., 1949). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Joseph Cotten pursues Welles through postwar Vienna in Graham Greene and Carol Reed's cynical masterpiece. “Seeing it on the big screen is like watching it for the first time" (NY Times). (109 mins)

  • The Bicycle Thief

    • Wednesday, February 20 3:10 pm

    Vittorio De Sica (Italy, 1948). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. De Sica's masterpiece of a father and son searching the streets of Rome for their stolen bicycle is considered one of the greatest films ever made. “An allegory at once timeless and topical” (Village Voice). (93 mins)

  • Sisters of the Gion

    • Wednesday, February 13 3:10 pm

    Kenji Mizoguchi (Japan, 1936). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. In this famous melodrama, Mizoguchi strips away the romantic veneer of the geisha business, both in the story and in a stark visual style that capitalizes on visual elements of the Gion district. “A masterpiece” (Tadao Sato). (68 mins)

  • Baby Face

    • Wednesday, February 6 3:10 pm

    Alfred E. Green (U.S., 1933). Restored Print! Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Stanwyck sleeps her way to the top in this notorious pre-Code melodrama set in Manhattan. (76 mins)

  • Metropolis

    • Wednesday, January 30 3:10 pm

    Fritz Lang (Germany, 1926). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Judith Rosenberg on piano. Set in the year 2026, Lang's futuristic super-production is an anxiety dream of urban dystopia expressed as science fiction. (124 mins)

  • Berlin: Symphony of a Great City

    • Wednesday, January 23 3:10 pm

    Walther Ruttmann (Germany, 1927). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Judith Rosenberg on piano. A great “city symphony” of the silent era that celebrates the pulsating life of the streets. With A Trip Down Market Street (Miles Brothers, 1906). (82 mins)