The Mechanical Age

9/3/06 to 10/22/06

  • Modern Times, September 3

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Past Films

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

    • Sunday, October 22 15:00

    Kubrick's most memorable character, the computer Hal, embodies evolutionary anxiety.

  • Crash

    • Sunday, October 22 18:00

    Cronenberg's steely look at people for whom car crashes are the ultimate turn-on.

  • Spinning Up, Slowing Down: Industry Celebrates the Machine

    • Thursday, October 19 19:00

    Introduced by Rick Prelinger. In one of his patented presentations of ephemeral films, archivist Prelinger reveals American industry's fascination with the machine and its off/on contributions to our prosperity. Featuring a newly preserved print of Jam Handy's Wagnerian-industrial epic Master Hands.

  • Human, All Too Human

    • Sunday, October 15 17:30

    In 1972, Louis Malle filmed the workers and workings of a Citroën automobile factory and created this real-life counterpart to Chaplin's Modern Times. With Jean Mitry's short film Symphonie mécanique, in which the activities of factories become an abstract ballet set to music by Pierre Boulez.

  • The Steel Beast

    • Sunday, October 8 15:30

    Commissioned to celebrate the anniversary of a rail line in 1935, this film by a great German photographer, Willy Otto Zielke, is a daring collage of abstractions, rhythms, and historical commentary, and was immediately banned by the Nazis. With shorts, Shirley Clarke's Bridges-Go-Round and Joris Ivens's The Bridge.

  • La bête humaine

    • Sunday, October 8 17:30

    Jean Gabin delivers a tragically human performance as a locomotive engineer in Jean Renoir's poetic, pessimistic adaptation of Zola's novel. With short Pacific 231, a 1931 Soviet montage worthy of Arthur Honegger's great symphonic tribute to the steam locomotive.

  • Pandora's Box, Episode One: The Engineer's Plot

    • Sunday, October 1 14:30

    Judith Rosenberg on Piano. In Pandora's Box, acclaimed British film essayist Adam Curtis intriguingly muses on the determinism that has shaped our age. In this episode: the Soviet Five Year Plans. Then, at 4 p.m., it's down on the collective farm with Sergei Eisenstein, revolutionary master of montage, in The General Line. Shown with Ralph Steiner and Jay Leyda's 1930 short Mechanical Principles.

  • The Magic Lantern and the Mechanical Age

    • Saturday, September 30 19:00

    Presentation by David Francis and Joss Marsh. Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Francis and Marsh reveal how that wondrous 19th-century pre-cinema entertainment, the magic lantern, reflected the concerns and obsessions of the mechanical age. Featuring beautiful lantern slides from Francis's own collection. Please note: this program will be presented in the Museum Theater at the Berkeley Art Museum, 2621 Durant Avenue between Bowditch and College.

  • The Serial and the Mechanical Age

    • Thursday, September 28 19:30

    Lecture by David Francis. Judith Rosenberg on Piano. The struggle between man-or woman-and machine is the theme of this program of serials, featuring episodes from The Perils of Pauline, The Exploits of Elaine, Nick Carter, and other cliffhangers. Eminent archivist David Francis introduces an assortment of archival prints.

  • Sherlock Jr.

    • Sunday, September 24 16:00

    Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Buster Keaton is a projectionist who dreams his way onto the screen in this ode to cinema, the beautiful machine. With Japanese animated short Broken Down Film.

  • The Man with a Movie Camera

    • Sunday, September 24 17:30

    Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Dziga Vertov's "epitome of machine art, the grand summa of the Soviet futurist-constructivist-communist avant-garde."-Village Voice

  • Charley Bowers: Dream Machines

    • Sunday, September 10 15:00

    Jon Mirsalis on Piano. The charming, crazy contraptions of animator/comic Bowers take American ingenuity to surreal heights.

  • Edward Scissorhands

    • Sunday, September 10 17:00

    With pruning shears for hands, Johnny Depp's Edward can only create useless beauty. "An entrancing, slyly comic vision."-Variety. With Fischli-Weiss short The Way Things Go.

  • The Mechanical Man (Free Screening!)

    • Thursday, September 7 17:30

    A robot runs amok in this remarkable early science-fiction film from Italy. With shorts March of the Machines and Robots.

  • Metropolis

    • Sunday, September 3 15:00

    Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Fritz Lang's gorgeous, dystopian classic, "a crazed, pathetic ballet of mechanized ant-man in revolt against his Utopian overlords."-Monthly Film Bulletin

  • Modern Times

    • Sunday, September 3 18:00

    Chaplin's politically outspoken picture of an overmechanized world also contains some of his funniest scenes, in which Charlie causes complete chaos merely by being human. With Fernand Léger short Ballet mécanique.