The Medieval Remake

1/11/08 to 2/16/08

“People started dreaming of the Middle Ages from the very beginning of the modern era,” Umberto Eco once claimed. It's only natural, then, that the medieval would find many expressions in the cinema, a modern medium of collective dreams. In this series, European masters-from Eisenstein to Tarkovsky, from Dreyer to Bergman and Bresson-make and remake the Middle Ages in diverse forms and with diverse motivations, from political imperative to personal obsession.

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  • Alexander Nevsky, January 13

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Past Films

  • Faust

    • Saturday, February 16 6:30 pm

    Judith Rosenberg on Piano. F. W. Murnau's version of the legend is a masterwork of chiaroscuro, with Emil Jannings as a subtly mischievous Mephistopheles.

  • The Flowers of St. Francis

    • Saturday, February 16 8:40 pm

    Roberto Rossellini's episodic tribute to the People's Saint is constructed with crafty simplicity, rich humanity, and earthy joy.

  • The Seventh Seal

    • Sunday, February 3 2:00 pm

    A medieval knight challenges Death to a game of chess in Ingmar Bergman's iconic work of cinematic philosophy. “A magically powerful film.”-Pauline Kael

  • The Virgin Spring

    • Sunday, February 3 4:00 pm

    Bergman's stark medieval allegory of faith, sexual violence, and revenge. “Sven Nykvist's luminous black-and-white photography conspire(s) with the austerity of Bergman's imagery to create an extraordinary metaphysical charge.”-Time Out

  • Lancelot of the Lake

    • Friday, February 1 7:00 pm

    Bresson gives us Lancelot and Guinevere and the end of the Arthurian era, a brave experiment in sound, image, and souls.

  • The Knight

    • Friday, February 1 8:45 pm

    Lech Majewski's tale of medieval fury and faith is “beautiful, mystical.”-L.A. Times

  • The Legend of Suram Fortress

    • Wednesday, January 30 7:30 pm

    Sergei Paradjanov's visionary retelling of a Georgian epic is “a spectacle so steeped in folk symbolism it could be a ritual.”-Village Voice

  • The Trial of Joan of Arc

    • Sunday, January 27 3:00 pm

    In an austere, transcendent dramatization of the trial transcripts, Robert Bresson conveys the mystery of the woman and the reality of the saint.

  • The Passion of Joan of Arc

    • Sunday, January 27 4:30 pm

    Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Carl Dreyer's 1928 film focuses on the face as landscape of the soul. “One of the greatest of all movies.”-Pauline Kael

  • The Nibelungen, Part I: Siegfried's Death

    • Sunday, January 20 1:00 pm

    Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Fritz Lang's two-part superproduction of the 13th-century saga that also inspired Wagner's Ring cycle. “Stunning . . . very highly recommended.”-Chicago Reader

  • The Nibelungen, Part II: Kriemhild's Revenge

    • Sunday, January 20 4:00 pm

    Bruce Loeb on Piano.

  • The Valley of the Bees

    • Wednesday, January 16 6:30 pm

    Frantisek Vlácil (Markéta Lazarová) creates an astonishing evocation of the chaos and fury of the Middle Ages, a knights' tale of religious intolerance, sexual repression, and violence.

  • Alexander Nevsky

    • Sunday, January 13 2:00 pm

    Sergei Eisenstein's first sound film, with a score by Prokofiev, is both a splendid formal exercise and a forceful portrayal of a nationalist hero, its medievalism inflected by the imminent danger of Nazi incursion into Russia.

  • Andrei Rublev

    • Friday, January 11 7:00 pm

    Andrei Tarkovsky's epic, otherworldly portrait of the 15th-century Russian icon-painter is “a superproduction gone ideologically berserk.”-Village Voice. “Not to be missed.”-Chicago Reader