DECEMBER


Friday 4

Cine Club @ CCA
Michel Carné's THE CHILDREN OF PARADISE (1945, France)

A brilliant period film about life in the theater. Shot on location in France during the Nazi occupation, it follows a group of actors and mimes through a labyrinth of love, intrigue, jealousy and revenge.

Why we show this film:
This film is one of a kind film is a perennial favorite with college film courses. Its large cast covers a broad spectrum of life in Paris after the French Revolution, but its main attraction are the sequences of mime performances by the masterful Jean Louis Barrault.  Today mime has pretty much passed out of modern reference except with clowns and is mostly used a punchline but two centuries ago it was exceedingly popular and this performance helps you understand why. This is an old fashioned story film exceedingly well done—a good contrast to the other films we show.

About the director:
Originally a critic, Carné began assisting a number of important project with director Jacques Feyder in the early 30’s. He directed a number of successful films in France including Le Quai des brumes and Les Visiteurs du soir. In 1936 he began his collaboration with a French poet Jacques Prevert which culminated in The Children of Paradise. After WWII, with the rise of New Wave cinema, his films fell out of favor with the critics and and his reputation suffered.


Friday 5

Art Saturday @ Potrero Hill Art Galleries

10:45 Meet at Coffee Bar (corner of Mariposa and Florida).

11:00 Walking tour of Potrero Hill art galleries (
Jack Fisher, Catherine Clark, Hosfelt, Brian Gross, Wattis, etc.)

12:30 Picnic lunch in Franklin Square park (
17th and Bryant).


Friday 11

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Alfred Hitchcock's NOTORIOUS (1946, USA)

The daughter of a Nazi spy is pressed by the US government to infiltrate a group of her father’s former friends who have fled to Brazil. How far is she willing to play along in order to reveal the truth?  One of the most popular films from suspense master Alfred Hitchcock.

Why we show this film:
Notorious is the most popular of Hitchcock's American suspense dramas. There isn’t a better example of the type of film during and after WWII that held large audiences in thrall.

About the director:
Who hasn't heard of Hitchcock? He had one of the more prolific and long-lived careers of any director in film. He began in 1920 as a studio assistant, doing odd jobs, and worked his way through art direction, writing and as an assistant director. In 1925 he was given director status, but his work was quite uneven. His early film, Blackmail, straddled the sound film, and was filled with ingenious ways to get around dialogue but also to show off sound and his talent for visual concepts.

He didn’t come into his own as a director of the thriller until 1934, when his film, The Man Who Knew Too Much, drew a lot of attention. The 39 Steps was a huge success and was followed by The Lady Vanishes, which brought him to Hollywood. His first film there, Rebecca, brought him more success, but was followed by a number of misses. He came into his own with Strangers on a Train in the 1950s, and followed that by a series of successful films culminating in Psycho.

By this time, he had become a Hollywood commodity—his familiar touches of souped-up suspense, quirky special effects, and rather predictable and or unbelievable scripts—had made him into a household celebrity. His later efforts led him to television, where he became a TV personality forever recycling his style.


Friday 18

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Billy Wilder's SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959, USA)

The most celebrated comedy film of all time. Two struggling musicians find themselves on the run from the Chicago mob and decide to hide in plain sight by throwing on some blond wigs and joining an all-girl band. Things warm up when both guys find themselves competing for the affection of Marilyn Monroe in one of her most famous roles.  This film is anything but a drag!

Why we show this film:
After a fall semester full of heavy, serious films, we though you deserved a break. This film is the prototype “campy comedy” with its two heroes in full drag, panting and salivating over a ukulele playing Marilyn Monroe, the leading sex-pot of the era. A 30’s farce chock full of gangsters, speakeasies, an all-girl band, demented millionaires and some of the silliest jokes and most famous one-liners of all time. What more could you want?

About the director:
Billy Wilder was a German director who fled the Nazis and became a U.S. citizen in 1934. His Hollywood career began as a scriptwriter. His first American film, Double Indemnity, set a high standard for film noir and he became one of the most successful directors of the Hollywood studio system during the 50’s. He produced a number of thoughtful films that became classics—Sunset Boulevard and Some Like It Hot being the finest. His reputation begin to wane after The Apartment though he kept making films through the seventies.


Friday 19

Art Saturday @ Potrero Hill Art Galleries

10:45 Meet at Coffee Bar (corner of Mariposa and Florida).

 

11:00 Walking tour of Potrero Hill art galleries (Jack Fisher, Catherine Clark, Hosfelt, Brian Gross, Wattis, etc.)

12:30 Picnic lunch in Franklin Square park (
17th and Bryant).