MARCH


Friday 4

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
David Lynch's LOST HIGHWAY (1997, USA)

We continue the theme of the double with this story of a saxophonist, framed for murder and sent to prison, who somehow morphs into another man while behind bars. This the mysterious Lynch at his most disturbing and spell-binding.

WARNING: Nudity and simulated sex.

Why we show this film:
This film goes so many places where the imagination fears to tred. We thought you needed to see something that will provoke you, puzzled you and just perhaps, thrill you.  This film works on all those counts, exploring a the strange world of “un-defined” terrors.  Lynch's wonderful use of silence, shadow, darkness, and sound helps create an atmosphere that is entirely unique. The suggestion of what is unseen, around the corner, off screen, is far more frightening than what we see.

About the director:
David Lynch is certainly one of the most unusual of all film directors—his constant work produced relatively few films. Perhaps being a devout student of trancendental meditation for nearly 40 years has something to do with his patience and persistance. He began outside of the Hollywood system (like so many film makers today), and put together his first big hit, Eraserhead, in his basement, working scene by scene over many years. He was then embraced by Hollywood, and triumphed with The Elephant Man. He followed this by a unpopular science fiction film called Dune. After his Blue Velvet was well received he became for a time a star with his TV series, Twin Peaks. His films are considered cult objects because their strangeness limits some of their appeal.


Friday 11

Cine Club @ CCA
Andrzej Wajda's KATYN (2007, Poland)

In 1940, thousands of prisoners of war are massacred, but in the years following the war, the Soviets and the Germans each refuse to accept responsibility. This film follows investigations by the surviving relatives that lead to uncovering one of the largest atrocities of the war.

Why we show this film:
This film comes late in the director’s career. It works as a mystery, a political film and a tragedy all at the same time. It helps us understand one of the greatest tragedies in history and the way history can be manipulated to cover up the darker moments in our past. It is especially personal, as Wajda’s father was killed in the massacre at Katyn.

About the director:
Wajda is one of the grand figures of Polish cinema, and though he is admired throughout Europe his films are seldom seen in this country. He also received an “honorary oscar” for his lifetime achievementin 2000. He began his career after WW II working in theater, and producing anti-war films including Kanal and Ashes & Diamonds. His commercial films were often dismissed as trivial by his critics and he increasingly turned to works using allegory and symbolism. His Polish films came under fire for their criticism’s of the Communist government, which forced his film company to close. He moved to France, making films there and in Germany.


Friday 18

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Lindsay Anderson's if... (1968, UK)

The youthful rebellion that swept the 60’s is wonderfully portrayed in this allegorical film about an old establishment private school in England that breeds revolution. Malcolm McDowell stars as Mick Travis, a disaffected schoolboy who leads his classmates in open defiance of the school's prefects.

Why we show this film:
if… was many years in the making and went through many versions until it was chosen by Anderson who wanted to make a truthful statement about the public school system in England and about the spirit of the 1960's. He succeeded on both accounts. The film was first screened around the same time as the 1968 Paris student riots that shut down universities and eventually lead to riots in the streets.

Anderson manages to infuse metaphor and poetry about the many little horrors of boarding school into the mix as well. if… is wildly entertaining, but it also takes you breath away as it crafts several stories about how a rebellious young person caught up in a rigidly conservative culture might feel.

About the director:
Lindsay Anderson first started as a film critic for Sight & Sound Magazine and then made a number of short films in a social realist style; his Thursday's Children, about deaf children, won an Academy Award in 1954. In the early 60’s he moved into feature length films with This Sporting Lifeif…  became the first part of a trilogy. It is followed by O Lucky Man!, a bizarrely musical critique of capitalism, and Britannia Hospital, a darkly comic satire of the British healthcare system, each starring Malcolm McDowell as Mick Travis. He also was active in the theater, especially with the Royal Court in London.


Friday 25

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Stanley Kubrick's BARRY LYNDON (1975, UK)

A 1700’s adventure that transcends time. A promising young Irishman does everything society says he should do to succeed, and climbs to the top of the society—but how long can he manage to stay there?  A stunningly filmed social epic to end the year with a bang!

Why we show this film:
Barry Lyndon covers so many aspects of the 17oo’s—the wars, the politics and diplomacy, class systems with their different costumes and social rites—and it does all of this with enormous attention to detail. Kubrick invented new lens for the camera so that he could film the candlelit scenes in real candle light. The authentic settings, the dazzling set pieces, and the breath taking costumes are some of the finest we find in film. Ryan O’Neal (a matinee idol of his time) is perfectly cast as the country bumpkin who becomes a nobleman, and each of the minor characters are all wonders to behold. We’re so happy to conclude this year's Cine Club with a film we consider one of the finest.

About the director:
Stanley Kubrick has a golden track record, producing a hefty list of classic films over his 50-year career. He began as a talented photographer for Look magazine before financing his own debut, Fear and Desire, followed by two noir films, Killer’s Kiss and The Killing, and a WWI film Paths of Glory

He was involved in number of difficult film shoots.  He worked on One-Eyed Jacks with Marlon Brando and Brando fired him.  He was then asked by Kirk Douglas to direct Spartucus, a huge epic, which turned into a grueling affair because of disagreements with the star.  He left for England to make Lolita and never returned, producing a steady line of classics including Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon.  He preferred working in England, and made his life there.