Fall 2015 special presentations include in-person visits from avant-garde filmmaker Vanessa Renwick and documentarian Richard Kaplan. Plus, a new 4k restoration of Marco Bellochhio’s farcical satire China is Near; a program of adaptations of Dante’s Divine Comedy; a Halloween presentation of the British horror portmanteau classic, Dead of Night; a screening of the silent film rarity The Yellow Ticket with a new score performed live by award-winning musicians Alicia Svigals and Marilyn Lerner; Sergei Paradjanov’s The Color of Pomegranates (Sayat Nova) presented in a new restoration; and two revelatory documentaries from the Vietnam era, Winter Soldier and Far from Vietnam.
- Fri., Oct. 2 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
The second feature from celebrated Italian director Bellocchio (Fists in the Pocket) is an artfully constructed satirical farce set against the backdrop of the Socialist movement of the late 60s. A working class pair of lovers who seek to marry into wealth set their sights on an aristocratic professor (Mauri) and his promiscuous sister (Tattoli, who co-wrote the film and served as art director). “A witty, subtly freakish modern comedy about sex and politics, directed by the prodigiously talented 27-year-old Marco Bellocchio in a fluid style that is full of surprises” (Pauline Kael, The New Yorker). A new 4K restoration from Sony Pictures will be screened.
- Sat., Oct. 17 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
The Italian cinema’s first feature-length film is a sumptuous adaptation of Dante’s Divine Comedy which takes its visual inspiration from Gustav Dore’s illustrations. Dante’s poetry is given due respect in their rigorous, philosophical transposition to the big screen. Live piano by David Drazin. The feature will be preceded by Stan Brakhage’s The Dante Quartet (1987, 35mm, 6 min.). Presented with the support of the Center for European Studies.
- Wed., Oct. 28 | 7:00 PMMarquee
Spotlight tells the riveting true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation that would rock the city and cause a crisis in one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions. When the newspaper’s tenacious “Spotlight” team of reporters delve into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston's religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world. Directed by Academy Award-nominee Tom McCarthy (Win Win, The Visitor, The Station Agent), Spotlight is a tense investigative thriller, tracing the steps to one of the biggest crime stories in modern times.
- Thu., Oct. 29 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
One of the pivotal figures in the Northwest avant-garde film scene as well as an acknowledged influence on the early work of Miranda July, Portland filmmaker Vanessa Renwick will make her first Madison appearance accompanying a program of her lyrical short films, including layover (2014), 9 is a secret (2002), and her widely acclaimed gem of cinematic portraiture, Britton, South Dakota (2004). Todd Haynes writes of her work: “Vanessa Renwick’s films reveal the hidden stories and secret lives that define our great national weirdness, imbued with the radical curiosity and vision of a true pioneer.” Renwick’s films have screened recently at the True/False Film Festival, 53rd Ann Arbor Film Festival, the San Francisco International Film Festival, and the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany. (JM)
- Sat., Oct. 31 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
A portmanteau to keep you up past midnight, these five chilling tales are tied together by an equally eerie framing narrative. An architect arrives at a country estate and tells the crowd of assembled guests he’s seen them all in a dream although he knows none of them. The guests try to humor him while entertaining each other with various tales of the supernatural. Each segment boasts a different director and writer but it all hangs together hauntingly well. One highlight is Redgrave as a tormented ventriloquist predicting Anthony Hopkins's Magic performance by decades. (BR)
- Tue., Nov. 3 | 7:30 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Academy Award nominees Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter, and three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep, lead the cast of a powerful drama about the women who were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality in early-20th-century Britain. The stirring story centers on Maud (played by Carey Mulligan), a working wife and mother whose life is forever changed when she is secretly recruited to join the U.K.’s growing Suffragette movement. Galvanized by the outlaw fugitive Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Streep), Maud becomes an activist for the cause alongside women from all walks of life. When increasingly aggressive police action forces Maud and her dedicated fellow Suffragettes underground, they engage in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with the authorities, who are shocked as the women’s civil disobedience escalates and sparks debate across the nation. Inspired by true events, Suffragette is a moving drama exploring the passion and heartbreak of those who risked all they had for women’s right to vote – their jobs, their homes, their children, and even their lives. The film also stars Ben Whishaw, Anne-Marie Duff, Brendan Gleeson, Romola Garai, and Natalie Press. Suffragette is directed by BAFTA Award winner Sarah Gavron, who helmed the 2014 Wisconsin Film Festival documentary hit, Village at the End of the World. Suffragette’s original screenplay is by Abi Morgan. No passes required. Seating is limited and provided on a first-come, first-seated basis. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. We anticipate a full-house. Please arrive early!
- Thu., Nov. 5 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
The drama of anti-Nazi activism in 1940s Europe is conveyed through a gripping documentary account of the interconnected lives of two Harvard alumni: Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl, who served the Third Reich before offering himself to the Allies; and Varian Frye, who risked all to smuggle hundreds of Hitler’s opponents out of Europe. Their 1935 meeting, and a seemingly off-hand remark, may have affected the course of Twentieth Century history. The distinguished, Academy Award winning documentarian Richard Kaplan, whose collection of papers and works resides at the Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research, will discuss his work after the screening. Event sponsored by the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research and the University Lectures Committee. (AS)
- Fri., Nov. 6 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
A young Jewish woman (silent superstar Negri) living in a Polish shtetl fights the odds while trying to fulfill her ambition to study medicine in Russia. Shot on actual locations in the former Jewish quarter of Warsaw, this silent film rarity will be presented with live music performed by Grammy winning violinist and vocalist Alicia Svigals and virtuoso pianist Marilyn Lerner. Presented with the support of the Center for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CREECA), the Center for Jewish Studies and The Anonymous Fund of the College of Letters & Science.
- Fri., Nov. 13 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Newly restored to its original form, celebrated filmmaker Paradjanov’s visually audacious masterpiece is, on the surface, a biography of the 18th century Armenian poet Sayat Nova. “But before all else it’s a cinematic experience, and you come away remembering images, repeated expressive movements, costumes, objects, compositions, colors. There’s nothing else quite like this picture.” (Martin Scorsese). Restored by Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata and The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, in association with the National Cinema Centre of Armenia and Gosfilmofond of Russia. Restoration funding provided by the Material World Charitable Foundation and The Film Foundation. After the screening, a special lecture by film scholar James Steffen, entitled "The Color of Pomegranates: A Poetic Film Masterpiece." Funding for James Steffen’s talk courtesy of the University of Wisconsin Lectures Committee General Fund. Additional support provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
- Sat., Dec. 5 | 3:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In the winter of 1971, Vietnam War veterans, including a young John Kerry, gathered in Detroit to give on-camera testimony about the atrocities being perpetrated by themselves and other U.S. soldiers against South and North Vietnamese civilians and soldiers. This gut-wrenching, myth-shattering documentary was made by a collective of filmmakers in conjunction with Veterans Against the Vietnam War. Presented with the support of the Friends of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries.
- Sat., Dec. 5 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
This remarkable collaboration between 6 cinema greats was created in protest of American military involvement in Vietnam, and, according to project instigator Marker, "to affirm, by the exercise of their craft, their solidarity with the Vietnamese people in struggle against aggression." Far from Vietnam brings together an array of stylistically disparate contributions, none individually credited, under a unified editorial vision. The elements span documentary footage shot in North and South Vietnam and at anti-war demonstrations in the United States; a fictional vignette and a monologue that dramatize the self-interrogation of European intellectuals; interviews with Fidel Castro and Anne Morrison, widow of Norman Morrison, the Quaker pacifist who burned himself alive in front of the Pentagon in 1965; an historical overview of the conflict; reflections from French journalist Michèle Ray; and a range of repurposed media material. The screening will be preceded by Agnès Varda’s short film, Black Panthers (1968, 30 min.). Presented with the support of the Friends of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries.