For your summer viewing pleasure, the Cinematheque programming team has carefully curated this selection of international film classics and rediscovered gems, plus a restored Marx Bros. masterpiece and the first local area screening of a great new documentary.

  • Fri., Jun. 23 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

A rock star becomes the puppet of a fascist regime in this bogglingly prescient satire.  In the near future, the state, church, and big business conspire to transform Steven Shorter (Jones) from just another Top of the Pops flavor-of-the-week into an unwitting messiah for their dark agenda.  Expanding upon the mock-documentary style he pioneered in the BBC-banned, Oscar-winning The War Game, Peter Watkins’s only studio production exposes the ongoing commodification of the counterculture, starring two icons of the moment: Manfred Mann singer Paul Jones and supermodel Jean Shrimpton. This cult classic’s title track was covered by Patti Smith on her 1978 album Easter. (MK)

  • Fri., Jun. 30 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Metzger’s update of Alexandre Dumas’ frequently adapted La Dame aux Camélias makes great use of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg’s Castelnuevo and an exquisite score by Piero Piccioni in telling the melodramatic tale of romance turned to tragedy among Italy’s drug-fueled, jet-set elite. American director Metzger, who died earlier this year, married explicit sexual encounters with lavish production values and literary source material throughout his long career, and Camille remains a shining example of his oeuvre. “Camille 2000 is a veritable orgy of suggestive architecture, stylistic art direction and directorial flourishes” (Eric Henderson, Slant). (BR)

  • Fri., Jul. 7 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Winner of the Palme dOr at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival, Olmi’s epic tale of Italian peasant life follows the day-to-day life of one farming family. Casting non-professional locals and filming on an abandoned farm, Olmi weaves a hypnotic and gorgeously photographed saga of love and life, birth and death, faith and superstition. A new 4K restoration, created in collaboration with The Film Foundation at L’Immagine Ritrovata, Bologna, will be screened.

  • Thu., Jul. 13 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

The Four Marx Bros - Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo - hail the motherland of Freedonia in their best movie, a zany satire of nationalism, war and dictatorships. Groucho plays Rufus T. Firefly, who believes that “any country who’d have him as leader deserves him as leader” (Danny Peary, Guide for the Film Fanatic). A new 4K restoration has Duck Soup looking better than it has in decades and the feature will be preceded by the 1933 short Betty Boop’s Big Boss (7 min.)

  • Fri., Jul. 14 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

In Teshigahara’s surreal masterpiece, an unnamed vacationing teacher finds himself trapped in a pit with a widowed woman. Together they must perpetually shovel sand to earn provisions delivered from above. The stark imagery coupled with Toru Takemitsu’s chilling score provides a meditation on the nature of identity.

  • Thu., Jul. 20 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Collaborators on neorealist classics like Umberto D and Bicycle Thieves, De Sica and screenwriter Cesare Zavattini joined forces again for this jet-black satire of Italy’s post-war economic “boom.” The great comic actor Sordi stars as a seriously in-debt schlub who contemplates an offer from a wealthy matron (Nicolai) that will make him wealthy in exchange for...shall we say, something very precious to him. Shown only a handful of times in the U.S., this beautiful new restoration provides a chance to see one of De Sica’s best movies from his commedia all’Italiana period.

  • Fri., Jul. 21 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

An escaped mental patient and a Lovelines style radio advice show host walk into a bar, and what happens next is director Rudolph's Teddy Pendergrass-fueled psychosexual comic fantasia. With charismatic star turns by Carradine, Warren, and Bujold, and stellar support from John Larroquette, Rae Dawn Chong, and Patrick Bauchau, this late-night romantic romp is full of surprises, as characters meet, mix and mingle in seemingly endless combinations. Choose Me comes in like Jacques Demy and goes out like Jonathan Demme, but in between it’s all the singular vision of Rudolph, whose unique take on the battle of the sexes might be his most fully realized concoction. (BR)

  • Thu., Jul. 27 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Alternating between pre-revolution documentary footage and newly filmed color material, Klimov delivers a hypnotic, one-of-a-kind portrait of Grigori Rasputin (Petrenko), that pulls no punches when depicting the legendary mad monk’s penchant for deviancy, depravity and destruction. Often shown in heavily edited forms, this is the uncut version that fully restores Klimov’s original vision. Presented with the support of the UW Madison’s Center for Russia, East Europe and Central Asia (CREECA).

  • Fri., Jul. 28 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

With her seminal 1960 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs single-handedly sparked a revolution in urban planning.  At a time when New York neighborhoods were being bulldozed to make way for expressways and housing projects, Jacobs advocated for the virtues of New York’s vibrant and varied street life.  This timely documentary recounts the story of a journalist who took on a powerful, vainglorious New York City developer (controversial city planner Robert Moses)—and won. (MK)