From the ridiculous (the Marx Bros.’ Horse Feathers) to the sublime (Claude Berri’s moving The Two of Us), our August-December calendar features more than a half dozen other programs of digital restorations not already included in one of our other series. A selection of features and documentaries from around the world and throughout cinema history, the highlight of this series will be an October 31 program of silent movies curated by the New York Times film critic Mahohla Dargis.
- Fri., Aug. 30 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Dogs kill toddlers, yahoos shoot dogs, and skinheads crash a teen-suicide funeral in this vividly gangrenous chunk of punksploitation from producer Roger Corman. Rough and tumble, with no buttons left unpushed, this melodrama about a patchwork family of teenage outcasts is empathetically performed by a group of non-professionals, including The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea. Suburbia also served as the narrative feature directorial debut of Spheeris, whose blunt, verisimilar work here eventually led to a gig helming Wayne’s World. A new restoration from Shout Factory and the American Genre Film Archive will be shown. (BR)
- Sat., Aug. 31 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Anarchy reigns at Huxley College as the four Marx Bros. take on higher education. The great Thelma Todd is back on hand as romantic foil to Huxley’s President Wagstaff (Groucho), who has hired Baravelli (Chico) and Pinky (Harpo) to help him win the big football game. A new 4K restoration will be shown, preceded by Popeye the Sailor in You Gotta Be a Football Hero (1935, 6 min.).
- Sat., Sep. 14 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Nierenberg’s landmark documentary celebrates the rich tradition and transporting beauty of African American gospel music. Effortlessly weaving together rousing performances, oral history, and vérité asides, Nierenberg balances footage of gospel titans Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey and Mother Willie Mae Ford Smith with younger disciples of the art like Zella Jackson Price, the O’Neal Twins, and the Barrett Sisters. Shot by Don Lenzer (Woodstock) and Ed Lachman (Carol), the up-close musical sequences are known to carry viewers, be they believers or not, to a plane of ecstasy. Newly remastered in 4K image and 5.1 surround sound by Milestone Films. “The most joyful movie I’ve seen in a very long time” (Roger Ebert). (ZZ)
- Sat., Oct. 12 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Filmed between 1971 and 1973, A Bigger Splash captures the established painter David Hockney as he struggles to produce work for a NY show and overcome the end of his relationship with longtime lover Peter Schlesinger. Shuttling back and forth in time, director Hazan depicts the decisive end to the Swinging London Youthquake where the no-longer young artist Hockney first found fame. “A glimpse, unequalled in its intimacy, of [Hockney’s] search for a reflection in the pools that he paints” (Alexander Walker, London Evening Standard). “A synthesis of documentary, cinema verite and psychodrama that’s entirely original, and as engrossing as the watcher wants it to be” (Derek Malcolm, Arts Guardian). A new 4K restoration will be screened.
- Thu., Oct. 31 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In director Weber’s hard-edged portrait of urban poverty, MacLaren plays Eva Meyer, a shop girl whose meager earnings support her family. Surrounded by merchandise in the store where she works, Eva longs for one potent symbol of escape – a new pair of shoes. Newly restored and featuring a new score by Donald Sosin and Mimi Rabson, Shoes will be introduced by New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis. Prior to the feature on this Dargis-curated program of pioneering women director’s from the silent era, Alice Guy Blache’s The Little Rangers (1912, 12 min.) Ida May Park’s Bread (1918, 16 min.), and selections from Zora Neale Hurston’s ethnographic footage (1929, 13 min.).
- Fri., Nov. 1 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
This moving screen adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s legendary, prize-winning play is about the tightly knit Younger family and their attempts to better their situation by moving out of their crowded South Side Chicago apartment. Awaiting an insurance check they hope will change circumstances, each family member has a different idea of how to spend the money. A new 4K restoration of A Raisin in the Sun will be screened in conjunction with University Theatre’s stage production of Bruce Norris’ Clybourne Park, November 14-24.
- Fri., Nov. 15 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
At a repressive 19th century boarding school for girls, two headmistresses (Feuiller and Simon) compete for the hearts and minds of their students, including the newly arrived Olivia (Marie-Claire Olivia). Meanwhile, Olivia and her fellow students are embarking on their own discovery of the dangerous game of love and attraction. Difficult to see for decades, this haunting, beautiful feature by groundbreaking French female director Jacqueline Audry has been given new life in a meticulous new 4K digital presentation.
- Fri., Dec. 13 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Berri’s sweet, funny and incredibly moving first feature is set during the occupation. A young Jewish boy is separated from his parents and sent to live in safety with a kind but anti-semitic old farmer (played by iconic French actor Simon). The boy’s true identity concealed, the two become fast friends and each other’s unlikely protectors during this tumultuous period. Berri, who would later go on to make Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring based the story on his own childhood experiences.