All Fall Cinematheque Screenings
- Thu., Sep. 1 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
One of the year’s great cinematic love stories is this spectacularly beautiful documentary about French volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, this daredevil couple roamed the planet, edging right up to active eruptions to capture reel upon reel of truly extraordinary footage. Eye-popping and heart-rending, Fire of Love is a big screen adventure like no other. “More than a mere nature documentary… one of the most moving and mesmerizing films of the year” (The Atlantic). “Enthralling. The most staggering, terrifying, and beautiful imagery of nature ever recorded” (Variety). (MK)
- Fri., Sep. 2 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Lynch’s visionary masterpiece presents a neo-noir world complete with hot jazz, murderous husbands, porno, and haunted houses, earning the filmmaker a welcome comeback after a five-year absence from the big-screen. The Moebius strip plotting is also a structural precursor to Mulholland Dr. and Inland Empire. The exhilarating, powerful, and provocative film also demonstrates Lynch’s knack for hiring great actors, and the supporting cast includes odd and memorable turns from Robert Loggia, Robert Blake, and, in his last movie, Richard Pryor. Mary Sweeney served as editor and co-producer and the screenplay was co-written by Lynch and his Wild at Heart collaborator, Barry Gifford. A new 4K DCP, scanned from the original 35mm negative, will be screened.
- Sat., Sep. 3 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
As a down-and-dirty saloon singer and a gun-averse lawman in a thoroughly corrupt frontier town, Dietrich and Stewart light up the screen in this enduringly influential comic-western. Director Marshall’s sui generis oater somehow manages to spoof the western genre while also being a sterling example of said genre at its finest. With its hoofprints evident in scores of comedic westerns to follow, and practically a blueprint for Blazing Saddles, Destry stands the test of time as a truly pioneering classic. Presented in a new 4k digital restoration by Universal Pictures in collaboration with The Film Foundation. (BR)
- Thu., Sep. 8 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Casting about for his next muse, a blustery auteur falls headlong for a lithe young boy toy, initiating a tempestuous affair that threatens to destroy his career and sanity. Ozon’s loose and sexy riff on Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s masterful melodrama The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant cannily gender-swaps the lead roles, resulting in a florid, pillow-talk dialogue between two generations of queer cinema icons. (MK)
- Fri., Sep. 9 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In a gentrifying Oakland, CA, black-and-white best friends Collin (Diggs) and Miles (Casal) work for a moving company while practicing their rapping. Tensions rise between the two pals when the on-parole Collin witnesses a violent incident involving police. Acclaimed at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, Blindspotting has been called “the most exciting cinematic take on contemporary race relations since Do the Right Thing nearly thirty years ago” (Peter Debruge, Variety).
- Sat., Sep. 10 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In a thoroughly dystopian NYC, emotionless photographer Alfred Chamberlain (Gould) trudges passively through daily life, until one day, he is saved from a mugging by a kindly interior designer (Rodd). Their ensuing romance re-humanizes Alfred and makes things exponentially worse for all involved. Arkin’s feature directorial debut is a hilarious and terrifying adaptation of Jules Feiffer’s shattering stage play, and features an unforgettable comic turn by Gardenia as Robb’s father. (BR)
- Thu., Sep. 15 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
A gifted but self-absorbed teenage cartoonist bails on his comfortable suburban life to pursue his artistic passion straight into the gutter. Subletting a scary apartment in Trenton, he enters a cracked milieu of freaks and weirdos who seem ripped from the pages of his beloved underground comics. Full of memorable New Jersey misfits and produced by the Safdie brothers, this charmingly scrappy indie carries on the acerbically witty tradition of classic comix artists. “A deliciously dark coming-of-age comedy” (The Guardian). (MK)
- Fri., Sep. 16 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Initially on opposing sides, Wonder Woman (Mui), Thief Catcher (Cheung), and Invisible Girl (Yeoh) unite their ass-kicking special skills to defeat a creepy eunuch and his plan to bring back the Ming Dynasty. The dizzying action in this Hong Kong classic is the trademark of both director To and producer Tsui Hark. A newly restored 4K DCP will be screened.
- Sat., Sep. 17 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Abandoning her husband, pregnant Natalie (Knight, in her finest performance) begins an aimless drive across America, picking up the mentally disabled Kilgannon (Caan) along the way. Coppola’s last directorial effort before taking on The Godfather, this surprising, moody, and fascinating road movie presents a sensitive portrait of a real woman and her problems. It’s also a great showcase for future Corleone clan members Duvall, who plays a highway cop, and the late, great Caan. New 4K restoration.
- Thu., Sep. 22 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Train to Busan’s Ma Dong-Seouk stars a take-no-prisoners detective in this rollicking action comedy that has become South Korea’s runaway box office smash of the year. Dubbed “The Beast Cop,” Seoul’s answer to Dirty Harry tracks a group of criminals to Vietnam and back, sparking nonstop mayhem every step of the way. This witty, ass-kicking blast is a global blockbuster cranked all the way up. (MK)
- Fri., Sep. 23 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In this post-apocalyptic sequel to The Heroic Trio, Hong Kong’s water supply has fallen into the hands of a masked maniac intent on seizing political power—forcing Wonder Woman, Thief Catcher, and Invisible Girl to settle their differences and once again unite to stop him. Notably darker in tone than its predecessor, Executioners finds director Johnnie To continuing to push his whirlwind action set pieces to new heights of cartoon craziness while adding grungy, dystopian atmosphere and a fresh dose of anti-authoritarian attitude.
- Sat., Sep. 24 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
The real-life, white gangster-owned Harlem nightclub that allowed only black performers on stage but refused customer entry to people of color provides the backdrop for the fictional story of the ascending careers of musician Dixie Dwyer (Gere) and dancer Sandman Williams (Hines) from the late 1920s into the early 1930s. Marked by a troubled, controversial production history and modest box-office receipts upon its original release, The Cotton Club can now be appreciated as the most entertaining and satisfying of Coppola’s 1980s movies. The co-screenwriter/director has re-edited the film and inserted several sequences never seen before, including a performance of “Stormy Weather” by the magnetic McKee. Coppola’s impeccable flair for casting and discovering new talent is evident when listing the supporting cast: Diane Lane, Nicolas Cage, Bob Hoskins, Fred Gwynne, Maurice Hines, James Remar, Jennifer Grey, Gwen Verdon, Joe Dallesandro, Woody Strode, Laurence Fishburne, Tom Waits, and Giancarlo Esposito.
- Thu., Sep. 29 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
A couple buys a house in the suburbs with a one-of-a-kind amenity that will change—or maybe destroy—their lives. They want to show their mind-bending discovery off, but it turns out the neighbors have something even weirder going on. The funniest film yet from absurdist extraordinaire Dupieux (Rubber, Deerskin) is a farfetched, droll, and definitely untrue yarn that’s best left unspoiled. (MK)
- Fri., Sep. 30 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
One of the most controversial movies of the early 1970s follows the sex lives of the aggressive Jonathan (Nicholson) and his envious pal Sandy (Garfunkel) over a 25-year period. “Before toxic masculinity was even a term, Nichols and screenwriter Jules Feiffer explored the subject with such savagery and precision that, even half a century later, the film retains its power to unnerve almost everyone who sees it” (Mark Harris, Mike Nichols, A Life). A newly restored 4K DCP will be shown.
- Sat., Oct. 1 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
"Singing, dancing, pratfalls, romance, preening machismo, convoluted reincarnation plots--what more could you want from the movies? India’s most visible cinematic export, the Bollywood-popularized ur-genre known as the masala film, offers all of these things, a formula for success that has resulted in some of the most internationally popular films ever made. A watershed blockbuster and one of the most beloved films the industry has produced, Om Shanti Om became an enduring hit with fans of Indian cinema through affectionately skewering the overblown spectacle and theatrical sentimentality of Bollywood while still serving up plenty of its own elaborately staged production numbers and genuine soap operatics. Opening in 1970s Mumbai, the moment when the city would begin to develop its reputation as an epicenter in international film production, Om Shanti Om introduces Om Prakash Makhija (played by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan at the height of his fame), a buffoonish background player intent on worming his way into movie stardom, and subsequently finds him embroiled in all sorts of business involving a scandalous pregnancy, a cursed movie script, and a cross-generational supernatural revenge plot. Directed with abundant personality and visual panache by superstar choreographer Farah Khan and jam-packed with affectionate nods towards Indian cinema’s past glories, Om Shanti Om is about as perfect an introduction as the Bollywood newcomer can find around, and as rapturous an ode to the industry as long-time devotees could ever wish for." (Cameron Worden, Chicago Film Society). Print Courtesy Chicago Film Society.
- Thu., Oct. 6 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Originally broadcast on November 20, 1983, the controversial TV movie The Day After explored the devastating effects of nuclear war on the community of Lawrence, KS, where the movie was actually filmed. The ABC broadcast made an astounding impact during the Cold War era, a time when President Reagan pursued his “peace through strength” policies of nuclear weapon buildup. Combining television footage of the promotional hype alongside interviews with filmmakers, ABC executives, and residents of Lawrence, Television Event traces the full history of production and the powerful residual effects of The Day After’s airing. After the screening, a virtual discussion with Television Event’s director, Jeff Daniels. Presented with the generous support of The William F. Vilas Trust.
- Fri., Oct. 7 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Harrowing, but overflowing with humanity, The Day After follows the lives of a number of citizens of a small city in Kansas, before, during, and after a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union. Originally produced for broadcast on American television at 122 minutes, The Day After will be shown in the slightly longer international theatrical version. After the screening, an in-person conversation with Director Nicholas Meyer.
- Sat., Oct. 8 | 2:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
One of the wittiest and most entertaining fantasies of its era, Time After Time begins with the premise that famed science fiction author H.G. Wells (McDowell) actually invented his own time machine in 1893. When the device is hijacked by Jack the Ripper (Warner), Wells must find his way to 1979 San Francisco in order to stop the serial killer. Out of his element and out of his time, Wells finds love and support from a helpful bank teller (Steenburgen). This was the feature directorial debut for novelist and screenwriter Nicholas Meyer, who takes a light-hearted, classical Hollywood approach, right down to the lush score from Golden Age composer Miklos Rosza. After the screening, an in-person conversation with Nicholas Meyer.
- Sat., Oct. 8 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Looking to help Sherlock Holmes (Williamson) with his increasing addiction to cocaine, Dr. Watson (Duvall) lures Holmes to Vienna, in order to initiate psychiatric sessions with Sigmund Freud (Arkin). While Freud looks to unlock the mysteries of Holmes' subconscious, Holmes attempts to find kidnapping victim Lola (Vanessa Redgrave). The supporting cast for this fleet-footed period thriller also includes Joel Grey, Samantha Eggar, and Laurence Olivier as Professor Moriarty. Screenwriter Nicholas Meyer, who adapted his own best-selling novel, will join us in-person after the screening for a discussion.
- Sun., Oct. 9 | 2:00 PMChazen
A monstrously self-absorbed driver (Suvari) hits an unemployed white collar worker (Rea), then heads home and parks the car in her garage while she figures out the most effective way to finish off her victim, who remains stuck in the car’s windshield! Gordon’s final theatrical feature, which finds the veteran director in peak creative form and employing his trademark blend of shocks and satire, was inspired by a real news story.
- Thu., Oct. 13 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
This intimate documentary portrays one Asian American family living in rural Michigan during the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and rising racial animosity. While their main goal is to keep their family-run restaurant afloat, filmmaker David Siev and his siblings are also on a journey to figure out their place in their family, their town, and the world. After the screening, David Siev will join us in person to discuss his powerful movie. (LKL)
- Fri., Oct. 14 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
When his wife is brutally murdered, sound technician John (co-director John Liu) dons a white ninja outfit and becomes a sword-wielding vigilante hell bent on cleaning up the streets of New York. John soon finds himself the target of every criminal in the city, including a mysterious villain known as The Plutonium Killer. Originally filmed in 1984, this was the lone American project for John Liu, a Taiwanese martial arts actor known for his work in several Hong Kong action movies. Abandoned before production was completed, Liu’s footage for New York Ninja remained untouched for 35 years and all original sound materials were lost entirely over the ensuing decades. The unedited picture was finally assembled in 2019 and a number of genre-friendly actors - Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Cynthia Rothrock, and Leon Isaac Kennedy, among many others - loaned their voice talents in order to complete this one-of-a-kind experience, presented here on a new 35mm print!
- Sat., Oct. 15 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
With loan sharks on his back, undocumented deliveryman Ming Ding is given 24 hours to pay off his debts and ensure his safety. Filmed inside a functioning Chinese restaurant in Manhattan for a total of only $3,000, this microbudget marvel was the first film produced by the team behind Tangerine, The Florida Project, and Red Rocket. (MK)
- Sun., Oct. 16 | 2:00 PMChazen
In this violent and visually striking variation on Edgar Allan Poe’s story, set in 1492, Torquemada (Henriksen), Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition, is tormented by his attraction to a baker’s wife accused of being a witch. “Strong, well-researched script (by Dennis Paoli) owes little to Poe, but is vividly realized by Gordon…Henriksen’s intense performance is mesmerizing” (Leonard Maltin).
- Thu., Oct. 20 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
A war saga that unfolds almost entirely in peacetime, this captivating epic brings the legendary true story of Japanese Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda to vivid life. Late in WWII, Onoda was sent on a secret mission in a remote Philippines jungle—refusing to believe the war ever ended, he lived there for nearly 30 years, while the world moved on. Onoda’s fascinating time in the jungle was recently the subject of Werner Herzog’s bestselling first novel, The Twilight World. (MK)
- Fri., Oct. 21 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In search of work in Istanbul, an unemployed country farmer stays with his urbanized photographer cousin in a small one-bedroom apartment. Subtly and believably, tensions begin to mount between the two grown men until there is an inevitable confrontation. Ceylan’s wonderfully nuanced and sometimes darkly funny study of an uncomfortable domestic arrangement won the top acting prizes at the Cannes Film Festival for the two leads Toprak and Ozdemir. Presented with the support of Middle East Studies at UW-Madison.
- Sat., Oct. 22 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Fleeing an unhappy marriage and returning to her Rhode Island hometown, Jo (Adams) attempts to close old family wounds but winds up entangled in the even messier problems of the equally troubled Donna (Van Devere). Originally shown on PBS, but never released theatrically until 2022, this powerful and quietly observed drama is the work of writer-director Michael Roemer, best known for two other wonderful American independent features, Nothing But a Man (1964) and The Plot Against Harry (1971, but unreleased until 1989). “The rediscovery of a third Roemer feature as good as the others is a cause for celebration, and something of a miracle” (A.S. Hamrah, Screen Slate). A new 35mm print, courtesy of The Film Desk, will be screened.
- Sun., Oct. 23 | 2:00 PMChazen
Washed ashore in a small coastal village after a boating accident, Paul (Godden) and his girlfriend Barbara (Meroño) uncover a frightening community of half-human/half-fish creatures who target the couple for a ritual sacrifice to Dagon, God of the Sea. After Re-Animator, From Beyond, and Castle Freak, director Gordon and screenwriter Dennis Paoli returned to adapting H.P. Lovecraft, resulting in this clever and suspenseful monster movie.
- Thu., Oct. 27 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
This seductive, twisty neonoir is first movie in six years from South Korean master Park Chan-wook (The Handmaiden, Oldboy). A straightlaced detective investigating a suspicious death begins to fall for the victim’s beautiful young wife—even as history begins to repeat itself. Winner of the Best Director prize at Cannes, Park’s romantic thriller is the work of “a world-class artist at the top of his game” (The Hollywood Reporter). (MK)
- Fri., Oct. 28 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Wertmüller’s lusty meditation on the madness of World War II looks at the war’s impact on little people like Pasqualino (played brilliantly by a wide-eyed and wiry Giannini). After murdering a pimp who recruited one of his seven sisters to a brothel at the outset of the war, Pasqualino is arrested and conscripted into the army. Like Yossarian of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, Pasqualino encounters a rogue’s gallery of criminals and commandants who he must cleverly and desperately navigate in order to survive. By turns impish and harrowing, madcap, and deeply sad, Wertmüller fashions a sweeping and moving tale of sex and survival in wartime Europe. The film found extraordinary international success upon its release, earning Giannini an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Wertmüller made history with Seven Beauties by becoming the first female filmmaker to be nominated for a directing Oscar. (JB)
- Sat., Oct. 29 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
An aspiring ballerina (Harper) gets more than she bargained for when the prestigious European dance academy she transfers to turns out to be a hotbed of murderous supernatural doings. Director Argento’s horror classic - generally considered his best film - is a ravishing feast for the eyes and ears, with an overwhelmingly saturated color palette (the better to see all of that blood) and immersive sound design (truly cacophonous) and an iconic, baroque musical score by Argento’s band, Goblin. Suspiria is a surreal, Technicolor nightmare, the stuff bad dreams are made of, and, just in time for Halloween, best experienced on the big screen. A stunning new 4K DCP will be screened. (BR)
- Sun., Oct. 30 | 2:00 PMChazen
Hot on the heels of his cult favorite debut feature, Re-Animator, director Gordon teamed again with screenwriter Dennis Paoli and actors Combs and Crampton for another equally dazzling and gory adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft story. The plot revolves around sinister experiments to stimulate the pineal gland in humans, awakening a “third eye” that turns the test subjects into raving, sex-crazed maniacs!
- Thu., Nov. 3 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Riseborough gives one of the year’s best performances in Amanda Kramer’s smirkingly flamboyant, gender-blurring knockout. Stylish down to the last detail, Please Baby Please inhabits a neon-drenched, leather-clad 1950s New York replete with lusty greaser cruising, gangland showdowns, and lovelorn musical numbers, equal parts Marlon Brando, Kenneth Anger, and John Waters. “Delightfully off-kilter… an ebullient, campy thrill ride” (Variety). (MK)
- Fri., Nov. 4 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
This landmark nouvelle vague classic, loosely based on Truffaut’s own troubled childhood, introduced filmgoers to the enduring character of Antoine Doinel, touchingly played by Leaud in what became, literally, the role of a lifetime. This first of Truffaut’s five Doinel films remains the most impactful and best-loved. A new 4K restoration will be screened.
- Sat., Nov. 5 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Heston stars as a former football star forced to choose between Gardner and Genevieve Bujold amidst a Los Angeles in ruins in Robson’s soapy epic. An all-star cast keeps things moving and grooving, with particularly vivid turns from Marjoe Gortner as a sublimely creepy grocery store clerk and Kennedy as the ultimate L.A. cop. Celebrated for innovative visual effects and a gut-punching Sensurround soundtrack, Earthquake, co-written by The Godfather creator Mario Puzo, is arguably the best of the 70s disaster films and a must-see on the big screen. (BR)
- Thu., Nov. 10 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Long past his meager prime, washed-up crooner Richie Bravo has been reduced to miniscule gigs in Italian tourist traps during the chilly off-season. Bombed out of his mind while belting out cheesy pop tunes of yesteryear for an audience of swooning seniors, he makes ends meet selling his bloated body to the most desperate among them. Until his daughter shows up. Master filmmaker Seidl’s characteristically provocative and caustic vision is anchored by a superb lead performance by Michael Thomas. (MK)
- Fri., Nov. 11 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In Resnais’ fourth feature, the Spaniard communist Diego (Montand) finds himself in exile in Paris after the Spanish Civil War. Diego has developed a deep malaise after Franco’s fascists took control of the country. After meeting the young radical Nadine (Bujold), Diego learns of an underground plan to mount an armed attack against the Franco government. Will this new plan shake Diego from his post-war ennui, returning him to previous commitments? Or will the anti-fascist activities of Nadine and her fellow leftists mark yet another political disappointment? Just as Resnais explored the bombing of Hiroshima in Hiroshima mon amour and the use of torture in the Algerian War in Muriel, the legendary New Wave director probes memories of the Spanish Civil War in his trademark experimental editing style. The cast is rounded out by Thulin, a regular performer in the films of Ingmar Bergman, playing Marianne, Diego’s concerned lover. (JB)
- Sat., Nov. 12 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
A sniper targets a championship football game at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum while Police Captain Heston and SWAT Team Leader Cassavetes race the clock to neutralize the threat before the shooting starts. Featuring an all-star cast in the bleachers and some of the most visceral riot scenes ever lensed, Peerce’s chillingly bleak, underseen, and underappreciated disaster/suspense film is a minor-key masterpiece. (BR)
- Thu., Nov. 17 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
One of the year’s great cinematic revelations is this minimalist epic, filmed almost entirely from the backseat of a sedan on the Melbourne highway. A middle-aged barrister commutes home from work, calls his mom and wife, and is sometimes joined by a younger coworker (director Easteal). Over the course of several rides brimming with casually philosophical conversations, we come to know these often unseen characters as deeply as if they were in our own lives. “A tremendous achievement, and, in a subtle way, an amazing work of art” (The Guardian). “A most evocative, soul-replenishing journey… this is an astonishingly full-rounded, richly textured portrait of a life, epic in size and scope” (The Film Stage). (MK)
- Fri., Nov. 18 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In 1995 Vienna, a young family begins to rupture as the dad sinks into drug addiction. Just as he bottoms out, the film makes a daring 11-year leap forward to deal with the fallout in Paris. Directed when she was only 25, Mia Hansen-Løve’s astonishingly assured and deeply empathetic debut feature finds many of her key authorial hallmarks already in place, from her singular ability to capture the passage of time to her unerring ear for great music. (MK)
- Sat., Nov. 19 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Heston is the last man on earth in the freakiest and funkiest of the three (so far) screen adaptations of Richard Matheson’s post-apocalypse horror novel, I Am Legend. As the seemingly sole survivor of a man-made plague, Heston spends his days cruising a ghost town version of Los Angeles, watching a 35mm print of Woodstock in an abandoned movie theater, and gunning down some particularly gruesome creatures of the night. With memorable turns by Zerbe as the Manson-esque leader of an albino vampire cult, and Cash as a leather clad, gun-toting, afro-rocking, motorcycle-riding Pam Grier prototype, The Omega Man is a straight, no chaser blast of pure 70s dystopian exploitation pleasure. (BR)
- Fri., Dec. 2 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
After her parents' sudden death, Thérese (Gréco) decides to leave the convent to run the family business and care for her younger sister, who is involved with local lowlife Max (Lemaire). Before the startling conclusion, there will be attempted suicide, blackmail, a rigged car accident, and a one-sided love affair. The third feature from director Melville (Le Samourai, Army of Shadows) displays “sophisticated observation and flashy repartee involving those two great Noir topics: money and sex… Melville irresistibly pulls you into an enticing if often nasty world in which desire, often forbidden and/or duplicitous, rules his characters’ every feverish action” (David Noh, Film Journal International).
- Sat., Dec. 3 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Heston stars as a New York police detective in the nightmarish year of 2022, investigating the murder of a wealthy industrialist (Joseph Cotten). The city is a vastly overpopulated sweatbox frequently rocked by riots when there are shortages of the only sustaining foodstuff, derived from soybeans and lentils (yeah, sure it is). Heston’s investigation, aided by a researcher/scholar pal (Robinson in his final role), leads him to the devastating secret of “soylent green.” Veteran director Fleischer’s vision is today considered a sci-fi classic that ranks with the Heston-starrer Planet of the Apes.
- Fri., Dec. 9 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
The late 1920s. Leaving his home in fascist Italy to look for work in the south of France, Toni (played by French actor Blavette) falls hard for another immigrant, the Spanish Josefa (played by Mexican actress Montalván). But when Josefa begins to see a brutal foreman and Toni marries his landlady, the stage is set for jealousy and murder. Inspired by the naturalism in the writings of Marcel Pagnol (Toni’s producer) and taking his story from a real-life crime, director Renoir retreated from studio sets to film outdoors on actual locations in Martigues, using direct sound to capture the wind in the leaves, the chirps of the crickets. Renoir’s work on this movie was an inspiration later to the Italian neo-realists, including Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, and Luchino Visconti, who, at age 27, was Renoir’s assistant director on Toni. This new 4K digital restoration was taken from Toni’s original camera negative. “One of the key films in Jean Renoir’s work... the film in which he pushed his personal and cinematic quest the farthest” (André Bazin). “Very beautiful, kind of lyrical and very sad; a great Renoir movie” (Wes Anderson).
- Sat., Dec. 10 | 6:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Heston damns us all to hell as an astronaut who lands on a planet where civilized Apes rule over primitive humans. Magnificently crafted by all involved, this first screen version, adapted from a novel by Pierre Boulle, retains its power to amuse, inspire and shock audiences.
- Sat., Dec. 10 | 8:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Talking apes play second fiddle to bomb-worshipping mutants in this shockingly nihilistic fever dream of a sequel. Heston is back as his Planet of the Apes protagonist Taylor, but takes a backseat to Franciscus, as an astronaut sent on a mission to discover what may have happened to Taylor and his crew. He finds the answer in one of the darkest and most disturbing visions of the future that Hollywood ever imagined. With a screenplay by Apes series mastermind Paul Dehn, Beneath is a bracing reminder of a time before film franchise rules were etched in stone. (BR)
- Fri., Dec. 16 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Thomas (Lalanne), a precocious and clever boy who nonetheless believes in Santa Claus, awaits a visit from ol’ Saint Nick on Christmas Eve. Alone in his family mansion, Thomas gets a visit down the chimney from a psychotic and delusional department store Santa on a homicidal rampage. The battle to survive the holy night is on. Rumor has it that this stylish and surprisingly whimsical action thriller was viewed by John Hughes the year before Home Alone was released.