All Screenings: January-May 2024

STREETS OF FIRE

  • Thu., Jan. 25 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

This chilling adaptation of Martin Amis’ novel depicts the rather banal domestic life of Hedwig Höss (Hüller) and her husband, Rudolf Höss (Friedel), commandant at Auschwitz. Filmed on location, the story is set almost entirely in the family home of the Hösses, who raised their children directly adjacent to the train tracks, gas chambers, and crematoria of the death camp. Winner of the Grand Prix at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival and one of the best-reviewed films of the last year, The Zone of Interest is another fascinating study of pathological behavior from the eclectic Glazer, director of Sexy Beast, Birth, and Under the Skin.

  • Fri., Jan. 26 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Boehm plays a compulsive young man who seeks out Lower-London prostitutes; armed with a 16mm camera that kills, his aim is to capture the ultimate expression of fear on film. Remarkable in its complex dealings with voyeurism and culpability, Peeping Tom remains one of the most modern texts yet made on the manipulative power of the moving image. Viewed as reprehensible in its day (while the simultaneously released Psycho enjoyed widespread acclaim), Powell’s psychological thriller is today universally seen, like his The Red Shoes and I Know Where I’m Going, as a masterpiece.

  • Sat., Jan. 27 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Perrin stars as Émile, a handsome and disturbed young man targeting women he believes are too depressed to go on living. As multiple women fall to Émile’s suffocating white scarf, a police inspector (Guiomar) resorts to dangerous and unethical methods to track down the killer with the assistance of Anna (Simonet), who believes herself to be a potential victim. Filmmaker Vecchiali’s strange, hypnotic, and wildly stylish tale of murder was mostly unknown in the U.S. until this restored version screened to rapturously enthusiastic audiences at the 2023 New York Film Festival and Fantastic Fest.

  • Thu., Feb. 1 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

As he did in Pina (2011), director Wenders makes full use of the latest in 3-D technology to craft a suitably visionary portrait of another acclaimed and forward-thinking German artist: Anselm Kiefer. Filmed primarily in the artist’s vast, 200-acre property-cum-studio, Wenders uses ultra-high resolution 3-D to photograph Kiefer’s massive artworks in almost sculptural detail. “Wenders continues to push the boundaries of 3D filmmaking with a visually-striking documentary that pulls the audience into the artistic process” (Sight & Sound). (MK)

  • Fri., Feb. 2 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Celebrate the season with director and co-writer Ramis’ classic ode to one of America’s strangest holidays. Murray plays a pompous Pittsburgh weatherman who discovers that he’s not only trapped in the small town of Punxsutawney, but in the same February 2, a time loop without explanation or escape. Groundhog Day deftly balances its high-concept premise with warmth and provincial charm as Murray (never better) attempts to make the most of his existential prison by breaking the law, cheating death, seducing his producer (a winning McDowell), and ultimately bettering himself and the lives of those around him. 35mm print courtesy Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research. (LSL)

  • Sat., Feb. 3 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

This adaptation of Prévost's 1731 novel Manon Lescaut (which also inspired Puccini’s opera) is an early masterpiece for Clouzot, best known for The Wages of Fear and Diabolique. Reset during WWII and a few years after the war, the story of obsessive love follows Manon (Aubry), a village girl accused of collaborating with the Nazis who is rescued from imminent execution by a former French Resistance fighter (Auclair). The couple move to Paris, but their relationship turns stormy as they struggle to survive, resorting to profiteering, prostitution, and even murder. The stunning conclusion finds the protagonists in Palestine during the establishment of the State of Israel. Winner, Golden Lion, 1949 Venice Film Festival.

  • Thu., Feb. 8 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

The effervescent new comedy from Ozon is buzzing with giddy verve and resplendent in Art Deco luxury. The story, set in 1930s Paris, tells of an aspiring actress accused of murdering a lascivious producer. When the charming Madeline takes the stand (with her roommate as her defense attorney), she quickly wins over the press and finally achieves the fame and glory she’s been after all these years… until another actress turns up, claiming to be the real killer. This madcap farce “is full to bursting with brilliant lines” (Cineuropa). (MK)

  • Fri., Feb. 9 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Cabaret performer Violeta (Sevilla) adopts the abandoned child of prostitute Rita (Montaner) and Rodolfo (Acosta), Rita’s murderous pimp. Motherhood forces Violeta to give up her career, but her happiness is jeopardized when Rodolfo, freed from prison, seeks to reclaim his son. Best known for his Steinbeck adaptation, The Pearl (1947), Fernández infuses Victims with impassioned songs and performances by Sevilla, an icon of Mexican cinema and a purveyor of African, Caribbean, and Cuban dance styles. Fernández, who was also celebrated for his performance as The Wild Bunch’s debauched villain, delivered in his finest work behind the camera a unique blend of film noir, melodrama, and musical. A new 4K DCP, fully restored from the original 35mm nitrate camera negative by Peter Conheim (Cinema Preservation Alliance/USA) and Viviana Garcia-Besné (Permanencia Voluntaria/Mexico), will be screened. The restoration is co-produced by Permanencia Voluntaria and Cinema Preservation Alliance, with further assistance from IMCINE and the Academy Film Archive.

  • Sat., Feb. 10 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

In a stunning change of pace, Coppola pere followed his jungle epic Apocalypse Now with this charming, candy colored love story of a married couple (Frederic Forrest & Garr), who, over the course of one evening, split up and find romance with strangers (Julia­ & Kinski). The Las Vegas-set fantasia was shot entirely on the soundstages of Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios and set to an Oscar-nominated song score by Tom Waits.  A costly box-office disappointment, this visionary film is now considered one of the most influential postmodern works of its era, and an obvious precursor to films like La La Land and Moulin Rouge! This new cut of One from the Heart, personally supervised by Coppola, contains new footage never seen before and material sourced directly from the original camera negative.

  • Thu., Feb. 15 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Parasite-style class warfare meets the disaster movie in this highly entertaining Korean blockbuster. An apocalyptic earthquake levels Seoul, with only one apartment building left standing. As desperate outsiders scramble to gain entry to this high-rise paradise, its threatened residents seal themselves inside—only to begin turning on one another. Concrete Utopia won Best Film at the Grand Bell Awards (Korea’s Oscar equivalent), joining the ranks of the last three winners: Decision to Leave, Parasite, and Burning. Presented with the support of the Center for East Asian Studies at UW Madison. (MK)

  • Fri., Feb. 16 | 6:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Sworn to an oath of secrecy, a frightened schoolboy is determined to track down an abductor of children without telling any adults or police. Expressionistically told from the child’s point of view, this marvelous and visually arresting Argentine thriller is an adaptation of a short story by Cornell Woolrich (Rear Window). Director Christensen’s style recalls Fritz Lang’s M and anticipates Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter. 35mm restored print courtesy UCLA Film & Television Archive and Film Noir Foundation.

  • Fri., Feb. 16 | 7:30 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Director Fregonese tells the true story of José Moran, who embezzled from his Buenos Aires employers and planned to reclaim the loot following a six year prison sentence. The most celebrated of Fregonese’s Argentine films, made before his sojourn in Hollywood, begins as an urban crime drama and evolves into a jailbreak story. This South American film noir provided a significant amount of inspiration for Rodrigo Moreno’s 2023 critics’ favorite The Delinquents. 35mm restored print courtesy UCLA Film & Television Archive and Film Noir Foundation.

  • Sat., Feb. 17 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

One of the few remakes that equals its predecessor, this brilliantly crafted update of the 1956 sci-fi classic depicts an alien race’s covert attempt to gradually replace humans with emotionless clones. Though the time and setting have been changed to Me generation-era San Francisco, Kaufman’s film loses none of the original’s sinister atmosphere, slowly mounting suspense, or allegorical force. Lead performers Sutherland, Adams, Nimoy, Jeff Goldblum, and Veronica Cartwright make for an eccentric and memorable cast of characters. A new 4K DCP will be screened!

  • Thu., Feb. 22 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

A conflict between a misbehaving fifth-grader, his defensive mom, and his school’s bureaucracy threatens to boil over with tense accusations. But as the film twice doubles back to replay its central events through different characters’ perspectives, we come to see that the truth is far more complex than any individual can comprehend. Monster’s engaging, daring, and illuminating three-part structure fittingly won the Best Screenplay award at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. Featuring the final score by the iconic composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, Monster also marks master filmmaker’s Hirokazu Kore-eda's first Japanese feature since winning the Palme d’Or for Shoplifters. Presented with the support of the Center for East Asian Studies at UW Madison. (MK)

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

This offbeat departure for the eclectic Kleber Mendonça Filho (Bacurau) is an essay film that explores the Brazilian director’s home city of Recife and how its architecture and seaside location have provided creative inspiration for his movies, like Neighboring Sounds and Aquarius. Mendonça Filho pays particular attention to Recife’s cinemas, and reflects on the links between these picture palaces and the history and gentrification of the city. Using home videos, clips from films, photos, and original footage, Pictures of Ghosts is a dazzlingly original new work from an important contemporary filmmaker.

  • Sat., Feb. 24 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Brooks plays Lulu, heroine of Frank Wedekind’s beloved German plays. An innocently immoral sexual predator, Lulu discards and destroys men as she tries to get ahead…until she meets Jack the Ripper. After a series of nondescript flapper films, the American Brooks abandoned Hollywood in favor of artistically richer projects in Europe. She emerged a screen icon through her work on Pandora’s Box, Pabst’s masterpiece of silent cinema. A newly restored 2K DCP will be presented, accompanied on live piano by David Drazin.

  • Sun., Feb. 25 | 2:00 PM
    Chazen

Responding to the real-life Voyager I probe’s message of peace, an extraterrestrial visitor spectacularly crashes its own spacecraft just outside of Madison, WI and takes on the form of a recently deceased earthling (Bridges, in an Oscar-nominated performance). The dead man’s grieving widow (Allen) reluctantly accompanies the gentle-but-awkward alien on a road trip to the Southwest, all the while dodging dangerous government officials in an effort to meet the Starman’s connecting flight home. This sweet, funny, and handsomely photographed interstellar love story was a highly successful departure for action and horror specialist Carpenter.

  • Thu., Feb. 29 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

At the dawn of the 20th century in the remote corners of the Tierra del Fuego, three men—a Scottish soldier, an American mercenary, and a mestizo marksman—are tasked with surveying the region for a wealthy landowner. As they roam the Andes, it becomes apparent that their real mission is to wipe out the indigenous population. This mesmerizing, superbly crafted debut feature has been compared by critics to the works of Martin Scorsese and Budd Boetticher. (MK)

  • Fri., Mar. 1 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

To Kill a Tiger has been nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Documentary Feature Film. This harrowing, compelling, and compassionate documentary tells the story of Ranjit, a poor rice farmer in Jharkhand, India who struggles to find justice after his 13-year-old daughter is sexually assaulted by three men. When the police suggest that the girl wed one of the rapists to salvage the family’s dignity and uphold peace in the village, Ranjit and his fearless child refuse to accept the status quo. Working arduously with a few allies in the legal system to make sure a criminal trial takes place and facing a community that is mostly against them, Ranjit and his family cling to their love for one another and their dogged belief in the possibility of change. “A film bristling with invigorating defiance” (The New York Times). Presented with the support of UW Madison’s Center for South Asia and 4W Initiative - Women & Well-being in Wisconsin & the World

  • Sat., Mar. 2 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

In the first and best of the Marx Bros. comedies after they landed at MGM, Groucho, Chico and Harpo invade the world of opera. With utter lack of respect for authority or social mores, the boys set their anarchic sights on the stiff upper crust elite (personified by perennial Groucho foil Margaret Dumont) and pompous prima donnas of the high class music scene! The series of chaotic, gut-busting episodes that follow include some of their most famous moments, including the mayhem-filled stateroom sequence. A co-presentation of UW Cinematheque and Madison Opera.

  • Fri., Mar. 8 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

In a dystopian Los Angeles at the turn of the millennium, Lenny Nero (Fiennes, playing against type) is an ex-cop turned scuzzy black-market dealer of recordings for a device that allows a user to experience the memories, feelings, and physical sensations of other people. This noir-ish tale of voyeurism, police corruption, and virtual reality has been recognized as a prescient and shockingly hard-edged vision of civilization’s decline amidst technological advancement. A film ahead of its time, Strange Days is the lone collaboration between Oscar-winning filmmakers (and ex-spouses) Bigelow and James Cameron, who produced and co-wrote the screenplay. “Bigelow’s fin-de-millennium film straddles the divide between the 20th century, the century of cinema, and the digital future…[It] hasn’t aged a minute, sadly”(Nick Pinkerton, Rhizome.org). (LSL)

  • Sat., Mar. 9 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Catholic priest, Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho), volunteers to participate in a vaccine trial for a deadly, leprosy-like virus. The experimental vaccine fails, but after receiving a tainted blood transfusion, Sang-hyun recovers only to find himself transformed into a bloodthirsty creature of the night. Reunited with a childhood friend, Sang-hyun falls madly in love with the friend’s wife (Kim Ok-bin) and then things get wild. Featuring hairpin tonal shifts and outrageously gruesome effects, Park Chan-wook’s one of a kind vampire film is a gonzo genre-mash-up of bedroom farce, Grand Guignol blood-soaked horror, social commentary, sweeping romance, and kitchen sink melodrama that needs to be seen to be believed. Presented with the support of the Center for East Asian Studies at UW Madison. (BR)

  • Fri., Mar. 15 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

In the definitive version of Reginald Rose’s timeless script, an all-white jury decides the fate of a youth accused of murder. This tightly constructed searing exposé of prejudice in the American legal system stars Fonda as a particularly conscientious juror, and a pantheon of great character actors, including Cobb, Warden, E. G. Marshall, Jack Klugman, and Martin Balsam.

  • Sat., Mar. 16 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

In post-apocalypse France, residents of a still-standing apartment building rely on their in-house butcher to capture and carve up what is now the most abundant source of food: people. Complications ensue when their latest meal-to-be, a former clown (rubber-faced Pinon) arrives on the scene and proves himself to be perhaps too handy to eat. Directing duo Jenuet & Caro arrived on the scene with this first feature as fully-formed stylists. The remarkable blend of pitch-black comedy, eye-popping color palettes, and melancholy-infused whimsy that informs their subsequent features, City of Lost Children and Amelie, are displayed in full-force throughout this cult classic. (BR)

  • Fri., Mar. 22 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Lumet’s sophomore feature was an immediate reunion with Fonda, an adaptation of the same play (Morning Glory) that provided the source material for Katharine Hepburn’s first Oscar winning role in 1933. Strasberg stars as Eva Lovelace (real name Gertrude Lengenfeider), an ambitious young ingenue trying to break out on the Broadway stage. Fonda plays Lewis Easton, the slick theatrical producer whose eye is caught by Eva’s raw talents. Filmed entirely on location in New York City, the film is further notable for the movie debut of Plummer, who plays a lovestruck playwright enchanted by the vivacious Eva. 35mm print courtesy Chicago Film Society. (LSL)

  • Sat., Mar. 23 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Mifune stars as Gondo, a wealthy shoe company executive who is told his son has been kidnapped. As he begins rounding up his entire fortune to pay the huge ransom, Gondo realizes the kidnapper has snatched his chauffeur’s son by mistake! This gritty, screw-tightening thriller, based on an American novel by Ed McBain, is, along with Ikiru, the best of Kurosawa’s non-period pictures. High and Low’s plot and moral dilemmas recently inspired Steven Soderbergh’s series Full Circle. Presented with the support of the Center for East Asian Studies at UW Madison.

  • Sun., Mar. 24 | 2:00 PM
    Chazen

Junior high-schooler Ben (Hawke, in his first movie), the recipient of interstellar psychic instructions for space travel, recruits nerdy pal Wolfgang (Phoenix) and tough kid Darren (Presson) to help him build a spacecraft out of a rusted Tilt-a-Whirl carriage. The boys’ odd and surprising journey beyond the stars and their encounter with alien life is rendered with a bounty of classic movie references and the usual satirical flourish that fans have come to expect from director Dante, here making his follow-up to the blockbuster smash Gremlins.

  • Fri., Mar. 29 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

After a computer error deploys a U.S. bomber group to nuke Moscow, those on the ground in Washington scramble to stop the planes and negotiate with the Soviets to prevent all-out global conflict. Fonda stars as the level-headed but beleaguered President of the United States in the movie that has become known as the “straight” version of Dr. Strangelove, which was released the same year and by the same studio. Fail Safe remains one of Hollywood’s boldest and darkest dramatizations of a nuclear worst-case scenario. Lumet’s mastery of claustrophobic tension is on full display here, piling on complications and impossible choices that build to a truly unforgettable ending. (LSL)

  • Sat., Mar. 30 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Phony Wars, Godard’s final work, represents the legendary filmmaker’s initial attempts at adapting a 1937 novel by Charles Pilsnier. The resulting 20-minute ‘trailer’ for a film that never was is a complex collage of history, politics, and cinema constructed of paper and glue, paintings and photographs, sound and silence.

  • Sat., Mar. 30 | 7:30 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Godard's feverish, surreal and pulpy New Wave classic follows undercover agent Lemmy Caution (American expat actor Constantine) as he attempts to resist the Orwellian regime of supercomputer Alpha 60. Shot entirely on location in Paris without the use of special effects, Godard and cinematographer Raoul Coutard use their otherworldly imaginations to create an unforgettable low-budget sci-fi noir future. Presented in a new 4K DCP restoration by Rialto Pictures, Alphaville stands as a bizarre, fantastic entry in the canon of one of cinema's greatest auteurs.

  • Fri., Apr. 12 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

In the last days of 1970, Paul “Walleye” Hunham (Giamatti), a strict and hated history instructor at an exclusive New England boarding school for boys, is tasked with watching over those few students not spending the Christmas holidays with their families. The isolating circumstances draw Hunham closer in friendship with the smart-but-troubled junior Angus Tully (Sessa), and Mary Lamb (Randolph), the school’s head cook. The witty and humane tale of these three wise misfits, one of the most acclaimed films of 2023, is loaded with emotional grace notes and marvelous performances. Director and two-time Academy Award winner Payne will be present for a post-screening discussion of The Holdovers, presented here on one of a limited number of 35mm prints created for the theatrical release.

  • Sat., Apr. 13 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Trail guide Buck Wyatt (Robert Taylor) leads a large group of single females on a wagon train from Chicago to a California valley community where the women will meet and marry the men who are the town’s first settlers. A moving and entertaining Western, filled with drama and heartbreak and romance, Westward the Women was recently cited as one of five favorite movies by filmmaker Alexander Payne, who also called it “a completely neglected masterpiece.” Payne will introduce this screening of an excellent 35mm print, courtesy of the Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research.

  • Fri., Apr. 19 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

In his Oscar-winning performance, Brody stars as the celebrated composer and pianist Władysław Szpilman, who plays the last live music heard over Polish radio before Nazi artillery hits. During the brutal occupation, Szpilman evades deportation to the death camps, struggling to stay alive inside and just outside the devastated Warsaw Ghetto. Polanski’s harrowing and riveting adaptation of Szpilman’s autobiography earned him the Academy Award for Best Director. A newly restored 4K DCP will be screened.

  • Sat., Apr. 20 | 6:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

The first collaboration between filmmaker Grémillon and legendary leading man Gabin features the young actor as a Casanova of the French Foreign Legion– “lady killer” Lucien Bourrache – who meets his match in the mysterious seductress Madeleine (Balin).“Every frame of this exquisite masterpiece is beautifully shot, brimming with movement and life…Gremillon demonstrates his unsurpassed technical skill and humanity as one of France's greatest directors” (Philip Lopate).

  • Sat., Apr. 20 | 7:45 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Victor (Raimu), a seemingly respected citizen and shop owner in a small provincial community, is, in fact, a murderous underworld boss. When an innocent man (Blanchar) is blamed for one of Victor’s crimes, he escapes from prison and seeks shelter with the one person he knows he can trust, the “upstanding” Monsieur Victor! Filled with humor and suffused with a glowing humanism, Grémillon’s superb film is a surprising tale without traditional heroes and villains, a movie worth comparing to the best of Jean Renoir. A new 4K restoration will be screened.

  • Fri., Apr. 26 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

When rock star Ellen Aim (Lane) is kidnapped by a biker gang mid-concert, it’s up to her bruiser ex-boyfriend (Paré) to track down and confront the gang’s vicious leader (Willem Dafoe) and bring Ellen home in one piece. A one-of-a-kind “Rock and Roll Fable,” director and co-writer Hill’s leather-clad, neon-drenched spin on classic westerns features a fist-pumping original soundtrack, including two over-the-top ballads penned by Bat Out of Hell writer Jim Steinman. The outlandish supporting characters, inspired retro-futuristic production design, and an unforgettable mano a mano with sledgehammers makes Streets of Fire a cult classic par excellence. (LSL)

  • Sat., Apr. 27 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

In a story that mixes sword fighting, romance, and spirituality, a humble, clumsy painter becomes the protector of a female fugitive who has been targeted for execution by a corrupt palace Eunuch. The adventure takes our heroes from a small village to a stunning aerial flight in a bamboo grove, and a series of battles in forests, on mountaintops, and, finally, in a “seascape transformed into a vista of Buddhist transcendence” (David Bordwell). An epic milestone in the history of the martial arts movie, King Hu’s masterpiece set the standard for decades to come and was later an influence on countless films to come, particularly Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. 35mm print courtesy Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research.

  • Sun., Apr. 28 | 2:00 PM
    Chazen

Bowie is Thomas Jerome Newton, a slightly advanced humanoid-alien sent to our world to find a way to save his own dying home planet. Newton brings along several inventions that make him wealthy but don’t alleviate his tremendous loneliness. Roeg’s brilliantly fragmented storytelling style takes the film beyond an exploration of outer space into the inner space of Newton's mind as he struggles to cope with life on Earth.

  • Fri., May. 3 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Malick’s sophomore effort is one of the most acclaimed features of the 1970’s. Gere, Adams and Shepard play the members of a doomed love triangle on a Texas wheat farm at the turn of the century, but the real star of the show is the almost overwhelmingly beautiful cinematography by Nestor Almendros (with help from Haskell Wexler). Malick’s gentle, elliptical storytelling style is greatly aided by his poetic and haunting narration, memorably read by young actress Linda Manz, and the lovely score by Ennio Morricone.

  • Sat., May. 4 | 7:00 PM
    Marquee

Highlighting works produced in Communication Arts Media Production courses at UW Madison, this program is curated by the instructors of documentary and narrative production courses and gives new filmmakers the opportunity to present their films on screen for the first time.