Our first 2024 screening calendar includes a number of special presentations on 35mm film, including a Groundhog Day screening of Groundhog Day; Kathryn Bigelow’s prescient futuristic thriller Strange Days; Park Chan-wook’s fascinating take on the vampire genre, Thirst; Akira Kurosawa’s adaptation of an American crime novel, High and Low; Walter Hill’s retro-futuro action-musical Streets of Fire; and King Hu’s wuxia epic, A Touch of Zen. We are also presenting new DCP restorations of Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom; Philip Kaufman’s stunning 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers; Louise Brooks in G.W. Pabst’s Pandora’s Box, featuring live piano by David Drazin; Roman Polanski’s Oscar-winning The Pianist; Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven; and Francis Coppola’s One from the Heart Reprise, a newly revised version of the director’s 1982 musical fantasia. Plus, the Marx Bros. in A Night at the Opera; and the first area screening of To Kill a Tiger, an Oscar-contender documentary filmed in India.

  • 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.

  • 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. 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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)

  • 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.

  • 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. 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.

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

3D is used to virtuoso ends in this arthouse neo-noir (which has nothing to do with Eugene O’Neill). The film begins in 2D, as Luo searches out old flames and foes in a neon-drenched Kaili. The entire final hour of the film is a single, unbroken 3D shot that draws us deep into Lou’s dream-state. Both a dazzling technical accomplishment and time-bending narrative trick, this epic shot comprises the most ingenious use of 3D in narrative cinema since Gravity. In China, this unlikely blockbuster racked up a massive $40 million in its opening weekend (!). “Reaches a new level of cinematic intrigue as an immersive experience, unfolding within a surreal context that combines technical wizardry with high art. In this masterful directing gamble, the camera peers deep into its protagonist’s soul, and finds a whole universe lurking in its confines” (Indiewire). Presented with the support of Center for East Asian Studies at UW Madison.

  • 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.

  • 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

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.