All Fall 2023 Screenings
- Thu., Aug. 31 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Winner of the Silver Bear at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, the latest from contemporary master Petzold (Phoenix, Transit) mines creative and romantic insecurities. Looking to overcome his writer’s block, a novelist accompanies his friend to his family’s seaside vacation house. But upon arrival, they find a young woman already staying there (Petzold regular Paula Beer). As love triangles—both requited and unrequited—develop, smoke from encroaching wildfires begins to cloud the vacation town’s skies. “Absorbing, barbed, and frequently funny” (Los Angeles Times). “A tonic for moviegoers tired of nice, squishable, likable, relatable dull and dull characters. (Manohla Dargis, The New York Times). (MK)
- Fri., Sep. 1 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In the strange but wonderful story of Pee-wee’s search for his beloved bicycle, the late, great Reubens made his leading man(child) debut, becoming one of the iconic figures of the 1980s. Director Burton and screenwriters Reubens, Phil Hartman, and Michael Varhol managed to craft a narrative and emotional atmosphere that constantly surprises and pays homage to all kinds of cinema, from Godzilla to James Bond to Italian neorealism.
- Sat., Sep. 2 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Lester’s definitive adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ classic story of palace intrigue and heroic derring-do in 17th century France is made electric by matinee idol York as would-be musketeer, d’Artagnan, and a radiant Welch as his damsel-in-distress, Constance. A rollicking swashbuckler filled to the brim with raucous humor, “lived-in” period details, and a delightfully villainous turn by Heston as Cardinal Richelieu, this handsomely produced spectacle is one of the great big-screen entertainments of the 1970s. A new 4K restoration will be screened. (BR)
- Thu., Sep. 7 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Cera stars as a poker addict returning to his hometown in this characteristically offbeat and perceptive dramedy from the director of Person to Person. As he reconnects with his two sisters in the house they grew up in, the siblings revert to their childhood language of inside jokes and make-believe—and their accompanying long-buried grudges. Building on a trifecta of bravura performances from Cera, Gross, and Asteroid City’s Lillis, the film’s apparently lowkey amiability builds to a bounty of funny, raw, and resonant revelations about family relationships. (MK)
- Fri., Sep. 8 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In 1960s Hong Kong, two next door neighbors (Leung and Cheung at the height of their movie-star powers) discover their spouses are having an affair and embark on a relationship of their own. Stunningly gorgeous, hauntingly enigmatic, teasingly elliptical, Wong Kar-Wai’s masterpiece rewards repeat viewings, but is an undeniable modern classic at first glance, unfolding like an inescapable fever dream, or, in the film’s own words, like a secret whispered into a hole in a tree. (BR)
- Sat., Sep. 9 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Although filmed at the same time as the previous year’s The Three Musketeers, Lester’s sequel is a decidedly darker and more risqué conclusion to the classic tale. Reed as Athos and Dunaway as Milady de Winter step into the spotlight alongside another batch of brilliantly staged and photographed sword fights. As was the case with its companion movie, The Four Musketeers boasts a crackerjack screenplay by novelist George McDonald Fraser, vivid cinematography by David Watkin, and some of the most breathtaking costumes, production design, and stunt work ever committed to celluloid. A new 4K restoration will be screened. (BR)
- Thu., Sep. 14 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
This shocking, riotous comedy pushes the envelope to the point of breaking wide open. In a merciless self-parody, director Silva is creatively moribund and popping pills in Mexico City. He retreats to a notorious gay nude beach, where amid the bacchanal he encounters an obnoxious influencer (Firstman in a similarly mocking self-portrait) eager to participate in—and finance—a new project. Suffice it to say, things go seriously awry. Wildly unpredictable, absurdly despairing, and never less than totally outrageous, Rotting in the Sun is a culmination of the themes Silva has explored in films like The Maid, Crystal Fairy and the Magic Cactus, and Nasty Baby. Presented with the support of Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies at UW Madison (UW LACIS). (MK)
- Fri., Sep. 15 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In Godard’s first big-budget film, a screenwriter (Piccoli) struggles with rewriting a screenplay of The Odyssey for a demanding director (noted filmmaker Fritz Lang) and an obnoxious American producer (Palance), while his marriage to Camille (Bardot) falls apart. Godard chaffed under the constant pressure of his own producers, and Contempt, screened here in a new 4K restoration, is often a thinly veiled attack towards them.
- Sat., Sep. 16 | 6:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Chaney stars as circus conman Alonzo the Armless, who throws knives with his feet. Alonzo, who hides the fact that he has full use of all his extremities, falls hard for Estrelita (Joan Crawford), a big top colleague who fears the arms of all men and is unaware of Alonzo’s secret. Perfectly lurid and perversely melodramatic, The Unknown is one of the most memorable and personal Hollywood features from the end of the silent era. This new restoration from George Eastman Museum contains over 10 minutes of footage not seen for decades, and practically brings The Unknown back to its original running time. George Eastman Museum’s Preservation Manager, Anthony L’Abbate, will introduce this screening and discuss the restoration. Live piano by David Drazin!
- Sat., Sep. 16 | 7:45 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Browning’s classic, which shocked early 30s audiences and was partly responsible for the enforcement of Hollywood’s production code, is still as fascinating and unsettling as it was over 90 years ago. Featuring a supporting cast of genuine sideshow acts like the conjoined Hilton sisters and “The Amazing Half Boy” Johnny Eck, Freaks tells the circus story of a corrupt trapeze artist (Baclanova), her seduction of little person Hans (Earles), and the subsequent revenge of Hans’ fellow performers.
- Thu., Sep. 21 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
A radiant Léa Seydoux stars as a Parisian single mom juggling a complicated family life and a passionate new affair in this exquisitely moving slice-of-life. Over 8 features in 15 years, writer/director Hansen-Løve has risen to become one of France’s great auteurs, and this impeccably crafted heartbreaker ranks among her best films yet. “Rich and resonant… as palpable and alive as a gust of summer air rustling the tree along the Seine” (Indiewire). “Quietly miraculous… an immensely satisfying collaboration that finds both auteur and star further solidifying their spots among the greats of their respective fields” (The Hollywood Reporter). (MK)
- Fri., Sep. 22 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
A once thriving community, Braddock, PA was one of the country’s largest producers of steel. After the first steel mill closings in the 1970s, filmmaker and Braddock resident Tony Buba began chronicling the decline of his hometown with a series of short documentaries, culminating with this wildly creative feature-length movie. Against a backdrop of shuttered businesses and crumbling homes, Buba attempts to complete a film project centered around the eccentric, combative, tough-talking, and frequently delusional Braddock denizen, Salvatore “Sweet Sal” Caru, who credits himself for Buba’s success. This screening will be preceded by Buba’s latest addition to his Braddock Chronicles, Mon Valley Trilogy (2023, 5 min.). After the program, Tony Buba will discuss his work and answer questions.
- Sat., Sep. 23 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Made between his landmark zombie movies Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, horror master Romero’s modern-day take on vampire mythology stars a terrific John Amplas as Martin, a shy, sensitive young man who believes himself to be a vampire. Sent to live with his superstitious uncle in Braddock, Pennsylvania, Martin tries to fit in and stay out of trouble while continuing his bloodthirsty ways. Trouble arises when Martin falls for a lonely, depressed housewife (Elayne Nadeau). Atmospheric, suspenseful, and touching, Martin features several of Romero’s most brilliantly composed and edited set-pieces and was his personal favorite of all his films. After the screening, a discussion with Braddock resident Tony Buba, Martin’s sound recordist and a frequent Romero collaborator. (BR)
- Thu., Sep. 28 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
A dad and step-dad attempt to bond with their 13 year-old son Branson on a weekend getaway in this drolly hilarious take on modern masculinity. Constantly looking to one-up each other and impress their disinterested son, the two dads squabble in hushed tones over life lessons ranging from grill etiquette to puberty. Marrying the improvised bickering of Curb Your Enthusiasm with the laid-back tranquility of Joe Pera Talks With You, this is the kind of absurd comedy that can pull off having a full-grown adult play the adolescent Branson. “Endlessly quotable and unexpectedly poignant” (Screen Slate). “Perfect, comedy gold” (Screen Anarchy). (MK)
- Fri., Sep. 29 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In a rural Wisconsin town, the motel, gas station, and convenience store run by Jane (DeVita) is the location that links a multi-generational group of men and women all looking to make emotional connections in their lives. Touching and tenderly performed, Baraboo is filled with the sort of precise details and affection for Midwesterners that infused The Straight Story, which Sweeney co-wrote, produced, and edited. Mary Sweeney will join us in person to discuss her feature directorial debut after the screening.
- Sat., Sep. 30 | 6:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In the first screen version of Ursula Parrott’s novel, Morgan (The Wizard of Oz) plays a neglected middle-aged husband and businessman who is reunited with his former secretary and old flame (Barnes). This screening will be introduced by Marsha Gordon, author of Becoming the Ex-Wife: The Unconventional Life & Forgotten Writings of Ursula Parrott.
- Sat., Sep. 30 | 8:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Sirk, cinema’s poet laureate of upper middle-class American angst in the 1950s, examines the unhappy marriage of toy manufacturer Clifford Groves (MacMurray) and his wife, Marion (Bennett). When Groves accidentally meets up with old flame Norma (Stanwyck), he’s provided with the temporary illusion that happiness is still possible. A beautiful melodrama that belongs in a class with Sirk’s All that Heaven Allows and Imitation of Life, it marked the fourth and final pairing of Double Indemnity stars MacMurray and Stanwyck, and was the second screen version of Ursula Parrott’s novel. This screening will be introduced by Marsha Gordon, author of Becoming the Ex-Wife: The Unconventional Life & Forgotten Writings of Ursula Parrott.
- Thu., Oct. 5 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Five twentysomethings-- an overlapping mix of old friends, flames, and distant relatives—convene at a chilly Michigan lake house for a weeklong getaway. Faced with ample downtime and a steady supply of weed and booze, the group is left to reckon with their collective millennial malaise. Elegantly staged with each scene unfolding in an unbroken master shot, Linh Tran’s preternaturally confident and wise debut feature is all the more remarkable for being produced with fellow students at DePaul University. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Slamdance Film Festival. “Insightful and genuine… a launchpad for a major career” (rogerebert.com). Director Linh Tran will join us in person to discuss Waiting for the Light to Change. Presented as part of the 2023 Asian American Spotlight, with the support of Asian American Studies at UW-Madison. (MK)
- Fri., Oct. 6 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Set amidst the COVID pandemic and wave of anti-Asian racism that have accelerated the active erasure of Chinatowns across North America, this documentary by Karen Cho captures multiple efforts to preserve and protect the neighborhoods that mean so much to Chinese immigrant communities. The stories of families, business owners, and activists from New York and Montreal to San Francisco and Vancouver provide a multilayered and visually rich illustration of the power of resilience amidst threats of cultural destruction. Director Karen Cho will join us in person after the screening. Presented as part of the 2023 Asian American Spotlight, with the support of Asian American Studies at UW-Madison. (LL)
- Sat., Oct. 7 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Russell stars as truck-driving Jack Burton, who, along with his sidekick Wang Chi (Dennis Dun), fights sorcerers and kung fu masters to rescue Wang’s kidnapped fiancée in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Carpenter’s satirical variation on Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu stories adds dazzling special effects, brilliant martial arts choreography, and loads of humor, resulting in one of the most beloved of 80s cult movies. Presented as part of the 2023 Asian American Spotlight, with the support of Asian American Studies at UW-Madison.
- Thu., Oct. 12 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
A former translator for the US government, Afghan immigrant Donya now spends her days in a Bay Area fortune cookie factory. Tasked with authoring the fortunes herself, Donya begins sneaking her personal thoughts into the cookies, casting them out into the world like messages in a bottle. This unusual and poignant look at the immigrant experience features a strong supporting cast including The Bear’s Jeremy Allen White and On Cinema’s Gregg Turkington. A deadpan comedy shot in rich black-and-white, Fremont is an accomplished and welcome throwback to the 1980s classics of Jim Jarmusch and Aki Kaurismaki. (MK)
- Fri., Oct. 13 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
This moving and sensitive biopic tells of Finnish visual artist Tove Jansson (Pöysti), author and illustrator of the beloved Moomin cartoon series and books. Director Bergroth explores Jansson’s early romantic relationships with men and women, the power her successful and overbearing artist father had on her psyche, and her eventual self-acceptance and success as an artist.
- Sat., Oct. 14 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Skid row florist’s apprentice Seymour (Moranis) discovers an exotic new plant and soon finds fame, fortune, and love with co-worker Audrey (Greene). The Faustian twist is that Seymour’s plant is a mean, green mother from outer space who feeds on fresh, human blood. The musical movie version of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s off-Broadway and Broadway smash, itself adapted from Roger Corman’s 1960 low budget comedy horror cult classic, was originally released with a more upbeat ending demanded by test audiences. This slightly longer Director’s Cut retains the stage version’s original conclusion, a sequence featuring brilliant and elaborate special effects.
- Thu., Oct. 19 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Filmed over 13 years, this astonishing portrait of a young painter searching for her artistic voice won the grand prize at IDFA, the world’s most prominent documentary festival. Born into a bohemian Parisian theater company, Apolonia Sokol runs the gauntlet of the male art world—from the prestigious Beaux Arts academy (where she is told her personality is more interesting than her paintings) to the ruthlessly capitalist Los Angeles collectors’ market. A feminist reckoning with art world paternalism, Apolonia, Apolonia is itself as much a testament to resilience and the artistic spirit as the remarkable woman at its center. (MK)
- Fri., Oct. 20 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Commitment-phobic party animal Aurora (Willamo) meets Iranian refugee Darian (Amir Escandari). Darian needs to marry a Finnish woman in order to get asylum for himself and his daughter, so he proposes marriage. Aurora turns him down but agrees to help him find a wife. Preceded by Miia Tervo’s award-winning short Clumsy Little Acts of Tenderness (2015, 9 min.)
- Sat., Oct. 21 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
An FM radio DJ (Williams) and a former Texas ranger (Hopper, at his most unhinged) are drawn into the web of the cannibalistic family at the center of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. With a sharp screenplay by L.M. Kit Carson (Paris, Texas) and fearless performances by all involved, director Hooper amped up the gore and the satire and defied the odds to come up with a worthy sequel to his 1974 horror classic. (BR)
- Sun., Oct. 22 | 2:00 PMChazen
Beatty stars as Joe Frady, a journalist obsessed with the assassination of a Kennedy-esque candidate. His investigation leads him to the mysterious Parallax Corporation, which just might be a recruiting organization for assassins. Along with director Pakula’s All the President’s Men, this is a bonafide Hollywood classic of political paranoia. 35mm print courtesy Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research.
- Thu., Oct. 26 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
On a class trip to Washington, D.C., senior Lillian (Ryder) runs away, getting into and out of trouble up and down the East coast. Along the way, she takes up with a variety of patriotic misfits played by a game cast that includes Red Rocket’s Simon Rex, Ayo Edebiri, and Jacob Elordi. Having shot features for the Safdies, Alex Ross Perry, and numerous others, cinematographer Sean Price Williams has long been a key player in contemporary independent cinema. His much-anticipated directorial debut is a button-pushing, freewheeling picaresque through America’s activist underbelly. “Fun and hot, smart and dumb, a total blast” (The Film Stage). (MK)
- Fri., Oct. 27 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Exploring the horrific side of the maternal instinct, Hatching begins when twelve-year-old gymnast Tinja, brings in a strange egg from the woods into her bedroom, nestling and nurturing it until it hatches. The creature that emerges becomes her closest friend and a living nightmare for Tinja’s image-obsessed mother, whose popular blog presents their family's idyllic existence as manicured suburban perfection. Preceded by Hanna Bergholm’s short horror film Puppet Master (2018, 15 min.)
- Sat., Oct. 28 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Experimenting with teleportation, brilliant inventor and scientist Seth Brundle (Goldblum) accidentally splices his genes with those of a common house fly. Initially becoming a physically powerful sex addict and sugarholic, Brundle and his new love, journalist Veronica (Davis), must eventually reckon with his deterioration and transformation. Director and co-screenwriter Cronenberg’s superb remake of the 1958 sci-fi classic skillfully blends operatic levels of gore and make-up effects with a touching and tragic love story.
- Sun., Oct. 29 | 2:00 PMChazen
This thinly veiled and hyper-paranoiac take on the JFK assassination stars Bridges as Nick Kegan, the scion of a fabulously wealthy and powerful family headed by patriarch Huston (“the real delight of the film” — Vincent Canby, The New York Times). Nick soon finds himself going down multiple rabbit holes while trying to unravel the conspiracy behind the murder of a U.S. president, his older brother. Based on a novel by Richard Condon (The Manchurian Candidate), Winter Kills’s supporting cast includes Toshiro Mifune, Anthony Perkins, Eli Wallach, Tomas Milian, Ralph Meeker, Richard Boone, and Elizabeth Taylor. A newly struck 35mm print, courtesy of Rialto Pictures, will be screened.
- Thu., Nov. 2 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In an Estonian forest lush and verdant enough for a postcard, a group of women gather at a handcrafted lakeside sauna. Enveloped in the smoky darkness, they share their deepest thoughts and desires, the surrounding woods ringing with their laughter and tears. Shot primarily in ethereally beautiful close-ups, this soulful documentary is as restorative as a cleanse. "The small, smoky, steamy miracle of this film is how it creates something so intangible, so lyrical, from the absolutely elemental: fire, wood, water and lots of naked female flesh" (Variety).
- Fri., Nov. 3 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Set in 1911 Sri Lanka, Nidhanaya tells of a once-wealthy man who refuses to sell his family mansion to pay his debts. Superstitiously believing he will be provided a treasure if he sacrifices a virgin with four birthmarks, he finds the right girl, but falls in love. This dark drama, a critique of class structures and the violence of colonialism, won the Silver Lion at the 1972 Venice Film Festival. Restored in 2013 by the Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project at Cineteca di Bologna/L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory. In association with Lester James and Sumitra Peries, the National Film Archive of India and the National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka, Cinemas Ltd. Additional restoration elements provided by Degeto Films. Restoration funding provided by Doha Film Institute. Presented with support of UW Madison’s Center for South Asia.
- Sat., Nov. 4 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
DeNiro, in a tour-de-force, is Travis Bickle – a super-alienated NYC cabbie, Vietnam Vet and dutiful diary writer. Travis’ psychotic fantasies ultimately lead him to violence as he attempts to “save” child prostitute Iris (Foster). Scorsese’s moody visuals are enhanced by the seductive saxophone in Bernard Herrmann’s final score. A 4K restoration from Sony Pictures will be screened.
- Thu., Nov. 9 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
The iconic poet Nikki Giovanni is given a suitably lyrical and unconventional film portrait, which won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Approaching her eighth decade with every bit of her mischievous wit and lacerating acuity intact, Giovanni makes for a memorably prickly and vivacious documentary subject, refusing to be pinned down. Co-directors Brewster and Stephenson take an expansive approach, melding archival and contemporary footage with impressionistic interludes towards a full rendering of this American iconoclast. (MK)
- Fri., Nov. 10 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Foul-mouthed alcoholic Willie (Thornton) poses as a department store Santa, planning to rob the store on Christmas Eve, along with his Little Helper, Marcus (Tony Cox). Willie’s schemes start to go awry when he befriends a troubled kid (Brett Kelly) and runs afoul of a crooked security manager (Bernie Mac). Hilariously unsentimental, Bad Santa will be screened in the version approved by director Terry Zwigoff, who will join us in person to discuss the making of his holiday comedy gem.
- Sat., Nov. 11 | 2:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Femme fatale Billie Nash (Michaels) gets a job at a bar, seduces bartender Matt (Egan), and comes up with a plan for them to rob Dora, Matt’s drunk, nagging wife, who also happens to be the bar’s owner. The lovers’ getaway to Mexico is stalled when a nosy neighbor (Helton) gets wind of their sleazy scheme. Overflowing with marvelously colorful dialogue, Wicked Woman is a personal favorite of filmmaker and cinephile Terry Zwigoff, who will join us in person to discuss his affection for this ripe-for-rediscovery film noir.
- Sat., Nov. 11 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Alienated from everyone else in their high school, best friends Enid (Birch) and Rebecca (Johansson) find that their special bond is becoming strained after graduating and being plunged into young adulthood. The increasingly cynical Enid soon finds herself drawn to another outsider, the much older record collector Seymour (Buscemi). One of contemporary cinema’s funniest and most memorable films about dread and angst, Ghost World is an adaptation of a graphic novel by Daniel Clowes, who along with director Terry Zwigoff, received an Oscar nomination for the screenplay. UW Madison alum Zwigoff will join us in person to discuss Ghost World, his acclaimed feature film follow-up to the documentary Crumb.
- Sun., Nov. 12 | 2:00 PMChazen
Eastwood is a veteran secret service agent, haunted by his inability to protect JFK in 1963 and now on the hunt for Malkovich, a chameleonic would-be presidential assassin. Both are in top form in Petersen’s sharply scripted thriller. A sterling supporting cast, several shocking twists, and a bevy of supremely suspenseful set-pieces all conspire to make this sleek cinematic rollercoaster one of the best of the 90s. (BR)
- Thu., Nov. 16 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Tired of their dead-end jobs, a pair of workaday bank employees embark on a robbery that will take years to pay off. But after they split up to await their jackpot, their lives continue to intersect in strange ways. Captivating even as it thoroughly subverts the typical heist movie tropes, this beguiling shaggy-dog caper grows deeper the further it digresses from its central crime. One of the most unanimously acclaimed films at this year’s Cannes, The Delinquents is a philosophical look at the price of freedom. Presented with the support of Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies at UW Madison (UW LACIS). (MK)
- Fri., Nov. 17 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
As we approach the 60th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, we go down the rabbit hole with the mother of all conspiracy theories in this film version of Mark Lane's muckraking book. Lane, a lawyer, serves as host, conducting a series of interviews with eyewitnesses to the assassination and the events that followed. Aimed at pointing out flaws and poking holes in the Warren Commission's report, the film is an indelible document of the mystery, paranoia, and grief that swept the country in the months and years that followed the tragedy. Even if one is not prone to believe in cover ups and vast conspiracies, Rush to Judgment is a fascinating exploration of the nature of eyewitness accounts and a clear eyed time capsule of one of the darkest moments in American history. New 4K Restoration from the Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research & Sphinx Productions!
- Sat., Nov. 18 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Low-level hoodlum Harry Plotnick (Priest) is released from a short stint in prison to find that his numbers-running business is on the verge of being taken over, and he contemplates exchanging his lifestyle for middle class normality. Completed in 1970 but never released, writer-director Roemer (Nothing But a Man, Vengeance is Mine) was encouraged by family to submit The Plot Against Harry to the Toronto and The New York Film Festivals, leading to a commercial release for this observant and witty character study twenty years later! It was acclaimed by critics from coast to coast, including Roger Ebert, who wrote that “this time capsule from 1970 feels, in 1990, like a jolt of fresh air.” A newly struck 35mm print, courtesy of The Film Desk, will be screened.
- Sun., Nov. 19 | 2:00 PMChazen
New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison (Costner), troubled by several local connections to the November, 1963 death of President Kennedy, launches his own investigation to determine who was involved with the assassination. In the several years that follow, Garrison uncovers a vast network of potential plotters and subversives, convincing him that Lee Harvey Oswald (Oldman) did not act alone. Controversial upon its original release, Stone’s fascinating, epic-length conspiracy theory (or theories) is brilliantly conveyed through groundbreaking editing by Joe Hutshing and Pietro Scalia, who, along with cinematographer Robert Richardson, won Oscars for their work. In addition to Oldman and the Oscar-nominated Jones, the jaw-dropping supporting cast includes Sissy Spacek, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, John Candy, Kevin Bacon, Donald Sutherland, Edward Asner, and an unforgettable Joe Pesci as David Ferrie.D
- Fri., Dec. 1 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
First time was the charm for Booth, who, recreating her Broadway role, won the 1953 Best Actress Oscar for her shattering, big screen debut. She plays Lola, a middle-aged housewife whose life is upended when her recovering-alcoholic husband (an indelible Lancaster) falls for a young college student (Moore) who rents a room in the couple’s house. First-time film director Mann masterfully adapts William Inge’s play (also his first) to devastating effect. (BR)
- Sat., Dec. 2 | 6:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Before he tackled Crumb, director Zwigoff’s first movie was this intimate, funny, and moving documentary portrait of musician, artist, and raconteur Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong (1909-2003), whose 1930s recording of State Street Rag captivated the filmmaker. Filmed in Chicago while in his mid-seventies, Armstrong shares personal and professional anecdotes that collectively deliver a colorful portrait of an American life that should not be forgotten, and it’s all set to the wonderful music of Armstrong and his fellow musicians, like guitarist Ted Bogan.
- Sat., Dec. 2 | 7:15 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Underground “comix” pioneer Robert Crumb’s life and work is explored in this revealing, sometimes devastating, and always compelling chronicle that devotes special attention to Crumb’s relationships with his wife Aline, and his brothers Maxon and Charles, all fellow artists. Perhaps the most celebrated documentary about an American artist ever made, Crumb was filmed over several years leading up to Robert and his wife Aline’s self-imposed exile to France and the movie achieves a remarkable level of honesty and intimacy thanks to the access that the subject provided to his friend and fellow record collector Zwigoff.
- Fri., Dec. 8 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Shortly following their impulsive wedding, the naive, young Nazar is pressured by his family into divorcing his new wife, Reyhane, after rumors circulate of her mother's possible sex-work. Still deeply in love, he insists on paying back Reyhane's marriage dowry despite his insolvency. Nazar is soon on the run from creditors and finds himself hiding out in the desert where he insists on working with a taciturn snake hunter until he earns enough money to return to the city and make good on his mistakes. "Engrossing and eye-catching" (Variety), Farhadi's debut feature ultimately reveals itself to be a tale of love, sacrifice, and redemption. (FM)
- Sat., Dec. 9 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
It’s hard to imagine a more visceral, physical performance than De Niro’s as Jake La Motta. Scorsese’s visually exhilarating rendering of a self-destructive boxer, and his trials with his brother (Pesci), wife (Cathy Moriarty) and career is a transcendental moment in cinema that’s often cited as the best American movie of the 1980s.
- Fri., Dec. 15 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
After spending two years in juvenile detention for killing his girlfriend as a teenager, the troubled, young Akbar is transferred to an adult facility shortly after turning 18. No longer a minor, his death sentence will soon be legally carried out. Meanwhile Akbar's sister Firoozeh and his pal Ala set out to convince the victim's bereaved father to forgive Akbar, which could potentially reduce his sentence from death to life in prison. Navigating the complexities of Iran's judicial system together, the two form a close bond in their desperate attempts to seek clemency before it is too late. Farhadi’s second feature is a “well-acted [and] compelling human drama," (The Hollywood Reporter). (FM)
- Sat., Dec. 16 | 7:00 PMMarquee
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.