Fall special presentations include new 4K DCPs of Richard Lester’s spectacular Dumas adaptations, The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers; Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love; Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt; and Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, two of the most celebrated of the collaborations between director Martin Scorsese and actor Robert De Niro. We are also presenting excellent 35mm prints of two different adaptations of Ursula Parrott’s novel, There’s Always Tomorrow, presented in-person by Parrott scholar Marsha Gordon. Also on 35mm: Shirley Booth’s Oscar-winning performance in Come Back, Little Sheba and a newly struck print of Michael Roemer’s wonderfully funny NY indie, The Plot Against Harry. Plus, a double feature of circus-set classics from Tod Browning, Freaks and The Unknown, the latter screening in a new, longer restoration from George Eastman Museum; filmmaker Mary Sweeney returns in person to present her feature directorial debut, the Wisconsin-filmed Baraboo; and new DCPs of Dancing in the Dust and Beautiful City, the first two features from Iran’s most acclaimed contemporary filmmaker, Asghar Farhadi.
- 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)
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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.