Summer at the Cinematheque 2023
Take a break from the dog days of summer and enjoy free screenings of great movies every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evening from June 28 to August 4. Cinematheque summer selections include local premieres of new movies from France and the Middle East, a trip to Lynchland by way of the Land of Oz, and a voyage into and beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Plus, a pair of dreamlike contemporary classics from Hungary, two by Federico Fellini starring Alberto Sordi, a Barbara Stanwyck double feature showcase on 35mm, a diptych of NYC bank heist films, and more! All screenings take place at our regular venue, 4070 Vilas Hall, 821 University Avenue.
- Wed., Jun. 28 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
A coming-of-age tale of first love blended with ghost story elements, Falcon Lake begins when 14-year old French teen Bastien (Engel) arrives with his family to spend summer vacation in the bucolic countryside of Quebec. Bastien is beguiled by the seemingly worldly and experienced 16-year old Chloé (Montpetit), daughter of his mother’s best friend. Chloé tells the boy tales of another child who drowned in Falcon Lake, a favorite swimming hole for the youths, and who continues to haunt the waters. Shot on 16mm film, this marvelously evocative and atmospheric movie marks the feature directorial debut of actress/model Charlotte Le Bon, who also co-wrote the screenplay, and won Best Director awards at the Chicago and Vancouver International Film Festivals.
- Thu., Jun. 29 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In small-town Lumberton, USA, Jeffrey Beaumont (MacLachlan), recently home from college, discovers a severed ear. Along with the sweet Sandy (Laura Dern), Jeffrey investigates and soon becomes enmeshed in Lumberton’s underworld and with troubled nightclub singer Dorothy Valens (Rossellini). Hopper is absolutely unforgettable as the psychotic, raving fetishist Frank Booth, who keeps Dorothy for his personal slave. After the box-office disaster of Dune, writer-director Lynch and producer Dino De Laurentiis re-teamed for this frightening, funny, and brilliantly surreal thriller that was a milestone for auteurist, art-house filmmaking in the 1980s. A 4K DCP will be screened.
- Fri., Jun. 30 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
The themes, images, and cultural vernacular of MGM’s The Wizard of Oz continue to haunt David Lynch’s art and filmography—from his very first short, The Alphabet, to his most recent season of Twin Peaks. Filmmaker Alexandre O. Philippe, whose previous work has made close examination of the shower scene in Psycho, the origins and legacy of Alien, and the use of Monument Valley in cinema, has assembled here six different visual essays narrated by, among others, John Waters, Karyn Kusama, and Room 237’s Rodney Ascher. These separate voices lead us to find new appreciation and meaning in The Wizard of Oz by way of Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Mulholland Dr., and other contemporary movies. “If The Wizard of Oz is one of your favorite movies, and if Lynch is one of your favorite filmmakers, then watching Lynch/Oz is like seeing two old cinematic friends sitting around talking to each other” (Owen Gleiberman, Variety).
- Wed., Jul. 5 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
You’ve never seen a Taiwanese martial arts movie like this one! Two sword-wielding sisters out to avenge the massacre of their family seek a confrontation with the villains who murdered their family. But these are no ordinary villains—they’re wizards with giant, elasticized tongues who use black magic to control . . . kung fu gorillas! Starring the magnificent Judy Lee (Queen Boxer) and the fierce Carter Wong (Big Trouble in Little China), this whacked-out action movie blends fever dream imagery with exceptional fight choreography to deliver an otherworldly experience. A new DCP, made from the best known existing 35mm elements, will be screened, preceded by a selection of trailers for the most bonkers kung fu movies of the 70s and 80s.
- Thu., Jul. 6 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Connery stars as Zed, slavemaster to a race of primitive “Brutals” in the year 2293. Zed becomes a stowaway on the giant floating stonehead of Zardoz, to whom the Brutals give all of their harvested wheat, and travels into the world of the “Eternals,” a brilliant, but emotionless, super race who decide to use Zed to repopulate their dwindling numbers, as the men are all impotent. Visionary director Boorman followed-up his smash hit Deliverance with this wild dystopian sci-fi fantasy that co-stars Rampling as Consuella, Eve to Zed’s Adam.
- Fri., Jul. 7 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
After discovering the murdered body of a young girl deep in a mountainous forest, a hardened homicide detective pushes himself to increasingly obsessive ends in his quest to catch the serial killer responsible for the crime. An existential mystery that unfolds with the imagery and logic of a fever dream, Twilight is the much admired but long unavailable masterpiece by influential Hungarian auteur and regular Béla Tarr collaborator György Fehér. The stunning black and white cinematography is by Miklós Gurbán, who also lensed Tarr’s Werckmeister Harmonies, screening July 14.
- Wed., Jul. 12 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
One of the top ten most popular films at the 1967 box office, Valley of the Dolls follows three aspiring actresses as they weather the Tinseltown storm of drink, drugs, infidelity, and professional backstabbing. Seen as an exercise in pure camp by many critics and audiences, this adaptation of Jacqueline Susann’s widely read novel has also been appreciated as as the culmination of decades of worthy Hollywood melodrama traditions, deftly handled by old pro director Robson and a lively cast that also includes soaper veteran Susan Hayward. Support for this screening provided by the Urdang Lab at the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy and the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy.
- Thu., Jul. 13 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
The second feature from the director of Drive My Car, Passion was Hamaguchi’s thesis project at Tokyo University of the Arts, and it lays the thematic foundations for what would become his internationally renowned body of work. Unfolding over a few hours, the story begins with the announcement of a young couple’s engagement, leading to a long night where they separately reckon with past relationships. Infused with emotional clarity and honesty, “Hamaguchi’s script offers florid arias of confrontation and self-revelation; in his striking repertoire of visual compositions, including flurries of urgent closeups and thrillingly panoramic long takes, the poised and assertive actors seem to fill not just the screen but the city itself with his prose” (Richard Brody, The New Yorker).
- Fri., Jul. 14 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In this haunting, dreamlike vision of apocalypse from the director of Satantango, a mysterious and menacing circus attraction appears in the main square of a Hungarian village. The ensuing catastrophe is one of the most nightmarish eruptions of destruction in recent cinema, all the more startling as it unfolds in complete silence. Tarr's vision of chaos and political repression - conveyed by a constantly tracking camera in a beautifully desolate landscape - is a visual tour de force echoing the masters of Surrealism.
- Wed., Jul. 19 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Meyer’s most-elaborate production follows Kelly, Casey, and Pet, buxom members of the female rock group The Carrie Nations who find themselves at the dizzying height of an LA music scene filled with treachery, drug abuse, and sexual perversity. Part comedy, part rock musical (with terrific songs!), part over-the-top melodrama, BVD has gradually become one of the most beloved of early-Seventies counterculture films. The witty, wonderfully pulpy screenplay was written by frequent Meyer collaborator Roger Ebert.
- Thu., Jul. 20 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In rural Turkey, five free-spirited sisters are locked away by their ultra-conservative guardians after being caught cavorting with the local boys. Forbidden to leave their home, their only way back out into the world is through arranged marriage… or escape. A coming of age tale as pointed as it is perceptive, Director Ergüven’s captivating and astonishingly assured feature debut, which she co-wrote with Alice Winocur, received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. Presented with the support of UW-Madison’s Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Language Institute (MEDLI) summer program June 19-August 11 and Institute for Regional and International Studies National Resource Center (IRIS NRC). (MK)
- Fri., Jul. 21 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
The title of Eustache’s cinematic memoir, his best known feature after The Mother and the Whore, literally translates to “my little loves.” Authentic and engaging, there’s not much that’s cute or sentimental in Eustache’s story of a lonely adolescent boy who is taken from his grandmother's home in the country to live with his mother and stepfather in the city. This wonderful, sometimes heartbreaking movie about the discovery of sexuality and adulthood features lovely cinematography by Nestor Almendros (The Wild Child, Days of Heaven).
- Wed., Jul. 26 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In his first feature as solo director, Fellini tells the story of young newlywed Wanda (Bovo), who, on her Honeymoon in Rome, slips away from her husband to meet her idol, the fumetti adventurer The White Sheik (Sordi). Fast-paced and funny, The White Sheik features major contributions from two of Fellini’s key collaborators: a jaunty score from Nino Rota and a brief, but memorable turn from Masina as a prostitute named Cabiria! “My favorite Fellini movie” (Orson Welles). A new 4K restoration from Rialto Pictures will be screened.
- Thu., Jul. 27 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
After living as an Israeli citizen for years, the Palestinian-born Sami (Bakri) returns home to the Arab village of his youth to attend his brother’s wedding. After the wedding, Sami’s hometown is put under a military lockdown by an Israeli blockade, effectively cutting him off from the outside world. As he deals with questions about his own identity and hidden secrets are revealed, Sami watches everything he holds dear begin to fall apart. The latest movie from the writer/director of The Band’s Visit, Let it Be Morning “presents a timely, pointed, at times cleverly satirical snapshot of Israeli-Palestinian relations. It also offers an often poignant look at a dysfunctional family at the center of it all” (Los Angeles Times). Presented with the support of UW-Madison’s Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Language Institute (MEDLI) summer program June 19-August 11 and Institute for Regional and International Studies National Resource Center (IRIS NRC).
- Fri., Jul. 28 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
An intense Pacino plays Sonny Wurtzik, who, along with his accomplice Sal (Cazale), ineptly attempts to rob a Brooklyn bank on the hottest day of the Summer. When the robbery turns into a hostage crisis and media circus, the surprising motive behind Sonny’s crime is revealed. Part thriller and part social satire, Dog Day Afternoon inspired by real events that happened in 1972. Lumet’s second film with Pacino stands as a career milestone for both artists.
- Wed., Aug. 2 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
With humor and honesty, Fellini drew upon his adolescence to masterfully tell the story of five aimless young men who slowly come to realize that their futures in their small-town are not looking so bright. From American Graffiti to Diner to Mean Streets, Fellini influenced personal filmmaking for many years to come with his splintered storyline, melancholic moods, and "wandering" camera. A new 4K DCP will be screened.
- Thu., Aug. 3 | 6:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
The dazzling Stanwyck stars as gold-digging Lily Powers in one of the most notorious films made before Hollywood began enforcing the Production Code. A tough bootlegger’s daughter, depression-era heroine Lily triumphantly conquers a series of men (including John Wayne) on her way to the top of a financial empire! This restored version from the Library of Congress features five minutes of jaw-dropping footage that was never shown to the public after being rejected by New York State censors. 35mm print courtesy Library of Congress.
- Thu., Aug. 3 | 7:30 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Turn of the century small-town Wisconsin is the setting for this underrated Sirk melodrama featuring a fiery Stanwyck as a failed actress who returns to (the fictional) Riverdale years after abandoning her husband (a terrific Carlson) and children to pursue her career. Based on a sharply-titled novel, Stopover by Carol Ryrie Brink, and saddled, against the director’s wishes, with a happy ending, Desire is nonetheless a typically and effectively scathing Sirkian indictment against the petty moralism of America’s middle-class and middle-west. (BR)
- Fri., Aug. 4 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Disguised as a circus clown, Grimm (Murray) easily pulls off a daring midtown Manhattan bank heist with help from his girlfriend Phyllis (Davis) and pal Loomis (Quaid). The bank robbing cohorts find it more than slightly difficult, however, in making the short trip to JFK Airport for a getaway flight, thanks to the most colorful assortment of NYC characters ever assembled for a movie. Contributing obstacles are Phil Hartman and Kathryn Grody as paranoid yuppies, Victor Argo and Stanley Tucci as goombah mobsters, Tony Shalhoub as a wacky cabbie, Philip Bosco as a dogmatic bluftoni driver, and, in a wonderful straight man performance, Jason Robards as Police Chief Rotzinger.