The Ritz theaters do not show repertory films all that regularly, but the plus side when they do, there are multiple screenings for the week. That gives plenty of opportunity to go see The Conformist (1970) this week. It's one of Berolucci's most famous films and justifiably so: it's a work which achieves a remarkable balance of the modernist currents of 1960s art cinema with a literary-thematic storytelling centered around Italian war and postwar history. And, if anything, seeing it on a big screen is an opportunity to enjoy cinematographer Vittorio Storaro's work.
Showing this week Saturday, September 20 – Friday, September 26
The International House
Sat Sept 20 7:00pm Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder) 1950. 110 min. DCP.
Mon Sept 22 7:00pm Filmmaker Visit: Xiaolu Guo - UFO In Her Eyes (Xiaolu Gou) 2011. 110 min. digi-beta. Q and A with filmmaker
Fri Sept 26 7:00pm Holy Ghost People (Peter Adair). 1967. 56 min. 16mm./ Aquarian Rushes (Jud Yalkut) 1969. 47 min. 16mm.
Next Wednesday, The International House will be screening Gregory Markopoulos's Illiac Passion. Those familiar with Markopolous will know how rare screenings of his work are. A key figure in the postwar American avant-garde, he removed his films form circulation during his lifetime. Since then, his partner Robert Beavers has been giving limited screenings. So we're getting a chance of seeing 16mm prints that for a long time were not screened in the US.
On one hand, Markopolous's style is not the most immediately accessible. He has a fondness for rigorous formal montage, cutting as often as every second in regular repetitions. And while his films involve narratives of sorts, they are highly oblique and mythological. (Illiac Passion retells the story of Prometheus.) On the other hand, he had a lush hand with color, equal to Kenneth Anger's.
The Illiac Passion
dir. Gregory Markopoulos, US, 1967, 16mm, 92 min.
Introduced by Robert Beavers and Mark Webber
Co-presented with Cinema Studies at the University of Pennsylvania
Sun Sept 7 2:00pm Seven Days in May (John Frankenheimer) 1964. 118m. 35mm.
Cinemark University City Penn
Sun Sept 7 2:00pm Scarface (Brian De Palma) 1983. 170m. DCP.
Three One Nine Gallery (319 N. 11th Street)
New Sight exhibition
artwork from Dot Vile, Katie Dillon Low, EJ Herczyk, Michael Kuetemeyer, Joseph Opshinsky, Daniel Petraitis, Gerri Spilka, Sabina Tichindelaneau, and Joan Wadleigh Curran
opening Friday Sept 5
A lot of film events going on this spring in Philadelphia. Perhaps most exciting to me is a series of classic Hollywood films playing at the International House from the "UCLA Festival of Preservation." It's a chance to see hard-to-find Hollywood films on the big screen. Bonus is the strong representation from Paramount, a studio that's often slow to release its back archive on DVD.
The series starts tomorrow. Film descriptions are available at the links.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is having a film series of Michael Snow's work, starting tonight:
The Films of Michael Snow: Program A Wavelength (1966–67); Standard Time (1967–68, with Joyce Wieland); and One Second in Montreal (1969)
By exploring individual cinematic techniques, such as camera zooms and pans, these films reveal Michael Snow’s interest in how films affect our perception of time and space.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Friday, February 21, 2014, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
The Films of Michael Snow: Program B See You Later (Au Revoir) (1990); and To Lavoisier, Who Died in the Reign of Terror (1991)
Michael Snow appears in two films produced in 1990s, both of which are concerned with breaking down basic ideas we hold about cinema, such as the physical properties of celluloid and Hollywood’s narrative drive, to push film towards greater abstraction.
Friday, February 7, 2014, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
The Films of Michael Snow: Program C Reverberlin (2006)
Incorporating concert footage of the free improvisational ensemble CCMC (Paul Dutton, John Oswald, Michael Snow), Reverberlin weaves together images and sounds from performances that have taken place across the globe.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Films works screened on 16mm at the Van Pelt Auditorium. (free tickets required, presumably in addition to admission). This film program is guest-curated by filmmaker and writer J. Louise Makary.
It's worth highlighting when a restoration makes a week-long run. For some reason, it feels like a rarity in Philly. Next week, the Ritz Bourse is showing 1973 cult horror film The Wicker Man, recently restored. It's an atmospheric film, worth seeing on the big screen.
Screening at the International House this week: New Middle East Cinema series.
October 29-30 & November 1-2, 2013
Tuesday, October 29 5:30pm
Life in Stills | Israel, Tamar Tal (2011)
presented by Nili Gold
Tuesday, October 29 8:30pm
Water | The Israeli-Palestinian Project (2012)
presented by Iris Drechler
Wednesday, October 30 5:30pm
The Man and the Clock | Palestine, Gazi Abu Baker (2010)
presented by Ibrahim Miari
Wednesday, October 30 6:00pm
The Repentant | Algeria, Merzak Allouache (2012)
Friday, November 1 5:30pm
Azis Ayse | Turkey, Elfe Uluc (2012)
presented by Mehmet Darakcıoglu
Friday, November 1 8:30pm
Facing Mirrors | Iran, Negar Azarbayjani (2011)
presented by Blake Atwood
Saturday, November 2 5:30pm
Horses of God | Morocco, Nabil Ayouch (2012)
presented by Mahyar Entezari
Saturday, November 2 8:30pm
Rags and Tatters | Egypt, Ahmad Abdalla (2013)
presented by Ibrahim Miari
Sponsored by the Cinema Studies Program, the Jewish Studies Program, the Middle East Center, and the Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations Department at the University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival and International House of Philadelphia.
I have never seen any Albanian cinema, and as a national cinema, it's definitely not on the radar of most cinephiles. All the more reason the International House's series of "uncovered" European cinemas is exciting to me. Tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 5, 7pm, they will be screening Nëntori i dytë (The 2nd November, dir. Viktor Gjika, Albania, 1982, 84m), a classic historical drama.
Albanian cinema scholar Bruce Williams will be present to introduce the film and lead a Q&A afterward.
I've just discovered that Cinemark, the new owners of Rave Cinema in University City, has been running a classics series, culminating in this week's selection of Hitchcock's Vertigo, in digital projection.
This year's program follows up on the festival's previous strengths as a best-of-festivals fest. It's a great chance to see films, particular world cinema films and smaller local productions, that otherwise might not get a Philadelphia theatrical release. I personally wish there would be more adventuresome repertory screenings and more international documentary selections, but I will hardly lack for films to see.
So far, these screenings are on my radar to attend:
Burning Bush, a Czech historical that's part of a trend of televisual art films A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhang-Ke's latest work, a continuation of his thematic exploration of the cultural changes coming to contemporary China In Bloom, a Georgian coming-of-age drama that's gotten good play on the European film festival circuit Let the Fire Burn - as someone who did not live in Philadelphia in the 1980s, I could stand to see a good documentary about the MOVE saga, and this one sounds promising La Maison de la Radio - Nicolas Philibert made the amazing observational documentary Etre et Avoir, but his other films have not always found wide distribution in the US