14-22 Jan – Cinematheque – Annual “Memoriam Month – Week 1

HANOI CINEMATHEQUE
22A Hai Ba Trung Street

7thseal.jpg blowup.jpg capefear.jpg

Annual “Memoriam Month

From the Cinematheque email:

Dear Member:

January is our annual “Memoriam Month,” when we celebrate the work of notable filmmakers who died during the past year. Their work has ended, but their works will be enjoyed and appreciated for generations to come.

A bittersweet opportunity for Hanoi Cinémathèque to show 37 outstanding movies, as we pay our respects to the following filmmakers (in alphabetical order):

(Schedule and film descriptions below.)

Michaelangelo Antonioni
(1912 – 2007)
BLOW-UP
THE PASSENGER
Ingmar Bergman, director
(1918 – 2007)
THE SEVENTH SEAL
THE VIRGIN SPRING
AUTUMN SONATA
FANNY AND ALEXANDER
Kitty Carlisle, actress (1910 – 2007) A NIGHT AT THE OPERA
Laraine Day, actress (1920 – 2007) FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT
Freddie Francis, director and cinematographer (1917 – 2007) CAPE FEAR
ROOM AT THE TOP
SATURDAY NIGHT, SUNDAY MORNING
THE INNOCENTS
Jerry Hadley, opera singer (1952 – 2007) CANDIDE
David Halberstam, journalist
(1934 – 2007)
IN THE YEAR OF THE PIG
Deborah Kerr, actress (1921 – 2007) FROM HERE TO ETERNITY
SEPARATE TABLES
THE INNOCENTS
THE KING AND I
THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP
Michael Kidd, choreographer
(1915 – 2007)
SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS
SMILE
Lazlo Kovacs, cinematographer (1933 – 2007) EASY RIDER
FIVE EASY PIECES
THE KING OF MARVIN GARDENS
Ira Levin, novelist (1929 – 2007) ROSEMARY’S BABY
Delbert Mann, director (1920 – 2007) MARTY
SEPARATE TABLES
Carlo Ponti, producer (1912 – 2007) LA STRADA
BLOW UP
THE FIREMAN’S BALL
Fons Rademeyers, director
(1920 – 2007)
MAX HAVALAAR
HET MES
DE AANSLAG
LIKE TWO DROPS OF WATER
Jane Wyman, actress (1917 – 2007) ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS
STAGE FRIGHT
Edward Yang, director (1947 – 2007) YI YI
Peter Zinner, editor (1919 – 2007) THE GODFATHER
THE GODFATHER, PART II

Schedule

MEMORIAM 2008, Week 1

JANUARY
14 Monday
19:00 BLOW UP
21:00 THE PASSENGER

15 Tuesday
19:00 SAWDUST AND TINSEL
21:00 THE SEVENTH SEAL

16 Wednesday
19:00 THE SEVENTH SEAL
21:00 THE VIRGIN SPRING

17 Thursday
19:00 THE VIRGIN SPRING
21:00 AUTUMN SONATA

18 Friday
19:00 FANNY AND ALEXANDER

19 Saturday
14:00 A NIGHT AT THE OPERA
16:00 FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT
20:30 CAPE FEAR

20 Sunday
11:30 (BOLLYWOOD DAY)
Phone Mr. Ravi at 090 340 4400 for information and reservations.
17:00 A NIGHT AT THE OPERA
19:00 ROOM AT THE TOP
21:00 SATURDAY NIGHT, SUNDAY MORNING

21 Monday
19:00 SATURDAY NIGHT, SUNDAY MORNING
21:00 THE INNOCENTS

22 Tuesday
19:00 THE INNOCENTS
21:00 CANDIDE

THE FILMS

BLOW-UP

1966 Directed by Michaelangelo Antonioni 111 minutes

Antonioni’s BLOW-UP was the biggest hit of the Italian director’s career, the superficial elements of the fashion world, Swinging London and orgies on purple paper ensuring its commercial success.
Models such as Veruschka (who appears in the film), Twiggy and fashion photographers at the time have complained about its unrealistic depiction of the industry and claimed that its central character, Thomas (played by the late David Hemmings) was clearly based on David Bailey.
To look at BLOW-UP as an analysis of the fashion business in the Sixties is to misunderstand the film’s intentions. It obviously has little to do with the fashion world which is merely the setting for the story and nothing more.
Antonioni made the clearest statement of his motivation as a filmmaker when he talked about his belief that reality is unattainable as it is submerged by layers of images which are only versions of reality.
This is a rather pretentious way of saying that everyone perceives reality in their own way and ultimately see only what they want to see.
With this philosophy in mind, BLOW-UP is probably Antonioni’s most personal film.
Thomas’ hollow, self-obsessed world is shattered when he discovers that he may have photographed a murder when casually taking pictures in a park. He encounters a mysterious woman, Jane (Vanessa Redgrave) who demands he hand over the film and when he refuses she appears at his studio, although Thomas never told her his address.
When the evidence disappears shortly afterwards, BLOW-UP seems to deal in riddles that have no solution. Redgrave re-appears and then vanishes before the photographer’s eyes, Thomas returns to the park without his camera and sees the body. The film concludes with Thomas, having discovered the body has disappeared, watching a group of mimes playing tennis without a ball or rackets in the park where the murder may have taken place.

BLOW-UP also features a splendid jazz score composed and played by Herbie Hancock.

THE PASSENGER

1975 Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni 126 minutes
English only. No Vietnamese translation.

Jack Nicholson plays David Locke, a television reporter on location in Africa’s Sahara Desert. It’s hot, humid, and everything seems to be dirty. Returning to his hotel after getting lost and bogged in the desert, Locke discovers that the man in the room next to his has died. After deciding that his own life isn’t worth living anymore, he switches identities with the dead man, taking the man’s passport (with his own photo swapped in), his luggage, and his appointment schedule.
Leaving Africa, he heads off to keep the dead man’s appointments, hoping that his new life will be more interesting than his old one was. But his exciting newfound freedom carries a fateful price as Locke gradually realizes he is in over his head.

SAWDUST AND TINSEL

1953 Directed by Ingmar Bergman 92 minutes
Swedish with English subtitles. No Vietnamese translation.

Ingmar Bergman presents the battle of the sexes as a ramshackle, grotesque carnival in SAWDUST AND TINSEL, one of the late master’s most vivid early works. The story of the charged relationship between a turn-of-the-century traveling circus owner and his performer girlfriend, the film features dreamlike detours and twisted psychosexual power plays that presage the director’s SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT and THE SEVENTH SEAL, works that would soon change the landscape of art cinema forever.

THE SEVENTH SEAL

Sweden, 1957 Directed by Ingmar Bergman 96 minutes
Swedish with English subtitles and Vietnamese audio option

Made with a tiny crew and a modest budget in just 35 days, THE SEVENTH SEAL earned director Ingmar Bergman international recognition as one of Europe’s most brilliant filmmakers.

THE SEVENTH SEAL began as a short play, “Wood Painting”, written by Bergman for the students he was teaching at a drama school in 1954. It is a medieval morality story, which depicts the cruelity and superstitions of that period, such as witch-burning and flagellation, contrasted with the joys and aspirations of ordinary people.
In luminous images, derived from early Swedish church paintings, the movie follows the journey of a knight (Max Von Sydow) returning from the Crusades through a Sweden ravaged by the plague. In his search for God, he meets a group of strolling players, suffering peasants, and Death himself, who he challanges to a deadly game of chess.

THE SEVENTH SEAL is an extremely personal film, with some of the most stunning imagery – and profound philosophical issues – ever put on film.

THE VIRGIN SPRING

1960 Directed by Ingmar Bergman 89 minutes
Swedish with English subtitles. No Vietnamese translation.

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Ingmar Bergman’s THE VIRGIN SPRING is a harrowing tale of faith, revenge, and savagery in medieval Sweden. Starring frequent Bergman collaborator and screen icon Max von Sydow, the film is both beautiful and cruel in its depiction of a world teetering between paganism and Christianity, and of one father’s need to avenge the death of a child.

AUTUMN SONATA

1978 Directed by Ingmar Bergman 92 minutes
Swedish with English subtitles. No Vietnamese translation.

A stunning union of two of Sweden’s national treasures, AUTUMN SONATA pairs Ingmar Bergman with Ingrid Bergman for their only joint effort. Ingrid plays a mother who, after forsaking her family for a music career, attempts a reconciliation with her oldest daughter (Liv Ullmann) through a night of painful revelation. Sven Nykvist contributes glorious Eastmancolor cinematography to this quietly beautiful story of forgiveness.

FANNY AND ALEXANDER

Sweden, 1982. Directed by Ingmar Bergman 188 minutes, with intermission
Swedish with English subtitles. No Vietnamese translation.

This is Bergman’s most autobiographical film – a masterpiece, combining his trademark melancholy and emotional intensity with a surprising joyfulness and sensuality. The film won a host of honors around the world, including Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Fiilm, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.

The title characters are children in the exuberant and colorful Ekdahl household in a Swedish town early in the twentieth century. Their parents, Oscar and Emilie, are the director and the leading lady of the local theatre company – a company sponsored mainly by Oscar’s mother and brother. After Oscar’s early death, his widow marries the bishop and moves with her children to his austere and forbidding chancery. The children are immediately miserable. The film dramatizes and resolves those conflicts. A sub-plot features Isak, a local Jewish merchant who is the grandmother’s lover and whose odd household becomes the children’s refuge.

FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT

1940 Directed by Alfred Hitchcock 120 min
English only. No Vietnamese translation.

In its day, FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT was more than just a good movie (it earned six Oscar nominations), it was also the beginning of Hitchcock’s propaganda films, as he (along with many European filmmakers) made movies to compel the U.S. to enter WWII.

You can divide Hitchcock’s FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT in two distinct sections. The first part is a fun romantic comedy followed by a dramatic socio-political thriller. Almost half-way through our protagonist, played by youthful Joel McCrea, attends a bustling political rally. McCrea notices his friend, an aged ambassador. At this point a mysterious photographer is seen… and in his possession – a gun!. What results is a memorable and exciting film, almost seen as an experiment in camera usage and production tools.
There is plenty to enjoy here, including some impressive sets, especially those used for a harrowing plane crash at sea and the interior of a Dutch windmill, complete with all its turning gears – a great setting for the movie’s climactic struggle.

CAPE FEAR

1991 Directed by Martin Scorsese 130 minutes
English only. No Vietnamese translation.

Max Cady is a psychopath just released from prison for rape. He is out seeking revenge from his lawyer Sam Bowden who he believes deliberately held back important information about his case during the trial, which could have kept him out of jail. He sets off to terrorise Bowden, his wife and even goes after their 15 year old daughter.

ROOM AT THE TOP

1959 Directed by Jack Clayton 115 min.
English only. No Vietnamese translation.

Nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director
Won for Best actress (Imone Signoret)
Won for Best Screenplay (Neil Paterson)

Review by Phil Wickham, British Film Institute:

An ambitious young working-class man moves to the wealthy town of Warnley to work for the council. He pursues the daughter of the local industrialist, but also falls in love with a married French woman. He finds he has to choose between them.

ROOM AT THE TOP, released at the beginning of 1959, was the first of the ‘new wave’ films. It came from established industry producers, John and James Woolf, and was a huge box-office hit. This success opened up new possibilities for British filmmakers. Audiences had proved they were prepared to see adult storylines, gritty realism and political comment, and so the new wave as a commercial proposition was born. War films and romantic comedies dried up and the provinces and proletariat were suddenly discovered.
As a trailblazer which had a big impact on the British film industry and its audience, ROOM AT THE TOP has inevitably faced a backlash. After an initial consensus that it was daring and different, a new consensus emerged that it was stolid and indifferent.
Maybe it’s time for the backlash against the backlash, for there are many fine things in ROOM AT THE TOP. It may lack the punch of SATURDAY NIGHT, SUNDAY MORNING (d. Karel Reisz, 1960), but it has the virtues of a direct challenge to national complacency and a searing emotional honesty about personal relationships.
No other new wave film takes on the class system as boldly. It offers a complex analysis of class warfare that challenges the accepted state of things in Britain at the time. Joe is proud of his class but, unlike Arthur Seaton in SATURDAY NIGHT, SUNDAY MORNING, keen to leave it. The only way to do this is by cold calculation and emotional manipulation.
Britain at all levels is depicted as desperately holding on to class as a means of self-belief. Joe’s relatives tell him to stick to his own kind, yet the toughs that beat him up don’t see him as of their own class. The rank-pulling of Jack Wales tells him that it is just a different kind of war now.
It takes the outsider figure of Alice, the Frenchwoman, to offer the hope of some redemption. Joe’s failure to choose Alice, the woman he loves, over Susan, the agent of social mobility, becomes England’s failure as well.
The film may not be stylistically adventurous, with long scenes and conventional editing, but the content bites. Simone Signoret’s performance is ferociously good – bringing out all the pain of Alice’s situation. On the other hand, Laurence Harvey, as Joe, is often used as a stick to beat the film with. Certainly he is few critics’ favourite actor and, being a Lithuanian raised in South Africa, sports a strange Johannesburg-Bradford accent. Yet there is something about his blank, narcissistic presence that works in showing Joe’s essential weakness.”

SATURDAY NIGHT, SUNDAY MORNING

1960 Directed by Karel Reisz 89 min.
English only. No Vietnamese translation.

Reviewed by Jamie Russell, BBC:

“Don’t let the bastards grind you down,” is the message in this belligerent portrait of working class manhood, adapted from the 50s novel by Alan Sillitoe.

Following defiant factory worker Arthur Seaton (Finney), SATURDAY NIGHT, SUNDAY MORNING offers a terrifying glimpse into an age where work, booze, and death were all that Britain’s young men had to look forward to.

Set in Nottingham at the end of the 50s, SATURDAY NIGHT, SUNDAY MORNING offered newcomer Finney the chance to really show what he could do on-screen.

The result is a smouldering, poison pen letter of a film in which Finney’s working class hero – a rarity in the stuffy days of postwar British cinema – battles the system with a near-religious fervour.

“What I want is a good time, the rest is all propaganda,” is Seaton’s mantra, but in the end, he realizes he’s fighting a losing battle as an affair with his best friend’s wife (Rachel Roberts) ends badly, and his aggressive attitude alienates him from everyone.

Finney exhibits a talent and screen-presence here that helped make him a star. Meanwhile, director Reisz stays faithful to the spirit of Sillitoe’s novel, never compromising on either the bleakness of his vision or his (over) optimistic faith in his hero’s defiance.

It ends on an ambiguous note of stone-throwing anger, leaving you wondering if Finney’s independent spirit might yet save the day… or be squashed into passive middle age on the housing estate he loathes.

A fascinating film, and a snapshot of an era that’s depressingly all too real.

THE INNOCENTS

1961 Directed by Jack Clayton 100 minutes
English only. No Vietnamese translation.

All of Jack Clayton’s eight films were adapted from literary works and the best of them, is THE INNOCENTS, his 1961 version of Henry James’s ghost story “The Turn of the Screw,” with a screenplay co-written by Truman Capote. It’s masterly in every way with a great performance from Deborah Kerr as the troubled Victorian governess, superb black-and-white widescreen photography by Freddie Francis and Georges Auric’s last, truly distinguished score.

“The best ghost movie I’ve ever seen”
– Pauline Kael

CANDIDE

England/U.S.A. 1989 Performance conducted by Leonard Bernstein 147 minutes
English only. No Vietnamese translation.

–John Wells:

One of the most joyful musical experiences ever recorded on video. This is a concert version of Leonard Bernstein’s musical CANDIDE, adapted from the novel by Voltaire, with lyrics by Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker and Stephen Sondheim. The piece is performed by an ensemble of great soloists (including Jerry Hadley, Christa Ludwig and Nicolai Gedda), with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer. (This was the last concert Bernstein conducted before his death several months later.)

A rare treat for music and theatre lovers. Recorded at the Barbican Centre, London.

“Lenny’s last great performance in his silver-tipped cowboy boots, elegantly riding the musicians and singers to his own gloriously complex rhythms, is a vivid tribute to his energy, to his intelligence, and to his genius, despite war and persecution and intolerance, in celebrating the joy of life.”


HANOI CINEMATHEQUE, Hanoi’s unique ‘art-house cinema’, is a members-only film society.
Memberships are available at the box office for only 100,000VND per year.
Members recieve regular emails with detailed schedules and reviews of the films.
Tickets to the films are by donation.

HANOI CINEMATHEQUE
22A Hai Ba Trung Street (at the end of the alley leading to Artist’s Hotel)
RESERVATIONS:
Tel: 936 2648 (14:00 – 20:00) or email to: info2@hanoicinema.org
Fax: 936 2649
CAFE CINEMATHEQUE opens from 17:00 weekdays and from 13:30 weekends.

3 Responses to 14-22 Jan – Cinematheque – Annual “Memoriam Month – Week 1

  1. […] and film descriptions here. HANOI CINEMATHEQUE, Hanoi’s unique ‘art-house cinema’, is a members-only film […]

  2. […] Here is next week’s schedule, as we continue to celebrate the work of these notable filmmakers who died during the past year: […]

  3. […] Happy New Year, and welcome back to Hanoi Cinematheque. Here is our next schedule, as we continue to celebrate the work of these notable filmmakers who died during 2007 […]

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