Cinematheque . Apr 26-29: Live Performance The Living Nickelodeon, The End Of Bresson & More!
Singing film scholar Rick Altman brings THE LIVING NICKELODEON to Cleveland! Rick Altman is a professor of cinema and comparative literature at the University of Iowa and one of the world's foremost experts on early film sound. He is also a performer who, for many years, has toured internationally presenting THE LIVING NICKELODEON, a multimedia performance in which he recreates a night at the movies during the first decade of the 20th century. This was the era when cinema was brand new, and full-length films had yet to take hold. From the mid-1890s until about 1913, silent short films were shown in makeshift, storefront movie theatres called nickelodeons (admission was five cents). Movies shared the screen with hand-colored slides, many of them humorous, many containing song lyrics, and a pianist accompanied the show, schmoozing and leading the audience in sing-alongs. A century later, this is what Altman still does, using song slides from the Marnan Collection in Minneapolis and short films from the Library of Congress. The result is both educational and good clean fun. Altman has performed THE LIVING NICKELODEON all over the world-from Canada to Australia, and at such prestigious venues as the Museum of Modern Art and the Louvre. This is the first time he has presented it in Cleveland, and since he is retiring this spring and moving to France, it may also be his last. Special admission is $12; Cinematheque members $9; ages 25 & under $7. No passes, twofers, or radio winners will be honored for this special event. Joanna Connors wrote an interesting article about THE LIVING NICKELODEON in the Arts Section of this past Sunday's Plain Dealer. Also, Rick Altman will deliver a lecture entitled "Establishing Sound" on Friday, April 27, at 4:00 pm in CWRU's Harkness Classroom (inside Harkness Chapel) on Bellflower Road. Altman will analyze two early films, Warners' 1927 THE FIRST AUTO and Columbia's 1934 IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, to demonstrate the early development of synchronized film sound. The talk is free and open to the public. SNOWTOWN re-creates Australia's worst case of serial killings Nominated for nine Australian Academy Awards (and winner of five, including Best Direction and Best Lead Actor), Justin Kurzel's 2011 Aussie film SNOWTOWN is a grim, powerful drama about Australia's worst case of serial murders. (In 1999 police discovered barrels containing rotting, dismembered bodies in a depressed rural town north of Adelaide.) The film, which has been re-titled THE SNOWTOWN MURDERS for U.S. release, tells of a single mother with three sons who believes that her charismatic new boyfriend John will lend security and stability to her home. But she couldn't be more wrong-especially when John takes her impressionable oldest son under his wing. No one under 18 will be admitted to this acclaimed but "profoundly disturbing" (Film Comment ) movie that premieres on Thursday and Saturday. Here's the trailer. Dominique Sanda plays "gentle woman" in Robert Bresson's UNE FEMME DOUCE Dominique Sanda made her screen debut in Robert Bresson's 1969 French film UNE FEMME DOUCE, the director's first color movie. It's a mysterious and sensuous tale of a young woman trapped in a marriage to a sadistic pawnbroker. Death seems the only escape-but will it be her death or his? Bresson shuns psychology in favor of ambiguous flashbacks, constructing a coolly modern mosaic of lucid surfaces, precise framing, and flat acting. From a Dostoevsky story. See it in a new 35mm print on Friday or Sunday. LUNACY concludes ?vankmajer series Jan ?vankmajer's 2005 Czech feature LUNACY is a "philosophical horror film" inspired by Edgar Allan Poe and the Marquis de Sade. Set in 19th-century France, the movie mixes live action and stop motion (including lots of animated meat) to tell the darkly comic tale of a young man, plagued by nightmares of being locked away in a mental institution, who spends a disturbing night in a castle. There he witnesses an orgy, a black mass, and bizarre burial rites, among other things guaranteed to keep him awake. Critic J. Hoberman calls it "dark, scary, and yucky-even by the Czech animator's own standards." Adults can see it Thursday or Sunday in a 35mm color print! Here's the trailer. Ultra-rare FOUR NIGHTS OF A DREAMER concludes Robert Bresson retrospective Robert Bresson's 1971 movie FOUR NIGHTS OF A DREAMER is the rarest of the director's features. Based on Dostoevsky's White Nights, it's a seductive nocturne-set in a ravishing, romantic, nighttime Paris-about a reclusive young painter who intervenes when a bereft young woman is about to commit suicide. They spend a few nights together before going their separate ways. It concludes our two-month Bresson series on Sunday in a 35mm color print. Please note that the second-film discount price for this movie is $7. Austrian MICHAEL fills Friday "TBA" slot Acclaimed at the Cannes, Toronto, and Cleveland Int'l Film Festivals, Markus Schleinzer's 2011 Austrian film MICHAEL is a clinical account of a buttoned-down, thirtysomething single man who works in a nondescript insurance office, maintains a spotless suburban home, and secretly keeps a 10-year-old boy locked in his basement. This dispassionate portrait of a pedophile has the rigor, reserve, and briskness of Bresson-and the chilly horror of Haneke. The NY Times designated it a "Critics' Pick," calling it "coldly compelling." Variety says MICHAEL illustrates "the banality of evil in an impressively controlled and sometimes darkly humorous fashion." Adults can see it Friday when it fills the "to be announced" slot. Here's the trailer. THIS WEEKEND Jan Svankmajer's LUNACY Thu., April 26, at 6:45 pm Sun., April 29, at 8:25 pm Aussie serial killer drama SNOWTOWN Thu., April 26, at 9:00 pm Sat., April 28, at 9:20 pm Robert Bresson's UNE FEMME DOUCE Fri., April 27, at 7:30 pm Sun., April 29, at 4:15 pm Added film! Direct from 2012 Cleveland Int'l Film Fest! MICHAEL Fri., April 27, at 9:20 pm A Special Event! Live music/film performance! Rick Altman presents THE LIVING NICKELODEON Sat., April 28, at 7:00 pm Tickets $12/$8/$6 Robert Bresson's FOUR NIGHTS OF A DREAMER Sun., April 29, at 6:30 pm "Second Film" discount price $7 NEXT WEEK John Ewing introduces SHANE Thu., May 3, at 6:45 pm DANCING IN THE DUST Thu., May 3, at 9:15 pm Sun., May 6, at 6:30 pm THE CHEAT Fri., May 4, at 7:00 pm Note: Sebastian Birch will not provide live piano accompaniment as announced ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA Fri., May 4, at 8:15 pm Sat., May 5, at 9:05 pm W.E. Sat., May 5, at 5:00 pm Sun., May 6, at 3:45 pm CASA DE MI PADRE Sat., May 5, at 7:20 pm Sun., May 6, at 8:35 pm