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Cinematheque to celebrate 28th anniversary

August 08
August 09 2014

Where George Gund Building, Aitken Auditorium

Cinematheque to celebrate 28th anniversary
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August 8, 2014 is the 28th anniversary of the Cinematheque’s first film screening at the Cleveland Institute of Art (which also took place on a Friday night, though in 1986). Marking the occasion, on August 8 & 9, will be a selection of special films and one guest that should appeal to all true film buffs.

The movies include a new digital restoration of Fitz Lang’s two-part 1924 German silent epic DIE NIBELUNGEN (the elaborate film Lang made right before METROPOLIS) and the first Cleveland showing of WHAT IS CINEMA? (a new documentary by Oscar winner Chuck Workman in which famous film directors answer the question first posed by French film critic André Bazin). WHAT IS CINEMA? will be preceded by Workman’s Academy Award-winning 1986 short “Precious Images,” a moving and evocative tribute to the movies.

The weekend will also launch a new film series, “Jean Grémillon in the Thirties,” which will showcase four forgotten classics by a great but neglected French filmmaker. LITTLE LISE is the first movie to be shown. Three others will follow on the subsequent three weekends. All four will show in rare film prints imported from France.

The weekend’s special guest is California filmmaker April Wright, who will answer audience questions after the first Cleveland showing of her new documentary on drive-in movie theaters, GOING ATTRACTIONS: THE DEFINITIVE STORY OF THE AMERICAN DRIVE-IN MOVIE.

All programs will show in the Aitken Auditorium of the Cleveland Institute of Art, 11141 East Boulevard in University Circle, telephone 216.421.7450, Unless noted below, admission to each film is $9; Cinematheque members, CIA I.D. holders, and those age 25 & under $7. Those who stay for more than one program on the same night receive a discounted admission to their second and/or third film. Free parking for filmgoers is available in the adjacent CIA lot. For further information, call John Ewing or Tim Harry at 216.421.7450 or email

Note that the Cinematheque’s 29th year will be the last in the Russell B. Aitken Auditorium, its longtime home. The Cinematheque will move to a new auditorium in the Uptown District on Euclid Avenue during the summer of 2015.

Cinematheque 28th Anniversary Weekend

Friday, August 8, at 5:15pm &
Saturday, August 9, at 9:15pm
USA/France/Canada, 2013, Chuck Workman
In his new feature, Academy Award winner Chuck Workman (long known for his clip reels for the annual Oscars telecast) tackles a question asked by the late, legendary French film critic André Bazin: what is cinema? For answers, Workman conducted interviews with great living filmmakers like David Lynch and Mike Leigh and intercut their responses with archival interviews with deceased directors (Hitchcock, Bresson, et al.) as well as with 100+ film clips. What Is Cinema? will be preceded at showtime by Workman’s Oscar-winning 1986 masterpiece Precious Images, made for the 75th anniversary of the Director’s Guild of America. Cleveland premiere. Blu-ray. Total 88 min.

Friday, August 8, at 7:00pm
New Digital Restoration!
Germany, 1924, Fritz Lang
Germany has Bayreuth, but Cleveland has a new digital restoration of Fritz Lang's epic film version of the medieval Nordic legend that inspired Wagner's "Ring Cycle." This two-part silent fantasy, the most elaborate and expensive German movie of its day, was co-written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou, with music by Gottfried Huppertz. (The three would also collaborate on Lang's next film, Metropolis.) Siegfried, the saga's magical first part, follows the pure, fearless titular hero as he slays a dragon and asks for the hand of Princess Kriemhild. The nightmarish second part, Kriemhild's Revenge (shown tomorrow night), chronicles the cataclysmic destruction wrought by the now blood-thirsty Kriemhild after she is grievously wronged by a rival tribe. With color tints and a new recording of the Huppertz score. Subtitles. Blu-ray. 149 min. (Part 1); 131 min. (Part 2). Buy your ticket for both parts of Die Nibelungen at the same time and pay only $6 for Kriemhild’s Revenge.

Friday, August 8, at 9:45pm
Filmmaker in Person!
USA, 2014, April Wright
Five thousand drive-in theaters dotted the U.S. during the 1950s. Today only 400 survive. (Fortunately, northeast Ohio still has more than its share.) This new documentary traces the evolution of this venerable American institution from their postwar heyday, through the challenges posed by multiplexes and home video, to today’s tempting offers from predatory real estate developers. Includes shots of “ozoners” in North Ridgeville, Wadsworth, Warren, and Barberton, among others. With Roger Corman. April Wright will answer audience questions after the screening. Cleveland premiere. Blu-ray. 85 min.

Saturday, August 9, at 5:00pm
Grémillon in the Thirties
France, 1930, Jean Grémillon
In the first sound film by the mostly unknown-and-unappreciated-in-America French master Jean Grémillon, a convict returns home from prison to discover that his daughter has turned to prostitution. Can he save her—and himself? This painterly movie with sparse dialogue “has the most impressive use of sound I know of,” according to film critic Fred Patton. Imported 35mm print from the Institut Français!. Subtitles. 84 min. Special admission $10; Cinematheque members, CIA I.D. holders, and age 25 & under $8; no passes, twofers, or radio winners.

Saturday, August 9, at 6:45pm
New Digital Restoration!
Germany, 1924, Fritz Lang
See 8/8 at 7:00 for description

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George Gund Building
Aitken Auditorium
11141 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106

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