Films shown from 1980 to 1989 Columbia Film Society

1980 - 1981 SEASON
Presented at the Theater, Communication Arts Building, Howard Community
Nine Fridays/Saturdays of Film for S15.00
8:30 p.m.

October 10 and 11, 1980
A subtle and memorable film from Hungary that explores the demoralizing effects of conformist pressure within a Communist society. A young woman, played by Victoria Papp, pleases the leadership with her frankness and is sent to a political re-education center for job advancement. In this environment, she learns her lessons too well, thus ultimately losing both her integrity and her happiness. Angi Vera is profound in its story, concise in its direction and rich in its characterizations.

November 14 and 15, 1980
A portrait of an intelligent, divorced middle-class woman, who at age 39 is feeling vague discontents. In brief, glancing scenes of daily life, we identify with her concerns and become aware of time flowing by. In this vitally acted and beautiful film we are not seeing "problems" but life itself. The film was written and directed by Claude Sautel (Cesar and Rosalie). Romy Schneider won the French Oscar for her portrayal of the heroine.

December 19 and 20, 1980
A French-Italian farce concerning the two most mismatched of families about to be united in matrimony. The bride's father heads a Union for Moral Order, while the groom's father has openly lived for twenty years with the drag-queen star of his transvestite revue. The story becomes affecting as well as amusing as the groom's family, for the sake of the son, tries to transform themselves into something they are not. This film is Chaplinesque in its surface slapstick and in its sly exposure of our unexamined assumptions.

January 9 and 10, 1981
The word documentary can't fully encompass what Ira Wohl has filmed of his 52-year-old, retarded cousin (Philly) and his aging parents. This is a family saga, often funny, about their courage and generosity as they struggle to overcome their interdependence. Philly had lived all his life with his parents, except briefly at age 12. After his father dies, during the three years of filming, his mother allows Philly a gradual separation from herself and he moves to a group home. Among the many awards this film has won, is one titled "The Most Human and Moving Film of the Year."

February 13 and 14, 1981
An extraordinary new young actress, Judy Davis, brilliantly plays a maverick and merry young woman from a poor family in the Australian Outback at the turn of the century. At a time when a woman had to be either servant, teacher or wife, she dares to pursue the lonely and uncertain career of writer, despite her love for a rich and handsome landowner. Her passionate desire to express her vision is not understood by anyone around her and makes this exhilarating film far more than a feminist statement.

March 13 and 14, 1981
An accomplished adaptation of the novel by Gunter Grass, this is an anguished allegory about modern Germany as reflected in the eyes of little Oskar. The child is so disgusted by the brutality of the social dislocations going on around him, that he chooses to remain always a child with his toy drum and power in his piercing scream. In this unsentimental, harshly comic and beautifully photographed film, David Bennent is sensationally effective in the role of Oskar.

April 10 and 11, 1981
This film is vintage Flannery O'Connor, true to her novel in both text and tone. It is a Southern Gothic tale of the delusions of true believers. Though the humor is dark, wonderful comic possibilities are realized as these characters, each with his or her fixed idea, are caught in monologue while they strain futilely for dialogue. The hero is a fanatic of negation, revealing his ultimate belief in his Church Without Christ. Director John Huston is at his best and his cast captures the fable's matter-of-fact weirdness.

May 8 and 9, 1981
This zestful thriller is a bizarre and imaginative confrontation between H.G. Wells and Jack the Ripper. Wells, who believes in a Utopian future, has developed a time machine which is stolen by his friend, just identified as Jack the Ripper. Wells leaves London of the 1890's and pursues him into San Francisco of 1979 to save his cherished future, only to find an age consumed in violence where Jack feels very much at home. Time After Time is funny, romantic and scary all at once.

June 12 and 13, 1981  
In this most enjoyable movie, Lina Wertmuller directs Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni and Giancarlo Giannini in her usual fashion of excess, juxtaposing the ludicrous and the grotesque against the truly sad. Set in the time of the rise of Mussolini, a widow cries out for the revenge of her husband's pointless death by the local leader of the Black Shirts. An ineffectual lawyer (Mastroianni) and a comical gangster (Giannini) become her allies. Underneath the often wildly funny comedy, we deal once again with Wertmuller's unchanging humanistic concerns.


1981 - 1982 SEASON
Presented at the Theater, Communication Arts Building, Howard Community College  (HCC) and Wilde Lake High School (WLHS).
Nine Fridays/Saturdays of Film for $15.00
8:30 p.m.

October 9 and 10, 1981
With overtones of irony and prejudice, this film depicts an historical incident involving three Australians fighting with the British during the Boer War. For following unwritten orders to execute their colonial prisoners, they become scapegoats in a military trial. Fast paced in performance and composition, the trial is broken with flashbacks of fierce fighting and suddenly intimate close-ups. This is a stunning example of the high quality of recent Australian films which tap universal themes while exploring national history and culture.

November 13 and 14, 1981  
A portrayal of war, not as a eulogy but as an event which men want, and in which, ironically, they sometimes achieve nobility, Directed by Kurosawa and set in 16th Century Japan, the plot concerns a thief who doubles for his dead warlord and gradually acquires the warlord's force of character and nobility of mind. The subplot concerns the embittered son denied his right of succession. This is an opulent work like a tapestry of chivalry, splendid in its sweep and beauty, fascinating in its detail.

December 11 and 12, 1981  
An intelligent, provocative film which juxtaposes the work of behavioral scientist Dr. Henri Laborit with the entangled dramas of three adults which illustrate his theories about the instinctual nature of human conduct. One of the best films of Alain Resnais  (Hiroshima, Mon Amour and La Guerre Est Finie), it is original, well-acted, beautiful and often hilarious. The New York film critics gave this movie their Best Foreign Film of the Year Award.

January 8 and 9, 1982
Love between a young girl and a middle-aged man is treated with candor and sympathy in this well-acted tale of two fathers vacationing together with their 18-year-old daughters. The daughters ignore the conventions of their fathers, creating a familiar picture of parental anguish, until the unthinkable happens. The wild moment begins a true relationship with all the time-pathos implicit in a September Song love and with Freudian implications affecting each one of the four characters.

February 5 and 6, 1982
Sweeping the French Oscars and causing a standing ovation at the New York Film Festival, Truffaut's study of collaboration and anti-Semitism during the Nazi occupation takes place backstage in a small Parisian theater. A respected German-Jewish stage director is forced to hide in the cellar below stage while his wife must cope with the pro-Nazi critic, the curfew and her love for the new leading man. This is the story of the ruses and resourcefulness of daily life in a dangerous time, the small details of war.

March 12 and 13, 1982
A gentle, witty and reflective social comedy about a group of people who grew up together in the counter culture and now, as they approach 30, must ruefully accommodate to practicality and adulthood. Almost plotless, director John Sayles deals with character and continually changing relationships, achieving a rare ensemble performance by unknowns. The setting is a weekend house party in New England. The conversation seems ad-libbed, rather like eavesdropping on real people at a real reunion.

April 2 and 3, 1982
A willful, intelligent 13-year-old seeks to dominate and keep for herself the love of her warmhearted mother. Set in the Laurentian Mountains outside Montreal and concerned with poor country people, this story of excess and the destructive power of love is both grimly realistic and yet poetic. The script relies on the development and exploration of character, although there is abundant action and conflict as this amoral child manipulates her mother's guilt and drives away each challenger to her concept of paradise.

April 30 and May 1, 1982
A strong, emotional undercurrent runs through this documentary of a symbolic meeting of two cultures. Listening to Western music was recently a crime in China and this explains the packed audiences and fervor of lessons during Isaac Stern's 1979 tour of China. Glimpses of Chinese culture are captured as well as the teaching process, the moment of illumination made tangible. This film is brilliantly made with breathtaking scenery, warm humanity and glorious music.

June 11 and 12, 1982
Albin and Renato again, this time embroiled in a spy thriller which allows them even more range, ingenuity and surprise than did the first Cage. The farce turns on their efforts to escape the spy ring and the complex masquerades this requires of Albin (as well as his joy in them). Albin never realizes, as the spectator does, how his pretenses elude him. This unique couple mirrors the pressures of heterosexual marriage and, in their exotic way, celebrates tenderness and ridiculousness in marriage.

1982 - 1983 SEASON
Presented at the Theater, Communication Arts Building, Howard Community College and Wilde Lake High School.
Nine Fridays/Saturdays of Film for $15.00
8:30 p.m.

October 8 and 9, 1982
The most delightful movie to arrive from France in several years wryly chronicles in anecdotal style the tale of three sisters growing up before the time of the worker and student rebellions of May 1968. Each girl, with very different dreams, suffers an unwanted pregnancy in late adolescence and each deals with the problem in her own special way. One becomes a compulsive mother, one a battered wife, and the third chooses a life of uncertain independence. The underlying theme of the fraying of the family is done delicately and with wit.

November 12 and 13, 1982
A nourishing and delicious dinner conversation between playwright-actor Wallace Shawn and avant-garde theater director Andre Gregory is the unique plot of Louis Malle's latest film. Selectively recreated from hours of conversation (from which a script was made and memorized), the two men play themselves and are contrasts in reaction to the horrors of a deadened and technological world. Andre recounts his worldwide spiritual quest. His mysticism is a perfect foil for the pragmatic Wally who has constructed a personal fortress from the simple enjoyable details of daily life. This philosophic dialogue about the meaning of life is provocative, sometimes irritating, but never dull.

January 14 and I5, 1983
Poland's Andrzej Wajda filmed this masterly and courageous fusion of fiction and documentary during the dramatic period in August 1980, when Solidarity established itself as a political force in Poland and a moral force in the world. Solidarity's story is told through the eyes of a once bold journalist, now a frightened hack. Sent to smear one of the strike's leaders, the reporter is caught between his fears of reprisal and his growing admiration of the people he meets who refuse to knuckle under. Passionately felt, the film is a successful instant synthesis of the present with events in the recent past. Winner of the Grand Prize at Cannes in 1981.

February 4 and 3, 1983  
An authentic American tragedy is created by Sidney Lumet from a real cop's experiences as an informer for the Knapp Commission. Treat Williams plays the tainted hero who further corrupts himself as he tries to expiate his crimes. His own lack of innocence plus his strong ties of loyalty to his partners cause him unbearable anguish as he is relentlessly caught up and crushed in the ambitions of other men. An excellent supporting cast surrounds Williams through the Byzantine plot turns which create a perfectly paced, true horror story.

February 18 and 19, 1983  
This subtle film is a period piece, a look at the relations between the sexes before the sexual revolution. Set in Baltimore in 1959, it concerns a group of young men in their early twenties, friends since high school, who cling to their old, comfortable camaraderie in late night bull sessions at the Fells Point Diner. In the company of each other they can sound worldly and smart, but with girls they are constricted and fraudulent. Director Barry Levinson quietly reveals the depths of his wonderfully drawn characters, lingering over the psychologically telling moments.

March 18 and 19, 1983
An audacious and brilliant thriller that has romance as counterpoint. The story centers on an international opera star, who refuses to be recorded, and an adoring postal-messenger, pursued because of an illegal tape he has made of her singing. The plot is further complicated when a tape about a vice ring accidentally comes into his possession and he is chased by different crooks for that. Director Jacques Beineix's first film is filled with fascinating contradictions in character and theme. It explodes in color, mixes style with chic hanky-panky, and is a great deal of fun.

April 22 and 23, 1983  
This empathetic study of a 10-year-old wandering street boy (named Pixote) from Sao Paulo shows the effect of childhood without nurture or affection. Pixote is swept up by the police into a brutalizing youth reformatory where he learns to appear indifferent to violence as he quickly learns to survive. Escaping with a gang to pick pockets and buy a worn prostitute, who mothers them and for whom they pimp, Pixote drifts into murder. He is an "innocent" killer, not understanding the enormity of his acts. Shockingly lyrical, this Brazilian film has the appearance of a documentary but director Babenco is in perfect control of his terrifying subject matter.

May 27 and 28, 1983  
This strongly written movie moves at a chilling pace and portrays uncondescendingly the life of working class people in the United States. Beginning with a meaningless tragedy, all the relationships in the young heroine's life are changed. To tell or not to tell, there is no right choice and only pain can result. The movie broadens to show all aspects of the girl's life. Director Jan Egleson neither argues nor judges. Done in a realistic but emotionally involving manner, this genuine moral dilemma is performed superbly by a mixed cast of professionals and beginners.

June 10 and 11, 1983  
A new town in Scotland is the setting for a daft and charming social comedy concerning universal adolescent behavior patterns. The gawky and likable hero is infatuated with the adorable heroine who replaces him as center forward on the soccer team. Those amusingly awkward and self-conscious preliminaries to the mating game are both familiar and exotic seen with a Scottish flavor. Writer-director Bill Forsyth has a wry comic vision and shares with his hero an open-eyed sense of discovery as Gregory's romantic experiences develop.

1983 - 1984 SEASON
Presented at the Theater, Communication Arts Building, Howard Community College and Wilde Lake High School
Nine Fridays/Saturdays of Film for $15.00
8:30 p.m.

September 23 and 24, 1983  
Written and directed by the Taviani brothers (Padre Padrone), this is a tough-minded but warmhearted memoir of a little girl in a Tuscan village during the brief interval of Nazi retreat before the rumored approach of the Allies. The girl is part of a disorganized band of villagers who hurry along hoping to reach the Americans in a desperate but joyous freedom-seeking adventure. In these authentic experiences, perceived through a child's eye and colored by the passage of time, we see the villager's Day of Wrath and their survival.

October 7 and 8, 1983
In this modern folktale, an aged man summons his three sons home to the funeral of their mother. In the tormented dreams and debates they have in their childhood home, they expose differing humanistic commitments reflecting their personal urban worlds, all of which Director Rosi presents as equally valid. They are contrasted to their old father, who represents the timeless values of peasant life, and with whom they manage only perfunctory exchanges. This profound and beautiful film is ultimately hopeful, for the brothers are troubled by the right problems and they do not give up in despair.

November 4 and 5, 1983
The subject of this provocative, courageous and enjoyable film is the troubled adolescence experienced by the generation following that of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The story focuses on the two sons of a revolutionary who fled to America, and on his wife, who has taken in his old friend just now released from prison. The all-encompassing political past and present shapes and distorts the typical teenage activities of romance and rebellion which are accompanied by the insistent beat of Elvis and western rock, symbol of their fantasy of escape. This haunting and poetic film with its expressionistic color was winner of the best foreign language film of 1982 by the New York Film Critics Circle.

December 2 and 3, 1983
Bruce Beresford (Breaker Morant) directs his first American film, a simple, muted tale that finds its pace and meaning in the slow, plaintive tempo of rural Texas life. The story is about a once successful country songwriter, now on the skids, who finds spiritual redemption and happiness through the love of a young woman. The entire cast gives an inspired performance in response to the effortless honesty of Robert Duvall's portrayal of the hero. This film has been called the best American film of the year.

January 6 and 7, 1984
This is a highly original conception of Verdi's passionate and tragic love story. Teresa Stratas sings Violetta and the contrast she achieves between the two Violettas, one dying and the other a glamorous hostess bubbling with life, show the wizardry of the director, Zephirelli. Placido Domingo is a charismatic Alfredo. The timing is natural and spontaneous, with each detail of the action corresponding to the music (recorded by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus under James Levine). Zephirelli has produced a gripping and unforgettable interpretation of the much-beloved opera.

February 3 and 4, 1984
This lyrical and delicate first film by Kohei Oguri is a study of relationships in the working class world of a 10-year-old boy. The sorrows and harsh difficulties caused by the war, ten years past, color the life of the adults around him and lead to his awakening from childhood innocence. His first experiences with death, courage, shame and the transitoriness of friendship are deeply moving. Done with the artful eye for composition characteristic of Japanese films, this was the Silver Medalist at the Moscow Film Festival in 1981.

April 13 and 14, 1984
Jerzy Skolimowski has directed a trenchant and sardonic comic-tragedy in this winner of Best Screenplay at Cannes, 1982. Jeremy Irons provides a sensitive portrayal of the leader and only English-speaking member of a crew of Polish workmen illegally in England to build the house of their boss back home. Irons, alone of this band, is aware that the Polish government has imposed martial law. From the moment he decides to withhold this vital fact from his fellow workmen, he begins the inevitable transition into a petty and brutal dictator, slowly driving his alienated and lonely countrymen to revolt. The analogy is clear.

May 4 and 5, 1984
This movie is based on a true story with the status of legend in France, which has fascinated artists and audiences since it first was told. In 1549 Martin Guerre, a callow and distant young man, leaves his wife and child. No word is heard from him. In 1557 a witty, educated, loving husband and father returns. Only several years later when he claims family money does anyone question his unusual transition. Deceptively simple, as are all great fables, this tale is actually complex and ambiguous with modern social themes and a powerful love story. Gerard Depardieu is the second Martin.

June 8 and 9, 1984
Writer-director Bill Forsyth (Gregory's Girl) has created a delicately-charged comic atmosphere in this whimsical film. Mac, ace mergers-and-acquisitions executive, is sent to buy a Scottish town in order to turn it into an oil refinery. Stranded in a fog-bound car overnight, he falls under a spell and enters the town without the will to dominate as well as being open to happiness for the first time. Incongruities pile up but by the end a kind of harmony is achieved that triumphs over the demands of rationality.

1984 - 1985 SEASON
Presented at the Theater, Communication Arts Building, Howard Community
Nine Evenings of Film for $15.00
8:30 p.m.

September 22 and *23, 1984
*Friday ticketholders attend Sunday at 7:30 PM
This movie is based on a true story with the status of legend in France, which has fascinated artists and audiences since it first was told. In 1549 Martin Guerre, a callow and distant young man, leaves his wife and child. No word is heard from him. In 1557 a witty, educated, loving husband and father returns. Only several years later when he claims family money does anyone question his unusual transition. Deceptively simple, as are all great fables, this tale is actually complex and ambiguous with modern social themes and a powerful love story. Gerard Depardieu is the second Martin.

November 9 and 10, 1984
This is the first film made by today's master of understated comedy, Bill Forsyth (Gregory's Girl, Local Hero). It's the hilarious story of some unemployed young men who steal some sinks from a warehouse in the most charmingly inept heist in the history of such things. There's an irresistible blend in this Glasgow scene of sweetness, silliness and social conscience.

December 7 and 8, 1984
Almost an Australian version of Marty, this delightful talc is about older and reticent lovers brought together by a dating service. She, belatedly leaving home, and he, released by the death of his adored mother, cautiously establish a relationship. Beautifully acted, the story is neither sentimental nor does it condescend. It tells the small, tender and sometimes amusing details of "romance in the slow lane."

January 11 and 12, 1985
Filmed while writer and editor Yilma/Guney was actually in a Turkish jail, the film was edited when he escaped to Switzerland. Out of his own prison experiences and those told to him by fellow inmates, he has created an epic. Starting in the jail, we follow five prisoners on a weeks leave as they pick up the threads of their former lives. Turkey itself is seen to be a metaphorical jail due to the bigotry and ignorance of the near-feudal society that makes up most of the country. Yol is a compelling film experience.

February 22 and *24, 1985
*Saturday ticketholders attend Sunday at 7:30 PM
A haunting study of the psychological contradictions and personal conflicts that superimpose themselves on the social decisions of revolutionary leaders. Ostensibly about the terror phase of the French Revolution, it is also a metaphor for the revolutions Wajda has observed in Eastern Europe, including present-day Poland. Gerard Depardieu gives a stunning performance as the life-loving Danton while his rival, the dictatorial Robespierre, is chillingly portrayed by Wojciech Pszoniak. Wajda dramatizes an historical problem in human terms.

March 8 and 9, 1985
A delightful film story about three Italian prisoners-of-war who are sent to work in a Scottish island farming community at the end of World War II. Regarded suspiciously by most of the natives, one young woman is fascinated by their very differences, gradually coming to feel a shared bond with them as she senses her own imprisonment and longing for freedom. At times almost exotically moving, this film may grip you without warning!

April 12 and 13, 1985
A superb movie about two women, both of whom have made unsuitable marriages and then much later find the fullness of life in the intensity of their friendship. With honesty and a gentle touch. Director Diane Kurys reveals the largely unconscious cruelty of the women and the pain they inflict. She admires their bravery but she deals fairly with the men also. Kurys took this story from her own parents' lives. It's a social comedy but also a morally unsettling love story

May 24 and 25, 1985
This lyrical and delicate first film by Kohei Oguri is a study of relationships in the working class world of a 10-year-old boy. The sorrows and harsh difficulties caused by the war, the years past, color the life of the adults around him and lead to his awakening from childhood innocence. His first experiences with death, courage, shame and the transitoriness of friendship are deeply moving. Done with the artful eye for composition characteristic of Japanese films, this was the Silver Medalist at the Moscow Film Festival in 1981.

June 14 and 15, 1985
Bergman has called this his last film and in it he has played all the notes in his repertoire. It's an epic family chronicle opening at an affectionate and colorful Christmas gathering, moving to the grey and evil home of Alexander's new stepfather, then on to the magical home of a close family friend and ending full circle surrounded once again with the security and simple joys of a family celebration. Bergman moves with a virtuoso's control from comedy to Gothic horror and on to psychological realism.


1985 - 1986 SEASON
Presented at the Theater, Communication Arts Building, Howard Community College
Nine Evenings of Film for $15.00
8:30 p.m.

October 4 and 5, 1985
Woody Allen shows again his fascination with film and fantasy in this movie within a movie. Set in a small town in New Jersey during the Depression, a young woman (Mia Farrow) finds escape from her drab life at the local movie house. Suddenly the hero steps out of the screen and sweeps her away, leaving chaos behind him. Ultimately this leads to the hard choice she must make between perfect fantasy and imperfect reality. This delicate parody of an old film uses, as it reveals, the transcendent effect such films had on their audiences in the thirties, not so very long ago.

November 15 and 16, 1985
A wrenching custody battle between two sisters over their young nephew is a true story in this prizewinning Australian film. The boy, P.S., has been living happily with Lila and George in their modest home where, symbolically and actually, the doors are always open. When P.S. is 6, his Aunt Nessa arrives. In her mansion the doors are shut. P.S., imprisoned, achieves his own release from the intolerable by setting aside his usual gentle innocence for a momentary use of unerring psychological cruelty. This movie seems to say it doesn't matter what a child hears, he or she has already sensed all the truths, even the ones that are never spoken.

December 6 and 7, 1985
Directed by Francesco Rosi, this is one of the most exciting opera films ever made. Set in Andalusia, the Spanish themes of love, honor and ritual death are recreated. The opening scene of the bullfight is not incidental color but foreshadows the story soon to unfold in music. Carmen (Julia Migenes-Johnson) is the temptress that no man can possess and Don Jose (Placido Domingo) is the bull, lured into and destroyed by his unrequited passion for Carmen. The visual images are so powerful that we hear this familiar opera once again with new understanding.

 January 10 and 11, 1986
Bertrand Tavanier uses a commonplace and uneventful plot about two grown children on a Sunday visit to their aging father to study the dramatic issues of risk versus security, of life's possibilities versus death in life. The old man, an academic artist, has won the Legion d'Honneur but never dared to find his place in the dynamic, ever-changing art movements of his time. He knows he has let life pass him by. His children represent these warring tendencies within himself. His daughter will act out his realization that one must ask much of life in order to give much.

February 14 and 15, 1986  
A bored wife and her lover, the jealous husband and his hired detective/killer are the characters in this maliciously entertaining, gothic tale of murder. In this amazing first film by Joel and Ethan Coen a labyrinth of misunderstandings and double crosses creates a subtle and surprising plot which leads to a surreal and hair raising conclusion. The striking and unforgettable images create the nightmare atmosphere of murder gone awry.

March 14 and 15, 1986
The theme is the end of an era as a cross section of English nobility gather at Sir Randolph Nettleby's estate for a weekend shoot, a metaphor for the wars to come. James Mason plays superbly (in what became his last role) the distracted and eccentric host, an archetype of the English landed gentry and the embodiment of their values. The film displays the traditions, loyalties and idiosyncrasies that bind this social order. Somewhere Winston Churchill said, "The old world in its sunset was fair to see."

April 2 and 3, 1986  
An epic drama set a century ago in a remote northern Japanese village where the people are joined in continuous, precarious struggle with the natural elements which they can neither placate nor subdue. The story centers on Orin, a grandmother and the backbone of her family. She nears age 70 and it is time for her reluctant son to carry her to the mountaintop, a ritual considered essential for the survival of the next generation. The viewer comes to understand this bizarre and fascinating world with its mystical interludes, intense organic rhythms and grim necessities. This film won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1983.

May 30 and 31, 1986  
Science fiction blends with social conscience in John Sayles’ unconventional spoof about an extraterrestrial who can't go home, an outsider who looks (almost) like an insider. Ending up in Harlem, the Brother is regarded as either a crazy or a wino by the locals who help him find a job and a home. In a series of often-hilarious vignettes he deals with the always-perplexing task of entering a new community. The Brother exposes the misunderstandings among cultures that get exaggerated into racism. This gentle comedy is a delightful fable with an important moral.

June 13 and 14, 1986   
This likable, wry Australian film stars Norman Kaye, the hero in Lonely Hearts. He is now a charming deviant, a rich and middle-aged art collector tending in taste toward the Victorian, who becomes inextricably caught up in the messy life of a young model and her trendy artist/lover. Director Paul Cox maintains a delicate balance between the quirky humor and the essential loneliness and privacy of the hero's fantasy life.


1986 - 1987 SEASON
Presented at the Theater, Communication Arts Building, Howard Community College
Nine Fridays/Saturdays of Film for $16.00
8:30 p.m.

October 17 and 18, 1986
This optimistic parable about freedom and imprisonment stars Glenda Jackson and Ben Kingsley as two lonely Londoners who spend their spare time watching the sea turtles at the zoo. Brought out of their shells somewhat by finding they both want to free the turtles, the analogy between the turtles and their liberators becomes very clear. Harold Pinter's wry and ironical script works by implication. The understated charm is reminiscent of Bill Forsyth's Local Hero.

November 14 and 15, 1986
Director Wayne Wang, an admirer of Ozu's chronicles of Japanese cultural change, attempts to capture the Americanization of the U.S. Chinese community. This process of cultural cross-fertilization is caught in wonderful pictorial images, as when the neighbors leave a Mahjongg game to watch Dynasty. This movie is a charming and quiet family comedy centering on the relationship of a proudly traditional mother and an assimilated but still obedient daughter. With small, telling gestures Mr. Wang introduces most of us to a hidden corner of our country.

December 12 and 13, 1986
It is 1932, the year of the Lewis Carroll centenary. A haughty 80-year-old dowager, Alice Liddell Hargreaves, has come from England to receive an honorary degree from Columbia University. This is the Alice of Wonderland grown old. In this film fantasy she slips back into Wonderland confronting and acknowledging the meaning of the love that the shy and stammering Reverend Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) had felt for her long ago. Wonderful performances are given by Coral Browne as Alice and Ian Holm, who plays the dotty and touching Dodgson, filled with forbidden longings which he translates into playful art. This unlikely and singular subject yields a treasure of a film.

January 23 and 24, 1987
The evil of Argentina under the Junta is revealed obliquely in this gripping, prize-winning story of a mother's relentless search for the truth about her adopted daughter. This subtle character study shows the gradual transformation of a woman who, at the beginning, is proud and conservative, a teacher of history, absorbed in her family and their bourgeois life. In her awakening to the terrorism that had been around her she recognizes her complicity with it and therefore achieves greatness. She reaches her liberation and her destruction at the same time.

February 6 and 7, 1987
This 1985 Cannes winner is a nostalgic and bittersweet saga of a family trying to survive the state. Set in Yugoslavia during the early 1950s, most of the events are seen through the eyes of the youngest son. The philandering father is sent away to a labor camp because of a stray remark to his jealous mistress. Thus the story becomes one of a family in transition, waiting to be reunited which, ultimately, they are. The young son bouncing through his family's turmoil contributes to the effects of this film — part magic, part melodrama and part political satire.

March 6 and 7, 1987
This film is based on the actual experiences of the American photojournalist Richard Boyle in strife-torn El Salvador in the grim year of 1980. The story and its protagonist are raw, compelling and vivid. At the beginning of the film, Boyle is on the skids and talks a friend into a pleasure trip to El Salvador. Irresponsible and crude, drinking constantly, Boyle sobers up when confronted with the incredible magnitude of the suffering in this tortured country. John Wood plays Boyle with nervous energy and self-mocking wit. Director Oliver Stone (Midnight Express) has caught the essential truth with his documentary style.

April 3-4, 1987
The setting is Osaka and the year is 1938 in this lyrical adaptation of Tanizaki's novel about four sisters facing the erosion of traditional social structures and the loss of their family fortune. The youngest sister dresses in Western clothes and starts a business while the next sister refuses her suitors. The sisters play out the schism between present and past. Kon Ichikawa directed this elegant, ironic and involving elegy to a passing society.

May 8 and 9, 1987
Hanif Kureishi, the son of a Pakistani father and an English mother, has written a rambunctious and vivid socio-economic satire about upper-class Pakistani immigrants that have become the exploiters in the land that once exploited them. The 18-year-old hero is torn between the values of his "good" though defeated father and those of his cynical but successful uncle. Set up in the laundromat business by the uncle, he draws in an old English school friend, now a street tough. Their gay relationship is the only hopeful element in this portrayal of the racist and ever narrowing world at the bottom of England's working class. The writer's ambiguous feelings about his mixed background have resulted in an acerbic and funny film.

June 5 and 6, 1987
Four pastoral parables, loosely taken from Pirandello, have been transformed by the talented Taviani brothers as they again explore the relationship between man and the land. Linked by the symbol of their harsh viewpoint, a raven with a bell around its neck, the four haunting tales include a tragic melodrama, an erotic folktale, a farcical fairytale and a last testament, ending with an elegiac epilogue about Pirandello himself. All the stories are set in turn-of-the-century Sicily, a land of dazzling and sinister landscapes. The Tavianis have created a sustained mood with their grand, though unadorned, style.


1987 - 1988 SEASON
Presented at The Theater, Communication Arts Building, Howard Community College
Nine Fridays/Saturdays of Film for $16
8:30 PM

September 25 and 26, 1987
Alain Cavalier's moving and austere film about St. Therese of Lisieux uses a stark, minimalist cinematic style to create sensuous images. This quiet, lovely biography tells about a young French girl of 15 who gets special permission to enter the rigorous Carmelite order, adapting so cheerfully that she is resented by her peers. Her fervor is untouched by the tuberculosis from which she dies at age 24 in 1897. Cavalier's focus is on the pleasures of worship that are balanced by the bitter words of a jilted yeoman and the curses of the doctor called in to treat the young nun. With restraint and formality, he has made a rare work of art.

October 16 and 17, 1987
Peter Wang directed this low-keyed comedy of manners in which he plays his own alter ego, Leo Fang, a computer executive who takes his family to Beijing to meet their Chinese relatives after a separation of thirty years. Emphasizing character more than plot, an endless stream of beautifully realized vignettes creates real people with depth and contradictions. He shows without commentary what happens when the two cultures collide, as in a scene when the Americans are awed by The Great Wall but then begin to teach touch football to the Chinese on its ancient walkways. These cultural contrasts and comparisons are the hallmarks of Peter Wang's understated charm.

November 13 and 14, 1987
A delicate and often hilarious satire that Director Juzo Itami calls a "noodle western", a new kind of cinematic hybrid. It's an essay with comic digressions as well as a narrative about Tampopo (her name means Dandelion), a youngish widow who aspires to reach the top in noodle making. To achieve this end she steals recipes, has confrontations with other noodle makers as well as consultations with gourmet street people who know about noodles from the best trashcans. The people who assist her toward her goal take noodles seriously and speak in the jargon of food critics. This buoyant comedy has an excellent cast, some of whom may be familiar from the films of Kurosawa and Ozu.

January 15 and 16, 1988
An entertaining social satire by the West German filmmaker Doris Dorrle in which a successful and self-centered advertising executive, Julius, is enraged and bewildered to discover his wife Paula loves someone else. Reduced to spying upon her, he becomes the roommate of her bohemian lover, Stefan. The special pleasures of male friendship inevitably are compared to the very different kind of relationship each has with Paula. Motivated to regain his wife, Julius gradually turns Stefan into another version of himself, thus ending Paula's fascination with him. It works... perhaps. This playful and perceptive comedy resists predictable conclusions.

February 12 and 13, 1988
Toward the end of World War II, a Dutch family is having evening prayers when they see the murder of a Nazi collaborator outside their window and the body being dragged into their yard. Unable to explain, they are summarily shot, except for 12-year-old Anton, who is jailed. This nightmarish scene haunts and torments Anton thirty years later, now a successful anesthesiologist, as he hunts for those who let his innocent parents die. We see the story in bits and pieces until the puzzle is complete. For this man, the past has never been past. This powerful epic, directed by Fons Rademakers, won the Academy Award for best foreign language film.

March 11 and 12, 1988
In this haunting story of loneliness, a Paris secretary recently left by her boyfriend, moves about on her vacation from the beach to the mountains and back to the city, unable to find happiness in herself or in her life. Her family and friends try to tease her out of her depression but to no avail. She decides she has no inner life and seeks the moment of insight in the green flash described by Jules Verne. Director Eric Rohmer reveals his characters in the choice they make and gradually, as we watch this young woman, we realize we are witnessing true anguish of the heart. Rohmer has transformed a search for a vacation into a spiritual odyssey.

April 22 and 23, 1988
Down and out in a seedy London flat, two unemployed actors eventually seek "harmony and fresh air" at Withnail's uncle's country cottage. Withnail, dashing and sensitive, is a master of self-dramatization which was a ruling principle for end-of-the Sixties characters. Marwood (the I in the title) will outdo this master in what he calls his Withnail period and find a legitimate job by the end of the film. Meanwhile there is no harmony for them at the randy, sodden uncle's home but there is amusement, often hilarity, for us as we watch the collisions between the colorful and eccentric characters.

May 13 and 14, 1988
Dogs aren't supposed to understand the complexities of life nor are they expected to behave as if they do. When life becomes unendurable for 12-year-old Ingemar, he gets down and barks like a dog. Because his beautiful mother is dying of tuberculosis and is easily upset by her trouble-prone son, Ingemar is sent to his uncle in a rural Swedish village. There, baffled and traumatized, he comforts himself by reading of other disaster victims. He meets many eccentric adults and he has an intense, bittersweet romance with his tomboy boxing partner. This gentle coming-of-age film emphasizes the wisdom and resilience of childhood.

June 10 and 11, 1988
More successful in its first week in New York City than any other foreign film has ever been, Gerard Depardieu and Yves Montand give magnificent performances in this first part of a two-movie adaptation of an epic novel by Marcel Pagnol. Small events represent elemental truths about man in this chronicle of a gullible city man who brings his family south to farm his inheritance of rocky soil. All his plans are dependent on an ample water supply. His seemingly helpful neighbors have hidden the spring, however, and his plans have been doomed from the start. These neighbors intend to get the farm away from him. This is a story that pulsates with primal emotions as it moves relentlessly towards its tragic ending. It leaves the viewer longing for part II.


1988 – 1989 SEASON
Presented at The Theater, Communication Arts Building, Howard Community College
Nine Fridays / Saturdays of Film for S20.00
8:30 p.m.

September 23 and 24, 1988
Marcel Pagnol's tragic melodrama of love and revenge can stand alone or be seen as a sequel to Jean de Florette. In that film Manon's sweet, city-bred father was killed trying to overcome an artificial drought caused by his covetous neighbors with the silent complicity of the villagers. Manon of the Spring is about communal guilt, though its most devastating moments are reserved to bring down the devious Cesar (Yves Montand). Manon, older now and unbelievably beautiful, begins her revenge all unknowingly when she causes the half-witted Ugolin to fall madly in love with her. Before she is done she has gained retribution against all who wronged her father, good has been rewarded and evil punished. Claude Berri has directed a full blooded and old-fashioned folk epic. Daniel Auteuil won a 1986 Cesar (French Oscar) for his performance of Ugolin.

October 14 and 15, 1988
A melodrama of sexual awakening and loneliness is James Ivory's exquisite screen translation of the novel E. M. Forster felt was his best. Personal feelings prevail over the cruel, repressive strictures of society amidst glorious Edwardian settings and penetrating psychological portraits of the English upper classes. Maurice arrives at Cambridge and only discovers his homosexuality as his platonic relationship with Clive deepens and grows. After graduation, Clive compromises his true feelings and marries. Maurice can't. He tries to change, finally resolving the problems created by his sexual heresy by breaking class codes. Edwardian England was a prison under rainy skies for the unconventional. This beautiful story, written in 1914, was not published until 1971.

December 2 and 3, 1988
John Huston's last film before his death has caught the beauty and spirit of James Joyce's finest and final story in The Dubliners. All his major themes are here: the paralysis Joyce felt inherent in Irish life, the sense of betrayal felt by the hero, and the interaction between the living and the dead. Set on a snowy evening at an annual Epiphany Day party of family and friends, the hero, vulnerable and ill-at-ease with himself, moves through the infinite detail of such an event only to meet real despair at the end of the evening with his wife's revelation of her memory of her long dead lover. The story ends as the hero comes to terms with fate in a moving monologue and the snow continues to fall over all the living and the dead. Anjelica Huston does an excellent job playing the wife.

January 13 and 14, 1989
Juzo Itami has turned his satirical eye to the Japanese obsession with money and the subsequent reluctance of that nation's people to pay their often high taxes. His heroine is an ardent tax collector, played by Nobuko Miyamoto (his wife, familiar to us because of Tampopo). She's fanatically determined that everyone must pay, whatever the cost in human despair. The anti-hero is an implacable, unscrupulous and lively miser who celebrates his financial successes with lust which further energizes him for more money making. Itami seems ambivalent in his moral stance, concentrating instead on the incredible lengths to which the victims of any passion are driven and on the fascinating similarity of their behavior however opposed their fixed ideas. Through Kami's eye, we see the zany behaviors of his beguiling characters with sympathetic humor.

February 10 and 11, 1989
Gabriel Axel won an Oscar giving cinematic life to Isak Dinesen's story of two aging women living lives of service and self denial to their late father's ever diminishing Protestant congregation on the gray coast of the Jutland peninsula. Assisting them in charity is a secretly vibrant refugee from the suppression of the Paris Commune, Babette. She's an artist of the palate who has lost her natural audience in rejecting the pleasure-seeking Parisian aristocrats. Her gift to her benefactors of a magnificent and sensuous feast fills them with fear of sin but, ironically, allows them to momentarily live their faith more fully. Apparent opposites are reconciled in this witty fable.

March 10 and 11, 1989
This powerful film has an unusual focus. Written by the daughter of two anti-apartheid activists, it's a grim story of courage, commitment, and loss based on her actual experiences as a 13-year-old girl in a city in South Africa in 1963. Her parent's cause is already her cause too, and yet it's her competitor for their devotion and involvement as well. When her father is forced to leave her, fleeing in the night, her peers taunt her. When her mother (Barbara Hershey) is imprisoned and she seeks her friends, the community turns its back. Told without pretension, it is poignant to realize these sacrifices were made twenty-five years ago and many more like these have been and will still be required before this cause is won. The female leads shared the Best Actress award from Cannes.

April 21 and 22, 1989
Written by Peter Handke and directed by Wim Wenders, this metaphysical fairy tale is a celestial tribute to earthly pleasures. We watch two nondenominational angels follow humans about, observing their plights and overhearing their thoughts and feelings with sympathy. Yet they can't enter in. These are recording angels whose presence is detected only by the most intuitive. Living forever yet never truly experiencing life seems boring and incomplete, a black-and-white existence, to the angel played by Bruno Ganz. Only by accepting mortality as the price of living will life take on the full range of color. This enchanting fable is filled with eerie beauty.

May 12 and 13, 1989
This delightful study of young love is the last in Eric Rohmer's most recent series, Comedies and Proverbs. Only the surface is placid as four mismatched lovers analyze and discuss their own and each other's motives and self-justifications, with subsequent actions often contradicting their thoughts so recently expressed. It's a movie about choices. A central issue is to whom one owes loyalty, to an old friend or to a lover. The answer is decided in favor of passion as the couples exchange partners. The intimate connection between the sublime and the ordinary is revealed once more in this charming film set in our sister city, Cergy-Pontoise.

June 2 and 3, 1988
Set in a Catholic boys' boarding school in Occupied France in the cold winter of 1943-44, Louis Malle recreates the traumatic experience of his boyhood. The monks are hiding some Jewish children among their largely rich, privileged student body. Julien (the character who is the young Malle) feels challenged at first when he meets one of these children, Bonnet. Gradually, overcoming volatile moments, they experience their first real friendship. But the war, which the monks try to hold at the gates, bursts in and with it the moment for which Malle can't forgive himself. In this gripping and relentless film, it's hard not to see the parallel between the commonplace bullying of a school and the ultimate cruelties of a fascist regime.


1989 -1990 SEASON
Presented at The Theater, Communication Arts Building, Howard Community College
Nine Fridays / Saturdays of Film for $20.00
8:30 p.m.

September 22 and 23, 1989
This powerful film version of a Danish national epic tells the tale of a recent widower and his 12-year-old son emigrating from Sweden to Denmark. It's the tum of the century and they're seeking the proverbial better life but they find instead further suffering and exploitation as agricultural workers on (aptly named) Stone Farm. The task of the weak and blustering father is to survive while the sturdy and resourceful son must find the means to overcome this fate and escape. There is no diminution of love in their growing awareness and acceptance of this opposition. Many extraordinary secondary characters back up Max von Sydow's elemental portrayal of the father and Pelle' Hvenegaard's sensitive performance as the son.

October 20 and 21, 1989
This film not only won prizes in Montreal and at Cannes but caused a standing ovation in honor of its young director, Mira Nair. With a background in documentaries, she chose real street children to be her cast, giving them a seven-week training and allowing them to reshape the story to fit their own reality. The film centers on 10-year-old Krishna alone in the red light district of Bombay. His commitment to friends seems nearly a miracle because survival in this environment would seem to demand total self-absorption. Krishna, living like a modern Oliver Twist, tries to create a kind of surrogate family in his unstable world and the inevitable disintegration of this group he loves is very poignant. These rootless, sometimes resilient, sometimes doomed children speak to us of a central issue of our time.

December 8 and 9, 1989
This delightful study of young love is the last in Eric Rohmer's most recent series, Comedies and Proverbs. Only the surface is placid as four mismatched lovers analyze and discuss their own and each other's motives and self-justifications, with subsequent actions often contradicting their thoughts so recently expressed. It's a movie about choices. A central issue is to whom one owes loyalty, to an old friend or to a lover. The answer is decided in favor of passion as the couples exchange partners. The intimate connection between the sublime and the ordinary is revealed once more in this charming film set in our sister city, Cergy-Pontoise.

January 26 and 27, 1990
A witty and gentle pair of lovers is the center of this fresh and searching satiric comedy which bases its humor on the what's-in-it-for-me spirit of Margaret Thatcher's England. These lovers aren't sanctimonious in their regrets about society; rather they're delightfully odd as they interact with family members and the neighbors around them who have usually accepted the newer, less generous values. Bouncing back and forth from farce to social realism and back to farce, this isn't a narrative that brings us ultimately to a conclusion. Instead, it's a series of social moments we share along the way in lives very honestly portrayed.

February 9 and 10, 1990 – film information not currently available

March 30 and 31, 1990
A diffident young woman wanders through West Africa falling into memories of her childhood in the French colony of Cameroon with all that setting implies about basically unstable and inherently unjust relationships. Claire Denis is an astonishing first time directress weaving a subtle story with small moments and ravishing moods, using instantly recognizable images to wordlessly suggest conscious and unconscious realities in the foreboding quiet of this isolated outpost. The center point of the story is the deep friendship of the two "unimportant" members of the household, the young girl and the house "boy". It is her adult recognition of his constant humiliations and his dignified response to them which form the emotional core of the film.

April 27 and 28, 1990
An exuberant and hilarious farce which begins in the highly charged moment when a woman is abandoned by her lover and continues as she faces one emotional complexity after another and the bizarre coincidences multiply. Pepa, the feisty heroine played by Carmen Maura, has a sense of double vision. She is ultimately alone, trapped by her emotions, and she comes to accept her fate as well as to take charge of her own destiny. But she is also, simultaneously, one of life's multitudinous helpless victims spinning on a world that is indifferent to the plight of its inhabitants. Many of the victims seem to be in Pepa's hallucinatory apartment which is painted in primary colors and filled with looming objects. Even the telephone symbolizes doomed relationships! Humor and compassion are equal in this effervescent film as it yields its delightful riot of small and sunny explosions.

May 11 and 12, 1990
Louis Malle's sensitive and affectionate reminiscence of his own coming of age (in part) is recognizably about the family in Au Revoir Les Enfants. With sharp observation and keen detail, the insular, French upper-middle-class before Dien Bien Phu is revealed in this family with its untroubled warmth and jokes and in the rivalries and general brattiness of its children. The two older brothers are "educating" the 15-year-old Laurent when illness requires him to visit a health spa with his mother. The unexpected and tender conclusion to his education, not at all explicit, made this film a cause celebre in France seventeen years ago. Its re-release proves it to be a gently humorous and enchanting film classic.

June 1 and 2, 1990
Twenty-six-year-old Steven Soderburgh's mesmerizing first feature. Winner of the Palme D'Or Grand Prize this year at the Cannes Film Festival, sex, lies and videotape turns intimacy into art. Soderbergh described his film as an effort to explore "the ulterior motives inherent in many relationships, while keeping one eye cast on the often painful humor found there as well." Newsweek describes the film as a "form of cinematic chamber music, scored for four young instruments, tightly strung."