Friday, August 28, 2009

Summer with Monika @ the Charles Theatre this week

Saturday, August 29 at Noon
Monday, August 31 at 7 PM
Thursday, September 3 at 9 PM

1953 (Ingmar Bergman) Harriet Andersson, Lars Eckborg, Dagmar Ebbesen, Åke Fridell. 96m. In Swedish with English subtitles.

When revived in Paris, then-critic Jean-Luc Godard hailed Monika in a frenzy of enthusiasm as "the cinematographic event" of 1958: "Ignored when it was first shown on the boulevards, [Monika] is the most original film of the most original of directors. It is to cinema today what Birth of a Nation is to classical cinema." In the U.S., the movie—with its 20-year-old star Harriet Andersson swimming in the nude—inspired another sort of excitement. Veteran exploitation distributor Kroger Babb cut the film to 62 minutes, dubbed the dialogue, added a Les Baxter score, and released it as Monika, the Story of a Bad Girl. Woody Allen claims to have camped out on the sidewalk the night before its Flatbush opening. Uneven and sometimes clumsy, Monika doesn't nearly justify Godard's claims, but it's easy to see what impressed him. Bergman's tale of heedless teenage love is a sort of neorealist Rebel Without a Cause—except that sex is acknowledged and the outlaw is a girl....(J. Hoberman)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Place in the Sun @ Charles Theatre

This week's revival: A PLACE IN THE SUN (1951) directed by George Stevens.

Saturday, August 22 at Noon
Monday, August 24 at 7 PM
Thursday, August 27 at 9 PM

A PLACE IN THE SUN (1951 George Stevens) Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters, Anne Revere, Raymond Burr. 122m.

Academy Awards for Best Director, Screenplay, Cinematography (William C. Mellor), Editing (William Hornbeck), Score (Franz Waxman), Costume Design (Edith Head).

Previously filmed in 1931 under its original title, Theodore Dreiser's bulky but brilliant novel An American Tragedy was remade in 1951 by George Stevens as A Place in the Sun. Montgomery Clift stars as George Eastman, a handsome and charming but basically aimless young man who goes to work in a factory run by a distant, wealthy relative. Feeling lonely one evening, he has a brief rendezvous with assembly-line worker Alice Tripp (Shelley Winters), but he forgets all about her when he falls for dazzling socialite Angela Vickers (Elizabeth Taylor). Alice can't forget about him, though: she is pregnant with his child. Just when George's personal and professional futures seem assured, Alice demands that he marry her or she'll expose him to his society friends. This predicament sets in motion a chain of events that will ultimately include George's arrest and numerous other tragedies, including a vicious cross-examination by a D.A. played by future Perry Mason Raymond Burr. A huge improvement over the 1931 An American Tragedy, directed by Josef von Sternberg, A Place in the Sun softens some of the rough edges of Dreiser's naturalism, most notably in the passages pertaining to George's and Angela's romance. Even those 1951 bobbysoxers who wouldn't have been caught dead poring through the Dreiser original were mesmerized by the loving, near-erotic full facial closeups of Clift and Taylor as they pledge eternal devotion. ~ Hal Erickson

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Children of Paradise @ Charles Theatre this week

The Charles Theatre’s Revival Series will screen a new print of LES ENFANTS DU PARADIS this coming week. Don’t miss it.

Saturday, August 15 at 11 AM (Please note the earlier-than-usual starting time);
Monday, August 17 at 7 PM;
Thursday, August 20 at 9 PM.

CHILDREN OF PARADISE Les enfants du paradis. (1945 Marcel Carné) Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault, Pierre Brasseur, Pierre Renoir, María Casares, Marcel Herrand, Louis Salou. In French with English subtitles. 190m.

A fresco conceived on a majestic scale, Children of Paradise sweeps its audience back to the 1820s, painting the detail of a world obsessed with both theater and crime. The original screenplay by Jacques Prévert drew its inspiration from such colorful personalities of the period as Jean-Gaspard Deburau, the innovative mime; Pierre-François Lacenaire, a murderer who went to the scaffold; and Frédérick Lemaître, a celebrated actor for whom both Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo wrote plays. Jean-Louis Barrault, fascinated by the character of Deburau (Baptiste in the film), urged Prévert to develop a story around him. The result was a tightly plotted narrative dominated by the fictional figure of Garance (played by the inimitable Arletty), a woman who arouses the passion and envy of the film’s four leading men....

Perhaps the film’s greatest achievement lies in its evocation of a vanished epoch, a “lost paradise” of Proustian proportions. The costumes and sets by Alexandre Trauner and the music of Joseph Kosma contribute to a vivid, teeming environment that enables Children of Paradise to transcend the theatrical circles in which it moves. Both men, incidentally, had to work anonymously to conceal their Jewish origins from the authorities.

One of the richest embodiments of romantic agony in 20th-century art, Children of Paradise still rules the seas of French cinema like some proud galleon, the ultimate exemplar of classical filmmaking, great acting, and a perfectly constructed screenplay. For many critics, it remains the finest French film ever made.
-Peter Cowie. Full Review

Children of Paradise is the high-water mark of the Golden Age of French cinema. -Brian Stonehill


This lushly romantic creation, directed by Marcel Carné and written by Jacques Prévert, is a one-of-a-kind film, a sumptuous epic about the relations between theatre and life. -Pauline Kael

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Q and A with Director and Editor of Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg @ the Charles Theatre Friday

Friday, August 14th only.

Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, Director Aviva Kempner and editor Judith Herbert will be on hand at the Charles Theatre for a Q and A. after the 6:45 show this Friday.

Aviva will also introduce the film at 6:45pm.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Human Foliage Opens Tonight at the Charles Theatre Workers Art Wall

Human Foliage
August 6 - September 30 2009
Opening Reception: Thursday, August 6, 7 - 9pm
Charles Theatre Workers Art Wall

Featuring works by Adam Beaver, Shannon Fitzgerald, Andrew Hegele, Melody Nadia Often, Katherine Ralston, Alex Russell, Sara Seidman, Jennifer Strunge, and Kristin Tata.