Friday, September 25, 2009

Phantom of the Opera @ Charles Theatre


Saturday, September 26 at Noon.

Monday, September 28 at 7 pm

Thursday, October 1 at 9 pm

1925 Dir. Rupert Julian. Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, Gibson Gowland. 93m. bw. SIlent with music track.

...The Phantom is invested by the intense and inventive Lon Chaney with a horror and poignancy that is almost entirely created with body language. More of his face is covered than in modern versions (a little gauze curtain flutters in front of his mouth), but look at the way his hand moves as he gestures toward the coffin as the titles announce "That is where I sleep." It is a languorous movement that conveys great weary sadness. The Phantom's unmasking was one of the most famous moments in silent film. He is seated at his organ. "Now, when he is intent on the music," Sandburg wrote, "she comes closer, closer, her fingers steal towards the ribbon that fastens the mask. Her fingers give one final twitch -- and there you are!" There you are, all right, as Chaney, "the Man of 1,000 Faces" and a master of makeup, unveils a defacement more grotesque than in any later version, his mouth a gaping cavern, his nose a void, his eyes widely staring: "Feast your eyes, glut your soul, on my accursed ugliness!" (Roger Ebert)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Annie Hall @ Charles Theatre

A new print of Woody Allen's Oscar-winning ANNIE HALL screens three times this week as the Charles' revival.

Saturday, September 19 at Noon
Monday, September 21 at 7 pm
Thursday, September 24 at 9 pm
1977. Dir. Woody Allen. Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Shelley Duvall, Christopher Walken, Mordecai Lawner, Jeff Goldblum, Dick Cavett. 93m.
In a boy-has-already-lost-girl story, comedian Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) reflects on his failed romance with Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) and attempts to get her back. It's a slight story but what makes this film significant in Allen's long career is that it's really the first time he wrote adult characters. Previous movies such as the mock Russian literature epic "Love and Death" are funnier but are only really a sequence of gags. From here his writing (with Marshall Brickman) and directing make an unexpectedly subtle and involving movie. It's in "Annie Hall" that Allen first seems to have first learned the power of excision. Later he would re-shoot scenes, or once an entire movie ("September"), but here he deleted over an hour of footage. What's more, "Annie Hall" is really a murder-mystery but you'd never know it because that lost hour of footage included the murder and the mystery (this surplus plot became the basis of Allen's "Manhattan Murder Mystery"). Crime is a crutch in storytelling because it starts with the crime and ends with the inevitable unmasking of the villain, so it's a mark of greater sophistication that Allen chose to throw that away. This more intelligent film-making is rewarding because it hasn't dated as much as its 1970s fashions or focus on psychiatry. Its best sequence is still being ripped off, too: Allen and Keaton have a flirtatious chat that is subtitled with what each of them is really thinking. It's really no surprise that "Annie Hall" beat "Star Wars" to the Best Picture Oscar of 1977. (William Gallagher, BBC) "Arguably Allen's best film: a thoroughly winning examination of the relationship between the ditzy title character and Allen's standard neurotic loon. A seminal '70s movie, and it holds up beautifully." – Time Out New York "Recommended! Remains Allen's clearest, cleanest intersection of whimsy, riotousness, and angst. It's a film that lovers and would-be lovers bond over—a jumbled sketch of a romance from start to finish, with well-observed moments of what love is really like." – The Onion “An aggressively experimental fantasia in which he unleashed all the kung fu in his cinematic arsenal, Annie Hall leaves any other romantic comedy made since choking on its dust.” – Grady Hendrix, The New York Sun

Next CTWU Art Exhibit

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

LE DOULOS @ the Charles Theatre

Don’t miss Jean-Paul Belmondo in LE DOULOS directed by Jean-Pierre Melville (ARMY OF SHADOWS, BOB LE FLAMBEUR). LE DOULOS screens three times this week as the Charles’ revival.

Show times:
Saturday, September 12 at Noon
Monday, September 14 at 7 PM
Thursday, September 17 at 9 PM

LE DOULOS (1962 Jean-Pierre Melville) Jean-Paul Belmondo, Serge Reggiani, Jean Desailly, René Lefèvre, Marcel Cuvelier. 108 m. In French with English subtitles.

Jean-Pierre Melville's existentialized gangster films are one of the glories of the French cinema, American forms played out with European self-consciousness. This 1962 effort stars Jean-Paul Belmondo as an informer on the lam, but plot pales before Melville's detailed noir imagery of dingy hotel rooms, back alleys, and subterranean passages. Melville's love for American films (he was a man of taste as well as talent) was one of the most profound influences on the New Wave generation. In French with subtitles. 108 min. (Dave Kehr)

If you do only one thing this week, see LE DOULOS!
If you dug the re-release of his Army of Shadows...
it's time to catch up with this essential title from Melville's filmography.
– Time Out New York

For fans of classic hard-boiled crime cinema, nothing all summer will compete with the crystalline new black-and-white print of Le Doulos, the great Jean-Pierre Melville's most influential film… A masterful blend of economy and style.
– Andrew O'Hehir,

A gripping and effective mood piece from one of the greats.
– Bilge Ebiri, New York magazine

A superbly-crafted film noir! Taut and Terrific!
-David Sterritt

Jean-Pierre Melville's Brutal and subtly brilliant policier...underscores why the French put the name to film noir.
– Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

The movie is a French neo-noir that comes from 1962. The setting is the Parisian underworld. The dodgy nightclub owner is Michel Piccoli. The snitch paranoid that a just released prisoner is out to get him is Jean-Paul Belmondo. The title refers to a type of hat, the kind worn by the informer, hence why "doulos" becomes slang for a criminal canary. The cinematography is black and white. Almost everybody smokes. And the director is Jean-Pierre Melville. Need we say more?
-Bret McCabe, City Paper

Friday, September 4, 2009