Film Festival Films and Screening Times
All events at the RISD Auditorium have been made possible by a generous sponsorship from the Department of History, Philosophy and Social Science at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Thursday, March 15, 9:30pm
Cable Car Cinema
Dir. Jean-Luc Godard (1965, 99 min, French with English subtitles)
Jean-Luc Godard's intertextual deconstruction of science fiction and detective genres stars Eddie Constantine as the futuristic intergalactic private eye Lemmy Caution, who encounters a people ruled by a fascist computer. Constantine's famous persona Caution appears in several films both before and after Alphaville. Criterion writes of the film: "A cockeyed fusion of science fiction, pulp characters, and surrealist poetry, Godard's irreverent journey to the mysterious Alphaville remains one of the least conventional films of all time." Also starring Anna Karina and Akim Tamiroff.
Description adapted from Criterion materials.
Buono, il butto, il cattivo
(The Good, The Bad and the Ugly)
Friday, March 16, 6:15pm
Cable Car Cinema
Dir. Sergio Leone (1966, 161 min, Italy)
This masterpiece by Italian director Leone features one of America's biggest stars--then and now, Clint Eastwood (Blondie). At the time, this epic film was a radical take on the Western, though it has become a seminal work of that genre. When the film was shown at New York City's Film Forum, the folks at The New Yorker said "[Leone] turns it into opera, imbuing shakedowns, shootouts, and everything in between with ineluctable rhythms, grand gestures that alternate with telling details, and resonating symbols derived from pulp fiction and pulp history." It is the perfect addition to this film festival, inspired by pulp!
Saturday, March 17, 11:00 am
Dir. Fritz Lang (1927, 114 min, Germany, silent film)
Fritz Lang's epic vision of a socially stratified urban dystopia marks a pinnacle of Weimar Germany's celebrated interwar cultural renaissance. Aided by remarkable early special effects and Karl Freund's famed cinematography, Metropolis vividly expresses its director's unease both with the political forces clashing within the late Weimar Republic and with the forbidding potential of technology. Its far-reaching influence helped shape the Film Noir genre and numerous subsequent science fiction visions of an ominous future. Starring Alfred Abel, Gustav Frohlich, Brigitte Helm and Rudolf Klein-Rogge.
Saturday, March 17, 1:30pm
Cable Car Cinema
Dir. Terrence Malick (1973, 95 min, USA)
Terrence Malick wrote, produced, and directed a cinematographic masterpiece based loosely on the true story of the Charles Starkweather and Caril-Ann Fugate murder-spree of 1958. Told through the eyes of Holly Sargis, a 15-year-old girl, who falls for Kit Carruthers, a 25-year-old James Dean look-alike garbage man from Fort Dupree, South Dakota, Badlands narrates their journey of violence and murder on the run after killing Holly's father. Variety called Badlands "a uniquely American fairy tale."
Saturday, March 17, 3:30pm
Cable Car Cinema
Dir. Wong Kar Wai (2004, 129 min, Cantonese / Japanese / Mandarin with English subtitles)
One of Hong Kong's most celebrated directors, Wong Kar Wai has produced a series of broodingly beautiful films that serve as meditations on love and longing. 2046, Wong's most recent release, continues the story of his 2000 film, In the Mood for Love. (These two films and Wong's 1991 film Days of Being Wild form a loose trilogy.) The tangled narrative of 2046 jumps through time and across space while telling the story of a pulp fiction writer's relationships with six women in a Hong Kong of the past, present, and future. The neo-noir film's all-star cast includes Tony Leung, Gong Li, Ziyi Zhang, and Maggie Cheung.
Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens
(Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror)
Saturday, March 17, 6:15pm
Dir. F.W. Murnau (1922, 84 min, Germany, silent film)
Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens is an absolute legend of the silent era, and is a stunning example of German Expressionism on film. It is also one of the first great horror films, and remains an inspiration through contemporary times. When Murnau set out to make this picture, he had a film version of the novel Dracula in mind. He was unable to obtain rights, however, so made slight changes, like naming the vampire Nosferatu, instead of Dracula. Modern horror writers of the pulp era like H.P. Lovecraft expanded on these motifs by pitting humans against fantastical creatures from far away realms.
For a stunning example of this film's legacy, join us for Werner Herzog's Nosferatu, Phantom der Nacht at the Cable Car Sunday at 3:30.
The Big Heat
Saturday, March 17, 8:15pm
Dir. Fritz Lang (1953, 89 min, USA)
Many critics consider The Big Heat one of the best noir films ever made. The story is based on a Saturday Evening Post serial by William P. McGivern and the screenplay was written by former crime reporter Sidney Boehm. Unlike the back alleys of most noirs, this film's brightly lit paranoia takes place in American kitchens of high society estates. Yet, the story is far from the so-called "happy days" of the 1950s nuclear family. Film critic Jans B. Wagner says The Big Heat, "represents family life as a sham, as a relationship of convenience, as perverse, and finally as so fragile and threatened that even an icon of domesticity becomes a weapon." The film in turn, influenced some of the 70s' most memorable neo noir productions, such as Dirty Harry and Serpico.
An Afternoon of Lovecraft
Sunday, March 18, 11:00am
RISD Auditorium (124 min, total programming)
Films based on the stories of Providence's own master of horror: pulp writer H.P. Lovecraft
The Other Gods by Peter Rhodes (1924, 5 min, silhouette animation/silent film)
The Music of Eric Zann by John Strysik (1980, 17 minutes)
Out of Mind: The Stories of H.P. Lovecraft by Raymond Saint-Jean (1998, 56 min)
The Call of Cthulhu by Andrew Leman & Sean Branney (2005, 47 min, silent film)
Thanks to partner Lurker Films, Inc.
The Thing (from Another World!)
Sunday, March 18, 1:30pm
Cable Car Cinema
Dir. Christian Nyby (1951, 87 min, USA)
The Thing (from Another World!) was the first alien invasion feature film of the 1950s golden age of science fiction--it features scientists in a remote Arctic outpost who discover a flying saucer with a vicious alien that threatens the world's safety. The movie helped create many of the screen archetypes and later clichés that became staples of sci-fi films. The movie's ending line, "Keep looking at the skies. Everywhere--keep watching. Keep watching the skies," reflects American nationalistic paranoia and anti-Communism sentiment of the 1950s. The Thing is based on a pulp story titled Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell Jr., the legendary pulp editor at Astounding Science Fiction magazine that helped launch the literary careers of pulp writers Isaac Asimov and L. Ron Hubbard. The Thing remains a classic sci-fi monster movie that inspired a new film genre, including War of the Worlds (1953), It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958), John Carpenter's 1982 remake of The Thing, and Ridley Scott's Alien (1979).
Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht
(Nosferatu: Phantom of the Night)
Sunday, March 18, 3:30pm
Cable Car Cinema
Dir. Werner Herzog (1979, 124 min, German subtitled in English)
German director Herzog has produced an eclectic collection of acclaimed works that includes biography, fiction and documentary. Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht marks one of his most beautiful and highly praised pieces of narrative fiction. It was made to honor Murnau's original silent version of the story, which Herzog considers one of the most important German films. The director created it during the height of his tumultuous yet extraordinarily productive artistic partnership with German actor Klaus Kinski (Count Dracula). The film includes stunning landscapes and cinematography. A brilliant use of sound creates a melancholic tale of sadness and illness in 19th Century Europe. The film also stars legendary Swiss actor Bruno Ganz (Jonathan Harker).
The Maltese Falcon
Sunday, March 18, 6:15pm
Dir. John Huston (1941, 101 min, USA)
In John Huston's directorial debut, Humphrey Bogart stars in one of his first iconic leading roles as a tough but honorable private detective embroiled in a twisted search in the shadows. The critically acclaimed and commercially popular film of 1941 was the third movie adaptation from Dashiell Hammett's novel of the same name, which originally appeared in the pulp detective magazine Black Mask as a five-part serial between 1929 and 1930. The noir's dark, expressionistic photography and complex plot is supplemented by memorable performances by Peter Lorre, Mary Astor and Sydney Greenstreet.
Sunday, March 18, 8:15pm
Dir. Billy Wilder (1944, 107 min, USA)
Acclaimed director Billy Wilder adapted Double Indemnity from an eight-part serialized story by pulp writer James M. Cain. Raymond Chandler, one of the most lauded pulp writers of the era, helped Wilder write the screenplay for this classic piece of Film Noir. The film stars Fred MacMurray as an insurance agent who becomes involved in a murder plot with femme fatale Barbara Stanwyck. The flashback narration, sharp shadow and lighting, and investigation of human nature are all signature features of the noir genre. Double Indemnity won Academy Awards for Best Actress, Director, Screenplay, Cinematographer, Score, and Picture.
The film committee would like to extend special thanks to those who helped in planning, organizing, selecting films and advising us!
Eric Bilodeau, Cable Car Cinema
Daniel Cavicchi, Assistant Professor of American Studies, Rhode Island School of Design
David Fresko, Graduate Student, Emory University Film Studies Program
Spencer Golub, Professor of Theatre Speech and Dance, Brown University
Richard Manning, Archivist, Department of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University
David Chandler, RISD Media Services, and staff at the RISD Auditorium