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Harpur Cinema

Fall 2015: What's new

A collection of some of the latest ground-breaking cinema from around the world.  Screening great cinema since 1965.

It's been 50 Years! On September 21, 1965 the Department of Romance Languages in the Division of the Humanities of Harpur College made a proposal for the establishment of a Harpur Film Society.  "The purpose would be to insure a continuous program of films at Harpur selected on the grounds of their artistic merit rather than their audience appeal or commercial value."By 1983, the Film Society was under the direction of the Cinema Department and on September 23, 2015 we open the 50th Anniversary season of what has become Harpur Cinema, carrying forward the mission to bring to campus past and future classics of international, independent and archival cinema.

Happy anniversary season, Harpur Cinema!

 Where:  Lecture Hall 6

When: Fri and Sun @ 7:30pm

What's New? Harpur Cinema surveys some new titles from independent and international filmmakers.

9/25 & 27 The Golden Coach (Jean Renoir, 1952) 103 min.  France/Italy.                      We start with a golden film about a golden vehicle: a splendid coach purchased by the Viceroy of an 18th century Peruvian town.  Starring the magnificent Anna Magnani, a dazzling object of desire rivaling the coach itself, this film presents what François Truffaut regarded as Renoir's "artistic testament": a rich Technicolor reflection on the sumptuous relation between cinema, theater and life.

10/2 & 4  The Salt of the Earth (Juliano Ribeiro Salgado & Wim Wenders, 2014) 110 min. France/Brazil/Italy.                                                                                                  Sabastião Salgado's photography captured the other side of the glittering world of wealth and privilege.  From the gold mines of Serra Pelada to famine in the Sahel andthe genocide in Rwanda, Salgado was the photographer-witness to all that is too unbearable to see.  Along with Juliano, the son and Salgado himself, Wim Wenders' documentary considers the challenges of Salgado's artistry which "combines beauty with sensitivity to the inner strength ad dignity of even the most wretched subjects" (Jay Weissberg, Variety) Awards:  Won, César (Best Documentary), Cannes (Un Certain Regard); Nominated, Oscar (Best Documentary) 

10/9 & 11 Kumiko the Treasure Hunter (David & Nathan Zellner, 2014) 105 min. USAA tape of the Coen brothers' Fargo is the "looking glass" through which the Zellners send their "Alice", Kumiko, in this magical film about hope and obsession.  Using a hand-made map, Kumiko tries to navigate the "wind-swept' Minnesota flatlands" with the help of well-meaning but baffled locals.  With a tone "pitched half-way between whimsy and madness, Kumiko  doggedly pursues her idée fixe trying in effect to enter the world of the moving image...a wonderfully off-kilter worldview...of modern-day folk-tale tellers and mythmakers who find endless danger and wonderment in...old weird America." (Scott Foundas, Variety) Awards: Won, Sundance (Special Jury Prize), Most Original Film (Toronto After Dark); Nominated, Best Director, Best Female Lead (Independent Spirit Awards)

10/16 & 18 Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014) 97 min. France             Mauritania Sissako's film dramatizes the occupation of the iconic city of Timbuktu in Mali by the Ansar Dine, a group of Islamist jihadis.  Perhaps most impressive is the subtlety and delicacy Sissako brings to this violent and tragic story.  His Timbuktu is a city of beautiful textures and golden light, a polyglot neighborhood of city dwellers and nomads, fishermen and herdsmen,  Islam and traditional religions, all thrown into chaos with the arrival of the aggressive, puritanical invaders.  The miracle of the film is the humanity Sissako is able to find among all the rival points of view that contend for dominance on this troubled ground.  Awards:  Won, Ecumenical Jury Prize & François Chalais Award (Cannes), Silver Hugo (Chicago), César (Best Film, Director, Cinematography, Editing, Music, Screenplay, Sound); Nominated, Oscar (Best Foreign Language Film)

10/23 & 25 Güeros (Alonso Ruizpalacios, 2014) 106 min.                                            Mexico First time director, Ruizpalacios, fondly references the Nouvelle Vague style of the 1960's  in this black and white film with its  "sudden cuts, fleet, ground-level camera work, abrupt changes in tone, and boxy aspect ratio."  Güeros  follows the journey of young Tomás to Mexico City to stay with his brother.  The adventures that follow result a film that "pops and swerves" with "images by turns comical, banal and ravishing...You come away with a buzz that's invigorating."  (A.O. Scott, New York Times)Awards: Audience Award, Grand Jury Special Mention (AFI), Best First Feature (Berlin), Best Cinematography, New Narrative Director (Tribeca), Best Picture, Direction, First Work, Cinematography (Silver Ariel-Mexico)

10/30 & 11/1 Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015) 82 min. IranJafar Panahi began his filmmaking career in Iran with the lovely The White Balloon (1995).  Since then his examinations of Iranian society, especially on the streets of Tehran have led to more and more serious confrontations with Iranian censors ending most recently in interrogations, imprisonment in 2010 and a 20-year ban on making films.  None of this has prevented him from smuggling This is Not a Film (2011) and Closed Curtain (2013) out to appear at Cannes.  Taxi is his latest defiant and subversive effort to continue chronicle the life and times of his fellow Iranians.  "Digital cameras mounted on the dashboard of his car allow him to film while he drives his "cab."  In a film both light-hearted and vividly serious, Panahi explores the line between "document" and "fiction" as he cruises through the streets with his gallery of passengers.  Awards: Golden Bear (Berlin)

11/6 & 8  Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014) 124 min France/Germany/Switzerland.  Blurring the lines between "lines and life" and identities between actress and role, lover and beloved, Olivier Assayas begins by bewildering the viewer and winds up producing a bewitching amalgam of "female-driven films about identities in flux: Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, Ingmar Bergman's Persona, David Lynch's Mulholland Drive all come to mind.  Yet the interplay among Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart and Chloe-Grace Moritz is fresh and invigorating, not the least of which because Assayas keeps us on our toes with his abrupt shifts in place, space and time.  Kristen Stewart has left Twilight far behind her in this ascent up the alpine slopes into the magical atmosphere of Sils Maria.  Awards: Won, César (Best Supporting Actress-Kristen Stewart), Prix Louis Delluc (Best Film); Nominated: Palme d'Or (Cannes)

11/13  Special Program: Silent Film with live musical accompaniment Submarine (Frank Capra, 1928) 93 min. USA The Italian Straw Hat (Rene Clair) 105 min France.

Harpur Film Society's original programs included a number of silent films including Buster Keaton's The Navigator, René Clair's The Italian Straw Hat, and D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation.

$4 Single Admission
Programmer: Professor Joyce Jesionowski
For questions or Information, call 607-777-4998

Last Updated: 8/28/15