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Harpur Cinema

Fall 2014: Perseverance

Whether it's achieving a long-sought goal, or realizing a dream, or continuing to seek elusive memories, thoughts, connections when they seem the most distant and obscure. Each of our features examines the virtues and the pitfalls of pursuing what we want, and the rewards and consequences of getting it.

Screening great cinema since 1965

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

10/10 | Bella Vista | Vera Brunner-Sung | US | 83 minHarpur Cinema is pleased to open the Fall season with an appearance by visiting filmmaker VeraBrunner-Sung. Her latest feature, Bella Vista blendds visions of the landscape of the American West with a story of roots and rootlessness, belonging and drifting; a drama of contrasts that explores the sweeping vistas of the land, but also of language as an instructor struggles to find her connection to her community. Brunner-Sung is an award-winning director whose films have appeared in international forums from Torino to San Francisco. Her cinematographer, Alexandra Cuesta has just joined the film faculty at Binghamton.Vera Brunner-Sung will appear with her film to introduce and discuss it.

10/17 & 10/19 | Aquí y Alia/Here and There | Antonio Méndez Esparza | 2012 | US/Mexico |110 minPedro has spent many years working in New York and is finally able to return his village in Guererro, Mexico where he intends make life better for his wife and daughters... but he also wants to pursue his own version of the American Dream: starting a band called the Copa Kings. His daughters have grown up without really knowing him; his wife seems guarded and these are only two of the many challenges that confront a man has lived his life both "here" and "there." Esparza's first feature has been praised for its delicacy and remarkable simplicity, and "the script is beautifully observant of the stresses immigration places on family and self."(Variety) Grand Prize, International Critics, Cannes; Best Film, Montréal Festival of New Cinema. 

10/24 & 10/26 | Wadjda | Haifaa Al Mansour | 2012 | Saudi Arabia/Germany | 98 minThe marvelous Waad Mohammed portrays Wadjda, a 10-year-old girl who wants a beautiful green bicycle so that she can beat her friend Abdullah in a race. When Wadjda's mother refuses to allow Wadjda to buy the coveted bike, the young girl decides raise the money herself by entering a competition that requires her to memorize and recite verses from the Koran. Haifaa Al Monsour is the first female Saudi director and though her work is considered controversial in Saudi Arabia, Wadjda and her earlier documentary Women Without Shadows have encouraged discussions about women's issues. Best New Film, 2012 Venice Film Festival.

10/31 & 11/2 | Cousin Jules | Dominique Benicheti | 1972 | France | 91 min"Some films defiantly refuse to be categorized—'documentary,' 'cinéma vérité,' 'minimal cinema'—this film is all of these and something more."– Richard Whitehall, Filmex, 1974. In the course of five years of painstaking observation andshaping, the seemingly narrow world of Jules and Fèllicie Guiteaux emerges before the viewer in stunning widescreen images and acutely realized sound. Benicheti's "lost" documentary about life in rural France was a recognized masterpiece on the festival circuit in 1972, but never found a distributor. While the filmmaker did not live to see the completion of this digital restoration of his work (he died in 2011), it has recently recaptured the imagination of audiences in New York, Berlin, Venice, Moscow, and Paris.Introduction by Professor Chantal Rodais (Friday).

11/7 & 11/9 | A Touch of Sin/天注定 | Jia Zhangke | 2014 | China | 135 minDo you understand your sin? In a totally original and experimental way, Jia attempts to answer that question by blending four stories "ripped from the headlines" with the Chinese "wuxia" or martial arts tradition in which heroes of the lower classes right wrongs. Jia's signature landscapes are weighed down with massivefactories and construction projects but are counterbalanced with decadent relaxation spas and luxury hotels— all illuminated by flashes of startling violence that highlight the displacements, discomforts and disorientations of inevitable modernization. Do you understand your sin? The question is posed at every level from the most intimate to the broadly political. Nominated for the Cannes Palme d'Or;Best Foreign Language Film, Toronto, 2012. Introduction by Professor Tomonari Nishikawa (Friday).

11/14 & 11/16 | Je t'aime, Je t'aime | Alain Resnais | 1967 | France | 91 minOn March 1, 2013, cinema lost one of its most uncompromising auteurs, Alain Resnais. Harpur Cinema celebrates a 50-film career spanning documentaries on the Bibliothèque nationale and the wonders ofplastic, to the most searing examinations of war and its excruciating moral dilemmas, to deliciousexplorations of that intriguing boundary between cinema and theater. HC Spring 2012 featured his Wild Grass. This year we remember Resnais with one of his most wickedly playful films about memory and the difficulties it presents the romantic. Why did Claude shoot himself? Only a journey into memory's fragmented, taunting, joyful landscape can tell. (Manhola Darghis)Best Actor, San Sebastian Festival,1968. Introduction by Professor Vincent Grenier (Friday).

11/21 & 11/23 | Grisgris | Mahamat Saleh-Haroun | 2013 | Chad/France | 101 minGrisgris hopes to become a professional dancer despite a bum leg. But the extra cash he makes on the dance floor is not enough to pay the bills when his step-father falls critically ill. When Grisgris begins to smuggle oil to make ends meet he jeopardizes all his dreams and risks his future with Mimi, a beautiful but damagedprostitute. Haroun is the first African director to win an award at Cannes for his 2010 feature A Screaming Man (HC Spring 2012). Nominated for the Cannes Palme d'Or; Chad's entry for the 2013 Academy Awards.

Fridays and Sundays at 7:30 PM in Lecture Hall 6

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

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Last Updated: 10/27/14