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Harpur Cinema to feature ‘Magic, Miracles & Other Extraordinary Events’
September 14, 2011Tweet
Harpur Cinema’s Fall 2011 season will feature recent films such as Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist and Werner Herzog’s Cave of Dreams.
The series “Magic, Miracles & Other Extraordinary Events” will include eight popular releases representing international cinema from the most classic to the most surreal.
The fall schedule is:
Sept. 16 and 18: The Tempest — Julie Taymor (USA, 2010) 110 min. Before Spiderman flew across the Broadway stage, Julie Taymor (The Lion King, Titus Andronicus, Frida), directed this gender-bending version of Shakespeare’s magic play. Never one to hold back, Taymor casts the radiant Helen Mirren and the rowdy Russell Brand in this adaptation that uses every form of cinematic magic to spin “Prospera’s spells.”
Sept. 23 and 25: L’Illusioniste/The Illusionist — Sylvain Chomet (UK-France, 2010) 80 min. Chomet (The Triplets of Belleville) conjures up this animated tale about man whose increasingly shabby magic act is transformed in the starry eyes of a young girl from an unproduced script by filmmaker Jacques Tati, famous for his (largely silent) commentaries on the foibles and absurdities of modern life. Tati himself is reincarnated in the figure of the melancholy magician in this poetic reinterpretation. The Sept. 25 showing will be introduced by Professor Dora Polachek.
Oct. 14 and 16: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives — Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand/Germany/UK/France/Spain, 2010) 114 min. Though Apichatpong’s (Mysterious Object at Noon; Syndromes & A Century) ostensible subject is a dying man who tells the abbot of a Buddhist temple he has access to his past lives, this provocative film is also a meditation on all the “past lives” of the cinema itself, including such categories as old cinema, documentary, costume drama, and my kind of film… First Thai film to win the Palme d’or at Cannes Festival.
The Oct. 14 showing will be introduced by Professor Tomonari Nishikawa.
Oct. 21 and 23: Cave of Forgotten Dreams — Werner Herzog/Dominique Baffier, (France-USA-Germany-Canada, 2010) 90 min. In 1994, potentially the oldest cave paintings were discovered at Chauvet-Pont-D’Arc in southern France. In 2010, Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Aguirre: Wrath of God) poet-documenter of the extreme, the secret, the margin, the edge, conducted personal tour of this 32,000 year old art gallery. Opened Toronto Film Festival, 2010.
Oct. 28 and 30: Halloween Feature: The Magician—Ingmar Bergman (Sweden, 1958) 100 min. Are you a believer or a non-believer? Can you trust what you see? Celebrate Halloween at Vogler’s Magic Health Theater where the master of mixing (cinematic) magic and mysticism marshals the forces of “animal magnetism” to create an “out of body experience” for the suspicious municipal authorities. Spooky and comic by turns, this Bergman classic is presented in its sparkling new Criterion restoration. Venice Film Festival (Special Jury Prize, 1959), BAFTA (Best film nomination, 1960). The Oct. 28 showing will be introduced by Professor Brian Wall.
Nov. 4 and 6: Gabbeh—Mosen Makhmalbaf (Iran, 1996) 75 min. Gabbeh, a style of nomadic weaving, is also the name of the weaver herself who magically emerges from an old couple’s prized carpet in Makhmalbaf’s (Kandahar) dazzling film. Much in the tradition of Scheherazade, the girl spins tale of magic and love interwoven with the old peoples’ commentaries and reactions. Un Certain Regard (Cannes Film Festival, 1996); Best Director and Prize, Screenwriter’s Critic and Writer’s Catalan Association, Catalonian International Film Festival (Spain), and Best Artistic Contribution Award, Tokyo International Film Festival. The Nov. 4 showing will be introduced by Professor Joyce Jesionowski.
Nov. 11 and 13: Shadow Magic—Ann Hu (China, 2000) 116 min. In 1905, Liu Jinglun, made the first Chinese narrative film at the Feng Tai Photo Shop in Peking—reminding us that cinema was global from the start. Evocative of Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso, Ann Hu’s first film avoids the easy comparisons between East and West by locating the arrival of modern “gizmos” squarely in terms of Chinese tradition and innovation. Winner Golden Horse, Taipei Festival, 2000; Sundance Festival, 2000.
Nov. 8 and 20: Le Quattro Volte—Michelangelo Frammartino (2010) 88 min. Finally: reincarnation Italian style. The Circle of Life has never been quite so mystical and so grounded at the same time. At once, a document and a poem, Frammartino’s (The Gift) film follows the passage of the soul as described by Pythagoras from human to animal to vegetable to mineral by concentrating on the details of village life in Calabria. Winner, Cannes Festival, Bratislava International Festival, Annency Italian Film Festival, 2010; official selection: Toronto, Telluride Film Festivals