Monday Night Movies: 7 Wonders of World Cinema in 35mm

Series sponsor: Colby College Cinema Studies

The Maine Film Center is thrilled to present another season of Monday Night Movies at the Waterville Opera House. This season’s monthly offerings include 7 of world cinema’s greatest (yet under-appreciated!) films screened in 35mm. All film screenings will be held at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $9 ($5 for students) and will be available online in advance or at the door. A series pass (admits 1 to each screening) can also be purchased for $50. Film descriptions appear below and you may also download a PDF flyer.

Wings of DesireOctober 21, 2013
Wings of Desire
Germany – 1987 – 127 minutes
In German, French and many other languages with English subtitles, and in English
Wings of Desire is one of cinema’s loveliest, most profound visions. Bruno Ganz is Damiel, an angel perched atop buildings high over Berlin who can hear the thoughts—fears, hopes, dreams—of all the people living below. But when he falls in love with a beautiful trapeze artist, he is willing to give up his immortality and come back to earth to be with her. Made not long before the fall of the Berlin wall, this stunning tapestry of sounds and images, shot in black and white and color by the legendary Henri Alekan, is movie poetry. And it forever made the name Wim Wenders, who won a Best Director award at Cannes for it, synonymous with film art. Featuring the luminous Solveig Dommartin and, amazingly, Peter Falk!
Sponsored by the German Program at Colby College

PickpocketNovember 18, 2013
Pickpocket
France – 1959 – 75 minutes
In French with English subtitles
Robert Bresson’s incomparable tale of crime and redemption follows Michel, a young pickpocket who spends his days working the streets, subway cars, and train stations of Paris. As his compulsion grows, however, so too does his fear that his luck is about to run out. Tautly choreographed and crafted in Bresson’s inimitable style, Pickpocket reveals a master director at the height of his powers. Bresson’s movies are about transcendence, spirituality, the inner soul, never revealed so enthrallingly as in this remarkable and underseen masterpiece.
Sponsored by Colby College Department of French & Italian

Comfort & JoyDecember 16, 2013
Comfort and Joy
U.K. – 1984 – 106 minutes
In English
Come discover our nomination for a new Christmas classic and help us turn it into one! Comfort and Joy is a 1984 Scottish comedy written and directed by Bill Forsyth (Local Hero, Being Human), starring Bill Paterson as a radio disc jockey whose life undergoes a bizarre upheaval after his girlfriend leaves him. After he witnesses a seemingly inexplicable attack on a “Mr. Bunny” ice cream van by angry competitors, he is led into the struggle between two Italian families over the Glasgow ice cream market. “Comfort and Joy is a glorious Christmas movie as well as a glorious movie in its own right. I would far rather people watched it with their turkey and crackers than the hectoring, hysterical It’s a Wonderful Life. The glow it induces is infinitely more subtle. It’s that rarest of beasts, a truly serious comedy: a film that not only entertains us for 100 minutes, it then sends us out into the world feeling that, without realising it, we have been made to understand a little bit more about ourselves somewhere along the way.” – Jonathan Coe, The Observer.
Sponsored by KFS, Kennebec Federal Savings

KwaidanJanuary 20, 2014
Kwaidan
Japan – 1965 – 161 minutes
In Japanese with English subtitles
Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Cannes and an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, Kwaidan is one of the most visually stunning movies ever made, and one that will truly haunt you. Masaki Kobayashi’s (Samurai Rebellion) adaptation of four traditional Japanese ghost stories is a lavish, widescreen production that commandeered an airplane hanger for Kobayashi to paint his own sepulchral, fantastic sets. The stories include “Black Hair,” in which a repentant samurai returns to the wife he unjustly left after many years, to find her eerily unchanged; “The Woman of the Snows,” in which a woodcutter meets an icy spirit in the form of a woman who spares his life on the condition that he never tell anyone about her, “In a Cup of Tea,” which asks what are the consequences of swallowing a mysterious face that appears in your tea, and the absolutely unforgettable “Hoichi the Earless,” in which a blind biwa player and singer is commanded to nightly performances of an epic ballad of a fallen clan’s death battle.
Sponsored by SBS / Carbon Copy

The-Spirit_05February 24, 2014
The Spirit of the Beehive
Spain – 1973 – 99 minutes
In Spanish with English subtitles
Víctor Erice’s spellbinding The Spirit of the Beehive is widely regarded as the greatest Spanish film of the 1970s. It’s really simply one of the greatest Spanish films ever or simply one of the greatest films of the ‘70s, a unique, beautiful, quiet and profound parable about the power of the imagination in a country ruled by Franco’s fascist repression. In a small Castilian village in 1940, in the wake of the country’s devastating civil war, six-year-old Ana attends a traveling movie show of Frankenstein and becomes possessed by the memory of it. Produced as Franco’s long regime was nearing its end, The Spirit of the Beehive is a bewitching portrait of a child’s haunted inner life and one of the most visually arresting movies ever made.
Sponsored by Colby College Department of Spanish

Life of OharuMarch 17, 2014
The Life of Oharu
Japan – 1952 – 136 minutes
In Japanese with English subtitles
Though he was often overshadowed by his more widely heralded countryman Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi was a peerless chronicler of the soul who specialized in supremely emotional, visually exquisite films about the circumstances of women. Mizoguchi (Ugetsu, The Bailiff) had already been directing movies for decades when he made The Life of Oharu in 1952. But this epic portrait of an inexorable fall from grace, starring the astounding Kinuyo Tanaka as an imperial lady-in-waiting who gradually descends to street prostitution, was the movie that gained the director international attention, ushering in a new golden period for him. Meet or become better acquainted with one of the greatest directors in cinema history, and arguably the one with the greatest sympathy and understanding of women until at least the rise of feminism almost 20 years later.
Sponsored by Colby College Center for the Arts & Humanities

Red DesertApril 21, 2014
Red Desert
Italy, France – 1964 – 117 minutes
In Italian with English subtitles
Michelangelo Antonioni’s (Blow Up, The Passenger, l’Aventura) panoramas of contemporary alienation were decade-defining artistic events, and Red Desert, his first color film, is perhaps his most epochal. This provocative look at the spiritual desolation of the technological age—about a disaffected woman, brilliantly portrayed by Antonioni muse Monica Vitti, wandering through a bleak industrial landscape beset by power plants and environmental toxins, and tentatively flirting with her husband’s coworker, played by Richard Harris—continues to keep viewers spellbound. With one startling, painterly composition after another—of abandoned fishing cottages, electrical towers, looming docked ships—Red Desert creates a nearly apocalyptic image of its time, and confirms Antonioni as cinema’s preeminent poet of the modern age.
Sponsored by Colby College Department of French & Italian

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