2014 First Wednesday of month movies

The film blurbs below have been gleaned for the most part from various reviews. I introduce and give some background to the films, and discuss them briefly afterwards.bogiewatchesbergmanplaneMarch 5 – Casablanca (1942), 1 hr 43 min. An embarrassment of genres and themes, with Bogie and Bergman to boot. Arguably the most beloved American romantic movie of all time. Directed by Michael Curtiz. Rated PG.

*  *  *


April 2 – In the Mood for Love (2000), 1 hr 38 min. Two neighbors in Hong Kong discover their respective spouses are having an affair. “This breathtakingly gorgeous movie is dizzy with a nose-against-the-glass romantic spirit” (New York Times). Directed by Wong Kar-wai. In Chinese with English subtitles. Rated PG.

*  *  *


May 7 – The Rules of the Game (1939) 1 hr 50 min. Scathing critique of French society cloaked in a comedy of manners. Takes place in a weekend at a marquis’ country château. Often cited as one of the greatest films in the history of cinema. Directed by Jean Renoir. In French with English subtitles. Not rated.

*  *  *


Wizened old Indir with Durga

June 4 – Pather Panchali / Song of the Little Road (1955) 2 hr. Chronicling  the childhood and family life of Durga and her younger brother Apu in a remote village in Bengal, Satyajit Ray captures what is unique in the Indian experience and what is universal. India’s greatest film. In Bengali with English subtitles. Not rated.

*  *  *


July 2 – Wild Strawberries (1957) 1 hr 32 min. Traveling to accept an honorary degree, an aging professor reassesses his life while revisiting landmarks of his past, conjuring up memories of his family and his onetime sweetheart. Directed by Ingmar Bergman. In Swedish with English subtitles. Not rated.

*  *  *


Sept 3 – The Secret of Roan Inish (1994) 1 hr 42 min. John Sayles’ most popular movie ever is the magical tale of a young girl’s search for her missing baby brother. Photographed on Ireland’s rugged northwestern seacoast, it is visually rhapsodic, a cinematic tone poem in which man and nature, myth and reality flow together in a way that makes them ultimately indivisible. A treat for all ages. Rated PG.

*  *  *


Oct 1 – The Organizer (1963) 2 hr 10 min. Marcello Mastroianni portrays a threadbare academic aiding workers find their voice, unite and stand up for themselves in the industrial city of Turin in the late 1800s. This historical drama, brimming with humor and honesty, is a beautiful and moving ode to the power of the people, and features engaging, naturalistic performances, evocative cinematography, and a multilayered, Oscar-nominated screenplay. Directed by Mario Monicelli. Not rated.

*  *  *


Nov 5 – Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) 1 hr, 30 min. An epic historical drama on Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Pizarro’s expedition to locate El Dorado. Bogged down in the jungles of Peru, then traveling by river raft, it is besieged by hostile natives, disease, starvation and treacherous waters. Directed by Werner Herzog. In German with English subtitles. Rated R.

*  *  *


Dec 3 – Ordet / The Word (1955) 2 hr 6 min. A farmer’s family is torn apart by faith, sanctity, and love. One child believes he’s Jesus Christ, a second proclaims himself agnostic, and the third falls in love with a fundamentalist’s daughter. Layering multiple stories of faith and rebellion, the film builds towards a shattering climax. Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer. In Danish with English subtitles. Not rated.



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