Fall 2000 (1)

The Eternal Breasts
Wednesday, September 6 at 7:00 pm
Wednesday, September 6 at 9:15 pm

This is the third directorial effort by the famous actress-turned filmmaker Kinuyo Tanaka. The Eternal Breasts is a biography of a poet who dies of breast cancer. Set in rural Japan in the 1920s, the film traces the growing fame of the poet, cut short by her illness and death. The Eternal Breasts is an example of the popular namida chodai (tear-jerker) genre of Japanese film, but its lyricism and emotional power invite a re evaluation of the category of melodrama within the context of feminist criticism. The screenplay was written by Sumie Tanaka, adapted from stories by Akira Wakatsuki and Fumiko Nakashiro. As with all of Tanakas films, The Eternal Breasts provides a rare filmic view of Japanese society through a womans eyes. This is the first film of a series that will culminate with a colloquium, Japanese Women Filmmakers, on the Boulder Campus, October 5-7. Japan. Directed by Kinuyo Tanaka. 1955. B & W, 119 mins. With English subtitles. Not rated. Print courtesy The Japan Foundation with permission of Nikkatsu.

Thursday, September 7 at 7:00 pm
Thursday, September 7 at 9:30 pm
Friday, September 8 at 7:00 pm
Friday, September 8 at 9:30 pm

At the end of World War II, Stalin pleaded with Soviet emigrants living in the West to return home to help rebuild their homeland; the warm reception they were promised, however, quickly turned into a nightmare. From the director of the acclaimed Indochine comes a powerful and delicately delineated love story set against a turbulent and increasingly chaotic era of historical-and therefore emotional- upheaval. With Catherine Deneuve, Sandrine Bonnaire and Serguei Bodrov Jr. Academy Award Nominee, Best Foreign Language Film. France, 2000, color, in French and Russian with English Subtitles, 121 mins, 35mm, Rated PG-13

The Filth and The Fury
Saturday, September 9 at 7:00 pm
Saturday, September 9 at 9:15 pm
Sunday, September 10 at 3:00 pm
Sunday, September 10 at 7:00 pm

At The Sex Pistols' final concert in San Francisco in 1978, lead singer Johnny Rotten asked the audience, "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" That must have been the question director Julien Temple was asking himself after he made THE GREAT ROCK 'N' ROLL SWINDLE in 1980, a biography of The Sex Pistols as told by the band's original manager Malcolm McLaren. THE FILTH AND THE FURY is Temple's re-attempt to set the story straight, this time by hearing from the band members themselves Temple does an excellent job in this film to trace the band's rise from the chaotic back-streets of Seventies London, their crucifixion by the British tabloids, and finally to their ultimate implosion while on tour in America. Praise has to be given for the emphasis placed on having the Pistols tell the story themselves. The late Sid Vicious was given a voice on the interviews thanks to a footage done by Temple a year before Sid's death. Having the rest of the interviews with the living members done in silhouette was just a classic touch. The youth, energy and anger of the band were purely preserved, and the audience was living through the history of The Sex Pistols as it happened. If you liked HYPE in 1996, THE FILTH AND THE FURY is a definite must-see. (Excerpt by Daryll Woon, AMERICAN DREAMER) UK/USA, 2000, color, in English, 108 mins, 35mm, Rated R

Girls of the Night
Wednesday, September 13 at 7:00 pm
Wednesday, September 13 at 9:00 pm

In her fifth film, director Kinuyo Tanaka presents a group of young women working as prostitutes though attempting to rehabilitate themselves. The film focuses on their efforts to become self-sufficient in the face of extreme social prejudice. This pseudo-documentary-cum-melodrama became part of the political debate over attempts to ban licensed prostitution in Japan in the 1950s, joining films by Tanakas mentor, director Kenji Mizoguchi (Girls of the Night and Street of Shame) but offering an alternative to Mizoguchis often patronizing view of the women he claimed to be defending. Screenplay by Sumie Tanaka. The second in a series on Japanese Women Filmmakers. Japan. Directed by Kinuyo Tanaka. 1961. Color, 95 mins. With English subtitles. Not rated. Print courtesy of The Japan Foundation, with permission of Toho.

Thursday, September 14 at 7:00 pm
Thursday, September 14 at 9:15 pm
Friday, September 15 at 7:00 pm
Friday, September 15 at 9:15 pm

Let purists argue about whether Mifune lives up to the vows of the Danish Dogma 95 collective of filmmaking. Fact is, the new import is a vital, sexy and touching movie that goes to the heart of what human caring is all about. Mifune is the third film to come out of Denmark's Dogma school after Thomas Vinterberg's The Celebration and Lars Von Trier's The Idiots. The Dogma collective emphasizes a "pure" cinema: the mandatory use of handheld cameras, no artificial lighting or props, a story taking place in present time-in general, a drive to make films natural and spontaneous. Mifune stands up as a memorable and heart-warming film, no matter its schooling. The title refers to Toshiro Mifune, the late legendary Japanese actor, and his great performance as a phony samurai in Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai. In Mifune, the lead character, Kresten, engages in samurai-style antics to entertain his mentally handicapped brother, Rud. But the samurai metaphor plays out in other ways, too. Mifune has a naturalness, freshness and warmth that is often so transporting it's magical… (Excerpt by Peter Stack, THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE) Denmark, 1999, color, in Danish with English Subtitles, 99 mins, 35mm, Not Rated

Saturday, September 16 at 7:00 pm
Saturday, September 16 at 9:30 pm
Sunday, September 17 at 3:00 pm
Sunday, September 17 at 7:00 pm

Tom Tykwer's romantic thriller, Winter Sleepers, opens like a blood-stained fairy-tale, with a drop of blood curling down Rebecca's finger as she waits for her lover. She has taken refuge in a cocoon-like chalet that protects her from the endless cold expanse of the winter mountains that surround her. She is filled with tense anticipation as a skier shoots down a nearby slope, a car drives over a slippery mountain road, and a speeding train glides gently through the winter landscape. Winter Sleepers is a haunting film about passion, emotions, love and death set in motion by a mysterious car accident. It opens with a terrible sense of foreboding which envelops the stillness of winter. Almost hallucinatory events begin to unfold and engulf four young people Laura, Marco, Rebecca and Rene who have little or nothing in common with each other. When local farmer Theo enters the picture, their lives change directions forever. Their paths cross only briefly, but this crossing gives a new and unforeseen meaning to their lives. Germany, 1997, color, in German with English Subtitles, 124 mins, 35mm, Rated R

The Far Road
Wednesday, September 20 at 7:00 pm
Wednesday, September 20 at 9:00 pm

Like her predecessor Kinuyo Tanaka, Sachiko Hidari acted in films by famous directors such as Heinosuke Gosho, Tadashi Imai, and Shohei Imamura. She won the 1963 Berlin Film Festival Best Actress Award for her performance as a wife beginning to question traditional roles in Susumu Hanis She and He. The Far Road, commissioned by the Japan National Railway Union, is her only directorial effort. The films is an unsentimental portrait of the trials of a working-class woman in her roles as wife, mother, and worker. After this outing as directer, Hidari returned to work as an actress, though not without expressing her dissatisfaction that she was not given more opportunities. "I feel angry about the injustice experienced by Japanese women," she told film critic Joan Mellen in later years. This is the third in a series on Japanese Women Filmmakers.

The Virgin Suicides
Thursday, September 21 at 7:00 pm
Thursday, September 21 at 9:00 pm
Friday, September 22 at 7:00 pm
Friday, September 22 at 9:00 pm

In her directorial debut, Sofia Coppola does something more astonishing than simply make a fine film; she makes a fine film out of an incontrovertibly literary novel. Peter Eugenides' atmospheric and brilliant tale about five sisters who kill themselves one year in an American suburb during the 1970s is exactly the kind of novel you want to see become a movie, and precisely the kind that usually translates terribly onto film. In a deft turn as writer-director, Coppola manages to bring this novel to the screen seamlessly. Staying true to the book, Coppola plucks excerpts from the novel and works them into a cohesive and effective whole. Documenting what became known as "the year of the suicides," the film chronicles the collapse of the Lisbon family. The five Lisbon girls occupy that strange place between myth and reality in the minds of the narrators. Their over-protective parents (played to perfection by James Woods and Kathleen Turner) have kept them hidden from their fellow teens, and the five blondes who make up the Lisbon household become the obsession of the neighborhood boys. The boys spend a lifetime trying to understand the girls' short lives and mysterious deaths. (Excerpt by Rachel Deahl, FILMHEAD.COM) USA, 1999, color, in English, 96 mins, 35mm, Rated R

Journey to a Hate Free Millenium
Saturday, September 23 at 4:30 pm

IN PERSON: Judy Shepard, Matthew Shepard's mother. Presented by the Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. All proceeds to benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation. (Colorado Premiere of a documentary directed by Brent Scarpo)

Saturday, September 23 at 7:00 pm
Saturday, September 23 at 9:00 pm
Sunday, September 24 at 3:00 pm
Sunday, September 24 at 7:00 pm

"Time Code" was shot entirely with digital cameras, hand-held, in real time. The screen is split into four segments, and each one is a single take about 93 minutes long. The stories are interrelated, and sometimes the characters in separate quadrants cross paths and are seen by more than one camera. This is not as confusing as it sounds, because Figgis increases the volume of the dialogue for the picture he wants us to focus on and dials down on the other three. The story involves interlocking adulteries told in four parallel stories that begin at 3 p.m. on Nov. 19, 1999, on Sunset Boulevard in or near Book Soup and the office building on the corner. We meet a limousine lesbian, Lauren (Jeanne Tripplehorn), a cokehead who is in love with Rose (Salma Hayek). Lauren eavesdrops on Rose with a paging device as she has quick and meaningless sex with an alcoholic ad man (Stellan Skarsgard). Other characters include the ad man's wife (Saffron Burrows), an ad executive (Holly Hunter), a shrink (Glenne Headly) and others in and around the entertainment industry. There is pointed satire during a "creative meeting" (an oxymoron), and at the end passion bursts out. The action is interrupted by no less than three earthquakes, which must have required fancy timing in coordinating the cameras and actors. (Excerpt by Roger Ebert) USA, 2000, color, in English, 97 mins, 35mm, Rated R

Moe No Suzaku
Wednesday, September 27 at 7:00 pm
Wednesday, September 27 at 9:00 pm

Moe no suzaku is the first feature film by director Naomi Kawase (27). It won the Golden Camera award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997. Prior to Moe, Kawase had made a number of interesting documentaries about her family and life in her native village, but nothing had prepared critics for the power of this feature. Like many Japanese narrators, Kawase is concerned less with plot than with mood and setting as she relates the story of a family disintegrating under economic pressures. The film, made with only one professional actor in the cast, is a nostalgic elegy to rural Japanese life. The director, who is now working on her second feature film, will be on the Boulder campus participating in the Japanese Women Filmmakers colloquium, October 5-7.

Not One Less
Thursday, September 28 at 7:00 pm
Thursday, September 28 at 9:15 pm
Friday, September 29 at 7:00 pm
Friday, September 29 at 9:15 pm

The teacher in a rural village's primary school has to leave his job temporarily to tend to his ailing mother, but the only willing substitute teacher that the village mayor can find turns out to be a 13-year-old girl, Wei Minzhi. Barley older then the students she's supposed to teach, Wei soon finds that the experience will challenge and affect he-and her students-in ways she could never have imagined. Utilizing an extraordinary cast of non-professionals, director Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern) has fashioned one of his most eloquent and surprisingly powerful tales. Grand Prize, Venice Film Festival. China, 1999, color, in Mandarin with English Subtitles, 106 mins, 35mm, Not Rated

Saturday, September 30 at 7:00 pm
Saturday, September 30 at 9:00 pm
Sunday, October 1 at 3:00 pm
Sunday, October 1 at 7:00 pm

Made two years ago in Britain and just now getting an American release, Croupier has the low-stakes experimental freshness of an indie from a first-time filmmaker. But it isn't; the director, Mike Hodges, has been around for more than thirty years. The fact that his talents have been dormant for so long makes his latest film that much more of a pleasant surprise. London setting aside, Croupier has the hard-edged characters and sharp-eyed appreciation for con games of prime David Mamet. The croupier in question is Jack (Clive Owen), a would-be novelist whose dwindling finances prompt his return to the casino life he had left years before. Jack has "the hands of a conjurer - or a card sharp." One of the primary pleasures of Croupier is watching those hands at work - dealing blackjack, spinning the roulette wheel, and counting out chips in the wink of an eye. Jack narrates his own adventures in third person voice-over, adding to the icy, distant quality of the film. The script by Paul Mayersberg takes all kinds of sharp turns, and though we never know quite where we're going, we feel we're in good hands. Ominous tension pervades every scene, no matter how seemingly benign - a drink in a bar, a weekend getaway in the country. (Excerpt by Scott Von Doviak, CULTUREVULTURE.COM) France/Germany/Ireland/UK, 1998, color, in English, 94 mins, 35mm, Rated R

In Search of a Lost Writer: Wandering in the Seventh World
Wednesday, October 4 at 7:00 pm

In Search of a Lost Writer: Wandering in the Seventh World combines two stories: the true account of a long-lost Japanese writer and the tale that is her greatest work. These two stories are told through the eyes of two young Japanese women (one a trumpet player in a gay bar) discovering the life of Osaki Midori (1896-1971). Osaki published a number of works in the late 1920s and early 1930s and then vanished from the Japanese literary world at the height of her powers. Thought to have gone mad, she was not rediscovered until 1969 when Wandering was included in a literary collection entitled Black Humor. Osakis work tells the story of a young woman, Ono Machiko, who wants to write poems of the seventh sense, a mysterious perception associated with the female gender. The film is an extraordinary plea for the recovery of a female artist and, metaphorically, of Japanese women filmmakers. Japan. Directed by Hamano Sachi, with English subtitles, 1998, color, 108 mins, 35mm, not rated. With Cris Reyns-Chikuma In-Person.

Life is to Whistle
Thursday, October 12 at 7:00 pm
Thursday, October 12 at 9:15 pm
Friday, October 13 at 7:00 pm
Friday, October 13 at 9:15 pm

A Love letter from a Cuban director to his own country, this uniquely Cuban blend of visual flair, absurdist humor and mystical realism is set to the pulsating music of Bola de Nieve and Benny More. The Narrator, 18-year-old Bebe, guides us through the romantic mishaps of the three characters whose lives intersect on the Day of Santa Barbara, at the end of the century. Like many characters in Latin American literature, the three major characters in Life Is To Whistle walk around with an awareness of the supernatural that simultaneously inspires and oppresses them. As these passionate, troubled residents of Havana, all three of them orphans, go about their lives, we have an acute sense of their being haunted and held back by the religious and ancestral specters. The director's master stroke is his portrayal of their internal conflicts as a metaphor for the political and economic anxieties gripping Cuba in the twilight of the Castro era. Cuba, 1998, color, in Spanish with English Subtitles, 106 mins, 35mm, Not Rated

Saturday, October 14 at 7:00 pm
Saturday, October 14 at 9:15 pm
Sunday, October 15 at 3:00 pm
Sunday, October 15 at 7:00 pm

It is the year 2000, and Denmark is a corporation based in New York City. Hamlet (Ethan Hawke), a film student, is bitter and suspicious about the quick marriage between his widowed mother Gertrude (Diane Venora) and his creepy uncle (and new CEO of Denmark Corp.), Claudius (Kyle MacLachlan). A visit from his father's ghost confirms Hamlet's suspicions that the death was not natural and that Uncle Claudius is to blame. Thus begins writer-director Michael Almereyda's intriguing idea for an updated Hamlet. Almereyda gives us a New York that is recognizably current (with its taxi-cabs and limos, skyscrapers and Blockbusters Video stores, computers and fax machines), and yet imbues it with a futuristic aura as well, making it glossy and sterile, with sleek chrome and glass and stark black and white. Hamlet unfolds in just such a borderline time/place, where everything is recognizable, but oddly removed from everyday ("Time is out of joint," says Hamlet). It seems like a sci-fi-ish "not too distant future" setting and the fact that everyone speaks in Elizabethan English only adds to this effect - we know the individual words, yet put together in this way, they sound slightly foreign to our ears. (Excerpt by Beth Armitage, POPMATTERS) USA, 2000, color, in English, 123 mins, 35mm, Rated R

Chac: The Rain God
Wednesday, October 18 at 7:00 pm

Rolando Klein's sublime first film, shot in the Chiapas in 1974, relates the story of a chief (Alonzo Mendez Ton) and his quest to bring rain to his village. He seeks out a diviner (Pablo Canche Balam) who some say is a witch. Mendez Ton is riveting as the chief, whose troubled relationship with the teachings of the ancients leads to a startling climax-and eerily suggests the jarring effects of the movie production on its cast and location. (1974, 95 min Mayan with English subtitles)

Erotic Tales III
Wednesday, October 18 at 9:30 pm

Much like the "2000 As Seen By…" series that toured through IFS a short while ago, a variety of directors were given a theme (in this case, sex) and allowed to run with it. This package includes KIMONO, directed by Hal Hartley (HENRY FOOL), DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME, by Greek director Antonis Kokkinos, and THE RED GARTER, by Swiss director Markus Fischer. All new films, with English subtitles when needed.

The Trial
Thursday, October 19 at 7:00 pm

Based on the 1925 novel by Franz Kafka, ``The Trial'' stars Anthony Perkins as a bank clerk arrested for a crime he didn't commit who sinks into a bureaucratic maze without end. For more than 30 years, the only known negative for ``The Trial'' was thought to be lost until Film historian David Pierce discovered it in a New York office building, and ``The Trial'' was restored. Written and directed by Orson Welles. (France 1962, B&W, 119 min)

Erotic Tales IV
Thursday, October 19 at 9:30 pm

A continuation of erotic tales by varied directors invited to tell a 30 minute story on 35mm film. This package includes ON TOP DOWN UNDER, by Icelandic director Fridrik Thor Fridriksson (COLD FEVER), GEORGIAN GRAPES by Georgian by director Georgii Shengelaya, and THE NIGHT NURSE by German director Bernd Heiber. All new films, with English subtitles when needed.

The Mystery of Picasso
Friday, October 20 at 7:00 pm

A filmed record of Pablo Picasso painting numerous canvases for the camera, allowing us to see his creative process at work. Using a specially designed transparent 'canvas' to provide an unobstructed view, Picasso creates as the camera rolls. He begins with simple works that take shape after only a single brush stroke. He then progresses to more complex paintings, transforming the entire scene at will, until at last the work is complete. (France 1956, 78 min Color)

Water Drops on Burning
Friday, October 20 at 9:30 pm

With this, his third feature, French director Francois Ozon enters fascinating territory. Adapted from a play written by German auteur Rainer Werner Fassbinder when he was 19 years old but never performed or filmed, until now. A perverse study in sexual game-playing, Fassbinder fans should find this homage to Fassbinder (who died in 1982) a faithful reproduction of the deadpan humor and unblinking observations for which the German director was known.

South: Ernest Shackleton & the Endurance
Saturday, October 21 at 7:00 pm

Caroline Alexander's best-seller Endurance has created a cult following that is storming the nation's media. South is the remarkable chronicle of Ernest Shackleton's 1912-1914 Endurance expedition. En route to Antarctica, the explorer's ship was trapped in pack ice. The ice finally crushed and sunk her and the crew camped on dangerously fragile ice floes for months. Filmed as it was happening, South is the greatest epic in the history of exploration. (Antarctica, 1919, silent, 88 min)

The Girl Next Door
Saturday, October 21 at 9:30 pm

Documentarian Christine Fugate had an idea to delve into the inner workings of a porn star, but searched for two years before the ideal candidate emerged. Then, for over two years, she dogged Stacy, following her on-again, off-again romance with fellow porn star Julian, interviewing her parents back in Tulsa, Oklahoma, talking to her various directors on sets all over the San Fernando Valley, witnessing Stacy's highs and lows from Las Vegas to Cannes, as well as operations to make her lips bigger and her breasts smaller. The result? A very even-handed, non-judgmental, frank, and occasionally very funny portrait of a very pretty, almost guileless all-American girl who wanted nothing more than to be a successful housewife. With Stacey Valentine in person!

Nowhere to Hide
Sunday, October 22 at 7:00 pm

Director Lee Myung-Se's noirish story of a hardnosed detective and an elusive drug lord.