Summer 1998

The Winter GuestBoulder Theatrical Premiere
Saturday, June 6 at 7:00 & 9:15 PM 
Sunday, June 7 at 3:00, 7:00, & 9:15 PM

Alan Rickman is known to most people for his over-the-top portrayals of evildoers in such big budget fare as Die Hard and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. But Rickman here proves himself to be a directorial talent to look out for. The Winter Guest is his directorial debut, and it pairs up real-life mother and daughter Phyllida Law and Emma Thompson in this skillfully woven story about four sets of couples who cope with loss and loneliness, fear of death, and, in particular, families. All this might seem gloomy material at first if not for the humor that pervades the film. Also, Rickman's control of mood and metaphor surpass expectations. Cinematographer Seamus McGarvey creates ravishing and resonant images, making full use of his Fife locations with delicate and crisp compositions.

USA/UK, 1996. Color, in English. 110 mins., 35 mm.

The Sweet HereafterSaturday, June 13 at 7:00 & 9:15 PM 
Sunday, June 14, at 3:00, 7:00 & 9:15 PM

Atom Egoyan's (Exotica) adaptation of Russell Banks' novel marks the first time the Canadian director has made a film that is not based on an original screenplay of his own. Events unfold when a lawyer (played by Ian Holm) arrives in a small town in British Columbia, where the community is paralysed by a recent accident: a school bus carrying 22 children has plunged off an icy road and killed some of those aboard. Questions of restitution are intricately woven into a myriad of moral dilemmas that, at first, seem to unfold as separate stories. But each story and memory slowly allows a higher truth to be flushed out in a non-linear fashion that beautifully illustrates both the suppressed and the bittersweet.

Canada, 1997. Color, in English. 112 mins., 35 mm.

Wings of the DoveSaturday, June 20 at 7:00 and 9:00 PM
Sunday, June 21 at 3:00, 7:00, and 9:00 PM.

Iain Softley's adaptation of Henry James' novel takes obvious delight in the plush and stylized creations to be found within this story of a passionate love triangle - here updated slightly by about a decade to take advantage of the lifting of Victorian repression. Helena Bonham Carter plays the role of Kate Croy, a woman who, after the death of her mother, becomes the ward of her wealthy aunt Maude (Charlotte Rampling). Maude hopes to unite Kate with Lord Mark (Alex Jennings). Kate's love for journalist Merton Dansher (Linus Roache) complicates matters, but the picture becomes even more interesting when Kate meets an American heiress (played by Alison Elliott) who is terminally ill. The filmmakers have found a way to flesh out the cerebral core of James' novel without sacrificing its essential ambiguity - and along the way they take stunning visual liberties to expand on the romantic atmosphere of Venice where the shadowy cobblestone streets spill over with carnivalesque passion.
USA/UK, 1997. Color, in English. 102 mins., 35 mm.

Carmen*Saturday, June 27 at 7:00 PM only
Sunday, June 28 at 9:00 PM only (no matinee)

A choreographer casts an unknown girl to dance the title role in his new ballet set to Bizet's Carmen. During the rehearsal period, he falls in love with her and they have an affair, although she has a husband, currently in jail on a drug charge. Saura's film, using the effective device of life mirroring arts, tells the Carmen story twice - offstage and on. A brilliant display of choreographic pyrotechnics, danced with breathtaking expertise and filmed with pulsating energy.

Spain, 1983. Color, in Spanish with English subtitles. 101 mins., 16 mm.

*Both Carmen and Blood Wedding are tie-in events with the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art / Federico Garcia Lorca - A Centennial Celebration. (The BMoCA's event takes place the week before during June 19 & 20, please call them at 443-2122 for more information). Focus: Spanish ballads.

Blood Wedding*& Land Without Bread(double-feature)Saturday, June 27 at 9:00 PM only 
Sunday, June 28 at 7:00 PM only (no matinee)

Blood Wedding: Antonio Gades and his troupe rehearse and perform a flamenco ballet version of Lorca's tragedy in a empty dance studio. Gades take his liberties with Lorca's work, but the explosion of Andalusian passion expressed in the eloquent movements of the heel-tapping dance and soulful song of the flamenco, as seen through the eye of a rhythmic camera, are a thrill to behold.

Spain, 1981. Color, in Spanish with English subtitles. 72 mins., 16 mm.Land Without Bread: After his two surrealist masterpieces, Un Chien Andalou and L'Age D'Or, Bu˝uel (who was friends with Lorca) turned towards social realism with this stark documtary on the poverty of the peasants. The searing and sombre commentary and photography, along with disturbing scenes that put the format of the doumentary itself into question, were so effective and revealing that it was banned in Spain. Bu˝uel did not make another in his native land until Viridiana 29 years later. Spain, 1932. B/W, in Spanish with English subtitles. 27 mins., 16 mm.


The Haunted Carnival represents the first time that all of the local Boulder cinema exhubitors will join forces to put on a cooperative event that celebrates the best of the Fantasy, Horror, and Science-Fiction genres -- from the silent age to the present.  Pablo Kjolseth set things in motion, with the goal of adding to Chuck Lomis' ongoing yearly series at the Boulder Public Library.  Local producer Brock McDaniel came up with the title to the event and contacted Ray Harryhausen, the first planned filmmaker to attend.  Ray Tuomey and Dave Riepe enthusiastically agreed with the idea of forming a yearly event that takes place every July with roughly 30 films.  Events will begin at Chautauqua on July 1st when it presents its Program of Centennial Shorts which features, among other relevant titles, one of the first sci-fi and fantasy films ever made:  Melies' A Trip to the Moon.  The planned events will come to a close with a Boris Karloff double feature at the Boulder Public Library on Friday, July 31st.  

Our first guest (July 10, 11 &12) will be the legendary Ray Harryhausen, the stop-motion genius behind Mighty Joe Young, Jason and the Argonauts, Clash of the Titans, and many other titles.  Near the end of the month we will feature Dayton Taylor, the producer of a new and critically acclaimed vampire film called Habit (the Boulder premiere will screen on July 25 & 26 through the International Film Series). 

Films from Brakhage's VaultSunday, July 5 at 7:30 PM - Free

Directors such as Martin Scorsese (Raging Bull) and David Fincher (Seven) are only a few of the filmmakers that have gone on record to speak of their influence by Stan Brakhage - a local filmmaker and Distinguished Professor here at C.U. whose works have been included for preservation by the Library of Congress. The Stan Brakhage Film Forum, held every Sunday in the Fine Arts building (room N-141) is one of the best-kept secrets in town, screening short films from Brakhage's personal collection that have always been free and open to the public. To kick-off the I.F.S. July schedule, Brakhage will focus on cinematic gems that deal, specifically, with the phantasmagoric. Word to the wise; to say that Stan Brakhage will show you a cinematic gem is not mere hyperbole - some of the films in his collection are the only known prints in existence.

It Came From Beneath the SeaBoulder Theatrical Premiere 
Saturday, July 11 at 3:00 PM and 9:30 PM
Sunday, July 12, at 3:00 PM only

Atomic testing revives a gigantic, primeval octopus that attacks San Francisco! Submarine Captain Kenneth Tobey (The Thing), along with scientists Donald Curtis (Earth vs. the Flying Saucers), and Faith Domerque (This Island Earth), attempt to defend the city and deal with a romantic triangle at the same time. Meanwhile, Ray Harryhausen's leviathan panics the populace and severs the span of the Golden Gate Bridge. It Came From Beneath the Sea was the first film to unite Harryhausen with producer Charles H. Schneer, a collaboration that would span three decades and produce such classics as The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, Mysterious Island, and Clash of the Titans. Inspired by newspaper reports on the dangers of radiation, It Came From Beneath the Sea was filmed in a neo-realist style on location. The decision to shoot this way proved to be quite a challenge for the production company. It seems that certain San Fran officials were unhappy with the idea, and the Schneer/Harryhausen team was forced to shoot some scenes in secret from the back of a bread truck! As has oft been noted, budget restrictions resulted in Harryhausen giving his cephalopod six, instead of eight, tentacles. But who's counting? Regardless of appendages, It Came From Beneath the Sea is powerhouse stop-motion animation at its best - still awesome after all these years.

US, 1955. B/W, in English. 78 mins., 35 mm.

Beauty of the BeastAn Evening with Ray HarryhausenSponsored by the James and Rebecca RoserFilm Studies Visiting Artist ProgramSaturday, July 11, at 7:00 PM only. Free Admission 

In the world of Ray Harryhausen, things are seldom what they seem. His titanic beasts, which rise from the depths of a screenscape to wreak havoc upon humankind are, in reality, smaller than a child. Lovingly handcrafted from ball and socket armatures and foam rubber skin, these mini-monsters are moved in increments by Harryhausen, who records their "action" on thousands of single frames. The animation is then flawlessly combined with scenes of live actors for the final, mystifying effect. As a special festival treat, Mr. Harryhausen will present a compilation film containing a collection of his most memorable cinematic illusions. Following the presentation, Mr. Harryhausen will exhibit some of the models used in his films and take questions from the audience. But while he's speaking, be sure to keep an eye on those ghoulish puppets. Ray Harryhausen, after all, has a way of making things move...

Jason and the ArgonautsSponsored by the James and Rebecca RoserFilm Studies Visiting Artist ProgramSunday, July 12, at 7:00 PM only. Free Admission 

In The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974) and Clash of the Titans (1981), effects auteur Ray Harryhausen delved into the mystical idea of Fate: the notion that one's life is predestined by forces greater than the self. This theme is also played out in Jason and the Argonauts, a precursor to the aforementioned movies and an effort which many consider the finest of Harryhausen's career. Based on an epic adventure from Greek Mythology, the film follows the exploits of Jason and his courageous band of Argonauts (including the mighty Hercules) as they sail to the world's end in search of the legendary Golden Fleece. Along the way, the intrepid crew must face a menagerie of Harryhausen's most fantastic creations: Talos, the bronze colossus, a pair of bat-winged Harpies, Triton - Lord of the Deep, the seven-headed Hydra and, in a tour de force of visual effects, an army of sword-fighting skeletons. But make no bones about it, Jason and the Argonauts is about much more than monsters. Like Sinbad and Clash's Perseus, Jason is a character whose defiance of ancient fatalism signals the arrival of a modern, more individualistic hero. In that sense, Jason is akin to Ray Harryhausen himself. Passionate and disciplined, the determined Harryhausen set his life on a course that bucked the odds and conquered the impossible. He captured the fleece and returned to tell the tale.

US, 1963. Color, in English. 104 mins., 16 mm.

Tokyo FistColorado Theatrical Premiere
Saturday, July 18, at 7:00 PM only
Sunday, July 19, at 3:00 and 9:00 PM

An insurance salesman (played by director Tsukamoto) finds his life with his fiancee turned upside down when he meets his old high-school classmate (played by Tsukamoto's brother Koji), now a psychotic boxing pro with problems. Treasonous love-triangle dynamics spiced with Japanese boxing-ring frenetics - not an obvious choice for a fantasy, horror, sci-fi selection you say? Then you're not aware of the outrageous cinema and man-machine fetishism of director Shinya Tsukamoto (Tetsuo, Body Hammer). Tsukamoto was inspired by Cronenberg, Lynch, and the Japanese cult TV hit Ultra-Q. He later founded (and continues to run) a drama group called Kaijyu (Monster) Theater. "Like other kids of my generation," Tsukamoto says, "I grew up with monsters. They were a big part of my childhood reality. Most of the stuff I watched was fairly infantile but the TV series Ultra-Q and the Early Godzilla movies really gripped me. Later my interests broadened to take in everything from Italian Futurism to Metropolis, from Helmut Newton's photos to the cyperpunk sensibility and all that fed into my movies." Rather than tackling physical transmutations, as in his previous films, Tokyo Fist tackles psychological transmutations, causing Sight & Sound magazine to comment on how "Nietzche's words from Beyond Good and Evil: 'Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you,' might be (Tokyo Fist's) ideal footnote."

Japan, 1995. Color, in Japanese with English subtitles. 88 mins., 35 mm.

ShiversNew 35mm print / Colorado Theatrical Premiere
Saturday, July 18, at 3:00 PM and 9:00 PM
Sunday, July 19, at 7:00 PM only

David Cronenberg's (Dead Ringers, Crash) first feature was the first serious horror film to ever come out of Canada. The story takes us to the Starline Towers, a completely self-contained, up-scale apartment complex that even boasts its own medical clinic. Everything is groovy until a scientifically created parasite infects its guests and turns them all into sex-crazed zombies. The story was inspired by a dream that Cronenberg had in which a spider that lived inside of a woman came out of her mouth by night - and crawled back in before morning. The film itself was born of a time that Cronenberg refers to as "a sort of half-life (in) the afterglow of the 1960's. Charles Manson and Woodstock had happened. Bobby Kennedy had been shot. It was another era. It was well and truly getting to be the 1970's." Originally titled Orgy of the Blood Parasites it was retitled The Parasite Murders for its Canadian release but performed so well under the French-language version, Frissons, that the title was changed to Shivers - which is how it was released across the globe, except in America where its US distributor picked the title They Came From Within. Amidst the obvious subtexts there are impressive make up effects and genuine shocks, all of which helped to make this film a success and thereby cement Cronenberg's career.

Canada, 1975. Color, in English. 87 mins., 35 mm.

Mute WitnessBoulder Theatrical Premiere
Saturday, July 25, at 3:00 and 10:00 PM
Sunday, July 26, at 7:00 PM only

A virtuoso exercise in atmosphere and style, Anthony Waller's directorial debut has all the qualities of a studio film (exotic locations, polished execution) but is set apart from the crowd by a very smart and incredibly suspenseful story that shifts moods brilliantly between horror, comedy, and action. The plot concerns a mute special-effects make-up artist (Marina Sudina) who stumbles across a gruesome scene and then finds herself caught up among various dark forces that work with impunity on the streets of Moscow. She is able to temporarily take solace in the help of a Russian policeman (Oleg Jankowskij, best known to western audiences for his role in Tarkovsky's Nostalgia), but it becomes increasingly hard for her to gauge who works for the police and who works for "The Reaper" (Alec Guinness, in a brief cameo). Over ten years in the making, and finished by funding from the UK, Germany, and Russia, this film was obviously a labor of passion and features an excellent score, composed and recorded in Russia by Wilbert Hirsch. Mute Witness belongs as much to the hip, self-referential horror genre so popular today as it does to the Hitchcockian thriller genre of yesterday.

Russia/Germany/UK, 1995. Color, in English. 96 mins., 35 mm.

HabitColorado Premiere
Saturday, July 25 at 7:00 PM -meet producer Dayton Taylor in-person!
Sunday, July 26 3:00 PM matinee will be followed by a discussion led by Vampire expert Dr. Waltje.
Sunday, July 26 at 9:00 PM.

Habit is the rarest of oddities - a plausible vampire film. Its evocation of time and place are so tangible, so real, that the story manages to transform the usual passive escapism imbibed by the viewer into the feeling of a concrete experience. Even more surprising is how director Larry Fessenden managed to keep the entire vampire mythology intact while simultaneously making it fresh. "Habit is a horror film," he points out, "in that it borrows from all of those traditions, but it's also about the horror of loneliness - the existential horror. It's about Sam, a sloppy drunk, who's disappointed. He's past 30, so he's starting to feel his mortality. His father has died. His girlfriend is fed up with him, and fed up with his drinking. He's in a sate of self-destruction." As noted in the L.A. Weekly; "Habit is more lamentation than horror; suffused with a mournful sense of isolation and otherness. Fessenden plays the lead in the film, an artist named Sam who's drawn away from his 'community' by Anna, a woman who may or may not be more than she appears." Amy Taubin of the Village Voice calls Habit "the most vivid of the Downtown vampire movies - as evocative of New York-style paranoia as Rosemary's Baby, Bad Lieutenant, or Taxi Driver." Habit was nominated for two 1998 Spirit Awards (Best Director, Best Cinematography) and Larry Fessenden was recently given the "Someone To Watch Award" sponsored by the Independent Feature Project.
US, 1998. Color, in English. 112 mins., 35 mm.

Merchant IvoryThe I.F.S. Summer '98 schedule will conclude with a special Merchant Ivory blow-out in the first two weekends of August. On the first weekend we will show eight Merchant Ivory films, the second weekend we will show six Merchant Ivory films - each title showing only once. The overall retrospective will be called VIEWS OF MERCHANT IVORY: 3 CONTINENTS, 14 FILMS - the titles will be screened in chronological order. After this, the I.F.S. hopes to return to its Muenzinger location in time for the Fall schedule sometime near the end of August.

The HouseholderFriday, July 31 at 7:00 PM only 

Merchant Ivory's first feature focuses on the clash between tradition and modernity in contemporary India. 

India, 1963. B/W, in English. 105 mins., 35 mm.

Shakespeare WallahFriday, July 31, at 9:00 PM only 

A complex romance between an English actress touring post-Raj India with a company of small-time Shakespeareans, and an Indian playboy, who is involved with a Bombay movie star. 

India, 1965. B/W, in English. 125 mins., 35mm.

RoselandSaturday, August 1, at 3:00 PM only 

The spotlight is on couples, relationships and dancing, dancing, dancing - all set at New York's famous old Roseland Ballroom. 

US, 1977. Color, in English. 103 mins., 35 mm.

The EuropeansSaturday, August 1 at 7:00 PM only 

Love, morality, and national differences are explored in this eloquent adaptation of Henry James' 1878 comic novel about denizens of the Old and New Worlds coming together. 

US, 1979. Color, in English. 90 mins., 35 mm.

QuartetSaturday, August 1 at 9:00 PM only 

The Merchant Ivory team recreates Montparnasse of the 1920's as evoked in Jean Rhys' autobiographical novel. Isabelle Adjani was named Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival in 1981 for this performance. 

France, 1981. Color, in English. 101 mins., 35 mm.

Heat and DustSunday, August 2 at 3:00 PM only 

Julie Christie plays a Westerner who visits India to unravel the facts of an old family scandal. 

India, 1983. Color, in English. 132 mins., 35 mm.

The BostoniansSunday, August 2 at 7:00 PM only 

A young feminist with a talent for public speaking captures the attention of two forceful individuals: a militant women's liberationist and a flinty Mississippi suitor who thinks a life of quiet housewifery is all a real woman could want. US, 1984. Color, in English. 120 mins., 35 mm.

Mr. and Mrs. BridgeSunday, August 2 at 9:15 PM only 

A drama of extraordinary power from the small details of an ordinary Midwestern marriage. US, 1984. Color, in English 120 mins., 35 mm.

MauriceSaturday, August 8 at 3:00 PM only 

E.M. Forste feared scandalizing British society with his forthright treatment of homosexual love. Hugh Grant and James Wilby jointly won the Best Actor award for Maurice at the 1987 Venice Film Festival. 

UK, 1987. Color, in English. 135 mins., 35 mm.

Slaves of New YorkSaturday, August 8 at 7:00 PM only 

Impressive energy and ironic humor suffuse Ivory's portrait of the Lower East Side subculture of clubs and galleries. 

US, 1989. Color, in English. 120 mins., 35 mm.

Howard's EndSaturday, August 8 at 9:15 PM only 

"Only connect," says the most frequently quoted phrase in E.M. Forster's novel, and the difficulty of doing so is at the core of a story full of class divisions and cultural conflicts that no mere act of will could overcome. 

UK, 1992. Color, in English 140 mins., 35 mm.

In CustodySunday, August 9 at 3:00 PM only 

Ismail Mechant's directorial debut addresses a subject close to his heart: the expressive Urdu language of Northern India, in danger of extinction as political trends and modernization obscure its contributions to Indian culture. 

India, 1993. Color, in English. 126 mins., 35 mm.

The Remains of the DaySunday, August 9 at 7:00 PM only 

Anthony Hopkins portrays a classic English butler who has spent the prime of his life serving a self-important aristocrat (James Fox). 

UK, 1993. Color, in English. 138 mins., 35 mm.

Jefferson in ParisSunday, August 9 at 9:30 PM only 

Jefferson in Paris explores the much-debated romantic legend that Thomas Jefferson fell in love with his teenage slave, Sally Hemings, during his ambassadorial sojourn in Paris. 

France, 1995. Color, in English. 136 mins., 35 mm.