(Jacques Doillon, 1979) · Cannes award winner and one of Doillon's personal favorites, this disarmingly tender kidnapping fable is notable for its nonjudgmental attitude toward the characters. As mentally ill François keeps 12-year-old Mado captive in the attic of his parents' house, each comes to fill a domestic void in the other even as they play games of manipulation. The austere style befits the material, averting sentimentality and creating a vague sense of unease.
runtime: 90 min format: 35mm
(Peter Segal, 1995) · Fresh out of college, the incompetent Tommy Callahan (Chris Farley) returns to his hometown of Sandusky, Ohio, to assist his father at their family's auto part plant, Callahan Auto. When his widower father remarries and promptly dies, financial problems set in for Callahan Auto. In order to keep the company alive, Tommy goes on a cross-country sales trip with his father's assistant Richard Hayden (David Spade), who tries desperately to keep Tommy in line.
runtime: 97 min format: 35mm
(Federico Fellini, 1960) · The turn of the 1960s: JFK is elected president of the U.S., Rome hosts the Olympics, and Fellini creates La Dolce Vita. From the film's opening image, his symbolism is clear: a statue of Jesus suspended from a helicopter glides over a Roman rooftop of nude sunbathers. Condemned by the Catholic Church, "the sweet life" reveals elaborate escapades and extensive set pieces that leave you breathless, questioning the worth of a lifestyle without values.
runtime: 180 min format: 35mm
(Jules Dassin, 1947) · As the title of this noir suggests, brutality pervades the atmosphere at Westgate Penitentiary, where protagonist Joe Collins is incarcerated. The twisted chief guard Captain Munsey perpetuates this atmosphere of fear, breaking the inmates down—until, finally, Collins leads a group of inmates in a last-ditch effort to escape. Director Dassin paints an uncompromisingly dark picture of a penal system focused on punishment and power, not rehabilitation.
runtime: 98 min format: 35mm
(Luis Buñuel, 1961) · After Viridiana was sent to Cannes, Francisco Franco's regime attempted to remove the film from the festival and prevent its release. He was unsuccessful—the film won 1961's Palm d'Or—although it didn't screen in Spain until Franco died in 1977. According to Buñuel, when he wrote of the sexual awakening of a young novice about to become a nun, "he didn't set out to be blasphemous, but then Pope John XXIII is a better judge of such things than I am."
runtime: 90 min format: 35mm
(Alfred Hitchcock, 1946) · This post-WWII thriller – perhaps Hitchcock's strongest producton of the '40s – pairs him with two of his favorite stars: Ingrid Bergman, as the repentant daughter of a traitorous scientist, and Cary Grant, as the government agent who entices her into a scheme against a surviving cabal of Nazi sympathizers. Claude Rains, in the villainous role, provides the third side of the triangle in one of the most memorable romances Hitch ever depicted on the big screen.
runtime: 102 min format: 35mm
(Alex Ross Perry, 2014) · Philip Lewis Friedman (Jason Schwartzman) is a novelist in New York City. Despite his struggles to finish his second novel, his ego inflates every day: he's estranged himself from his girlfriend (Elisabeth Moss) and told his publisher he won't be doing any interviews. Director Alex Ross Perry paints a portrait of Philip's tendency to belittle and estrange others that is at once tragic and darkly comic. Moss' turn alone is worth the price of admission.
runtime: 108 min format: DCP
(Maya Deren, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1948) · Featuring Meshes of the Afternoon, At Land, A Study in Choreography for Camera, A Ritual in Transfigured Time, and Meditation on Violence. Amos Vogel considered Deren to be the "catalyst of the American avant-garde," responsible (along with others such as Stan Brakhage) for contributing to the "visualization of new poetic universes." Her work pioneered cinematographic and editing techniques that were decades before their time.
runtime: 60 min
Meshes of the Afternoon courtesy of the Library of Congress.