Programmed by Alexander Fee and Antonia Glaser
One of the most prolific and celebrated actors of the past 50 years, Al Pacino fashioned a career in film defined by his diverse and revered performances in the American New Wave and beyond. Alfredo James Pacino was born on April 25, 1940 in New York City to parents Salvatore and Rose Pacino, who divorced when he was still a toddler. Raised by his mother and grandparents (who were coincidentally from the town of Corleone), Pacino developed an interest in performance from an early age. Accepted at the High School of Performing Arts but soon dropping out, Pacino went on to take acting more seriously as a career path when the highly esteemed Actors Studio welcomed him within the ranks and training grounds of Hollywood heavyweights such as Marlon Brando, James Dean, and Montgomery Clift. Studying under the legendary acting teacher Lee Strasberg, Pacino would learn the revolutionary "method acting" that would go on to later define his acting style. In only his second on-screen appearance, Pacino already established his propensity for garnering critical acclaim with his performance as Bobby, a charismatic hustler and drug addict, in Jerry Shatzberg's The Panic in Needle Park, but would not cement his legacy in Hollywood until his next feature. The role of Michael Corleone in Coppola's The Godfather was sought after by many (Warren Beatty, Robert De Niro, and Jack Nicholson among them), but it was Pacino's soft spoken and quiet presence that won him the role. From then on, Pacino partook in a series of roles that would define him and his dedication to his work - from Frank Serpico to Tony Montana. This series is a brief compendium of his work, demonstrating his unique range and ability to perform as one among the decadent and corrupt to the righteous and venerable.
(Jerry Schatzberg, 1971) · Bobby and Helen are in love, but in Needle Park, family and friends are only as reliable as how much dope you can get out of them. Bobby and Helen are trying to be different. Fighting the police, their addictions, and each other, they push the limits of how much they are willing to give up to keep their relationship alive. "Maybe you wouldn't call that love. But then, maybe you don't know anymore than anyone else knows about love.""
runtime: 110m format: DCP
(Francis Ford Coppola, 1972) · The Godfather illustrates the spiraling descent into darkness of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), as he is reluctantly drawn into one of the most powerful mafia families in the US, led by his father Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando in an iconic performance). Widely considered to be one of the greatest films of all time, this depiction of Michael's struggles to maintain a stable family life as he's inaugurated into the crime underworld provided Pacino with his breakout role.
runtime: 175m format: 35mm
(Francis Ford Coppola, 1974) · The Godfather: Part II is both a sequel and a prequel to the first Godfather film. As a prequel, it follows the young Vito Corleone, played by Robert De Niro, from the start of his crime career in Sicily to the founding of the Corleone family in the 1920s, while as a sequel it brings full circle the moral decay of his son Michael Corleone in his role as the new Don of the Corleones. While Part I can lay claim to being the start of Coppola's cinematic legend, it's Part II which delivers the more potent vision.
runtime: 200m format: 35mm
(Sidney Lumet, 1973) · Serpico follows police officer and activist Frank Serpico as he uncovers evidence of widespread corruption throughout the NYPD. However, his efforts to bring his findings to light fall on hostile ears. Al Pacino acutely tracks Serpico's evolution from idealist to hardened cynic as the quintessential 'lamp-lighter' grapples with the weight of a system that ignores its basic aim to serve and protect.
runtime: 130m format: 35mm
(Norman Jewison, 1979) · Hothead defense attorney Arthur Kirkland (Al Pacino) is forced to defend a judge (John Forsynthe) accused of rape, despite the pair's contentious history. When the judge forces Kirkland to represent him under threat of disbarment, Kirkland faces a moral quandary. The case becomes another bind for Kirkland, whose encounters with colleagues and other cases show a legal system that is, foremost, a system; one which, like all systems, it can be gamed.
runtime: 119m format: 35mm
(Brian De Palma, 1983) · In Scarface, blockbuster auteur Brian De Palma brings to life an expressionistic Miami underworld garish with nightclub neon and spattered blood, serving as playground for Tony Montana (Al Pacino), a Cuban refugee turned drug-lord wildman. After murdering his way to the top, Tony sees his empire threatened by the police, the Colombian cartels, and his own violent greed.
runtime: 170m format: 35mm
(Francis Ford Coppola, 1990) · While the Godfather Part III may not be a masterpiece like the earlier films in the trilogy, it's still essential if for no other reason than its completion of the Corleone saga, as Michael (Al Pacino) struggles to get his family out of the mafia and make his businesses legitimate. Michael must not only settle his affairs with hotheaded kingpin, Don Altobello (Eli Wallach) but also with Vincent (Andy Garcia), his scheming nephew.
runtime: 170m format: 35mm
(James Foley, 1992) · "A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. ALWAYS BE CLOSING." Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Alec Baldwin, Alan Arkin, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris: competing salesmen. First place is a Cadillac, second place is a set of steak knives, and third place is you're fired. Who will survive to sell another day and how far will they go?
runtime: 100m format: 35mm
(Martin Brest, 1992) · Charlie (Chris O'Donnell), a prep school student of humble beginnings, takes responsibility for the incorrigible, blind, alcoholic Lt. Col Frank Slade (Al Pacino) over Thanksgiving weekend to make some extra cash. The incongruous pairing becomes one for the ages, as Charlie becomes the unwitting student of a teacher on the subject of life itself. Scent of a Woman, driven by Pacino's Oscar-winning performance, follows Frank as he makes the most of life while he still can.
runtime: 156m format: 35mm