Programmed by Antonia Glaser
An inimitable chronicling of life, film in its history has often sought to capture the nature and rawness of the heart's discontent. Through moving pictures, audiences from all walks of life and eras of change have borne witness to the yearning of the human condition, where love and marriage were surveyed through unforgettable stories and iconic characters. In this series, such sentiments as love, desire, passion, and loss will be explored within the context of the most socially recognized, idealized, and revered union of two people: marriage. Here, within the instability of institutional love, the true pains of loneliness and being human will be lit by the passions of couples facing interpersonal obstacles as their marriages swell upon the verge of collapse. Surveying a variety of situations that obfuscate the tender bonds of legal union, this series aims to highlight the ambiguity of circumstance and complexity of emotional dissonance that may arise in such commitments to ordained companionship. From the drowned streets of Venice to a middle-class apartment in Tehran, these couples face the gamut of both personal and interpersonal hurdles. Such fates as the loss of a child, splintering domestic life, concealed secrets and tensions, and the growing anxieties of aging, alienation, and mortality ultimately weigh heavy on the vows predicated upon romanticized notions of connection and intimacy. Here, we see characters attempt to forgo ties to personal desire for the betterment of such idealized unity, which may very well endure till death prompts the final parting.
(Nicolas Roeg, 1973) · Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie star as a young couple searching for peace following the death of their daughter. A blind psychic, the drowned streets of Venice, and visions of their dead child elevate their desperation into horror. Don't Look Now is a film of intimate and cosmic deliberation, and perhaps the single greatest example of film editing creating narrative architecture and poetry out of motion, it is an elegy composed into a funereal spasm of life, a sweet goodbye kiss.
runtime: 110m format: 35mm
(Asghar Farhadi, 2011) · The best-reviewed film of 2011, A Separation was the winner of innumerable honors, including the Golden Bear at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival and Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. An Iranian couple is its focal point: Simin wants to leave Iran for their daughter's sake, while Nader wants to stay in Tehran to care for his ailing father. Neither is willing to budge; so, they separate. From that chasm, a wrenching and profound film emerges.
runtime: 123m format: 35mm
(Roberto Rossellini, 1954) · Whittling a melody from the story of a couple whose marital bed has become a coffin, Journey to Italy is Roberto Rossellini's masterpiece of modernity. Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders star as a couple whose vacation together fragments into individual journeys as the ennui of companionship, the florid jungle of human connection, and the burden of failed love strenuously pervade the geography. What starts as a nihilistic endeavor becomes humanist in Rossellini's waltz for dejected meaning.
runtime: 97m format: DCP
(Jean-Luc Godard, 1963) · Contempt was the rhapsodic result of letting Godard, the stridently independent architect of the French New Wave, run loose with a multi-million dollar budget and the world's biggest movie stars - a classically tragic and ravishingly luscious Technicolor epic, superimposed upon a painfully intimate portrait of a disintegrating marriage. This is Godard as you've never seen him; allowing his latent romanticism to burst forth like never before, or since.
runtime: 101m format: DCP
(Richard Brooks, 1958) · Delivered from Tennessee Williams' voracious maw, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof stars Paul Newman as Brick, the prodigal son returned, and Elizabeth Taylor as his unheeded wife, Maggie. Coming home to a family headed by the dying "Big Daddy", Brick finds himself crippled in the rancor of southern decay. When the night's rain finally breaks, legacies collapse, the gentle columns of marriage tremble, and a paradise once bloomed falls back into the suffocating swoon of the Mississippi.
runtime: 108m format: 35mm
(Derek Cianfrance, 2010) · Blue Valentine is a haunting portrait of a marriage, seen only through its beginning and its end. Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling give powerful performances as the couple, with the former earning an Oscar nomination. Though they truly love each other, their relationship is put through harrowing trials by their distress over who they are, an inevitable outcome of the inescapable trauma of their different, but equally troubled childhoods.
runtime: 112m format: 35mm
(Michelangelo Antonioni, 1961) · In the centerpiece of his "alienation trilogy," Antonioni weaves together the iconic presences of Jeanne Moreau and Marcello Mastroianni as companions whose vows have been swept of love. Amid the tomb of Milan, La Notte embarks on a study of the interplay between amorous lust and repulsion, arising out of the inherent emptiness of human intimacy. Pairing this with our screening of L'Eclisse results in one of cinema's most gorgeous expressions of existential melancholy.
runtime: 122m format: DCP
(William Wyler, 1951) · Set in the drab quarters of a New York police station, Detective Story elaborately spins the tale of an obsessive detective (Kirk Douglas) in pursuit of an illicit abortionist. Vignette-like scenes of arrests and interrogations show a day in the life of a police detective squad entangled with the city's lowlife. As the once shrouded details of the case are pieced together, so too is the detective's understanding of his very own wife's veiled past.
runtime: 103m format: DCP
(Stanley Donen, 1967) · Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney star as a couple voyaging across France as their past collapses into the present. The same lovely vistas never change, but are simultaneously consecrated and effaced as the lovers inflict upon them equally lovely, desperate, and violent moments from their 12-year love affair. Time is testament to love's contradiction, a document painfully tender but never gleaned without the incessant hope that life will forever go on.
runtime: 111m format: DCP