Jackson, Martin Lawrence, Rosie Perez, John Turturro, and Lee himself, not only accentuates the you-are-there aesthetic of the film's most incendiary moments, but also humanizes the panoply of neighborhood characters, each of whom is essential to the film's engagement with matters of representation, authenticity, and methods of resistance.
While this subject matter is a key ingredient of Lee's authorship, so are the film's bold aesthetics, like the inspired and aggressive direct-to-camera monologues.
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But for all of Lee's innovation and experimentation, Do the Right Thing is also influenced by the American cinematic tradition, to which the writer-director-producer-actor was undoubtedly exposed during his time at NYU. Join us to learn about and from the film of which Roger Ebert wrote: "Spike Lee [did] an almost impossible thing.
He didn't draw lines or take sides but simply looked with sadness at one racial flashpoint that stood for many others. Cinema Classics Seminars offer an entertaining and engaging way to learn more about some of the classics of world cinema. Still grappling with the loss of their daughter in a drowning accident outside their English home, Laura and John Baxter move to Venice to work on a church restoration project. There they meet two elderly women, one of whom claims to be clairvoyant and declares that their dead daughter is trying to communicate an impending danger.
John dismisses these warnings but soon starts seeing strange visions himself. Is it a drama, a horror story, or a psychological thriller? Even the closest, healthiest relationship can come undone through grief. The promise of racial equality, tantalizingly glimpsed with the signing of the Civil Rights Act , had been consumed in the fires of anger and despair emerging from urban chaos of Watts in The Vietnam War had bitterly divided the nation politically, while, economically, manufacturing—long a prime source of employment—continued to erode.
Completed by year-old Jean Vigo shortly before his tragic death from leukemia, L'Atalante is an expression of lyric sensuality. Their journey becomes a symbol for the mysterious intimacy of marriage, as the shy bride and the inarticulate young husband struggle to recognize their true need for each other. Vigo reveals an intense romanticism in L'Atalante , an eroticism that co-exists with a gentleness he displays in his depiction of the young newlyweds, who are rendered in a series of unforgettable, dream-like images by cinematographer Boris Kaufman On the Waterfront.
Vigo's untimely death meant that the world never saw the film as he intended it. However, over the years, L'Atalante was restored in various forms, with the most complete version realized in L'Atalante , like all of Vigo's films four in total , was mostly forgotten by the late s, but his work began to be rediscovered after WWII. Join us for a stand-alone class built around Elia Kazan's powerful drama, On the Waterfront. But even beyond these unimpeachable cinematic bona fides, On the Waterfront is an essential cultural text of the post-World War II era as an allegory for its director's involvement with HUAC House Committee on Un-American Activities , and as something of a response to one-time friend and collaborator Arthur Miller's own take on the period, The Crucible These one-night seminars offer an entertaining and engaging way to learn more about some of the true classics of world cinema.
Students receive an introductory lecture before the film and a guided discussion after the screening. Join us for a stand-alone class built around Stanley Kubrick's timeless film, Paths of Glory , an adaptation of the novel of the same name, which itself was based loosely on actual events that befell a group of French soldiers during World War I. With its roving, deep-focus cinematography, uncompromising anti-war message, and a powerful, barely restrained performance by Kirk Douglas, Kubrick's stark, unsentimental work condemns, with brutal efficiency, the injustice one sees unfolding on screen.
As Roger Ebert wrote, " Paths of Glory was the film by which Stanley Kubrick entered the ranks of great directors, never to leave them. Students receive a reading about the film, an introductory lecture before the film, and a guided discussion after the film. So, too, is he merciless with his characters, laying bare their deepest motives and drives, be they fear, guilt, voyeurism, or obsession. Jefferies James Stewart , is an accomplished photojournalist for whom the most honest, intimate moments of others are his stock-in-trade. Debilitated by a broken leg, he cannot stop watching his neighbors, despite the pleas of his nurse Thelma Ritter and his girlfriend Grace Kelly.
As Jefferies becomes increasingly fixated on the malfeasance that may or may not be taking place outside his window, his peeping-tom tendencies are exposed and dissected while we, the rapt viewers, are made complicit in his voyeurism. Just as Jefferies is powerless to stop or solve the crimes that may be taking place outside his window, the audience is powerless to look away. Through our exploration of this essential film, we will come to suffer along with Jefferies, and also consider our own inability to look away from the silver screen.
On these fronts, Red River is exceptional. Shot by veteran cinematographer Russell Harlan who cut his teeth on Hopalong Cassidy films and would go on to earn six Oscar nominations , the film is accompanied by a lush Dimitri Tiomkin score that features a traditional western chorus. Together, the elements of Red River articulate a battle for control over the land, the future, and what it means to be a man. His men display a surprising array of vulnerabilities, while the women of Red River , limited though their roles may be, nonetheless harken back to the moral fortitude and level-headedness of Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday.
Although it is a key entry in a genre typically associated with masculinity, Red River is as much about relationships as it is about conquest. Maurizio Giammarco, Ph. His inaugural class was an introduction to Italian film, so it's only fitting that Maurizio helps celebrate BMFI's 10th anniversary by offering a seminar on—and introducing a screening of—one of that nation's true cinematic gems, Rome, Open City.
Beyond the enormous technical challenges, the project gave Hitchcock the opportunity to peel back the complacent covers of decorum and polite discourse to reveal the darkness of human motivation and scientific exploration. Released during the early years of the Cold War, as the U.
In , he released two adaptations of S. Its protagonist, inarticulate hoodlum Rusty James Matt Dillon , lives with his alcoholic father Dennis Hopper and thinks of little but beer, fights, and girls, including his sometime sweetheart Patty Diane Lane. His greatest ambition is to be like his brother, the gang leader known only as The Motorcycle Boy Mickey Rourke , recently returned from a self-imposed exile. As Rusty realizes that his idol has undergone a profound change, he must adjust his own dreams.
Ever sensitive to the dynamics of family, Coppola dedicated the film to his own brother. Read more about Rumble Fish in notes from our programmer's desk and check out this recommended reading list compiled by Ludington Library! Tony Manero stands poised precisely at that moment. He makes mistakes, he fumbles, he says the wrong things, but when he does what he loves, he feels a special grace.
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Unlike most films that deal with race, School Daze focuses on intra-racial dynamics within the black community, which means it has a particular authenticity in tone while lacking the self-consciousness in style found in many films aimed, at least in part, at white audiences, such as Lee's own Do the Right Thing. This approach is especially bold in light of the film's representation of two sensitive subjects within the African-American community: complexion and hair. Lee's keen knowledge of film genres is evident in his decision to have the "debate" over these topics occur in a dynamic song-and-dance sequence, because he knows that musical numbers have traditionally been used to express the thoughts and sentiments that characters could not—or dare not—convey through conversation.
School Daze has a number of such uncompromising scenes, which is why Roger Ebert described it as "one of the most honest and revealing movies I've ever seen about modern middle-class black life in America. Would the master of the British chase melodrama—with his macabre and mischievous wit, his enthusiasm for the shadows and menace of German expressionism, his dark view of human nature, and his voyeuristic gaze—survive the transition to sunny Hollywood? Would Hitchcock succeed in making Hitchcock films in the United States? Set in Santa Rosa, California, the film explores an archetypal collision between innocence and murderous experience, when the apparently idyllic life of a supposedly average American family is suddenly upended with the arrival of the charismatic but sinister Uncle Charlie an unsettlingly malevolent Joseph Cotten.
Do you want an entertaining and engaging way to spend an evening? Students will receive a reading about the film, an introductory lecture before the film, and a guided discussion after the film.
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Although he had planned for his journey to provide the basis for a well-researched social problem film, Mr. Sullivan gets more than he bargained for when he finds himself in dire straits and unable to convince anyone of his true identity. This seminar will consider his role as a film author, noting some of the preoccupations that crop up across his work, and examine what this film has to say about the value and meaning of entertainment. Are you interested in learning more about a particular classic film?
Just like our regular courses, students will receive a reading about the film, an introductory lecture before the film, and a guided discussion after the film. You won't believe what happens next.
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