CONTINUING EXHIBITIONS DECEMBER 2009Sweet Creations: Gingerbread House Display - Nov. 11 through Dec. 16, 2009 (Museum and historic house)Where We Live - Through Feb. 14, 2010 *Extended/New Date!* (South Gallery, Brackett Clark Gallery, Potter Peristyle) Picturing Rochester - Through Jan. 24, 2009 (Potter Peristyle, Project Space) How Do We Look? - March 14, 2010 *Extended/New Date!* (Entrance Gallery) What We're Collecting Now: The Family Photographed - Ongoing (New Acquisitions Gallery) Where Do Cameras Come From? - Ongoing (Second floor of house) Cameras from the Technology Collection - Ongoing (Mees Gallery) The Remarkable George Eastman - Ongoing (Second floor of house)
CALENDAR OF FILM EVENTS DECEMBER 2009Please note: Sunday films are screened at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Films listed begin at 8 p.m. in the Dryden Theatre, except for Sunday evening films, which begin at 7 p.m., and those otherwise noted. Dryden Theatre general admission tickets are $7 and George Eastman House members and student ticket rates are $5, unless otherwise noted. "Take-10? discount tickets (10 admissions for $55/$40 members and students) are available at the box office and the Museum Shop. The film program is partially funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts.
FEATURED FILM SERIESMINNELLI'S MGM MUSICALS Vincente Minnelli began his Hollywood career as a set and costume designer on Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland vehicles. While he also directed several comedies and melodramas, Minnelli is best known for his work on musicals. He was embraced by the French auteurist critics associated with Cahiers du Cinéma due to his idiosyncratic visual style characterized by film writer Joe McElhaney as "a highly mobile frame marked by complex tracking and crane shots and a frequent use of long takes, a choreographer-like attention to the staging of action, and an expressive sense of décor and colour." American critics both admired and admonished the director for his obsessive focus on costume, set, and décor. Minnelli followed the precedent set by Josef von Sternberg, who was notorious for cluttered mise-en-scène and privileging aesthetics over storyline. Such exacting attention to visual detail was hardly surprising from Minnelli, who had a background in window dressing and designing opulent theatrical spectacles. Cabin in the Sky (screening December 8), a musical with an all-black cast starring Ethel Waters, Lena Horne, and Louis Armstrong, was Minnelli's directorial debut. His third film was the now-classic period piece Meet Me in St. Louis (December 19) starring Judy Garland, whom he would later marry. Gene Kelly collaborated with Minnelli in the Oscar®-winning An American in Paris (December 22), where he plays an ex-pat painter attempting to seduce Leslie Caron (who replaced an expectant Cyd Charisse). Brigadoon (December 1) reunites Kelly and Charisse, and is perhaps best described as a time-traveling musical tale set in a Scottish Shangri-La. Bells Are Ringing (December 15) was Minnelli's last MGM musical, featuring Judy Holliday in her final film as a busybody telephone operator (pre-dating Lily Tomlin's Ernestine), whose advice changes Dean Martin's life for the better. REMEMBERING JOHN HUGHES For anyone who came of age in Reagan-era America, the loss of Michael Jackson last summer followed in quick succession by writer-producer-director John Hughes truly feels like the end of an era. Comparisons of Hughes to J.D. Salinger might seem hyperbolic, yet for those of us who grew up in the 1980s, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off defined teen angst the way Salinger's Catcher in the Rye did for multiple generations of youth. Hughes's teen films were a perfect representation of the decade. The series kicked off in November. The December screenings are Weird Science (Dec. 2), Pretty in Pink (Dec.9) and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (Dec. 16). ROCHESTER EXCLUSIVES: THREE FROM "MUMBLECORE" AND MUCH, MUCH MORE A relatively new movement in American independent cinema, so-called "Mumblecore" films have been marked by their ultra-low budget productions, improvisatory acting and plotlines, and stories with an emphasis on interpersonal relationships. Most important, the films have all been made by a true community of artists, a "Mumble Corps" of directors who help out by serving as cast and/or crew for the films of their comrades. Nutso 1977 Japanese horror-fantasy Hausu makes its long-awaited Dryden debut (December 5). Bronson (December 12 & 13) is a breathtakingly choreographed piece of cinematic violence from the director of the Pusher trilogy. Tetro (December 18 & 20) is the latest from acknowledged cinematic master Francis Ford Coppola. The Experimental Television Center's Presentation Funds program is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts. A SERIES OF "TOY STORIES" As movie fans eagerly await the return of Buzz and Woody to the big screen (and Santa Claus down the chimney), the Dryden has assembled three delightful movie "toy stories" for the whole family, showing as 2 p.m. matinees on the first three Sundays in December. Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure (December 6) is a thrillingly animated big-screen adaptation of the Johnny Gruelle stories. Joe Dante's Small Soldiers (December 13) parodies G.I. Joe dolls with more than a touch of anti-war satire. Laurel and Hardy star as toymakers Ollie Dee and Stanley Dum in the first and best screen version of Victor Herbert's operetta Babes in Toyland (December 20) operetta Babes in Toyland (December 20). LAUGH IN THE NEW YEAR: FOUR COMEDY DOUBLE FEATURES! Bid adieu to 2009 with four nights of classic comedy double features, leading right up to New Year's Eve. December 28 brings a pair of Woody Allen mockumentaries, Take the Money and Run and Zelig. Truly iconic Charlie Chaplin will put a smile on your face on December 29 with two of his masterworks, City Lights and Modern Times. On December 30, take a trip back to summer 1984 and celebrate the 25th anniversary of two of the biggest, funniest blockbusters from the Reagan years: Ghostbusters and Gremlins. On the big night, December 31, enjoy an evening of anarchy when we present four of the best-loved short films by The Three Stooges (don't worry, it's an all-Curly selection), followed by Groucho, Chico, and Harpo Marx in A Night at the Opera. An Ache in Every Stake (1941) screens New Year's Eve. FOR THE LOVE OF THE MOVIES: THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN FILM CRITICISM Gerald Peary's new documentary For the Love of Movies: The History of American Film Criticism begins with a somewhat ominous observance for those who write or read about cinema: "Today, film criticism is a profession under siege. According to Variety, 28 reviewers have lost their jobs in the last several years." As news media continue to shift away from the printed page to the electronic page, and as studios rely less and less on the considered writings and opinions of learned film critics to spread the word about their latest releases, there could be no more appropriate time to celebrate those people of letters whose words are devoted to moving pictures. Through-out November and December, we'll present a number of great movies that provoked particularly inspired and influential essays. At each screening, we'll provide a complimentary copy of the review with each ticket. Although American film criticism is evident as early as 1911, this survey takes us back only as far as 1937, when the lean and tough writings of Otis Ferguson (whose bright career was cut short by his death in WWII) appeared in praise of fast-paced and efficient genre films, like the MGM thriller Night Must Fall. The most important US film critic of the immediate postwar years was undoubtedly the gifted James Agee, who wrote lovingly of films that celebrated small-town family life, like Meet Me in St. Louis, a film that concentrates on "making the well-heeled middle-class life of some adolescent and little girls in St. Louis seem so beautiful that you can share their anguish when they are doomed to move to New York." While The New York Times critic Bosley Crowther dominated with his post for more than a quarter century, his two biggest contributions were in championing important foreign releases like Kurosawa's Rashomon and inspiring a whole generation of film critics to rebel against what they saw as his rather conventional tastes. That generation included New York-based writers Pauline Kael and Andrew Sarris, whose own argument over the auteur theory spawned two separate groups of cinephile acolytes. The '70s saw the move of film criticism to television with the birth of a weekly review program featuring Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, but both critics continued to write voluminous columns for their respective Chicago daily newspapers. Meanwhile, Siskel and Ebert's generation also includes a number of critics with unique styles and great passion for the movies, like Dave Kehr, Jonathan Rosenbaum, and Stuart Klawans, who have largely remained devoted to the written word. Another such critic is the Boston Phoenix's Gerald Peary, who joins us in person on December 11 to present For the Love of Movies, his briskly paced and entertaining history of nearly 100 years of American writing about cinema. The Experimental Television Center's Presentation Funds program is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts The December screenings of For the Love of Movies: (Screenings: All films are at 8 p.m. unless otherwise listed.) Thursday, December 3: Stuart Klawans/CHRONICLE OF A DISAPPEARANCE 7 p.m. Sunday, December 6: Andrew Sarris/THE COLLECTOR Thursday, December 10: Gerald Peary/THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE Friday, December 11 | Gerald Peary in Person!/ FOR THE LOVE OF MOVIES: THE STORY OF AMERICAN FILM CRITICISM (Gerald Peary, US 2009, 81 min., Digital Projection) Thursday, December 17: Jack Garner/VOLVER Saturday, December 19: James Agee/MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS Tuesday, December 22: Dave Kehr/AN AMERICAN IN PARIS DECEMBER FILM CALENDAR All films presented in 35mm, unless otherwise noted. 1 TUES 8 p.m. | Minnelli Musicals BRIGADOON (Vincente Minnelli, US 1954, 108 min.) Gene Kelly and Van Johnson are American hunters who discover the mysticaland mythical Scottish title village that comes to life for one day every 100years. When Kelly falls for Brigadoon citizen Cyd Charisse, he must make a hard decision. This widescreen Lerner and Lowe musical is still a charmer. 2 WED 8 p.m. | John Hughes WEIRD SCIENCE (John Hughes, US 1985, 94 min.) Gary and Wyatt (Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell Smith) are two dateless high school geeks who, inspired by Bride of Frankenstein, use their home computer to create the perfect woman, Lisa (Kelly LeBrock). Flesh and blood, and not about to be just the boys' plaything, Lisa offers lessons in confidence and takes Gary and Wyatt on the road to Coolsville in Hughes's most absurd, surreal, and underrated entry in his teen movie canon. 3 THURS 8 p.m. | For the Love of Movies CHRONICLE OF A DISAPPEARANCE (Elia Suleiman, Palestine 1996, 88 min., Arabic/Hebrew/subtitles) Part fiction and part documentary, independent Palestinian filmmaker Suleiman returned to the Middle East after many years in New York to make his first feature. Armed with irony, absurdist humor, and a handsome visual style, Suleiman offers a surprisingly comprehensive portrait of middle-class Palestine and a complex understanding of Arab identity within that world. 4 FRI 8 p.m. | Rochester Premiere | Bob Byington in Person! HARMONY AND ME (Bob Byington, US 2009, 75 min., Digital Projection) Harmony (musician and Mutual Appreciation star Justin Rice) is a sad sack who spends most of his time obsessing over being dumped by Jessica (Kristen Tucker). In a series of loosely improvised and very funny episodes, Harmony riffs on life and love with his friends, colleagues, and family, while fighting to win back his girl. Harmony and Me is bolstered by a terrific comic supporting cast, including Kevin Corrigan, Pat Healy, Allison Latta, Nick Offerman, Alex Karpovsky, and writer-director Bob Byington, who will introduce his film and answer questions after the screening. JUST ANNOUNCED: Also in person - Actor Kevin Corrigan! 5 SAT 8 p.m. | Rochester Premiere HAUSU (HOUSE, Nobuhiko Obayashi, Japan 1977, 87 min., Japanese/ subtitles, Digital Projection) Get ready to have your mind blown. This wild and funny horror-fantasy is like nothing you've ever seen before-we guarantee it! A teenage girl brings her classmates along for a summer vacation at her grandmother's country estate. What the girls aren't immediately aware of is that grandma is a ghost and her house is haunted, but they start to catch on when an evil housecat con-vinces a piano to eat one of the girls...and that's just the beginning! A truly absurd and thrilling rediscovery, Hausu is "Salvador Dali meets Sid and Marty Krofft"-Jim Ridley, Nashville Scene. Preceded by the animated short LIVING ORGANICS (US 2009, 10 min.), directed by Rochester native Kiera L. Faber. 6 SUN 2 p.m. | A Series of "Toy Stories" RAGGEDY ANN AND ANDY: A MUSICAL ADVENTURE (Richard Williams, US 1977, 84 min.) Famed animator Williams (Who Framed Roger Rabbit) directed this visually stunning and unjustly neglected widescreen family movie that brings the legendary toy characters of Johnny Gruelle's stories to life. In a plot that bears a strong resemblance to Toy Story, the title characters set out beyond the playroom to rescue French doll Babette, with the help of the Camel with the Wrinkled Knees. The catchy songs are by Sesame Street's Joe Raposo. 6 SUN 7 p.m. | For the Love of Movies THE COLLECTOR (William Wyler, US 1965, 119 min.) A bank clerk (Terence Stamp) who collects butterflies falls in love with an art student (Samantha Eggar), and decides to expand his collection by kidnapping the girl. This adaptation of John Fowles's novel is one of veteran director Wyler's most fascinating studies of physical and emotional entrapment. 8 TUES 8 p.m. | Minnelli Musicals CABIN IN THE SKY (Vincente Minnelli, US 1943, 98 min.) Petunia Jackson (Ethel Waters, who sings "Taking a Chance on Love") tries to convince her husband, Joe (Eddie "Rochester" Anderson) to lead a good life. Minnelli's directorial debut, this wonderful MGM musical features some of the greatest performers in jazz, including Louis Armstrong and Lena Horne. 9 WED 8 p.m. | John Hughes PRETTY IN PINK (Howard Deutch, US 1986, 96 min.) A stylish girl from the wrong side of the tracks (Molly Ringwald) and a young heir (Andrew McCarthy) partial to linen suits fall for one another despite the high school class warfare that surrounds them. This quintessential '80s film (the hair alone is worth the price of admission) from writer-producer John Hughes has a supporting cast that includes Jon Cryer (forever Ducky), James Spader, and a surprisingly tender Harry Dean Stanton. 10 THURS 8 p.m. | For the Love of Movies THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE (LES TRIPLETTES DE BELLEVILLE, Sylvain Chomet, France 2003, 80 min.) This magical, Oscar®-nominated animated tale unfolds through song and pantomime. Champion, an orphan raised by his grandmother, races in the Tour de France only to be abducted by the mafia. When Grandma and her dog, Bruno, embark on a journey to find him, they encounter the eponymous triplets as a jazz trio, and Granny joins in as pianist. 11 FRI 8 p.m. | Rochester Premiere | Gerald Peary in Person! FOR THE LOVE OF MOVIES: THE STORY OF AMERICAN FILM CRITICISM (Gerald Peary, US 2009, 81 min., Digital Projection) This briskly entertaining survey depicts nearly 100 years of American writing about cinema. Through interviews, film clips, and voiceover readings, For the Love of Movies takes us on a tour of such historical moments including the birth of film criticism, the establishment of opposing critical camps by Andrew Sarris and Pauline Kael, and the first television pairing of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert. The past and future of this specific medium are given thoughtful consideration by director and film critic Gerald Peary, who will introduce and answer questions in a post-screening discussion. 12 SAT 8 p.m. | Rochester Premiere BRONSON (Nicolas Winding Refn, UK 2009, 92 min.) In a star-making performance, Tom Hardy plays real-life thug Michael Peterson, who, convicted for armed robbery, dedicates himself to becoming England's most violent prisoner. Renaming himself Charles Bronson, our "hero" considers himself a performance artist whose devotion to his craft of viciously fighting prison guards turned a seven-year sentence into 35 years behind bars. Hardy's Bronson, who serves as narrator and ringmaster, is an electrifying character, and the visually powerful direction by Denmark's Refn (the Pusher trilogy) asks us to reconsider conventional notions of celebrity. 13 SUN 2 p.m. | A Series of "Toy Stories" SMALL SOLDIERS (Joe Dante, US 1998, 99 min.) A malfunctioning batch of war-mongering G.I. Joe-like action figures fight very real and dangerous battles with their equally intelligent mutant nemeses, the Gorgonites, in the backyards of a small suburban neighborhood. The live action cast of this witty action comedy and anti-war satire includes Kirsten Dunst, David Cross, and, in his final film, the late Phil Hartman. The toys' voices are provided by Tommy Lee Jones, Frank Langella, Christopher Guest, Bruce Dern, Ernest Borgnine, and many more. 13 SUN 7 p.m. | Rochester Premiere BRONSON See December 12. 15 TUES 8 p.m. | Minnelli Musicals | Members' Movie Night BELLS ARE RINGING (Vincente Minnelli, US 1960, 127 min.) Vincente Minnelli's last musical for MGM features comedienne Judy Holliday (in her final screen role) as a busybody telephone operator who takes on different personae with each caller, dispensing sage words of advice to her clientele. Dean Martin co-stars as Holliday's love interest and the songs include "The Party's Over." Members admitted free 16 WED 8 p.m. | John Hughes FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF (John Hughes, US 1986, 102 min.) When the "average and proud of it" Ferris (Matthew Broderick) decides to ditch school and drag his best pal and girlfriend along, all hell breaks loose in Chicago. Part tour of the Windy City's highlights, part hymn to the joys of chaos, John Hughes's fourth feature as writer-director was a huge hit with audiences eager to identify with the title character's ability to have his cake, eat it, then throw the rest in the faces of his overbearing elders. 17 THURS 8 p.m. | For the Love of Movies VOLVER (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain 2006, 121 min., Spanish/subtitles) In a role that earned her an Oscar® nomination (and comparisons to Sophia Loren), Penélope Cruz stars in Almodóvar's unpredictable film about the relationships between multiple generations of strong and eccentric women, some of whom are living, some dead, and others between life and death. 18 FRI 8 p.m. | Rochester Premiere TETRO (Francis Ford Coppola, US 2009, 127 min.) Young cruise ship worker Bennie (Alden Ehrenreich) docks in Argentina and seeks out his reclusive older brother, Tetro (Vincent Gallo), who's none too happy to see him or to discuss their regal father (Klaus Maria Brandauer), a lionized symphony conductor. For his latest feature, writer-director Coppola drew on memories of his parents, both classical musicians. Beautifully photographed among the old-world architecture of Buenos Aires, it has all the control and delicacy of a piano sonata. 19 SAT 8 p.m. | For the Love of Movies MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (Vincente Minnelli, US 1944, 113 min.) Judy Garland stars as Esther Smith, a daughter of a prominent St. Louis businessman around the time of the World's Fair in 1903. Her world is turned upside down when she falls in love with the boy next door and her father informs the family that they are moving to New York. A holiday classic and one of Minnelli's first musicals, it brought us some excellent tunes including "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "The Trolley Song." 20 SUN 2 p.m. | A Series of "Toy Stories" BABES IN TOYLAND (MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS, Gus Meins & Charley Rogers, US 1934, 77 min.) Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy star as Ollie Dee and Stanley Dum, two bumbling inhabitants of Toyland, in this unusual and memorable screen adaptation of Victor Herbert's operetta. Preceded by a miniaturized Stan and Ollie in BRATS (James Parrott, US 1930, 20 min.). 20 SUN 7 p.m. | Rochester Premiere TETRO See November 18. 22 TUES 8 p.m. | Minnelli Musicals AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (Vincente Minnelli, US 1951, 115 min.) Gerry (Gene Kelly) is an American expatriate painter in post WWII Paris. Struggling to find success in both art and love, his life changes when he meets and falls in love with Lise (Leslie Caron). This lavish musical won the Best Picture Oscar® in 1951 with its straightforward story, gorgeous dance sequences, and beautiful, frequently melancholic Gershwin score. 23 WED 8 p.m. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (Frank Capra, US 1946, 129 min., 35mm) Capra's masterpiece is not only the quintessential Christmas movie, but one of the greatest films ever made. The simple story of George Bailey (James Stewart), a man who dreams big but ultimately decides to stay in his hometown of Bedford Falls, seems more profound with each successive viewing. 27 SUN 7 p.m. | 40th Anniversary | New 35mm Restoration ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (C'ERA UNA VOLTA IL WEST, Sergio Leone, US/Italy 1968, 165 min.) Brilliantly cast against type, Henry Fonda is Frank, a cold-hearted, avaricious monster who shows no remorse while gunning down a family to access their land. While the surviving widow (Claudia Cardinale) defends the farm with an outlaw Cheyenne (Jason Robards), a mysterious drifter with a harmonica (Charles Bronson) joins the struggle to seek revenge on Frank. Topping their success with The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Leone and his composer Ennio Morricone reached new operatic heights in matching music with image. A newly restored 35mm print of the uncut original release version will be shown. This restoration was made possible with support by The Film Foundation and The Rome Film Festival, in association with Sergio Leone Productions and Paramount Pictures. Laugh in the New Year Week of Double Features (All screenings: two (or more) films for one admission price) 28 MON 2 p.m. TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN (Woody Allen, US 1969, 85 min.) & 3:30 p.m. ZELIG (Woody Allen, US 1983, 79 min.) 7 p.m. TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN & 8:30 p.m. ZELIG In the first of these two faux documentaries from Woody Allen, he plays Virgil Starkwell, criminal on the run from the law and wanted in six states for robbery, armed holdup, and illegal possession of a wart. Then, Woody plays Leonard Zelig, who transforms himself chameleon-like into anyone. 29 TUES 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. CITY LIGHTS (Charles Chaplin, US 1931, 86 min., 35mm) and 3:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. MODERN TIMES (Charles Chaplin, US 1936, 87 min.) In the first of these masterworks by Chaplin, his iconic Little Tramp falls in love with a blind flower girl, convinces her that he is a handsome millionaire, and provides her with the funds for a sight-restoring operation. Then, as a big city factory worker, the Little Tramp confronts the mechanized world. The perfectly crafted physical humor in both of these films has delighted audiences for decades. 30 WED 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. GHOSTBUSTERS (Ivan Reitman, US 1984, 105 min.) and 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. GREMLINS (Joe Dante, US 1984, 105 min.) Revisit the summer of 1984 with these two comedy-horror classics celebrating their 25th anniversary. First, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis star as a trio of university rejects driven to start a business that protects the world from any ghoulish threat. In Gremlins, a cute and fuzzy "Mogwai" spawns a legion of vicious, reptilian gnomes at Christmas time. Soon, a small town is besieged by hordes of gremlins, smoking cigars, wielding chainsaws, and offing innocent folk. 31 THURS | New Year's Eve Fun 2 p.m. A Night at the Stooge-eum (approx. 80 min.) & 3:30 p.m. A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (Sam Wood, US 1935, 92 min.) 7 p.m. A Night at the Stooge-eum & 8:30 p.m. A NIGHT AT THE OPERA Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk! The Three Stooges, Moe, Larry and Curly, star in a quartet of their zaniest short comedies: VIOLENT IS THE WORD FOR CURLY (1938), AN ACHE IN EVERY STAKE (1941), PUNCH DRUNKS (1934), and A PLUMBING WE WILL GO (1940). Then, in one of the finest Marx Brothers comedies, Groucho, Chico, and Harpo invade the world of opera. Ring in the New Year with these anarchic laughfests that proudly display an utter lack of respect for authority or social mores. Five films for one admission price.