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Cinema According to Víctor Erice

June 25, 2015 - August 2, 2015

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Acclaimed Spanish director Víctor Erice, a committed cineaste, critic, scholar, and theorist, has selected some of the films that have most inspired his journey in cinema, and in life, to accompany the screenings of his own work. He notes, “In this case, I have made a selection where there is not one film by a living film director. I have done this with intention. Which does not mean that I admire only the film directors of the past . . . All these films matter a great deal to me, without a doubt.” As they are films beloved to our audiences, as well, we are pleased to present them as the closing film series in our current theater.

Thursday, June 25, 2015
7:30 p.m. Sansho the Bailiff
Kenji Mizoguchi (Japan, 1954). BAM/PFA Collection Print! Bring all your senses and your handkerchief to this haunting tale of a family (led by Kinuyo Tanaka) victimized by the cruel practices of feudal Japan, “developed with intuition, cunning, and an overarching sense of tragedy” (SF Weekly). (126 mins)

Saturday, June 27, 2015
8:20 p.m. Au hasard Balthazar
Robert Bresson (France, 1966). Bresson found the perfect protagonist for this film in a donkey, "born, like all beings, to suffer and die needlessly and mysteriously. . . . A morbidly beautiful flower of cinematic art" (Andrew Sarris). (95 mins)

Sunday, June 28, 2015
7:30 p.m. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
John Ford (US, 1962). James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles, and Lee Marvin star in John Ford’s legendary Western, “one of the enduring masterpieces of that cinema which has chosen to focus on the mystical processes of time” (Andrew Sarris). (122 mins)

Friday, July 10, 2015
7:00 p.m. Nazarin
Luis Buñuel (Mexico, 1958). Archival Print! Gabriel Figueroa’s cinematography lends stark beauty to an unforgiving landscape in this Buñuel classic about a priest whose charity is his undoing. (91 mins)

Sunday, July 12, 2015
6:15 p.m. Earth
Alexander Dovzhenko (USSR, 1930). BAM/PFA Collection Print! Judith Rosenberg on piano. Dovzhenko's great film poem to the Ukraine he loved. "Dovzhenko seldom recaptured the pantheistic phosphorescence of this hymn both to nature and to the glittering new tractors and ploughs destined to transform it” (NFT, London). (81 mins)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
7:30 p.m. The River
Jean Renoir (France, 1950). IB Technicolor Print! Based on a novel by the author of Black Narcissus, Renoir’s wise, warm Technicolor masterpiece follows several young girls coming of age on the River Ganges. “The artist, medium, and location combine, as though effortlessly, to produce an experience of surpassing loveliness” (NY Times). (99 mins)

Friday, July 17, 2015
8:45 p.m. They Live By Night
Nicholas Ray (US, 1949). Ray's lyrical, passionate debut following a pair of fugitive innocents influenced films from Pierrot le Fou to Bonnie and Clyde. (95 mins)

Friday, July 31, 2015
9:30 p.m. Zero for Conduct
Jean Vigo (France, 1933) Free screening! Enfant terrible Jean Vigo's lyric, anarchic account of rebellion in a boarding school is poetry, wild in hatred and tender in remembrance. (41 mins)

Saturday, August 1, 2015
4:00 p.m. City Lights
Charlie Chaplin (US, 1931). “Chaplin’s most masterful blend of pathos and comedy . . . You can’t leave the planet without seeing this movie at least once” (SF Chronicle). (87 mins)

Saturday, August 1, 2015
8:45 p.m. Bicycle Thief
Vittorio de Sica (Italy, 1948). De Sica’s masterpiece of a father and son searching the streets of Rome for their stolen bicycle is considered one of the greatest films ever made. “An allegory at once timeless and topical” (Village Voice). Come early for a reception with live music and refreshments to celebrate our closing weekend at the PFA Theater. (93 mins)

Sunday, August 2, 2015
3:30 p.m. The Kid
Charles Chaplin (US, 1921). The film that established Chaplin's signature fusion of slapstick and pathos, and the first to costar Jackie Coogan. Followed by a family-friendly demonstration-workshop in the art of pantomime with Charlie Chaplin impersonator Damian Blake. (54 mins)

Sunday, August 2, 2015
8:15 p.m. Tokyo Story
Yasuziro Ozu (Japan, 1953). This simple, sad story of the gap between generations in a Japanese family revealed to Western viewers the poetic acuteness of Ozu's style, and features one of Japanese cinema’s greatest performances in Setsuko Hara’s role as a becalmed, utterly determined young woman. "Wonderful . . . one of the manifest miracles of cinema" (New Yorker). (140 mins)

Based on Víctor Erice: Carte Blanche, which screened at Cinematheque Ontario in summer 2007. Erice quotes are drawn from their program guide.