Free on-campus screenings for this, our beloved weekend of 12/4-5

Quite a weekend for those of you who don’t neglect the robust film scene here at UW.

Tonight at the Cinematheque: the final film in the ‘theque’s Vincente Minnelli retrospective, Home From the Hill (1960), starring none other than Hollywood’s original Hercules, Robert Mitchum. The Minnelli series has really been one home run after another, so I’m inclined to believe that Home From the Hill will be every bit as engaging and borderline psychedelic as the rest of V.M.’s Technicolor melodramas. I haven’t personally seen this one, but here’s Jonathan Rosenbaum’s capsule review (courtesy of his website):

One of Vincente Minnelli’s best ‘Scope and color melodramas (1960), adapted by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank from William Humphrey’s novel. Set in a small town in Texas, the plot centers on a troubled family: a promiscuous patriarch (Robert Mitchum) and his frigid wife (Eleanor Parker) compete for the loyalty of their son (George Hamilton), who discovers that he has an illegitimate half brother (George Peppard). With Luana Patten, Everett Sloane, and Constance Ford. 150 min.

The screening begins, as always, at 7:30PM.

Saturday night at the Cinematheque: a trio of documentary shorts by Alain Resnais entitled Art/History. The triptych will consist of Guernica (1950), Les statues meurent aussi (1953) and the paradigm-shifting Nuit et brouillard (1955). More information on the Cinematheque’s series of six films (directed) by Resnais can be found here. In my mind, this is the main event of the Cinematheque’s Fall schedule; seeing Nuit et brouillard at least once in one’s life is something of a moral imperative. Resnais may be known primarily for his excursions into the territories of high modernism (such as Hiroshima mon amour, Muriel and L’année dernière à Marienbad [which the ‘theque is screening next week]) and high theatricality (Mélo, Privates Fears in Public Places), but these documentaries constitute an essential chapter in the oeuvre of one of cinema’s all-time innovators. Your attendance at this screening (which begins, believe it or not, at 7:30PM) is mandatory, as far as I’m concerned.

And now for something totally different: South African sci-fi flick District 9 (2009) is screening at the Play Circle Theater in Memorial Union on both Friday and Saturday nights at 7:00PM and 9:30PM. Didn’t get a chance to see this one myself but the buzz was surprisingly ecstatic, so you could definitely do worse than to swing by.

As impressive as this roster may seem, I’m undoubtedly omitting a screening or two. Looks to me as though you’ve got a lot to consider, Madison.

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