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Cinema Across Media: The 1920s 

February 19, 2011 - February 25, 2011

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BAM/PFA is proud to partner with UC Berkeley’s Department of Film and Media to host an international conference on silent cinema, Cinema Across Media: The 1920s, to be held from February 24 to 26. At its core, the conference will examine cinema’s institutional consolidation in the twenties, when practitioners were enlisted from many other fields such as architecture, design, painting, music, and vaudeville, resulting in a transformation of established media. Avant-garde cinemas borrowed extensively from a variety of artistic practices, while the “cinematic” became the new standard for other Modernist aesthetics and popular culture. PFA welcomes film scholars Anne Nesbet, Gertrud Koch, and Paolo Cherchi Usai as well as the talented Judith Rosenberg on piano for these special presentations of films from the height of the silent era.

Saturday, February 19, 2011
6:00 p.m. The Complete Metropolis
Fritz Lang (Germany, 1926). Set in the year 2026, Lang’s futuristic super-production is an anxiety dream of urban dystopia expressed as science fiction. This version incorporates over twenty-five minutes of recently rediscovered footage, lost since the film’s 1929 premiere, putting into place subplots, characters, and events that had been mysteries for ages. (148 mins)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011
7:30 p.m. Rien que les heures
Alberto Cavalcanti (France, 1926). Introduced by Anne Nesbet. Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Bringing a sociological perspective and avant-garde techniques to documentary film, Calvacanti shuns monuments and boulevards to focus on the Paris of the working class. Screened with two short films intended to promote the new architecture of the 1920s, Architecture d’aujourd’hui (1930), featuring the villas of Le Corbusier, and Hans Richter’s Die Neue Wohnung (1930), commissioned by the Swiss Werkbund as “propaganda for the new dwelling.” (84 mins)

Thursday, February 24, 2011
7:00 p.m. L’Inhumaine
Introduced by Gertrud Koch. Judith Rosenberg on Piano. This rare French film, exploring love in the technological age, brings together many elements of 1920s Modernism: Fernand Léger’s Cubist sets, Alberto Cavalcanti’s Art Deco rooms, Claude Autant-Lara’s stylized gardens, Paul Poiret’s costumes, and ballet sequences choreographed by Rold de Maré. (132 mins)

Friday, February 25, 2011
7:00 p.m. Silent Comedies of the 1920s
Introduced by Paolo Cherchi Usai. Judith Rosenberg on Piano. This program features recently rediscovered and restored short comedies from the 1920s, including Pass the Gravy with Max Davidson and Should Men Walk Home? with Mabel Normand and Oliver Hardy, among others. (105 mins)

SERIES COORDINATED BY SUSAN OXTOBY.

For information about the conference, go to filmstudies.berkeley.edu/SilentConference/index.html

PFA WISHES TO THANK THE FOLLOWING INDIVIDUALS AND INSTITUTIONS FOR THEIR GENEROUS ASSISTANCE WITH THIS RETROSPECTIVE: MARLEEN LABIJT, EYE FILM INSTITUTE NETHERLANDS; JEAN-BAPTISTE GARNERO, CNC – ARCHIVES FRANÇAISES DU FILM; ANDRÉ SCHÄUBLIN, LA CINÉMATHÈQUE SUISSE; HANNA BRUHIN, SWISS FILMS; SUE JONES, BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE; ROB STONE, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS; DANIEL BISH, GEORGE EASTMAN HOUSE; KITTY CLEARY, MOMA; GARY PALMUCCI, KINO INTERNATIONAL; AS WELL AS THE ORGANIZERS OF THE CINEMA ACROSS MEDIA: THE 1920S CONFERENCE, MARK SANDBERG, TONY KAES, ALTHEA WASOW, NICHOLAS BAER, AND LAURA HORAK.
ARCHIVAL AND RESTORED PRINTS AND MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT FOR SILENT FILMS ARE PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM THE PACKARD HUMANITIES INSTITUTE.