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Film 50: History of Cinema: The Cinematic City

January 23, 2013 - May 1, 2013


A UC Berkeley course open to the public as space permits

Lectures/Marilyn Fabe
Marilyn Fabe is senior lecturer in film and media at UC Berkeley

Filmmakers have always loved how cinema can capture or create a sense of place. In this year’s Film 50, that place is the city. Each film we’ll study, beginning with some of the earliest films projected, prominently features an urban setting. These works present the city variously as a dynamic visual attraction, a celebration of modernity, a dystopian nightmare, a psychic projection, or a vehicle for social commentary. As we explore a range of cinematic cities, we’ll also explore the history and aesthetics of the film medium and ponder: what is it about the city that makes it such a rich subject for cinematic representation?

Special admission prices apply

General admission, $11.50; BAM/PFA members, $7.50; UC Berkeley students, $5.50; Seniors, disabled persons, UC Berkeley faculty and staff, non–UC Berkeley students, and youth 17 and under, $8.50.

Film 50 screenings are now sold out. A limited number of rush tickets may be available at the door.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
3:10 p.m. Berlin: Symphony of a Great City
Walther Ruttmann (Germany, 1927). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Judith Rosenberg on piano. A great “city symphony” of the silent era that celebrates the pulsating life of the streets. With A Trip Down Market Street (Miles Brothers, 1906). (82 mins)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
3:10 p.m. Berlin: Symphony of a Great City

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
3:10 p.m. Metropolis
Fritz Lang (Germany, 1926). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Judith Rosenberg on piano. Set in the year 2026, Lang’s futuristic super-production is an anxiety dream of urban dystopia expressed as science fiction. (124 mins)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
3:10 p.m. Baby Face
Alfred E. Green (U.S., 1933). Restored Print! Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Stanwyck sleeps her way to the top in this notorious pre-Code melodrama set in Manhattan. (76 mins)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
3:10 p.m. Sisters of the Gion
Kenji Mizoguchi (Japan, 1936). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. In this famous melodrama, Mizoguchi strips away the romantic veneer of the geisha business, both in the story and in a stark visual style that capitalizes on visual elements of the Gion district. “A masterpiece” (Tadao Sato). (68 mins)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
3:10 p.m. The Bicycle Thief
Vittorio De Sica (Italy, 1948). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. 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). (93 mins)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
3:10 p.m. The Third Man
Carol Reed (U.K., 1949). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Joseph Cotten pursues Welles through postwar Vienna in Graham Greene and Carol Reed’s cynical masterpiece. “Seeing it on the big screen is like watching it for the first time" (NY Times). (109 mins)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013
3:10 p.m. The 400 Blows
François Truffaut (France, 1959). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Truffaut’s quintessential coming-of-age film is a lyrical but unsentimental portrait of adolescence and of Paris, naturalistically captured by cinematographer Henri Decaë. (99 mins)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
3:10 p.m. Vertigo
Alfred Hitchcock (U.S., 1958). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Detective Jimmy Stewart combs the Bay Area looking for the secret behind Kim Novak’s beauty in Hitchcock’s sinister ode to voyeurism, death, and amorous fixation. “Perhaps the finest film starring San Francisco” (San Francisco Chronicle). (128 mins)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
3:10 p.m. The Battle of Algiers
Gillo Pontecorvo (Italy/Algeria, 1966). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. “Because of its perfect fusion of form and content, one of the most strikingly successful subversive films ever made (Amos Vogel).(123 mins)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013
3:10 p.m. Manhattan
Woody Allen (U.S., 1979). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Woody Allen’s visual love poem to the city of his heart. With Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand's Manhatta. (107 mins)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013
3:10 p.m. Manhattan

Wednesday, April 10, 2013
3:10 p.m. Do the Right Thing
Spike Lee (U.S., 1989). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Lee’s third feature, a lively, frequently hilarious but hard-hitting drama, charts mounting racial tensions on the hottest day of the year in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. “The funniest, most stylized, most visceral New York street scene this side of Scorseseland” (J. Hoberman, Village Voice). (120 mins)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
3:10 p.m. Touki Bouki
Djibril Diop-Mambéty (Senegal, 1973). Imported 35mm restored print! Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Two youths cruise the streets of Dakar on a motorbike, looking for adventure and scams, in this African Easy Rider, awash with the raw energy of urban Senegal and global psychedelic youth culture. “Surreal, richly sumptuous, quite extraordinary” (Telegraph UK). (88 mins)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
3:10 p.m. The Truman Show
Peter Weir (U.S., 1998). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Jim Carrey stars as Truman Burbank, living a life completely planned (by the Hollywood producer of a reality show starring the unwitting Truman) in a completely planned community based on Seaside, Florida. (103 mins)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
3:10 p.m. Manufactured Landscapes
Jennifer Baichwal (Canada, 2006). Lecture by Marilyn Fabe. A pictorially ravishing tour of China's devastated industrial landscapes with photographer Edward Burtynsky. (90 mins)