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Janus Films: A 50th Anniversary Celebration

November 3, 2006 - December 16, 2006

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Beauty and the Beast, December 2

New 35mm Prints!

PFA proudly salutes the distribution company Janus Films on the occasion of its golden anniversary. Founded in 1956 by Bryant Haliday and Cyrus Harvey, owners of Cambridge's Brattle Theater and the 55th Street Playhouse in Manhattan, Janus began with a mandate to bring important contemporary art films to U.S. audiences. As the distributor of masterpieces such as Bergman's The Seventh Seal, Truffaut's Jules and Jim, and Olmi's Il posto, the company was essential to the watershed moment of art cinema in the United States in the late fifties and early sixties.

In 1965, Haliday and Harvey sold the company to William Becker and Saul Turrell, who decided to broaden the scope of the collection. Janus soon became known not only for contemporary art films, but also for classics such as Renoir's The Rules of the Game, Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast, and Dreyer's Day of Wrath, as well as a distinctive collection of The 400 Blows
Jean-Pierre Léaud plays François Truffaut's alter ego Antoine Doinel in the quintessential coming-of-age film, a lyrical but unsentimental portrait of adolescence and of Paris.

Friday, November 3, 2006
9:00 p.m. Jules and Jim
Truffaut's portrayal of an early-20th-century love triangle with Jeanne Moreau at its apex is "full of wit and radiance."—Pauline Kael. "I wish I'd made it."—Jean Renoir

Sunday, November 5, 2006
4:00 p.m. The Earrings of Madame de . . .
Max Ophuls's classic, ironic tragedy of love and a pair of earrings, with Danielle Darrieux, Charles Boyer, and Vittorio De Sica. "Perfection."—The New Yorker

Friday, November 10, 2006
7:00 p.m. Knife in the Water
When a middle-aged couple encounters a young drifter on a boating trip, undercurrents of sex and violence threaten to break the surface tension in Roman Polanski's debut feature.

Friday, November 10, 2006
9:00 p.m. Death of a Cyclist
Juan Antonio Bardem's scathing portrait of the privileged class heralded the rebirth of Spanish cinema in the postwar period.

Sunday, November 12, 2006
3:00 p.m. Day of Wrath
Carl Dreyer's drama of a 17th-century witch hunt is "one of the most completely moving films ever made."—Pauline Kael

Sunday, November 12, 2006
5:00 p.m. The Seventh Seal
A medieval knight challenges Death to a game of chess in Ingmar Bergman's iconic work of cinematic philosophy.

Sunday, November 19, 2006
3:00 p.m. Cléo from 5 to 7
In Agnès Varda's New Wave classic, two crucial hours in a young woman's life unfold as if in real time.

Friday, November 24, 2006
7:00 p.m. The Cranes Are Flying
Mikhail Kalatozov's stunningly visualized drama of young love and ambition destroyed by war is a key work of Soviet cinema in the post-Stalin era.

Friday, November 24, 2006
9:00 p.m. Monika
Ingmar Bergman naturalistically captures the sensuality and anguish of a youthful summer love affair in this acclaimed early work.

Sunday, November 26, 2006
3:00 p.m. Kwaidan
Masaki Kobayashi's atmospheric and visually captivating adaptation of four haunting stories by Lafcadio Hearn. "Each of the exquisitely crafted tales . . . is, in its own right, one of the great ghost stories brought to the screen. Together, they form an exemplar of the anthology horror film."—Village Voice

Friday, December 1, 2006
7:00 p.m. The Rules of the Game
Made just before the outbreak of WWII, Jean Renoir's masterpiece of ruthless grace uses a gathering in a country house as setting for a tragicomic study of polite society on the brink of collapse.

Saturday, December 2, 2006
5:00 p.m. Beauty and the Beast
Jean Cocteau's classic tale of love and transformation remains one of the cinema's most enchanting and sensuous excursions into the realm of poetic fantasy.

Friday, December 8, 2006
6:30 p.m. Il posto
Ermanno Olmi's humane, funny, and heartbreaking portrait of a young man embarking on his first job in Milan captures the alienation and regimentation of the working world.

Saturday, December 9, 2006
5:00 p.m. La strada
Fellini's muse Giulietta Masina modeled her timeless character Gelsomina after Chaplin's tramp. She stars with Anthony Quinn in this classic that "remains remarkably satisfying today."—N.Y. Times. "The cornerstone of Fellini's work."—Martin Scorsese

Saturday, December 16, 2006
8:15 p.m. The Organizer
Marcello Mastroianni plays an idealistic labor organizer in 19th-century Turin in Mario Monicelli's naturalistic and poignant film.

Our thanks to Sarah Finklea for her assistance with this retrospective.