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Brought to Light: Recent Acquisitions to the PFA Collection

May 29, 2010 - June 23, 2010

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Le bonheur, June 10

While the Pacific Film Archive is well known for the hundreds of screenings we present each year, the organization has a less visible but equally vital side: the film and video archive that puts the “A” in PFA. The works we show at the PFA Theater are drawn from distributors, studios, archives, artists, and private collectors the world over; on average, less than ten percent of the films we present are from our own collection. But the role of the PFA collection has been central to our institution’s mandate since its inception, in 1971. Each year, our archivists, catalogers, and technicians oversee many acquisitions and attend to preservation projects in an effort to protect the unique works in our care.

This year represents an exciting moment in the history of the PFA collection. After many months of planning and preparation, the archive’s collection of nearly ten thousand films and over five thousand videos has been relocated to a new storage facility with improved climate control conditions. To honor this important milestone, we plan to showcase works from the collection in several programs in the coming year. For starters, we present this sampling of recent acquisitions, which demonstrates the breadth of our holdings, from international classics to contemporary documentaries, anime, and even action films. We invite you to come out and enjoy some of the films we are proud to hold in the collection of the Pacific Film Archive.

Susan Oxtoby
Senior Film Curator

Saturday, May 29, 2010
8:50 p.m. The Valiant Ones
King Hu (Hong Kong, 1975). A righteous husband-and-wife swordfighting duo is called to protect China from the machinations of Japanese pirates and corrupt officials in Hu’s masterly work, presented in a new print. (92 mins)

Sunday, May 30, 2010
5:00 p.m. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Hayao Miyazaki (Japan, 1984). A new print of an animated classic, with all the hallmarks of Miyazaki: a resourceful heroine, spectacular aerial scenes, and strong environmental themes. (116 mins)

Sunday, May 30, 2010
7:15 p.m. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Alex Gibney (U.S., 2005). This Oscar-nominated film chronicles the rise and spectacular fall of a corporate giant, and the government policies that made disaster possible. “A chilling, completely fascinating documentary that reveals the face of unregulated greed.”—L.A. Times (113 mins)

Thursday, June 3, 2010
7:00 p.m. Aventurera
Alberto Gout (Mexico, 1949). Cuban-born rumba queen Ninón Sevilla stars in an irresistible fusion of pulsating musical and noirish melodrama. “Breathlessly paced and acted with nostrils in full flare, Aventurera is as entertaining as it is shamelessly excessive.”—N.Y. Times (99 mins)

Saturday, June 5, 2010
8:00 p.m. Lola Montez
Max Ophuls (France/Germany, 1955). In Max Ophuls’s audacious final film, a life of passion becomes the stuff of carnival. “The ultimate cinephilic object: a color-and-CinemaScope dream.”—Boston Phoenix (116 mins)

Sunday, June 6, 2010
5:00 p.m. La Pointe Courte
Agnès Varda (France, 1954). Made on a shoestring budget in a small fishing village, Varda’s first feature helped usher in the French New Wave. (90 mins)

Thursday, June 10, 2010
7:00 p.m. Le bonheur
Agnès Varda (France, 1965). Varda’s strikingly colorful, lyrical film examines a love triangle within a circular structure. (85 mins)

Saturday, June 12, 2010
5:00 p.m. The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
Judy Irving (U.S., 2005). Judy Irving and Mark Bittner in person. Irving’s very San Franciscan story of a once-homeless man and the birds he befriended “seduces you with its easy rhythm and unexpected dramatic potency . . . beguiling, moving, and just plain fun.”—Baltimore Sun (83 mins)

Friday, June 18, 2010
9:15 p.m. The Host
Bong Joon-ho (South Korea, 2006). “A horror thriller, a political satire, a dysfunctional family comedy, and a touching melodrama, The Host is also one helluva monster movie.”—Chicago Sun-Times (119 mins)

Saturday, June 19, 2010
9:15 p.m. Payday
Daryl Duke (U.S., 1972). Rip Torn gives the performance of a lifetime as a country singer on tour through the South, and on the road to ruin. (102 mins)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
7:00 p.m. Forest of Bliss
Robert Gardner (U.S., 1985). Co-presented by 3rd i Films. Ethnographic filmmaker Gardner offers a mesmerizingly beautiful portrayal of Benares, India, where daily life is permeated by the rituals of death. (90 mins)