<< March 2020 >>

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Film: 8 1/2

Film - Feature | March 1 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

After the screening on February 15, enjoy a Film to Table dinner at Babette, the cafe at BAMPFA. Join an intimate group of fellow filmgoers for a four-course, prix-fixe meal in a convivial, dinner-party atmosphere. Purchase dinner tickets in advance at babettecafe.com (film tickets must be purchased separately).

A traffic-jam nightmare, a literal flight of fancy, nuns and whores and more: 8...   More >

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Film: A Fellini Omnibus

Film - Short | March 4 | 3:10 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

The three works in tonight’s program were originally released as parts of omnibus films. In The Marriage Agency, Fellini’s contribution to the neorealist anthology Love in the City, a reporter comes into the agency pretending that he is looking for a wife for his friend who has delusions of being a werewolf. To his surprise, they have just the woman for him. The Temptations of Doctor Antonio,...   More >

Film: Chez Jolie Coiffure

Film - Feature | March 4 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Hair can be many things to many people, but in Rosine Mbakam’s elegant, warmhearted documentary it makes up the strands that tie the West African customers and staff of one small Brussels hair salon to one another and to their homeland. The store’s and the film’s heart is salon owner Sabine, a Cameroonian immigrant, surrogate mother and sister, community protector, lioness and confidant, weaving...   More >

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Film: The Godfather

Film - Feature | March 5 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

“If ever there was a great example of how the best popular movies come out of a merger of commerce and art, The Godfather is it,” wrote critic Pauline Kael during the release of Coppola’s gangster epic, now recognized as one of the pinnacles of Hollywood cinema. As ingrained in American culture as the moon landing, with Brando, Pacino, and the Corleone family probably more recognizable than many...   More >

Friday, March 6, 2020

Film: In Search of Voodoo: Roots to Heaven

Film - Documentary | March 6 | 4 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Described by Variety as “vivid and heartfelt,” In Search of Voodoo: Roots to Heaven seeks to illuminate the practice of faith that is prevalent in West Africa, specifically Benin, known as “the cradle of Voodoo.” The documentary weaves together personal, cultural, and spiritual journeys—capturing the vibrant tales of Voodoo, West Africa, and Benin’s favorite son, actor Djimon Hounsou. Following...   More >

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Film: The Rain People

Film - Feature | March 8 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

A disaffected Long Island housewife ditches her man, hits the road, and never stops heading west in Coppola’s striking early work, described as a female Easy Rider yet overflowing with flashbacks and a loose energy that recalls the French New Wave. Like his heroine, Coppola abandoned both the ease and the restrictions of an enclosed realm—in his case, the studio system—and lit out for freedom;...   More >

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Film: Spell Reel

Film - Documentary | March 11 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Portuguese artist Filipa César’s Spell Reel is “the result of a multifaceted research and digitization project that she initiated in 2011 with Sana na N’Hada and Flora Gomes. Having studied film in Cuba, the two began using the camera to observe the fight for independence [from Portugal] in Guinea-Bissau (1963–74). After the decaying visual and audio material was digitized in Berlin, the...   More >

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Film: Brightness

Film - Feature | March 12 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

A young warrior/seer must overcome an all-powerful enemy—his own father—in order to gain the knowledge of the ancients in this visionary reimagining of the creation myths and oral tales of Western Africa’s Mandé empires. Set in the thirteenth century, it’s as recognizably modern as any George Lucas epic—and arguably more visually inventive. The extraordinary visuals have been called “a timeless...   More >

Friday, March 13, 2020

Film: Coup 53

Film - Feature | March 13 | 4 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Nine years in the making, Iranian director Taghi Amirani’s feature film debut is a fascinating investigation into the 1953 Anglo-American coup d’état in Iran that displaced democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as shah, turning Iran into a despotic monarchy. Tracing the coup from the events leading up to it through its aftermath, Amirani and...   More >

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Film: Bedlam

Film - Documentary | March 14 | 2 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Bedlam takes us inside psychiatric emergency rooms, jails, homes, and homeless encampments in its wrenching portrayal of America’s crisis surrounding the care of severely mentally ill citizens. Filmed over five years in Los Angeles, the documentary tracks individual stories of patients caught on an endless spiral of ineffective care, exposing the anatomy of a broken healthcare system. Bedlam...   More >

Film: Baara

Film - Feature | March 14 | 5 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

The unlikely friendship between a young worker from the countryside and a progressive factory engineer leads to the triggering of political and class fault lines in Cissé’s searing 1978 drama. Set in Mali’s capital, Bamako, Baara (Work) vividly dissects not only how its people work, but how they profit or (more often) lose when pitted against one another—bosses against unions, women against men,...   More >

Film: Dementia 13

Film - Feature | March 14 | 8:15 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

This atmospheric tale of terror, Coppola’s second venture, was considered so shocking that a test was devised to determine the viewer’s fitness for watching it. The “D-13 Test” (screened before the feature) plumbs one’s predisposition for traumatic breakdown. “IF YOU FAIL THE TEST . . . you will be asked to leave the theatre!” Dementia 13, for its part, is no ordinary shockfest. The first...   More >

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Film: The Wind

Film - Feature | March 15 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

College kids Bah and Batrou seem to have inherited the earth, or at least Mali’s part of it: he’s the descendant of an African chieftain, and she’s the daughter of a military governor. But they’re coming of age during a dictatorship, and as their political activism grows they soon start to realize who really holds the power. Joining the pot-smoking hippies and uptight generals of Hollywood...   More >

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Film: 8 1/2

Film - Feature | March 18 | 3:10 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

After the screening on February 15, enjoy a Film to Table dinner at Babette, the cafe at BAMPFA. Join an intimate group of fellow filmgoers for a four-course, prix-fixe meal in a convivial, dinner-party atmosphere. Purchase dinner tickets in advance at babettecafe.com (film tickets must be purchased separately).

A traffic-jam nightmare, a literal flight of fancy, nuns and whores and more: 8...   More >

Film: Salesman

Film - Feature | March 18 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

A fascinating and controversial investigation of American materialism by Albert and David Maysles, two of the most brilliant practitioners of direct cinema and the first to coin the term [with editing by co-creator Charlotte Zwerin]. Salesman follows the successes and failures of four Boston-based sales representatives of the Mid-American Bible company. Their product is a gilt-edged DuPont...   More >

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Cine Latino: Canción sin nombre (Song Without a Name)

Film - Feature | March 19 | 160 Kroeber Hall

 Center for Latin American Studies

Georgina (Pamela Mendoza) is a young Quechua woman whose newborn daughter is stolen at a fake health clinic. Her desperate search for the child leads her to the headquarters of a major newspaper, where she meets Pedro Campos, a lonely journalist who takes on the investigation. 97 minutes. Spanish and Quechua with English subtitles.

“… short but stately, “Song Without a Name” dreams and...   More >

Film: Johanna d’Arc of Mongolia

Film - Feature | March 19 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

“A rare and remarkable film. . . . Sumptuously stylized yet ardently observational” (Richard Brody, New Yorker). A central work in Ulrike Ottinger’s career, Johanna d’Arc of Mongolia is an epic adventure tracing a fantastic encounter between two different worlds. Seven Western women travelers meet aboard the sumptuous, meticulously reconstructed Trans-Siberian Express, a rolling museum of...   More >

Friday, March 20, 2020

Film: The Hybrid Films of Pia Borg

Film - Short | March 20 | 5 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Pia Borg is a Maltese/Australian filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Her films and installations interrogate questions of form and challenge cinematic registers, exploring the pull between the real and the mediated, between nonfiction and the constructed genres of science fiction and horror. Through archival footage, CGI animations, and performed reenactments, Borg’s films chronicle historical,...   More >

Film: The Conversation

Film - Feature | March 20 | 7:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

The Conversation is that rarity among Hollywood films: a formalist narrative. Not since Hitchcock had anyone contrived an American film with such intricate color patterns, subtly linked props and decor, intertwined musical motifs, and dialogue bristling with cross-references. But above all, The Conversation is a love story, the story of a professional eavesdropper who becomes vicariously involved...   More >

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Film: Laocoon and Sons: The Story of the Transformation of Esmeralda del Rio

Film - Feature | March 21 | 2:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Ottinger’s debut film already contains many of the elements that would appear in her later works: an extraordinary woman, an unusual country, and a chain of magic transformations that give rise to eccentric characterizations by an ensemble cast, here featuring Tabea Blumenschein in multiple roles. Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, Ottinger’s allegorical work explores themes of death,...   More >

Films: The Animation of Caroline Leaf

Film - Short | March 21 | 5 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

After developing groundbreaking techniques in several early works, Canadian-American filmmaker Caroline Leaf found a home at the National Film Board of Canada, where she produced numerous films, including the Academy Award–nominated The Street. Her intimate films focus on familiar spaces that we share as families and communities, with simply observed stories that are true to life. Her tactile...   More >

Film: Amarcord

Film - Feature | March 21 | 7:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

In Amarcord Fellini calls on the free-spirited fantasies of his later films, as well as the bittersweet comedy and intimate sense of detail of the early ones, to evoke a year in the life of this the small Italian coastal town of Rimini in the mid-1930s. Amarcord is filled with phantasmagorical gems from the director’s imagination. But the film is also rooted in history, filtered through memory:...   More >

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Chamisso’s Shadow: A Journey to the Bering Sea in Three Chapters. Chapter 1: Alaska and the Aleutian Islands

Film - Documentary | March 22 | 12 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

In 2014, Ulrike Ottinger journeyed to the distant regions of the Bering Sea—to Alaska, then Chukotka and Wrangel Island, and on to Kamchatka and Bering Island—following along the paths of historic expeditions and explorers, such as the naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller and Vitus Bering; later, Captain James Cook; and, still later, the poet and botanist Adelbert von Chamisso, who traveled with Otto...   More >

Despacito: A Quick Survey of Latin American Animation

Film - Animated | March 22 | 5 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

The history of Latin American animation is the history of a fractured continent trying to figure itself out. Unlike the way animation developed in the US, which seemed to revolve around technological advancements, intellectual property, and patents, animation in Latin American countries was a tool to express the needs of oppressed artists who lived in ever-shifting political landscapes—a need...   More >

Film: Fellini Satyricon

Film - Feature | March 22 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Inspired by the novel by Petronius, Emperor Nero’s official “arbiter of elegance,” Fellini Satyricon is a tour through the spectacle of Rome during Nero’s reign. The loose plot follows Encolpius in search of his male lover, Giton, through an empire of feast, festival, orgy, and death. “The events emerge directly from the well of pre-incarnate memory,” Nathaniel Dorsky wrote. “We see a real world....   More >

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Film: The Clowns

Film - Feature | March 25 | 3:10 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

“The Clowns extends the last sequence of 8 1/2, where all the significant people in the filmmaker’s life are led by clowns and the young ringmaster around a circus ring. It presents itself as a documentary, purporting to give a true account of the culture of clowns in Italy and France in the 1920s and ’30s. But it is also an autobiographical exercise. Felliniesque documentary is a distinct genre,...   More >

Film: Every Man for Himself

Film - Feature | March 25 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

A shared friendship with former PFA director Tom Luddy brought Jean-Luc Godard and Francis Ford Coppola together (originally for a Bugsy Siegel concept), and led to Zoetrope both helping finance Every Man for Himself and affixing “Francis Ford Coppola Presents” to the titles for its US release. Isabelle Huppert plays a country girl turned prostitute in this lyrical comedy about the selling of the...   More >

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Film: The Witness

Film - Feature | March 26 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

The bumbling protagonist of The Witness stumbles through a series of assignments at which he invariably fails, climaxing in the cultivation of the comically misnamed “Hungarian orange.” Yet at his court trial, he shows defiance against a regime defined by favoritism and betrayal. The film’s acerbic humor and principled criticism of the socialist system made it renowned in the Soviet bloc. The New...   More >

Friday, March 27, 2020

Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint

Film - Documentary | March 27 | 4:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Swedish painter Hilma af Klint (1862–1944) created a remarkable body of artwork that only gained international recognition following the Guggenheim Museum’s exhibition in 2018–19. Beyond the Visible tells the story of this artist who began making radically abstract paintings in 1906—before Kandinsky, Malevich, Mondrian, and Klee—and yet has never been part of the official history of abstraction....   More >

Film: Fellini’s Casanova

Film - Feature | March 27 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Donald Sutherland plays Casanova in a film that scholar Albert Johnson called “Fellini’s most extravagant and courageous dream.” Johnson wrote, “Fellini’s version of the life of Casanova is similar to an effulgent carnival. The film is permeated with a grandiose style, so brilliant in visual effects that the sexuality of the hero becomes more comic than concupiscent. Although Fellini had read...   More >

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Film:Chamisso’s Shadow: A Journey to the Bering Sea in Three Chapters. Chapter 2, Part 1: Chukotka

Film - Documentary | March 28 | 1 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

The second stage of Ulrike Ottinger’s voyage to the far north takes her to Chukotka, where Asia faces America across the narrow Bering Strait. Here, the indigenous cultures have much in common with those of Alaska, but with a different colonial overlay: in a port where Vitus Bering stopped on his expedition to discover the farthest reaches of Peter the Great’s empire, a statue of Lenin still...   More >

Film: March, March! Tra-Ta-Ta!

Film - Feature | March 28 | 5 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

A Baltic Duck Soup about the dispute between the nations of Centia and Grosha over a desert borderland, this ambitious, playful film makes colorful fun of fascists and imperialists, patriotism and dogmatism, United Nations debates and Eastern European squabbles, in a burst of creative satire made the same year as Dr. Strangelove. The movie—a pan-Soviet production conceived in Lithuania, one of...   More >

Film: One from the Heart

Film - Feature | March 28 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

With lavishly surreal sets and a giddily romantic mood, One from the Heart is Coppola’s candy-colored valentine to a cinema of pure attractions, his alternative to the arduous on-location production method and brooding themes of Apocalypse Now. Finding Las Vegas not quite neon or fake enough, Coppola recreated it on a ten-acre lot and multiple soundstages and set Frederic Forrest, Teri Garr, Raul...   More >

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Film: Chamisso’s Shadow: A Journey to the Bering Sea in Three Chapters. Chapter 2, Part 2: Chukotka and Wrangel Island

Film - Documentary | March 29 | 1 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Continuing her exploration of Chukotka and points north, Ottinger documents varied facets of the region’s natural, cultural, and political history. She ventures to the interior to visit the camps of reindeer herders (who dwell in yaranga tents resembling the Mongolian yurts of the filmmaker’s earlier documentary epic, Taiga) and watches locals in a seaside town perform traditional dances against...   More >