Posted tagged ‘film society of lincoln center’

The Bard Goes Global at the Walter Reade Theater with a Summer of Shakespeare

July 13, 2009

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Dig out that Complete Works of William Shakespeare anthology you have buried in your bookshelf and brush up on your “Romeo and Juliet,” because from July 15-26 the Walter Reade Theater will be playing eighteen film adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays — ranging from the tragedies (“Macbeth,” “King Lear”) to the comedies (“A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The Merchant of Venice”), histories (“King Richard III,” “Henry V”), and beyond — as part of the Bard Goes Global series.

While the excellent and expected such as Laurence Olivier and Franco Zeffirelli make appearances, the series offers a wide-ranging international palette through which to re-experience once familiar works, including films from India (Maqbool), New Zealand (The Maori Merchant of Venice), Russia (King Lear), Finland (Hamlet Goes Business), and Japan (The Throne of Blood). At the same time, a sampling of British and American directors make their presence in the series with a handful of English-language classic and revisionist works: Charlton Heston’s Antony and Cleopatra; Al Pacino’s Looking for Richard; Orson Welles’s Macbeth; Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet – and others. The varying cultural lenses allow new light to be shed onto Shakespeare’s plays, keeping the canonical works fresh and relevant.

Questions of how to transcend the stage-oriented material to suit the filmic world or when to show an image in place of one of Shakespeare’s perfectly-crafted lines are at the center of these films, exploring the boundaries set between great literature and great cinema in the attempt at arriving at a symbiotic whole. Moreover, specific issues relating to Shakespeare’s language and history present unique challenges which these international directors tackle in order to adapt the deeply-rooted Englishness of the Bard’s works without sacrificing their own national identity and history: consider Akira Kurosawa’s samurai interpretation of “Macbeth” in Throne of Blood or Don Selwyn’s Maori twist on “The Merchant of Venice” in The Maori Merchant of Venice. Without a doubt, the Bard is alive and well.

The summer Shakespeare slot starts this Wednesday, June 15th when the series kicks off with Laurence Olivier’s ageless Henry V.

-Kazu Watanabe

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4 ultra-simple ways to stay in touch with great programming and events at the Film Society

April 10, 2009

Though it’s possible that a film-lover could camp out at the Walter Reade Theater, subsisting on popcorn and delicious baked goods, so as not to miss a thing amidst our nearly 365 days of movie programming, we’re sure your loved ones would advise against it. Plus, you live a busy life and may not always be able to check our website or puruse one of our calendars, but want to stay in touch and not miss out on anything we show that interests you.

The good news is that you are in the driver’s seat. You can customize the amount of information you receive from us–and stay on top of some of the most exciting movies on the planet. Here’s how:

Subscribe to ReelNews: We like to think of this as the Cadillac of options in terms of staying aware of what’s going on at the Film Society. If you subscribe to Reelnews, you can be assured that a shiny new newsletter will appear in your inbox every Wednesday packed with programming information, interesting bits of Film Society news, and special offers (we really love our ReelNews subscribers!). We will of course never share your information–your privacy is important to us–and strive to bring you news you can use.

Bookmark our blog: This blog can be a handy conduit to what’s on at the Walter Reade, plus we bring you extras like filmmaker interviews and the occasional shark attack. Put us in your RSS reader for even more handy access (https://filmlinc.wordpress.com/feed/)

Follow us on Twitter: We love our Twitter followers, too. They are a unique and pithy breed. In recent months, we’ve run a free t-shirt contest and the “How do you live in public?” promotion specifically for the Twitterati. Posts to the filmlinc blog are reposted on Twitter, so it’s an easy way to stay on top of what happening here at the Film Society.

Become our Fan on Facebook: Ah, Facebook…it’s another great place to pick up interesting tidbits about Film Society programming and events. As a Fan, you’ll receive regular updates, have the chance to RSVP to our events, and much more. Whether you are a new fan or an old one, be sure to go to Facebook and scroll down to the end of your newsfeed, and click on “edit options.” You will need to opt-into status updates from us under “public profiles.” We promise it will be worth it!

So do you want to hear from us a lot or a little? You make the call. Just don’t ask us to remind you about your dentist appointment. We have to draw the line somewhere.

ND/NF: How do YOU live in public? Tell us and win tickets to Closing Night and party!

April 1, 2009

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“It’s amazing how much of our lives we share online. YouTube, Twitter, MySpace updated from your iPhone to represent your iLife as you send regular status-updates/tweets/voice-or-video recordings of your current physical/emotional/technological situation–it almost makes blogging seem hopelessly archaic. But it’s this obsession with our rapid technological melding that informs We Live in Public, a documentary by Ondi Timoner,” writes Nick Feitel in his review of New Directors/New Films Closing Night selection.

It’s as true for people as it is for institutions. Both the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center “live in public” by having active presences on Facebook, Twitter (@museummodernart and @filmlinc), YouTube, and Flickr. Further, MoMA lives in public by creating a community-focused website that allows visitors to create their own collections. The Film Society lives in public  by inviting a talented group of New Voices to take over our blog.

But we want to know how you live in public on popular social networking sites. Do you use LinkedIn to find new jobs? Twitter to make new friends? Facebook to share the most intimate details of your life?

Tell us and win a pair of tickets to see the highly anticipated New Directors/New Films Closing Night film, We Live in Public, plus passes to the exclusive afterparty!

To play, use Twitter to Tweet your answer (“I live in public by…”) to @filmlinc. Please include the hashtag #ndnf. See example below:

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Winner will be chosen at random at 5PM EST, Friday, April 3rd. Winner must be able to attend the Closing Night screening and afterparty on Sunday evening, April 5th at the Museum of Modern Art.

Comments are closed. Please participate using Twitter.

Moving Pictures: Exploring the art of the movie poster, then and now

March 20, 2009

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While checking out a flick at MoMA recently, I came across the most extraordinary exhibit of movie posters painted for the grand Eastman Theater by Batiste Madalena during the late period of silent cinema, from 1924-1928. Imagine traveling back to a time before Photoshop and digital cameras, when movie posters were actually hand-made. The eye-popping colors and attention to detail within this exhibit are truly amazing to behold, but one thing it makes you realize is that great design is timeless.
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To test that theory, I roped in the Film Society’s own graphic designer Karen Weeks to travel back to the Museum to check out the show and talk about the art of the movie poster.

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Here’s Karen. She’s the Batiste Madelena of the Upper West Side. She designs all the lovely movie posters you see outside at Lincoln Center, like the one above for Rendez-Vous with French Cinema.

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As soon as we got to the exhibit, Karen began to school me on the challenges of designing movie posters. Her job is to create a compelling visual representation of a film, and just like Madelena, she often works from limited press materials. Remember our Oscar Micheaux series? That time, there were barely any surviving images from the work of the black cinema pioneer, so Karen was forced to come up with some creative solutions.

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Looking at the following vintage movie poster, Karen wondered if Madalena was confronted with a similar dearth of usable visuals and had to improvise.IMG_3079Another cool thing that Karen noticed was this layout of Greta Garbo. Look closely at the way Garbo’s scarf interacts with the title line. Very photoshoppy isn’t it?

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And now check out Karen’s own scarf magic for The Film Society: israel_wrtc692

“One thing that’s key to designing a great movie poster is finding an arresting pair of eyes,” Karen told me, and a perfect illustration is this poster from The Sea Hawk.

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And check out William Holden’s peepers. Squinty, but powerful:

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Batiste Madalena: Handpainted Movie Posters for the Eastman Theater is a must-see exhibit for movie and design-lovers both. But hurry, it closes soon–April 6.

Naturally, it’s yet another reason we think you should go to New Directors/New Films this year. Take in great films, new directors…and the timeless art of movie poster design at MoMA all at once. We’ll see you at the theater!

Moving Pictures is the filmlinc blog’s extremely erratic series that looks at film as art in unusual manifestations outside of the walls of our institution. Check out past features on Bill Brand’s subway installation Masstransisscope, Brooklyn Academy of Music’s production of Continuous Cities, and artist Scott Draves’s online project, Electric Sheep in the archives.

A cinematic horn of plenty: this Monday’s Green Screens

October 31, 2008

Enlightenment, great flicks and organic produce? How often can you get all three in one place?

Let Monday’s Green Screens presentation of Farming the Future and Homegrown show you what’s at stake in the the production of what’s on your plate. Afterward, have your organic apples and eat them too when actual Long Island farmers bring the bounty of their fields straight to you.

Buy tickets to see Green Screens: Farming the Future, Homegrown and The Fridge: Mon Nov 3: 6

Check out Homegrown’s official site.

Check out Farming the Future’s official site.

Truth or Dare: The Films of Andrzej Wajda starts tomorrow night!

October 16, 2008

Visual, political, and often highly symbolic, the films of Andrzej Wajda are difficult to categorize. No single visual style or strategy characterizes his films: His early work often employed intricately illuminated deep spaces, while his work in the ’70s featured a looser, more documentary feel. When Socialist Realism, the Stalinist aesthetic of exemplary working class heroes and didactic narratives, was the order of the day, Wajda’s films served as alternative or counter-histories to the officially sanctioned versions of events.

See the director in person this weekend:

Fri Oct 17: 7:30 The Promised Land
Sat Oct 18: 6:30 Everything for Sale
Sun Oct 19: 4:50 Ashes and Diamonds
Sun Oct 19: 7:30 Katyn

What people are saying about the series:

“Not only Poland’s greatest filmmaker but one who, throughout his long career, has demonstrated a remarkable knack for making movies that double as political events…The most complete retrospective an American institution has ever given the 82-year-old director. It opens with characteristic Wajda brio: First day’s screenings include Wajda’s 1954 debut, provocatively titled A Generation; his 1958 triumph Ashes and Diamonds (the greatest of all ‘youth films,’ a game-changer not only for Polish cinema but for national film industries throughout Eastern Europe)” ” – J. Hoberman, The Village Voice

“YOU NEVER KNOW QUITE WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A WAJDA PICTURE… The only thing, perhaps, that has prevented Mr. Wajda from becoming the sort of art-household name that Fellini and Bergman and Antonioni became is that his style, unlike those of his more famous contemporaries, is changeable, unsettled, hard to define.” – Terrence Rafferty, The New York Times

“Loooong overdue for a major retrospective, and Walter Reade is happy to oblige.” – Time Out New York

“A politically unflinching body of work that’s something like a contemporary and retroactive history-in-progress of the Polish nation.” – The L magazine

New York Film Festival…it’s almost time!

September 25, 2008

Last minute preparations

Last-minute preparations outside the Film Society of Lincoln Center hallway.