September 17, 2010

Fall Film Festobonanza, Part 5: 20 Years of Milestone Films @ the Trylon & Macalester Film Series on Global Justice

Killer of Sheep & The Bicycle Thief

What: Milestone’s 20th: Two Decades of Enduring Artistry
Where: Trylon Microcinema
When: Oct 1 - 31

What: Macalester Alumni Fall 2010 Film Series: "Global Justice"
Where: John B. Davis Lecture Hall (JBD), Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center
When: September 22 - November 10

Just when I thought the programming at the Trylon microcinema couldn't get more varied (past series have featured Cronenberg, Spielberg, Godard, and Harryhausen, to name a few), along comes a true mixed bag of classic films: Milestone’s 20th: Two Decades of Enduring Artistry.

"Celebrating twenty years of eclectic film restoration and distribution, Milestone Films’ catalogue reads like a cinematic love affair, spanning decades, countries and genres. Their dedication to “discovering and distributing film of enduring artistry” is evident in this 10-film cross-section of diverse offerings. From silent German animation to Italian Neo-realism, pioneering documentary to unsung classics, Milestone’s discoveries are a rare treat on the big screen."

The full schedule and descriptions:

October 1-3
I Am Cuba 
1964, Mikhail Kalatozov
"Designed to be Cuba’s answer to both Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin and Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless, I Am Cuba turned out to be something quite unique—a wildly schizophrenic celebration of Communist kitsch, mixing Slavic solemnity with Latin sensuality."

October 9 & 10
The Trial

1962, Orson Welles
""Say what you like, but The Trial is the best film I ever made."—Orson Welles. Welles’ adaptation of Kafka’s novel languished for years due to the dismal state of the film until Milestone restored it to its original glowing brilliance. Starring Anthony Perkins as the beleaguered Joseph K, The Trial visually captures the novel’s ominous surreal power."

October 9 & 10
The Mystery of Picasso 

1956, Henri-Georges Clouzot
"Declared a national treasure in France, The Mystery of Picasso joins two visionary artistic forces, Henri-George Clouzot and Pablo Picasso, in one unique documentary."

October 16
The Wide Blue Road 

1957, Gillo Pontecorvo
"The debut feature by Gillo Pontecorvo (The Battle of Algiers) about a rogue Italian fisherman forced to use illegal methods to provide for his family. Starring Yves Montand as a Neo-realist cowboy of the sea."

October 15 & 17
Rocco and His Brothers

1960, Luchino Visconti
"This beautifully restored, uncut, and uncensored print of Visconti's masterpiece tells the powerful story of the Parondi family of five boys and their mother, Rosaria."

October 22-24
People of the Wind 

1976, Anthony Howarth
"A half-century later, Howarth follows in the footsteps of Cooper and Schoedsack to capture a part of the same tribe traversing the same landscape depicted in Grass. Wind is an invaluable artistic and social addendum to the classic documentary that inspired it."

October 22-24
Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life 

1925, Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoesdack, Marguerite Harrison
"Ten years before King Kong, directors Cooper and Schoedsack filmed the harrowing annual migration of the Bakhtiari tribe of western Iran. A pioneering documentary, Grass traveled where few dared to go in 1924 with a movie camera."

October 29-31
My Brother's Wedding 

1983, Charles Burnett
"A tragic comedy that takes place in South Central Los Angeles, My Brother’s Wedding was buried from the public eye due to mixed reviews of a rough cut. 25 years later, Burnett was allowed to complete his film and his long awaited follow-up to Killer of Sheep was finally released."

October 29-31
Killer of Sheep 

1977, Charles Burnett
"Quite possibly the greatest film about American poverty ever made, Killer of Sheep is an eloquent independent masterpiece. Resurrected by Milestone from 30 years of music licensing issues and dilapidated 16mm prints, Sheep is the story of a slaughterhouse worker trying to keep his family together in Los Angeles' Watts neighborhood."

And coming soon from Take-Up Productions...
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER: Before CGI: Six Sci-Fi Classics (@ the Heights)

The Trylon microcinema is located at:
3258 Minnehaha Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55406 
Info Line: 612.424.5468

Macalester Alumni Fall Film Series - "Global Justice"
Meanwhile, on the other side of the river in St. Paul, the alumni group at Macalester College will watch a classic film about "Global Justice" every Wednesday night and discuss it with Colin Covert (a Mac alum) and special guests:
"Global Justice participants will see eight films selected by Star Tribune critic Colin Covert '74 that take an international look at how films depict justice in various cultures, environments, and political frameworks.  The films for the series include: The Bicycle Thief  (9/22), The Verdict (9/29), Incident at Oglala (10/6), The Castle (10/13), In the Name of the Father (10/20), Midnight Express (10/27), Crimes and Misdemeanors (11/3), The Postman Always Rings Twice (11/10)."
Again, I did not attend Macalester and am promoting this without authorization, but as far as I know anybody can show up and pay $5 at the door. I went to a handful last year and hope to make it to a number of these, particularly the much-lauded example of classic neorealism, The Bicycle Thief, which I've never seen.


  1. We've got one more Milestone film: The Adventures of Prince Achmed. We kind of slipped it into Sound Unseen, since it features live musical accompaniment.

  2. The bicycle thief has one of my favorite scenes ever--I was going to say it is one of the best ever restaurant scenes, but I guess there would probably be some stiff competition. What a lot of drama happens in restaurants.

    Actually, here's a question: is there a stock location that has received a greater share of dramatic moments? I haven't seen enough films to answer that, but maybe you have.

  3. Thanks for the add, Barry. I slipped that into my Sound Unseen post as well, neglecting the fact that it was also a Milestone film.

    Let it also be said that the "Before CGI" series definitely deserved some digital ink here as well - too much going on!

    Will, I love those kind of musings. Not sure if there are many better examples than restaurants, especially if you count bars in there as well (two characters belly up sipping beers, or a character talking to a bartender). Let's see - park benches might fit in, scenes with payphones, maybe dinner tables. Nah, restaurants are really the norm. Odd, because I don't think I've ever had a really dramatic restaurant experience.


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