February 2013- At The Movies

Thursday, February 7 – CLO 110 @ 6:30pm

Cinema Paradiso

1988 – Italy – Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore

If you love movies, it’s impossible not to appreciate “Cinema Paradiso”, Giuseppe Tornatore’s heartwarming, nostalgic look at one man’s love affair with film, and the story of a very special friendship. Affecting (but not cloying) and sentimental (but not sappy), “Cinema Paradiso” is the kind of motion picture that can brighten up a gloomy day and bring a smile to the lips of the most taciturn individual. Light and romantic, this fantasy is tinged with just enough realism to make us believe in its magic, even as we are enraptured by its spell.

-James Berardinelli, Reelviews Movie Reviews

Wednesday, February 13 – CLO 110 @ 6:30pm

Purple Rose of Cairo

1985 – USA – Directed by Woody Allen

with special opening short “The Playhouse” (USA, 1921, Directed by Buster Keaton)

The “Purple Rose of Cairo” is audacious and witty and has a lot of good laughs in it, but the best thing about the movie is the way Woody Allen uses it to toy with the very essence of reality and fantasy… If it is true, and I think it is, that most of the time we go to the movies in order to experience brief lives that are not our own, then Allen is demonstrating what a tricky self-deception we practice. Those movie lives consist of only what is on the screen, and if we start thinking that real life can be the same way, we are in for a cruel awakening. – Roger Ebert

“The Playhouse” is pure proto-surrealism […]In the film’s first reel, Keaton attends an old-school vaudeville performance, and the running gag is that he portrays the entire orchestra and on-stage minstrel routine, as well as every member of the audience. – Budd Wilkins, Slant Magazine

Thursday, February 21 – CLO 110 @ 6:30pm

Goodbye, Dragon Inn

2003 – Taiwan – Directed by Ming-liang Tsai

with Special Opening Short “Sherlock Jr.” (USA, 1924, Directed by Buster Keaton)

In “Goodbye, Dragon Inn,” [Ming-liang Tsai] has created another idiosyncratic, oddball movie that is both funny and moody. On a lonely, rainy night, an old, run-down theater in Taipei is about to close for good. […] Tsai’s film mourns the passing of an era of not only movies and movie stars but also movie-going      – Ruthe Stein / G. Allen Johnson, SFGate.com

Considered one of Buster Keaton’s greatest works, and his most (gasp) avant-garde feature, “Sherlock Jr.” centers on movie illusion itself, hilariously filtered through the dreams of Keaton’s sad-sack projectionist. Showcasing both Keaton’s interest in filmmaking technique and his repertoire of vaudeville physical gags, the film comically riffs on such visual tricks as superimpositions and editing, as a ghostly “Keaton” exits his sleeping body and walks into the screen, only to face repeated peril as one background cuts to another. -Lucia Bozzola, AllMovie.com

Wednesday, February 27 – CLO 110 @ 6:30pm


1989 – Italy – Directed by Ettore Scola

To the priest in a small Italian town, the Splendor cinema (now sold for redevelopment) is a ‘dark grotto of sin'; to owner Jordan (Mastroianni), it’s a shrine. But writer/director Scola is more concerned with the grey areas between such views: the patrons who desert cinema in droves when TV offers cheap, undemanding entertainment. Using flashback and clips, he conveys something of the medium’s superiority over the box, at the same time beautifully unravelling a tale of life-long devotion and hard graft.

-Time Out, C.M