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January 2011 Film Calendar

Block Cinema winter films toast director Roger Corman, art and comedy and cult classics

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January 6, 2011 | by Judy Moore
“Leave Her to Heaven,” starring Gene Tierney, plays at 7 p.m. on Jan. 14. 
EVANSTON, Ill. --- This winter, Block Cinema will screen two new and two continuing film series and host special film events. The series are titled The Roger Corman Film School, Twentieth Century Fox Fridays, Art on Screen and Revivals and Rediscoveries.

Films are screened in the James B. Pick and Rosalyn M. Laudati Auditorium at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. Free parking is available in the lot directly south of the museum.

Unless otherwise noted, general admission to Block Cinema screenings is $6 for the general public or $4 for Block Museum members, Northwestern faculty, staff and students with a WildCARD and other students with a valid school ID. Season passes are $20. Tickets are available one hour before show time. For more information, call the Block Cinema Hotline at (847) 491-4000 or visit the Block Cinema website at www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/block-cinema.

WINTER 2011 FILM SERIES

The Roger Corman Film School series celebrates the legacy of producer, writer, director and actor Roger Corman, who also has been a mentor to an incredible roster of young American filmmakers. Block Cinema will present a series of films produced by Corman and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese and Peter Bogdanovich, among others.

The Twentieth Century Fox Fridays series features six new 35 mm prints of well-known classics and underappreciated gems made during the studio’s heyday, including Ernst Lubitsch’s rarely seen “Cluny Brown” (Jan. 28), Howard Hawks’ “Gentleman Prefer Blondes” (Feb. 4), and Nicholas Ray’s “Bigger Than Life” (Feb. 18).

The continuing Art on Screen series includes several documentaries focusing on important American and international art and artists of the 20th century. Among them are the new release  “Marwencol” (Jan. 21), about outsider artist Mark Hogancamp; “Secret Museums” (March 4), which uncovers hidden collections of erotic art; and the Chicago premiere of the award-winning “Waste Land” (March 11), about contemporary artist Vik Muniz’s work with an underprivileged community in Brazil.

The ongoing Revivals and Rediscoveries series features rare classic American and international films worthy of a second look. To complement the Block Museum’s winter 2011 Main Gallery exhibition “Thomas Rowlandson: Pleasures and Pursuits in Georgian England” (Jan. 14 through March 13), Block Cinema will present two free Saturday matinees in February set during this period, including (Feb. 12) “Kitty” (1945), an Oscar-nominated film starring Paulette Goddard as a cockney lass catapulted into high society when the artist Thomas Gainsborough paints her portrait, and (Feb. 26) “Becky Sharp” (1935), a stunning early Technicolor film based on William Thackeray’s “Vanity Fair” and starring Miriam Hopkins.

JANUARY 2011 FILMS

Twentieth Century Fox Fridays, “Leave Her to Heaven,” 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14 (John M. Stahl, 1945, United States, 35 mm, 119 minutes). Shot in Technicolor, “Leave Her to Heaven” combines elements of film noir with delectable and demented melodramatic flair. Gene Tierney stars as the seductive but pathologically jealous Ellen who will do anything to retain sole possession of her husband’s affections. A new print with vivid hues will be screened.

The Roger Corman Film School, “Dementia 13,” 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20 (Francis Ford Coppola, 1963, United States, 35 mm, 75 minutes). “Dementia 13” is an encyclopedia of pulp. An axe murderer, a haunted Irish castle, a conniving widow, a castrating mother, a know-it-all doctor, half-naked women, and the inexplicably mobile corpse of a little girl -- this movie has it all. Director Francis Ford Coppola was working as a second-unit director on another Corman film, “The Young Raiders,” when he borrowed that film’s lead actors and quickly made “Dementia 13,” his first film for a studio.

Art on Screen, “Marwencol,” 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21 (Jeff Malmberg, 2010, United States, video, 82 minutes). Nearly 10 years after a brutal assault left him traumatized and brain damaged, Mark Hogancamp fights his demons on a battlefield of scale models and dramatically posed action figures, which he lovingly photographs. Mark’s magnum opus is Marwencol, a fictional World War II-era Belgian village populated by heroic GIs, sadistic German officers and alluring spies. Like the cast of a semi-autobiographical adventure film, many of these colorful characters stand in for the artist’s friends, family and even his attackers. “Marwencol” is a striking testament to the therapeutic power of imagination. (This film is free to Northwestern University students with valid WildCARD IDs.)

The Roger Corman Film School, “Piranha,” 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27 (Joe Dante, 1978, United States, 35 mm, 94 minutes). A massive horde of genetically modified piranhas with a taste for human blood is unintentionally released into the waters of a summer resort named Lost River Lake. Do-gooder Maggie teams with Paul, the town drunk, to rid the lake of the razor-toothed menaces before it’s too late. This 1978 cult classic offers more than its fair share of blood, guts and body parts. The campy gorefest, directed by Joe Dante (“Gremlins”), also is a smart, thinly veiled critique of America’s military-industrial complex.

Twentieth Century Fox Fridays, “Cluny Brown,” 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28 (Ernst Lubitsch, 1946, United States, 35 mm, 100 minutes). Jennifer Jones plays the titular Cluny, a plucky young maid with a penchant for plumbing. A new job at an English country estate soon finds Cluny caught between the affections of a pair of stuffy Brits and a handsome Czech refugee (Charles Boyer). While the delightful “Cluny Brown” (the final film Lubitsch completed) fits snugly into the director’s oeuvre of sophisticated comedies, the film’s wartime setting and class-conscious satire provide an unexpected dash of social commentary.