“Friends From France” Will Open Expanded New York Jewish Film Festival

Posted by Brian Brooks on 12.4.2013


Anne Weil and Philippe Kotlarski's NYJFF Opening Night film, Friends From France.

Forty-nine features and shorts are on tap for the 23rd annual New York Jewish Film Festival. The U.S. Premiere of Anne Weil and Philippe Kotlarksi's Friends From France will open the festival, which is presented by the Jewish Museum and Film Society of Lincoln Center.

The film is set against the backdrop of the Cold War in 1979, in which young French cousins join an organized tour to Odessa, visiting monuments and museums by day, but slipping away into the underground world of "refuseniks"—Jews persecuted by the Soviet regime—by night. While Carole is motivated by her political commitments and a taste for risk, Jérôme is motivated by his lust for Carole. In a meticulous recreation of Brezhnev-era Odessa, the two connect in a deep way with those resisting oppression—whether through literary efforts or escapism via sex and drugs.

NYJFF will expand its "beyond the screen" program this year. Acclaimed filmmaker Amos Gitai (Kippur), whose new film, Ana Arabia, is included in the festival, will take part in a Master Class on filmmaking on Sunday, January 19. Additionally, the festival will spotlight the work of artist Yael Bartana and feature the posters and title sequences of designer Saul Bass. Wim Wenders is also weighing in on this year's 16-day festival, selecting Paris, Texas to screen on the occasion of its 30th anniversary along with two other films.

The late Amy Winehouse comes to the big screen along with other music-centered offerings making New York Premieres. Maruice Linnane's Amy Winehouse: The Day She Came to Dingle follows the award-winning singer to the remote, southwestern corner of Ireland to perform for Other Voices, an acclaimed Irish TV music series filmed in Dingle every winter. Following the concert, Winehouse spoke about her music and her influences, revealing a side of the singer rarely seen. Eytan Fox’s Cupcakes recalls 1970s Tel Aviv, where a group of friends cope with the stresses of everyday life and work together to write a song to cheer up a woman in an unsuccessful marriage. Ayal Goldberg’s Rita Jahan Foruz, meanwhile, is an intimate documentary about Iranian-born Israeli singer Rita Janah Foruz, who rose to fame with the release of her first album on the eve of her forty-ninth birthday, and has found fans in both Israel and Iran.

Four documentaries will make their U.S. Premieres during the festival. Veteran director Marcel Ophüls' Ain't Misbehavin' marks his return to filmmaking after 18 years. The film is a personal journey through cinema history, particularly examining his work as well as that of his father, Max Ophüls, recalling such films as The Sorrow and the Pity and the Academy-Award winning Hôtel Terminus and recounting friendships with Stanley Kubrick, Otto Preminger, Woody Allen and Jeanne Moreau. The world's first woman rabbi is the subject of Diana Groó's Regina, telling the story of Regina Jones (1902 - 1944) who grew up the daughter of a peddler and made history by being ordained as a rabbi in Berlin in 1935. Artfully arranged archival footage recreates the rich, pulsating street life of Berlin through compelling scenes from synagogues, schools, and Jewish cultural life. Actress Rachel Weisz provides the voice of Regina.

Alan Zweig’s When Jews Were Funny explores the question of why so many comics in the 1960s and 70s were Jewish. Zweig interviews comedians such as Shelley Berman, Jack Carter, Shecky Greene, David Steinberg, and Super Dave Osborne, and includes comical archival stand-up footage. And Nili Tal's Ukraine Brides: 13 Years Later follows the travails of Ukrainian women who married Israeli men. Taken over 13 years, the film tells the at times heartbreaking and sometimes mystifying ups and downs of their lives.

Closing out the New York Jewish Film Festival January 23 is the New York Premiere of Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida, which looks at the life of Anna, an orphan brought up in a convent in Poland. Just before taking her vows, Anna visits her only living relative for the first time and discovers her real name, Ida, and her family history. This startling revelation leads to a probing of dark secrets from the time of the Nazi occupation of Poland.

The 23rd New York Jewish Film Festival takes place January 8 - 23. Tickets go on sale to members of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Jewish Museum on Tuesday, December 10 and to the general public on Thursday, December 19.


Pawel Pawlikowski's NYJFF Closing Night film, Ida.

MAIN SLATE

OPENING NIGHT (Wednesday, January 8)
U.S. PREMIERE
Friends from France (Les Interdits)
Anne Weil & Philippe Kotlarski | France/Germany/Canada/Russia | 2013 | 100m | French, English, Russian & Hebrew with English subtitles
Set in 1979, in the midst of the Cold War, young French cousins join an organized tour to Odessa, visiting monuments and museums by day, but slipping away into the underground world of ”refuseniks” - Jews persecuted by the Soviet regime - by night. While Carole is motivated by her political commitments and a taste for risk, Jérôme is motivated by his attraction to Carole. In a meticulous recreation of the streets and landscape of the Brezhnev era, the two connect in a deep way with those resisting oppression - whether through literary efforts or escapism via sex and drugs. French actress Soko delivers a spellbinding performance as the darkly intense Carole.
Wed Jan 8: 3:15pm, 8:45pm

CLOSING NIGHT (Thursday, January 23)
NEW YORK PREMIERE
Ida
Pawel Pawlikowski | Poland | 2013 | 80m | Polish with English subtitles
Shot in intimate black and white, Pawel Pawlikowski’s latest film explores the life of Anna, an orphan brought up in a convent in Poland. Just before taking her vows, Anna visits her only living relative for the first time and discovers her real name - Ida - and her family history. This startling revelation leads to a probing of secrets from the time of the Nazi occupation of Poland. A stunningly beautiful film by the acclaimed director of Last Resort and My Summer of Love.
Thurs Jan 23: 3:45pm, 9:00pm

U.S. PREMIERE
Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Un Voyageur)
Marcel Ophüls | France | 2013 | 106m | French with English subtitles
Veteran filmmaker Marcel Ophüls returns to filmmaking after 18 years with this personal stroll through cinema history, in particular touching on his own work and that of his father, the great Max Ophüls. Following the Nazi Party’s rise to power in 1933, the Ophüls family emigrated to France and later escaped to the U.S., arriving in Hollywood in 1941. Marcel returned to France in 1950 and crossed paths with such luminaries as Jacques Rivette and Francois Truffaut, who were interviewing his father for Cahiers du Cinéma. First breaking through as a director with the landmark film The Sorrow and the Pity, Marcel went on to direct the Academy-Award winning Hôtel Terminus, among others. Weaving in excerpts from films and recounting friendships with Stanley Kubrick, Otto Preminger, Woody Allen and Jeanne Moreau, this documentary pays tribute to a brilliant era in cinematic history on both sides of the Atlantic.
Wed Jan 8: 12:30pm, 6:00pm

NEW YORK PREMIERE
Amy Winehouse: The Day She Came to Dingle
Maurice Linnane | U.K. | 2012 | 59m
On a stormy December night, Amy Winehouse flew to the remote, southwestern corner of Ireland to perform for Other Voices, an acclaimed Irish TV music series filmed in Dingle every winter. Winehouse performed on the stage of the tiny Saint James' church - capacity 85 - and wowed the crowd with a searing acoustic set. Following the concert, happy and relaxed, she spoke about her music and influences - Mahalia Jackson, Sarah Vaughan, Thelonius Monk, Ray Charles, and  others. This documentary revisits that night, catches up with people the singer met including taxi driver Paddy Kennedy and Reverend Mairt Hanley, and shows a surprising and charming side of Amy Winehouse.
PRECEDED BY
First Lesson in Love   
Tomer Werechson | Israel | 2012 | 8m | Hebrew with English subtitles
Worlds collide when a young girl meets a street musician at a Jerusalem train station.
Tues Jan 14: 3:00pm
Wed Jan 15: 6:00pm

NEW YORK CITY PREMIERE
Ana Arabia
Amos Gitai | Israel/France | 2013 | 81m | Hebrew & Arabic with English subtitles
Filmed in one sequence shot of 81 minutes, this virtuosic film draws back the curtain on a moment in the life of a small community of outcasts, Jews and Arabs, who live together in a forgotten enclave surrounded by mass public housing near Jaffa. A young journalist (Yuval Scharf, intelligent and glamorous) visits them and discovers, among the dilapidated shacks and an orchard of lemon trees, a range of characters far removed from the usual cliches of the region. Compelling performances by Sarah Adler, Assi Levy, and Yussuf Abu-Warda shed light on private dreams and desires. From internationally acclaimed director Amos Gitai (Berlin Jerusalem NYJFF 1993, Kedma NYJFF 2003, Alila NYJFF 2004, News from Home / News from House NYJFF 2007).
Sat Jan 18: 9:20pm
Mon Jan 20: 8:15pm

NEW YORK CITY PREMIERE
Before the Revolution
Dan Shadur | Israel | 2013 | 60m | Hebrew with English subtitles
During the 1960s and ‘70s, thousands of Israelis living in Tehran enjoyed a special relationship with the Shah and his dictatorial rule. Protected by large arms deals and complex financial ties, the Israeli community enjoys a luxurious lifestyle, failing to note that the despised ruling power to which they were connected was collapsing. By the time they understand that their ‘Iranian Paradise’ is turning into hell, it is almost too late, and they stand to find themselves in the middle of the Islamist revolution. Using rare 8mm footage, interviews with diplomats, Mossad agents, businessmen and their families, the director – whose family had been part of the same community – reveals a unique perspective on the revolution that changed the world.
PRECEDED BY
U.S. PREMIERE
Pur
Anat Vovnoboy | Israel | 2013 | 13m | Russian with English subtitles
Rare archival footage of Purim plays staged by small groups of Jewish dissidents during the Soviet regime lends a sense of immediacy to this short documentary.
Mon Jan 20: 6:00pm
Tues Jan 21: 3:00pm

SNEAK PREVIEW
Bethlehem
Yuval Adler | Israel | 2013 | 100m | Hebrew with English subtitles
Bethlehem tells the story of the unlikely bond between Razi, an Israeli secret service officer, and Sanfur, a teenage Palestinian informant to whom he has an almost fatherly attachment. Sanfur, however, is faced with an impossible dilemma as his loyalty to his brother, a senior Palestinian militant, is tested. Director Yuval Adler co-wrote the script with Ali Waked, an Arab journalist who spent years in the West Bank. The winner of six Ophir Awards (Israeli Academy Awards) including best picture, and Israel’s submission for the foreign-language Oscar, this is a taut thriller set in a powder-keg region.
Sun Jan 12: 6:15pm
Mon Jan 13: 12:30pm

NEW YORK PREMIERE
The Congress
Ari Folman | Israel/Germany/Poland/Luxembourg/France/Belgium | 2013 | 122m
Mixing live-action and psychedelic animation, The Congress is the highly anticipated new film by Ari Folman, director of the acclaimed, Oscar-nominated Waltz with Bashir. Robin Wright plays an aging, out-of-work actress (named Robin Wright) who reluctantly accepts her final offer:  preserving her digital image for future Hollywood productions over which she will have no control. Twenty years later, she enters a “restricted animated zone,” where she rocks the complacent film/pharmaceutical industry, and finds out, with the help of an animated character voiced by Jon Hamm, what it was she really signed away. This haunting and provocative film features strong performances by Harvey Keitel, Paul Giamatti, and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Wright’s young son.
Sat Jan 11: 9:00pm

NEW YORK PREMIERE
Cupcakes (Bananot)
Eytan Fox | Israel | 2013 | 90m | Hebrew, French & English with English subtitles
A group of friends in a Tel Aviv suburb gathers to watch a Eurovision-style song contest, trying to forget the stress of their daily lives. Yael is an unfulfilled former beauty queen. Dana is a harried aide to a cabinet minister. Anat has a successful bakery but an unsuccessful marriage. Keren is a shy blogger; Efrat a frustrated singer-songwriter whose career has stalled. And Ofer is a nursery-school teacher who is upset that his boyfriend, a spokesmodel for his family's famous brand of hummus, is still in the closet and won't publicly acknowledge their romance. After they realize Anat is distraught over the crisis in her marriage, they write a song to cheer her up, and Ofer secretly submits it as Israel’s entry to Universong. Director Eytan Fox (Mary Lou NYJFF 2012) returns with a fun and colorful musical trip to the faraway land of the 1970s.
Mon Jan 13: 3:15pm
Thurs Jan 16: 8:30pm

U.S. PREMIERE
For a Woman (Pour une femme)
Diane Kurys | France | 110m | French with English subtitles
Inspired by her own family history, filmmaker Diane Kurys (Sagan, Peppermint Soda) directs this handsome drama that moves between post-World War II France and the 1980s, where novelist Anne (Sylvie Testud) goes on a quest to understand the past. Equipped with recently discovered letters and photos, she begins to shed light on the tangled relationship between her parents and a mysterious uncle, thought dead, who appeared on their doorstep in 1947 Lyon. With outstanding performances by Testud, Clement Sibony, and Benoit Magimel.
Wed Jan 15: 12:30pm
Sun Jan 19: 5:15pm

NEW YORK PREMIERE
The Jewish Cardinal (Le Métis de Dieu)
Ilan Duran Cohen | France | 2012 | 90m | French with English subtitles
The Jewish Cardinal tells the amazing true story of Jean-Marie Lustiger, son of Polish-Jewish immigrants to France, who maintained his cultural identity as a Jew even after converting to Catholicism at a young age, and later joining the priesthood. Quickly rising within the ranks of the Church, Lustiger was appointed Archbishop of Paris in 1981 by Pope Jean Paul II, and found a new platform to celebrate his dual identity as a Catholic Jew, earning him friends and enemies from both groups. A fascinating drama full of intelligence and gentle humor.
Sat Jan 11: 6:30pm
Tues Jan 14: 12:30pm
Mon Jan 20: 12:30pm

Lonely Planet
Edan Zeira | Israel/Russia | 2012 | 86m | Hebrew & Russian with English subtitles
A documentary film crew embarks on a quest via trans-Siberian rail to find the legendary Mishka, who is said to have spent three years of his childhood hiding among wolves in the vast Belarus forests during World War II. On their journey, the team encounters people who seem to have materialized from the pages of Gogol and Dostoevsky’s Russia. A feature film that blends truth and fiction in thought-provoking ways.
Thurs Jan 9: 1:00pm, 6:00pm

U.S. PREMIERE
Regina
Diana Groó | Hungary | 2013 | 63m |
From a single surviving photo, director Diana Groó brings to life the story of the first woman rabbi in the world. Regina Jonas (1902 – 1944) grew up the daughter of a peddler and made history in by becoming ordained as a rabbi in Berlin in 1935. Archival footage artfully arranged and scored takes us through the story, showing us the rich, pulsating street life of Berlin and compelling scenes from synagogues, schools, and Jewish cultural life. Rachel Weisz (star of Betrayal on Broadway) gives voice to the inspirational Regina.
PRECEDED BY
U.S. PREMIERE
Binding
Katarzyna Plazinska & Aaron Ellis | Poland/U.S. | 2013 | 10m
The biblical tale of Isaac and his father is revisited Guy Maddin-style in this creative short.
Mon Jan 13: 6:00pm
Wed Jan 15: 3:30pm

NEW YORK PREMIERE
Rita Jahan Foruz
Ayal Goldberg | Israel | 2013 | 75m | Hebrew, Farsi & English with English subtitles
Superstar singer Rita Jahan Foruz immigrated to Israel from Iran with her family at the age of eight. On the eve of her forty-ninth birthday, with enormous tension between Tehran and Jerusalem looming in the background, she records her first album in Farsi. A year later, she receives an official invitation to perform at the United Nations. The warm response she receives from her Iranian fans convinces her that music can serve as a unifying force. This intimate documentary spends time with Rita both in performance and in personal moments with her family, and demonstrates their deep longing for their country of birth, which is no longer accessible to them.
Thurs Jan 16: 3:30pm
Sun Jan 19: 3:00pm

NEW YORK PREMIERE
Rue Mandar (Where We Grew Up)
Idit Cébula | France | 2012 | 95m | French with English subtitles
In this charming dramedy by Idit Cébula (Two Lives Plus One, NYJFF 2009), three siblings are brought together for their mother’s funeral in Paris. Memories, rivalries and insecurities bubble to the surface as they debate what to do with their childhood home. Sparkling performances by Emmanuelle Devos, Sandrine Kiberlain and Richard Berry bring forth the most compelling kind of family dysfunction in this warm and wonderful film.
PRECEDED BY
What Do We Have In Our Pockets?
Goran Dukic | U.S./Israel | 2012 | 4m
Azazel Jacobs and Diaz Jacobs feature in this animated, whimsical tale of courtship, based on a story by Etgar Keret.
Thurs Jan 23: 1:00pm, 6:15pm

NEW YORK PREMIERE
The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich
Antonin Svoboda | Austria | 2012 | 111m
Psychiatrist, scientist and the inventor of the orgone box, Wilhelm Reich fled to the U.S. from Nazi Germany in 1939. He continued his forays in experimental sciences in Maine and the Arizona desert. A true believer in this theory of a life-force energy called orgone, he devoted his life to research with the ultimate goal of bettering humanity. His sometimes eccentric activities raised suspicions during the paranoid 1950s, leading to criminal charges and a prison sentence. This stirring and handsomely made biopic stars the incomparable Klaus Maria Brandauer as Reich.
Thurs Jan 16: 12:30pm
Sat Jan 18: 6:30pm

U.S. PREMIERE
Ukraine Brides: 13 Years Later
Nili Tal | Israel | 2013 | 65m | Russian, Hebrew & English with English subtitles
For 13 years, documentarian Nili Tal (Sixty and the City, NYJFF 2011) has followed the ups and downs of women from Ukraine who married Israeli men. At times heartbreaking, at times mystifying, always compelling, the stories will touch and surprise you. Even while probing sensitive topics, Tal maintains the utmost compassion for her “Ukraine brides.”
Wed Jan 22: 3:15pm, 8:30pm

NEW YORK PREMIERE
Up the Wrong Tree
Gur Bentwich | Israel | 2013 | 93m | Hebrew with English subtitles
Nitz (played to slacker perfection by Gal Toren) returns to Israel from Australia hoping to reunite with his girlfriend, Kesem, and their dog Zorba. When Kesem (the wonderful Sarah Adler) refuses, Nitz installs himself in an empty lot across from her apartment, just as real estate sharks are planning to pave it over for parking. Nitz climbs an ancient tree and soon finds himself at the center of an environmental battle. This warm and funny drama was nominated for five Ophir Awards (Israeli Academy Awards) including Best Actor and Best Screenplay.
Wed Jan 22: 12:30pm, 6:00pm

U.S. PREMIERE
When Jews Were Funny
Alan Zweig | Canada | 2013 | 90m
Joins us for this light-hearted documentary exploring the fundamental and perhaps impossible question of why so many 1960s and 70s comics were Jewish. From the Borscht Belt through the present day, Zweig interviews funny folks Shelley Berman, Jack Carter, Shecky Greene, David Steinberg, Super Dave Osborne and many others at the intersection of Jewish comedy with  modern American humor. Featuring tons of hilarious archival stand-up footage, When Jews Were Funny humorously and insightfully debates this most intriguing of phenomena.
Thurs Jan 9: 3:30pm, 8:30pm

NEW YORK PREMIERE
The Women Pioneers
Michal Aviad | Israel | 2013 | 51m | Hebrew with English subtitles
A hundred years ago, women pioneers emigrated from Europe to Palestine to realize the dream of creating a new, independent woman. Some of these remarkable women wrote diaries, letters and other texts which tell their stories in the most direct and intimate manner. Michal Aviad brings their stories to vivid life, weaving their compelling words with fascinating archival footage. These dramatic vignettes run the gamut from love affairs to ideological discussions on division of labor, from birth and death of individuals to the belief in building a new society.
PRECEDED BY
NEW YORK CITY PREMIERE
I Think This Is the Closest to How the Footage Looked
Yuval Hameiri & Michal Vaknin | Israel | 2013 | 9m | Hebrew with English subtitles
Filmmaking and life intersect around the problem of lost footage. A husband records his dying wife. A grieving son loses the tape. The lost sequence is recreated using simple objects to great effect, ultimately pointing to the truly irreplaceable.
Tues Jan 21: 1:00pm, 6:00pm

The Zigzag Kid
Vincent Bal | The Netherlands/Belgium | 2012 | 95m | Dutch, English & French with English subtitles
Aboard a train to visit his boring uncle, soon-to-be bar mitzah boy Amnon “Nono” Feierberg’s journey suddenly becomes a mystery-solving challenge. The son of a workaholic police detective, Nono embarks on a mission to learn about his deceased mother, Zohara, escaping to the South of France with a twinkly-eyed jewel thief, encountering celebrated performer Lola, and spiraling his father into panic. The film features an enchanting performance by Isabella Rossellini as a chanteuse. Based on the acclaimed novel by David Grossman. Recommended for ages 11 and up.
Sun Jan 12: 12:30pm

NEW ISRAELI SHORTS
Various directors | Israel | 2012 | 87m | Hebrew with English subtitles
Four short films let us experience summertime romance in mid-winter. The selection includes First Days (dir. Ohad Regev, 2012, 15m), GentleDog (dir. David Shadi, 2012, 10m) Summer Vacation (dirs. Tal Granit & Sharon Maymon, 2012, 22m) and Aya (dirs. Mihal Brezis & Oded Binun, 2012, 40m), starring Sarah Adler.
Free screening at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center
Sat Jan 18: 6:30pm


SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

ARTIST FOCUS: YAEL BARTANA
… And Europe Will Be Stunned: Nightmares (Mary Koszmary), Wall and Tower (Mur I weiza), Assassination (Zamach)

Yael Bartana | Poland | 2007-11 | 60m | Polish & Hebrew with English subtitles
As modern Zionism was born with Theodor Herzl’s novel Altneuland, so Israeli-Dutch artist Yael Bartana willed into existence a reverse Zionism, the not quite fictitious or entirely ironic Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland, with her video trilogy. Over the three parts of … And Europe Will be Stunned (which as an installation represented Poland at 2011 Venice Biennale), one sees the birth pangs of a campaign replete with mass rallies and youth groups, supported by both Poles and Israelis, to restore Jewish life in Poland. Bartana’s iconography alludes to the tragedy of 20th Century European Jewry while drawing both on the Soviet propaganda of the ‘20s and the Zionist propaganda of the ‘30s, archival examples of which will be shown along with her work. Introduction and discussion with J. Hoberman, New York-based critic and the co-author, with Jeffrey Shandler, of Entertaining America: Jews, Movies and Broadcasting.
Tues Jan 21: 8:30pm

MASTER CLASS: AMOS GITAI
Renowned director Amos Gitai, whose new film, Ana Arabia, is included in the festival, presents an in-depth conversation on filmmaking. Gitai is one of the most respected filmmakers on the international scene. Through his work he continually explores new narrative and stylistic methods while maintaining a close, if questioning, relationship with contemporary realities. His work spans over 40 years and includes over 80 films, plus books, exhibitions, and theater pieces. The session will be conducted by Richard Peña, Director Emeritus of the New York Film Festival, former Program Director at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and Professor of Film at Columbia University’s School of the Arts; and Aviva Weintraub, Associate Curator, The Jewish Museum and Director, The New York Jewish Film Festival.
Sun Jan 19: 2:00pm – 4:00pm

GUEST SELECTS: WIM WENDERS
The New York Jewish Film Festival inaugurates a new “Guest Selects” series, each year showcasing a director who has shaped the course of film history. The series begins with a special screening of Paris, Texas on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of its release. Acclaimed filmmaker Wim Wenders will also select two accompanying films that relate to Jewish culture. One of the most important figures to emerge from the “New German Cinema” period in the 1970s, Wim Wenders is director of such beloved feature films as Wings of Desire, and documentaries such as Buena Vista Social Club and Pina. His atmospheric auteur films often engage with the themes of memory, time and movement.

30th ANNIVERSARY SCREENING
Paris, Texas
Wim Wenders | West Germany/France/UK/U.S. |1984 | 145 m
In Paris, Texas            Wim Wenders brings his keen eye for landscape to the American Southwest. This unique road movie follows the mysterious, uncommunicative drifter Travis (Harry Dean Stanton) as he emerges from the desert and tries to reconnect with his young son, his wife (Nastassja Kinski), and his own memory. The film features an award-winning screenplay by Sam Shepard, music by Ry Cooder, and outstanding performances from Stanton and Kinski.
Paris, Texas                          Tues Jan 14: 6:00pm
“Wim Wenders Selects”        Tues Jan 14: 9:30pm
“Wim Wenders Selects”        Wed Jan 15: 8:15pm

LOOKING AT SAUL BASS

MIDNIGHT MOVIE
NEW YORK PREMIERE OF RECONSTITUTED ENDING
Phase IV
Saul Bass | U.S. | 1974 | 93m
Acclaimed graphic designer Saul Bass’s only feature film is a visually striking curiosity that, originally a box office flop, garnered cult status a year after its release. Hyper-intelligent ants take over an Arizona farm town, causing the government to evacuate the zone and send in scientists to figure out what is going on. Protected by a dome-like structure, they soon fall victim to the tiny terrifying creatures. Interpreted by some as an ecological commentary, by others as political, and by others as a runoff of the anxieties of the time, Phase IV is as spellbinding as the movie posters and title sequences for which its director is known. Featuring an otherworldly score by composer Brian Gascoigne and starring Michael Murphy and Nigel Davenport as the scientists. This version of the film includes a newly discovered ending that was long believed lost. A digital cinema package was created for the Academy Film Archive's collection, with thanks to Paramount Pictures.
PRECEDED BY
Ambling Alp
Radical Friend | U.S. | 2009 | 4m
The hip Brooklyn-based band Yeasayer pays homage to Saul Bass’s Phase IV in this psychedelic music video inspired by the film.
Sat Jan 18: 11:45pm

Saul Bass: A Selection of Short Films
Saul and Elaine Bass | U.S. | 88m

Together with his wife Elaine, the movie title and poster designer Saul Bass also directed a number of short films, ranging from television ads to science fiction fantasies. This selection includes From Here to There (1964, 9m), Notes on the Popular Arts (1978, 20m), Why Man Creates (1968, 29m), and Quest (1984, 30m).
Thurs Jan 16: 6:00pm

FOCUS ON OTTO PREMINGER

WORLD PREMIERE OF NEW DIGITAL RESTORATION
Anatomy of a Murder
Otto Preminger | U.S. | 1959 | 160m
Michigan small-town prosecutor turned lackadaisical attorney Paul Biegler (James Stewart) defends Lieutenant Manion (Ben Gazzara), jailed for killing his wife's assailant. Biegler enters an insanity defense, and claims Manion’s wife Laura (Lee Remick) was raped by an innkeeper and that Manion had lost all memory of the event. In one of the first Hollywood films to address sex and rape in graphic terms, and one of the liveliest courtroom dramas ever made, Stewart delivers a stirring performance. Based on the novel by Robert Traver.
Sun Jan 12: 9:00pm

Exodus
Otto Preminger | U.S. | 1960 | 208m
The epic film  based on the celebrated Leon Uris novel stars Paul Newman as Ari Ben Canaan, who smuggles 600 Jewish refugees from the island of Cyprus to British Mandate Palestine  aboard a stolen cargo vessel. Eva Marie Saint plays Kitty, a nurse who takes on the Zionist cause and soon falls in love with Ari. Filmed on location, Exodus sparked interest in Israel by bringing its images to millions across the U.S. The film won an Academy Award for Best Original Score.
Sun Jan 19: 8:15pm

The Man with the Golden Arm
Otto Preminger | U.S. | 1955 | 119m
When Frankie Machine (Frank Sinatra), a heroin addict who cleans up in prison, is released, he encounters an old flame Molly (Kim Novak). Jobless, in debt, and in the care of illicit friends, he feels pressure mounting from all directions. Exploring a taboo subject at the time, the film challenged Hollywood’s Production Code, ultimately paving the way for future films dealing with drug abuse and related subjects. This classic film is based on the Nelson Algren novel. Restored by the Academy Film Archive with funding from the Film Foundation and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Mon Jan 13: 8:15pm

FROM THE VAULTS

U.S. PREMIERE OF RESTORED VERSION
Mamele
Joseph Green & Konrad Tom | Poland | 1938 | 97m | Yiddish with new English subtitles
In this early Yiddish “talkie” starring musical queen Molly Picon as mamele (little mother), the dutiful daughter keeps her family intact. She's so busy cooking, cleaning, and matchmaking for her brothers and sisters that she has little time for herself, until she discovers a handsome violinist across the courtyard. Set in Lodz, this musical comedy drama, which features Picon's trademark song Abi Gezunt, embraces the diverse gamut of Jewish life in interwar Poland, from holiday celebrations to nightclubs and gangsters. Film restoration and new English subtitles by the National Center for Jewish Film.
Sun Jan 12: 3:15pm

Oded the Wanderer (Oded Hanoded)
Chaim Halachmi | Palestine | 1932 | 61m | Silent with Hebrew & English intertitles
Young Oded gets lost on a class outing in the scenic Jezreel Valley near Haifa, encountering Bedouins, an eccentric tourist and various animals that spark the his curiosity. Newly restored, this first feature film to be made in pre-state Israel, tells the allegorical tale of the Jewish wanderer. With live piano accompaniment by Donald Sosin.  Film courtesy of Joseph Halachmi.
PRECEDED BY
The Wandering Jew (Le Juif Errant)
Georges Méliès | France | 1904 | 3m | Silent
The earliest creator of special effects in cinema, pioneering filmmaker Georges Méliès (1868 - 1938), known for landmark titles like A Trip to the Moon (1902) and The Impossible Voyage (1904), portrays a Jewish character of legends as a lost soul wandering throughout the ages. With live piano accompaniment by Donald Sosin.
Sun Jan 19: 12:30pm

Professor Mamlock
Adolf Minkin & Herbert Rappaport | U.S.S.R. | 1938 | 92m | Russian with English subtitles
Made in the Soviet Union in 1938, Professor Mamlock was one of the first films worldwide to directly tackle Nazi anti-Semitism. Based on a play by Friedrich Wolf, a German-Jewish exile to Moscow, and directed by Adolf Minkin and Herbert Rappaport, the film tells with brutal honesty the story of a Jewish doctor as he becomes a victim of the Nazis’ rise to power in 1930s Germany. Presented with a post-screening discussion led by Olga Gershenson, Assistant Professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at University of Massachusetts at Amherst and author of the recent book, The Phantom Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and Jewish Catastrophe.
Free screening
Mon Jan 20: 3:00pm

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