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Program highlights include three works by Isild Le Besco including her latest Bas-Fonds; Viva Radio events with Warhol’s Velvet Underground films and Alex Cox’s Straight to Hell remix; three works by Shoah director Claude Lanzmann, and the extraordinary Wundkanal/Our Nazi diptych from the late Thomas Harlan and Robert Kramer. Catch sneak previews of John Landis’s Burke and Hare; Lu Chuan’s City of Life and Death; Kim Ji-woon’s I Saw the Devil; Jia Zhangke’s I Wish I Knew; and Sion Sono’s Cold Fish. Plus: Klaus Kinski as Jesus; Domaine, John Waters’s favorite movie of 2010; a rare Fassbinder; and a real-life Mexican hit man.

Past Films

Bas-fonds

Bas-fonds

Isilde Le Besco | 2010 | 68 mins

Three women live on the outskirts of civilization—aka the French provinces—in the director’s latest, already notorious film. Le Besco’s startling portrait of a household unhinged carefully observes the moment-by-moment realities of a group of people who seem to be devising their own reality as they go along.

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Burke and Hare

Burke and Hare

John Landis | 2010 | 91 mins

Thirty years after An American Werewolf in London, John Landis returns to the UK with a black comedy set in 19th-century Edinburgh. Two bumbling Irish hucksters (Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis) turn to lucrative grave-robbing and, before long, murder. With Tim Curry and Christopher Lee. In person: John Landis! Sneak Preview!

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Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Werner Herzog | 2010 | 90 mins

The intrepid filmmaker visits the 32,000-year-old cave paintings in Chauvet, France, and explores the origins of figuration and abstract thought. Granted unprecedented access, Herzog and his crew record the ineffably soulful presence of the ancient art, giving rise to images of remarkable freshness. And Herzog goes 3-D! Sneak Preview!

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Charly

Charly

Isilde Le Besco | 2007 | 95 mins

Topsy-turvy dynamics are at work in Le Besco’s second film, an oddball coming-of-age story about a sullen, semi-literate 14-year-old (played by Le Besco’s brother) who runs away from the farm and pantomimes a kind of marriage with the charismatic, slightly OCD title character (the excellent Julie-Marie Parmentier).

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City of Life and Death

City of Life and Death

Lu Chuan | 2009 | 132 mins

Lu’s wrenching look at the Japanese occupation of Nanking in 1937 establishes him as a world-class filmmaker—bridging the gap between China’s Fifth and Sixth generations by fusing the rigor and commitment to harsh reality of the latter with the commercial tendencies of the former, but without selling out.

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Cold Fish

Cold Fish

Sion Sono | 2010 | 144 mins

Two-and-a-half hours of full-throttle hysteria, splattered in eye-gougingly garish hues. Shamoto, the mild-mannered proprietor of a tropical fish store, finds himself and his family drawn into the orbit of a jovial fellow dealer named Murata, a serial killer who gleefully slaughters their competitors and disposes of their remains. Co-presented by Subway Cinema.

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Demi-Tarif

Demi-Tarif

Isilde Le Besco | 2003 | 63 mins

Released when Le Besco was 21, her incredibly assured debut follows the lives of three Parisian children, ages 7 to 9, left to their own devices by an absentee mother. The City of Lights becomes their private playground, but the despair of their situation remains.

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Domaine

Domaine

Patric Chiha | 2009 | 110 mins

The flamboyance and anarchy that reigns in an alcoholic mathematician's (Béatrice Dalle) life fascinates her gay teenage nephew (Isaïe Sultan). An unusually close relationship develops between them-more than friendly, ambiguously bordering on the amorous. Their strolling friendship is a homage to that between Albert Einstein and Kurt Gödel, but with more white wine and visits to discotheques. John Waters’s favorite movie of 2010!

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El Sicario, Room 164

El Sicario, Room 164

Gianfranco Rosi | 2010 | 80 mins

A Mexican hit man tells all in Rosi’s theatrical documentary, and the masked killer—veteran of the Ciudad Juárez ganglands—proves a master raconteur. The film’s description of Mexico’s body politic as a cadaver seething with maggots has the ring of truth — confirmed every day by the news. Director Gianfranco Rosi and author Charles Bowden in person for the 6:15 pm screening of El Sicario on Tuesday, February 22!

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Hobo with a Shotgun

Hobo with a Shotgun

Jason Eisener | 2011 | 86 mins

The winner of the Rodriguez/Tarantino Grindhouse fake-trailer contest, Hobo with a Shotgun has now been expanded to a hilariously warped feature-length smut homage, presented in glorious Technicolor. In addition to this super-awesome tagline, the film itself also delivers shocks and gore galore, ridiculously quotable dialogue, and all-around demented fun. Sneak Preview! Straight from Sundance! Director in person!

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I Only Want You to Love Me

I Only Want You to Love Me

Rainer Werner Fassbinder | 1976 | 104 mins

Born during Germany’s economic miracle and seeking his parents’ affection, awkward Peter eventually finds himself sucked into an endless cycle of purchases on credit and overtime. A rarely seen TV production, Fassbinder’s Sirk-inspired indictment of capitalism was based on an actual case study.

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I Saw the Devil

I Saw the Devil

Kim Jee-woon | 2010 | 141 mins

Giving new meaning to catch-and-release, a secret agent searches for the serial wacko who murdered his fiancée and takes a very special form of vengeance. The twisty, gruesome new thriller by the director of The Good, The Bad, The Weird was initially banned in South Korea for its meticulous attention to bloody detail. Co-presented by Subway Cinema.

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I Wish I Knew

I Wish I Knew

Jia Zhangke | 2010 | 136 mins

Jia Zhangke’s undervalued reflection on Shanghai as an epicenter of historical change charts stunning physical and cultural displacements. Originally a World Expo commission, Jia’s film is a delicate web of associations between interviews and clips, featuring witnesses to China’s churning such as a gangster’s daughter, and filmmakers including Hou Hsiao-hsien.

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Insidious

Insidious

James Wan | 2010 | 97 mins

In this super-scary reinvention of the haunted-house genre, Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne play the new homeowners. Soon enough, things go bump in the night, and their son falls into a mysterious coma. But when the family finally decamps to a new home, things get really frightening. Sneak Preview! Director in person!

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The Karski Report

The Karski Report

Claude Lanzmann | 2010 | 49 mins

The Shoah director’s powerful new film about Jan Karski — the Polish resistance figure who attempted to expose the Warsaw Ghetto and the Belzec extermination camp, and met with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter. A brief, brutally to-the-point essay on the boundaries of belief. SCREENING WITH: A Visitor from the Living: An interview with Maurice Rossel, the Red Cross doctor who favorably reviewed Auschwitz and Theresienstadt. In person: Claude Lanzmann on Saturday, February 26!

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Klaus Kinski: Jesus Christ the Savior

Klaus Kinski: Jesus Christ the Savior

Peter Geyer | 2008 | 84 mins

Klaus Kinski is Jesus, working off a soul-baring 30-plus-page monologue based on the life of Christ that the actor wrote himself. And then come the hecklers, who push Kinski to a psychotic breaking point that must be seen to be believed.

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Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen

Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen

Andrew Lau | 2010 | 104 mins

From the director of Infernal Affairs, this razzle-dazzle action flick set on the eve of World War II marks a new chapter in the mythology of Chen Zhen, the masked martial arts character originated by Bruce Lee in Fists of Fury. Superheroic fighting and crazed camerawork ensue. Co-Presented by Subway Cinema.

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Our Nazi

Our Nazi

Robert Kramer | 1985 | 114 mins

A raw, behind-the-scenes documentary about the twisted psychodrama surrounding the making of Wundkanal. Discussion after screening, moderated by Kent Jones.

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Robbery

Robbery

Peter Yates | 1967 | 110 mins

Made a year before the late Peter Yates directed Bullitt, this rarely seen caper about the Great Train Robbery opens with an extended diamond heist and police pursuit—as thrillingly executed as its more famous follow-up. With a cast of British regulars giving low-key, lived-in performances.

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The Silence / Das Letzte Schweigen

The Silence / Das Letzte Schweigen

Baran Bo Odar | 2010 | 120 mins

Acclaimed up-and-comer Odar’s coolly shot and paced feature is at once a grisly mystery and a metaphysical investigation of grief and guilt, suspicion and friendship. A 14-year-old girl from a small town goes missing, setting the stage for a haunted man to return to the scene of an unspeakable crime.

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Sobibor, Oct. 14, 1943, 4 p.m

Sobibor, Oct. 14, 1943, 4 p.m

Claude Lanzmann | 2001 | 95 mins

In this gripping counterpoint to wartime narratives, Holocaust survivor Yehuda Lerner recounts the uprising at Sobibor, a Nazi extermination camp in eastern Poland—the only successful such rebellion during the war. Drawn from interviews conducted in 1979 during the making of Shoah. New York Film Festival 2001. In person: Claude Lanzmann on Saturday, February 26!

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Sodankylä Forever

Sodankylä Forever

Peter von Bagh | 2010 | Parts 1 + 2: 149; Parts 3 + 4: 112 mins

This idiosyncratic and engrossing four-part history of cinema assembles 25 years worth of sound bites and anecdotes from a who’s who of directors attending Finland’s legendary Midnight Sun Film Festival.

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Straight to Hell Returns

Straight to Hell Returns

Alex Cox | 1987-2011 | 91 mins

Alex Cox’s extreme spaghetti western parody is back, with “digitally improved violence and cruelty.” Manic bank robbers on the run take refuge in a so-called deserted town that turns out to be even crazier than they are. With a cast including Joe Strummer, Shane MacGowan, Dennis Hopper, and Courtney Love. In person: Alex Cox! Afterparty with The So So Glos + Viva Radio DJ!

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Submarino

Submarino

Thomas Vinterberg | 2010 | 110 mins

Vinterberg’s return to the highs (or lows) of The Celebration is the devastating, completely mesmerizing portrait of two brothers, victims of a neglectful, abusive alcoholic mother and of childhood trauma so horrible that they are still battling to overcome it many years later—with little success. Starring the terrific Jakob Cedergren.

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The Velvet Underground and Nico

The Velvet Underground and Nico

Andy Warhol | 1966 | 103 mins

Essential viewing for fans who think they’ve heard it all. In the 1969 film, the Velvets jam in Warhol’s Factory—sunglasses, feedback, leather jackets, go-go boots—till the cops come. Then Warhol’s eye-boggling 1967 chronicle catches the band in concert at the Boston Tea Party. Afterparty DJed by Viva Radio!

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Wundkanal

Wundkanal

Thomas Harlan | 1984 | 112 mins

Depicting the kidnapping and interrogation of a war criminal—played by the man himself!—Wundkanal was directed by Thomas Harlan, son of filmmaker Veit Harlan, the director of the notorious anti-Semitic film Jud Süss.

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