Woody Allen—Play them again
Some say Woody Allen keeps making the same film over and over again – about a stressed-out Jewish New Yorker with love and career troubles. In fact, Allen’s films are very different thematically, each with its own carefully devised aesthetic scheme. Like no other filmmaker, Allen mirrors our own less than perfect aspects. No one has his knack for verbal and visual comedy. In January, we are presenting a string of highlights from Allen’s long, industrious career, ranging from "Play it Again, Sam" (1969) to "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" (2008).
The Woody Allen series consists of 16 films, screening throughout January
Danish films English subtitles—Annette K. Olesen's "Little Soldier"
Disillusioned and more than a little numb, perhaps even shell-shocked, The Little Soldier in question is Lotte, a somewhat masculine Danish female soldier returning from the war in Afghanistan. When she attempts to borrow money from her estranged father, he offers her a job as driver and minder for Nigerian Lily—his girlfriend in his prostitution enterprise. Though Lotte once again finds herself a woman in a man's world, a surprising, touching friendship between the two women develops, and Lotte's instinct to protect or even save kicks in. But who really needs saving? There's a lot going on here—prostitution, third world exploitation, gender issues, western imperialism, the dehumanising effects of war—but the centre of Olesen's and scriptwriter Aakeson's intriguing tale is undoubtledly the relationship between Lotte and her father. It's beautifully unexplained, and all the more intriguing for it. "Trine Dyrholm gives a fearless performance worthy of her standing as one of Denmark's leading actresses and Finn Nielsen is strongly convincing as a candidate for world's worst dad." (Rod White, programmer / Edinburgh Film Festival).
Thursday 21 January at 19:00.
Film of the month—"Stella"—an adolescent story devoid of clichés
This autobiographical film by Sylvie Verheyde is an incisive, funny and unusually complex portrait of an 11-year-old girl and her everyday life over the course of a year in the late 1970s. Perfectly capturing the pre-adolescent mix of audacity and vulnerability, "Stella" is mainly for adults. Léora Barbara in the lead is utterly credible, veering between self-preservation and fragility, as an altogether different heroine from the clichéd characters dominating contemporary American teen movies.
"Stella" screens from 21-30 January at 19:15.
From Hitler to Hollywood—cinema's exiles
Between 1933 and 1939 more than 800 European cinema artists fled to Hollywood, actors like Marlene Dietrich, Peter Lorre and Hedy Lamarr and directors like Fritz Lang and Billy Wilder. Their impact on American cinema was epochal. We are screening a number of significant works from the period, including "Fury" (1936) and "Double Indemnity" (1944). Moreover, we present a brand-new documentary, "Cinema's Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood," about Hollywood’s Europeans, who between them garnered 150 Academy Award nominations.
The series From Hitler to Hollywood, consisting of 8 films, screens throughout January.
John Hughes—with braces and weltschmerz
Teenage life has rarely been depicted with more humour and candour than in the films of John Hughes (1950-2009), the American director who brought us such pitch-perfect comedies as "Sixteen Candles" (1984), "The Breakfast Club" (1985), "Tast mig, jeg er din" (1985) and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (1986). Combining empathy with enthusiasm, Hughes portrayed the tender and awkward first-time experiences of burgeoning adulthood, when kids feel like misfits and love and sex are relentless, ungainly pressures.
The John Hughes series, consisting of 4 films, will screen Sundays at 14:00, the 10, 17, 24 and 31 January.
Jacob Holdt's America, and his wellspring of inspiration
The Danish photographer Jacob Holdt's snapshots tell a fascinating tale of American life over four decades. A show of his work, "Faith, Hope and Love—Jacob Holdt’s America," is up at the Louisiana Museum until 7 February. The Cinematheque in turn is screening three films about oppression and social rebellion that originally inspired Holdt to make his groundbreaking slide show "American Pictures.": "La hora de los hornos" (1968), "Antonio das mortes" (1969) and "The Harder They Come" (1972).
The series, consisting of 3 films, screens from 9-23 January.
A Beautiful World—nature films at their best
The real world is often much more fascinating than fiction. Intimate scenes and dramatic events take place every day in the animal kingdom that touch our hearts and make us hold our breath. As warnings of climate change sound every day, we offer a journey into an (almost) unspoiled universe where everyday miracles unfurl in images of staggering beauty. This is your chance to experience a series of nature films celebrating the amazing nature of our planet and the animals that live in it – from an affectionate peek at the tiniest insects and their rituals in "Microcosmos" (1996) to the Danish premiere of "The Crimson Wing" (2007), a mind-blowing film about flamingos.
The series, consisting of 6 films, screens throughout January.
Danish Film 2009—highlights
The Cinematheque has invited Sophie Engberg Sonne, film critic at the Politiken newspaper, to present her take on the most important Danish films of the past year. She writes, "Challenging, ambitious films, for the most part barely making their money back but exploring new subjects in unique visual vocabularies, are worthy of a second look at the Cinematheque." This is the chance to see for a first or second time "Antichrist", "Applause", "Burma VJ" and "Deliver Us from Evil" together with four other films.
The 8-film series screens between 8-31 January.
Every month the Cinematheque screens a selection of films requested by our audience. January's highlights include "Tulitikkutehtaan tyttö" (The Girl from the Match Factory, 1990) – Aki Kaurismäki's paraphrase of Hans Christian Andersens classic "The Little Match Girl"— the Taviani brothers epic "Kaos" (1984), and Julie Taymor’s "Frida" (2002) about the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.
The 9-film series screens throughout January.
Experimental—three lyrical works by Stan Brakhage
Stan Brakhage is a giant of American avant-garde film. His "Anticipation of the Night" (1958) introduced the concept of lyrical experimental film. Unbeholden to narrative, Brakhage’s films make intuitive leaps between shape and colour. Foregoing a camera, he glued moth wings directly onto the film for 1963's "Mothlight." The "Dog Star Man" series from 1961-64 saw him moving into a more epic style, though he hardly abandoned his singular visual approach to his materials.
Wednesday 27 January, 21:30
Psych-Out—the colours of the dark
Satanism, orgies, feverish visions – plus Edwige Fenech, the Sophia Loren of Italian B-movies! Sergio Martino’s consciousness-expanding rip-off of "Rosemary's Baby" has Fenech haunted by nightmares and seeking refuge with a mysterious psychiatrist and a neighbour with a fascination for the occult. Martino is one of the great Italian erotic-horror stylists of the early seventies. At his best, he approaches such masters as Dario Argento and Mario Bava. "Psych-Out," the Cinematheque's monthly night of weird genres, screens midnight movies, B-films, underground, eurotrash, grindhouse, double features, beat cinema, erotica and much, much worse.
Thursday 21 January 21:15. Includes introduction, psychodelic portable grammaphone and cold beer.
Friday Late Night—Joe Strummer, the voice from The Clash
Joe Strummer, the singer and guitarist of the Clash, died in December 2002, going out with a roar not a whimper, as broadcasts and newspaper headlines the world over proclaimed the legendary punk rocker's passing. The opening sequence of veteran punk-doc filmmaker Julien Temple’s film about Strummer boldly nails down the significance of the front man for the world’s most riotous punk band. No better choice than Temple, who also made a film about the Sex Pistols, to assemble a portrait of the rock rebel from multiple pieces, from Strummer’s public-school days, his years as a punk rock icon and his rebirth with the Mescaleros. With oodles of rare archive footage and interviews with people close to Strummer.
Friday 29 January at 22:00. Followed by bar and DJ.
Preview for members of the Cinematheque
"Mary and Max" by Academy Award winner Adam Elliot is both touching and very funny, an altogether unusual animated film appealing to older kids and curious adults alike. Mary in Australia is a chubby, lonely girl with mud-coloured eyes and a big mole on her forehead. By accident she writes a letter to Max, an equally lonely 44-year-old Jewish man in New York who goes to Overeaters Anonymous meetings and has Asperger’s. What they have in common is a powerful passion for chocolate and sweet condensed milk. Through their correspondence over 20 years, a beautiful and precious friendship grows. The story is based on fact, and the voices are delivered by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Toni Collette, Barry Humphries and Eric Bana.
Wednesday 20 January at 19:15.