At the HFA: Arthur Penn in person!

If you’re looking for something Non-football related to do over the next few days, check out what’s going on over at the Harvard Film Archive! sean
At the Harvard Film Archive February 1 – February 7, 2008 Arthur Penn, American Auteur February 1 – February 4 Arthur Penn in person February 1 and February 2! Director Arthur Penn in person Special Event Tickets $10 The Chase Friday February 1 at 7pm Penns first great masterpiece is also one of his darkest works, a portrait of small town America as a festering backwater stagnant with avarice, envy and racism. Marlon Brando is magnificent as the weary sheriff appointed by a small towns corrupt patriarch and reluctantly assigned to capture a misunderstood fugitive, played by Robert Redford. As night descends, debauched house parties boil over into a frenzied carnival of raw violence that tears apart the flimsy façade of cracker barrel hospitality erected by the town elders. With an impressive line-up that includes Angie Dickenson, Jane Fonda, James Fox, Bruce Cabot and Miriam Hopkins, The Chase boasts an ensemble cast that draws from both Old and New Hollywood. Directed by Arthur Penn. With Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford US 1966, 35mm, color, 135 min. Screening with The Tears of My Sister In 1953, Penn directed two live television dramas from scripts by Horton Foote, The Death of the Old Man and The Tears of My Sister. The broadcasts mark the beginning of Penn’s work for live television, which would culminate in The Miracle Worker and launch Penn’s film career, as well as the beginning of a partnership with Foote that would be renewed with The Chase (based on Foote’s play and subsequent novel). The Tears of My Sister is narrated by a young girl, whose voice we hear but do not see, played by Kim Stanley, as she watches her older sister struggle with the pressure to marry a man she does not love. Directed by Arthur Penn. With Kim Stanley, Katherine Squire, Frank Overton US 1953, video, b/w, 30 min. Little Big Man Saturday February 2 at 3pm A remarkable adaptation of the Thomas Berger novel, Penns epic recasting of American history blends dark satire with ribald comedy to crack open the myths of the tamingof the Western frontier. Dustin Hoffmans hilarious and heart-wrenching portrait of the stumbling anti-hero, Jack Crabb, brings a poignant vulnerability to Bergers story of the little manswept along by the forces of history. Often cited as one the finest of the revisionist Westerns, Little Big Mans potent outrage over the cruel massacre of Native Americans echoed loudly during the Vietnam War. Directed by Arthur Penn. With Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Martin Balsam US 1970, 35mm, color, 150 min. Director Arthur Penn in person Special Event Tickets $10 Night Moves Saturday February 2 at 7pm One of the strongest of the film noir revivals popular during the 1970s, Night Moves pushes the genre to a bleak point of no return. Gene Hackman is wonderfully cast as a disillusioned Los Angeles detective hired to track down a washed out movie stars daughter while also trying to understand the mystery of his own rapidly disintegrating marriage. Night Moves sinister tale of conspiracy and intrigue powerfully evokes the Watergate-era and stands as one of the quintessential American films of the 1970s. Directed by Arthur Penn. With Gene Hackman, Jennifer Warren, Susan Clark US 1975, 35mm, color, 100 min. Followed by Mickey One Strangely underrated, Penns wonderfully offbeat and inventive film is an extraordinary tour de force and one of his most stylish and satisfying works. Warren Beatty gives a brilliant turn as Mickey, a stand-up comedian on the lam who descends, like Orpheus, into a strange back alley underworld that just might be of his own invention. At turns haunting and comic, Mickey One offers a mysterious allegory of fear and redemption that features gorgeous photography by Robert Bressons favorite cinematographer, Ghislain Cloquet, and an improvised soundtrack by jazz great Stan Getz. Directed by Arthur Penn. With Warren Beatty, Alexandra Stewart, Hurd Hatfield US 1965, 35mm, b/w, 93 min. And The Hightest from Visions of Eight In Penns cinema the human body is frequently explored as expressive medium, with gesture, posture and movement taking on a new level of meaning and subtlety in his filmsoften more expressive than even dialogue. Penns contribution to the eight-part omnibus film of the 1972 Tokyo Olympics is a wonderful study of the body in motion that follows the thrilling trials of the pole vaulting competition. Directed by Arthur Penn. US/West Germany 1973, video, color Alices Restaurant Sunday February 3 at 3pm Loosely based on Arlo Guthries spoken ballad, Alices Restaurant is Penns first and only credit as a screenwriter. A lament to the end of the countercultural revolution,Penns film vividly evokes the hopes and dreams burnished by the hippie generation. Guthrie himself stars as a wandering soul perplexed by the strange contradictions of America during the Vietnam-era and ultimately engaged in a peaceful one-man battle against the bureaucratic war machine. Effused with a melancholy spirit, Alices Restaurant is one of Penns gentlest and most poignant films. Directed by Arthur Penn. With Arlo Guthrie, Pat Quinn, James Broderick US 1969, 35mm, color, 111 min. Bonnie and Clyde Sunday February 3 at 7pm One of the pivotal films of the 1960s, Bonnie and Clyde is also a wonderful portrait of amour fou, with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway as the eponymous heroes whose pursuit of love and larceny scars a dark arrow across the heart of America. Penns brilliant evocation of the Depression-era and Americas most notorious bandits caused a scandal for its unusual counterbalance of comedy with a new level of graphic violence hitherto unseen in American cinema. Directed by Arthur Penn. With Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman US 1967, 35mm, b/w, 111 min. Followed by The Left Handed Gun Totally ignored by American critics when it was first released, The Left Handed Gun was recognized as a major first film by the French, who noted the films sensitive portrait of troubled youth and its disturbing vision of violent America. Originally conceived as a vehicle for James Dean, Penns debut explores the first in a line of social outcasts that recur throughout Penns cinema, reinventing the legendary figure of Billy the Kid as a sympathetic misfit unable to integrate into a society deliberately cruel to those who are different. Paul Newman subtly captures Billys fragile, troubled life in a nuanced performance that frequently replaces words with resonant and unexpected gestures. Directed by Arthur Penn. With Paul Newman, Lita Milan, John Dehner US 1958, 35mm, b/w, 105 min. The Miracle Worker Monday February 4 at 7pm Penns first real recognition as a director came from his screen adaptation of the beloved play which he had successfully directed twice on Broadway. For the screen, Penn beautifully captured the tenderness and terror that united Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, played with great sensitivity and power by Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft, respectively. The Miracle Worker is a key work in Penns oeuvre, the film that perhaps makes clearest the concern for non-verbal communication and expressive gestures that runs throughout his films. Directed by Arthur Penn. With Anne Bancroft, Patty Duke, Victor Jory US 1962, 35mm, b/w, 106 min. Missouri Breaks Monday February 4 at 9pm Featuring the incredible pairing of Jack Nicholson as a feckless cattle thief and Marlon Brando as the Irish regulatorhired to hunt him down, Missouri Breaks is a rollicking and highly unusual Western that, in typical Penn fashion, strains the boundaries of the genre. Penns empowerment of performers is taken to a wonderful furthest extreme by the subversive presence of Brandos cross-dressing and unpredictable assassin, who effectively turns codes of masculinity and narrative continuity upon their heads. Once dismissed as an oddityin Penns career, The Missouri Breaks has been reevaluated as one of the more ambitious and original Westerns of its time, placing it in the company of Peter Fondas The Hired Hand and Monte Hellmans The Shooting. Directed by Arthur Penn. With Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid US 1976, 35mm, color, 126 min. The Harvard Film Archive is located on the lower level of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, 24 Quincy St. Cambridge 617 495 4700 Check us out on myspace: or on facebook:

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