In an effort to initiate public dialogue in the City of Arts and Innovation, about cinema as art, the greatest of all the arts nonetheless, a/perture cinema introduced a new screening and discussion series in 2015. This series centers on the notion of “looking at art cinema.” Together, the community and selected speakers, will discuss a curated list of films. Some of these films you have seen and some you may have not, but either way we hope the discussions will allow you to see them anew.
Looking @ Art Cinema is sponsored by Camino Bakery.
The Fall 2017 series for Looking @ Art Cinema will look at the art of fear. Horror films are rarely referred to as works of art – overlooked by critics and rarely recognized for awards. The movie going public often views horror movies as a sort of sub-par entertainment only enjoyed by those with a pension for violence and gore, but one genre of horror, sometimes referred to as art-house, challenges stereotypes. Using a fresh approach to the genre, these kinds of movies turn horror into thoughtful and artistic masterpieces – we’ll examine two of these.
Looking @ Art Cinema – The Art of Fear will be hosted by Mark Burger.
A graduate of Temple University, Mark Burger was born in Philadelphia and grew up in New Jersey. He has been a professional film critic and historian for over 25 years, with numerous accolades to his name – including two North Carolina Press Association awards for criticism. He has reviewed and discussed films on television, radio and podcasts throughout the Southeast. Recently he has published in-depth articles for The Dark Side and Shock Cinema magazines. In addition, he has written DVD and Blu-ray liner notes for such companies as Anchor Bay Entertainment, Shout! Factory, and Alpha Home Entertainment. He currently makes his home in Winston-Salem.
Statement from Mark Burger –
I wanted to celebrate Halloween by highlighting horror films that specifically played on the art-house circuit when originally released, and I also wanted to choose films that took place in a recognizably contemporary setting, as opposed to a period piece.
The Last Wave (1977) was the film that catapulted Peter Weir to international fame and established him as a pivotal figure in Australia’s New Wave of filmmakers. The company that released it in America, World-Northal, was principally known for kung-fu films that played on the grindhouse/drive-in circuits, but The Last Wave proved both a critical and commercial success the world over.
Roman Polanski needs no introduction, and his 1976 film The Tenant, shares some thematic similarities with Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby. It’s also the last time he directed himself in a feature, and feayired perhaps the most illustrious cast of any of his films: Isabelle Adjani, Claude Dauphin, Bernard Fresson, and four Academy Award winners: Melvyn Douglas, Shelley Winters, Jo Van Fleet and Lila Kedrova.
Both films are intricately plotted and intensely suspenseful, very much in the tradition of the psychological thriller, and I believe both are undisputed classics, ripe for rediscovery – particularly during the Halloween season.
Special event pricing for the series applies- general admission prices will be $14.50 per screening, college students $12.50 and a/v society members will receive a discounted price of $11.50 per screening. Admission includes film, discussion and coffee/pastries from Camino Bakery. Find more information on specific titles and ticketing links below.
FALL 2017: LOOKING @ THE ART OF FEAR
Saturday, Oct 7 @ 9:30AM
Director Roman Polanski casts himself in the lead of the psychological thriller The Tenant. Trelkovsky (Polanski) rents an apartment in a spooky old residential building, where his neighbors — mostly old recluses — eye him with suspicious contempt. Upon discovering that the apartment’s previous tenant, a beautiful young woman, jumped from the window in a suicide attempt, Trelkovsky begins obsessing over the dead woman. Growing increasingly paranoid, Trelkovsky convinces himself that his neighbors plan to kill him. He even comes to the conclusion that Stella (Isabel Adjani), the woman he has fallen in love with, is in on the “plot.” Ultimately, Polanski assumes the identity of the suicide victim — and inherits her self-destructive urges. Some critics found the movie tedious and overdone; others compared it to Polanski’s early breakthrough, Repulsion. (R)
THE LAST WAVE
Saturday, Oct 21 @ 9:30AM
Peter Weir directed this illusory examination between “reality” and “dream-time” and a possible coming tidal wave that will destroy the world. Richard Chamberlain plays David Burton, a young Australian lawyer who is asked by Legal Aid to represent four Aboriginal youths who are accused of killing another Aborigine in a drunken brawl. Burton accepts the case, and he then proceeds to have a series of dreams in which one of the four defendants is trying to give him a sacred stone. As layers of reality are peeled away, Burton discovers that the killing was in retribution for the murder victim’s theft of sacred stones. The stones resembled the one in Burton’s recurring dream. Finally, Burton discovers that the murder weapon was neither a gun nor a knife, but a shaman’s sacred bone — the shaman pointed the bone at the victim and the victim died of a heart attack. As Burton unravels the case, he finds himself becoming more and more a part of the Aborigine’s dream-time until realizing that he is a psychic member of an ancient Australian tribe that had disappeared long ago. (PG)