New Pacific Film Archive Schedule

I just received the Pacific Film Archive’s schedule for January and February. Some interesting stuff, and some disappointing things missing.

But then, those are two short months for the PFA. The Archive closes every year for U.C.’s winter break, and by the time it reopens on January 11, the month is a third gone. February is short for everyone, of course.

One promising series is The Medieval Remake, a examination on how world cinema has imagined Europe’s middle ages. Among the better known titles are Andrei Rublev (maybe I’ll finally get a chance to see it), Alexander Nevsky, The Nibelungen, Parts I and II (with different pianists), and The Seventh Seal (which they just showed a couple of weeks ago).

All of these films are European and generally considered high art. Nothing wrong with that–if I had the time, I’d catch every one. But you can’t truly explore how filmmakers have imagined and recreated the middle ages without including some Hollywood hokum. What this program clearly needs is Adventures of Robin Hood, which doesn’t use medieval Europe as religious allegory or national propaganda, and certainly doesn’t recreate it as it really was, but as it should have been.

Other series include Cool World: Jazz and the Movies, an African Film Festival, and tributes to actors Jean-Pierre Léaud and Sessue Hayakawa.

One thought on “New Pacific Film Archive Schedule

  1. I think the Medieval series the way it is; the fact that [i]the Seventh Seal[/i] is such a recent repeat performance might be a legitimate complaint, but presumably it was a success last time around, and given Bergman’s recent death it’s appropriate to get another chance to see it.

    All of the films from this series I’ve seen so far take an approach of “recreating” more than “reimagining” the Medieval era. I think [i]Adventures of Robin Hood[/i] would be a bit out of place.

    But I have noticed since Susan Oxtoby took the reigns at the PFA that there has been somewhat less of an emphasis on Hollywood filmmaking (though the jazz series and the Hayakawa films are good selections). Maybe it’s because more of these films are coming out on DVD, or maybe it’s just my imagination. But it seems to come at a time when the Castro is doing less in the way of programming lesser-known films from the Golden Age of Hollywood as well, which leaves the Stanford as the only venue to expose audiences to Hollywood films they haven’t heard of before on a regular basis.

    Maybe there can be a sequel to “the Medieval Remake” featuring American films, like the Curtiz and Dwan [i]Robin Hood[/i] films, [i]Ivanhoe[/i], [i]El Cid[/i], etc…

    PS I can’t find an e-mail address for you here on this site (maybe I’m not looking hard enough) but there’s something I’d like to ask. My e-mail is boingdiddleypop, and my e-mail provider rhymes with wahoo. If you have a moment.

Comments are closed.