The Coming PFA Schedule

The new Pacific Film Archive schedule arrived in the mail today, and it left me wanting to move into the screening room for a few months.

Unfortunately, that’s not possible, and not only because it lack beds and showers. I’m directing a one-act play to be performed on February 23, and my time will be restricted.

But here’s some of the highlights. I hope I can catch a few.

Alfred Hitchcock: The Shape of Suspense
January 11 – April 24
Running well beyond this two-month calendar, this series will screen 28 of Hitchcock’s 53 films, concentrating primarily but not exclusively on his American work. It includes all of his major films (unless you count The Lodger and Blackmail), and quite a few lesser but still interesting one. My top priority here: Under Capricorn, which I’ve never seen, in an imported print, on March 3. The series also includes all of my personal favorite Hitchcocks: The Lady Vanishes, Rear Window, North by Northwest, Strangers on a Train, Shadow of a Doubt, Notorious, and Psycho.

The Hills Run Red: Italian Westerns, Leone, and Beyond
January 10 – January 27
I’m not really an expert on spaghetti westerns, especially when you get beyond Sergio Leone. In fact, this six-film series contains nothing I’ve seen, including Duck, You Sucker, the one Leone title in the bunch. I’m hoping to find time to rectify this.

Film 50: History of Cinema: The Cinematic City
January 23 – May 1
Marilyn Fabe’s usual Wednesday afternoon film class (open to the public) concentrates this semester on urban environments. Features include Berlin: Symphony of a Great City, Metropolis, The Bicycle Thief, The Third Man, and Do the Right Thing.

Werner Schroeter: Magnificent Obsessions
January 19 – March 31
Until I opened the schedule, I’d never heard of this German experimental filmmaker, who suddenly appeared on the scene in 1967 (a major year for experimentation), and went on to influence Fassbinder and Wenders. Maybe I’ll have time to acquaint myself with his work.

African Film Festival 2013
January 23 – February 5
I should learn to expect this one, since it happens every year. I’ve never heard of any of these films, but that’s basically the point. I’m sure there are some wonderful gems here.