Bergman, Bergman, Wiseman, Visconti, & more Bergman: Autumn at the BAMPFA

Summer wanes. Children look in trepidation to the coming of the school year, while their parents rejoice. And we get a new round of film series at the BAMPFA (formerly the Pacific Film Archive). Here’s what’s coming up for Berkeleyites in the fall:

In Focus: Ingmar Bergman August 29 – November 28

BAMPFA has gone Bergman crazy this year as they celebrate the auteur’s centenary. This Wednesday afternoon series concentrates on his classics, all of which have already screened this year at BAMPFA. But this time you get a lecture along with the picture. The films include:

Between Politics and Poetry: Makhmalbaf Film House September 1–October 20

In the late 1990s, top Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf taught the craft to his family. Think of them as Iran’s answer to the Coppola family. I’ve seen only one of these eleven films: Silence (Saturday, September 15 7:30), long ago, and I loved it.

Bergman 100: Discoveries & Rarities September 1–November 4

This series covers little known Bergman works: documentaries, films Bergman made outside of Sweden, or ones not in Swedish. It even includes Victor Sjöström’s The Phantom Carriage, a silent film that influenced Bergman (Saturday, Sep 22, 8:00).

Alternative Visions 2018 September 5–November 28

Nearly three months of weekly fixes of avant-garde cinema. Among other oddities: Andy Warhol’s Poor Little Rich Girl (not to be confused with the Shirley Temple version; Wednesday, Sep 19, 7:00) and The Book of Wonders: Films by Stan Brakhage and Georges Méliès (Wednesday, Sep 26, 7:00)

Frederick Wiseman: On Documentary September 13–30

This modest series presents only four of Wiseman’s 47 documentaries. But it also includes a discussion with Wiseman, himself:

Luchino Visconti: Cinema of Struggle and Splendor
September 14–November 30

I haven’t seen as much of this important Italian director’s work as I should. The 13 films in the series include:

Mark Morris Presents: In the Age of Pepperland
September 28–November 25

A selection of films “that reflect the irrepressible creativity of the late sixties,” even if some are from the early 60s. These include:

Chinese Cinema Classics: Screen Idols and Stardom Reexamined
October 5–14

Chinese film expert Paul Fonoroff presents five movies from 1934 to 1947. I’ve seen only the opening night movie, The Goddess (Friday, October 5 7:00) – a real tearjerker.

First-Person Cinema: Marie Menken, Margaret Tait, and Ute Aurand, October 17–21

Aurand, along with her frequent collaborators Marie Menken and Margaret Tait, make expressive films in the first-person cinema tradition (which I don’t quite understand). Over a few days, BAMPFA will screen three collections of their shorts.

1968 and Global Cinema October 19–November 29

Human culture changed in 1968. Riots broke out in the USA, France, and even Communist-controlled Czechoslovakia. Hollywood replaced censorship with the rating system. And just before the year ended, we saw, for the first time, Planet Earth floating in space. This series avoids the obvious and includes less-remembered movies, most of which were made after the title year.

Afterimage: Agnieszka Holland October 25–28

I know nothing about this Eastern European auteur. BAMPFA is screening three of her features and a three-part TV miniseries she created.

Bergman 100: Late Works October 28–November 30

Inmar Bergman was supposed to retire after making Fanny and Alexander in 1982. But he continued to write scripts, and occasionally directed for television. This very small series, which screens in BAMPFA’s very small Theater 2, presents three TV features made between 1986 and 2000.

Jean Vigo Regained November 2–23

Vigo only made four films, all playful and full of life. Only one of them, L’Atalante, is feature-length. Three screenings will cover all his work along with some extras.

Afterimage: Corneliu Porumboiu November 8–16

I’ve only seen one of this Romanian director’s work: When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism (Friday, November 16 7:00). I didn’t care for it.