Fall movies at the BAMPFA

Summer vacation is nearly over. Kids will soon be in school. Adults, and maybe some really smart kids, will go to the BAMPFA to see movies that don’t show up at your local multiplex.

From late August well into November, the Berkeley Art Museum’s movie theater will screen seven new film series, along with continuing ones.

Here are the ne ones that really have me interested:

Looking Back at the British New Wave, September 21–November 30

Yes, you can watch edgy, low-budget European films from the 60s without subtitles. The films include Look Back in Anger, The Entertainer, If . . .
(which was very powerful in 1970, but may be too close to the bone in 21st century America), and Blow-Up; you can read my article on this one.

Jacques Tati: Comedy as Choreography, October 25–November 30, 2019

This French actor/auteur is the closest we’ve had to a silent comic since Chaplin reluctantly talked. He only made five feature films, and this series covers all of them. In four of them he played the rumpled, rarely-speaking Monsieur Hulot, a gentle, decent man tangled in a world of absurd human behavior. As a director, he could make architecture funny.

Out of the Vault: Native American Reelism, September 12–November 14

The second A in BAMPFA stands for Archive, and this three-program series presents films from the BAMPFA vaults. These three programs present multiple films by or about American Original People, all with a panel discussion. I’ve seen one film on the list, and it’s worth catching: The Silent Enemy, a late silent set before the European invasion.

No Regrets: A Celebration of Marlon Riggs, September 19–November 25

I must confess, I have never seen a film by Marlon Riggs, but I know I should. Black and gay, and thus doubly out of the mainstream, he made documentaries about the edges of American society. His best-known works are Black Is . . . Black Ain’t and Tongues Untied. The series also includes Cheryl Dunye’s The Watermelon Woman.

Some other series coming up: