You may have noticed that recently there haven’t been any movies playing at the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA). No, it’s not closing down like so many theaters. It’s just that the museum’s Barbro Osher Theater always closes down in the last half of May.
But coming in June, movies will return to the museum’s main theater. BAMPFA doesn’t just show good movies. Every film they show is part of a series. So here are the five film series that will run in Berkeley this summer:
The Films of Marta Meszaros
June 3–July 20, 2022
Up until I received a recent press release, I had never seen or heard of Marta Meszaros, or her films. Most of this Hungarian auteur’s works were made behind the Iron Curtain – so you can imagine how difficult it was to break the glass ceiling. Since I don’t know anything about her work, I’ll just repeat a quote of hers available on the BAMPFA website: “Since my first film, I have attempted in a very deliberate and stubborn way to portray women capable of making independent decisions.”
The Films of Márta Mészáros: Diary for My Lovers
Film Preservation: Celebrating the Film Foundation
June 4–August 27, 2022
I’m fascinated with film restoration and preservation. Here are 16 features and ten shorts restored by Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation. Other organizations involved with these restorations include Cineteca di Bologna, UCLA Film & Television Archive, MoMA, and Janus Films. Among the films restored are L’Atalante, Shadows, The Tree of Wooden Clogs, and Barbara Loden’s excellent Wanda. The film I’m most excited to see is Ernst Lubitsch’s Forbidden Paradise.
Film Preservation: Forbidden Paradise
Indelible Moments: May I Have This Dance
June 12–August 25, 2022
Dances have thrilled people in the movies since Rudolph Valentino blew smoke at the lens and set hearts aflutter with a sexy tango. Here are fourteen feature films where people occasionally dance…even if none of these movies are actually musicals. For whatever reason, people in all kinds of movies kick up their heels and bring magic to the screen. The films in this series include The Gold Rush, Vivre sa vie, My Darling Clementine, Playtime, Killer of Sheep, Do the Right Thing, and Band of Outsiders.
Have This Dance: Band of Outsiders
Forever Kinuyo Tanaka
July 8–August 28, 2022
This Japanese actress has performed in 216 films, The series of her work includes six films in which she played leading roles, including Ozu’s late silent, Dragnet Girl. Other films she starred in include Where Chimneys Are Seen, The Life of Oharu, and Let’s Go, Grandma! She also directed six films, and all six of those are in this series. [I have rewritten this paragraph after it was originally posted.]
Forever Kinuyo Tanaka: Dragnet Girl
From the Front Page to the Front Lines: The Essential Sam Fuller
July 29–August 31, 2022
I’ve been something of a fan of Samuel Fuller for years. After working in newspapers and fighting in World War II, Fuller discovered his true calling: writing and directing noirs, westerns, and war films – and every one has a message. His pictures deliver humane messages with the delicacy of a sledge hammer. Among his best works are The Steel Helmet, Forty Guns, The Crimson Kimono, The Naked Kiss, The Big Red One, and best of all, Pickup on South Street.
Sam Fuller: Pickup on South Street
A lot of interesting films are coming to downtown Berkeley.