In this fourth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker of Yale College presents four lectures on “The Films of John Huston.” All four lectures will be held on Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, starting on Sunday, Oct. 23, with the exception of the final lecture. The Nov. 13 lecture on “The African Queen” will begin at 1 PM. Admission to each lecture is $7.
Reservations are highly recommended.
John Huston is one of the giants of American cinema history. A director, screenwriter and occasional actor, his resume includes “The Maltese Falcon,” “Key Largo,” “The African Queen,” “The Man Who Would Be King” and “John Huston’s The Dead.” He was nominated for 15 Academy Awards and won twice (for direction and screenwriting for “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”).
Peter B. Flint wrote in The New York Times obituary of Huston:
The best Huston films have lean, fast-paced scripts and vibrant plots and characterizations, and many of them deal ironically with vanity, avarice and unfulfilled quests. In them, nonconformists and misfits brave danger fatalistically in a world where women are often peripheral.
He directed most of Hollywood’s stars with a sportive irreverence toward their images, and bucked Hollywood’s penchant for happy endings by concluding an unusual number of movies with love unsatisfied.
Mark will be discussing four Huston films: “The Maltese Falcon” (1941), “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” (1948), “The Asphalt Jungle” (1950), and “The African Queen” (1951).
The first film in the series, The Maltese Falcon,” was based on a book by Dashiell Hammett. It was Huston’s first directorial job. The late film critic Roger Ebert—who listed “The Maltese Falcon” as one of the “Great movies” on RogerEbert.com— wrote:
To describe the plot in a linear and logical fashion is almost impossible. That doesn’t matter. The movie is essentially a series of conversations punctuated by brief, violent interludes. It’s all style. It isn’t violence or chases, but the way the actors look, move, speak and embody their characters. Under the style is attitude: Hard men, in a hard season, in a society emerging from Depression and heading for war, are motivated by greed and capable of murder. For an hourly fee, Sam Spade will negotiate this terrain.
Oct. 23 (2 PM): “The Maltese Falcon”
Oct. 30 (2 PM): “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”
Nov. 6 (2 PM): “The Asphalt Jungle”
Nov. 13 (1 PM start): “The African Queen”
Mark Schenker’s lectures are accompanied by clips from the films to illustrate the points he is making. His previous lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.
• Thursday, Oct. 20. BLUEGRASS: THE KOREY BRODSKY BAND
• Friday, Oct. 21. BLUEGRASS/POP: JACKSON’S ISLAND
• Saturday, Oct. 22. JAZZ JAM with ALLEN LOWE
• Sunday, Oct. 23. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—JOHN HUSTON’S “THE MALTESE FALCON”
• Wednesday, Oct. 26. SINGER-SONGWRITER: NAMOLI BRENNET
• Thursday, Oct. 27. CELTIC AMERICA: THE EBIN-ROSE TRIO; SINGER-SONGWRITER: DOUGLAS ALAN
• Friday, Oct. 28. HALLOWEEN SILENT FILM SCREENING WITH LIVE SCORE: LIGHT UPON BLIGHT PLAYS TO “NOSFERATU”
• Saturday, Oct. 29. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “SPIRITED AWAY” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)
• Sunday, Oct. 30. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—JOHN HUSTON’S “THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE”
• Thursday, Nov. 3. ROCK: ROPE, THE TOMMYS
• Saturday, Nov. 5. AMERICANA: MATT WHEELER, GOODNIGHT BLUE MOON DUO
• Sunday, Nov. 6. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—JOHN HUSTON’S “THE ASPHALT JUNGLE”
• Thursday, Nov. 10. ALT-COUNTRY: SEPIATONE
• Friday, Nov. 11. FERNANDO PINTO PRESENTS JESSE TERRY & CALLAGHAN
• Sunday, Nov. 13. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—JOHN HUSTON’S “THE AFRICAN QUEEN” (1 PM)
• Sunday, Nov. 13. KLEZMER JAM (6 PM)
• Thursday, Nov. 17. LITERARY READING: ALICE MATTISON
• Saturday, Nov. 19. JAZZ JAM with ALLEN LOWE
• Wednesday, Nov. 23. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: DANIEL BACHMAN
• Friday, Nov. 25. BLUEGRASS/TRADITIONAL COUNTRY: DAVE PETERSON (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)
• Saturday, Nov. 26. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)
• Thursday, Dec. 1. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: GLENN ROTH
• Friday, Dec. 9. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY BAND (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)
• Friday, Dec. 16. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS
• Saturday, Dec. 17. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “THE GOONIES” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)
• Saturday, Jan. 28. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)