Prof. Mark Schenker returns for new lecture series starting Sun., July 9; “How to Read a Film” subject is films of Howard Hawks

In this fifth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker of Yale College presents four lectures on “The Films of Howard Hawks.” All four lectures will be held on consecutive Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, starting on Sunday, July 9. Admission to each lecture is $7.

Howard Hawks on the set of “Bringing Up Baby” (1938).

Reservations are highly recommended.

Hawks’ filmography spans the decades—from “The Road to Glory” (1926) through “Rio Lobo” (1970)—and spans genres, from screwball comedy through sci-fi, western, war films and more. Hawks was nominated for a Best Director Oscar in 1942 for “Sergeant York” and received an Honorary Academy Award in 1975 as a “a master American filmmaker whose creative efforts hold a distinguished place in world cinema.”

Roger Ebert hailed Hawks shortly after the director’s death in 1977:

Hawks never consciously aimed for art in his films, and was perhaps quietly amazed that people found it there. But they did. He was never as well known with the public as some of his contemporaries, like Hitchcock and DeMille and Ford. But if you loved movies, you lost a friend the other day. Hawks directed some of the greatest entertainments ever made, and fundamentally shaped the way we perceive many of the great stars.

This series affords Prof. Schenker the opportunity to not only delve into Hawks’ directorial style but also to tease out the various genre conventions the director played with. As with his previous lecture series, Schenker will explore highlights of Hawks’ filmography chronologically, starting with the 1932 gangster classic “Scarface.” The 1940 screwball comedy “His Girl Friday,” starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, is the topic on July 16. The film noir “The Big Sleep,” based on the Raymond Chandler novel and starring Humphrey Bogart, is the focus on July 23 and discussion of the western “Rio Bravo” concludes the series on July 30.

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, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Schedule:

Sun., July 9, 2 PM: “Scarface” (1932)

Sun., July 16, 2 PM: “His Girl Friday” (1940)

Sun., July 23, 2 PM: “The Big Sleep” (1946)

Sun., July 30, 2 PM: “Rio Bravo” (1959)

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Wednesday, June 14. INDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE, GRASS STAINS

• Thursday, June 15. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DAVID BROOKS (OF THE STREAMS)

• Friday, June 16, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: MILE TWELVE (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Wednesday, June 21. PROGRESSIVE FOLK: FE FI FO, SINGER-SONGWRITER: KRIZTA MOON

• Thursday, June 22. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND; CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL MUSIC: THE CHRIS CHILDS TRIO

• Friday, June 23. CHAMBER ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE; INDIE ROCK: S.G. CARLSON

• Wednesday, June 28. ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC IMPROVISATION: NOAH & DAVID CHEVAN

• Thursday, June 29. POST-MODERN JAZZ/VOCALS: MÉLANGE À TROIS

• Friday, June 30. BLUEGRASS: THE DUDLEY FARMS STRING BAND

• Wednesday, July 5. CONTRA DANCE TUNES: WRY BRED

• Thursday, July 6. BLUES ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT.

• Friday, July 7. BLUES/FOLK: CODA BLUE

• Sunday, July 9, 2 PM. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—HOWARD HAWK’S SCARFACE” (1932)

• Wednesday, July 12. SURF ROCK: THE CLAMS

• Thursday, July 13. ROCK: THE RIGHT OFFS

• Friday, July 14. ROCK: ROPE

• Sunday, July 16, 2 PM. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—HOWARD HAWK’S “HIS GIRL FRIDAY” (1940)

• Wednesday, July 19. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Friday, July 21. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH; SINGER-SONGWRITER: DANA MERRITT

• Sunday, July 23, 2 PM. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—HOWARD HAWK’S “THE BIG SLEEP” (1946)

• Wednesday, July 26. MUSIC FROM “THE SIMPSONS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRES OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Friday, July 28. WORLD MUSIC: NEELA

• Sunday, July 30, 2 PM. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—HOWARD HAWK’S “RIO BRAVO” (1959)

• Wednesday, Aug. 2. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Friday, Aug. 4, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Wednesday, Aug. 9. EXPERIMENTAL: HUMAN FLOURISHING

• Thursday, Aug. 10. ALT-COUNTRY: PLYWOOD COWBOY

• Friday, Aug. 11. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN & HER BAND

• Wednesday, Aug. 16. INDIE ROCK: FURNSSS, TRASH CAN

• Friday, Aug. 25. POP ROCK: OBERON ROSE

• Friday, Sept. 8. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

• Friday, Sept. 15, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Wednesday, Sept. 20. BLUEGRASS: BAIT AND SWITCH

• Friday, Sept. 22. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Saturday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOHN GORKA (ODDBALL PRODUCTIONS)

• Friday, Oct. 20. BLUEGRASS: MISSY RAINES & THE NEW HIP (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN

 

New releases 3/7/17

Top Hits
Jackie (bio-pic focusing on White House years, Natalie Portman. Rotten Tomatoes 89%. Metacritic: 81. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “‘Jackie’ doesn’t try to complete that impossible, apparently unfinishable movie, the never-ending epic known as ‘The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy and What It Means to History.’ Instead, set largely after his death, it explores the intersection of the private and the public while ruminating on the transformation of the past into myth. It also pulls off a nice representational coup because it proves that the problem known as the Movie Wife — you know her, the little lady hovering at the edge of both the frame and story — can be solved with thought and good filmmaking. And as in Warhol’s Jackie portraits, John F. Kennedy is somewhat of a bit player here.” Read more…)

I Am Michael (true-life drama, James Franco. Rotten Tomatoes 66%. Metacritic: 56. From Jeannette Catsoylis’  New York Times review: “After watching ‘I Am Michael,’ Justin Kelly’s dreary gay-conversion biopic, I felt rather sorry for James Franco. As Michael Glatze, a gay-rights agitator who struggled to become a straight Christian pastor, Mr. Franco broods and puzzles and vacillates. But he often seems abandoned by a director whose approach is so noncommittal and dramatically limp that it strands the actor, and his character, in a bland purgatory of conflicting motivations. While intellectually laudable, Mr. Kelly’s determined objectivity is so distancing that it takes an inherently intriguing story [based on a 2011 article in The New York Times Magazine] and sucks the life out of it.” Read more…)

The Eyes of My Mother (horror, Diana Agostini. Rotten Tomatoes 76%. Metacritic: 64. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “From the very first shot, Nicolas Pesce’s ‘The Eyes of My Mother’ unsettles as a broken woman staggers along a deserted country road before collapsing in front of an oncoming truck. It will be a long time before we learn who she is or what has happened to her; meantime, there are more than enough horrors to keep us occupied.” Read more…)

Always Shine (feminist thriller, Mackenzie Davis. Rotten Tomatoes 91%. Metacritic: 72. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Glenn Kenny’s Times review: “On the surface, ‘Always Shine’ is a tense thriller about failed female alliances — much of the time it seems poised to become a remake of ‘Persona,’ as made by the horror director Alexandre Aja. But it’s not that, or rather, it’s not just that. Directed by Sophia Takal from a script by Lawrence Michael Levine [Ms. Takal appeared in Mr. Levine’s 2014 comedy, ‘Wild Canaries’], ‘Always Shine’ is a deft, assured movie with a sly self-reflexive undercurrent containing commentary on sexism and self-idealization that’s provocative, and sometimes disturbing.” Read more…)

Moana (Disney animated feature, Auli’i Cravalho. Rotten Tomatoes 95%. Metacritic: 81. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “Moana is the daughter of a chief and will someday inherit her father’s position, but she’s furious when Maui, a tattooed, muscle-bound demigod, calls her a princess. Moana [MWAH-nah] is not only part of a dynastic line but also a girl off on an adventure in the company of a cute animal sidekick [a dimwitted chicken named Heihei]. So not just any princess, in other words: a Disney princess. She may be on a quest to save her island and restore ecological balance to the planet, but Moana [voiced by Auli’i Cravalho] is also upholding a brand.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Jackie
Moana

New Foreign
Tanna (Australia, drama, Marie Wawa. Rotten Tomatoes 87%. Metacritic: 75. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “Named for the remote South Pacific island where it was filmed, ‘Tanna’ is a movie in which every single shot is picturesque, and more than a few of them are genuinely beautiful. For a North American viewer, it may serve two functions of cinema: showing a remote and unfamiliar place and culture, while also kicking up questions of how Western cinema sees cultural difference.” Read more…)

Miss Hokusai (Japan, animated feature, English & Japanese soundtrack, Erica Lindbeck [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes 94%. Metacritic: 74. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Glenn Kenny’s Times review: “Japanese animated film practically teems with plucky, inventive girls, but pictures depicting emotionally credible young women are relatively rare. That ‘Miss Hokusai’ does this very thing, and does it beautifully, is only one of the extraordinary things about it. Adapted from a Hinako Sugiura manga, ‘Miss Hokusai’ is a lively inquiry into the life of O-Ei Hokusai, a daughter of the 19th-century painter Katsushika Hokusai [one of whose most famous images, ‘The Great Wave,’ is cleverly alluded to in an early scene].” Read more…)

Departure (France, drama, Alex Lawther. Rotten Tomatoes 92%.)

New American Back Catalog (post-1960)
Film (1965, Samuel Beckett drama/comedy, Buster Keaton)

New British
Wuthering Heights (2011, Emily Brontë romance, James Howson. Rotten Tomatoes 69%. Metacritic: 70. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “Too often, great works of literature arrive on screen weighed down by their reputations, immobilized in a straitjacket of cultural prestige. Emily Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ is a wild emanation of Victorian genius half-tamed by time and term papers, and Andrea Arnold’s new film adaptation is an admirable, frustrating attempt to strip away the novel’s inherited “classic” status and restore its raw and earthy passion.” Read more…)

New TV
The Americans: Season 4 (espionage drama, Keri Russell. Rotten Tomatoes 99%. Metacritic: 95.)

New Documentaries
NotFilm (Samuel Beckett, Buster Keaton, avant-garde cinema/theater. Rotten Tomatoes 92%. Metacritic: 81. Frtom A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “[Samuel Beckett and Buster Keaton] can also look like kindred artistic spirits, committed to formal rigor and possessing finely tuned comic sensibilities. It is not surprising — though it is also, somehow, astonishing — that they worked together once, on a film devised by Beckett and titled ‘Film.’ A little more than 20 minutes long, devoid of dialogue [though not of sound], it was made in New York in the summer of 1965. And it is now the subject of an intelligent, affectionate documentary by Ross Lipman, titled ‘Notfilm.'” Read more…)

New Children’s DVDs
Moana (Disney animated feature, Auli’i Cravalho. Rotten Tomatoes 95%. Metacritic: 81. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “Moana is the daughter of a chief and will someday inherit her father’s position, but she’s furious when Maui, a tattooed, muscle-bound demigod, calls her a princess. Moana [MWAH-nah] is not only part of a dynastic line but also a girl off on an adventure in the company of a cute animal sidekick [a dimwitted chicken named Heihei]. So not just any princess, in other words: a Disney princess. She may be on a quest to save her island and restore ecological balance to the planet, but Moana [voiced by Auli’i Cravalho] is also upholding a brand.” Read more…)

Miss Hokusai (Japan, animated feature, English & Japanese soundtrack, Erica Lindbeck [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes 94%. Metacritic: 74. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Glenn Kenny’s Times review: “Japanese animated film practically teems with plucky, inventive girls, but pictures depicting emotionally credible young women are relatively rare. That ‘Miss Hokusai’ does this very thing, and does it beautifully, is only one of the extraordinary things about it. Adapted from a Hinako Sugiura manga, ‘Miss Hokusai’ is a lively inquiry into the life of O-Ei Hokusai, a daughter of the 19th-century painter Katsushika Hokusai [one of whose most famous images, ‘The Great Wave,’ is cleverly alluded to in an early scene].” Read more…)

Lecture on Film: Mark Schenker continues John Huston lecture series, excavating “The Asphalt Jungle” Sun., Nov. 6

asphalt_jungle_poster_webIn 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.

The third lecture of the series walks the mean streets of “The Asphalt Jungle,’ a hard-boiled film noir from 1950. Starring Sterling Hayden, “The Asphalt Jungle” was recognized as a classic from the time of its release.

New York Times critic Bosley Crowther wrote in 1950, “We’ve got to hand it to the boys, particularly to Mr. Huston: they’ve done a terrific job! From the very first shot, in which the camera picks up a prowling thug, sliding along between buildings to avoid a police car in the gray and liquid dawn, there is ruthless authority in this picture, the hardness and clarity of steel, and remarkably subtle suggestion that conveys a whole involvement of distorted personality and inveterate crime. Mr. Huston’s ‘The Maltese Falcon,’ which brought him to the fore as a sure and incisive director, had nothing in the way of toughness on this film.”

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”).

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Saturday, Nov. 5. AMERICANA: MATT WHEELER, GOODNIGHT BLUE MOON DUO, JON SCHLESINGER

• Sunday, Nov. 6. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—JOHN HUSTON’S “THE ASPHALT JUNGLE”

• Wednesday, Nov. 9. NORDIC/CELTIC FOLK MUSIC DUO: WKFORS & MOSSMAN

• Thursday, Nov. 10. BEST VIDEO FILM & CULTURAL CENTER GALA FIRST ANNIVERSARY BENEFIT (at The Ballroom at The Outer Space)

• Friday, Nov. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: 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)

• Wednesday, Nov. 16. IMPROVISATION/AVANT-GARDE: TOM BLANCHART, CHRIS CRETELLA, ZACH ROWDEN

• Thursday, Nov. 17. LITERARY READING: ALICE MATTISON

• Friday, Nov. 18. PARTY PUNK: TINY BOX BOOKING presents POSTURE & THE GRIZZLY, PRINCE DADDY & THE HYENA, MILKSHAKES, JUST FRIENDS (7 PM)

• Saturday, Nov. 19. JAZZ JAM with ALLEN LOWE, JEFF FULLER & ED CERCONE

• Wednesday, Nov. 23. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: DANIEL BACHMAN, ALEXANDER

• 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)

• Wednesday, Nov. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM TRIO

• Thursday, Dec. 1. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: GLENN ROTH

• Friday, Dec. 2. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES CD RELEASE SHOW

• 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)

• Friday, Jan. 6. ACOUSTIC FOLK BLUES & MORE: VANGE DURST

• Friday, Jan. 13. BLUEGRASS: FIVE IN THE CHAMBER

• Friday, Jan. 27. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Saturday, Jan. 28. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)