Mark Schenker continues “How to Read a Film” series on screwball comedies with “The Awful Truth” on Sun., Nov. 17, at 2 PM

In this ninth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, turns this time to screwball comedies. Like the gangster movie, the Western and the Hollywood musical, the genre of screwball comedy films originated in the United States. The new satirical spin (hence “screwball”) on romantic comedy stressed witty dialogue and zaniness over sentimental love, and placed big name stars in odd situations. As with gangster movies, horror films and lavish musicals, the genre found a ready audience with Depression-era filmgoers who were eager for escapist fare.

The second lecture with film in this series will be on Sun., Nov. 17. The series skips Nov. 24 and winds up on Dec. 1 and Dec. 8. Admission to each lecture is $7. The series continues on Nov. 17 with the 1937 movie “The Awful Truth.” (The series began with the 1934 “It Happened One Night” on Nov. 10.)

Schenker will consider three such films from the “classic” period of the genre, and then turn to a masterpiece of the form from the late 1950’s, when its heyday had passed. The remaining schedule:

Nov 17, 2 PM: The Awful Truth (1937)

Dec 1, 2 PM: Ball of Fire (1941)

Dec 8, 2 PM: Some Like It Hot (1959)

From Bosley Crowther’s 1937 New York Times review of “The Awful Truth”:

To be frank, “The Awful Truth” is awfully unimportant, but it is also one of the more laughable screen comedies of 1937, a fairly good vintage year. Its comedy is almost purely physical- like that of the old Avery Hopwood stage farces- with only here and there a lone gag to interrupt the pure poetry of motion, yet its unapologetic return to the fundamentals of comedy seems, we repeat, original and daring.

Its obvious success with a modern audience is also rather disquieting. Just when it began to appear that an excellent case had finally been made out for spoken wit and adultness of viewpoint on the screen, the mercurial Mr. McCarey, who only a few months ago saddened us to the point of tears with his “Make Way for Tomorrow,” shocks us with a comedy in which speech is subsidiary, and maturity exists only to be deflated into abject juvenility.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Mark Schenker launches next “How to Read a Film” series on great screwball comedies Sun., Nov. 10, at 2 PM

In this ninth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, turns this time to screwball comedies. Like the gangster movie, the Western and the Hollywood musical, the genre of screwball comedy films originated in the United States. The new satirical spin (hence “screwball”) on romantic comedy stressed witty dialogue and zaniness over sentimental love, and placed big name stars in odd situations. As with gangster movies, horror films and lavish musicals, the genre found a ready audience with Depression-era filmgoers who were eager for escapist fare.

All four lectures will be held on Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, starting on Sunday, Nov. 10. The second lecture will be on Sun., Nov. 17. The series skips Nov. 24 and winds up on Dec. 1 and Dec. 8. Admission to each lecture is $7. The series kicks off with the 1934 multiple Oscar-winning “It Happened One Night.”

Schenker will consider three such films from the “classic” period of the genre, and then turn to a masterpiece of the form from the late 1950’s, when its heyday had passed. The schedule:

Nov 10, 2 PM: It Happened One Night (1934)

Nov 17, 2 PM: The Awful Truth (1937)

Dec 1, 2 PM: Ball of Fire (1941)

Dec 8, 2 PM: Some Like It Hot (1959)

Roger Ebert’s capsule take on “It Happened One Night,” from 2009:

The surprise success of “It Happened One Night” made Frank Capra one of the screen’s top directors and provided the prototype for a decade of screwball comedies. Romantic comedies like “When Harry Met Sally…” and “The Sure Thing” draw on the rapid banter, outrageous comic situations and sexy road trip of “It Happened One Night.” The movie even provided inspiration for one of the screen’s most enduring characters, Bugs Bunny.

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 (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

 

Mark Schenker’s “How to Read a Film” series on film noir masterpieces concludes Sun., July 14, with 1984’s “Blood Simple,” the debut Coen Brothers film

In this eighth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, has been presenting four lectures on “A Half-Century of Film Noir Masterpieces.” The lectures have been held on consecutive Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, starting on Sunday, June 23. Admission to each lecture is $7. The series concludes Sunday, June 14, with a focus on the 1984 debut film by the Coen Brothers, “Blood Simple.”

“A Half-Century of Film Noir Masterpieces” has featured works by four directors who are new to Mark Schenker’s presentations at Best. In movies that range from the early talkie “M” by German director Fritz Lang (explored June 23) through two Hollywood films of the classic noir period of the 1940’s-50’s, through the neo-noir of the Coen Brothers’ “Blood Simple,” the series covers more than a half-century of noir and showcases the acting talents (in addition to the 26-year-old Lorre in the afore-mentioned “M”) of Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frances McDormand and the great character actor M. Emmet Walsh.

From Janet Maslin’s 1984 review of “Blood Simple” in The New York Times:

Black humor, abundant originality and a brilliant visual style make Joel Coen’s ”Blood Simple” a directorial debut of extraordinary promise. Mr. Coen, who co-wrote the film with his brother Ethan, works in a film noir style that in no way inhibits his wit, which turns out to be considerable. This is a film in which a dying man, mistakenly shot by a woman who cannot see him (and who meant to kill someone else), can hear her shout one more insult at the intended victim – and answer her, ”Well, ma’am, if I see him I’ll sure give him the message.”

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 (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Mark Schenker’s “How to Read a Film” series on film noir masterpieces continues Sun., July 7, with 1950 “In A Lonely Place,” featuring brilliant Humphrey Bogart

In this eighth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, presents four lectures on “A Half-Century of Film Noir Masterpieces.” All four lectures will be held on consecutive Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, starting on Sunday, June 23. Admission to each lecture is $7. The third film examined in this series will be “In a Lonely Place” on Sunday, July 7.

“A Half-Century of Film Noir Masterpieces” features works by four directors who are new to his presentations at Best. In movies that range from the early talkie “M” by German director Fritz Lang (explored June 23) through two Hollywood films of the classic noir period of the 1940’s-50’s, through the neo-noir of the Coen Brothers’ “Blood Simple,” the series covers more than a half-century of noir and showcases the acting talents (in addition to the 26-year-old Lorre in the afore-mentioned “M”) of Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frances McDormand and the great character actor M. Emmet Walsh.

From Bosley Crowther’s 1950 New York Times review:

Everybody should be happy this morning. Humphrey Bogart is in top form in his latest independently made production, ‘In a Lonely Place,’ and the picture itself is a superior cut of melodrama. Playing a violent, quick-tempered Hollywood movie writer suspected of murder, Mr. Bogart looms large on the screen of the Paramount Theatre and he moves flawlessly through a script which is almost as flinty as the actor himself.

For critic Roger Ebert, “In A Lonely Place” is a “Great Movie.” Writing in 2009, Ebert observed:

If there is one key element of film noir, it is the flawed hero. That, usually joined with a distinctive visual style and tone, defines the genre. The hero is sympathetic but weak, often haunted by mistakes in the past or fatally tempted by greed or lust. He is likely to discover himself capable of evil he had never dreamed of, and is consumed by guilt and fear.

Bogart embodies this noir quality flawlessly in “In a Lonely Place.”

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 (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Mark Schenker’s “How to Read a Film” series on film noir masterpieces continues Sun., June 30, with 1944 “Murder, My Sweet”

In this eighth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, presents four lectures on “A Half-Century of Film Noir Masterpieces.” All four lectures will be held on consecutive Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, starting on Sunday, June 23. Admission to each lecture is $7. The second film examined in this series will be “Murder, My Sweet” on Sunday, June 30.

This installment of Schenker’s “How to Read a Film” series, features works by four directors who are new to his presentations at Best. In movies that range from the early talkie “M” by German director Fritz Lang (explored June 23) through two Hollywood films of the classic noir period of the 1940’s-50’s, through the neo-noir of the Coen Brothers’ “Blood Simple,” the series covers more than a half-century of noir and showcases the acting talents (in addition to the 26-year-old Lorre in the afore-mentioned “M”) of Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frances McDormand and the great character actor M. Emmet Walsh.

From Bosley Crowther’s 1945 New York Times review:

Check off “Murder, My Sweet” as a sure cure for low blood pressure. This is the story of a private detective who would take a dollar from anyone, with no questions asked. Phillip Marlowe is just a shade above his clients, who might be politely called questionable characters. He is not a particularly shrewd operator as Dick Powell draws him, but he has a persistence and capacity for taking a beating that is downright admirable. This is a new type of character for Mr. Powell. And while he may lack the steely coldness and cynicism of a Humphrey Bogart, Mr. Powell need not offer any apologies. He has definitely stepped out of the song-and-dance, pretty-boy league with this performance.

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 (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Remaining schedule:

Sun., June 30: “Murder, My Sweet” (1944)
Sun., July 7: “In a Lonely Place” (1950)
Sun., June 14: “Blood Simple” (1984)

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

 

Mark Schenker launches new “How to Read a Film” series on film noir masterpieces Sun., June 23, at 2 PM

In this eighth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, presents four lectures on “A Half-Century of Film Noir Masterpieces.” All four lectures will be held on consecutive Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, starting on Sunday, June 23. Admission to each lecture is $7. The series kicks off with the 1931 proto-noir, Fritz Lang-directed classic “M.”

Mark Schenker offers another installment of his “How to Read a Film” series, with works by four directors who are new to his presentations at Best. In movies that range from Peter Lorre’s sensational performance as a serial killer in the early talkie “M” by German director Fritz Lang, through two Hollywood films of the classic noir period of the 1940’s-50’s, through the neo-noir of the Coen Brothers’ “Blood Simple,” the series covers more than a half-century of noir and showcases the acting talents (in addition to the 26-year-old Lorre) of Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frances McDormand and the great character actor M. Emmet Walsh.

From M.H.’s 1931 New York Times review of “M”:

Based on the fiendish killings which spread terror among the inhabitants of Düsseldorf in 1929, there is at the Mayfair a German-language pictorial drama with captions in English bearing the succinct title “M,” which, of course, stands for murder. It was produced in 1931 by Fritz Lang and, as a strong cinematic work with, remarkably fine acting, it is extraordinarily effective, but its narrative, which is concerned with a vague conception of the activities of a demented slayer and his final capture, is shocking and morbid. Yet Mr. Lang has left to the spectator’s imagination the actual commission of the crimes.

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 (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Schedule:

Sun., June 23: “M” (1931)
Sun., June 30: “Murder, My Sweet” (1944)
Sun., July 7: “In a Lonely Place” (1950)
Sun., June 14: “Blood Simple” (1984)

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Lecture about film: Mark Schenker concludes “A Quartet of Noir” series with “A Touch of Evil” Sun., Nov. 18, at 1 PM

In this seventh installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, presents four lectures on “A Quartet of Noir.” All four lectures will be held on consecutive Sunday afternoons at 1 PM, starting on Sunday, Oct. 28. Admission to each lecture is $7. The series concludes on Sunday, Nov. 18, with a talk on the 1958 late noir “A Touch of Evil.”

The lectures this time have focused not on the work of an individual director but rather on a particular genre: film noir. All four movies are considered classics of the genre, from “The Killers” (based on a Hemingway short story, with Burt Lancaster in his film debut) to what is generally viewed as one of the last examples of film noir in its classic period, “A Touch of Evil” (written and directed by, and starring Orson Welles). Welles appears also in “The Third Man” (original screenplay by Graham Greene), with Joseph Cotten, who was the star of one of Hitchcock’s great noirs, “Shadow of a Doubt” (1943). On view will be the work of a number of classic movie stars: Ava Gardner, Edmond O’Brien, Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Trevor Howard and Kirk Douglas, in one of his earliest roles.

Listing “A Touch of Evil” as one of the “Great Movies,” Roger Ebert in 1998 wrote:

It was named best film at the 1958 Brussels World Fair (Godard and Truffaut were on the jury), but in America it opened on the bottom half of a double bill, failed, and put an end to Welles’ prospects of working within the studio system. Yet the film has always been a favorite of those who enjoy visual and dramatic flamboyance. “I’d seen the film four or five times before I noticed the story,” the director Peter Bogdanovich once told his friend Orson. “That speaks well for the story,” Welles rumbled sarcastically, but Bogdanovich replied, “No, no–I mean I was looking at the direction.”

That might be the best approach for anyone seeing the film for the first time: to set aside the labyrinthine plot, and simply admire what is on the screen.

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 (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

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

• Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: KENNY & AMANDA SMITH (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Nov. 10, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE ANGRY O’HARAS; FIDDLE/FX: GEORGIA RAE

• Sunday, Nov. 11, 1 PM. PROF. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—A QUARTET OF NOIR (“THE THIRD MAN,” 1949)

• Monday, Nov. 12. FILM SCREENING: NH DOCS—THE NEW HAVEN DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL & BVFCC PRESENT “PLAYING SOLDIER” with director ED GENDRON

• Tuesday, Nov. 13, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING: “REGARDING GRAVITY” (PRESENTED & WITH MUSIC BY SHAWN PERSINGER)

• Saturday, Nov. 10. BLUEGRASS: GEORGIA RAE, THE ANGRY O’HARAS

• Wednesday, Nov. 14, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Nov. 15. SOLO AMBIENT PSYCH/INDIE ROCK: THE FOREST ROOM, BEN HECHT, EVELYN FLYNN GRAY

• Friday, Nov. 16. BLUES/ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS

• Saturday, Nov. 17, 9 AM-10 PM. BVFCC ANNIVERSARY OPEN HOUSE CELEBRATION & FUNDRAISING EXTRAVAGANZA

• Sunday, Nov. 18, 1 PM. PROF. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—A QUARTET OF NOIR (“A TOUCH OF EVIL,” 1958)

• Monday, Nov. 19, 6 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Tuesday, Nov. 20, 8 PM. COMEDY: REEL LIFE—A STAND-UP SHOW with HOST KENDRA DAWSEY

• Friday, Nov. 23, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: DAVID PETERSON (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Nov. 24. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS—CD RELEASE!

• Wednesday, Nov. 28. INDIE FOLK: CLARA ENGEL; ART SONG: AN HISTORIC

• Thursday, Nov. 29. JCC PRESENTS “SIMPSONS” WRITER MIKE REISS, author of “SPRINGFIELD CONFIDENTIAL”

• Friday, Nov. 30, 8 PM. BLUEGRASS/AMERICANA: RIVER RUN

• Saturday, Dec. 1. BLUES/JUG BAND MUSIC: WASHBOARD SLIM & THE BLUE LIGHTS

• Sunday, Dec. 2, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Dec. 5. BLUES: CODA BLUE

• Thursday, Dec. 6, 7:30 PM. SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: FRANK CRITELLI, RICHARD NEAL, BOB CSUGIE, MARK MIRANDO

• Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Dec. 8. INDIE ROCK: AUDIO JANE, THE SAWTELLES

• Monday, Dec. 10, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Tuesday, Dec. 11, 6-9 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Dec. 12, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Dec. 13. GYPSY JAZZ: DJANGO’S RESERVE

• Friday, Dec. 14. BRAZILIAN JAZZ: SAMBELEZA

• Sunday, Dec. 16, 2-4 PM. MONTHLY IRISH/CELTIC MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Dec. 17. ONE MAN SHOW: SAL ANNUNZIATO—PART OF THE FAMILY: A MOB CHILDHOOD

• Tuesday, Dec. 18, 8 PM. COMEDY: REEL LIFE—A STAND-UP SHOW with HOST KENDRA DAWSEY

• Wednesday, Dec. 20. JAZZ: TONY PURRONE

Thursday, Dec. 20. INDIE ROCK: ZERO YEARS

• Friday, Dec. 21, 7:30 PM. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CHRISTMAS SHOW: DUST HAT, BRONSON ROCK

• Thursday, Dec. 27. INDIE ROCK: NO IDEA, BONSAI TREES

• Friday, Dec. 28. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: MATT BENNETT, QUINN LINDSAY

• Saturday, Jan. 5, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: NATA SABAT/MARK KILIANSKI DUO; DAVID SASSO/KAT WALLACE DUO (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Jan. 4. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE SPARKOMATICS, TOM HEARN

• Saturday, Jan. 5, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: NATE SABAT & MARK KILIANSKI, SASSO-WALLACE DUO (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Sunday, Jan. 6. GUITARTOWN SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Tuesday, Jan. 8, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE ELM CITY RAMBLERS

• Wednesday, Jan. 9, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Jan. 10. EXPERIMENTAL: UNDERWEAR plus TBA

• Monday, Jan. 14. ONE MAN SHOW: SAL ANNUNZIATO—PART OF THE FAMILY: A MOB CHILDHOOD

• Wednesday, Jan. 16. POP/ROCK: YOUTH XL, ROB NELSON

• Sunday, Jan. 20, 2-4 PM. IRISH/CELTIC MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Jan. 21, 6-9 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Tuesday, Jan. 29, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Sunday, Feb. 3. GUITARTOWN SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Feb. 4. MONTHLY MOVIE-RELATED TRIVIA NIGHT: TRIVIA-237

• Thursday, Feb. 7. INDIE FOLK: PODUNK THROWBACKS; Klezmer: KLEZMER FUSION COLLECTIVE

• Friday, Feb. 8. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Wednesday, Feb. 13. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Sunday, Feb. 17, 2-4 PM. IRISH/CELTIC MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Feb. 18, 6-9 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Saturday, Mar. 2. INDIE POP ROCK: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Sunday, Mar. 3. GUITARTOWN SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Mar. 4. MONTHLY MOVIE-RELATED TRIVIA NIGHT: TRIVIA-237

• Tuesday, Mar. 5, 7 PM. LITERARY: A READING FOR AL-MUTANABBI STREET—DAISY C. ABREU & STEPHEN VINCENT KOBASA

• Friday, Mar. 8. INDIE ROCK: PHEOBE

• Wednesday, Mar. 13. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Sunday, Mar. 17, 2-4 PM. IRISH/CELTIC MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Mar. 18, 6-9 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, April 17. ACOUSTIC FOLK ROCK: PAUL DECOSTER, EXPERIMENTAL ACOUSTIC: KAREN HOGG

• Thursday, May 30. IMPROVISED MUSIC: URS LEIMGRUBER, ADAM MATLOCK

 

Mark Schenker “How To Read a Film—A Quartet of Noir” lecture series continues Sun., Nov. 11, at 1 PM with “The Third Man”

In this seventh installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, presents four lectures on “A Quartet of Noir.” All four lectures will be held on consecutive Sunday afternoons at 1 PM, starting on Sunday, Oct. 28. Admission to each lecture is $7. The series continues on Sunday, Nov. 11, with a talk  on the 1949 masterpiece of post-war skullduggery “The Third Man.”

The lectures this time have focused not on the work of an individual director but rather on a particular genre: film noir. All four movies are considered classics of the genre, from “The Killers” (based on a Hemingway short story, with Burt Lancaster in his film debut) to what is generally viewed as one of the last examples of film noir in its classic period, “A Touch of Evil” (written and directed by, and starring Orson Welles). Welles appears also in “The Third Man” (original screenplay by Graham Greene), with Joseph Cotten, who was the star of one of Hitchcock’s great noirs, “Shadow of a Doubt” (1943). On view will be the work of a number of classic movie stars: Ava Gardner, Edmond O’Brien, Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Trevor Howard and Kirk Douglas, in one of his earliest roles.

From Bosley Crowther’s 1950 New York Times review:

The haunting music of a zither, the ring of Vienna’s cobbled streets and a ghostly Graham Greene story, about a man-hunt in that seamy capital flow smoothly and beautifully together into one piece of top screen artifice in Carol Reed’s most recent (and most touted) mystery-thriller-romance, “The Third Man.” Trailing Continental glories and faint echoes of that zither’s weird refrains, this extraordinarily fascinating picture began a run at the Victoria yesterday.

But we feel we are bound to inform you that our key word is “artifice” in that thoroughly enthusiastic introductory paragraph. For the simple fact is that “The Third Man,” for all the awesome hoopla it has received, is essentially a first-rate contrivance in the way of melodrama—and that’s all. It isn’t a penetrating study of any European problem of the day (except that it skirts around black-markets and the sinister anomalies of “zones”). It doesn’t present any “message.” It hasn’t a point of view. It is just a bang-up melodrama, designed to excite and entertain.

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 (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Remaining schedule:

Sun., Nov. 11, 1 PM: “The Third Man” (1949)
Sun., Nov. 18, 1 PM: “A Touch of Evil” (1958)

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

• Monday, Nov. 5, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Wednesday, Nov. 7. IMPROVISATION: WEST STREET TRIO, FUCHSPRELLEN

• Thursday, Nov. 8. CLASSICAL GUITAR: MAX STEINHOFF

• Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: KENNY & AMANDA SMITH (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Nov. 10, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE ANGRY O’HARAS; FIDDLE/FX: GEORGIA RAE

• Sunday, Nov. 11, 1 PM. PROF. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—A QUARTET OF NOIR (“THE THIRD MAN,” 1949)

• Monday, Nov. 12. FILM SCREENING: NH DOCS—THE NEW HAVEN DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL & BVFCC PRESENT “PLAYING SOLDIER” with director ED GENDRON

• Tuesday, Nov. 13, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING: “REGARDING GRAVITY” (PRESENTED & WITH MUSIC BY SHAWN PERSINGER)

• Saturday, Nov. 10. BLUEGRASS: GEORGIA RAE, THE ANGRY O’HARAS

• Wednesday, Nov. 14, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Nov. 15. SOLO AMBIENT PSYCH/INDIE ROCK: THE FOREST ROOM, BEN HECHT, EVELYN FLYNN GRAY

• Friday, Nov. 16. BLUES/ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS

• Saturday, Nov. 17, 9 AM-10 PM. BVFCC ANNIVERSARY OPEN HOUSE CELEBRATION & FUNDRAISING EXTRAVAGANZA

• Sunday, Nov. 18, 1 PM. PROF. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—A QUARTET OF NOIR (“A TOUCH OF EVIL,” 1958)

• Tuesday, Nov. 20, 8 PM. COMEDY: REEL LIFE—A STAND-UP SHOW with HOST KENDRA DAWSEY

• Friday, Nov. 23, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: DAVID PETERSON (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Nov. 24. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Wednesday, Nov. 28. INDIE FOLK: CLARA ENGEL; ART SONG: AN HISTORIC

• Thursday, Nov. 29. JCC PRESENTS “SIMPSONS” WRITER MIKE REISS, author of “SPRINGFIELD CONFIDENTIAL”

• Friday, Nov. 30, 8 PM. BLUEGRASS/AMERICANA: RIVER RUN

• Saturday, Dec. 1. BLUES/JUG BAND MUSIC: WASHBOARD SLIM & THE BLUE LIGHTS

• Monday, Dec. 3, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Wednesday, Dec. 5. BLUES: CODA BLUE

• Thursday, Dec. 6, 7:30 PM. SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: FRANK CRITELLI, RICHARD NEAL, BOB CSUGIE, MARK MIRANDO

• Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Dec. 8. INDIE ROCK: AUDIO JANE, THE SAWTELLES

• Wednesday, Dec. 12, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Dec. 13. GYPSY JAZZ: DJANGO’S RESERVE

• Friday, Dec. 14. BRAZILIAN JAZZ: SAMBELEZA

• Monday, Dec. 17. ONE MAN SHOW: SAL ANNUNZIATO—PART OF THE FAMILY: A MOB CHILDHOOD

• Tuesday, Dec. 18, 8 PM. COMEDY: REEL LIFE—A STAND-UP SHOW with HOST KENDRA DAWSEY

• Friday, Dec. 21, 7:30 PM. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CHRISTMAS SHOW: DUST HAT, BRONSON ROCK

• Thursday, Dec. 27. INDIE ROCK: NO IDEA, BONSAI TREES

• Friday, Dec. 28. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: MATT BENNETT, QUINN LINDSAY

• Saturday, Jan. 5, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: NATA SABAT/MARK KILIANSKI DUO; DAVID SASSO/KAT WALLACE DUO (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Jan. 4. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE SPARKOMATICS, TOM HEARN

• Tuesday, Jan. 8, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE ELM CITY RAMBLERS

• Friday, Jan. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: ANNE MARIE MENTA, SHELLYE VALAUSKAS, LYS GUILLORN

• Monday, Jan. 14. ONE MAN SHOW: SAL ANNUNZIATO—PART OF THE FAMILY: A MOB CHILDHOOD

• EWednesday, Jan. 16. POP/ROCK: YOUTH XL, ROB NELSON

• Thursday, Feb. 7. INDIE FOLK: PODUNK THROWBACKS; Klezmer: KLEZMER FUSION COLLECTIVE

• Saturday, Mar. 2. INDIE POP ROCK: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

 

Mark Schenker “How To Read a Film—A Quartet of Noir” lecture series continues Sun., Nov. 4, at 1 PM with “Out of the Past”

In this seventh installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, presents four lectures on “A Quartet of Noir.” All four lectures will be held on consecutive Sunday afternoons at 1 PM, starting on Sunday, Oct. 28. Admission to each lecture is $7. The series continues on Sunday, Nov. 4, with the 1947 film noir classic “Out of the Past.”

Reservations are highly recommended.

The lectures this time focus not on the work of an individual director but rather on a particular genre: film noir. All four movies are considered classics of the genre, from “The Killers” (based on a Hemingway short story, with Burt Lancaster in his film debut) to what is generally viewed as one of the last examples of film noir in its classic period, “A Touch of Evil” (written and directed by, and starring Orson Welles). Welles appears also in “The Third Man” (original screenplay by Graham Greene), with Joseph Cotten, who was the star of one of Hitchcock’s great noirs, “Shadow of a Doubt” (1943). On view will be the work of a number of classic movie stars: Ava Gardner, Edmond O’Brien, Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Trevor Howard and Kirk Douglas, in one of his earliest roles.

Reviewing “Out of the Past” for The New York Times in 1947, Bosley Crowther wrote, “There have been double- and triple-crosses in many of these tough detective films, and in one or two Humphrey Bogart specials they have run even higher than that. But the sum of deceitful complications that occur in “Out of the Past” must be reckoned by logarithmic tables, so numerous and involved do they become.”

Roger Ebert hailed “Out of the Past” in a 2004 “Great Movie” review:

Most crime movies begin in the present and move forward, but film noir coils back into the past. The noir hero is doomed before the story begins — by fate, rotten luck, or his own flawed character. Crime movies sometimes show good men who go bad. The noir hero is never good, just kidding himself, living in ignorance of his dark side until events demonstrate it to him.

“Out of the Past” (1947) is one of the greatest of all film noirs, the story of a man who tries to break with his past and his weakness and start over again in a town, with a new job and a new girl. The movie stars Robert Mitchum, whose weary eyes and laconic voice, whose very presence as a violent man wrapped in indifference, made him an archetypal noir actor.

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 (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Remaining schedule:

Sun., Nov. 4, 1 PM: “Out of The Past” (1947)
Sun., Nov. 11, 1 PM: “The Third Man” (1949)
Sun., Nov. 18, 1 PM: “A Touch of Evil” (1958)

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

• Thursday, Nov. 1. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: PONYBIRD, MEGGIE CZEPIEL, RAQUEL VIDAL, MELISSA TALHEM

• Friday, Nov. 2. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN & HER BAND, ELISA FLYNN

• Saturday, Nov. 3, 7 PM. AMERICANA: TANNERSVILLE

• Sunday, Nov. 4, 1 PM. DEAN MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—A QUARTET OF NOIR (“OUT OF THE PAST,” 1947)

• Sunday, Nov. 4, 5-8 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY SUNDAY BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Nov. 5, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Wednesday, Nov. 7. IMPROVISATION: WEST STREET TRIO, FUCHSPRELLEN

• Thursday, Nov. 8. CLASSICAL GUITAR: MAX STEINHOFF

• Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: KENNY & AMANDA SMITH (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Sunday, Nov. 11, 1 PM. PROF. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—A QUARTET OF NOIR (“THE THIRD MAN,” 1949)

• Monday, Nov. 12. FILM SCREENING: NH DOCS—THE NEW HAVEN DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL & BVFCC PRESENT “PLAYING SOLDIER” with director ED GENDRON

• Tuesday, Nov. 13, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING: “REGARDING GRAVITY” (PRESENTED & WITH MUSIC BY SHAWN PERSINGER)

• Saturday, Nov. 10. BLUEGRASS: GEORGIA RAE, THE ANGRY O’HARAS

• Wednesday, Nov. 14, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Nov. 15. SOLO AMBIENT PSYCH/INDIE ROCK: THE FOREST ROOM, BEN HECHT, EVELYN FLYNN GRAY

• Friday, Nov. 16. BLUES/ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS

• Saturday, Nov. 17, 9 AM-10 PM. BVFCC ANNIVERSARY OPEN HOUSE CELEBRATION & FUNDRAISING EXTRAVAGANZA

• Sunday, Nov. 18, 1 PM. PROF. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—A QUARTET OF NOIR (“A TOUCH OF EVIL,” 1958)

• Tuesday, Nov. 20, 8 PM. COMEDY: REEL LIFE—A STAND-UP SHOW with HOST KENDRA DAWSEY

• Friday, Nov. 23, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: DAVID PETERSON (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Nov. 24. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Wednesday, Nov. 28. INDIE FOLK: CLARA ENGEL; ART SONG: AN HISTORIC

• Saturday, Dec. 1. BLUES/JUG BAND MUSIC: WASHBOARD SLIM & THE BLUE LIGHTS

• Monday, Dec. 3, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Wednesday, Dec. 5. BLUES: CODA BLUE

• Thursday, Dec. 6, 7:30 PM. SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: FRANK CRITELLI, RICHARD NEAL, BOB CSUGIE, MARK MIRANDO

• Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Dec. 8. INDIE ROCK: AUDIO JANE, THE SAWTELLES

• Wednesday, Dec. 12, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Dec. 13. GYPSY JAZZ: DJANGO’S RESERVE

• Friday, Dec. 14. BRAZILIAN JAZZ: SAMBELEZA

• Monday, Dec. 17. ONE MAN SHOW: SAL ANNUNZIATO—PART OF THE FAMILY: A MOB CHILDHOOD

• Tuesday, Dec. 18, 8 PM. COMEDY: REEL LIFE—A STAND-UP SHOW with HOST KENDRA DAWSEY

• Friday, Dec. 21, 7:30 PM. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CHRISTMAS SHOW: DUST HAT, BRONSON ROCK

• Thursday, Dec. 27. INDIE ROCK: NO IDEA, BONSAI TREES

• Saturday, Jan. 5, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: NATA SABAT/MARK KILIANSKI DUO; DAVID SASSO/KAT WALLACE DUO (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Tuesday, Jan. 8, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE ELM CITY RAMBLERS

• Friday, Jan. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: ANNE MARIE MENTA, SHELLYE VALAUSKAS, LYS GUILLORN

• Monday, Jan. 14. ONE MAN SHOW: SAL ANNUNZIATO—PART OF THE FAMILY: A MOB CHILDHOOD

• Thursday, Feb. 7. INDIE FOLK: PODUNK THROWBACKS; Klezmer: KLEZMER FUSION COLLECTIVE

• Saturday, Mar. 2. INDIE POP ROCK: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

“Four Decades of Hitchcock” lecture series concludes Sun., July 15, with “Psycho”

In this sixth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker of Yale College presents four lectures on “Four Decades of Hitchcock.” The series began on Sunday, June 24, with “The 39 Steps.” The series concludes this Sun., July 15, with Hitchcock’s classic 1960 fright-fest “Psycho.”

Reservations are highly recommended.

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 (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

“Psycho”—a psychological thriller (and perhaps the first slasher movie) starring Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh—is a classic, listed on Roger Ebert’s Web site as one of the “Great Movies.” The American Film Institute ranked “Psycho” at the top of  its list of the 100 Most Thrilling American Films and at #14 on its 2007 list of the 100 Greatest American Films of All Time. But, as Ebert noted in his appreciation, “Hitchcock deliberately wanted ‘Psycho’ to look like a cheap exploitation film. He shot it not with his usual expensive feature crew (which had just finished ‘North by Northwest’) but with the crew he used for his television show… In its visceral feel, “Psycho” has more in common with noir quickies like ‘Detour’ than with elegant Hitchcock thrillers like ‘Rear Window’ or ‘Vertigo.'”

In his famous series of interview with French director Francois Truffaut, Hitchcock replied to Truffaut’s suggestion that “”psycho” was an “experimental film”:

Possibly. My main satisfaction is that the film had an effect on the audiences, and I consider that very important. I don’t care about the subject matter; I don’t care about the acting; but I do care about the pieces of film and the photography and the sound-track and all the technical ingredients that made the audiences scream . . . They were aroused by pure film.

Prof. Schenker’s lectures address aspects of the individual works, characteristics of Kubrick’s art, and ways that participants can be better “readers” of film—more adept at what to look for and see in considering movies as work of art at no cost to their ability to entertain and enthrall us. Clips from each of the films accompany the lectures.

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

• Tuesday, July 10, 5:30-7:30. WALK TO END ALZHEIMER’S TEAM SIGN-UP

• Wednesday, July 11, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, July 12. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT, THE SAWTELLES

• Friday, July 13. BLUEGRASS: 5 IN THE CHAMBER

• Saturday, July 14. IMPROVISED MUSIC: GREX with special guest ALLEN LOWE

• Sunday, July 15, 2 PM. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR DECADES OF HITCHCOCK: “PSYCHO” (1960)

• Monday, July 16, 6 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, July 18, 5-7 PM. 48 HOUR FILM PROJECT MIX, MINGLE & SCREENING

• Thursday, July 19. FUNKY BLUESY ORIGINAL JAZZ: BAM JAM

• Friday, July 20. JAZZ: THE TONY PURRONE TRIO

• Tuesday, July 24. FILM SCORES OF NINA ROTA: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Wednesday, July 25, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: TOWN MOUNTAIN (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Thursday, July 26. BLUEGRASS: THE DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Friday, July 27. FOLK: LOVERS LEAGUE; INDIE FOLK/POP: HYBIRD (RAVI KRISHNASWAMI)

• Wednesday, Aug. 1. AVANT-GARDE: EVAN MILLER, HUMAN FLOURISHING

• Friday, Aug. 3. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH

• Sunday, Aug. 5, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE AFTERNOON MONTHLY BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Aug. 6, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Thursday, Aug. 9. FOLK: STAN SULLIVAN

• Saturday, Aug. 11, 6 PM. COUCH YETI BOOKING PRESENTS NO BETTER, more TBA

• Wednesday, Aug. 15. ROOTS/ALT-COUNTRY: BLUE PONTIAC

• Thursday, Aug. 16. JAZZ: DAVID CHEVAN—”LETTERS FROM THE AFFAIR” WORLD PREMIERE

• Friday, Aug. 17. BLUEGRASS: PHIL ROSENTHAL & DAVE KIPHUTH

• Sunday, Aug. 19, 2-4 PM. IRISH MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Aug. 20, 6 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wed., Aug. 22. CONTRA DANCE MUSIC: WRY BRED

• Thursday, Aug. 23. SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: JON SCHLESINGER, BOP TWEEDIE

• Friday, Aug. 24. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE FURORS; ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Wed., Aug. 29. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Thursday, Aug. 30. SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: MARK MIRANDO, RICHARD NEAL, BOB CSUGIE, FRANK CRITELLI

• Friday, Aug. 31, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Sunday, Sept. 2, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE AFTERNOON MONTHLY BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Sept. 3, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Wednesday, Sept. 5. POP PUNK: DAGWOOD

• Friday, Sept. 7. JAZZ: GEORGE LESIW BAND

• Friday, Sept. 14. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE, STEPHEN NYSTRUP

• Sunday, Sept. 16, 2-4 PM. IRISH MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Sept. 17, 6 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

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

• Monday, Sept. 24, 7:30 PM. REMEMBERED IN THEIR OWN WORDS: A MEMORIAL READING FOR DONALD HALL & JANE KENYON​

• Thursday, Sept. 27, 7 PM. INDIE ROCK: PLANET WHAT (TULSA, OK), VIET RAHM (CHICAGO), DR. MARTINO, COMMERCIAL INTERRUPTION

• Friday, Sept. 28. AFRO-FUNK FUSION: THE LOST TRIBE

• Saturday, Sept. 29. JUG BAND MUSIC: WASHBOARD SLIM & THE BLUE LIGHTS

• Monday, Oct. 1, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Tuesday, Oct. 2, 7 PM. LITERARY READING: ALICE MATTISON, SANDI KAHN SHELTON

• Tuesday, Oct. 9. BLUEGRASS: THE ELM CITY RAMBLERS

• Friday, Oct. 12. DEEP HAMDEN FESTIVAL: PAT STONE & THE DIRTY BOOTS, VAL McKEE

• Saturday, Oct. 13. DEEP HAMDEN FESTIVAL: ALLEN LOWE—A LOVE SUPINE (with ADAM MATLOCK, BENJAMIN SMITH, ESDRAS LUBIN, JEFF CEDRONE, BOB GORRY)

• Sunday, Oct. 14. DEEP HAMDEN FESTIVAL: BRIAN JARAWA GRAY, LITLLE SILVER

• Wednesday. Oct. 17. ELM CITY NOISE FEST: performers TBA

• Friday, Oct. 19, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: MISSY RAINES & THE NEW HIP (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Nov. 2. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN & HER BAND, ELISA FLYNN

• Monday, Nov. 5, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: KENNY & AMANDA SMITH (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Monday, Dec. 3, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)