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.

Lecture on Film: Mark Schenker concludes John Huston lecture series, piloting “The African Queen” Sun., Nov. 13, 1 PM

Prof. Mark Schenker of Yale College presents the final lecture in his series “How to Read a Film—4 by John Huston” on Sunday, Nov. 13, at 1 PM. This afternoon, Schenker will discuss Huston’s 1951 adventure “The African Queen,” starring Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. Admission is $7.

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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”).

Writing in 1968, a young Roger Ebert first saw the film as part of a short theatrical re-release. Wrote Ebert:

Perhaps many in the audience, like myself, were seeing the film for the first time. We discovered that its reputation is deserved: It is an almost perfect illustration of how much a really good movie can please. Things happen on the screen that makes you happy. You get involved.

This was a movie that respected its audience and respected its genuine desire to be well and intelligently entertained. By contrast, “The Ambushers” and other mass-produced “entertainments” are obviously made by people with little imagination and no real passion for craftsmanship. Much of “The African Queen’s” success probably can lie credited to those thoroughbreds, Bogart and Miss Hepburn. They took what was probably intended to be a adventure film and turned it into a comedy (and even a statement on human life) by bringing their own personalities into play.

View a trailer for “The African Queen”:

 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

• Thursday, Nov. 10. BEST VIDEO FILM & CULTURAL CENTER GALA FIRST ANNIVERSARY BENEFIT (at The Ballroom at The Outer Space) with JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS, THE BANDIDOS, MERCY CHOIR, THE RED HOTS

• 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 BLANCARTE, CHRIS CRETELLA, ZACH ROWDEN

• Thursday, Nov. 17. LITERARY: ALICE MATTISON—”THE PLEASURES AND PERILS OF WRITING A NOVEL”

• 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

• Monday, Nov. 21. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “RUNAWAY TRAIN”

• 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)

• Monday, Nov. 28. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “CHARADE”

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

• Thursday, Dec. 1. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: GLENN ROTH, SINGER-SONGWRITER: KRISTEN GRAVES

• Friday, Dec. 2. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES CD RELEASE SHOW, HANK HOFFMAN (solo)

• Sunday, Dec. 4. FREE FIRST SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM (PRESENTED BY GUITARTOWNCT)

• Monday, Dec. 5. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “PAT GARRETT & BILLY THE KID”

• Friday, Dec. 9. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY BAND (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Monday, Dec. 12. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “WINTER’S BONE”

• Friday, Dec. 16. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Saturday, Dec. 17. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “THE GOONIES” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Monday, Dec. 19. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “CONTACT”

• 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)

 

Mark Schenker continues John Huston lecture series, dissecting “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” Sun., Oct. 30

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.

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The second lecture of the series unearths “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” Huston’s 1948 adventure drama starring Humphrey Bogart. The movie was based on a book by anarchist author B. Traven.

Reviewing the film upon its release, New York Times critic Bosley Crowther wrote:

Greed, a despicable passion out of which other base ferments may spawn, is seldom treated in the movies with the frank and ironic contempt that is vividly manifested toward it in “Treasure of Sierra Madre.” And certainly the big stars of the movies are rarely exposed in such cruel light as that which is thrown on Humphrey Bogart in this new picture at the Strand. But the fact that this steel-springed outdoor drama transgresses convention in both respects is a token of the originality and maturity that you can expect of it.

View the trailer:

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

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• 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”

• Wednesday, Nov. 2. RECEPTION TO HONOR FRANZ DOUSKEY AS HAMDEN’s FIRST POET LAUREATE

• Thursday, Nov. 3. ROCK: ROPE, THE TOMMYS

• 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”

• 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

• 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)

• 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)

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

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