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.

New releases 5/10/16

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Where_to_Invade_NextWhere to Invade Next (documentary, Michael Moore. Rotten Tomatoes: 77%. Metacritic: 63. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Stephen Holden’s Times review: “Michael Moore’s latest documentary, ‘Where to Invade Next,’ is a sprawling, didactic polemic wittily disguised as a European travelogue. Watching it made me feel like a deprived child with my nose pressed against the glass of a magical toy store in a faraway land. On one side is a happy, harmonious land of productive people. On the other is a world of misery, anxiety, war and greed.” Read more…)

The Boy (Gothic horror, Lauren Cohan. Rotten Tomatoes: 27%. Metacritic: 42. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review: “A creepy doll and a creepy house are the main ingredients of ‘The Boy,’ a small-cast horror movie that spends a lot of time building itself into a psychological thriller, only to veer in a more literal direction at the end. It still has enough scary moments to satisfy horror fans, but you’re left wondering whether it might have been more disturbing had it stayed on its original path.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Deadpool

New Foreign
Mustang (Turkey, drama, Gunes Sensoy. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%. Metacritic: 83. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Nicolas Rapold’s Times review: “Full of life even as it depicts lives in lockdown, ‘Mustang’ is a stunning debut feature by Deniz Gamze Ergüven about five sisters in rural Turkey. Confined to their grandmother’s house, the girls bridle against losing their freedoms in a story grounded in both laughter and tears, and above all in the resilient strength of these girls against soul-deadening strictures.” Read more…)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
In a Lonely Place (1950, noir/melodrama, Humphrey Bogart. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%. From Bosley Crowther’s 1950 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “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.” Read more…)

New British
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War & Peace (complete miniseries, Paul Dano)

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The_MessengerThe Messenger (birds, nature, environment. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 76. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Helen T. Verongos’ New York Times review: “Jewel-colored birds flapping their wings in languid motion draw the viewer into this lush but ultimately grim assessment of our planet’s future: Climate change and development are altering habitats more rapidly than birds can adapt, and that doesn’t bode well for people. Watching ‘The Messenger’ — the visuals alone are soothing, at least as long as the birds are flying to the sound of soaring violins — we cling to the beauty and the emotional resonance of birdsong. But we know what’s coming: the tiny cold bodies, their claws curled, littering the sidewalk after smashing into glass; the migrating flocks disoriented by light pollution; the fallen victims of zealous oil drilling in the Boreal Forest.” Read more…)

Where to Invade Next (documentary, Michael Moore. Rotten Tomatoes: 77%. Metacritic: 63. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Stephen Holden’s Times review: “Michael Moore’s latest documentary, ‘Where to Invade Next,’ is a sprawling, didactic polemic wittily disguised as a European travelogue. Watching it made me feel like a deprived child with my nose pressed against the glass of a magical toy store in a faraway land. On one side is a happy, harmonious land of productive people. On the other is a world of misery, anxiety, war and greed.” Read more…)