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)

• 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

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

• 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

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

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

• Friday, Feb. 8. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• 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. 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

 

Film screening: “The Third Man” on Wed., Jan. 15, at 7 PM

Best Video Performance Space will screen the legendary postwar thriller The Third Man on Wednesday, Jan. 15. The movie starts at 8 PM and admission is $5. We will screen the film from a high definition Blu-Ray disc on our 120-inch projection screen.

The_Third_Man_bw_Web

The Third Man, which stars Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten, was directed by Carol Reed from a script by Graham Greene. The movie has a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Reviewing the film in 1950 for The New York Times, critic Bosley Crowther wrote:

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. In the light of the buzz about it, this is something we feel you should know. Once it is understood clearly, there is no need for further asides.

The Third Man is being presented through the support of Best Video member John McNamara, a strong supporter of the Performance Space programming. If forced to choose, McNamara says he would probably name The Third Man as his favorite movie of all time. High praise! Come down on Wednesday night to watch and see if the film becomes one of your favorites, too.

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Jan. 8. JAZZ: BRETT BOTTOMLEY

• Thursday, Jan. 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SOLIN

• Wednesday, Jan. 15. FILM SCREENING: “THE THIRD MAN”

• Thursday, Jan. 16. SINGER/SONGWRITER: KEVIN MF KING, PAUL BELBUSTI (MERCY CHOIR)

• Wednesday, Jan. 22. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Thursday, Jan. 23. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ILANA ZSIGMOND

• Wednesday, Jan. 29. INDIE ROCK: SOZIO

• Thursday, Jan. 30. PSYCHO-FOLK: MILKSOP: UNSUNG

• Wednesday, Feb. 5. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: JENNIFER DAUPHINAIS, CHRISTOPHER BOUSQUET

• Thursday, Feb. 6. CHORAL QUIRK POP: THE DRESS-UPS

• Wednesday, Feb. 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS PAT STONE

• Thursday, Feb. 13. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: BIG FAT COMBO

• Thursday, Feb. 20. BLUEGRASS: 5 IN THE CHAMBER

• Wednesday, Feb. 26. DECONSTRUCTING POP: THE LUCK PUSHERS

• Thursday, Feb. 27. SINGER-SONGWRITER POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Wednesday, Apr. 2. CLASSICAL: HAVEN STRING QUARTET

• Thursday, Apr. 17. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE LONESOME SPARROWS