Agnès Varda: Vagabond

CINEMAtech kicks off a new season with Agnès Varda’s Vagabond (1985).

“A masterpiece, clearly one of the finest films in many a year.” -Gene Siskel

“What a film this is.” -Roger Ebert

Winner, Golden Lion, Venice Film Festival

Sandrine Bonnaire won the Best Actress César for her portrayal of the defiant young drifter Mona, found frozen to death in a ditch at the beginning of Vagabond. Agnès Varda pieces together Mona’s story through flashbacks told by those who encountered her (played by a largely nonprofessional cast), producing a splintered portrait of an enigmatic woman. With its sparse, poetic imagery, Vagabond (Sans toit ni loi) is a stunner, and won Varda the top prize at the Venice Film Festival. [Criterion Collection]

January 30, 2018 at 7.00 PM
Library Auditorium
Montana Tech
1300 W Park St
Butte, MT 59701

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Emilio Gómez Muriel: Redes

“A progenitor of the classical Mexican visual style.” – Film Reference

“Politically explicit. Brutal.” – Senses of Cinema

“Utterly engrossing.” – Criterion Cast

Early in his career, the Austrian-born future Oscar winner Fred Zinnemann codirected with Emilio Gómez Muriel the politically and emotionally searing Redes. In this vivid, documentary-like dramatization of the daily grind of men struggling to make a living by fishing on the Gulf of Mexico (mostly played by real-life fishermen), one worker’s terrible loss instigates a political awakening among him and his fellow laborers. A singular coming together of talents, Redes, commissioned by a progressive Mexican government, was cowritten and gorgeously shot by the legendary photographer Paul Strand. [Criterion Collection]

December 5, 2017 at 7.00 PM
Library Auditorium
Montana Tech
1300 W Park St
Butte, MT 59701

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G.W. Pabst: Pandora’s Box

CINEMAtech continues with this year’s annual silent feature, G.W. Pabst’s stunning psycho-sexual melodrama, Pandora’s Box (1929).

“A tour de force of cinematic eroticism.” – New York Times

“A dangerously shocking film … an intensely sexy one.” – The Guardian

“A late masterpiece of the silent era.” – New York Review of Books

“One of the masters of early German cinema, G. W. Pabst had an innate talent for discovering actresses (including Greta Garbo). And perhaps none of his female stars shone brighter than Kansas native and onetime Ziegfeld girl Louise Brooks, whose legendary persona was defined by Pabst’s lurid, controversial melodrama Pandora’s Box. Sensationally modern, the film follows the downward spiral of the fiery, brash, yet innocent showgirl Lulu, whose sexual vivacity has a devastating effect on everyone she comes in contact with. Daring and stylish, Pandora’s Box is one of silent cinema’s great masterworks and a testament to Brooks’s dazzling individuality.” [Criterion Collection]

November 14, 2017 at 7.00 PM
Library Auditorium
Montana Tech
1300 W Park St
Butte, MT 59701

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David Lynch: Eraserhead

CINEMAtech continues with this year’s Halloween special, David Lynch’s 1977 film debut, Eraserhead… a dream of dark and troubling things.

“The vision of the paranoid transposed upon the screen.” Spectator

“A masterpiece.” Village Voice

“A black-and-white domestic horror fantasy.” New York Times

“A pinnacle of screen surrealism.” Observer

David Lynch’s 1977 debut feature, Eraserhead, is both a lasting cult sensation and a work of extraordinary craft and beauty. With its mesmerizing black-and-white photography by Frederick Elmes and Herbert Cardwell, evocative sound design, and unforgettably enigmatic performance by Jack Nance, this visionary nocturnal odyssey continues to haunt American cinema like no other film. [Criterion Collection]

October 27, 2017 at 7.00 PM
Library Auditorium
Montana Tech
1300 W Park St
Butte, MT 59701

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Allison Anders: Border Radio

CINEMAtech continues with a post-punk Western, Allison Anders’ tribute to 1980s rock culture: Border Radio.

“Simply one of the best movies ever made about the world of rock music.” LA Times

Before carving out a niche as one of the most distinct voices in nineties American cinema, Allison Anders made her debut, alongside codirectors and fellow UCLA film school students Kurt Voss and Dean Lent, with 1987’s Border Radio. A low-key, semi-improvised postpunk diary that took four years to complete, Border Radio features legendary rocker Chris D., of the Flesh Eaters, as a singer/songwriter who has stolen loot from a club and gone missing, leaving his wife (Luanna Anders), a no-nonsense rock journalist, to track him down with the help of his friends (John Doe of the band X; Chris Shearer). With its sprawling Southern Californian and Mexican landscapes, captured in evocative 16mm black and white, Border Radio is a singular, DIY memento of the indie film explosion in America. [Criterion Collection]

October 10, 2017 at 7.00 PM
Library Auditorium
Montana Tech
1300 W Park St
Butte, MT 59701

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Andrei Tarkovsky: The Mirror

CINEMAtech launches a brand new season with a “startling piece of film-making” (The Guardian) by the cinema giant Andrei Tarkovsky.

A dying man in his forties remembers his past: his childhood, his mother, the war, personal moments and things that tell of the recent history of all the Russian nation. IMDB

With its interleaved fragments of childhood and later life, switches in texture and color, and competing elemental outbursts of water and fire, the result should by rights be impenetrable; likewise, the fact that the narrator’s mother and wife are played by the same actress (Margarita Terekhova) seems at once bewildering and entirely apt. The smallest details (a stammering child, the wrinkle in the turned page of a book) stick like burrs, and we are left to wonder if any director has delved with more modesty and honesty into the heartbreak of the past. Anthony Lane

September 19, 2017 at 7.00 PM
Library Auditorium
Montana Tech
1300 W Park St
Butte, MT 59701

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Nelson Pereira dos Santos: Barren Lives

CINEMAtech continues March 31 with a landmark work of Brazilian cinema.

Widely cited as the film that helped launch Cinema Novo, Barren Lives stands as one of Pereira’s most celebrated films. Based on the novel by Graciliano Ramos, the film follows an itinerant family and their dog as they travel across the parched, pitiless landscape of the sertão in Northeast Brazil and eke out a meager living. Opting for a naked, unfiltered lens and the use of natural lighting, the director offers an unsparing portrait of grinding poverty through a series of striking formal maneuvers. Though set in 1941, two decades prior to the film’s production, Barren Lives resonated deeply with a contemporary situation in which little had changed for the region’s struggling agrarian workers. It is a work of considerable effect, achieved through limited means. —MoMA

Vidas secas (Barren Lives). 1963. Brazil. Directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos. In Portuguese; English subtitles. 100 min.

March 31, 2017 at 7.00 p.m.
Library Auditorium
Montana Tech
1300 W Park St
Butte, MT 59701

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Haile Gerima: Bush Mama

CINEMAtech continues with a pioneering work that emerged from the LA Rebellion movement of the mid-1970s: Haile Gerima’s relentless and uncompromising BUSH MAMA (1979).

Dorothy is a woman who hears voices — nothing intelligible, just a headful of kaleidoscopic noise. These sounds both insulate and plague her as she wanders numbly through Haile Gerima’s “Bush Mama,” a film about ghetto life with a Los Angeles setting and a forcefulness that transcends its specific locale.

“Bush Mama” is fiery, furious, overflowing with rhetoric and slightly out of breath. The Ethiopian-born Mr. Gerima made the film as his thesis project at the University of California at Los Angeles, with a low budget and a lot of audacity. Its rough edges … and polemical urgency mark it as an especially passionate early effort. —New York Times

March 7, 2017 at 7.00 p.m.
Library Auditorium
Montana Tech
1300 W Park St
Butte, MT 59701

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