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  • February 28, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    Japanese documentary filmmaker Masao Adachi not only preached revolution in his fiery agit-prop films, he practiced it too, following up his pro-Palestinian-resistance newsreel/screed Red Army/PFLP: Declaration of World War (1971; 9 pm) by abandoning film to join the Japanese United Army in Lebanon, where he was arrested in 2002.

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  • February 22, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    Leos Carax makes public appearances almost as infrequently as he makes movies, so the two together is a rare treat. As part of the Harvard Film Archive's retrospective "Overdrive: The Films of Leos Carax," the sui generis French auteur will present and discuss his latest opus, the delightful, madness-inducing Holy Motors

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  • January 11, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    The HFA offers up another puckishly intricate treat from Hong Sang-soo. In three intertwined narratives set at a dreary beach resort the director plays variations on his favorite themes of hopeless love and existential bewilderment, with each story featuring a character named Anne, played by Isabelle Huppert.

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  • January 11, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    Many know the surging Korean film industry for its rousing, bloody genre hits, but it also boasts movies of a more elliptical, enigmatic, New Wave-y kind. Like this playful, melancholy bagatelle by Hong Sang-soo, a seemingly autobiographical portrait of a drunken filmmaker whose relationships are as untidy as the film is exacting and masterful.

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  • December 22, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    If your last-minute shopping takes you to Harvard Square and you're looking for some yuletide relief, head over to the Harvard Film Archive's Fourth Annual Vintage Christmas Show. It's a kid-friendly event featuring two hours of shorts including a George Kuchar video diary, some comedy classics, and a murder mystery.

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  • December 13, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Two trademarks of Michelangelo Antonioni's career, obscure plots and visual beauty, reach their peak in his penultimate film, Identification of a Woman (1982). Oh, and beautiful naked women, too. It's got a lot of that.

    Harvard Film Archive, 24 Church St, Cambridge :: Friday, December 14 @ 7 pm :: $9; $7 students, seniors :: 617.

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  • October 05, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Blow Up (1966)

    A series titled "The Mysteries of Michelangelo Antonioni" is asking for trouble. Like, what's going on at the end of Blow-up (1966)? What happens to Lea Massari in L'Avventura (1960)? Every film in this retrospective has its head scratchers. It starts tonight and runs through November 11 at the HFA.

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  • September 01, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    In Harm's Way

    There are a couple of deviations from the standard noir in Lewis Allen's Desert Fury (1947; 5 pm). First of all, the protagonist is a woman (Lizabeth Scott), a teenager whose mother (Mary Astor) runs the local casino. Paula has the hots for a racketeer trying to horn in on her mom's business, a "hunk fatale" played by a sometimes-shirtless John Hodiak.

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  • August 31, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    For one brief moment between the dawn of sound and the crackdown of the studio's moral watchdogs in 1934, Hollywood turned out some its sexiest, most mature, and effervescent movies. Half a dozen of the best can be seen at the Harvard Film Archive's "Hot Saturday: Paramount pre-Code Marathon," including classics like Mae West's She Done Him Wrong (1933) with her infamous come-on to Cary Grant, "Why don't you come up sometime and see me;" and Cecil B.

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  • August 10, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Jean Renoir's Rules of the Game (1939) took fourth place in the most recent Sight & Sound magazine critics poll of the ten best movies in the history of cinema, but some prefer the great French auteur's eloquent, funny, and tragic Grand Illusion (1937). A possible inspiration for such diverse works as The Great Escape and Hogan's Heroes, it tells the story of French soldiers in a German POW camp where matters of class, compassion, and personal honor trump patriotism.

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  • August 05, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    After making The Manchurian Candidate (1962) and Seven Days in May (1964) John Frankenheimer wrapped up his creepily paranoid but uncannily prescient trilogy of political thrillers with the lesser known Seconds (1966). In it Rock Hudson plays a staid businessman who, Philip K. Dick-style, employs a mysterious company to extract him from his dull but respectable life and provide him with a new identity as a louche Malibu artist.

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  • July 27, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    The Exterminating Angel (1962), one of Luis Buñuel's most bewildering and brilliant movies, plays tomorrow as part of the Harvard Film Archive's "Buñuel in Mexico" series.The surrealist auteur brings his entomological eye to a white tie dinner party where the guests, for some reason, find it impossible to leave.

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  • July 20, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Driven from his native Spain by the Franco dictatorship, unable to find refuge within the Hollywood studio system, Luis Buñuel settled quite nicely in the rough-and-ready Mexican film industry. There over the course of 35 years he made some of his most powerful and enigmatic films. The Harvard Film Archive opens its Buñuel in Mexico series with one of the best, Los Olvidados (1950), a brutally honest, rigorously compassionate, and sneakily surreal study of disaffected youth undone by grinding poverty and a heartless society.

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  • July 13, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Sidney Lumet, who died last year, mastered the art of balancing social issues with pulse-pounding entertainment. Such is the case with Serpico (1973), the true story of a New York City cop - played by Al Pacino in an Oscar-nominated role - who blows the whistle on department corruption. Not the best way to guarantee a comfortable retirement.

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  • June 21, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Trial on the Road (1971)

    Now that the Soviet Union is history, there are those who miss it. Filmmakers in particular benefited from state sponsorship, though censorship made things a bit tricky. The Harvard Film Archive features one of the great directors of that period in the retrospective History Through The Wrong End Of The Telescope: The Films Of Aleksei Guerman

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