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Busan Cinematheque Honors Giants of World Cinema


The Busan Cinematheque is hosting a film series called “World Cinema VI” that will make any auteurist splooge his pants. The theatre certainly hasn’t shyed away from big names this time. Wilder, Ophuls, Hawks, Melville, Bresson, Fellini, Antonioni…are all there, and the list goes on. As usual, it’s mostly comprised of must-see classics (”An American in Paris,” “The Manchurian Candidate”) and arthouse flicks (”The Passenger,” “Pickpocket”), but there are a few randoms (”Beetlejuice”) thrown into the mix.

When: March 20 through April 19

For screening information, please visit http://cinema.piff.org/main/theater/month_list.asp (the foreign films with the blue circled “e” above the title have english subtitles).

What I’ve Seen and Recommend:

To Have and Have Not (1942, Howard Hawks)

Based on Ernest Hemingway’s novel and adapted for the screen by William Faulker, this is the movie that brought Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall together on-screen for the first time. And you know you’re in good hands with Howard Hawks - he was one of the most consistent directors back when Hollywood made mostly good films.

The Shadow Army (1969, Jean-Pierre Melville)

Jean-Pierre Melville’s epic about the French resistance is his finest work. Put simply, it’s more plotted out and more bold than the rest of his mostly crime-focused oeuvre.

Pickpocket (1959, Robert Bresson)

If you haven’t seen any Robert Bresson, this 75 minute long exercise in style makes for a pretty good introduction. His attention to detail works particularly well in this film as he breaks down the skilled technique of a Parisian pickpocket.

What I Want to See:

The Apartment (1960, Billy Wilder)

Pleasure (1952, Max Ophuls)

Badlands (1973, Terrence Malick)

Sherlock Jr./The Navigator (1924, Buster Keaton)

My American Uncle (1980, Alain Resnais)

The Passenger (1975, Michelangelo Antonioni)

The Manchurian Candidate (1962, John Frankenheimer)

An American in Paris (1951, Vincente Minnelli)

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I reported last week that I had agreed to participate in the taping of Let's Talk Busan, a radio show on Busan e-FM (90.5 MHz). I incorrectly started that it would air on March 8th; the show went on last night. Apologies for the mix up, but the important thing is that I got the radio station correct, right? If you're around Busan and want to hear local English programming, that's the place to go.

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