Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Second Week, Jan '07

Hi to you all!

This week is all about entertainment. Not to imply, however, that we at the Film Club have lost it and have become purveyors of kitsch, no. We like to show the good stuff, if heavy, sometimes, and we are not averse to slipping in a little fun edgeways. But we would qualify that word: fun. It certainly is so, for us. For the protagonists of these two movies, the right to savour life is hard earned.

9th January 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

Runtime: 1 hour 54 minutes
Directed by David Lean

“Please Sir, I want some more.”

The gruel served to these waifs, so typical of the London of the Early Industrial Age, was of such poor nutritive value as to merely keep them alive. Human rights were mostly observed in the breach, the right to a second helping an unknown concept. David Lean takes Charles Dickens’ famous story and brings to life the feel of an entire era. His adaptation succeeds to a great extent, especially in characterization, where the personalities one encounters are perfectly cast. Look out for Alec Guinness’ performance in this one.

About the director: David Lean (b. 1908, d. 1991) has directed so many masterpieces of the mainstream that one does not know quite where to begin. They include LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962), THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (1957) and DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965). If you have not seen any of these movies, make it a point to do so.

11th January 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

Runtime: 1 hour 48 minutes
Directed by Elia Kazan

A sterling performance by Marlon Brando, as the lead character in this seminal film, that is not to be missed; all the more so because the director, Kazan, is making a statement about himself and his motivations. The movie depicts the inner workings of gangs within the communities living along the Manhattan and Brooklyn shorelines. One can appreciate this movie as just that, and find it rewarding, while those who look further may see it as commentary on larger issues, such as plagued the times that once were. Which is more important: loyalty to your immediate community… or to something higher?

About the director: Elia Kazan (b. 1909, d. 2003) started with theatre, where he soon made a name for himself. His transition to the motion picture was even more remarkable. His making of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951) hearkens back to his theatrical interpretation of the same. As you may have seen on TV, his appearance on Oscar night, 1999, reflects the bitter schism that still haunts American society half-a-century after the anti-Communist witch hunt. ON THE WATERFRONT seems to be an oblique attempt at explaining his position. Hear him out, and remember.

With regards,
The Film Club.

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