Wolfsonian Summer Film Series 8/21/08

Thursday, August 7, 7pm: THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1940, USA, John Ford, 100 min, b&w, 16mm)—An Okie family that loses its farm during the Great Depression takes to the road, traveling Route 66 as migrant workers. They journey from the Dust Bowl to California in search of work and opportunity. One of the first movies included in the National Film Registry and based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by John Steinbeck.

Thursday, August 14, 7pm: GUN CRAZY (1949, USA, Joseph Lewis, 86 min, b&w, 16mm)—This low-budget “B” noir depicts a deadly crime spree perpetrated by a newly married Second World War veteran fixated on guns and a female six-shooter who’s an ex-carnival performer. The pair go together like “guns and ammunition.” The film, noteworthy for remarkable location shooting, includes a celebrated bank heist sequence that plays out in one long take. Deemed “culturally significant” by the United States Library of Congress in 1998, it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Thursday, August 21, 7pm: TWO LANE BLACKTOP (1971, USA, Monte Hellman, 103 min, b&w, DVD)—A time capsule of Route 66 during the pre-Interstate Highway era, this poetic and minimalistic cult classic has a reputation as one of the greatest American road movies of all time. The film’s controversial story is about a race driver and a mechanic who live on the road in their 1955 Chevy, encounter a mysterious hitchhiker, and end up in a cross-country race going east on Route 66.

Thursday, August 28, 7pm: PIERROT LE FOU (1969, France, Jean Luc Godard, 110 min., French with English subtitles, DVD)—This film is the tale of the unorthodox life of Pierrot, the annoying nickname given to unhappily-married Ferdinand Griffon by his babysitter/ex-girlfriend, Marianne Renoir. He leaves his wife and children and flees with Marianne only to find himself chased by Algerian gangsters in a traveling crime spree from Paris to the Mediterranean. Like much pop art of the time, the film uses visuals drawn from cartoons and employs an intentionally garish visual aesthetic based on bright primary colors. Copresented with the Consulat général de France á Miami.