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This article was prepared for the May 28, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

NJ International Film Festival

Summertime brings the international edition of the

New Jersey Film Festival to the campus of Rutgers University. Curated

by Albert Nigrin, the series is a magnet for film enthusiasts who

want to keep abreast of the new at the same time they honor the old.

The NJIFF opens Friday, May 30, with "Chaos," a 2002 French

drama directed by Coline Serreau. When a middle-class Parisian housewife

and a brutalized Algerian-born prostitute are united by their profound

disillusionment with men, they are driven — by a spirit of justice

and of compassion — to rearrange the structures of the society

in which they live. Like most of the featured offerings, the film

screens Friday through Sunday, at Scott 123, on the Rutgers College

Avenue campus. The festival runs to July 27.

Among the rare catches of the season is "Ten," the latest

film by Abbas Kiarostami. The filmmaker invites us to see modern Iran

and the city of Teheran through the eyes of a woman taxi driver as

she drives ten fares across the city. "Ten" screens June 27

to 29.

A film noir theme runs through a series of 1940s golden oldies restored

to the glory of the big screen. These include "Citizen Kane,"

the 1941 cinematic masterpiece by Orson Welles, "Laura," Otto

Preminger 1944 classic of necrophilia and romantic obsession, and

"Out of the Past," by Jacques Tourneur, starring Robert Mitchum,

Jane Greer, and Kirk Douglas.

On a timely note the revivals include "The Thief of Baghdad,"

the 1940 feature won Academy Awards for Michael Powell, Ludwig Berger,

and Tim Whelan. And back by popular demand are surrealist classics

by Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali: "Un Chien Andalou" (1929)

and "L’Age d’Or" (1930), on Thursday, July 10.

"Jersey Fresh Media" is a home-grown program of premiere screenings

of film and video works by New Jersey artists. The July 25 program

will include guest appearances and discussion by many of the directors.

Another program features two new documentaries on the 2000 election,

"Today I Vote for My Joey," by Aviva Kempner, and "Unprecedented:

The 2000 Presidential Election" by Richard Perez and Joan Sekler.

The hard-to-find films of the American mid-century avant-garde filmmaker

Maya Deren have been featured at the festival before. This year three

by Deren will be shows, along with the new, feature-length documentary

about her by Martina Kudlacek, "In the Mirror of Maya Deren."

Screenings run from Thursday, June 12 to Sunday, June 15.

Also scheduled is "Nowhere in Africa," from Germany, Caroline

Link’s 2002 Oscar winner for best foreign film. Link tells a story,

based in fact, about a Jewish family that fled the Nazi regime for

a farm in British East Africa. Friday, June 20 to Sunday, June 22.

Assuming it eventually stops raining, the summer includes free Saturday

outdoor revival screenings at Highland Park Middle School. The series

runs July 5, 12, 19, and 26 and includes George Lucas’ "American

Graffiti," Rob Reiner’s "Princess Bride," and Michael

Curtiz’s "Casablanca."

New Jersey International Film Festival screenings are

Fridays through Sunday in Scott Hall, Room 123, Rutgers College Avenue

campus; Thursday screenings are in Loree Hall 024, Douglass College

campus; with selected free events at 9 p.m. Highland Park Middle School,

North Fifth Avenue, Highland Park. Admission $6; all Rutgers programs

begin at 7 p.m. Information 732-932-8482 or www.njfilmfest.com

Chaos, 2002 French drama directed by Coline Serreau, May

30 to Sunday, June 1. Citizen Kane, the 1941 classic by Orson

Welles, Thursday, June 5. The Shapes of Movement, double bill

features the animated short history of gymnastics plus. Russian

Ark (2002), Alexander Sokurov’s epic meditation set in the Hermitage

Art Museum, with a cast of 850 and three symphony orchestras; on a

double bill with The Shapes of Movement, June 6 to 8.

In the Mirror of Maya Deren, feature-length documentary

by Martina Kudlacek (2002), with a mini-retrospective of three films

by Deren, June 12 to 15. Laura. Otto Preminger’s classic film

noir of necrophilia and romantic obsession (1944), June 19. Nowhere

in Africa , Caroline Link’s German 2002 Oscar winner for best foreign

film, June 20 to 22.

Out of the Past, film noir by Jacques Tourneur, June 26.

Ten. Abbas Kiarostami’s 2002 film about modern Iran seen through

the eyes of a woman taxi driver, June 27 to 29. American Graffiti,

free outdoor revival screening series, July 5. Bunuel & Dali,

"Un Chien Andalou" (1929) and "L’Age d’Or" (1930),

July 10.

Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election by Richard

Perez and Joan Sekler (2002), July 11 and 13. Award-Winning Shorts,

free summer outdoor series, Saturday, July 12. The Thief of Baghdad,

1940 Academy Award winner, July 17. Match Scratch Fever, short

feature bill, July 18 and 20. Princess Bride, free outdoor series,

July 19.

Jersey Fresh Media, premiere screenings of film and video

works by New Jersey artists with Friday guest appearances by the directors,

July 25 and 27. Casablanca, free outdoor series features the

Hollywood legend starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, July

26.


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