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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
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
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
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.
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.
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),
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,
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
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