When he receives the George Eastman Award this November, Roger Corman will be honored for many things: his pioneering dedication to independent film production; his discovery of some of this century’s most remarkable cinematic talents; his status as the only American filmmaker to make a feature film about the civil rights movement during the civil rights movement; his distribution of foreign-language masterpieces in the 1970s; and his own esteemed career as a director of startling, groundbreaking, and always entertaining films. This September and October, we’ll celebrate the latter two aspects of Corman’s career, with special screenings of the foreign classics he released and the cult classics he created.
In September, we’ll focus on Corman’s ventures into foreign-language distribution in the 1970s, when his company New World “put Bergman in the drive-ins”—that is, carried on the legacy of the art house distributors of the 1950s and 1960s at a time when the majors had lost interest. From François Truffaut comes The Story of Adèle H., featuring Isabelle Adjani in her breakout role as Victor Hugo’s love-stricken daughter, and from Ingmar Bergman comes Autumn Sonata, one of the master’s most emotional works and the only time he worked with Ingrid Bergman. Finally, we’ll conclude with Best Foreign Language Film winner The Tin Drum, screening in a new extended cut prepared by director Volker Schlöndorff.
In October, we’ll turn to Corman’s directorial career, starting off with a double bill of the essential documentary Corman’s World and the hour-long satirical marvel A Bucket of Blood. Taken together, these films manage to summarize Corman’s career and style in less time than your average weekend blockbuster. X stars Ray Milland as a pioneering scientist whose experimentally aided vision keeps growing in a wildly original existential parable, and the following week’s double feature of The Wild Angels and The Trip confirms Corman’s status as a pioneer of his own accord. The Wild Angels remains a riveting look at a youth culture caught between freedom and self-destruction, while The Trip’s take on LSD is both a realistic look at acid use and a psychedelic example of pure cinema. Proving Corman’s mastery of all genres, The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre brings together an amazing cast (Jason Robards, George Segal, and Ralph Meeker) for a sobering gangster drama highlighted by stunning CinemaScope photography. We’ll dip into the acclaimed Poe cycle with the Karloff-Lorre-Price comic classic The Raven and a Halloween screening of House of Usher, and will conclude on November 1 with The Intruder, a lacerating civil rights drama shot on location in the deep south that remains not only one of Corman’s most remarkable achievements, but one of the bravest American films ever made.
Join us on November 2 to honor Roger Corman as the 2013 George Eastman Award recipient.
Roger Corman: Distributor
Wednesday, September 4, 8 p.m.
The Story of Adèle H.
(L’histoire d’Adèle H., François Truffaut, France 1975, 96 min., French and English w/ subtitles, 35mm)
Wednesday, September 11, 8 p.m.
(Höstsonaten, Ingmar Bergman, France/West Germany/Sweden 1978, 99 min., Swedish w/ subtitles, 35mm)
Wednesday, September 25, 8 p.m.
The Tin Drum
(Die Blechtrommel, Volker Schlöndorff, West Germany/France/Poland/Yugoslavia 1979, 163 min., Hebrew, Italian, German, Polish, and Russian w/ subtitles, DCP)
Roger Corman: Director
Thursday, October 3, 8 p.m.
Double Feature: Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel and A Bucket of Blood
(Alex Stapleton, US 2011, 95 min., DCP)
(Roger Corman, US 1959, 66 min., 35mm)
Thursday, October 10, 8 p.m.
X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes
(aka X, Roger Corman, US 1963, 79 min., 35mm)
Thursday, October 17, 8 p.m.
Double Feature: The Wild Angels and The Trip
(Roger Corman, US 1966, 93 min., 35mm)
(Roger Corman, US 1967, 85 min., 16mm)
Thursday, October 24, 8 p.m.
The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
(Roger Corman, US 1967, 100 min., 35mm)
Saturday, October 26, 8 p.m.
(Roger Corman, US 1963, 86 min., 35mm)
Thursday, October 31, 8 p.m.
House of Usher
(Roger Corman, US 1960, 79 min., 35mm)
Friday, November 1, 8 p.m.
(Roger Corman, US 1962, 84 min., 35mm)