2018-19 SEASON

Masters: Ken russell

A true iconoclast among British filmmakers, and never beholden to decorum or conventional standards of good taste, Ken Russell’s films continue to maintain their ability to shock, awe, and delight. His stylistically decadent, often controversial films defiantly question notions of tradition, whether artistic, cultural, or religious, and suggest that civilization is perhaps not so civilized after all.

For our first series, we have chosen five films that reflect several essential touchpoints of Ken Russell’s career. With WOMEN IN LOVE and the famously censored THE DEVILS, we present the films that cemented his artistry and his infamy, respectively. With TOMMY and ALTERED STATES, we present the furthest extents of Russell’s phantasmagoric visions, in the modes of rock opera and sci-fi, respectively. Finally, with MAHLER, we present an under-seen, emblematic example of Russell’s bold, unconventional composer biopics.

FOCUS: World Musicals

With the introduction of sound to the cinematographic lexicon, the Hollywood musical very quickly became one of the preeminent public entertainments of the 1930s. Even now, when one thinks of musicals, one may well be inclined to envision the lavish spectacles of Hollywood or Bollywood. There is a general tendency to overlook the variations on the form, often uniquely characteristic of their national or cultural spheres, that continue to emerge from around the globe. Calgary Cinematheque is pleased to have the opportunity this season to expose audiences to musicals from Hong Kong, Egypt, Iran, Japan, and Indonesia. Musicals are by nature popular entertainment, public art, spectacles meant to be enjoyed by amassed spectators representing a collective body. They are inherently celebratory and communal. Musicals from around the world viewed (and heard) in public space ideally expand our concept and experience of community. Think of these films as locally-global phenomena; experiences grounded in kinship and exultation.

SPOTLIGHT: Isabelle Hupert

First appearing on screen in 1971, Isabelle Huppert has amassed more than 130 credits over the course of a remarkable and varied career. Indeed, she is considered by many to be the finest screen actress of her generation, having worked with many of the greatest directors of the postwar era. Whether in her famous extended collaborations with Claude Chabrol and Michael Haneke or in one-off partnerships with a who’s who of contemporary notables, Huppert is famous for her icy intelligence, intensity of affect, and subtlety of craft. Though her consistency is beyond dispute, it would be neglectful in the extreme to pigeonhole this fearless actress; while she can indeed be ruthless and inscrutable as she famously is in films such as Haneke’s The Piano Teacher, she is equally at home conducting amorous combat in Maurice Pialat’s Loulou or participating in the merry madcap antics of Serge Bozon’s Tip Top. Huppert, who has won and/or been nominated for innumerable awards, remains in a class of her own.

Contemporary World Cinema

One-time opportunities to find rising masters and see critically acclaimed, under-exposed world cinema.

Special Screenings: Christmas Interlude and season Finale