It’s spring semester time, so the Buffalo Film Seminars is back. Here’s the preview I wrote this week for Buffalo.com.
The Buffalo Film Seminars can always be counted on for an eclectic lineup and a fascinating opener, and the latest installment of the series hosted by Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian is no exception. Georg Wilhelm Pabst’s “Pandora’s Box” screens at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 26 at the Dipson Amherst Theatre (3500 Main St.).
The silent classic stars the inimitable Louise Brooks as an uninhibited young woman who undergoes a fast rise and grim fall. The 1928 film is pre-Production Code, meaning the level of raw sexuality and violence onscreen is eye-opening even for current audiences. It’s an ideal opening selection, and Jackson and Christian should have some fascinating discussion points.
The rest of the spring series includes a number of heavyweights — Jean Renoir, Alfred Hitchcock, Sergio Leone, Martin Scorsese, Akira Kurosawa — and, in Claire Denis’ “Beau Travail,” an absolute must-see. (The latter, an adaptation of Melville’s “Billy Budd” involving soldiers in the French Foreign Legion, is notoriously difficult to track down on DVD.)
Here is the rest of the lineup:
Feb. 2: “Rules of the Game” (directed by Jean Renoir, 1939)
Feb. 9: “Notorious” (Alfred Hitchcock, 1946)
Feb. 16: “Pather Panchali” (Satyajit Ray, 1955)
Feb. 23: “The Producers” (Mel Brooks, 1967)
March 1: “Once Upon a Time in the West” (Sergio Leone, 1968)
March 8: “The French Connection (William Friedkin, 1971)
March 22: “Raging Bull” (Martin Scorsese, 1980)
March 29: “Ran” (Akira Kurosawa, 1985)
April 5: “Malcolm X” (Spike Lee , 1992)
April 12: “Beau Travail” (Claire Denis, 1999)
April 19: “Waltz with Bashir” (Ari Folman, 2008)
April 26: “Amour” (Michael Haneke, 2012)
May 3: “The Fisher King” (Terry Gilliam, 1991)
Tickets are $9.50 for adults, $7.50 for students, and $7. They can be purchased at the theater box office or at dipsontheatres.com. For more information on the Buffalo Film Seminars, visit buffalofilmseminars.com.