Monday, January 9

The Scarlet Letter at Film Forum

What’s Showing Today? Monday, January 9
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Featured Screening: The Scarlet Letter at Film Forum

Film Forum‘s weekly Monday evening series The Silent Roar: MGM 1924-1929 continues today with Victor Sjöström‘s The Scarlet Letter, the first of two collaborations with actress Lillian Gish (their second, The Wind, played the same series last month).

Swedish-born Sjöström, perhaps best known to cinephiles today as the star of Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 Wild Strawberries, is his country’s greatest silent filmmaker. He often worked in collaboration with novelist Slema Lagerlöf, and movies like The Phantom Carriage are renowned for their moral and psychological complexity along with stunning location photography of both landscape and and interiors. With Swedish cinema’s status in flux following changes in the international market after WWI, Sjöström headed the United States at the invitation of Louis B. Mayer, where he was one of the first directors to work for the newly formed MGM at the helm of grim Lon Chaney vehicle He Who Gets Slapped. At the time Mayer had chosen Gish to star as Hester Prynne in this adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne‘s novel she was the highest paid actress in Hollywood and used her stature to personally select Sjöström as director. It’s saidGish felt the Scandinavian director’s background shared affinities with Hawthorne’s austere New England; moreover, the tale’s grim romanticism is a running theme in much of Sjöström’s own work, and several of its themes were addressed in The Outlaw and His Wife, one of the director’s Scandinavian masterpieces of forbidden lovers fleeing social persecution in the mountains of Iceland.

The Scarlet Letter screens at 8:20 pm tonight with live piano accompaniment. The Silent Roar series continues through February 6 with work by Tod Browning, King Vidor and Jacques Feyder.

Also Recommended

Tonight is the first of three chances to check out Isao Takahata‘s Only Yesterday at IFC Center—the US theatrical premiere of the Studio Ghibli co-founder’s followup to Grave of the Fireflies. This piece jumps between the 60s and 80s as a woman reflects on childhood coming of age experiences. As the listings describe, Studio Ghibli is known for its female protagonists, and “with Only Yesterday they delve deeper into the real emotional experiences of girls/women than perhaps any animated film before or since.” It runs at 5:35 pm today, 7:55 pm tomorrow and 5:25 Thursday.

This evening MoMA‘s Modern Mondays welcomes Ron English. “Infamous for his subversive use of pirated billboards, this seminal figure in street art and the “culture-jamming” movement exploits familiar brand imagery and advertising in photorealist paintings and art actions that critique contemporary consumer culture.” Tonight features several video pieces by and about English.

Today

The Silent Roar: MGM 1924-1929 at Film Forum
Series Details

  • The Scarlet Letter (Victor Sjöstrom). Details. 35mm. 1926. Length unspecified. 8:20 pm.

Bresson at Film Forum
Series Details

  • Les Dames Du Bois De BoulogneDetails. 1945. 84 min. 1:00, 2:50, 4:40 and 6:30 pm.

Castles in the Sky: Miyazaki, Takahata & The Masters of Studio Ghibli at IFC Center
Series Details

  • Kiki’s Delivery Service (Hayao Miyazaki). Details. 35mm. 1989. 102 min. 10:40 am.
  • Ocean Waves (Tomomi Mochizuki). Details. 1995. 72 min. 11:15 am and 2:30 pm.
  • Castle in the Sky (Hayao Miyazaki). Details. 35mm. 1986. 124 min. 11:30 am, 2:55 and 10:05 pm.
  • Pom Poko (Isao Takahata). Details. 35mm. 1994. 119 min. 12:35, 7:45 pm.
  • My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki). Details. 35mm. 1988. 86 min. 12:45 pm.
  • Only Yesterday (Isao Takahata). Details. 35mm. 1991. 118 min. 5:25 pm.

Raj Kapoor and the Golden Age of Indian Cinema at MoMA
Series Details

  • Monsoon (Raj Kapoor). Details. 1949. 171 min. 4:00 pm.
  • Boot Polish (Prakash Arora). Details. 1953. 149 min. 7:45 pm.

An Evening with Ron English at MoMA. Details. 7:00 pm.
Psychedelic Music Videos at Spectacle Theater. Details.

Ongoing

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceyland) at Film ForumDetails. 2011. 157 min. 1:00, 5:30 and 8:30 pm.
A Separation (Asghar Farhadi) at Film ForumDetails. 2011. 123 min. 1:15, 4:00, 6:45 and 9:10 pm.

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