2008 CESTA FILM SERIES
curated by George Cremaschi

September 7
September 14
September 21
September 28
October 5


No. 1
September 7
8:00 pm

the tenant 

The Tenant/Le Locataire (1976)

Roman Polanski
125 min
English w/Czech subtitles
After the triumph of Chinatown, Roman Polanski's The Tenant marked an unsettling return to the horrifying psychodrama of Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby. As in those previous films, Polanski explores a descent into madness with subtle, deliberate pacing and keen attention to accumulating details. Polanski plays the mild-mannered occupant of a Parisian flat previously rented by a woman who committed suicide by leaping from her upper-floor balcony. As he begins to suspect his landlord and neighbors are trying to subtly change him into the last tenant his paranoia shifts from simmering anxiety to full-blown psychosis, until fate itself seems to run in a complete, tragically tormenting circle.

The Tenant
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No. 2
September 14
8:00 pm
man of iron

Człowiek z żelaza (1981)

Andrzej Wajda 
147 min
Polish w/Czech subtitles
Andrzej Wajda's account of the events at the Gdansk shipyard in the summer of 1980, depicting the Solidarity labour movement and its first success in persuading the Polish government to recognize the workers' right to an independent union. Wajda incorporates a wide range of archival material--including posters, documentary footage, still photos, audio recordings, and eyewitness testimony--into a compelling narrative of epic history unfolding in real time. A brief appearance of Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa as himself further energizes Man of Iron's politically explosive weave of fact and fiction.


Man of Iron
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No. 3
September 21
7:00 pm
struktura krystal

Struktura Krystału (1969)

Krzysztof Zanussi
74 min
Polish w/Czech subtitles
The prolific director Krzysztof Zanussi's debut feature, Struktura Krystału (The Structure of Crystals) is a Chekhovian chamber drama contrasting the divergent lifestyles of two old friends. Marek is an eminently successful Polish physicist from the city, who journeys to the secluded home of old college mate Jan, who has achieved "spiritual and moral balance" by removing himself more or less permanently from harried urban life and relocating to a more rural environment. Zanussi uses the material to interweave social and ethical questions into the mundanity of day-to-day occurrences, using those events to create natural tension and conflict between his characters.

Struktura Krystal

8:30 pm
kanal

Kanał (1956)

Andrzej Wajda
90 min
Polish w/Czech subtitles
It is September 1944, the last days of the Warsaw Uprising, and a group of Polish soldiers and partisans, facing a German offensive and cut off from their comrades, but reluctant to admit defeat, wage a desperate battle amidst the ruins and sewers of the Mokotów district. Based on true events, Kanal was the first film made about the Warsaw Uprising and brought director Wajda to the attention of international audiences, earning the Special Jury Prize in Cannes in 1957.

Kanal

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No. 4
September 28
8:00 pm
total eclipse

Total Eclipse (1995)

Agnieszka Holland
107 min
English w/Czech subtitles

Based on letters and poems, Total Eclipse presents an historically accurate account of the passionate and violent relationship between the two important 19th century French poets Paul Verlaine (David Thewlis) and Arthur Rimbaud (Leonardo DiCaprio) at a time of soaring creativity for both of them.

Total Eclipse

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No. 5
October 5
8:00 pm
double life of veronique

La Double vie de Véronique/Podwójne życie Weroniki (1991)

Krzysztof Kieślowski
93 min
Polish & French w/Czech subtitles

Krzysztof Kieślowski's international breakthrough is a ravishing, mysterious rumination on identity, love and human intuition. Irene Jacob is incandescent as both Weronika, a Polish choir soprano and her double Veronique, a French music teacher. Though unknown to each other the two women share an enigmatic purely emotional bond which Kieślowski details in gorgeous reflections, colors and movements. With shimmering cinematography and a haunting operatic score Kieślowski creates one of cinema's most purely metaphysical works.

Double Life of Veronique

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