Cinematheque Ontario has officially announced their summer 2009 season line-up of films and it begins Friday, May 22! Cinematheque Ontario is a "screening programme dedicated to presenting the history of world cinema on the big screen in carefully curated retrospectives." It is a venue that provides access to great films—from various eras and originating from all over the world—that we might not have access to outside of a university cinema studies classroom. You might be able to rent or download some of them, but here you get a chance to see important domestic, North American and foreign classic, historical and contemporary films on a big screen for a true cinematic experience. Read on for my recommendations.
The summer season of Cinematheque Ontario promises to be great and is packed with must-see films. Coinciding with the exhibit Surreal Things at the Art Gallery of Ontario from May 9 to August 30, the film line-up features many Surrealist classics. In May, there will be Un Chien Andalou (1929) and L'Âge d'or (1930), collaborations between artist Salvador Dalí and director Luis Buñuel; the first film in Jean Cocteau's famous Surrealist Orphic trilogy, The Blood of a Poet from 1931 and the 1931 Jean Vigo short Taris, roi de l'eau; a trio of short films including two from Germaine Dulac—La Coquille et le clergyman (1927) and Thèmes et variations—and one from Henri Storck, Pour vos beaux yeux from 1928. The Surrealist theme continues in June with the classic 1924 Dada short Entr'acte, directed by René Clair, as well as a free screening of several short films by Man Ray (and one from Marcel Duchamp) spanning from 1923 to 1929.
The Cinematheque programme Fallen Angels: The Films of Otto Preminger, running from May 29 to July 2, focuses on classical Hollywood films by the great American director. Several of Preminger's films feature starlet Gene Tierney: the 1944 film noir Laura, Whirlpool from 1950, and Where the Sidewalk Ends from 1950. Among many other films, the programme also includes the 1939 mystery crime drama Anatomy of a Murder, starring James Stewart and Lee Remick.
A special event programme to catch is Nouvelle Vague: The French New Wave, Then and Now, running from July 3 to August 22. The best of these include Jean-Luc Godard's most accessible cerebral film, Breathless from 1959, as well as two great films from François Truffaut—the bohemian romance-drama Jules et Jim from 1961 and The 400 Blows from 1959.
Films to see in May include Alfred Hitchcock's psychoanalytical thriller from 1945 Spellbound, starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck, as well as Sergei Eisenstein's monumental propaganda film from 1925— featuring intellectual montage techniques—Battleship Potemkin. In June, don't miss Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 thriller Blow Up, set in swinging '60s London. In July, check out the 1953 slapstick comedy from Jacques Tati, Les Vacances de M. Hulot, part of the programme Scatterbrained Angel: The Films of Jacques Tati, running from July 31 to August 11. Also make sure to see the Italian neo-realist classics Bicycle Thieves directed in 1948 by Vittorio de Sica, Rome Open City directed in 1945 by Roberto Rosselini, and La Strada directed in 1954 by Federico Fellini. The latter two of these films are part of the special event programme Signore and Signore: Leading Ladies of the Italian Cinema, running from July 10 to August 21.
For more information, check out Cinematheque Ontario's complete schedule of film screenings as well as the list of ticket prices. Unfortunately, according to Cinematheque's General Policies, it looks like as of April 5, 2009, you will no longer be able to use a Cinematheque ticket stub to gain free admission to the AGO.