The Cinematic City

City Symphonies
Documentary Celebrations of the City
Fictional Films

The Cinematic City

City Symphonies

In the the 1920s the movies were still relatively young, and an evolving modernist aesthetic embraced all things new, sleek, fast, and urban. Not surprisingly, a common focus of the cinematic avant-garde during this era was on the power, complexity, and excitement of cities. In both Europe and the US, a small genre of films that became know as "city symphonies" attempted to capture the spirit, uniqueness, and poetry of a city by assembling images of everyday life in that city. These early films and their offsprings often utilized what film historian Bill Nichols has termed the "poetic mode" of documentary film production--an attempt to move away from the "objective" reality of a given situation or people in order to grasp at an inner truth or essence that can only be conveyed by poetical manipulations of mood, tone, time, and space.

The following list includes both early city symphonies and cinematic celebrations of the city which followed them.

A propos de Nice (1930)
Directed by Jean Vigo; photographed by Boris Kaufman. "The film depicts life in Nice, France by documenting the people in the city, their daily routines, a carnival and social inequalities. Vigo described the film in an address to the Groupement des Spectateurs d'Avant-Garde: "In this film, by showing certain basic aspects of a city, a way of life is put on trial... the last gasps of a society so lost in its escapism that it sickens you and makes you sympathetic to a revolutionary solution." [Wikipedia] "Vigo offers a restructured perception of the world - not so much through a seamless, logical narrative, but rather a fast-paced collection of only tangent- ially related shots. The film provides a look at a reality beyond the prosaic, common variety that so many films give us." [Artificial Eye] DVD 3482; vhs Video/C 999:1151
Information about this film from the Internet Movie Database

Vigo bibliography

Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großtadt (Berlin: Symphonie of a Great City) (Germany, 1927)
Directed by Walter (Walther) Ruttmann. A cross section of life in Berlin from dawn to midnight on a late spring day. Uses montage, cutting, and editing to capture the pulse and tempo of this city. An early example of 'impressionistic' documentaries created in 1927. "With Berlin, die Sinfonie der Großtadt, Walther Ruttmann directed the landmark film of the 1920s symphonic cityscapes. [Special feature] Melodie der Welt is the first German sound feature. DVD X759: This 2-disc set presents both these classics in newly restored versions and adds all the surviving short films he directed between 1921 and 1931. Ruttmann's innovative experimentations in movement, color and sound confirm his status as a pioneer of modern media art. Notes from DVD X6467 edition: Walther Ruttmann is a pioneer of modern multimaedia art. This DVD combines for the first time all surviving works by Ruttmann from 1920-1931 in newly restored and reconstructed versions, often with original scores. His first short films are unique experiments with forms, colors, and rhythm, his innovative commercials connected abstract animation art with concrete messages. The symphonic documentary Berlin, die Sinfonie der Grosstadt is one of the most famous silent cassics, the travelogue Melodie der Welt became the first German sound feature film. With the radio play Weekend Ruttmann created the first "sound film without images" while his short In der Nacht transforms music to images and is a prototype of modern music videos. DVD X6467: Disc 1: Berlin - die Sinfonie der Großtadt (si., 1927, 65 min.) -- Lichtspiel Opus 1 (1921) -- Opus 2 (1922) -- Opus 3 (1924) -- Opus 4 (1925) -- Der Sieger (1922) -- Das Wunder (1922) -- Das Wiedergefundene Paradies (1925) -- Der Aufstieg (1926) -- Spiel der Wellen (1926) -- Dort wo der Rhein / paintings and drawings by Walther Ruttmann 1911-1920 (1927). Disc 2: Melodie der Welt (sd., 1929, 49 min.) -- Weekend (1930, 12 min.) -- In der Nacht (1931) -- Radio feature Walther Ruttmann, der Visionär bewegter Rhythmen (1987, 86 min.) -- Unrestored version of Lichtspiel Opus 1 (1927) -- Different digital transfers of Dort wo der Rhein... (1927) -- Side-by-side comparison of the existing prints of Melodie der Welt (1929) -- Photos from the Congress of the Independent Film in La Sarraz / texts by and about Walther Ruttmann (1929). DVD X6467 (Edition Filmmuseum); DVD 64; DVD X759; vhs 999:307, vhs 999:2581
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Books and articles about Ruttmann in the UCB Library

The Bridge (De Brug)(Netherlands, 1927-8)
Directed by Joris Ivens. This landmark abstract study of a massive iron bridge in Rotterdam, with its stark black & white montages and fluid camera, was described in the British journal Closeup (1928) as a 'pure visual symphony'. DVD X1697; Video/C 7811

Ivens bibliography

A Bronx Morning(1931)
A film by Jay Leyda. "A camera on an elevated train enters the Bronx. We look down at morning activity. Three title cards tell us, "The Bronx does business ... and the Bronx lives ... on the street." We look in store windows, at fruit and vegetables on display, and at a newsstand. We see shops and shoppers, carts and autos. A truck dumps coal; the iceman cometh. Drying clothes hang on lines strung between buildings. Women push prams; children look down from balconies, a woman leans out an open window. The streets are busy. Children play dice, stickball, and hopscotch. An ice-cream pushcart arrives. There are cats, dogs, and pigeons. The camera goes to a rooftop for a panorama." [IMDB] 11 min. DVD 2945

Man With The Movie Camera (Man With a Movie Camera) (Chelovek s Kinoapparatom) (1929)
Directed by Dziga Vertov. Photographer, Mikhail Kaufman. An experimental film without any plot, showing, through a succession of street and interior scenes, all the tricks of which the instrument is capable creating a boldly detailed portrait of the Moscow of the l920s. Uses numerous cinematic techniques such as split screens, multiple superimpositions and variable speeds to study the relation between cinema and reality.
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

DVD 88 Kino. Original music composed and performed by the Alloy Orchestra following the instructions written by Dziga Vertov. 68 min. Special features: Audio essay by Yuri Tsivian.

DVD 2992 Kino. Music by Michael Nyman and his band. 68 min.

Manhatta(USA, 1921)
Directed and photographed by Paul Strand, Charles Sheeler. "In 1921 two Americans, Charles Sheeler (1883-1965), a painter, and Paul Strand (l890-1976), a still photographer, made a one reel documentary film based on the Walt Whitman poem "Mannahatta." The motion picture version, spelled Manhatta, is an abstract study of New York City that expresses the greatness of the city by manipulating the images portrayed on the screen. What made this film different from previous movies of the type later called documentaries was that it explored the potentials of the movie camera to produce a film that was at the same time a factual representation of the city as well as an expression of art that aroused aesthetic emotions about the metropolis." [The City Symphony- The Original Reality Show", by Angelo J. Pompano] 10 min. Included on DVD 2840; DVD 4670; DVD 4191

An epic vision of New York City shot over 17 years (1959-74), during which time Harris pioneered and contemporized time-lapse film making techniques to achieve a unique experiential view of the world. A film by Hilary Harris. 1975. 20 min. DVD 9954

Picturing a Metropolis: New York City Unveiled
SEE Unseen Cinema

Rain (Regen)(Netherlands, 1929)
Co-directed with Mannus Franken). "A day in the life of a rain-shower. As a city symphony Joris Ivens films Amsterdam and its changing appearence during a rain-shower. A very poetic film with changing moods, following the change from sunny Amsterdam streets to rain drops in the canals and the pooring rain on windows, umbrellas, trams and streets, untill it clears up and the sun breaks through once again. Although it seems to be one day it took Ivens a long time to film what he wanted to film (for even in Amsterdam it doesn't rain every day). With The Bridge, Rain became his major breakthrough as an avant-garde film artist. In 1932 Joris Ivens asked Lou Lichtveld (who also made the music for Philips Radio) to make a sound version of it, and in 1941 the film inspired Hanns Eisler to compose his "Fourteen ways to describe rain" in the context of a 'Film Music Project'." [Foundation Joris Ivens] DVD 4191; also on DVD X1697; Video/C 7811 and Video 999:108

Ivens bibliography

Rien Que Les Heures (Nothing But the Hours)(France, 1926)
Directed by Alberto Cavalcanti. Cast: Nina Chousvalowa, Philippe Heriat, Clifford McLaglen. An early quasi-documentary depicting the passage of time during one day in Paris, showing the same characters reappearing at different tasks. The film was the first attempt to express creatively the life of a city on the screen and to dramatize familiar things in familiar surroundings, giving birth to a popular genre. It returned to Lumiere's free-flowing naturalism and outdoor locations but with the added dimension of effective and rhythmic montage. 36 min. DVD X2382; Video/C 999:2989

Skyscraper Symphony(1929)
A film by Robert Florey. A montage of the skyscrapers of Manhattan opens with a succession of stationary views of the upper portions of numerous buildings. This is followed by a wide variety of fluid shots, which also begin to show more and more of the surrounding city, in addition to the skyscrapers themselves. 9 min. DVD 2944

Taves, Brian. "Robert Florey and the Hollywood Avant-Garde." In: Lovers of cinema : the first American film avant-garde, 1919-1945 / edited by Jan-Christopher Horak. Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, c1995. ( Main (Gardner) Stacks; PFA PN1995.9.E96 L68 1995)

Unseen Cinema 5: Early American Avant-garde Film, 1894-1941: Picturing a Metropolis: New York City Unveiled.
Reveals hitherto unknown accomplishments of American filmmakers from the invention of cinema until World War II. Disc 5: "Depicts dynamic images of New York City and scenes of New Yorkers among the skyscrapers, streets, and night life of America's greatest city during a half century of progress, while at the same time showing changes in film style and the history of cinema experiments." Contents: Early views" -- The Blizzard (1899) / creators unknown -- Lower Broadway (1902) / Robert K. Bonine -- Beginning of a skyscraper (1902) / Robert K. Bonine -- Panorama from Times Building, New York (1905) / Wallace McCutcheon -- Skyscrapers of NYC from North River (1903) / J.B. Smith -- Panorama from Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge (1903) / G.W. "Billy" Bitzer -- "Tricks of the trade" -- Demolishing and building up the Star Theatre (1902) / Frederick S. Armitage -- Coney Island at night (1905) / Edwin S. Porter -- Interior New York Subway 14th Street to 42nd Street (1905) / G.W. "Billy" Bitzer -- Seeing New York by yacht (1902) / Frederick Armitage & A.E. Weed -- Looney Lens: Split skyscrapers (1924) / Al Brick -- Looney Lens: Tenth Avenue, NYC (1924) / Al Brick -- Scenes from Ford Educational Weekly (1916-24) / creators unknown -- 8th Avenue elevated train at 112th Street -- The trellis : work of sunshine and shade -- View of Herald Square Station -- Aerial view of Sixth Ave. train at 28th, 26th, 24th -- Manhatta (1921) / Charles Sheeler & Paul Strand -- Twenty four Dollar Island (c. 1926) / Robert Flaherty -- Skyscraper symphony (1929) / Robert Florey -- Manhattan medley (1931) / Bonney Powell -- A Bronx morning (1931) / Jay Leyda -- Footnote to fact (1933) / Lewis Jacobs -- "Seeing the world," part one: a visit to New York, N.Y. (1937) / Rudy Burckhardt -- The Pursuit of happiness (1940) / Rudy Burckhardt -- Gold Diggers of 1935 : "Lullaby of Broadway" (1935) / Busby Berkeley -- Autumn fire (1930-33) / Herman Weinberg. DVD 4670

Documentary Celebrations of the City

Documentaries: Actualities (for early film views of various cities)
Environmental Design: Documentaries on specific cities

Adieu, Babylone! (Farewell, Babylon!)(1992)
Directed by Fernando Arrabal. Documentary alternating between clips from different movies and footage of Arrabal's trip to New York City in the early nineties. Arrabal is able to capture some truly odd imagery in his travels around the city which juxtaposes the filmed clips and more conventional travelogue footage. Arrabal based this on his novel of the same name and managed to get a few unlikely guest stars to appear, including Spike Lee. 55 min. DVD X2900

Amsterdam Global Village(Netherlands, 1966)
Directed by Johan van der Keuken. A fond depiction of filmmaker Johan van der Keuken's home town of Amsterdam and it's people. The film revolves around Khalid, a moped courier who guides the viewer along as he races around town with his cargo of films and photographs. The camera serenely glides through the city's canals, down its streets and across its squares to encounter old and new Amsterdammers who represent a variety of characters from all corners of the globe. 229 min. DVD X389

Johan van der Keuken web site

Barcelona in 48 Hours
A film composed of a collection of black and white still photographs, taken over a period of 48 hours in Barcelona. The film is both an impressionistic portrait of a contemporary dance artist and a meditation on movement of the body, through dancing and traveling. The raw material of hundreds and hundreds of photographs was edited to create a story and dream-like movement. Performed by David Zambrano and Mat Woorter, with appearances by Dietmar Diesner, Pepe Ferrer, Simone Forti, Jennifer Monson, Alex Rendon, Judith Sanchez. A film by Anja Hitzenberger and Edward Ratliff. Presented at the International Latino Film Festival held in the San Francisco Bay Area. c2002. 27 min. Video/C MM1255

Beppie (Netherlands, 1965)
Directed by Johan van der Keuken. Recounts the adventures of a ten-year-old Amsterdam girl as the filmmaker follows her through her daily life in the city. 38 min. DVD 6638

Bridges-Go-Round (1958)
Directed by Shirley Clarke. Made out of footage rejected by the U.S. State Department for its commissioned "Brussels loops" project, in this film Clarke makes New York City bridges dance using fast editing and superimposition. Clarke made two versions of this film using different soundtracks over an identical picture. One version uses an electronic music score written by Louis and Bebe Barron; the other version uses a jazz score written by Teo Macero. The film is currently released with both versions spliced onto one reel, creating an eight-minute film. 3:42 min. DVD X1452

Uricchio, William. "The City Viewed: The films of Leyda, Browning, and Weinberg." In: Lovers of cinema : the first American film avant-garde, 1919-1945 / edited by Jan-Christopher Horak. Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, c1995. ( Main (Gardner) Stacks; PFA PN1995.9.E96 L68 1995)

Calcutta(France, 1969)
Directed by Louis Malle. When he was cutting Phantom India, Louis Malle found that the footage shot in Calcutta was so diverse, intense, and unforgettable that it deserved its own film. The result, released theatrically, is a chaotic portrait of a city racked with social and political turmoil. 99 min. DVD 7513; vhs Video/C 3602

The City(UK, 1939)
Producer, Alberto Cavalcanti; director, Ralph Elton Shows the growth and development of London, and how the Post Office helped ease congestion with its own underground railway. 19 min. DVD 6061

The City (1939)
Credits: original outline, Pare Lorentz; scenario, Henwar Rodakiewicz; commentary, Lewis Mumford; music, Aaron Copland; film editor, Theodore Lawrence. Dramatizes the transformation of the United States from a country of small towns to a highly urbanized and industrialized society. Originally shown at the 1939 World's Fair, this classic documentary film comments on four types of cities: the New England town, the unplanned industrial community, a crowded metropolis and the decentralized community. Contents: The City (1939, 43 min.) -- Which playground for your child : greenbelt or gutter?" : a documentary from the Greenbelt Museum featuring interviews with three Greenbelt "pioneers" (2000, ca. 15 min.) -- George Stoney in conversation with Joseph Horowitz : a legendary documentary film-maker revisits The City (2007, 29 min.)Produced by American Institute of Planning through Civic Films, Inc. ; produced by American Documentary Films, Inc. ; directed and photographed by Ralph Steiner, Willard Van Dyke. 44 min. DVD X2827; vhs Video/C 4969

Gillette, Howard. "Film as Artifact: The City (1939)." American Studies (Lawrence, KS) 1977 18(2): 71-85.
Lauerbach, Helmut. "Greenbelt New Towns - Ready To Serve A Better Age": Ideologie Und Rhetorik In The City (1939)." Amerikastudien/American Studies [Germany] 1992 37(1): 51-63.
Medhurst, Martin J. and Benson, Thomas W. "The City: The Rhetoric Of Rhythm." Communication Monographs 1981 48(1): 54-72.

Ten short films by artists from 9 different countries, all working on urban subjects. The films offer a new way of appreciating the aesthetics of our global cities as they are perceived by cutting-edge video artists and experimental filmakers. Crossings / Marina Chernikova (5 min.) -- Nil / Nose Chan (11 min.) -- Worst case scenario / John Smith (19 min.) -- Sarajevo vertical / Toby Cornish (11 min) -- From 7 PM to 7 PM / Alli Savolainen (5 min.) -- Exchangeable cities / Kentaro Taki (9 min.) -- Street crossing / Pablo Altés (6 min.) -- Es geht auch schneller / Ulrich Fischer (9 min.) -- Hors chants / Dudouet & Kaplan (7 min.) -- Je n'ai pas du tout l'intention de sombrer / Augustin Gimel (5 min.). 80 min. DVD X1130

City Symphony
Films by Dominic Angerame. A collection of five distinct films centering around the city environment in a constant state of change, focusing on images of construction and destruction of modern structures in the urban environment.

Continuum Continuum centers on the people who perform hard manual labor, such as tarring roofs, digging up streets, etc. 1987. 15 min. DVD 7418

Deconstruction Sight Shows how in the modern methods of construction activities men and women have become insignificant behind mammoth tools of destruction. The machines have taken over. 1955. 13 min. DVD 7417

In the Course of Human Events In the course of human events centers its visuals on the demolition of the Embarcadero Freeway which was structurally damaged during the 1989 earthquake. 1997. 25 min. DVD 7416

The Line of Fire In The Line of fire the filmmaker returns the next day to his apartment building that had burned the previous day to film the aftermath. 1997. 9 min. DVD 7415

Premonition In Premonition the concrete world of the American infra-structure and its demise are made strangely poetic in this expressionist documentary which shows the vacant San Francisco Embarcadero Freeway after it has outlived its usefulness, but before its destruction. 1995. 11 min. DVD 7414

Patrice Leconte travels to Cambodia to create a sound and image symphony -- free of dialogue or narration -- of a land and its people. From the city streets to rural villages, from factories to farmlands and beyond, presents the men, women and children of this Southeast Asian nation at work and play. Directed by Patrice Leconte. 2004. 80 min. DVD X3897

Empire of the Moon (1991)
Directed by John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson. Empire of the Moon wryly deconstructs the experience of being a tourist and the yearning to possess the magic of a place. Paris, gorgeously photographed in black-and-white, is the setting for cultural explorations ranging from the mundane to the sublime, as visitors trek from icon to icon, snapping the same photos, climbing the same steps, and at times experiencing the transformative wonder they came to find. DVD 9574

Études des mouvements a Paris (Netherlands, 1927)
A film by Joris Ivens. 4 min. DVD X1697

Forest of Bliss(1986)
film by Robert Gardner. A film without commentary, subtitles or dialogue on daily life in the Holy City of Benares filmed from one sunrise to the next, including daily customs and religious rituals. 90 min. DVD 5516

Hidden in Plain Sight
"Hidden in Plain Sight is inspired by the tradition of cinematic city symphonies and is made up of footage shot in four cities: Santiago de Chile, Hanoi Vietnam, Dakar Senegal and Marseille France. Vignettes from each place are juxtaposed so that the viewer is pulled from place to place, picking up the pieces, making connections only to have them disappear just as quickly. Historical details (about Salvador Allende and Ho Chi Minh, among others), quotes from writing (by Miriama Ba and Charles Baudelaire and others), laconic captions, scored music, and expressionistic sound design offer contrasting contexts in which to view these images. Hidden in Plain Sight offers a dynamic way of viewing street life in these locales, encouraging us to think about how we apprehend a place visually and conceptually." 2008. 63 min. Directed by Mark Street. DVD X3996

In the Street (1941-1952)
Photographed by Helen Levitt, Janice Loeb, James Agee. An extension of the filmmakers' work on the documentary film The Quiet One which was concerned with the urban environment. this film is a revelation of random behavior filmed in a neighborhood in East Harlem New York during the 1940s. The images are selected to reveal the city street as "theater and battleground." 16 min. DVD X5408 [preservation copy]; vhs Video/C 4427

Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of Balance(1983)
Directed by Godfrey Reggio. Koyaanisqatsi is a Hopi Indian word meaning variously: crazy life, life in turmoil, life disintegrating, life out of balance, and a state of life that calls for another way of life. Uniting breathtaking imagery with a haunting score, this experimental film contrasts the tranquil beauty of nature with the frenzied hum of contemporary urban society. 87 min. DVD 1330; vhs 999:440

Stephens, Gregory
"Koyaanisqatsi and the Visual Narrative of Environmental Film.." Screening the Past, Issue 28 Uploaded Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Listen to Britain (1942)
Written, edited, and directed by Humphrey Jennings and Stewart McAllister. A poetic treatment, using no narration, of the British people during World War II. A vivid tapestry of sound and image intersperses scenes of British preparedness and tranquility. Perhaps Jennings' most outstanding film, Listen to Britain celebrates the perservance of everyday behavior in the face of total war. 19 min. DVD 1279; also on VHS Video/C 5026

Watch Listen to Britain online (via the Internet Moving Image Archive)

Humphrey Jennings bibliography

Vaughan, Dai. Portrait of an invisible man : the working life of Stewart McAllister, film editor London : BFI, 1983 (MAIN: TR849.M39 V38 1983)

A "documentary" portrait of the capital which can variously be described as an "essay" or a "journal." Images of London in 1992 are accompanied by an unnamed fictional narrator and Keiller's imaginary protagonist Robinson. The latter is attempting to research the city's artistic past and support alternative paths that the city's history might have taken. The film is made up of three "expeditions" and other mini-journeys on foot into a London that few tourists will ever see. The paths taken are inspired by literary-historical concerns but contemporary political events intrude. The two reflect on how political decisions might impact upon the city's future. Written, directed and photographed by Patrick Keiller. See also: Robinson in Space. 1994. 82 min. DVD 9394

Mayer, Robert. "Not Adaptation but "Drifting": Patrick Keiller, Daniel Defoe, and the Relationship between Film and Literature." Eighteenth Century Fiction; Jul2004, Vol. 16 Issue 4, p803-827, 25p UC users only
Sinclair, Iain. "London necropolis of fretful ghosts." Sight & Sound; Jun94, Vol. 4 Issue 6, p12-15, 4pUC users only
Ward, James. "Not Adaptation but "Drifting": Patrick Keiller, Daniel Defoe, and the Relationship between Film and Literature." Substance: A Review of Theory & Literary Criticism; 2008, Vol. 37 Issue 2, p78-93, 16p UC users only

Los Angeles Plays Itself
A video essay about how movies have portrayed the city of Los Angeles. The film looks at Los Angeles from three perspectives: first, as a background for movies, second, as a character in movies, and third, as a subject for a movie. Research/text/production, Thom Andersen. 2003. 169 min. DVD 7495

My Winnipeg(Canada, 2007)
Directed by Guy Maddin. My Winnipeg is a documentary (or docu-fantasia) about Guy Maddin's hometown. Equal parts mystical rumination and personal history, city chronicle and deranged fantasy, My Winnipeg blends local myth with childhood trauma. Special features: "Winnipeg" animated video, featurette, three short films by the director: Spanky, to the pier and back, Berlin and Odin's shield maiden. 80 min. DVD X4776
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

New York City "Ghetto" Fish Market (Edison, 1903) DVD 2945

Of Time and the City: A Love Song and a Eulogy (UK, 2008)
Directed by Terence Davies. Terence Davies lifts viewers up into the world of fantasy and collective emotion as he presents popular and classical music, voices, radio clips, and a powerful poignant voiceover of his birthplace Liverpool. Includes themes such as Catholicism, homosexuality, violence, death, loss, the glory of cinema, outsiderness, and childhood. 74 min. DVD X1604; also DVD X6271 (PAL)
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Corless, Kieron. "Listen to Liverpool. Interview: Terence Davies." Sight and Sound 18. 6 (2008 June): 22. UC users only
Gilbey, Ryan. "The Mersey Sound: "Of Time and the City"" Sight and Sound 18. 11 (Nov 2008): 46-47, 67. UC users only
"Of Time and the City a transcription." Critical Quarterly; Dec2009, Vol. 51 Issue 4, p1-23, 23p UC users only
O'Neill, Eithne. "Of Time and the City : L'éternel retour." Positif - Revue mensuelle de cinéma (Feb 2009): 23-24 UC users only
Tobin, Yann. "Of Time and the City." Positif - Revue mensuelle de cinéma (Jul 2008): 101-102. UC users only

Paris à l'aube(France, 1960)
Directed by Johan van der Keuken. A lyrical ode to Paris filmed at dawn, made in collaboration with James Blue and set to music by Derry Hall. 10 min. DVD X389

Johan van der Keuken web site

Paris, je t'aime (I Love Paris) (2006)
The world's top directors and some of America's top stars create a panoramic portrait of Paris in these 18 short films about the City of Lights. Each filmmaker brings their own personal touch, underlining the wide variety of styles, genres, encounters and the various atmospheres and lifestyles that prevail in the neighborhoods of Paris. Disc 1: Behind-the-scenes featurette; previews ; Disc 2: 18 behind-the-scene featurettes; video & split screen; storyboard. Quartier des Enfants Rouges / written and directed by Olivier Assayas -- Quartier Latin / directed by Frederic Auburtin, Gerard Depardieu ; written by Gena Rowlands -- Quais de Seine / directed by Gurinder Chadha ; written by Paul Mayeda Berges, Gurinder Chadha -- Tour Eiffel / written and directed by Sylvain Chomet -- Tuileries / written and directed by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen -- Bastille / written and directed by Isabel Coixet -- Père-Lachaise / written and directed by Wes Craven -- Parc Monceau / written and directed by Alfonso Cuaron -- Porte de Choisy / directed by Christopher Doyle ; written by Christopher Doyle, Gabrielle Keng, Kathy Li -- Pigalle / written and directed by Richard LaGravenese -- Quartier de la Madeleine / written and directed by Vincenzo Natali -- 14th arrondissement / directed by Alexander Payne ; written by Nadine Eid, Alexander Payne -- Montmartre / written and directed by Bruno Podalydès -- Loin du 16ieme / written and directed by Walter Salles, Daniela Thomas -- Place des Fetes / written and directed by Oliver Schmitz -- Place des Victoires / written and directed by Nobuhiro Suwa -- Faubourg Saint-Denis / written and directed by Tom Tykwer -- Le Marais / written and directed by Gus Van Sant. Additional directors, Frederic Auburtin, Gerard Depardieu, Gurinder Chadha, Sylvain Chomet, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Isabel Coixet, Wes Craven, Alfonso Cuaron, Christopher Doyle, Richard LaGravenese, Vincenzo Natali, Alexander Payne, Bruno Podalydes, Walter Salles, Daniela Thomas, Oliver Schmitz, Nobuhiro Suwa, Tom Tykwer, Gus van Sant ; music, Pierre Adenot. Fanny Ardant, Leila Bekhti, Melchior Beslon, Juliette Binoche, Seydou Boro, Steve Buscemi, Sergio Castellitto, Willem Dafoe, Gerard Depardieu, Cyril Descours, Marianne Faithfull, Ben Gazzara, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Bob Hoskins, Olga Kurylenko, Li Xin, Elias McConnell, Aissa Maiga, Margo Martindale, Yolande Moreau, Emily Mortimer, Florence Muller, Nick Nolte, Bruno Podalydes, Natalie Portman, Paul Putner, Miranda Richardson, Gena Rowlands, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Ludivine Sagnier, Barbet Schroeder, Rufus Sewell, Gaspard Ulliel, Elijah Wood. 110 min. DVD 8839
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation(1988)
Directed by Godfrey Reggio. This visually spectacular film calls into question everything we think we know about contemporary society. By juxtaposing images of ancient cultures with those of modern life, this experimental film masterfully portrays the human cost of progress. 97 min. DVD 1331

La république Marseille
A collection of seven documentaries created by Denis Gheerbrant between 2008 and 2009 which present seven worlds that make up a city and give it the aspect of a republic: the world of dockers, activist workers, women in the garden projects or the inhabitants of an enormous ghetto. In all its nooks and crannies, all kinds are encountered: An ex-junkie, a boxer, or young women on the brink of life, and the Republic, a main street in the middle of the city. Contents: DVD 1. La totalité du monde (14 min.) -- Les quais (46 min.) -- L'Harmonie (53 min.) -- Les femmes de la cité Saint-Louis (53 min.) -- DVD 2. Le Centre des Rosiers (64 min.) -- Marseille dans ses replis (45 min.) -- La République (85 min.) In French without English subtitles. 360 min. DVD X4908

Der Riese.(Germany, 1983)
A film by Michael Klier. The filmmaker uses material drawn from surveillance cameras scattered throughout Germany to create a 1980s version of the "city film." Parades, subway platforms, and traffic in the rain flit through its mechanical consciousness. 80 min. Video/C MM963

Robinson in Space
A sequel to Patrick Keiller's London, Robinson, the enigmatic, unseen hero returns with his travelling companion and researcher. Robinson is commissioned to investigate the unspecified "problem of England." The narrator describes his seven excursions, with the unseen Robinson, around the country. He goes to the country's familiar historic landmarks and grand estates, but also to the suburban malls, industrial parks, landfills, factories, and phone booths choking the landscape. 1997. 78 min. DVD 9395

Burke, Andrew. "Nation, Landscape, and Nostalgia in Patrick Keiller's Robinson in Space." Historical Materialism, 2006, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p3-29, 27p UC users only
Mayer, Robert. "Not Adaptation but "Drifting": Patrick Keiller, Daniel Defoe, and the Relationship between Film and Literature." Eighteenth Century Fiction; Jul2004, Vol. 16 Issue 4, p803-827, 25p UC users only
Ward, James. "Not Adaptation but "Drifting": Patrick Keiller, Daniel Defoe, and the Relationship between Film and Literature." Substance: A Review of Theory & Literary Criticism; 2008, Vol. 37 Issue 2, p78-93, 16p UC users only

Rotterdam Europoort(1966)
A film by Joris Ivens. "After more than thirty years of work abroad, Ivens was invited by the municipality to make a film in Rotterdam again, where he had shot his well-known The Bridge (1928). Rotterdam-Europoort, whose production took two years, became a layered hybrid of fact and fiction, poetry and legend: a modern interpretation of The Flying Dutchman. Not devoid of critical remarks, it was a challenging way to promote the port. Besides its imagery, the film is also special for its sound, and Ivens subsequently encouraged soundman Tom Tholen to direct films himself. With Ivens as a consultant, Tholen made Touch, for the port promotion council, next to Bacher (on the music of Bach) for the Adriaan Volker dredging company, whose history has been related to the development of the port. These personal impressions are, like Ivens' film, also characterised by an innovative use of sound and vision." 20 min. DVD X1699

La Seine a rencontré Paris (1957)
"Quotidian scenes of Paris along the quays beside the River Seine. Fishing, snoozing, cutting hair, washing clothes. Lovers embrace as nuns gaze. Students sketch, models pose. A diver recovers a boy's lost bicycle. C'est la vie. It's "a river like any other". Sprightly accordion music rounds out the atmosphere." [IMDB] A film by Joris Ivens. 31 min. DVD X1699

The Solitary Life of Cranes
Part city symphony, part visual poem, explores the invisible life of a city, its patterns and hidden secrets, as seen through the eyes of crane drivers working high above its streets. Within the loose structure of a day, starting with the drivers climbing up at dawn and ending with them coming down after a nightshift, the film observes the city as it awakens with a bustle of activity, through the lull of midday and the manic rush in the evening, until it calms down again deep into the night. Throughout the film, the drivers share their thoughts and reflections on the city and life in general. Director, Eva Weber. Dist.: Cinema Guild. 2008. 27 min. DVD X2111

Tokyo-ga(USA | West Germany, 1985)
Directed by Wim Wenders. On the streets of Tokyo, through film clips and interviews with some of Yasujiro Ozu's legendary collaborators, Wim Wenders explores the world of Ozu and ponders the nature of images in this "film diary." 92 min. DVD 5882; DVD 6913
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Urban Visions
11 short films from London, Paris, New York, Helsinki, Milan and elsewhere, presenting different visions of urban life as art, fiction, and social commentary. These films will take you, beyond borders, to discover urban subcultures under a new light. Urban Visons includes both the extraordinary as well as the perfectly ordinary. It's about everyday life, real and unreal, as seen through the eyes of independent and cutting-edge film-makers with a dedication to form, rhythm, and color. These works are witness to a new wave of film as art without limits of creativity and style and free of technical and financial constraints. Urban Visions proves that now just like the big city, anything is possible. Push / Gorka Aguado (4:29) -- One last thing / Hilton Earl (5:15) -- Fausse solitude / Pierre-Yves Cruaud (5:45) -- Der letzte Flug / Lombardi-Clan (11:24) -- Pako / Nosfe (1:27) -- Hi-fi / Sean Baker (5:34) -- Novanta / GG Tarantola (12:10) -- When the floor became the ceiling / Rudolf Buitendach (6:03) -- Raus aus seinen Kleidern / Corinna Schnitt (7:18) -- Promenaux / Stefano Canapa (11:19) -- The strip mall trilogy / Roger Beebe (9:06). Dist: Lowave DVD 6393

Waverley Steps(UK, 1948)
Directed by John Eldridge. Like Walther Ruttmann's Berlin Symphony of a Great City (which it quotes in its opening shots), Waverley steps is an ode to the spirit of a city--in this case, Edinburgh. "It touces on such themes as life and death, romance and divorce, work and entertainment, which were staples of the city symphony genre. It's highly controlled and polished cinematography, as well as its carefully arranged and acted vignettes, pull this film away from the genre's documentary impulse. 31 min. Video/C 5028

Fictional Films

The following are movies in which the city and city life figure prominently.

Science Fiction Films (For future cities and urban dystopias)
Movies About Filmmaking and Hollywood (For films set in Hollywood)
Film Noir


Cinematic Cities: Historicizing the Modern From Reel to Real
The College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley invites distinguished architects and academics in the field of architecture to present guest lectures. In this lecture Nezar AlSayyad, professor of Architecture, Planning and Urban History at UCB, addresses some of the themes in his book Cinematic cities, historicizing the modern from reel to real. This event took place at the University of California, Berkeley on November 28, 2007. 30 min. DVD 9315 (Note: Recording ends before event is finished. Some of final presentation is missing.)

Night on Earth(France | UK | Germany | USA | Japan, 1991)
Directed by Jim Jarmusch. Cast: Winona Ryder, Gena Rowlands, Giancarlo Esposito, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Rosie Perez, Isaach De Bankolé, Béatrice Dalle, Roberto Benigni, Paolo Bonacelli, Matti Pellonpää, Kari Väänänen, Sakari Kuosmanen, Tomi Salmela. A collection of five stories involving cab drivers in five different cities. Los Angeles - A talent agent for the movies discovers her cab driver would be perfect to cast, but the cabbie is reluctant to give up her solid cab driver's career. New York - An immigrant cab driver is continually lost in a city and culture he doesn't understand. Paris - A blind girl takes a ride with a cab driver from the Ivory Coast and they talk about life and blindness. Rome - A gregarious cabbie picks up an ailing man and virtually talks him to death. Helsinki - an industrial worker gets laid off and he and his compatriots discuss the bleakness and unfairness of love and life and death. 2000. DVD X3247
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Algiers (1938)
Directed by John Cromwell. Cast: Charles Boyer, Hedy Lamarr, Sigrid Gurie, Joseph Calleia, Alan Hale. 96 min. DVD X519
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Casbah (1948)
Directed by John Berry. Cast: Yvonne DeCarlo, Tony Martin, Peter Lorre, Marla Toren. 94 min. vhs 999:2499

Bab el-Oued City (Algeria / France / Germany / Switzerland, 1994)
Directed by Merzak Allouache. Cast: Nadia Kaci, Mohamed Ourdache, Hassan Abdou, Mabrouk Ait Amara, Messaoud Hattou, Mourad Khen, Djamila, Simone Vignore, Michel Such. In Bab el-Oued, a working class district of Algiers, a young worker commits an act which puts the entire district in turmoil. 95 min. DVD 3731
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Casbah (1948)
Directed by John Berry. Cast: Yvonne DeCarlo, Tony Martin, Peter Lorre, Marla Toren. 94 min. vhs 999:2499

Pépé Le Moko (France, 1937)
Directed by Julien Duvivier. Cast: Jean Gabin, Mireille Balin, Gabriel Gabrio, Lucas Gridoux, Gilbert Gil, Line Noro. 95 min. DVD 1538; vhs 999:659
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Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Spain | USA, 1988)
Directed by Woody Allen. Cast: Javier Bardem, Patricia Clarkson, Penélope Cruz, Kevin Dunn, Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Messina. 96 min. DVD X953
Movie Review Query Engine


People on Sunday (Menschen am Sonntag) (Germany, 1930)
Directed by Kurt (Curt) Siodmak, Robert Siodmak, Edgar G. Ulmer. Script, Billy Wilder. Cast Annie Schreyer, Brigitte Borchert, Christl Ehlers, Erwin Splettstosser, Wolfgang Von Waltershausen. An effervescent silent film about a handful of city dwellers enjoying a weekend outing that offers a rare glimpse of Weimar-era Berlin. A unique hybrid of documentary and fictional storytelling, the film was both an experiment and a mainstream hit that would influence generations of film artists around the world. People On Sunday represents an astonishing confluence of talent, an early collaboration by a group of German filmmakers who would all go on to become major Hollywood players. Bonus features on DVD X5971: "Weekend am Wansee" documentary about the film (2000) ; "Ins Blaue hinein" documentary (1931, 36 min.) Special features on DVD 4176: Biographical information on directors and screenwriters and the 1951 short film "This year -- London" / directed by John Krish. 73 min. DVD X5971; DVD 4176; vhs 999:3694
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Koepnick, Lutz "The bearable lightness of being : People on Sunday (1930)." In: Weimar cinema : an essential guide to classic films of the era / edited by Noah Isenberg. New York : Columbia University Press, c2009. (Main (Gardner) Stacks PN1993.5.G4 W357 2009)
Löffler, Petra. "The ordinary life of ordinary people: Menschen am Sonntag." In: Edgar G. Ulmer : essays on the king of the B's / edited by Bernd Herzogenrath ; foreword by Arianné Ulmer Cipes. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, c2009. (Main (Gardner) Stacks PN1998.3.U46 E57 2009)

Run Lola, Run (Lola Rennt) (Germany, 1998)
Director, Tom Tykwer. Cast: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup, Nina Petri. A thrilling roller-coaster ride about two star-crossed lovers who have only minutes to change the course of their lives. Time is running out: Lola has just received a frantic call from her boyfriend Manni, who's accidentally lost a small fortune he was to deliver to his mobster boss. If they cannot find a way to replace the money within twenty minutes, Manni will suffer severe consequences. 81 min. DVD 725
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Tykwer bibliography


Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Directed by John Hughes. Cast: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Grey, Charlie Sheen, Ben Stein. A high school student is determined to get a day off with his friends by outwitting his principal. Ferris Bueller has played hooky a number of times. But this time he has the entire school and more believing he is on the verge of death. On this special day off, Ferris invites his friend Cameron and girlfriend Sloane to join him in his day of fun. Ferris talks Cameron into borrowing his father's precious Ferrari for the day's transportation. All the while, Principal Ed Rooney is determined to prove Ferris is faking his illness. Jeanie, Ferris's agitated sister, also wants to catch Ferris in his lie. Ferris enjoys his day with his friends, until they notice that the mileage of the Ferrari reads too many miles, sending Cameron to suffer his own blow out. Special features: "Getting the class together: the cast of Ferris Bueller's day off" documentary on the casting of the production, featuring cast and crew interviews (28 min.); "The making of Ferris Bueller's day off" featuring cast and crew interviews (16 min.) "Who is Ferris Bueller?" featuring interviews with Hughes, Jones, Broderick (10 min.); "The world according to Ben Stein" featuring interview clips with Stein (11 min.); "Vintage Ferris Bueller" featuring interviews with Broderick, Ruck, and Jones (11 min.); "Class album" of cast stills. 102 min. DVD X3357
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Cyclo (Xich lo) (1995)
Directed by Tran Anh Hung. Cast: Lê Van Loc, Tony Leung-Chiu Wai, Tran Nu Yên-Khê. 123 min. 999:2853
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Hong Kong

Chinese Box (France | Japan | USA, 1997)
Director, Wayne Wang. Cast: Jeremy Irons, Gong Li, Maggie Cheung, Michael Hui, Ruben Blades. 99 min. DVD 4945
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Las Vegas

Directed by Martin Scorsese; Cast: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods, Don Rickles, Alan King, Kevin Pollak. 179 min. DVD 308
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Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
Directed by Mike Figgis. Cast: Nicolas Cage, Elisabeth Shue, Julian Sands. 112 min. DVD 5035
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Ocean's Eleven(1960)
Director Lewis Milestone. Cast: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, Angie Dickinson. Special features: Feature-length audio commentary by Frank Sinatra Jr. and Angie Dickinson; interactive "then and now" Las Vegas map casino vignettes; excerpts from the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson featuring guest host Frank Sinatra and Angie Dickinson; interactive menus; cast/filmmaker profiles; 2 theatrical trailers; scene access. 127 min. DVD 7899
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Ocean's Eleven(2001)
Director Steven Soderbergh. Cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Elliott Gould, Eddie Jemison, Bernie Mac, Shaobo Qin, Carl Reiner, Julia Roberts. Three prestigious Las Vegas casinos. 116 min. DVD 5771
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Alfie (1965)
Director, Lewis Gilbert. Cast: Michael Caine, Shelley Winters, Millicent Martin, Julia Foster, Jane Asher, Shirley Anne Field, Vivien Merchant, Eleanor Bron. 113 min. DVD 558
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Blow Up (UK / Italy, 1966)
Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. Cast: Vanessa Redgrave, David Hemmings, Sarah Miles. 102 min. DVD 2213; 999:75
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Night and the City (UK, 1950)
Directed by Jules Dassin. Cast: Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Googie Withers, Hugh Marlowe, Francis L. Sullivan, Herbert Lom. 96 min. DVD 3579
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Pool of London (UK, 1951)
Directed by Basil Dearden. Cast: Bonar Colleano, Susan Shaw, Renée Asherson, Earl Cameron, Moira Lister, Max Adrian, Joan Dowling. A ship sails into the Pool of London, and for the few days it is loading or discharging, it becomes as much a part of the Pool as the wharves and warehouses, as the buildings of the city itself. To the tugmen, the watermen, the customs, the river police, it's just another job--usually. However, everything changes for two sailors on shore leave when they inadvertently become caught up in a crime as murky as the great river itself. 82 min. DVD X6246
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Wonderland (UK, 1999)
Directed by Michael Winterbottom. Cast: Ian Hart, Shirley Henderson, Kika Markham, Gina McKee, Molly Parker, Jack Shepherd, John Simm, Stuart Townsend, Ellen Thomas, David Fahm. Through a series of vignettes focuses on the lives of three sisters with very different lives, exploring on their dreams, conflicts and weekend escapedes, all beautifully interwoven into a single tapestry of love, pain and pure joy. 109 min. DVD X5351
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Los Angeles

Chinatown (1974)
Directed by Roman Polanski. Cast: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Hillerman, Perry Lopez, Burt Young, Bruce Glover, Joe Mantell, Roy Jenson, Diane Ladd, Dick Bakalyan, John Huston. DVD 162; VHS 999:381
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Crash (2004)
Directed by Paul Haggis. Cast: Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, William Fichtner, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillippe, Larenz Tate. 113 min. DVD 4298
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The Exiles
An account of the problems encountered by Native Americans living in urban areas and caught between two conflicting cultures, as shown by footage of 12 hours in the lives of a group living in Los Angeles. Special features: Four short films directed by Kent Mackenzie including "Bunker Hill 1956" ; "Los Angeles Plays Itself": clips from Thom Andersen's masterpiece ; Commentary track: Watching The Exiles with Sherman Alexie and Sean Axmaker ; Audio: Cast and Crew at The Exiles' Opening Night at UCLA, 2008 ; "Last Day of Angels Flight": short film by Robert Kirste ; "Bunker Hill: A Tale of Urban Renewal": short film by Greg Kimble ; "White Fawn's Devotion": the first film directed by a Native American (1910) ; Sherman Alexie and Sean Axmaker, a second Interview ; WNYC Leonard Lopate Show with Sherman Alexie and Charles Burnett. Directed by Kent Mackenzie. 1961. 72 min. DVD X2383

Falling Down (1992)
Directed by Joel Schumacher. Cast: Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey, Rachel Ticotin, Frederic Forrest, Tuesday Weld. 113 min. DVD 6802
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L.A. Confidential (1997)
Directed by Curtis Hanson. Cast: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell, Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito. Also includes a behind-the scenes documentary "Off the record'" with the film's creators, lead actors and novelist, James Elroy. 156 min. DVD 3831; vhs 999:1977
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L.A. Story (1991)
Directed by Mick Jackson. Cast: Steve Martin, Victoria Tennant, Richard E. Grant, Marilu Henner, Sarah Jessica Parker. 98 min. DVD 1365
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Mystery Train (1989)
Directed by Jim Jarmusch. Cast: Youki Kudoh, Masatoshi Nagase, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Cinqué Lee, Nicoletta Braschi, Elizabeth Bracco, Joe Strummer, Rick Aviles, Steve Buscemi and the voice of Tom Waits. A teenage couple from Japan on a pilgramage to Graceland, a mysterious Italian beauty escorting her husband's body back to Italy, and an unemployed, armed misfit known as Elvis meet in Memphis. The characters' paths collide interweaving engrossing stories, all centering around the Presley legend and his beloved hometown of Memphis. 98 min. DVD 420
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Mexico City

Amores Perros (2000)
Director, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu. Cast: Emilio Echevarría, Gael García, Goya Toledo, Alvaro Guerrero, Vanessa Bauche, Jorge Salinas. Three different people are catapulted into dramatic and unforseen circumstances in the wake of a terrible car crash: a young punk stumbles into the sinister underground world of dog fighting; an injured supermodel's designer pooch disappears into the apartment's floorboards; and an ex-radical turned hit man rescues a Rotweiler with a gunshot wound. 153 min. DVD 1132
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British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards - Best Foreign-language Film
National Board of Review - Best Foreign Language Film


Salaam Bombay! (India, 1988)
Directed by Mira Nair. Cast: Shafiq Syed, Hansa Vithal, Chandra Sharma, Aneeta Kanwar, Raghubir Yadav, Nana Patekar. 114 min. DVD 6917; vhs 999:136
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Slumdog Millionaire (UK, 2008)
Directed by Danny Boyle; Loveleen Tandan. Cast: Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor, Saurabh Shakla, Raj Zutshi, Jeneva Talwar, Freida Pinto, Irrfan Khan. Jamal Malik is an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" When the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating. Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up. He describes their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved and lost. Every chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show's questions. Jamal's increasingly layered story reveals where he learned the answers to the show's seemingly impossible questions. When the new day dawns and Jamal returns to answer the final question, the Inspector and sixty million viewers watch to find out if he can answer the question of how anyone comes to know the things they know about life and love. Based on the novel: "Q & A" by Vikas Swarup. 120 min. DVD X1377
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Academy Awards - Best Picture; Best Director
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards - Best Picture
Golden Globe Awards - Best Picture; Best Director
National Board of Review, USA - Best Film
Directors Guild of America, USA - Outstanding Directorial Achievement
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards - Best Director

Psychological Studies Volume 54, Number 3 / September, 2009 UC users only
Walsh, Mike. "You Ain't Nothin' But a Slumdog: Global Cinema and the Slumdog Millionaire Effect." Metro Magazine: Media & Education Magazine Issue 160 (Mar 2009)
Gehlawat, Ajay. "Slumdog comprador: coming to terms with the Slumdog phenomenon." CineAction - Winter 2009 i78 p2(8) UC users only
Jivani, Alkarim. "Mumbai Rising." Sight and Sound, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 40-43, Feb 2009 UC users only
Kavoori, Anandam. "Why the Sun Shines on Slumdog." Global Media and Communication, 2009, 5, 259 UC users only
Koehler, Robert "Slumdog Millionaire.l" Cineaste 34:2 (Spring 2009) p. 75-77 UC users only
Larson, Kate. "Slumdog Millionaire." Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, Volume 21, Issue 4 October 2009 , pages 303 - 306 UC users only
Macnab, Geoffrey. "Slumdog Millionaire." Sight and Sound 19:2 (February 2009) p. 75-76 UC users only
Rapold, Nicolas. "Slumdog Millionaire." Film Comment 44:6 (November-December 2008) p. 69-70 UC users only
Tyree, J.M. "Against the Clock: Slumdog Millionaire and the Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Film Quarterly, Summer2009, Vol. 62 Issue 4, p34-38, 5p UC users only
Vashishtha, Vipin M. "Indian Slum Children in Western Cinema: Sensitive Portrayal of Stark Reality or Crass Exploitation?" Indian Pediatrics; Jun2009, Vol. 46 Issue 6, p499-500, 2p


Nashville (1975)
Directed by Robert Altman. Cast:Cast: Henry Gibson, Lily Tomlin, Ronee Blakley, Keith Carradine, Geraldine Chaplin, Barbara Harris, Karen Black. 160 min. DVD 286
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New Orleans

Angel Heart (1987)
Directed by Alan Parker. Cast: Mickey Rourke, Robert DeNiro, Lisa Bonet, Charlotte Rampling. A journey of violence and murder that canvasses the streets of Harlem, the jazz clubs of New Orleans, and voodoo rituals in the swamps of Louisiana. From the novel "Falling angel" by William Hjortsberg. 98 min. DVD 3819
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Big Easy (1986)
Directed by Jim McBride. Cast: Dennis Quaid, Ellen Barkin, Ned Beatty, John Goodman. When a hood's murder triggers a bloody gangland drug war, New Orleans detective Remy McSwain, who fits right in with the easy style of Cajun country, meets his match in Anne Osborne, a no-nonsense Assistant D.A. in town to investigate police corruption. At odds from the moment they meet, this is a saucy blend of New Orleans nightlife, romance and suspence. Special features: Cast and crew information, interactive menus, scene access, theatrical trailer. Originally produced as a motion picture in 1986. 100 min. DVD 130
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Arnett, Robert. "Eighties noir: the dissenting voice in Reagan's America.(analysis of outstanding film noir works in the 1980s)." Journal of Popular Film and Television 34.3 (Fall 2006): 123(7). UC users only

Panic In the Streets (1950)
Directed by Elia Kazan. Cast: Richard Widmark, Paul Douglas, Barbara Bel Geddes. "Early Elia Kazan suspenser centers around an increasingly desperate search for two criminals on the lam in New Orleans (played by Jack Palance and Zero Mostel), who, unbeknownst to them, have been infested with bubonic plague. If health inspector Dr. Clint Reed (Richard Widmark) and police captain Tom Warren (Paul Douglas) don't nab their quarry fast, the killer plague will spread and put the whole country at risk. This breathlessly exciting film is one of our best manhunt pictures, with the plague twist adding an extra jolt of tension. Kazan's peerless on-location shooting never obscures the terrific acting from the four central characters, both hunters and hunted. Palance is particularly magnetic as a brutal fugitive." [Farr, John. "The Best City Movies by Farr." Huffington Post DVD 3848
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New York

Annie Hall (1977)
Directed by Woody Allen. Cast: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Paul Simon. 99 min. DVD 56; VHS 999:263

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Dead End (1937)
Directed by William Wyler. Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Sylvia Sidney, Joel McCrea, The Dead End Kids, Wendy Barrie, Claire Trevor, Allen Jenkins. 92 min. DVD 3625; DVD 3327; VHS 999:14
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Springhall, John. "Censoring Hollywood: Youth, Moral Panic and Crime/Gangster Movies of the 1930s." The Journal of Popular Culture Volume 32 Issue 3 Page 135-154, Winter 1998 UC users only

Do the Right Thing (1989)
Director: Spike Lee. Cast: Danny Aiello (Sal), Ossie Davis (Da Mayor), Ruby Dee (Mother Sister), Richard Edson (Vito), Giancarlo Esposito (Buggin Out), Spike Lee (Mookie), Bull Nunn (Radio Raheem), John Turturro (Pino), Rosie Perez (Tina), Joie Lee (Jade), Sam Jackson (Mister Se~nor Love Daddy). 120 min. DVD 579 (Criterion); DVD 27; vhs 999:386
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French Connection (1971)
Directed by William Friedkin. Cast: Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco, Marcel Bozzuffi. Two tough, New York City detectives discover a plan to smuggle a large amount of pure heroin into the United States concealed in a car shipped from France. 104 min. DVD 851; VHS 999:2307
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Academy Awards - Best Picture; Best Director
Golden Globe Awards - Best Picture, Drama; Best Director
Directors Guild of America, USA - Outstanding Directorial Achievement

Gangs of New York (2002)
Directed by Martin Scorsese. Cast: Leonardo Dicaprio, Daniel Day Lewis, Cameron Diaz, Jim Broadbent, John C. Reilly, Henry Thomas, Brendan Gleeson, Liam Neeson. 166 min. DVD 1641
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Directed by Woody Allen. Cast: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Michael Murphy, Mariel Hemingway, Meryl Streep, Anne Byrne. 96 min. DVD 228; vhs 999:828
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Rothman, William. "Woody Allen's New York." In: City that never sleeps : New York and the filmic imagination
Edited by Murray Pomerance. New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, c2007. (Full text available online (UCB users only); Print: Main (Gardner) Stacks PN1995.9.N49 C58 2007)

Mean Streets(1973)
Directed by Martin Scorsese. Cast: Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval, Amy Robinson, Richard Romanus, Cesare Denova, George Memmoli, David Carradine, Robert Carradine. 96 min. DVD 99
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Naked City(1948)
Directed by Jules Dassin. Cast: Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart, Don Taylor, Ted DeCorsica. In this film-noir thriller, one of the first pictures filmed on location in New York City, a squad of homicide detectives roams through the seamier parts of the City as they solve a murder case. Through the use of a hidden camera, the movie gives viewers an unvarnished look at life in the city using the technique neorealism. DVD 403; Video Disc 171; VHS 999:1134
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Neve, Brian. "Jules Dassin and Albert Maltz." In: In: Film and politics in America : a social tradition London ; New York : Routledge, 1992. pp. 115-118(MAIN: PN1995.9.S6 N46 1992 MOFF: PN1995.9.S6 N46 1992)
Wald, Malvin. The Naked City: A Screenplay / by Malvin Wald and Albert Maltz; story by Malvin Wald; edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli; afterword by Malvin Wald. Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press, [1979] c1948. (PN1997 .N324 Main Stack)

New York Stories(1989)
"Life lessons" directed by Martin Scorsese; Life without Zoe" Directed by Francis Coppola; "Oedipus wrecks" Directed by Woody Allen. Cast: Nick Nolte, Rosanna Arquette, Talia Shire, Giancarlo Giannini, Mia Farrow, Julie Kavner, Woody Allen, Mae Questel. A trilogy about life in the big city. "Life lessons" is the tale of a passionate painter torn between his obsession for his art and his infatuation with his sultry assistant. "Life without Zoe" is a wimsical fantasy of a very grown-up 12-year-old who brings charm and magic to life in New York. "Oedipus wrecks" is the story of a neurotic lawyer who cannot escape the influence of his mother. 124 min. DVD 2714
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On the Town (1954)
Directed by Stanley Donen & Gene Kelley. Cast: Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett, Ann Miller, Jules Munshin, Vera-Ellen. 98 min. DVD 238; VHS 999:169
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Bukatman, Scott. "A Day in New York: On the Town and The Clock." In: City that never sleeps : New York and the filmic imagination
Edited by Murray Pomerance. New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, c2007. (Full text available online (UCB users only); Print: Main (Gardner) Stacks PN1995.9.N49 C58 2007)
Casper, Joseph Andrew. Stanley Donen Metuchen, N.J. : Scarecrow Press, 1983. (MAIN: PN1998.A3 D592 1983; MOFF: PN1998.A3 D592 1983)
Silverman, Stephen M. Dancing on the ceiling : Stanley Donen and his movies. New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1996. (MAIN: PN1998.3.D65 S55 1996; MOFF: PN1998.3.D65 S55 1996)
Telotte, J. P. "Ideology and the Kelly-Donen Musicals." Film Criticism, Spring84, Vol. 8 Issue 3, p36-46, 11p UC users only

Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Directed by Alexander Mackendrick. Cast: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison, Martin Milner, Sam Levene. Film about a popular and powerful newspaper columnist and a slimy press agent in New York City. The columnist is obsessed with dominating the city, his readers and his lovely young sister. 97 min. DVD 1883; vhs 999:2262
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Awards & Honors
National Film Registry Selection

Talk Radio (1988)
Directed by Oliver Stone. Cast: Eric Bogosian, Alec Baldwin, Ellen Greene, Leslie Hope, John C. McGinley, John Pankow, Michael Wincott. An acerbic Dallas talk radio host, discovers that his skills in pushing people's buttons has won him a chance for national syndication. But instead of celebrating, he subjects his ex-wife and co-workers to a darkly comic marathon bout of compulsive risk-taking with his unstable radio audience -- the lonely, the angry and the dangerous. 109 min. DVD 774
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Taxi Driver(1976)
Directed by Martin Scorsese. Cast: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks, Harvey Keitel, Leonard Harris, Peter Boyle, Cybill Shepherd. 135 min. DVD 571; vhs 999:70
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Amélie (Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain) (France / Germany, 2001)
Director, Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Cast: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Serge Merlin. 122 min. DVD 1214
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Before Sunset (2004)
Directed by Richard Linklater. Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Vernon Dobtcheff, Louise Lemoine Torres, Rudolphe Pauly, Mariane Plasteig. 80 min. DVD X2462
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Breathless (À Bout de souffle) (France, 1960)
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard. Cast: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Liliane David, Daniel Boulanger, Jean-Pierre Melville, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, Francois Truffaut. DVD 8726 includes: Disc one: Archival interviews with director Jean-Luc Godard and actors Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, and Jean-Pierre Melville ; French theatrical trailer -- Disc two: new video interviews with Coutard, asst. director Pierre Rissient, and filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker ; new video essays: filmmaker Mark Rappaport's Jean Seberg and critic Jonathan Rosenbaum's "Breathless as Criticism" ; "Chambre 12, Hotel de Suede," an 80 min. French documentary about the making of Breathless with members of the cast and crew ; "Charlotte et son Jules," a 1959 short by Godard starring Belmondo ; plus: a book featuring an essay by scholar Dudley Andrew, writings by Godard, Francois Truffaut's original film treatment, and Godard's scenario. 90 min. DVD 8726; DVD 937; VHS 999:417
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Cléo de 5 à 7 (Cleo from 5 to 7) (1961)
Directed by Agnes Varda. Cast: Corinne Marchand, Antoine Bourseiller, Dominique Davray, Dorothee Blank, Michel Legrand, Jose-Luis de Vilallonga. An intimate portrait of a woman who is waiting to learn if she has terminal cancer. The beautiful but spoiled Cleo searches for answers with a fortune-teller, then seeks comfort in the familiar as she shops for a hat, talks with friends, and rehearses a song. Shot almost entirely on location, this visually entrancing film captures the look, feel, and sounds of Paris as Cleo views the world with a new awareness. 90 min. DVD 1181; vhs 999:2203
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Paris (2008)
Directed by Cédric Klapisch. Cast: Juliette Binoche, Romain Duris, Fabrice Luchini, Albert Dupontel, François Cluzet, Karin Viard, Mélanie Laurent, Gilles Lellouche, Zinedine Soualem, Julie Ferrier, Maurice Bénichou, Olivia Bonamy, Audrey Marnay, Annelise Hesme, Sabrina Ouazani, Xavier Robic, Emmanuel Quatra, Kingsley Kum Abang. While waiting for a heart transplant that could save his life, Pierre reunites with his sister and her lively children. This rediscovery of his family and observation of the teeming streets outside his window give Pierre hope, and a new sense of how he might spend the time still left to him. A story about the middle-class and bourgeois, immigrants and students, fashion models and the homeless, and all the lovers and strangers whose paths could cross and change in Paris. 129 min. DVD X3769
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Paris, je t'aime (I Love Paris) (2006)
SEE documentaries

Paris vu par Chabrol, Douchet, Godard, Pollet, Rohmer, Rouch (Six in Paris) (1965)
Cast: Barbara Wilkind, Barbet Schroeder, Micheline Dax, Jean-Michel Rouziere, Gilles Queant. Six short films present stories of different neighborhoods of Paris. "Saint-Germain-des-Pres," by Jean Douchet, is the story of the up-and-down relationship between a male model and an American coed. "Gare du Nord," by Jean Rouch, is a haunting twist-of-fate tale involving a suicidal handsome stranger. In "Rue Saint Denis," by Jean-Daniel Pollet, an experienced prostitute picks up a virginal dishwasher. In "Place de l'Etoile," by Eric Rohmer, a timid salesclerk thinks he has committed murder. In "Montparnasse et Levallois: un action film," by Jean-Luc Godard, filme par Albert Maysles, a woman is afraid she has mixed up letters to her two boyfriends. "La Muette," by Claude Chabrol, is the story of a young boy who finds a way to ignore his obnoxious parents. "Les cineastes ont ecrit les scenarios et les dialogues de leurs sketches." Special DVD features: Interviews with Barbet Schroeder, Jackie Ravnal. Albert Maysles, and Richard Brody 93 min. DVD X399; vhs 999:3228
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Paris qui dort (The Crazy Ray) (France, 1923)
Directed by René Clair. Cast: Henri Rollan, Madeline Rodrigues, Albert Prejean, Myla Seller. 62 min. Included on DVD 1368; also vhs 999:3235
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Rififi (Du rififi chez les hommes) (France, 1955)
Directed by Jules Dassin. Cast: Jean Servais, Carl Mohner, Robert Manuel, Perlo Vita (i.e. Jules Dassin), Marie Sabouret, Janine Darcy, Claude Sylvain, Marcel Lupovici, Pierre Grassel, Robert Hossein, Magali Noel, Dominique Maurin. A suspenseful story of a successful jewel robbery engineered by an aging ex-con in which the four thieves betray each other. The film ends in an orgy of torture, murder, kidnapping and retribution. One of the greatest crime capers, it set the standard for all others that followed. Most notable is Dassin's exquisitely intense silent burglary sequence which runs nearly half an hour. "After making such American noir classics as The Naked City and Brute Force, blacklisted director Jules Dassin went to Paris and embarked on his masterpiece: a twisting, turning tale of four ex-cons who hatch one last glorious heist in the City of Lights. At once naturalistic and expressionistic, this melange of suspense, brutality, and dark humor was an international hit and earned Dassin the Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival." [Criterion catalog] 117 min. DVD 3903; vhs 999:2779
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Arthur, Paul. "Rififi." (motion picture review) Cineaste v 26 no1 2000. p. 52-4
McGilligan, Patrick. "I'll always be an American: Jules Dassin interviewed." Film Comment. Nov/Dec 1996. Vol. 32, Iss. 6; p. 34 (15 pages)UC users only
Neve, Brian. "Jules Dassin and Albert Maltz." In: In: Film and politics in America : a social tradition London ; New York : Routledge, 1992. pp. 115-118(MAIN: PN1995.9.S6 N46 1992 MOFF: PN1995.9.S6 N46 1992)
Sragow, Michael. "A Noir Classic Makes It Back From the Blacklist." New York Times (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Jul 16, 2000. p. 2.7UC users only

Zazie dans le métro (1960)
Directed by Louis Malle. Cast: Catherine Demongeot, Philippe Noiret, Annie Fratellini, Vittorio Caprioli, Hubert Deschamps. 92 min. DVD 9353 (PAL); 999:3465
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Bicycle Thief; Bicycle Thieves (Ladri di Biciclette) (1949)
Directed by Vittorio De Sica. Cast: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola. Special features on DVD 7407: "Working with De Sica": a collection of new interviews with screenwriter Suso Cecchi D'Amico, actor Enzo Staiola, and film scholar Callisto Cosulich; "Life as it is": new program on the history of Italian neorealism in cinema, with scholar Mark Shiel; documentary on screenwriter and longtime Vittorio De Sica collaborator Cesare Zavattini, directed by Carlo Lizzani. 90 min. DVD 7407 (Criterion); DVD 23; VHS 999:116
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Special Academy Award - Foreign Language Film

La Dolce Vita (1960)
Directed by Federico Fellini. Cast: Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimee, Yvonne Furneaux, Magali Noel, Alain Cuny, Lex Barker, Alain Dijon. 174 min. DVD 2986
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Cannes Film Festival - Palme d'Or

Roma (Fellini's Roma) (1972)
Directed by Federico Fellini. Cast: Federico Fellini, Peter Gonzales, Fiona Florence, Anna Magnani, Gore Vidal, Britta Barnes, Pia De Doses, Marne Maitland, Renato Giovannoli. 129 min. DVD 648; VHS 999:1290
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Roman Holiday (1972)
Directed by William Wyler. Cast: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert, Hartley Power, Harcourt Williams, Margaret Rawlings. 118 min. DVD 7377
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San Francisco

SEE San Francisco and the Bay Area in the Movies (separate page)


Lost in Translation(USA | Japan, 2003)
Directed by Sofia Coppola. Cast: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, Anna Faris, Fumihiro Hayashi. Special features: Conversation with Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray; deleted scenes; "Lost on location" behind-the-scenes featurette; "Matthew's best hit TV" extended version of the Japanese TV show scene; Kevin Shields' "City girl" music video; theatrical trailer. 102. DVD 2289
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Bread and Tulips (Pane e tulipani) (Italy / Switzerland, 2000)
Directed by Silvio Soldini. Cast: Licia Maglietta, Bruno Ganz, Giuseppe Battiston, Antonio Catania, Marina Massironi, Vitalba Andrea, Daniela Piperno, Tatiana Lepore, Felice Andreasi. When a harried housewife is accidentally left behind while on vacation with her family, she decides to take a holiday of her own in Venice. She becomes charmed by the city and her newfound freedom. She decides to extend her stay, finding a job in a flower shop, renting a room from a wistful waiter, and rediscovers her love for playing the accordian. But her solo journey does not sit well with her tyrannical husband, who hires an amateur detective to bring her back home. 112 min. DVD 4345
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Before Sunrise(USA | Austria | Switzerland, 1995)
Director, Richard Linklater. Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy. A young American man meets a beautiful French student on a train bound for Paris, falls in love and asks her to share his last night in Vienna. 101 min. DVD X2461
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The Third Man (UK, 1949)
Director, Carol Reed; screenplay by Graham Greene. Cast: Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard. Special features on DVD 140: Introduction by writer-director Peter Bogdanovich; Abridged recording of Graham Green's treatment, read by actor Richard Clarke; Joseph Cotten's alternate opening voiceover narration for the U.S. version; Archival footage of composer Anton Karas and the film's famous sewer location; Collection of rare behind-the-scenes photos, with a brief production history; Original and re-release theatrical trailers, restoration demonstation. 101 min. DVD 7683; DVD 140; vhs 999:184
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