THE MILL AND THE CROSS (2011) & THE DRAUGHTSMAN'S CONTRACT (1982)
Thursday and Friday, June 21-22, 2012:
THE MILL AND THE CROSS
2011, Poland/Sweden, 95 minutes, 35mm, Kino Lorber
Directed by Lech Majewski
Screenplay by Michael Francis Gibson & Lech Majewski Starring Rutger Hauer, Charlotte Rampling, Michael York
Thu & Fri: 7:30 pm
PLUS, on the same double feature:
THE DRAUGHTSMAN'S CONTRACT
1982, UK, 108 minutes, 35mm, Zeitgeist Films
Written and directed by Peter Greenaway
Starring Anthony Higgins, Janet Suzman,
Anne Louise Lambert, Neil Cunningham, Hugh Fraser, Dave Hill
Thu & Fri: 9:25 pm
Synopsis of THE MILL AND THE CROSS courtesy of Kino Lorber:
From Lech Majewski, one of Poland's most adventurous and inspired filmmakers, comes a visually ravishing recreation of Pieter Bruegel's epic 1564 painting "The Way to Cavalry," presented alongside the story of its creation -- with Rutger Hauer as Bruegel, Michael York as his friend and art collector, and Charlotte Rampling as the inspiration for his Virgin Mary.
With this fantastically talented cast, as well an enormously complex and imaginative digital tapestry, Majewski takes the audience through Bruegel's depiction of the story of Christ's Passion, set in Flanders under brutal Spanish occupation in the year 1564.
From the more than five hundred figures that fill Bruegel's canvas, THE MILL & THE CROSS focuses on a dozen characters whose life stories unfold and intertwine in a panoramic landscape populated by villagers and red-caped horsemen. We are invited to live inside the aesthetic universe of the painting as we watch Bruegel himself at work on his canvas, weaving the web of his painting and piecing together his sketches. Majewski's captivating visual effects, combining live actors with location footage and striking painted backdrops, create layer upon layer with which to explore and expand upon the narrative in Bruegel's work.
"The Mill & The Cross" was inspired by Michael Francis Gibson's book of the same name, a fascinating study of "The Way to Calvary" and the moment in history in which Bruegel painted.
Critical praise for THE MILL AND THE CROSS:
**** (4 stars)
"Here is a film of great beauty and attention, and watching it is a form of meditation...
If you see no more than the opening shots, you will never forget them. "
- Roger Ebert
"An extraordinary imaginative leap...
a unique, immersive museum-meets-cinema experience."
- Dennis Harvey,Variety
"No description can do justice to 'The Mill and the Cross,'
which must be seen to be fully appreciated."
- V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"Visually striking. Audacious."
- New York Magazine
"An extraordinary example of both art-historical interpretation
and CGI as passport to unknown lands"
- Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice
"Casts a transfixing spell...
has ambitions as sweeping as the vast canvas that Bruegel fills."
- Daniel M. Gold,The New York Times
"...an extraordinarily ambitious undertaking...A brilliant personal triumph for Majewski.
A unique, category-defying viewing experience...very highly recommended"
- Joe Bendel, J.B. Spins
"Highly original, visually stunning...jaw-dropping spectacle"
- Doris Toumarkine, Film Journal International
"...a dazzling master class in visual composition."
-Eric Hynes, Time Out NY
"The word 'film' seems inadequate to describe Lech Majewski's 'The Mill and the Cross'...
Each scene is rendered like a brushstroke..."
- Lauren Wissot, Slant Magazine
Synopsis of THE DRAUGHTSMAN'S CONTRACT
courtesy of Zeitgeist Films:
Set in a richly exaggerated 17th-century England, Peter Greenaway's sumptuous and sensuously charged brainteaser catapulted him to the forefront of international art cinema. Adorned with intricate wordplay, extravagant costumes and opulent photography, Greenaway's first narrative feature weaves a labyrinthine mystery around the maxim "draw what you see, not what you know." An aristocratic wife (Janet Suzman) commissions a young, cocksure draughtsman (Anthony Higgins) to sketch her husband's property while he is awayin exchange for a fee, room and board, and one sexual favor for each of the twelve drawings. As the draughtsman becomes more entrenched in the devious schemings in this seemingly idyllic country home, curious details emerge in his drawings that may reveal a murder.
Bolstered by a majestic score by then-newcomer Michael Nyman and stunning cinematography by Curtis Clark that suggests Greenaway has the elements at his beck and call, The Draughtsman's Contract is a luscious cinematic banquet for eye, ear and mind.
Critical praise for THE DRAUGHTMAN'S CONTRACT:
"Astonishingly elegant extraordinarily detailed mind-bendingly rich. The Draughtsman's Contract is fun."
-Vincent Canby, The New York Times
"Its pleasures do not fade.... One can still marvel at this cerebral romp of a film that combines both 17th-century country house murder mystery with a witty treatise on sex, lies and draughtsmanship. Greenaway fashions this cinematic world with elegant precisioneven the shadows and clouds in his film seem to be on as nimble a cue as Michael Nyman's band who play the boisterous score. A playful puzzler to watch over and over, that might just be the aesthete's version of Gameboy."
-The Guardian (UK)
-Time Out (London)
"Four Stars. What we have here is a tantalizing puzzle, wrapped in eroticism and presented with the utmost elegance. I have never seen a film quite like it. The raw materials of this story could have been fashioned into a bawdy romp like Tom Jones. But the director has made a canny choice. Instead of showing us everything, and explaining everything, he gives us the clues and allows us to draw our own conclusions. His movie is like a crossword puzzle for the senses."
-Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"The film is mannered and idiosyncratic; the speeches are so arch and twitty they seem to be pitched higher than a dog whistle, and the people talking are popinjays in perukes shaped as geometrically as the shrubs at Marienbad."
-Pauline Kael, The New Yorker
This is a double feature:
your ticket admits you to BOTH films!
The box office opens approx. 15 minutes before the first film and then re-opens shortly before the second film for those who wish to only see the second film.
If you wish to only see the second film and purchased ticket(s) through Brown Paper Tickets, you will be able to claim your ticket(s) to the second film about 10 minutes before the second film starts.
New Beverly Cinema
7165 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
1 block west of La Brea
Plentiful street parking on Formosa Ave. after 6 PM
Served by MTA lines 14 and 212
New Beverly Cinema (View)
7165 W. Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036