LOL Fail: Tragicomedy Happens with Totò and Mario Monicelli at Pacific Film Archive

by Richard von Busack

“You see, Italy is a very poor and weak country, and that’s what makes us so strong”
—the Old Man in Catch 22

Watching Totò the clown in the 1960 Mario Monicelli film The Passionate Thief  (March 5 and 7 at Pacific Film Archive) means observing someone so good at his craft that he tantalizes you with the mystery of being born to the vocation. Continue reading

Martin Scorsese on Polish Masterpieces at PFA

Over the years director and cineaste Martin Scorsese has visited Berkeley’s Pacific Film Archive to do research for his projects as well as to learn about and screen hard-to-find movies. The Bay Area is lucky to have such a treasure trove for movie lovers. The PFA offers so much more than its ambitious screening program.

EatDrinkFilms asked Marty for a comment about the current series that he programmed:  Continue reading

PFA: Kenji Mizoguchi–A Cinema of Totality

by Frako Loden

[Be warned: Plot spoilers abound]

Mizoguchi Kenji (1898-1956) is always in the holy trinity of directors—Kurosawa Akira and Ozu Yasujirô are the other two—invoked by Western cineastes as Japan’s greatest.  But perhaps aside from his 1953 Ugetsu , which won a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival, few non-scholarly filmgoers have actually seen his films.  Starting this week, Bay Area filmgoers will get a chance to view 16 of Mizoguchi’s most frequently screened works during the series “A Cinema of Totality” at UC Berkeley’s Pacific Film Archive (July 19–Aug. 29, 2014), all on 35mm film.  Continue reading

Editor’s Pick: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema at the PFA–THE SARAGOSSA MANUSCRIPT

by Michael Guillén

There’s no doubt about it, Martin Scorsese has clout.  If he decides the national cinema of Poland deserves international attention, so be it, as he has proven with his touring retrospective “Masterpieces of Polish Cinema,” which premiered earlier this year at New York’s Lincoln Center and now arrives at Berkeley’s Pacific Film Archive (June 14-Aug. 21, 2014).  Continue reading