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SPOTLIGHT: WILLIS & WEXLER


In a new direction for CCS, we're shining a spotlight on cinematographers, choosing two Americans, Gordon Willis and Haskell Wexler, and their politically charged films of the 1960s and 1970s. Willis brought a mantra of simplicity to his work, with the philosophy of never adding more when less could be better. With that approach, he became known as the "Prince of Darkness" for his willingness to allow shadow to predominate a frame. Our series is dominated by his work on the political films of Alan J. Pakula, including All the President's Men and The Parallax View. Haskell Wexler brought a sensibility attuned to subtle lighting in shades of grey, often working with soft bounced light. He was a political activist all his life, and in his work with directors Mike Nichols and Norman Jewison, as well as his own films, Wexler found ways to make the political engaging.

SPOTLIGHT: WILLIS & WEXLER


In a new direction for CCS, we're shining a spotlight on cinematographers, choosing two Americans, Gordon Willis and Haskell Wexler, and their politically charged films of the 1960s and 1970s. Willis brought a mantra of simplicity to his work, with the philosophy of never adding more when less could be better. With that approach, he became known as the "Prince of Darkness" for his willingness to allow shadow to predominate a frame. Our series is dominated by his work on the political films of Alan J. Pakula, including All the President's Men and The Parallax View. Haskell Wexler brought a sensibility attuned to subtle lighting in shades of grey, often working with soft bounced light. He was a political activist all his life, and in his work with directors Mike Nichols and Norman Jewison, as well as his own films, Wexler found ways to make the political engaging.

NEXT SCREENING

THURSDAY, March 1
7:00 PM, Globe Cinema

THE PARALLAX VIEW | Dir. Alan J. Pakula | 1974 | 102 min

Investigative reporter Joe Frady (Warren Beatty) discovers that the assassination of a US senator wasn’t an isolated incident. His investigation leads him to suspect the Parallax Corporation was involved and soon, Frady finds himself in a larger than life conspiracy.

The Parallax View is the second “Willis” film that forms our Spotlight Series on American cinematographers Gordon Willis and Haskell Wexler. To learn more about this series, read our Whitepaper written by Cinematheque Board Member and Programmer Felicia Glatz:

EXCERPT: “Gordon Willis carefully dissects the screen, relegating action to miniscule but sterilely lit portions of his frame. These highly dichotomous compositions lead us to the most literal and significant interpretations, something he has mastered and recurrently exercises for maximal impact. Joseph Frady (Warren Beatty) a journalist on the run divulges classified and dangerous information to his editor Bill Rintels (Hume Cronyn) in his tiny glass office, a vivarium floating in a dark newspaper room. Frady, who has penetrated an elite assassin’s recruitment facility, follows them into the shadows where they carry out their orders robotically. Their world is opaque and all consuming; likewise, Willis’s darkness gradually strangles the light into submission. The second of three collaborations between himself and Alan J Pakula, The Parallax View (1974) synthesizes the most politically subversive themes with finely tuned formal delivery. A collective suspicion stemming from the highly investigated and even more so theorized JFK assassination, humors Pakula’s critique of a lone patsy narrative.”

To read the full Whitepaper click HERE.

 

Awards
Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival 1975 - Won (Critics Award | Alan J. Pakula)
Edgar Allan Poe Awards 1975 - Nominated (Edgar, Best Motion Picture | David Giler, Lorenzo Semple Jr.)
National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA 1975 - Won (NSFC Award, Best Cinematography | Gordon Willis).
Writers Guild of America, USA 1975 - Nominated (WGA Award (Screen), Best Drama Adapted from Another Medium | David Giler, Lorenzo Semple Jr. )

The Parallax View is the fifth selection in our SPOTLIGHT: WILLIS AND WEXLER series.

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2017 WHITEPAPERS


Each season, our experienced board of experts, filmmakers, and cinephiles distill their knowledge into a series of whitepapers that reflect our season's themes. Find all the whitepapers in our archive section here.

FEATURED WHITEPAPER | SPOTLIGHT: WILLIS & WEXLER
Board member and programmer Felicia Glatz explores the work of cinematographers Gordon Willis and Haskell Wexler.

For this season’s spotlight series, we are taking a two-fold departure from our normal format, that is, we are incorporating two figures into a series dedicated to the art cinematography.

Unable to choose between two Americans respectively decorated as legendary contributors to the American cinema landscape, we’ve combined their works into a politically charged and visually compelling collection from the 1960s and the 1970s. - READ MORE

 

2017 WHITEPAPERS


Each season, our experienced board of experts, filmmakers, and cinephiles distill their knowledge into a series of whitepapers that reflect our season's themes. Find all the whitepapers in our archive section here.

FEATURED WHITEPAPER | SPOTLIGHT: WILLIS & WEXLER
Board member and programmer Felicia Glatz explores the work of cinematographers Gordon Willis and Haskell Wexler.

For this season’s spotlight series, we are taking a two-fold departure from our normal format, that is, we are incorporating two figures into a series dedicated to the art cinematography.

Unable to choose between two Americans respectively decorated as legendary contributors to the American cinema landscape, we’ve combined their works into a politically charged and visually compelling collection from the 1960s and the 1970s. - READ MORE

 

2017-18 Program Preview

We are pleased to announce the following series as part of our 11th season, which runs October 2017 through March 2018. In addition to these three series, our Contemporary World Cinema series returns with bold and diverse films from different regions of the world.

View our growing CALENDAR here of upcoming screenings and events! Click on our MEMBERSHIP page for more details and to get our newsletter.

MASTERS: WONG KAR-WAI

The Calgary Cinematheque is proud to showcase the films of Wong Kar-Wai as part of the Masters series. Wong Kar-Wai is a genuine auteur whose signature style is instantly recognizable in his films due to the presence of eye-popping visuals, memorable music and characters that linger long in the memory.

CLICK IMAGE TO READ WHITEPAPER

SPOTLIGHT: WILLIS & WEXLER

In a new direction for CCS, we're shining a spotlight on cinematographers, choosing two Americans, Gordon Willis and Haskell Wexler, and their politically charged films of the 1960s and 1970s.

CLICK IMAGE TO READ WHITEPAPER

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FOCUS: LANDSCAPES

More than a mere setting , a landscape and the representation of it undergoes differing treatments in cinema. At the intersection of topography and narrative, there are films that evoke, and exercise a landscape’s capacity as a kinetic and tactile character.


OVER TEN YEARS OF CRITICAL CINEMa CULTURE IN CALGARY

Calgary Cinematheque brings people together to foster a critical cinema culture.

See our current listings: SCREENINGS

We are Calgary’s year-round champion of challenging and under-represented global cinema. Our eclectic programming features selected films that expand Calgary’s movie-going options to include benchmark retrospectives, classic restorations, masterworks, and acclaimed screen rarities. We curate programs constructed around thematic links, historical or current movements, and the work of individual artists. Our programming includes overlooked contemporary world cinema, discussion sessions with guest speakers, and community events. We frequently collaborate with other organizations including the University of Calgary, Calgary International Film Festival, Calgary Underground Film Festival, containR, and Theatre Junction.

As a local hub for cinema as an art form, Calgary Cinematheque has a dedicated member base and 800+ subscribers ranging from passionate cinephiles to the simply curious and adventurous among the filmgoing public. We offer Calgarians the chance to experience significant cinema in its full grandeur: on the big screen surrounded by an audience of film lovers. We build community around the enjoyment of cinema art in a shared theatrical experience.

 

Film is more than the twentieth-century art. It's another part of the twentieth-century mind. It's the world seen from inside. We've come to a certain point in the history of film. If a thing can be filmed, the film is implied in the thing itself. This is where we are. The twentieth century is on film. You have to ask yourself if there's anything about us more important than the fact that we're constantly on film, constantly watching ourselves.  - Don Delillo

Does art reflect life? In movies, yes. Because more than any other art form, films have been a mirror held up to society's porous face. - Marjorie Rosen