Friday, November 04, 2011

Antonioni & Kiarostami 
Double-Bill Plays the PFA on Saturday

(Monica Vitti in "Red Desert". Courtesy photo.)

The Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley this Saturday launches a mini-retrospective of Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami movies and the first film in that series, "Where is the Friend's Home?", plays with a new print of Michelangelo Antonioni's first film in color, "Red Desert".

There are five films in the Kiarostami series, only one of which I've seen, "Taste of Cherry", and I hope to have the time to see this excellent film again along with the other works including "And Life Goes On ... " and "Through the Olive Trees".

Kiarostami's latest film "Certified Copy" enjoyed a healthy run on the art house circuit earlier this year, which I thoroughly enjoyed and whetted my appetite to become more familiar with his entire body of work.

And I simply have to see "Red Desert" as it was meant to be seen, in a theater and with a crisp print projected on the big screen. Back in the late 1970s I saw the film at the Bleecker Street Cinema and the print was horribly faded, and I remember the manager standing at the box office explaining to patrons that the print we were about to see was in bad shape.

Thanks to the PFA programmers, I'll have the chance this weekend to watch "Red Desert" and fully appreciate its bleak artistry.

Click here for more info on the PFA shows and to purchase advance tickets.

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