“It’s a BIG WORLD After All…”

16mm arthouse/foreign film series to launch in January
at Detroit’s
UFO Factory and
Ypsilanti’s Cultivate Coffee & Tap house

UFO Factory to screen biweekly on Thursdays starting Jan. 26;
Cultivate to screen monthly on last Sunday of month, Jan.-Mar.

Foreign film distributor Big World Pictures will present all selections on glorious 16mm film, screened on two portable Eiki 16mm projectors salvaged from crumbling institutions. Prints will be drawn from private collectors, and rights cleared by US distributors.

The inaugural schedule, to screen from January through March, includes six titles from the United States and France, drawn from the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, and ’80s; ranging from indies to classics; from Jean-Luc Godard to Charles Burnett, Chris Marker to Jim Jarmusch. (see detailed schedule below)

All films will screen at 7pm, and are free and open to the public, though donations will be accepted to help defray expenses.


Killer of Sheep
(dir. Charles Burnett, 1977, USA, B&W, 80 min., Mono)
Jan. 26 at UFO Factory
Jan. 29 at Cultivate Coffee & Tap House

         
Down By Law
(dir. Jim Jarmusch, 1986, USA, B&W, 107 min.)
Feb. 2 at UFO Factory

Killer of Sheep examines the black Los Angeles ghetto of Watts in the mid-1970s through the eyes of Stan, a sensitive dreamer who is growing detached and numb from the psychic toll of working at a slaughterhouse.

Frustrated by money problems, he finds respite in moments of simple beauty: the warmth of a coffee cup against his cheek, slow dancing with his wife in the living room, holding his daughter. The film offers no solutions; it merely presents life — sometimes hauntingly bleak, sometimes filled with transcendent joy and gentle humor.

Killer of Sheep was shot on location in Watts in a series of weekends on a budget of less than $10,000, most of which was grant money. Finished in 1977 and shown sporadically, its reputation grew and grew until it won a prize at the 1981 Berlin International Film Festival. Since then, the Library of Congress has declared it a national treasure as one of the first fifty on the National Film Registry and the National Society of Film Critics selected it as one of the “100 Essential Films” of all time.

“An American masterpiece, independent to the bone... This may be Mr. Burnett’s most radical
truth-telling.”

– Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“A masterpiece. One of the most insightful and authentic dramas about African-American life on film. One of the finest American films, period.”
– Dave Kehr, International Herald Tribune

Director Jim Jarmusch followed up his brilliant breakout film Stranger Than Paradise with another, equally beloved portrait of loners and misfits in the American landscape. When fate brings together three hapless men—an unemployed disc jockey (Tom Waits), a small-time pimp (John Lurie), and a strong-willed Italian tourist (Roberto Benigni)—in a Louisiana prison, a singular adventure ensues. Described by Jarmusch as a “neo-Beat noir comedy,” Down by Law is part nightmare and part fairy tale, featuring sterling performances and crisp black-and-white cinematography by the esteemed Robby Müller.

“Three of the damnedest performances in an eccentric ensemble since the Marx Brothers.”
– Andrew Sarris, The Village Voice

 

Sans Soleil
(dir. Chris Marker, 1983, France, Color, 100 min.)
with
La Jetee
(dir. Chris Marker, 1962, France, B&W, 28 min. Mono)

Feb. 23 at UFO Factory
Feb. 26 at Cultivate Coffee & Tap House

Breathless
(dir. Jean-Luc Godard, 1960, France, B&W, 90 min.)
Mar. 9 at UFO Factory

Marker, the cinemaʼs globetrotter/essayist par excellence, travelled between Japan, Africa and Iceland to create his masterpiece Sans Soleil. Refiltering and synthesizing sounds and images with astonishing fluidity, Marker dissolves the distinctions between fiction and non-fiction film, offering the viewer the extraordinary sensation of simultaneously spanning the globe and being enclosed within someoneʼs mind.

“No two people will come away from Sans Soleil with the same impression, nor will a solitary viewer’s multiple viewings yield the same experience. Marker’s film prefigures multimedia and… approximates the experience of being trapped inside the Internet and making radical leaps of associative connection…only Marker typically prefigured the technology.”
–Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine

Marker’s La Jetée is one of the most influential, radical science-fiction films ever made, a tale of time travel told in still images.

“One of the best of all SF films is this haunting, apocalyptic 27-minute French short by the great Chris Marker.”
–Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively shoots a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with an American expat student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy. Based on a script by François Truffaut.

“There are precious few titles in the history of cinema that can truly be called ‘revolutionary,’ and Godard’s Breathless is one of those few – it gave us a new way of making movies and a new way of thinking about them, a new rhythm of life, a new way of looking at ourselves. And, like all great pictures, it seems as fresh and startling today as it did 50 years ago.”
– Martin Scorsese

 

Pather Panchali
(dir. Satyajit Ray, 1955, India, B&W, 125 min.)
Mar. 23 at UFO Factory
Mar. 26 at Cultivate Coffee & Tap House

The release in 1955 of Satyajit Ray’s debut, Pather Panchali, introduced to the world an eloquent and important new cinematic voice. A depiction of rural Bengali life in a style inspired by Italian neorealism, this naturalistic but poetic evocation of a number of years in the life of a family introduces us to both little Apu and, just as essentially, the women who will help shape him: his independent older sister, Durga; his harried mother, Sarbajaya, who, with her husband often away, must hold the family together; and his kindly and mischievous elderly “auntie,” Indir—vivid, multifaceted characters all. With resplendent photography informed by its young protagonist’s perpetual sense of discovery, the Cannes-awarded Pather Panchali is an immersive cinematic experience and a film of elemental power.

“Never having seen a Satyajit Ray film is like never having seen the sun or the moon.”
– Akira Kurosawa

“What makes it almost unparalleled in cinema is its fusion of poignancy, humor and poetry.... It concerns a poor boy growing up in India nearly a century ago – and yet, miraculously, it concerns us all.”
– Andrew Robinson, New York Times

 

In its second phase (April-June), “It’s a BIG WORLD After All…” will present films from farther afield, offering work from Italy to Vietnam to the USSR and various points in between.

 

A presentation of