Campus News

Film series to feature ‘African Queen,’ ‘Dr. Zhivago’

Colorized promotional photo from the 1951 film, "African Queen.".

“African Queen,” starring Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, will be shown Feb. 19.


Published January 14, 2019

The classics “African Queen” and “Dr. Zhivago” are among the films being screened in the spring 2019 edition of the Buffalo Film Seminars.

The popular, semester-long series of film screenings and discussions is hosted by UB faculty members Diane Christian and Bruce Jackson. Each session begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 29 and running through May 7, in the Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main St. in the University Plaza, directly across the street from the South Campus.

Christian, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of English, and Jackson, SUNY Distinguished Professor and James Agee Professor of American Culture in the Department of English, will introduce each film. Following a short break at the end of each film, they will lead a discussion of the film.

The screenings are part of “Film Directors” (Eng 381), an undergraduate course being taught by the pair. Students enrolled in the course are admitted free; others may attend at the theater’s regular admission prices of $9.50 for adults, $8 for students and $7.25 for seniors. Season tickets are available any time at a 15 percent reduction for the cost of the remaining films.

“Goldenrod handouts” — featuring production details, anecdotes and critical comments about each week’s film — are available in the theater lobby 45 minutes before each session. The handouts also are posted online one day before each screening.

Poster from the 1928 film, "Lonesome.".

The 38th edition of the series opens on Jan. 29 with the film “Lonesome,” directed by Paul Fejös. The 1928 film, which is part of the National Film Registry, is one of the first motion pictures to have sound and a couple of talking scenes. It was released in both silent and monaural versions; the version being screened on Jan. 29 will feature an uncredited orchestral track and three brief scenes of dialogue.

In the film, two lonely people meet accidentally at Cony Island. It’s love at first sight, but they don’t even realize they don’t know each other’s name until a fire breaks out and they are separated. Will they ever see each other again?

The remainder of the schedule, with descriptions culled from IMDb and other sources:

Promotional poster for the 1936 film, "My Man Godfry.".
  • Feb. 5: “A Farewell to Arms,” 1932, directed by Frank Borzage. An American ambulance driver and an English nurse fall in love in Italy during World War I.
  •  Feb. 12: “My Man Godfrey,” 1936, directed by Gregory La Cava. A scatterbrained socialite hires a vagrant as a family butler. But there's more to Godfrey than meets the eye.
  • Feb. 19: “African Queen,” 1951, directed by John Huston. In Africa during World War I, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship. Stars Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn; Bogart won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Promotional poster for the 1960 film, "Breathless.".
  • Feb. 26: “Breathless,” 1960, directed by Jean-Luc Godard. A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
Promotional poster for the 1972 film, "The Descreet Charm of the Bourgeoise.".
  • March 5: “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie,” 1972, directed by Luis Buñuel. A surreal, virtually plotless series of dreams centered around six middle-class people and their consistently interrupted attempts to have a meal together.
  • March 12: “Dr. Zhivago,” 1965, directed by David Lean. A Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist’s wife and experiences hardship during World War I and then the October Revolution.
  • March 19: Spring break; no screening.
  • March 26: “Time to Die,” 1966, directed by Arturo Ripstein. After serving his conviction, a former gunman returns to his town planning to live a quiet life. The sons of a man he killed have other plans.
Promotional poster for the 1966 film, "Blow Up.".
  • April 2: “Blow-Up,” 1966, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. A mod London photographer finds something very suspicious in the shots he has taken of a mysterious beauty in a desolate park.
  • April 9: “The Deer Hunter,” 1978, directed by Michael Cimino. An in-depth examination of the ways the Vietnam War impacted and disrupted the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.
Promotional poster for the 1983 film, "The Meaning of Life.".
  • April 16: “The Meaning of Life,” 1983, directed by Monty Python. The comedy team takes a look at life in all its stages in their own uniquely silly way.
  • April 23: “Eyes Wide Shut,” 1999, directed by Stanley Kubrick. A New York City doctor pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him. Stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.
Promotional poster for the 2018 documentary, "Morvena, Indiana.".
  • April 30: “Monrovia, Indiana,” 2018, directed by Frederick Wiseman. This documentary dissects small-town America following the 2016 presidential election to understand how its values impact and influence the nation’s political landscape.
  • May 7: “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” 2004, directed by Alfonso Cuarón. It’s Harry’s third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new “Defense Against the Dark Arts” teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards’ Prison and is coming after Harry.