This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Buffalo Film Seminars sets lineup

Tenth edition of popular series includes original "Manchurian Candidate"

Published: January 6, 2005

Reporter Editor

The original, 1962 version of the "The Manchurian Candidate" will be among the offerings in the 10th edition of Buffalo Film Seminars, the semester-long series of screenings and discussions sponsored by UB and the Market Arcade Film and Arts Center.


The series will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 18, in the Market Arcade Film and Arts Center, 639 Main St., in downtown Buffalo. It will be hosted by Diane Christian, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of English, and Bruce Jackson, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Samuel P. Capen Professor of American Culture in the Department of American Studies and the Department of English.

Christian and Jackson 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 Contemporary Cinema (Eng 401), an undergraduate course being taught by the pair. The screenings also are open to the public at a cost of $7.50 for regular admission, $5.50 for students and $5 for those 62 and over. Season tickets are available any time at a 15 percent reduction for the cost of the remaining films.


Free parking is available in the M&T fenced lot opposite the theater's Washington Street entrance. The ticket clerk in the theater will reimburse patrons the $2 parking fee.

The series will open on Jan. 18 with a screening of the 1928 film "The Passion of Joan of Arc," directed by Carl Dreyer. This silent film recounts the sufferings of a martyr, Jeanne d'Arc (1412-1431).

The remainder of the schedule, with summaries culled from the IMDb online movie datebase:

  • Jan. 25: "The 39 Steps," 1935, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent, and soon finds himself in one jam after another. "A wonderfully entertaining thriller that has influenced dozens of subsequent movies since."

  • Feb. 1: "His Girl Friday," 1940, directed by Howard Hawks. A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying. "One of the great film comedies."

  • Feb. 8: "Le Corbeau," 1943, directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot. A vicious series of poison-pen letters spreads rumors, suspicion and fear among the inhabitants of a small French town, and one after another, they turn on each other as their hidden secrets are unveiled. But the one secret that no one can uncover is the identity of the letters' author.

  • Feb. 15: "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," 1948, directed by John Huston. Dobbs, Howard and Curtin start out as partners searching for gold in the Sierra Madre. They find it, but as luck will have it, none of them will live to be rich from what they find in that remote place.

  • Feb. 22: "An American in Paris," 1951, directed by Vincente Minelli. Jerry Mulligan, a struggling American painter in Paris, is "discovered" by an influential heiress with an interest in more than Jerry's art. Jerry, in turn, falls for Lise, a young French girl already engaged to a cabaret singer. Jerry jokes, sings and dances with his best friend, an acerbic would-be concert pianist, while romantic complications abound.

  • March 1: "Wild Strawberries," 1957, directed by Ingmar Bergman. After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.

  • March 8: "Ashes and Diamonds," 1958, directed by Andrzej Wadja. Maciek, a young Resistance fighter, is ordered to kill Szczuka, a Communist district leader, on the last day of World War II. Though killing has been easy for him in the past, Szczuka was a fellow soldier and Maciek must decide whether to follow his orders.

  • March 22: "Lawrence of Arabia," 1962, directed by David Lean. British lieutenant T.E. Lawrence rewrites the political history of Saudi Arabia.

  • March 29: "The Manchurian Candidate," 1962, directed by John Frankenheimer. A former Korean War POW is brainwashed by Communists into becoming a political assassin. But another former prisoner may know how to save him.

  • April 5: "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," 1966, directed by Sergio Leone. Three gunmen set out to find a hidden fortune. Who will walk away with the cash? Called "the best of the 'spaghetti westerns' and a true cinematic classic."

  • April 12: "Lancelot of the Lake," 1974, directed by Robert Bresson. A million miles away from "Camelot" or "Excalibur," this film ruthlessly strips the Arthurian legend down to its barest essentials.

  • April 19: "The Ascent," 1976, directed by Larisa Shepitko. Two Soviet partisans leave their starving band on a short march to a nearby farm to get supplies. The Germans have reached the farm first, so the pair must go on a journey deep into occupied territory, a voyage that also will take them deep into their souls.

  • April 26: "Ran," 1985, directed by Akira Kurosawa. An elderly lord abdicates to his three sons, and the two corrupt ones turn against him. "A Japanese adaptation of Shakespeare's 'King Lear.'"

For more information about the Buffalo Film Seminars, visit the series' Web site at http://buffalofilmseminars .com.