Revivals and Rediscoveries

Date Film Time
10/25 Far from Vietnam 7:00 PM
11/15 The Beaver Triliogy 7:00 PM

In this recurring series Block Cinema screens American and international films—from revered classics to more obscure works—that deserve a second look.

Screening in October is the newly restored 1967 film Far from Vietnam, one of the most potent anti-war films of its era, made by the late Chris Marker and other film luminaries. In November Block will present one of the most bizarre and unforgettable examples of American independent cinema, Trent Harris’ The Beaver Trilogy, about real-life Olivia Newton-John super-fan “Groovin’ Gary,” and two actors–Sean Penn and Crispin Glover who attempt to portray him.

Far From Vietnam

Friday, October 25, 2013 7:00 PM
(Jean-Luc Godard, Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch, Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, & Agn├ęs Varda, 1967, France, DCP, 115 min.)
Showing in a new digital restoration, this celebrated but difficult to see documentary is one of the most potent anti-war films of the Vietnam era. A collaborative work, it draws upon the talents and visions of several legends of French filmmaking. Edited by Chris Marker, who initiated the project, Far from Vietnam weaves together the uncredited contributions of each into a work that is critical of the U.S. and that, according to Marker’s narration, stands in “solidarity with the Vietnamese people in struggle against aggression.” Covering a variety of styles, the film is not only a critique of militarism and a social malaise that inhibits protest and questioning, but is also a shattering example of the power of film to affect, as another Vietnam War documentary has it, “hearts and minds.”

The Beaver Trilogy

Friday, November 15, 2013 7:00 PM
(Trent Harris, 2000, USA, video, 83 min.)

One of the most original and unforgettable examples of American independent cinema, Trent Harris’ The Beaver Trilogy is, actually, three-films-in-one. The first, filmed in 1979, is a documentary portrait of Beaver, Utah resident, would-be-celebrity, and Olivia Newton-John super-fan “Groovin’ Gary,” who stages a talent review and performs in drag as his idol. The second and third parts, filmed in 1981 and 1985, are dramatic re-enactments and interpretations of Gary’s life, featuring early performances by Sean Penn (81) and Crispin Glover (85) as Gary. A cult film that is equal parts strange and poignant, it truly must be seen to be believed. Notoriously difficult to see apart from bootleg copies, the film was also the subject of a segment on Ira Glass’s This American Life. "Of all the films that have ever been or will be, nothing compares to Beaver Trilogy."—Sundance Film Festival

In person: Director Trent Harris
We regret to inform that due to scheduling conflicts, Trent Harris will not be able to attend the screening.