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UCSB Arts & Lectures Announces Summer Cinema Film Series

Movies come from around the globe, including France, Brazil, Israel and Sweden

UCSB Arts & Lectures Summer Cinema 2009 presents eight evenings of international award-winning films that will surprise and delight. From two family-friendly French classics to the extreme adventures of Jean-Michel Cousteau and his team of ocean adventurers to a revisiting of 60s-era politics and their impact on the modern world, A&L summer cinema is always entertaining and constantly compelling.

July 8

The Red Balloon and White Mane

“Four stars…once you’ve seen [the two films] together, you’ll never want them to part,” The Seattle Times

Two newly-restored shorts by legendary French filmmaker Albert Lamorisse, The Red Balloon and White Mane have enchanted the young – and the young at heart – for decades. One of the most beloved children’s films of all time and winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival, The Red Balloon is a deceptively simple, nearly wordless tale in which a young boy discovers a stray balloon wandering the streets of Paris and the two become inseparable.

Beloved by generations of French children and presented with new English translation, White Mane is set in a near-desert region in the south of France where a magnificent stallion and a young boy build a strong friendship, but they must elude the wrangler and his herdsmen to live freely. (1956/1953, 74 min.)

July 15

Fados

“Seductive and beautifully made, it could be the date movie of the year for performing arts fans,” The Hollywood Reporter

Fados completes the musical trilogy of award-winning filmmaker Carlos Saura (Flamenco, 1995; Tango, 1998). Using Lisbon as a backdrop and featuring performers Carlos do Carmo, Mariza and Lila Downs among others, he explores Portugal’s most emblematic musical genre (fado) and its haunting spirit of saudade (melancholy). Tracing its African and Brazilian origins up to the new wave of modern faudistas, he ingeniously frames each song in a ravishing fusion of cinema, song, dance and instrumental numbers to create one of the finest “World Music” soundtracks to date. (2007, 90 min.)

July 22

An Evening with Jean-Michel Cousteau featuring extended clips from Call of the Killer Whale

Jean-Michel Cousteau and his team of explorers return with a new expedition in the PBS signature environmental series. Narrated by actor Chris Noth (Law & Order and Sex and the City), Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television, and New Media’s Environmental Media Initiative and the Blue Horizons Summer Program for Environmental Media.

July 29

The Duchess of Langeais

“A nearly impeccable work of art – beautiful, true, profound,” The New York Times

Adapted from a Balzac novella, the scintillating film by French filmmaker Jacques Rivette tells the story of Antoinette (Jeanne Balibar), a married coquette who frequents the most extravagant balls in 1820’s Paris during The Restoration. Flattered by the attentions of the handsome General de Montriveau (Guillaume Depardieu), the alluring Antoinette orchestrates a calculating game of seduction. When Montriveau’s passion remains unfulfilled and he seeks his revenge Antoinette’s love awakens, but it may well be too late for the star-crossed lovers. (2007, 130 min.)

Aug. 5

Virtual JFK – Vietnam If Kennedy Had Lived

“Masterfully assembled!” Los Angeles Times

A fascinating account of virtual history, Virtual JFK uses archival documentary footage, on-screen testimony and inventive graphics to argue one of the most debated “what if” scenarios in the history of U.S. foreign policy: What would President John F. Kennedy have done in Vietnam if he had not been assassinated in 1963, and had he been re-elected in 1964? The film invokes a series of highly-charged crises Kennedy faced and a generous selection of his responses to an often hostile press corps that make for a compelling and surprisingly entertaining experience. (Koji Masutani, 2008, 80 min.)

Aug. 12

Lemon Tree

“Wise and poignant,” The Hollywood Reporter

Winner of the Audience Award at the Berlin International Film Festival and Best Actress prize at the Israeli Film Academy Awards, Lemon Tree is filmmaker Eran Riklis’ (The Syrian Bride, Cup Final) engaging human drama of one woman’s struggle to preserve her way of life in the midst of political turmoil. The wonderful Hiam Abbass (The Visitor) is Salma, a Palestinian widow who earns her living tending to her late father’s lemon grove. When an Israeli government minister moves next door and declares the grove a potential security threat, Salma struggles to defend her peaceful livelihood. (2008, 106 min.)

Aug. 19

Everlasting Moments

“Engrossing and satisfying. Full of character, it is balanced by delicacy, humor, and a sense of innocence,” The New York Times

Winner of five prizes at Sweden’s Academy Awards including Best Picture, Everlasting Moments tells the story of Maria, an early 20th-century working-class woman who has her life forever altered when she wins a camera in a lottery. A time of social change and unrest, war and poverty, Maria’s camera grants her new eyes with which to see the world, and brings the charming photographer “Piff Paff Puff” into her life. Trouble ensues when Maria’s alcoholic, womanizing husband feels threatened by the young man and his wife’s new-found outlook on life. (Jan Troell, 2008, 131 min.)

Aug. 26

Summer Hours

“A near perfect blend of humor and heartbreak, a lyrical masterwork… Assayas creates that rare summer movie – one that matters. Lots of films are called haunting, Summer Hours truly is,” Rolling Stone

The divergent paths of three 40-something siblings collide when their mother, heiress to her uncle’s exceptional 19th century art collection, dies suddenly. Left to come to terms with themselves and their differences, Adrienne (Juliette Binoche), a successful New York designer, Frederic (Charles Berling), an economist and university professor in Paris, and Jeremie (Jérémie Renier), a dynamic businessman in China, confront the end of childhood, their shared memories, background and unique vision of the future. (Olivier Assayas, 2008, 99 min.)

UCSB Arts & Lectures Summer Cinema 2009 is presented with support from a Summer Cultural and Enrichment Program Grant and the Freshman Summer Start Program and sponsored by the Santa Barbara Independent, KCSB 91.9 FM and ACTIEF.

All screenings begin at 7:30 p.m. in UCSB’s Campbell Hall. General admission is $6, and students are $5. (Children under 12 can attend The Red Balloon and White Mane for $3. The Evening with Jean-Michel Cousteau is a free event.) Buy a Summer Cinema Festival Pass and see all eight films for only $35 for general admission or $28 for UCSB students. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Arts & Lectures Ticket Office and at the door beginning at 6:30 p.m. Click here for information or call 805.893.3535.

— Meghan Henry is senior writer and publicist for UCSB Arts & Lectures.

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