Screen Valentines: Great Movie Romances
February 6–March 4
In time for Valentine's Day, and continuing into March, AFI Silver offers a selection of great movie romances from across the decades, from 1930s screwball comedy to the quirky rom-coms of today.
AFI Member passes accepted at all screenings in the series.
BRIEF ENCOUNTER (1945)
David Lean's international reputation was established with this study of unfulfilled passion and guilt — themes that were to recur in his later work. Critically debated, mocked, referenced and remade, this account of an unconsummated affair between a middle-class housewife (Celia Johnson) and a doctor (Trevor Howard), forced to meet at a railway station, retains a tight emotional grip on any contemporary audience. (Note courtesy BFI.)
DIR David Lean; SCR/PROD Noël Coward. UK, 1945, b&w, 86 min, 35mm. NOT RATED
ONE HOUR WITH YOU
Fri, Feb 6, 3:00; Sat, Feb 7, 11:10 a.m.; Mon, Feb 9, 7:10
Parisian couple Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald's happy union becomes threatened by mutual infidelities. Chevalier’s frequent asides to the audience make the film more direct in its leering innuendo than any other Lubitsch comedy of the ’30s — a procession of double entendres, hidden meanings, mistaken assumptions and off-camera assignations. The final scene, with its relay of looks and pantomimed promptings, is one of the most delightful in the Lubitsch oeuvre.
DIR/PROD Ernst Lubitsch (assisted by George Cukor); SCR Ernst Lubitsch, Samson Raphaelson, from the play "Only a Dream" by Lothar Schmidt. US, 1932, b&w, 84 min, 35mm. NOT RATED
SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT
Sat, Feb 7, 2:00; Thu, Feb 12, 7:15
Ingmar Bergman's breakthrough on the international stage, and the source for both Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music" and Woody Allen's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S SEX COMEDY. In frothy, fin-de-siècle Sweden, stage actress Eva Dahlbeck arranges a weekend at her mother's country estate. Guests include her former lover Gunnar Björnstrand and her current lover Jarl Kulle, as well as the two men's ill-matched spouses and moonstruck maid Harriet Andersson. After much wicked flirtation and romantic gamesmanship, the tangle of husbands, wives, old mistresses and new lovers resolves itself, gracefully, into four new couples. Jury Award for "Best Poetic Humor," Cannes Film Festival.
DIR/SCR Ingmar Bergman; PROD Allan Ekelund. Sweden, 1955, b&w, 108 min, 35mm. In Swedish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Fri, Feb 13, 7:30; Sat, Feb 14, 11:00 a.m.
IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE [花樣年華]
Wong Kar-Wai’s most acclaimed film to date manages to be both arch and accessible, and perhaps the purest distillation of his romance with nostalgia. In 1962 Hong Kong, neighbors Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai discover that their spouses are having an affair. Their shared grief leads to close friendship, then temptation, then…?
DIR/SCR/PROD Wong Kar-Wai. Hong Kong/France, 2000, color, 98 min, 35mm. In Shanghainese and Cantonese with English subtitles. RATED PG
Fri, Feb 13, 9:45; Sun, Feb 15, 6:00
HAROLD AND MAUDE
Hal Ashby's odd-couple countercultural fable has delighted audiences for decades with its quirky charm and cockeyed brilliance. Death-obsessed and repressed Harold (Bud Cort), the young scion of a wealthy and conservative family, forms an unlikely romantic attachment to free-spirited octogenarian Maude (Ruth Gordon). Soundtrack by Cat Stevens. "Equal parts gallows humor and romantic innocence, HAROLD AND MAUDE dissolves the line between darkness and light along with the ones that separate people by class, gender and age." –Criterion Collection.
DIR Hal Ashby; SCR/PROD Colin Higgins; PROD Charles Mulvehill. US, 1971, color, 91 min, DCP. RATED PG
Sat, Feb 14, 10:00; Wed, Feb 18, 9:15
LOVE & BASKETBALL
Next-door neighbors Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan grow up together in Los Angeles, bound together by a burning passion for basketball and tender feelings for each other. But the childhood sweethearts put romance on hold as they each pursue their own hoop dreams, through high school, college and the pros. Gina Prince-Bythewood's (THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES, BEYOND THE LIGHTS) debut feature has become a beloved cult classic for lovers of romance and sports drama alike.
DIR/SCR Gina Prince-Bythewood; PROD Spike Lee, Sam Kitt. US, 2000, color, 124 min, 35mm. RATED PG-13
Fri, Feb 20, 7:30; Wed, Feb 25, 9:30
Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, in career-making performances, lead an outstanding cast in one of the screen’s most poignant comedies, a workplace romance of uncommon sophistication. Motivated by vague promises of promotion, lowly insurance clerk Lemmon lets his bosses use his apartment for their late-night assignations. When he falls for elevator operator MacLaine, the ex(-ish)-girlfriend of boss Fred MacMurray, the moral dilemmas begin to mount. Ten Oscar® nominations and five wins, including Best Picture, Director and Screenplay for writer/director/producer Billy Wilder.
DIR/SCR/PROD Billy Wilder; SCR I. A. L. Diamond. US, 1960, b&w, 125 min, DCP. NOT RATED
Sun, Mar 1, 7:15; Tue, Mar 3, 7:15
"I want the fairytale." Just 22, Julia Roberts rocketed to superstardom, a Golden Globe win and an Oscar® nomination with this wildly successful Cinderella-story romance, where her hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold helps Richard Gere's corporate raider re-discover his soul. The double whammy of this film and 1989's WHEN HARRY MET SALLY… restored the moribund romantic comedy genre to top-billing in Hollywood for the duration of the 1990s.
DIR Garry Marshall; SCR J. F. Lawton; PROD Arnon Milchan, Steven Reuther. US, 1990, color, 119 min, 35mm. RATED R
Wed, Mar 4, 6:30 (Montgomery College @ AFI Silver show)