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50 Years of Janus Films At Burns Film Center

Thursday, January 18----The Jacob Burns Film Center, an oasis of film culture in the northern New York suburbs, is presenting a six-week series of some of the landmarks of world cinema, in a program entitled 50 Years of Janus Films. The series is a tribute to the pioneering arthouse distributor, who for 50 years, was at the forefront of bringing the works of Bergman, Fellini, Truffaut and other film greats to the attention of American audiences. The series, which originated as part of the New York Film Festival in October 2006, now is traveling the country, and will be housed at the Burns Film Center through February 28.

The series began last week with a week-long run of the Jean Renoir classic THE RULES OF THE GAME (1939), considered one of the most influential films ever made. In a dazzling new digital restoration, this comedy of manners brings into sharp focus the highs and lows of French society on the eve of the Second World War. The film was introduced by writer/director Paul Schrader and film critic Terrence Rafferty.

This weekend, the series continues with THE MAKIOKA SISTERS (1983), Kon Ichikawa's richly detailed adaptation of the famous Tanizaki novel, about four sisters in pre-war Osaka and the social codes of the world they inhabit. Also screening is the Spanish milestone CRIA CUERVOS (1976), director Carlos Saura's heartbreaking tale of a young girl (Ana Torrent) growing up at the end of the Franco regime, who dreams her dead mother (Geraldine Chaplin) back to life.

In the weeks ahead, the Burns Film Center will present new 35mm film prints of such rarely screened classics as HIGH AND LOW (1963), a tour of Tokyo's lower depths by master filmmaker Akira Kurosawa; CHILDREN OF PARADISE (1945), the glorious epic of 19th century French theater, directed by Marcel Carné in the waning days of the French Occupation; KNIFE IN THE WATER (1962), the psychosexual thriller that brought world attention to writer/director Roman Polanski; MONIKA (1953), an early masterpiece by Ingmar Bergman, starring Bergman muse Harriet Andersson in her most famous role as a troubled young wife; and JULES AND JIM (1962), Francois Truffaut's masterful adaptation of Henri Pierre-Roché's autobiographical novel about a bittersweet ménage à trois, with the great Jeanne Moreau at the apex of her career.

Classics that will screen in February include such masterpieces as WALKABOUT (1971), Nicolas Roeg's feature debut set in the ravishing Australian outback; BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1946), Jean Cocteau's visually stunning adaptation of the immortal fairy tale, featuring a classic performance by French superstar Jean Marais; VIRDIANA (1961), Luis Buñuel's triumphant return to Spanish filmmaking; THE LADY VANISHES (1938), the train-bound thriller that launched the international career of Alfred Hitchcock; and THE SEVEN SAMURAI (1954), the Oscar-winning historical epic by Akira Kurosawa that has influenced every action film made ever since.

For a complete schedule of the films, special presenter guests and other information, log on to the website: Jacob Burns Film Center . For those living north of New York, this is an unmissable cultural highlights....for Manhattanites bored with the January "turkeys" released by Hollywood, this is another excuse to venture beyond the confines of Manhattan Island.

Sandy Mandelberger
Film New York Editor

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Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)

The Ultimate Guide to the New York Film, Video and New Media Scene.

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