Film series: Restorations & Rediscoveries

Student working on film projector

image from the film CENTER STAGE

image from the film CENTER STAGE (1991) starring Maggie Cheung

Cornell Cinema carries its long tradition of screening recent film restorations and rediscovered masterpieces with this slate of seven films.

George Nierenberg’s No Maps on My Taps (1979), restored by Milestone Films, brought together three veteran tapsters (Bunny Briggs, Chuck Green, and ‘Sandman’ Sims) for a “challenge” match, backed by Lionel Hampton and his band. The film and the dancers toured the country together, including a stop at Cornell by Sims in 1980 sponsored by Cornell Cinema. 

Georges Rouquier’s Farrebique is a gorgeous, deeply felt portrait of a year on a Provençal farm, using non-actors who recreate scenes based on their daily lives, much in the manner of the legendary ‘documentarian’ Robert Flaherty. Shown in a 2K digital restoration from the original nitrate negative. Learn more about the film and its companion film, Biquefarre, made nearly 40 years later, by attending the October 4 screening, when we’ll be joined via Zoom by former Cornell Cinema director Bill Gilcher, who hosted Rouquier with Farrebique in the late 70s, and then went on to produce Biquefarre.

We’re also excited to be showing a new restoration of Hester Street, the story of Jewish immigrants to New York’s Lower East Side in the late 19th century, from the Cohen Film Collection. Joan Micklin Silver’s groundbreaking film was produced independently, and features a young Carol Kane (Addams Family Values, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Taxi) as a Yiddish-speaking wife & mother, who arrives in New York to discover her already settled husband has reinvented himself as an American. The October 21 screening will be introduced by Elissa Sampson,  a visiting scholar in Cornell's Jewish Studies program.

Two new 4K digital restorations bring back the debut features of Japan’s master of animation, Hayao Miyazaki (Lupin the 3rd: The Castle of Cagliostro [1979]) and the great Senegalese director Ousmane Sembene (Mandabi [1968]).

The radiant Maggie Cheung portrays China’s silent screen siren Ruan Lingyu in Hong Kong New Wave master Stanley Kwan’s Center Stage. The Garbo of China, Ruan’s most famous role was in The Goddess, which Cornell Cinema will screen with live accompaniment by Min Xiao-Fen on pipa and Rez Abbassi on guitar (September 23). 

And finally, feast your eyes on the always dreamy Alain Delon alongside the equally dreamy Romy Schneider (his lover at the time) in the French erotic thriller La Piscine (1969). “Erotic languor turns gradually into fear and then horror in this gripping and superbly controlled thriller.” (The Guardian) The film was remade as The Bigger Splash (2015) with Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes.

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