Cornell Cinema’s season showcases cult classics, Disney, greatest films of all time

Do you think you’ve seen the greatest films of all time? Do you have a go-to "cult" film? How about a favorite Disney movie?

No matter, a trip to Cornell Cinema this semester gives you the chance to see any of these, as well as a tribute to silent film star Anna May Wong and some of the most inspiring new films from the past year.

“What I am most excited about this semester is that we’re offering such a dynamic range of cinema experiences,” said Molly Ryan, Cornell Cinema director. “From silent films with original live music to conversations with filmmakers to the singular experience that is the ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show,’ we’re really celebrating Cornell Cinema as a space for convening community and exploring the expansiveness of film as an art form.”

“Cult Classics” will include a series of movies curated in collaboration with the cinema’s Student Advisory Board. Other films in the series include “The Big Lebowski,” “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song” and “Shaolin Soccer.”

The series encourages viewers to think about the multiple ways that films achieve cult status, how these conditions may change over time, and how they may be shaped by various aesthetic and sociopolitical factors, Ryan said.

The “Greatest Films of All Time” series is based on the British Film Institute’s Sight and Sound Magazine’s list, done every 10 years, a list that often sparks debate among critics.

This year, a female director tops the list for the first time, Chantal Ackerman, with her 1975 film “Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles.”

“If I could recommend seeing one film this fall, it would be this Chantal Ackerman film, which we are showing in a 35mm print and is for me a transformative experience of time and routine—with an unforgettable twist,” Ryan said.

woman arranging food on plates
Courtesy Janus Films A scene from 'Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles.'

Other films on the Greatest Films list that will be screened this semester include “Vertigo,” “Tokyo Story,” “Beau Travail,” “In the Mood for Love,” “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and “Tropical Malady.”

In honor of the 12th annual Silent Movie Month in Ithaca this October, the cinema will present the series “From Silent Film Star to American Icon: Celebrating Anna May Wong.” Organized in partnership with Ithaca’s Wharton Studio Museum and Cinemapolis, the series explores the life and legacy of the actress Anna May Wong, who is considered the first Asian-American Hollywood film star.

Highlights of the series include two silent film screenings with live musical accompaniment, as well as a keynote lecture by Professor Shirley Jennifer Lim ‘90 of Stony Brook University, who is both a celebrated Anna May Wong scholar and a Cornell alum.

That series is cosponsored by the Asian-American Studies Program, the East Asia Program at the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, the Department of Performing and Media Arts, the Department of History and the Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program.

The Cinema will also be celebrating multimedia artist Laurie Anderson in collaboration with the Milstein Program in Technology & Humanity as part of the College of Arts and Sciences’ next Arts Unplugged event; partnering with the Department of Performing and Media Arts on this year’s Voices and Visions in Black Media series; and launching a year-long exploration of “African Languages, Literature, and Film” in collaboration with the Institute for African Development.

Complete information on the cinema’s season can be found on its website, where viewers can also sign up to be on the email list. The cinema’s All-Access pass offers complimentary admission to all regular screenings for the entire year. Passes can be purchased online for $40/general public, $30/undergrads and K-12 students and $25 for Cornell graduate and professional students. Individual tickets are available online or at the door.

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woman looking down
Milestone Pictures Actress Anna May Wong