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BAMcinématek Presents "Vengeance Is Hers" Screening Series Redux Apr 18-27 ('Foxy Brown,' 'Xala')

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by Tambay A. Obenson
April 2, 2014 10:26 AM
1 Comment
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Titles of note include an Ousmane Sembène dramedy that skewers post-colonial Senegalese bureaucracy - Xala; and, likely more familiar, a role that Pam Grier is maybe most famous for, in Jack Hill's Foxy Brown.

And there's more... via press release below:

Brooklyn, NY/Mar 28, 2014—From Friday, April 18 through Sunday, April 27, BAMcinématek presents Back with a Vengeance, a redux of February’s highly popular Vengeance is Hers series. The series includes highlights from the first edition, new additions, and rare discoveries for Back With a Vengeance, gathering even more of cinema’s most unforgettable heroines and anti-heroines as they seize control and take no prisoners. Seen through the eyes of some of the world’s greatest directors, these films explore the full gamut of cinematic retribution in all its thrilling, unnerving dimensions.

Back by popular demand and opening the series is Colin Higgins’ Nine to Five (1980—Apr 18 & 19), starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton (in her film debut) as shoulderpad-clad office employees bursting through the glass ceiling. Also returning is Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975—Apr 20), a visionary portrait of three days in the life of a widowed mother. Shot with an entirely female crew, the film was hailed by The New York Timesas the “first masterpiece of the feminine in the history of the cinema.” 

Carrying on Coffy’s legacy from Vengeance is Hers, Pam Grier—“the best of the blaxploitation heroines of the 70s” (Barbara Scharrs, Chicago Reader)—stars in Jack Hill’s Foxy Brown (1974—Apr 26), masquerading as a prostitute to get revenge on the crooks who killed her boyfriend. Bette Davis plays another kind of vulpine heroine as an icy matriarch in William Wyler’s Southern melodrama The Little Foxes (1941—Apr 24 & 25), their second consecutive collaboration (after 1940’s The Letter) to receive Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Actress, and Director. 

Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen’s rarely-screened experimental film Riddles of the Sphinx (1977—Apr 19) is a special highlight of the series, a cornerstone of feminist film theory and its influence on cinematic form. Back with a Vengeance also includes Barbara Peeters’ Bury Me an Angel (1972—Apr 23), the first female-helmed biker movie, screening with Sarah Jacobson’s underground short film I Was a Teenage Serial Killer (1993); Michael Curtiz’ noir-melodrama Flamingo Road (1949—Apr 24), in which an ex-carnival dancer (Joan Crawford, fresh off of her Oscar-winning turn in Mildred Pierce) gets cozy with a posh businessman to exact her revenge; Clint Eastwood’s Sudden Impact(1983—Apr 23), featuring the iconic catchphrase “go ahead, make my day;” and Ousmane Sembène’s caustic satire of post-colonial corruption, Xala (1975—Apr 20).

Closing the series is François Truffaut’s essential tribute to Alfred Hitchcock, The Bride Wore Black (1968—Apr 27). In this seamless “marriage of the French new wave and Hollywood tradition” (Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times), a new bride (Jeanne Moreau) embarks on a murderous rampage, hunting down the five men who killed her husband on their wedding day—all to the feverish pitch of Bernard Hermann’s score.

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1 Comment

  • Ava | April 5, 2014 7:45 PMReply

    Saw The Bride Wore Black a few years ago and couldn't help but believe that it had to be an inspiration for Tarrantino.
    If I were still in NYC, I'd be attending these screenings.

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