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City Cinematheque Returns With New Film Series

"Ingmar Bergman in the 1950s"

After a summer hiatus, CUNY TV’s global film series CITY CINEMATHEQUE will return with Ingmar Bergman in the 1950s, premiering Saturday & Sunday, October 10 & 11 (2015) at 9 PM. After each of the films – shown in the original Swedish with English subtitles – series host Jerry W. Carlson, Professor of Cinema Studies at The City College/CUNY, meets with film scholars to discuss the impact and influence of the week’s offering.

CITY CINEMATHEQUE is presented every weekend, with the same film on Saturday and Sunday nights at 9 PM, and repeated the following Friday night – early Saturday morning - at midnight.*

Complete information about the five Bergman films, ranging from 1953 to 1958, follows:

Sawdust & Tinsel (1953)
Saturday 10/10 & Sunday 10/11 at 9pm; Friday 10/16 at midnight
Director: Ingmar Bergman. Cast: Åke Grönberg, Harriet Andersson, Hasse Ekman, Anders Ek.
Discussion guest: Stuart Liebman, Queens College.

Ingmar Bergman presents the battle of the sexes as a ramshackle, grotesque carnival in Sawdust and Tinsel, one of the late master’s most vivid early works. The story of the charged relationship between a turn-of-the-century traveling circus owner (Ake Grönberg) and his performer girlfriend (Harriet Andersson), the film features dreamlike detours and twisted psychosexual power plays that presage the director’s Smiles of a Summer Night and The Seventh Seal, works that would soon change the landscape of art cinema forever.

Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)
Saturday 10/17 & Sunday 10/18 at 9pm; Friday 10/23 at midnight
Director: Ingmar Bergman. Cast: Gunnar Björnstrand, Harriet Andersson, Ulla Jacobsson, Eva Dahlbeck.
Discussion guest: John Simon, critic.

In turn-of-the-century Sweden, four men and four women attempt to navigate the laws of attraction. During a weekend in the country, the women collude to force the men’s hands in matters of the heart, exposing their pretensions and insecurities along the way. Chock-full of flirtatious propositions and sharp witticisms delivered by such Swedish screen legends as Gunnar Björnstrand and Harriet Andersson, Smiles of a Summer Night is one of cinema’s great erotic comedies.

The Seventh Seal (1957)
Saturday 10/24 & Sunday 10/25 at 9pm; Friday 10/30 at midnight
Director: Ingmar Bergman. Cast: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Nils Poppe, Bibi Andersson.
Discussion guest: Gary Giddins, CUNY Graduate Center.

Disillusioned and exhausted after a decade of battling in the Crusades, a knight (Max von Sydow) encounters Death on a desolate beach and challenges him to a fateful game of chess. Much studied, imitated, even parodied, but never outdone, Bergman’s stunning allegory of man’s search for meaning was one of the benchmark foreign imports of America’s 1950s art-house heyday, pushing cinema’s boundaries and ushering in a new era of movie-going.

Wild Strawberries (1957)
Saturday 10/31 & Sunday 11/1; Friday 11/6 at midnight
Director: Ingmar Bergman. Cast: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand. Discussion guest: Philip Lopate, Columbia University.

Traveling to accept an honorary degree, Professor Isak Borg—masterfully played by veteran director Victor Sjöström—is forced to face his past, come to terms with his faults, and make peace with the inevitability of his approaching death. Through flashbacks and fantasies, dreams and nightmares, Wild Strawberries dramatizes one man’s remarkable voyage of self-discovery. This richly humane masterpiece, full of iconic imagery, is a treasure from the golden age of art-house cinema and one of the films that catapulted Ingmar Bergman to international acclaim.

The Magician (1958)
Saturday 11/7 & Sunday 11/8 at 9pm; Friday 11/13 at midnight
Director: Ingmar Bergman. Cast: Max von Sydow, Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bibi Andersson.
Discussion guest: Leonard Quart, Cineaste.

Ingmar Bergman’s The Magician (Ansiktet) is an engaging, brilliantly conceived tale of deceit from one of cinema’s premier illusionists. Max von Sydow stars as Dr. Vogler, a nineteenth-century traveling mesmerist and peddler of potions whose magic is put to the test in Stockholm by the cruel, eminently rational royal medical adviser Dr. Vergérus. The result is a diabolically clever battle of wits that’s both frightening and funny, shot in rich, gorgeously gothic black and white.

Distributor of the Ingmar Bergman in the 1950s series is Janus Films.

*CUNY TV is broadcast over-the-air in the New York metropolitan area (including areas of Long Island, Westchester, NJ, and CT within 35 miles of Times Square) on digital Ch. 25.3, and cablecast in the five boroughs of New York City on Ch. 75 (Time Warner and Cablevision/Optimum Brooklyn), Ch. 77 (RCN Cable) and Ch. 30 (Verizon FiOS).