List 2

The Pacific Film Archive is recognized throughout the world of cinematheques and film institutes for its commitment to film preservation and collection development. Filmmakers, scholars, and enthusiasts nationwide have the PFA Library information line on speed dial.

― Lee Amazonas, “Guerrilla Cinematheque Comes of Age: A History of the Pacific Film Archive” (2004)

For the second week of Mariposa County Arts Council’s Virtual Film Club, we turn our attention to repertory cinemas, which exhibit older films rather than new releases. Throughout the world, these theaters remain shuttered while many of us shelter in place, and accordingly this has led to the cancellation or postponement of their originally scheduled programming. The British Film Institute Southbank has cancelled its entire April programme. The Cinémathèque Française in Paris has “temporarily suspended” their retrospectives for Alain ResnaisDon Siegel, and Hiroshi ShimizuThe Stanford Theatre called off the final screenings in its Akira Kurasawa series, and Quentin Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles has been closed since March 16th, leaving much of its March calendar in the can.

The same is true of the Pacfic Film Archive, one of the most important film archives and repertory cinemas in the world. We would like to spend this week with some of the films in their current film series that have been cancelled due to COVID-19. This seems valuable to us, since it permits us to get a sense of what some of the best film programmers in this country think is worth rewatching or discovering. We regret to say that we were unable to find streaming copies of the films in the African Film Festival 2020 and Ulrike Ottinger series, though we encourage you to look over the selections that the PFA had planned for both.

The series we’ll be focusing on instead are the following:

This week’s list has been sequenced in the order that we think these films ought to be viewed. That said, we realize not everybody is in the habit of watching five movies a week, and thus you are of course free to make your own way through the list as you see fit. The main goal here (as ever) is that we get to share the experience of (re)watching at least some of the same films each week. Here’s to sparking solidarity through contemplation and conversation as we hunker down at home together. 

Let’s get to it!