Come autumn, crisp blue skies and fiery red leaves frame the UW campus. Some of the most breathtaking scenes aren't on Bascom Hill or the Lakeshore Path, however. They're on movie screens inside the three venues for UW Cinematheque: 4070 Vilas Hall, the Chazen Museum of Art, and Union South's Marquee Theater. Like the season itself, each Cinematheque screening is free.
The fall lineup begins Friday, August 31 with The Waiting Room, a day-in-the-life documentary set at a troubled public hospital. Though it's a chilling snapshot of America's healthcare system, this film has warmed critics' hearts with its ample humor and empathy.
A series of classic anti-Westerns commences Saturday, September 1 with Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch. In this 1969 gem, a band of aging bank robbers attempts one last heist, which spawns action sequences that are as poetic as they are violent.
On Sundays in September, October and November, the Chazen Museum will screen Italian masterworks such as Marco Ferri's deliciously absurd Dillinger is Dead (Oct. 14) and Michelangelo Antonioni's stylish dystopian drama Red Desert (Nov. 18). In December, Charlie Chaplin will lift spirits during silent crowd-pleasers such as The Gold Rush (Dec. 2) and City Lights (Dec. 16).
Other Cinematheque series will explore controversial features by Russia's Aleksei Guerman, samurai tales and period dramas by Japan's Kenji Misumi, and Depression-era delights by Hollywood writer-director Preston Sturges. Additional offerings include Daisies (Sept. 14), a feminist farce from the Czech new wave, and Tim Hunter's River's Edge (Nov. 19), an unsettling '80s flick in which Dennis Hopper plays a psychotic drug dealer. After the screening, Hunter will discuss the film at the Marquee Theater.
The complete UW Cinematheque schedule is available here (PDF).