For the third year, sQecial Media is presenting the Rosa Goddard International Film Festival at The Kentucky Theatre. It tags onto the end of The Kentucky’s Summer Classics series, which closes this week with two films: The Great Escape on Wednesday and Cabaret on Thursday.
Goddard was a Lexington resident who loved international film and left The Kentucky money for a festival. The money ran out though, and in 2011, sQecial picked up the ball to begin showing international films again.
Sept. 11, double feature of L’Atalante (1934) and Zéro de conduite (1933). L’Atalante, about a riverboat captain and his estranged wife, is the only full-length feature influential director Jean Vigo completed before his death at age 29. Roger Ebert called it “the kind of movie you return to like a favorite song, remembering where you were and how it made you feel.” After its initial screening, Vigo’s short Zéro de conduite was banned in France until 1946, but it directly influenced Lindsay Anderson’s If and François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows. The film expressed Vigo’s anarchistic view of childhood under a repressive education system.
Sept. 18, Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro) (1959). Set in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival, this is a modern telling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, a woman on the run from death and the man who tries to save her. Marcel Camus’ film won the Palme d’Or at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival and 1960 Academy Award for best foreign language film. It also introduced the samba and bossa nova compositions of Luiz Bonfá and Antônio Carlos Jobim to world audiences.
Sept. 25, Orphée (1950). Jean Cocteau’s version of the Orpheus and Eurydice story hews more closely to the myth, in one respect, paving the way for a film with dreamlike visions and special effects — but it is set in then-contemporary Paris. It was the middle film in Cocteau’s Orpheus trilogy, which includes The Blood of a Poet (Le sang d’un poète) (1930) and Testament of Orpheus (Le testament d’Orphée) (1960).