SHELF LIFE
1993, 81 min, USA, Dir: Paul Bartel

Paul Bartel is best known for his unconventional, subversive style - his films as provocative as they are sophisticated. After his early work at Roger Corman’s New World Pictures (including directing the cult classic DEATH RACE 2000) he went on to write, direct and star in his 1983 breakthrough cannibal sex comedy EATING RAOUL (released through The Criterion Collection).

In total, he made nine feature films which went on to play internationally at renowned festivals and cult midnight movie theaters alike.

Since his untimely death, Bartel’s work as both director and comedic actor has been celebrated around the world, praised by Hollywood luminaries such as Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma, and Martin Scorsese as well as his many colleagues on the fringe-- Jim Jarmusch, John Waters, Joe Dante, and Allan Arkush, to name just a few.

SHELF LIFE was his last feature directorial effort, and has never been released.

The film is proudly dedicated to The Two Garys - forefathers of The American Cinematheque, Gary Essert and Gary Abrahams, whose long history with Paul Bartel goes back to Filmex, where Bartel frequently served on the Selection Committee for the long-running Los Angeles International Film Exhibition.

Recently, SHELF LIFE has been uncovered for its 25th anniversary, and is now screening throughout the country, and (for the time being) online.

- Alex Mechanik, Filmmaker


OH! WHAT A LOVELY WAR
1969, Paramount, 136 min, UK, Dir: Richard Attenborough

In this dazzling directorial debut from Richard Attenborough, a working class family is confronted with the unfathomable realities of World War I, after three brothers witness trench warfare first hand. This is no ordinary war film, however, as Attenborough injects humor, dazzling camera effects, and music into this otherwise stark reality. Thus by fusing the surreal with the factual, and juxtaposing savagely funny satire with quiet sorrow, Attenborough creates a powerful anti-war statement like no other. Based on the stage musical by the same name, OH! WHAT A LOVELY WAR features a stellar cast that includes Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, John Mills, John Gielgud, Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Ian Holm, Dirk Bogarde and Susannah York.


8 WOMEN
8 FEMMES
2002, Focus Features, 111 min, France/Italy, Dir: François Ozon

For 8 WOMEN, director François Ozon convened a company of France’s finest female acting talents. Danielle Darrieux is Mamy, the wheelchair-bound matriarch of a wealthy family that gathers at its chalet for Christmas, only to find the master of the house dead from a knife to the back. Catherine Deneuve and Isabelle Huppert are Mamy’s daughters, who, along with each of the film’s other principal characters, find themselves trapped in the chalet and accused of murder. Adapted from Robert Thomas’ stage play and influenced by the screwball comedies of old Hollywood, 8 WOMEN marries farce, melodrama and musical in an unbridled exploration of just how quickly the gloves come off when eight women with lethal motives are confined together.


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