Over the last two decades, University at Buffalo professors Diane Christian and Bruce Jackson have been showing culturally significant films to their students, as well as the public. If you did a search for the top 200 essential films of all time, chances are they have featured the majority of them. Not only have they featured them, they’ve dissected them. The day before the film is screened, production details, anecdotes and critical comments are posted on The Buffalo Film Seminars website. Then, there is a short introduction before the film starts, followed by a discussion with students after the film wraps up. The next series to be held is coming up in spring of 2020.
“The spring 2020 series will be the first half of our 21st year,” said Bruce Jackson. “We began at what was then called the Angelica. It became the Market Arcade when the Angelica company walked after a year. We stayed there until the city sold the theater five or six years ago. Mike Clement managed the Market Arcade for the City, so when it went dark, we stayed with him and moved to the Dipson Amherst. The series has always been built around a UB class limited to 35 students. All the other seats are open to anyone who wants to buy a movie ticket. Last year, Dipson installed a video camera in the projection booth, so when the center room fills, the overflow can hear our introductions in another room. This year, we’ve needed the overflow room for every presentation.”
Following is the schedule for the film series, presented by the Dipson’s Amherst Theatre and the University at Buffalo:
- Jan 28 Chaplin City Lights 1931
- Feb 4 Lloyd Bacon 42nd Street 1933
- Feb 11 Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp 1943
- Feb 18 Billy Wilder Sunset Boulevard 1950
- Feb 25 Henri-Georges Clouzot The Wages of Fear 1953
- Mar 3 Lucino Visconti, The Leopard 1963
- Mar 10 Maskaki Kobayashi Kwaidan 1964
- Mar 24 John Schlesinger Midnight Cowboy 1969
- Mar 31 Alan Pakula Klute 1971
- Apr 7 Robert Altman McCabe and Mrs Miller 1971
- Apr 14 Martin Scorsese King of Comedy 1982
- Apr 21 Wim Wenders Land of Plenty 2004
- Apr 28 Wes Anderson Isle of Dogs 2018
- May 5 Pedro Almodóvar Pain and Glory
The Buffalo Film Seminars take place Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. promptly at the Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main Street, in the University Plaza, directly across the street from UB’s Main St Campus.
Tickets for the seminars are adults $9.50, students $7.50, seniors $7.00. Season tickets are available any time at a 15% reduction for the cost of the remaining films. There is ample free parking, with a disabled parking zone close to the theatre.
Handouts with production details, anecdotes and critical comments about each week’s film on goldenrod paper are available in the theatre lobby 45 minutes before each session. The Goldenrod handouts are posted online one day before the screening. (All previous handouts are also online.)
For further information, follow this link to the page with PDFs of all the handouts.