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Movies Houstonians Love

The eighth season of Movies Houstonians Love invites notable local celebrities to share a favorite film in Brown Auditorium Theater.  

Past Films in This Series

 

Ernie Manouse’s Favorite Film "Mildred Pierce"

1945
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Introduced by Ernie Manouse* Joan Crawford won an Oscar for her memorable performance as Mildred Pierce, an independent woman whose contentious relationship with a selfish daughter causes endless heartache and lots of trouble. "Hungarian-born Michael Curtiz (Casablanca; Yankee Doodle Dandy) had a touch of gold, and executives hoped he could repeat his success especially since James M. Cain’s racy novel was considered unfilmable by many. The screenplay was cleaned up due to pressure from the Production Code, and the story ... more info
 

Rick Lowe’s Favorite Film "Nothing But a Man"

1964
Directed by Michael Roemer
Introduced by Rick Lowe* Duff Anderson (Ivan Dixon) tries to make ends meet in a small Alabama town, where he falls in love with a preacher’s daughter (Abbey Lincoln). When Anderson does not bend to his racist white employers, he is fired and labeled a troublemaker. Utilizing a style influenced by neorealism, this drama of life in the 1960s South anticipates the 1970s black independent films of Charles Burnett et al. Nothing But a Man was added to the National ... more info
 

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

1939
Directed by Frank Capra
Introduced by Former State Representative the Honorable Ellen Cohen James Stewart became a star with his portrayal of an idealistic junior senator who ends up leading a filibuster in Washington, DC. The film's cast also includes Jean Arthur and Claude Rains. “Stewart is amazing in the last part of the film, summing up all the hopes and dreams and concerns of all Americans as he fights against the corruption that threatens to destroy the way of life he loves.” —Movie ... more info
 

Kind Hearts and Coronets

1949
Directed by Robert Hamer
Chosen by Meredith Long, owner of Meredith Long & Company A reception in the museum galleries follows the screening This comedy of epic proportions follows the story of a distant relative (Dennis Price) of the Duke of D'Ascoyne, who plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs (all played by Alec Guinness) standing ahead of him in the line of succession.  “A must-see, rarely-shown, black comedy classic not to be missed!” —www.classicfilmguide.com Archival print courtesy of the ... more info
 

Bill Cunningham New York

2010
Directed by Richard Press
Introduced by fashion designer Alexandra Knight Eighty-something New York Times photographer and Schwinn-riding cultural anthropologist, Bill Cunningham has been obsessively and inventively chronicling fashion trends and high-society charity soirées for the Times Style section. His enormous body of work is more reliable than any catwalk as an expression of time, place, and individual flair. Alexandra Knight will be introduced by Lynn Wyatt, founding chair of the MFAH Film Committee.   more info
 

Wings of Desire

Der Himmel über Berlin

1987, in German with English subtitles
Directed by Wim Wenders
PLEASE ENTER MAIN STREET DOOR Introduced by executive director of SWAMP Mary Lampe An angel (Bruno Ganz) tires of overseeing human activity and wishes to become human when he falls in love with a mortal (Solveig Dommartin). Also starring Peter Falk (1927-2011). “If ever there was a European art film that could be all things to all people, it’s Wim Wenders’s Wings of Desire” – www.criterion.com Lucky audience members will win a pair of tickets to Wim Wenders's new 3-D ... more info
 

Aftershock

Tangshan dadizhen

2010, in Mandarin with English subtitles
Directed by Xiaogang Feng
Introduced by Ping Sun, Rice University Representative Aftershock is an epic story of a family separated as a result of the great Tangshan earthquake of 1976, which claimed 255,000 lives, injured 160,000, and destroyed 650,000 Chinese homes. Seven-year-old twins are trapped beneath the rubble, prompting rescue workers to believe that freeing one child will most likely kill the other. The siblings’s mother makes the agonizing choice to save her son, not knowing that her daughter witnesses the decision and miraculously ... more info
 

Live and Become

Va, vis et deviens

2005, in Hebrew, French, and Amharic with English subtitles
Directed by Radu Mihaileanu
Introduced by Josef Helfenstein, Director, The Menil Collection Rich Levy, member of the MFAH film committee and director of Inprint, introduces Dr. Helfenstein. Live and Become is a magnificent epic story about an Ethiopian boy who is airlifted from a Sudanese refugee camp to Israel during Operation Moses in 1984. Although he thrives as an adoptive son of a loving family, he is plagued by two big secrets: He is neither a Jew nor an orphan, just an African boy who survived and ... more info
 
Presented by Clyde Drexler* Charismatic 13th-century Scottish folk hero William Wallace (Mel Gibson) leads a revolt against British oppression during the Wars of Scottish Independence. He is the protagonist of a 15th-century epic poem attributed to a blind poet known as Henry the Minstrel, on which part of the script is based. Wallace eventually gained iconic status far beyond his homeland. “Gibson's Wallace is a potent blend of Robin Hood, Attila the Hun, and Detective John McClane in Die Hard. ... more info
 

Moneyball

2011
Directed by Bennett Miller
Presented by Jeff Luhnow, general manager, Houston Astros Copresented with Bo Porter, manager, Houston Astros Brad Pitt stars as Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics. Overburdened with the lowest salary restrictions in baseball, Beane must find a competitive advantage to have a winning team, and he shakes the sport to its core when he hires a statistician (Jonah Hill) to analyze and place value on the players. This Academy Award–nominated film is based on the 2003 book by Michael Lewis. Background ... more info
 

Anne Chao Presents “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg”

Les parapluies de Cherbourg

1964, in French with English subtitles
Directed by Jacques Demy
The audience is invited to a reception following the screening. Considered one of the most beautiful color films ever made, Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg—a masterpiece of music and romance and winner of the 1964 Cannes Film Festival Grand Prize—catapulted the 20-year-old Catherine Deneuve to international stardom. The memorable 1960s French romance finds an umbrella shop girl (Deneuve) distraught when her boyfriend is called for military service in Algeria, forcing her to face a life-altering decision alone. The director enlisted ... more info
 

Laura

1944
Directed by Otto Preminger
Introduced by Lynn Wyatt, founding chair, MFAH film committee The audience is invited to a reception in the museum galleries following the screening A detective (Dana Andrews) investigating the murder of Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney) finds himself falling in love with her painted portrait. “One of the most stylish and moody film noirs ever made, Laura is characterized by shadowy, dream-like, high-contrast black-and-white cinematography, and smart dialogue in a quick succession of scenes. It presents the recognizably poignant and haunting ... more info
 

Ed Djerejian Presents “Citizen Kane”

1941
Directed by Orson Welles
NEW DATE AND TIME: APRIL 21, 5 p.m. Repeatedly lauded as the greatest American film, Citizen Kane follows the life and death of millionaire newspaper tycoon—played by the 26-year-old Orson Welles and reportedly based on William Randolph Hearst—whose last words baffle news reporters and the public. “When you see the film, you think: 'Wait, how old was Welles when he made this?' It’s pretty thrilling." —filmmaker John Landis About Ed Djerejian The Honorable Edward P. Djerejian served in the U.S. Foreign Service ... more info
 

Hans Graf Presents “Orpheus”

Orphée

1950, in French with English subtitles
Directed by Jean Cocteau
Avant-gardist Jean Cocteau blends myth, realistic thriller, and fantasy in Orpheus, based on his 1926 one-act play of the same name and his 1933 Surrealist film Blood of a Poet. Orpheus is a fascinating retelling of the Greek legend, set in contemporary Paris, in which the titular poet (Jean Marais) is involved in a love triangle with his wife, Eurydice; and Death (aka The Princess). After Eurydice is killed, Orpheus descends into the Underworld to reclaim her. The gods allow Orpheus ... more info
 

Fitzcarraldo

1982, in German, Spanish, and Italian with English subtitles
35mm
Directed by Werner Herzog
Introduced by Gwen Goffe, former associate director, investment and finance, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston A haunting film in a class of its own, Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo tells the story of opera aficionado Brian Sweeney "Fitzcarraldo" Fitzgerald (Klaus Kinski, who played the title character in Herzog’s Aguirre: The Wrath of God, also set in South America). A failed railway entrepreneur whose dreams and ambitions are always greater than his ability to achieve them, Fitzgerald is determined to build an opera ... more info
 

Lola Montès

1955, in French with English subtitles
35mm
Directed by Max Ophüls
Introduced by Bill Arning, director, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston The life and sins of Lola Montès (Martine Carol), the famous courtesan and mistress to Franz Liszt and the king of Bavaria, is recounted in lavish color against the backdrop of a nineteenth-century circus. Controversial upon its release, the film was eventually butchered by producers and the original negative nearly destroyed. But technology has finally allowed film archivists to restore Ophüls's widely considered masterpiece. With the help of the Cinémathèque Française ... more info
 

Bagdad Cafe

1987
Directed by Percy Adlon
Introduced by Wendy Watriss and Fred Baldwin, FotoFest cofounders and directors German writer/director Percy Adlon makes a remarkable American debut with the charming story about the common threads that connect disparate people. Adlon succeeds in creating a cinematic jewel that is both hilarious and touching. Drawn to a pair of lights in the barren American desert sky, a mysterious German woman (Marianne Sägebrecht) stumbles upon a dilapidated motel/diner in the middle of nowhere. Her unusual appearance and demeanor are at ... more info
 

Rushmore

1998
35mm
Directed by Wes Anderson
Introduced by Kyrie O’Connor of the "Houston Chronicle" and NPR’s "Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!" An original comedy shot in Houston, Rushmore launched the career of director Wes Anderson. The film's plot follows 15-year-old Max (Jason Schwartzman), an underachieving yet overconfident student at Rushmore Academy who has romantic designs on teacher Miss Cross (Olivia Williams). In his quest to impress her, Max enlists the help of wealthy alum Herman Blume (Bill Murray)—who also falls for Miss Cross—instigating ... more info
 

Hands on a Hardbody

1997
Directed by S. R. Bindler
Introduced by Nick Flynn, University of Houston poet/author Every year at Texas’s oldest Nissan dealership in Longview, 24 contestants place one hand on a brand new pick-up truck. The last person standing with their hand on the vehicle wins the truck. A cult favorite, Hands on a Hardbody attaches an emotional story to each contestant and creates drama surrounding the competition by examining the effects of exhaustion, dehydration, and hunger on those strong enough to finish the game. Nick Flynn ... more info