Linwood Dunn Theater
The Big Gundown
Thursday, June 18 | 7:30 P.M.
Introduced by Joe Dante. Lee Van Cleef was a journeyman character actor until his pivotal roles in Sergio Leone’s classics For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly made his distinctive, serpentine features internationally recognizable. He parlayed his newfound fame into global stardom in the Spaghetti Western genre, with director Sergio Sollima’s ambitious Techniscope Western drama – co-written by Once upon a Time in the West co-scribe Sergio Donati – giving him one of his best showcases. Van Cleef plays Jonathan Corbett, a bounty hunter weighing a Senate bid who sets out in obsessive pursuit of Cuchillo, a suspected rapist-murderer on the lam (Tomas Milian, Traffic). The irreplaceable Ennio Morricone provided the haunting score, and the visually striking and dramatically complex film – newly restored and screening in the original Italian-language, director's cut stands proudly alongside Leone’s classics.
1966, 110 minutes, color, DCP | Directed by Sergio Sollima; written by Sergio Donati, Sollima; with Lee Van Cleef, Tomas Milian, Walter Barnes, Nieves Navarro, Maria Granada, Roberto Camardiel.
Thursday, June 18 | 9:35 P.M.
Auteur and martial arts cinema innovator King Hu transformed wuxia (swordplay) pictures and influenced generations of filmmakers thanks to this Ming-era adventure, newly restored by the Chinese Taipei Film Archive. The inn of the title is the setting for royal intrigue and danger as swordsmen both good and evil converge in pursuit of a murdered minister’s imperiled family. After falling out with Hong Kong’s Shaw Brothers studios, the Beijing-born Hu ventured to Taiwan in search of more artistic control and independence. The result is an action-packed ‘Scope epic that spans the craggy desert of Houyen Shan and the sea of clouds in Alishan. Breaking box office records in movie-mad Hong Kong, Dragon Inn has been paid tribute by directors as diverse as Tsai Ming-Liang and Ang Lee, who cited Hu’s work as a crucial element of his own appreciation of Mainland Chinese culture. (Lee’s contemporary classic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon helped expose the wuxia tradition to a grateful global audience.)
1967, 111 minutes, color, DCP | Written and directed by King Hu; with Shang Kuan Ling-Feng, Bai Ying, Hsu Feng.
Cinema has endured for decades in the face of competing visual storytelling mediums. In connection with our event The New Audience: Moviegoing in the Connected World, discover how studios and filmmakers – long before tablets, smartphones and the Internet – responded as audiences began trading regular visits to the movies for the ease and affordability of the first small screen: television. In response, numerous widescreen cinematic formats were rolled out around the world and capitalized on the breathtaking width of the projected image, not to mention the heightened fidelity of stereophonic sound, to achieve effects far beyond the reach of TV sets. This Is Widescreen offers a colorful assortment of films that demonstrate how filmmakers found new means of engaging the flexibility of the cinema and the key larger-than-life film formats employed over a 15-year period in Hollywood – from the launch of Cinerama in 1952 and the subsequent widescreen boom that included CinemaScope, VistaVision, Todd-AO and others – plus highlights from the first wave of 'Scope filmmaking from around the globe.