‘Nits de Cinema’ comes back to the Cloister of La Nau on Friday

  • July 15th, 2016
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La Nau is the meeting point to enjoy free cinema outdoors, at 10pm. From 15 to 28 July, Aula de Cinema of the Universitat presents ‘Nits de Cinema’ (“Nights at the cinema”) with two cinematographic cycles which aim to promote films in the original version and to offer an interesting leisure activity. This activity is included within the ‘Estiu de cinema’ (“Summer at the Cinema”), an event organised by the Valencian Government, the Valencian Council and the Universitat de València.

Strange Couples

It’s a cliché to say that opposites attract. The cycle ‘Strange Couples’ has been organised on this premise, starting on Friday 15 July with the projection of ‘King Kong’, directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack (1933). A film that follows the structure of the relationship between the beauty and the beast, a title which is also included in this cycle. 
‘Beauty and the Beast’ (Thursday 26 July) has had countless versions and adaptations, but perhaps, the most lyrical one might be the one directed by the poet, novelist, painter and also director, Jean Cocteau in 1946. In this version, the story of the noble whose curse has turned him into a horrible creature who, nevertheless, hides the most beautiful emotions towards his beloved, is represented again. 

Another couple, less strange but also universal is the one formed by Quixote and Sancho Panza. The immortal work of Miguel de Cervantes has seen many attempts to be made into a film, but few knew how to convey the depth of this classic of literature. A particular version of ‘Don Quixote’ (Thursday 21 July) was made in the former Soviet Union in the 1950s, in which the inevitable reference to the class struggle is added to the traditional quixotic story.

If Cervantes was the main Spanish writer in the Spanish Golden Age, Luis García Berlanga might be the most important director from Spain in the 20th century. His films are among the best in the history of Spanish cinema, and many of them would not be so without the contribution of the scriptwriter Rafael Azcona. In ‘Grandeur Nature’ (Thursday 19 July), Berlanga and Azcona imagine a story in which a man who has everything finds his happiness with an inflatable doll. A curious relationship such as the one established between a well-to-do youngster obsessed with death and a full of life old lady. 

They are ‘Harold and Maude’ (Sunday 24 July), a peculiar couple separated by age, just like in the case of ‘Mary and Max’ (Sunday 17 July). A touching story about pen-pals between an Australian girl and an older New Yorker with adjustment problems. Finally, the last strange couple formed by a hit man (Jean Reno) and a little girl (Natalie Portman) who is looking for revenge. Both will learn to understand themselves in ‘Léon: The Professional’ (Thursday 28 July), a classic film of the 1990s directed by  controversial Luc Besson.

The cycle Strange Couples will continue in Filmoteca d’Estiu, where the most outstanding films of the year will be shown.

Iron Will

The cycle ‘Iron Will’ will start on Saturday 16 July with the projection of “The King of Comedy”, by Martin Scorsese and starred by Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis. Through this cycle, Aula de Cinema of UV aims to present films in which the main characters are guided by passion, determination and an unyielding necessity to reach their goals, even at expense of jeoperfizing their mental health or even their lives.

“The passion of Joan of Arc” (Monday 18 July) is one of the masterpieces by Carl T. Dreyer, and its protagonist is a clear example of steadfastness in faith, in the light of barbarity and ignorance. The iron will also stands out in captain Ahab, obsessed by the hunt of the monster “Moby Dick” (Wednesday 20 July), the whale that is a metaphor for the unknown and the untamed, and which gave immortality to Herman Melville and his magnificent novel.

In “A bride dressed in black” (Friday 22 July), Julie Kohler has a plan. A plan for her to finish, one by one, with all of those connected with a dark event that took place years ago. In this film, François Truffaut shows his hitchcockian aspect. 

This itinerary concludes with two films released in the last years. On the one hand, “Nightcrawler” (Monday 25 July) denounces glorification of the morbid, of whatever one avoids looking at, but which later one inevitably desires to consume. The way of taking the sensationalist press to the extreme by Jake Gyllenhaal is mind-blowing and it is the dark side that society doesn’t want to see. 

On the other hand, “Man on Wire” (Wednesday 27 July) shows the viewer. from a documentary-like perspective, the hypnotizing figure of Philippe Petit, whose great obsession was to conquer the Manhattan sky walking on a wire that is few centimetres thin. Samples of characters with different goals, but sharing a sick passion to accomplish their aspirations, make us travel across a journey of tension, joys and also bitterness.

More information www.uv.es/auladecinema