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Film Series Goes Inside World War I

For their next film series, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) goes inside World War I.

Titled Over the Top and into the Wire: WWI on Film, this film series presents a selection of shorts, cartoons and features that separates the Great War from the Cold War, thus suggesting its interpretation in later events in the 20th century including the Great Depression, the Russian Revolution and France’s Popular Front. Directors of the feature films include Stanley Kubrick, Charlie Chaplin, Jean Renoir and Alexander Dovzhenko , all of which had a hand in painting a haunting picture in defying stereotypes of World War I.

The film series begins on August 2nd with 1918’s Shoulder Arms, a silent film directed by Charlie Chaplin and was released before the Armistice. It is followed by a series of editorial cartoons titled the Sinking of the Lusitania, and Great Guns, a series of Disney shots parodying World War I. Then on August 3rd is D.W. Griffith’s Hearts of the World (1918), a love story during Germany’s invasion into France, followed by Jean Renoir’s Grand Illusion (1937) which paints a “humane portrait” of World War I POWs.

On August 17th, BAM/PFA presents a collection print of the movie Arsenal (1929), directed b Alexander Dovzhenko, which pays tribute to workers during Czarist Russia, then it’s Paths of Glory (1957), directed by Stanley Kubrick displaying a picture of insanity’s war and starring Kirk Douglas. The film series concludes on August 27th with All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), presented in now 35mm Print and directed by Lewis Milestone.

Guest curator for this film series is Russell Merritt, adjunct professor in UC Berkeley ‘s Film and Media Studies Department. Log on to bampfa.berkeley.edu for more information.