Jacob Burns Film Center

Jacob Burns Film Center

11 Episodes

Art-House America

Located just north of Manhattan in Pleasantville, New York, the Jacob Burns Film Center has been bringing vital independent, documentary, and world cinema to Hudson Valley audiences for nearly two decades. Central to the revitalization of downtown Pleasantville, the Film Center has become an integral part of the community through its Media Arts Lab, which trains students in the art of visual literacy, and through the over 150 special events it hosts annually with visiting artists. The theater’s independent spirit—nourished by supporters like Jonathan Demme, who called it “a force for social change disguised as a movie theater”—is reflected in this documentary profile, the latest entry in our Art-House America series. It’s accompanied by an eclectic lineup of specially selected films, which includes a landmark concert documentary, a pair of German New Wave masterpieces, and twenty-first-century art-house gems from Argentina and Romania.

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Jacob Burns Film Center
  • Jacob Burns Film Center

    Episode 1

    Located just north of Manhattan in Pleasantville, New York, the Jacob Burns Film Center has been bringing vital independent, documentary, and world cinema to Hudson Valley audiences for nearly two decades. Central to the revitalization of downtown Pleasantville, the Film Center has become an inte...

  • The Great Dictator

    Episode 2

    Directed by Charles Chaplin • 1940 • United States
    Starring Charles Chaplin, Jack Oakie, Paulette Goddard

    In his controversial masterpiece THE GREAT DICTATOR, Charlie Chaplin offers both a cutting caricature of Adolf Hitler and a sly tweaking of his own comic persona. Chaplin, in his first pure ...

  • Brief Encounter

    Episode 3

    Directed by David Lean • 1945 • United Kingdom
    Starring Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard

    After a chance meeting on a train platform, a married doctor (Trevor Howard) and a suburban housewife (Celia Johnson) begin a muted but passionate, and ultimately doomed, love affair. With its evocatively fog-en...

  • Daybreak Express

    Episode 4

    Directed by D. A. Pennebaker • 1953 • United States

    Shot in 1953, though not completed until 1957, DAYBREAK EXPRESS was the first film D. A. Pennebaker made, a mad rush of images of New York City captured from a train and edited to the rhythm of Duke Ellington’s song of the same name. A jazz afi...

  • Monterey Pop

    Episode 5

    Directed by D. A. Pennebaker • 1968 • United States

    On a beautiful June weekend in 1967, at the beginning of the Summer of Love, the Monterey International Pop Festival roared forward, capturing a decade’s spirit and ushering in a new era of rock and roll. Monterey featured career-making perform...

  • Aguirre, the Wrath of God

    Episode 6

    Directed by Werner Herzog • 1972 • West Germany, Mexico, Peru
    Starring Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Roho

    The first of Werner Herzog’s legendary—and notoriously tempestuous—collaborations with actor Klaus Kinski is a feverish account of sixteenth-century Spanish conquistador Lope de Aguirre’s...

  • Mikey and Nicky

    Episode 7

    Directed by Elaine May • 1976 • United States

    Elaine May crafted a gangster film like no other in the nocturnal odyssey MIKEY AND NICKY, capitalizing on the chemistry between frequent collaborators John Cassavetes and Peter Falk by casting them together as small-time mobsters whose lifelong re...

  • The Marriage of Maria Braun

    Episode 8

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1978 • West Germany
    Starring Hanna Schygulla, Klaus Löwitsch, Ivan Desny

    Maria (Hanna Schygulla) marries Hermann Braun in the last days of World War II, only for him to go missing in the war. Alone, Maria puts to use her beauty and ambition in order to find...

  • La Ciénaga

    Episode 9

    Directed by Lucrecia Martel • 2001 • Argentina, Spain
    Starring Martín Adjemián, Diego Baenas, Leonora Balcarce

    The release of Lucrecia Martel’s LA CIÉNAGA heralded the arrival of an astonishingly vital and original voice in Argentine cinema. With a radical and disturbing take on narrative, beaut...

  • Tuesday, After Christmas

    Episode 10

    Directed by Radu Muntean • 2010 • Romania
    Starring Mimi Branescu, Mirela Oprisor, Maria Popistasu

    One of the central figures to emerge from the cinema of the Romanian New Wave, director Radu Muntean has created in TUESDAY, AFTER CHRISTMAS a tense, emotionally resonant drama about a middle-aged m...

  • Heart of a Dog

    Episode 11

    Directed by Laurie Anderson • 2015 • United States

    HEART OF A DOG marks the first feature film in thirty years by multimedia artist Laurie Anderson. A cinematic tone poem that flows from a sustained meditation on death and other forms of absence, the film seamlessly weaves together thoughts on...