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Best Film Series

Fontbonne College

OK, we know we've named the Webster Film Series the best arts institution, and last year we awarded the Fontbonne series, curated by Patricia Brooke and John Hodge, best newfilm series, but we can't leave well enough alone. Maybe it's because Fontbonne is St. Louis' forgotten college, that covey of buildings you think might actually belong to Wash. U. -- hell, they're getting to own everything else around the block -- but actually has professors and students, some of whom even get degrees. But in 2000, Brooke and Hodge brought Shadow and Light to the little campus St. Louis forgot, a series of films that dealt with questions of faith, Diary of a Country Priest and Viridianaamong them. Then, in 2001, it was time for something completely different, shifting from the sacred to the profane with six films by Seijun Suzuki, the Japanese director Quentin Tarantino studied gleefully in his youth. Our critic Robert Hunt used language such as "seedy genre films," and "stylishly sleazy" to describe films such as Tokyo Drifterand Branded to Kill. This fall, Cinema of Neglect: 1960s highlights films that have fallen into collective amnesia that deserve a revival. Films such as Mickey One, directed by Arthur Penn, starring Warren Beatty and with a soundtrack by the great Stan Getz; and Putney Swope, directed by Robert Downey Sr. (the father of the best drug-addict actor around), which makes outlandish satire of the racial tensions of the times -- these are two of the six films that will achieve resurrection at Fontbonne. Praise goes to the college for understanding that the youth of today need such things.

 
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