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Closely Watched Trains, Jiri Menzel's film about a young rail station guard who tries to grow up during World War II, when all stable values are in question, was one of the series of fine Czech films which emerged before the '68 freeze. Menzel creates an exhilirating mix of adolescent joy and adolescent despair; suicide takes its turn, as does hilariously playful sex. But the boy blows up with his world.
Passion of Joan of Are. Carl Dreyer's examination of the trial and execution of Saint Joan is the most effective expression of religious suffering and faith on film.
Petulla is one of the most interesting American films of the 60's, and at times is not only ambitious, but successful. It marked an abrupt about-race for Director Richard Lester, who had previously been known for the Beatle films, and for his ground-breaking anti-war phantasmagoria How I Won the War. The story of an affair between two upper-middle-class eccentrics, Petulia makes audiences uncomfortable because both parties are messed up, and can't come together in a way which would help them grow. It also aroused the more chauvinistic American critics because of its depiction of the stultifying side of plastic American life (even in San Francisco where most of the film takes place). Lester's editing experiments, meant to underline character reactions, don't always work; but he has a fine performance by George C. Scott to cover for him.
ADAMS HOUSE DINING HALL. Petulia Sat. 8 and 10 p.m., $1.
CURRIER HOUSE DINING ROOM. Bus Stop Sat. 8 and 10 p.m., $1.
ELIOT HOUSE DINING HALL. Shot in the Dark, with short "Case of the Mukinese Battlehorn" Fri. and Sat., 8 and 10 p.m., $1.
HARVARD--EPWORTH CHUCH. Papillae by Benjamin Hayeem, Inflation by Hans Richter, Allegretto by Oskar Fishinger, Cat's Cradle by Stan Brakhage, Mr. Hayashl and All My Life by Bruce Baillie, Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper by David Rimmer, Yantra by James Whitney, Off-on by Scott Bartlett, Xfilm by John Schofill, and Our Trip to Africa by Peter Kubelka, tonight 7:30 p.m., $1.
BRATTLE. Passion of Joan of Arc. 6, 8:45. Closely Watched Trains. 7:15, wkend mat, 4:30.
CENTRAL I. King of Hearts. 6:30, 9:45, wkend mat. 3:10. Give Her the Moon. 8:15, wkend mat. 4:55.
CENTRAL II. Starts Wed. Green Wall. 6, 9:45, Lola Montee. 7:55, wkend mat. 4:05.
HARVARD SQUARE. Tokyo Story 1:30, 5:25, 9:20. Princess Yong Kwel Fel. 3:50, 7:45.
ORSON WELLES CINEMA. Thurs.-Fri. Intolerance. 4, 7:15, 9:30. Sat.-Sun. College 5:30, 8:30, 11:15. Gold Rush. 4, 7, 9:45. CINEMA II. Repulsion, The Andaluzian Dog. 4:15, 7:30, 9:45. Starts Wed. Easy Rider, Vicious Cycle, 4:15, 6, 8, 10. Midnight Fri.-Sat., Virgin President, Captain Video III.
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