Presented by the Harvard Film Archive and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies
in conjunction with "The Thousand and One Nights: Sources, Transformations, and Relationship with Literature, the Arts and the Sciences".
Directed by Wojciech Jerzy Has. With Zbigniew Cybulski, Iga Cembrzynska, Elzbieta Czyzewska
Poland 1964, DCP, b/w, 182 min. Polish with English subtitles
Admired by the likes of Luis Buñuel, David Lynch, Lucrecia Martel and Jerry Garcia—who spearheaded its 1997 restoration—The Saragossa Manuscript fully deserves its legendary status as one of most unclassifiable and extraordinary cult/art films of the postwar European cinema. Has's oneiric trance film famously uses a Russian doll structure to leap across time and space, following its unlikely hero across a series of bleak, frightening yet strangely exuberant, landscapes, largely set in a dream Andalusia. Grim and ecstatic, febrile and hypnotic, Has's Gothic fantasy is a heady affirmation of the power of the cinematic imagination to create and destroy entire worlds. Almost as legendary as The Saragossa Manuscript is its haunting electroacoustic score by Polish master composer Krzysztof Penderecki.
Note: This is a ticketed screening. Visit the Harvard Film Archive website for more information.
Contact: Harvard Film Archive, 617-495-4700
Sponsors: Harvard Film Archive, Center for Middle Eastern Studies