Film Series: Unknown Fates

Every Friday evening in February, the Museum screens a film that ponders the fate of two individuals and the burning question: will they or won’t they end up together?

No reservations taken. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Films begin at 6:00 p.m.

Image still from Letter from an Unknown Woman
Image still from Letter from an Unknown Woman

Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948), NR

Directed by Max Ophüls
Friday, February 1, 6:00–7:25 p.m.

In early 20th-century Vienna, Stefan Brand (Louis Jourdan) is about to leave the city after he is challenged to a duel that he wants no part of. However, before he can do so, he gets an anonymous love letter that changes his life. Though Stefan is moved by what he reads, he doesn’t realize that it was written by Lisa Berndle (Joan Fontaine), a young woman he has known but disregarded for most of his life. When he finally figures out who his admirer is, it may be too late to prevent a tragedy.

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Image still from Orpheus

Orpheus (1950), NR

Directed by Jean Cocteau
Friday, February 8, 6:00–7:35 p.m.

Jean Cocteau’s update of the Orpheus myth depicts a famous poet (Jean Marais) scorned by the Left Bank youth, and his love for both his wife Eurydice (Marie Déa) and a mysterious princess (María Casares). Seeking inspiration, the poet follows the princess from the world of the living to the land of the dead. Orpheus’s peerless visual poetry and dreamlike storytelling reveal the legendary Cocteau at the height of his powers. In French with English subtitles.

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Image still from Hiroshima Mon Amour

Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), NR

Directed by Alain Resnais
Friday, February 15, 6:00–7:30 p.m.

A French actress (Emmanuelle Riva) and a Japanese architect (Eiji Okada) engage in a brief, intense affair in postwar Hiroshima, their consuming mutual fascination impelling them to exorcise their own scarred memories of love and suffering. Hiroshima Mon Amour is a moody masterwork that delicately weaves past and present, personal pain and public anguish. In French and Japanese with English subtitles.

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Image still from Lonesome

Lonesome (1928), NR

Directed by Paul Fejos
Friday, February 22, 6:00–7:15 p.m.

Two lonely people in the big city meet and enjoy the thrills of an amusement park, only to lose each other in the crowd after spending a great day together. Will they ever see each other again? Lonesome is a lovely, largely silent film with brief talking interludes set in antic Coney Island during the Fourth of July weekend.

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