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Movie talk; Weekly seminars encourage discussion about great films

If Henry Higgins was a real person, and not a character created by George Bernard Shaw, he would be a perfect fit in today's reality TV world where making over ugly ducklings is a national sport. Instead, we get to revel in the many retellings of the story, from stage to screen and back again, about Professor Higgins who makes a bet to turn the poor flower girl Eliza Doolittle into a proper lady.

We'll have the opportunity to watch two Oscar-winning film versions of Shaw's play -- 1938's "Pygmalion" and the 1964 classic "My Fair Lady" -- during the 23rd series in the Buffalo Film Seminars.

The weekly series, held Tuesdays in the Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre (639 Main St.), starts at 7 p.m. with a quick intro by Professors Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian of the University at Buffalo, followed by the film and a post-movie talk. The series opens Tuesday with the Mervyn LeRoy/Busby Berkely musical, "Gold Diggers of 1933" and will screen such diverse films as Jean Cocteau's poetic telling of the "Beauty and the Beast" fable and Arthur Penn's volatile "Bonnie and Clyde."

Here's the schedule, including director's name and year of release:

Tuesday, "Gold Diggers of 1933" (LeRoy, 1933);

Sept. 6, "Pygmalion" (Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard, 1938);

Sept. 13, "Beauty and the Beast"/La Belle et la Bete (Cocteau, 1946);

Sept. 20, "The Red Shoes" (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1948);

Sept. 27, "Diary of a Country Priest"/"Journal d'un cure de champagne" (Robert Bresson, 1951);

Oct. 4, "Black Orpheus"/"Orfeu Negro" (Marcel Camus, 1959);

Oct. 11, "Bonnie and Clyde" (Penn, 1967);

Oct. 18, "Marketa Lazarova" (Frantisek Vlacil, 1967);

Oct. 25, "The Last Wave" (Peter Weir, 1977);

Nov. 1, "True Confessions" (Ulu Grosbard, 1981);

Nov. 8, "Chunking Express/Chung Hing sam lam" (Wong Kar-Wei, 1994);

Nov. 15, "Richard III" (Richard Loncraine, 1995);

Nov. 22, "Frida" (Julie Taymor, 2002);

Nov. 29, "Revanche" (Gotz Spielmann, 2008);

Dec. 6, "My Fair Lady" (George Cukor, 1964).

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