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Buffalo Film Seminars opens with a silent gem

It would not be a new year without the Buffalo Film Seminars, the long-running movie series hosted by Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian. As usual, the series starts with a silent classic: Buster Keaton’s delightful Civil War-set silent comedy “The General.” It screens at 7 p.m. Jan. 31 at the Dipson Amherst Theatre (3500 Main St.).

The rest of the spring lineup includes biggies like John Huston’s “The Misfits” and Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” There are foreign greats, like Bresson’s “Au Hasard Balthazar,” Kieślowski’s “Double Life of Veronique” and Wong Kar-wai’s “In the Mood for Love.” Cult classics include “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Plus, the series features David Bowie’s finest screen role, as a water-seeking alien in “The Man Who Fell to Earth.”

The full lineup for this, the 17th year of the Buffalo Film Seminars, is stylistically and thematically diverse:

  • Jan. 31: “The General” (directed by Buster Keaton, 1926)
  • Feb. 7: “Ninotchka” (Ernst Lubitsch, 1939)
  • Feb. 14: “The Red Shoes” (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1948)
  • Feb. 21: “The Misfits” (John Huston, 1961)
  • Feb. 28: “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (Stanley Kubrick, 1964)
  • March 7: “Au Hasard Balthazar” (Robert Bresson, 1966)
  • March 14: “Downpour/Ragbar” (Bahram Beizai, 1972)
  • March 28: “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, 1975)
  • April 4: “The Man Who Fell to Earth” (Nicolas Roeg, 1976)
  • April 11: “Once Upon a Time in America” (Sergio Leone, 1984)
  • April 18: “The Double Life of Veronique” (Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1991)
  • April 25: “In the Mood for Love” (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
  • May 2: “Fury” (David Ayer, 2014)
  • May 9: “Topsy Turvy” (Mike Leigh, 1999)

Jackson and Christian introduce each film at 7 p.m. A post-film discussion takes place after a short break. For more information, visit buffalofilmseminars.com. The BFS “Goldenrod Handouts,” featuring notes about each film, are available on the website the day before each screening.

Tickets are $9.50 for adults, $8 for students, and $7.25 for seniors (theater box office or dipsontheatres.com). Season tickets are available at any time at a 15 percent reduction for the cost of the remaining films.

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