Thirty-four classic films are featured at Pacific Film Archive beginning Nov. 2 in a two-month series honoring the 40th anniversary of Janus, pioneering American distributors of quality foreign films.
Janus was founded in 1956 by two Harvard students who were finding it difficult to obtain films from overseas for their theaters. They subsequently introduced American filmgoers to such directors as Ingmar Bergman, FranÁois Truffaut, Alf Sj–berg, Akira Kurosawa and Michelangelo Antonioni.
PFA's series offers classics made between 1931 (Fritz Lang's "M" and Josef von Sternberg's "The Blue Angel") and 1971 (Soviet Georgian director Georgy Shengalaya's "Pirosmani").
The Janus series screens Nov. 2, 9, 16, 29 and 30 and ten days in the month of December.
First in the series, Nov. 2, is the French classic, "The 400 Blows," FranÁois Truffaut's semiautobiographical portrait of adolescence (at 7 p.m.), and "Torment" by Swedish director Alf Sj–berg (at 8:55 p.m.).
The latter is Ingmar Bergman's first produced screenplay. Bergman credited Sj–berg with transforming his devastating portrait of a schoolteacher he loathed into a "nightmare" relevant to Europe in 1944.