"We all lose our charms in the end," Marilyn Monroe sings in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, referring to the relentless aging process. Technically speaking, the 1953 movie itself had lost some of its charms, including its brilliant color. But it's been restored, and now Madison audiences can see Monroe's eye-popping gowns the way they originally appeared on the big screen.
Gentleman Prefers Blondes is part of the "L.A. Treasures: Recent Restorations by the Academy and Fox Film Archives" -- along with Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt and the 1940s noirs Kiss of Death and The Killers. As the cherry on top, restored episodes of the 1940s Captain Marvel serial will precede the screenings.
The Cinematheque's spring season begins Friday, Jan. 22, in Room 4070 UW Vilas Hall. Along with the restored Hollywood gems, it features several intriguing international series.
"Egyptian Revery: In Memory of Youssef Chahine" celebrates the prominent Arab filmmaker who died in 2008. The series includes the 1958 masterpiece Cairo Station, starring Chahine himself as a crippled newspaper vendor sexually obsessed with a lemonade seller.
"Brazilian Film of the '50s" emphasizes populist films from Vera Cruz Film Studios in So Paulo and Atlntida Studios in Rio de Janeiro. The musical comedy Carnaval Atlntida typifies the Atlntida style, while the melodrama Caiara is classic Vera Cruz.
"Kings of Bollywood" showcases two big stars of the glitzy Mumbai-based film industry: Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan. Films include Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Om Shanti Om.
"Tokyo Now: Contemporary Japanese Cinema" treats us to four films that didn't get U.S. distribution: Always-Sunset on Third Street, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Memories of Matsuko, and I Just Did Not Do It.
The Cinematheque returns to Hollywood with several special events, including Betty Boop shorts (Feb. 5), John Ford's 7 Women (March 26, featuring Ford biographer Joseph McBride) and Ernst Lubitsch's Design for Living (May 1).
The complete guide to the spring 2010 season at Cinemateque can be found in the related downloads at right.