William Morris's "New Wave the World Over" film series came to him out of necessity. Frustrated by the lack of global films included in conversations among friends and film buffs about the New Wave era of cinema, Morris saw an opportunity.
"When I talk to other people who work in film or who went to film school, there tends to only be a focus on French New Wave," says Morris. "The rest of the world was doing just as exciting cinema at the same time and usually gets left out."
Tomorrow night at Cafe Max, Morris will debut "New Wave the World Over," his free, curated film series celebrating the mid-century cinema movement from multiple cultural perspectives.
The first film in the series is a French one, Zazie dans le métro, that Morris says doesn't get much attention, but which shines a great light on the genre. The Czechoslovakian work Loves of a Blonde, Japan's Japanese Summer: Double Suicide and the German piece The Third Generation will follow throughout the month, with Morris providing a little context before each screening. He's created additional handouts with more in-depth information if the audience is interested, but is set on not making the night feel like film school 101.
"I don't want it to be snooty in any way and I don't want it to feel like a film class," he says. "I want it to be a bit of a hybrid -- I want people to leave having learned something they didn't know before, but I also want it to be a good time of just watching movies." Everyone is welcome, and he hopes the casual structure of the film night and his choice of movies is inviting to hardcore cinephiles and occasional movie-goers alike.
This is Morris's first film series for Cafe Max, a collaboration which came about after friends connected him to the space. The owner was looking to do something film-related in the basement of the Colfax cafe, and Morris -- who has been working at various movie houses around Denver for a while -- was searching for a spot to share his favorite works and hopefully create some conversation around overlooked parts of film history.
A guy devoted to watching at least three films a day every day, Morris says the a global cinematic movement like New Wave allowed him to experience a world outside of his small town upbringing. "My obsession with film started as a little one -- I just needed an escape," says Morris. "I definitely escaped into world cinema to get me out of my Midwestern town."
New Wave the World Over begins tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at Cafe Max. The screening is free and the cafe will be offering companion food and drink specials. The free films run each Wednesday throughout December. For more information, visit the series's Facebook page.
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