Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
Exterior image of Cline Library at NAU with a student riding their bike.

Film Series

The British Film Institute’s Greatest Films of All Time

NAU and the Flagstaff community are invited to come together in front of the big screen in Cline Library’s newly refurbished Assembly Hall for the College of Arts and Letters Film Series.

Discussions and screenings take place every other Tuesday at 7 p.m.

All screenings are free and open to the public. Each classic movie will be preceded by a short introduction from NAU faculty and followed by a community discussion.

The film series promotes understanding and appreciation of cinema through Northern Arizona University and the greater Flagstaff community. The CAL Film Series blends well-known audience favorites along with lesser-known films, as well as a mix of genres, directors, and actors. This season, the focus is on the British Film Institute’s decennial list of the Greatest Films of All Time. In 1952, Sight and Sound, the BFI’s monthly film magazine, asked critics to rank the greatest films of all time. It was the first such ranking in the world and has been published every decade since. The Institute’s 2022 list was created with the input of over 1,600 critics, programmers, archivists, and academics, with each submitting a top-ten ballot.

The film series is made possible with the support of the College of Arts and Letters, the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies, the School of Communication’s Journalism Program, NAU’s Cline Library, and under the direction of Dr. Paul Helford and Dr. Paul Donnelly.

Free weeknight parking is available for community members behind Cline Library and requires a special free permit.


August 29: Singin’ in the Rain

Dean Martin swinging on a light post in the rain in "Singin' in the Rain."
Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly. (Directors). (1952). Singin’ in the Rain. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).

The series begins August 29 with Singin’ in the Rain, which was number 10 on BFI’s 2022 list. It is often considered to be the most enduring of the four MGM collaborations between Gene Kelly and his director and co-director Stanley Donen and is the only musical in the BFI list. The film depicts a moment in the watershed transition from silent films to the talkies. One BFI poll participant said, “Kelly and Donen’s masterwork anticipates the brassy postmodernism of Moulin Rouge! but that film feels meager compared to the original and its seemingly inexhaustible bounty of ingenuity, bravado and sheer unabashed joy.”

Watch the theatrical trailer


September 12: In the Mood for Love

Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung pose in a darkened alley wearing gorgeous formal attire in "In the Mood for Love."
Kar-Wai Wong. (Director). (2000). In the Mood for Love. Jet Tone Production · Block 2 Pictures · Paradis Films.

On September 12, we screen the visually stunning film In the Mood for Love, by director Kar-Wai Wong. It came in as number 5 on the BFI list. The film tells the story of a blossoming love affair between two married residents of an apartment building in 1960s Hong Kong. One participating critic remarked that “the film looks both forward and back, wallowing in nostalgia for a purer, lusher form of cinematic romanticism while carving out more modern, even avant-garde forms of sensual and psychological expression from its saturated style.”

Watch the theatrical trailer.

September 26: Mulholland Drive

Naomi Watts and Laura Harring huddle together on a land-line phone in Lynch's "Mulholland Drive."
David Lynch. (Director). (2000). Mulholland Drive. Les Films Alain Sarde · Asymmetrical Productions · Babbo Inc. · Canal+

The September 26 film is David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, which moved into the 2022 BFI list’s top ten at number 8. The film is ostensibly about a starry-eyed aspiring actress coming to Hollywood to make it big, but it is so much more than that. One of the poll participants said, “It’s a maddening, freaky, mysterious thing…ultimately resistant to final readings. It’s like a hieroglyphic you’re always on the verge of translating or a lover’s sphinx-like expression in bed that suggests betrayal, devotion or something in-between.”

Watch the theatrical trailer.


October 10: Vertigo

James Stewart and Kim Novak stand in front of a rocky beach in fifties overcoats in this scene from Hitchcock's "Vertigo."
Alfred Hitchcock. (Director). (1958) Vertigo. Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions.

On October 10, we screen Alfred Hitchock’s psychological thriller, Vertigo, which earned the number 2 slot on the 2022 BFI list after holding the number one spot in the 2012 poll. One critic called Vertigo “a dark, bottomlessly reflexive portrait of private vices and compulsions; a vortex of perspective-stretching, misdirection and disorientation; a whirlpool of obscure, consuming desire. It seems many of us are still plunging in.”

Watch the theatrical trailer.  

October 24: Cléo from 5 to 7

Black and white shot of Cleo on a  Parisian street circa 1962.
Agnès Varda. (Director). (1962). Cléo de 5 à 7. Ciné-tamaris · Rome Paris Films.

On October 24, we present director Agnes Varda’s Cléo from 5 to 7. Number 14 on the BFI list, this 1962 film is told virtually in real time about a young woman pop singer worried she might have cancer. She moves through the streets of Paris while awaiting results from her recent medical tests. Agnes Varda was the only woman director of the influential French New Wave. Shot in stunning black and white, the film captures “an era in history: Paris in the early 1960s, with its crowds, cafes, shops, music, fashion and cinema…this is what cinema does—it transforms life.”

Watch the theatrical trailer.


November 7: 2001: A Space Odyssey

An astronaut in old school space suit stands in a tunnel connecting two sections of a stylish and symmetrical space ship.
Stanley Kubrick. (Director). (1968). 2001: A Space Odyssey. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) · Stanley Kubrick Productions.

Number 6 on the BFI list is one of the most important and influential films of all time, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, created in 1968. If you haven’t seen it on a big screen, you haven’t seen it. 2001 is  “…a science-fiction spectacle, an anthropological speculation and a philosophical meditation. Kubrick’s film created an unavoidable monolith in its genre…(pushing sci-fi) into epic, mythic, spiritual terrain. It’s stately, bold, astonishingly beautiful.”

Watch the theatrical trailer.

November 21: Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee stands in front of actors on the set of "Do The Right Thing" wearing baseball cap and old-school headphones.
Spike Lee. (Director). (1989). Do the Right Thing. 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks.

On November 21 we present Spike Lee’s 1989 master work, Do the Right Thing. This is number 24 on the BFI list of greatest films. One poll participant called it “a turning point for cinematic voice.” Another wrote, “Spike Lee developed a street-smart cinematic language to create this vibrant portrait of a Brooklyn community. It digs deep into the structure and operation of racism and reveals the complexities and conflicts of African American life.”

Watch the theatrical trailer.


December 5: Apocalypse Now

War scene from "Apocalypse Now" - soldiers in fatigues shaking hands in front of an officer in a calvary hat. Steeple of a church burns in background.
Francis Ford Coppola. (Director). (1979). Apocalypse Now. American Zoetrope · Zoetrope Studios

Has there ever been a filmmaker who created as many great films in one decade as Francis Ford Coppola created in the 1970s? He started in 1972 with The Godfather, which we showed last year, and ended the decade with Apocalypse Now, which concludes the fall film series this December 5. Number 19 on the BFI list, it has been called “the greatest war movie ever made.…[It] will leave you shaking. No other film has explored the human soul quite like this one.”

Watch the theatrical trailer.