Join us 1ST AND 3RD THURSDAYS, 6PM for a unique experience with a small friendly group of film lovers. No charge ~ some refreshments are provided, and feel free to bring your own.
4/2, 6PM: Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010) Director: Werner Herzog 90m
The German director is given access to the caves of Chauvet in southern France and creates a documentary for the ages, showing the first examples of art that budding homo sapiens produced. These caves were first found in 1994, and are not open to the public, so here’s a chance to go back 32,000 years in time.
4/16, 6PM: Ridicule (1996) Director: Patrice Leconte 102m
A country aristocrat journeys to the Versailles of Louis XVI to plead for help for his disease-ridden community, and falls into the Byzantine etiquette and word play of the French court, where the witty nature of cutting repartee is the currency for social advance. This film is in French with subtitles, and is a great example of how subtle, clever dialogue can elevate a film or story.
3/6, 6PM: Midnight (1939) Director: Mitchell Leisen, 94m
The first romantic comedy written by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder, this story of a struggling showgirl (Claudette Colbert) in Paris with multiple man problems, is a fast-talking comedy of mistaken identities and dry wit.
(3/20, 6PM: When We Were Kings (1996) Director: Leon Gast, 94m
This documentary was filmed in the 1970s, but not released for twenty
years. It tells the story of boxers Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, who
went with entourage to Zaire, for the “Rumble in the Jungle.” The
heavyweight title fight was a great upset, but the hullabaloo surrounding
it colors an unforgettable portrait of one of America’s most controversial
December 2014 ~ February 2015 Schedule
A selection from our Susan B. Vaughn Eco-Film Series
ABOUT TIME (2013) DIR Richard Curtis 123m
A young man discovers he can travel in time and change the past. This is not science fiction, but surprisingly, a sensitive romantic comedy.
TWO FOR THE ROAD (1967) DIR Stanley Donen 111m
An excellent dramedy made long before that word was coined. This is a triumphant and bittersweet story of a complex relationship (Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney) told in flashbacks.
THE KING OF COMEDY (1982) DIR Martin Scorsese 109m
Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis star in this twisted fable of an aspiring comic who relentlessly stalks his idol. This is comedy of the bare-knuckles variety.
GROWING CITIES, THE FILM
A selection from our Susan B. Vaughn Eco-Film Series
THE LIST OF ADRIAN MESSENGER (1963) DIR John Huston 98m
A mystery so mystifying that even the identity of the actors will amuse and amaze. See if you can identify the character actors as the homicides multiply in this rarely-seen classic.
SLEUTH (1972) DIR Joseph Mankiewicz 138m
A man who loves games and the sturm und drang of the theatre invites his wife’s lover into his lair. The battle of wits between Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine fascinates as the deadly inevitable slowly occurs.
ONCE WERE WARRIORS (1994) DIR Lee Tamahori 102m
This powerful film about what happens when the New Zealand government urbanizes an aboriginal group like the Maoris was so popular in that country that it out-grossed the blockbusters and became a national symbol of shame and pride.
THE MYSTERY OF KASPAR HAUSER (1974) DIR Werner Herzog 110m
Sometimes shown as The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, this weird tale about a human raised in isolation never fails to amuse and challenge. This is based on a true incident that occurred in 1828 in Nuremberg.
A selection from our Susan B. Vaughn Eco-Film Series
V FOR VENDETTA (2005) DIR James McTeigue 132m
In a totalitarian England of the future, a mysterious freedom fighter takes on tyranny with the help of Guy Fawkes and Natalie Portman. Based on a famous graphic novel of the same name.
For October/November 2014, we’re featuring Asian Flix
All films start at 6PM:
10/10 The Joy Luck Club ~ 1993 directed by Wayne Wang 135 minutes
An epic cross-cultural dramedy about four Chinese-born mothers and their American-born daughters. TV Guide says “stylishly done melodrama. The mothers’ stories are especially affecting.
10/17 Eat Drink Man Woman ~ 1994 directed by Ang Lee 120 minutes
A comic portrayal of domestic life in Taiwan, where ritual skillfully eases the stresses of modern life. Some have called it “food porn.”
10/24 Memoirs of a Geisha ~ 2005 directed by Rob Marshall 145 minutes
A girl from a poor fishing village goes to the city, and works her way up to being a celebrated geisha. This is not the air-brushed Americanized version like Sayonara, but a powerful drama about a cultural phenomenon that has no real Western equivalent.
10/31 No film this week!
11/7 The Wedding Banquet ~ 1993 directed by Ang Lee 107 minutes
The Birdcage meets A Wedding, where the Asian member of a yuppie gay couple marries a woman to mollify his traditional parents, to hilarious results.
11/14 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ~ 2000 directed by Ang Lee 119 minutes
Spectacular martial arts action ballet in the service of two emotional love stories, set in a mythical ancient China.
11/21 The King of Masks ~ 1996 directed by Tian Ming Wu 90 minutes
Old Wang, an itinerant street performer, wants to pass on his skills to an heir which he does not have. He purchases a boy, whom he calls “doggie,” from a slave trader hoping to teach him his art. But doggie is not what he seems to be.
In September 2014, we’re remembering Robin Williams
Sep 5 ~ The Birdcage – DIR Mike Nichols (1996) 118 min
An American remake of La Cage aux Folles, this film lives on gay stereotypes while making a plea for gender tolerance. In reality, it is a farce that satirizes just about every character in range. Robin Williams and Nathan Lane are the gay couple forced to play straight when prospective in-laws visit.ﾠ
Sep 12 ~ Good Morning, Vietnam – DIR Barry Levinson (1987) 119 min
This is the first comedy ever made about the Vietnam War, and a showcase for the stunning improvisatory talents of Robin Williams, a disc jockey for Armed Forces Radio. Sacred cows, take cover! The DJ refuses to stick to the dull script provided by the radio brass, because he knows what the troops need better than the rass ever could.
Sep 19 ~ The Fisher King – DIR Terry Gilliam (1991) 137 min
Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges lead this dark comedy about theﾠredemption of a Howard Stern-like shock jock. Bridges is the DJ,ﾠand Wiliams is a homeless delusional medievalist who searchesﾠfor the Holy Grail among the detritus of Manhattan. The twoﾠknights-errant tilt at every conceivable windmill before succumbingﾠto that most deadly of narrative curses, a Hollywood ending.
In August 2014, we’re featuring documentaries
AUGUST 1 ~ DECEPTIVE PRACTICE: THE MYSTERIES AND MENTORS OF RICKY JAY
directed by Molly Weinstein (2012) 87 minutes
A remarkable glimpse inside the secret world of magic, highlighting the small circle of eccentrics who follow the clarion call of illusion. Master magician and historian of the conjuring arts Ricky Jay pays homage to his mentors and other savants who specialize in befuddling audiences and challenging their senses. A Must See!
AUGUST 8 ~ LAND OF LOOK BEHIND
directed by Alan Greenberg (1982) 90 minutes
In 1982, the filmmaker traveled to Jamaica to cover the funeral of Reggae legend Bob Marley. He came back with more than he bargained for, a portrait of Jamaica from island flora and fauna to Rastafarianism, the unique culture that produced a completely original musical style.Marley and The Wailers music provide the vitality.
AUGUST 15 ~ BURDEN OF DREAMS
directed by Les Blank (1982) 95 minutes
Werner Herzog’s South American epic Fitzcarraldo was in the midst of shooting on location when a war broke out between Peru and Ecuador. The film spiraled out of control as actors dropped out and morale among those who continued declined. The weather also refused to cooperate. Documentarian Les Blank captured all of this, making his movie about making a movie more famous than the obsessed original.
AUGUST 22 Double Feature ~ VERNON, FLORIDA
directed by Errol Morris (1981) 55 minutes
This is the first reality film of documentary master Errol Morris. It intersplices random chatter from local eccentrics in this seemingly unexceptional panhandle Florida town.
CANE TOADS: AN UNNATURAL HISTORY
directed by Mark Lewis (1988) 47 minutes
These ugly critters were introduced into Australia in the 1930s to eliminate beetles from the sugar cane fields of Queensland. It didn’t work out as planned, and the enormous toads became a worse pest than their intended prey. This is documentary as horror story.
directed by Frank Pavich (2013) 90 minutes
Visionary director Alejandro Jodorowsky planned to make a mind-blowing movie from Frank Herbert’s classic science-fiction novel, Dune. The visual flair of the maker of El Topo made him the perfect choice, but his wild untamed ways and his contempt for the ways films are financed ended up making Dune “the best science fiction movie never made.”
July 2014’s theme is Magical Realism
JULY 4 – CLOSED for Independence Day
JULY 11 – LES MISERABLES (2012) directed by Tom Hooper (158 Minutes)
Three Oscars and a bucketful of schmaltz propel this oxymoronic production. Why an Oxymoron? Because a lush, romantic modern opera with wistful love affairs and God-like obsessions celebrates the bloody French Revolution, where heroes were scarce and the body count was high. Hugh Jackman makes an appealingJean Valjean, but Russell Crowe as Inspector Javert, while intense, is overmatched as he talks his songs through the ruins of Paris. But whatthe hell, it’s Bastille Day, and the French can be forgiven once a year for celebrating their unique piece de resistance. This is a three-hankie tear jerker.
JULY 18 – LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA (2007) directed by Mike Newell (138 minutes)
This is a film based on the second-best novel from Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the inventor of magical realism, who recently passed away. It is the story of a fifty-year unrequited love affair, with Javier Bardem watching his Feminina try to break from her controlling father, then giving in and marrying a physician approved by her family. Bardem buries his grief in sensuality, in a story that demonstrates and then ridicules the paradoxical pain of love
JULY 25 – THE HOLY MOUNTAIN (1973) directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky (114 minutes)
Jodorowsky is a true original, making only a handful of films, but each one unique and challenging. The Holy Mountain is a quest film, where seven seekers led by a Christ-like figure examine the disaster that materialism and greed have brought to our planet. Well worth the price of admission is a phantasmagorical set piece where lizards and toads re-enact the conquest of Mexico on top of a miniature paleo-American sacrificial altar. (The toads are the steel-helmeted conquistadores.) This film is not for everyone, but it remains burned in the viewer’s memory decades after more pedestrian fare has drifted away. And, it is far less violent than Jodorowsky’s masterpiece, El Topo.
June 2014’s theme is REEL Pride,
and is our 9th year of offering LGBT film over the last decade.
Fri Jun 6
6PM: REACHING FOR THE MOON
BRUNO BARRETO, 2013 | BRAZIL | 120M
From Award-winning Director Bruno Barreto (View from the Top, Bossa Nova, Donna Flor and Her Two Husbands), this 50s period piece is based on the true love story of pulitzer prize winning poet, Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto, Lord of the Rings), and architect Lota de Macedo Soares. Bishop’s moving poems are at the core of this film set in Rio de Janiero and which lushly illustrates a crucial period in the life of this influential literary icon.
8PM: i AM A WOMAN NOW
MICHIEL VAN ERP, 2012 | NETHERLANDS | DUTCH WITH ENGLISH SUB | 80 MIN
When it comes to the discussion of transgender, the focus tends to be on young people who either are preparing to have sex-change surgery or recently have undergone the process. In this film, Dutch director Michiel van Erp looks at the lives of older transsexuals who had operations in the 1960s and 70s. Through personal testimony, photographs and footage from personal archives, viewers gain insight into the surgery’s pioneer years. The mysterious Dr. Bura carried out ground-breaking operations at a clinic in Casablanca, where young outcasts came to start a new life. Five transsexuals are featured in van Erp’s documentary. For some, the operation was a solution; for others, it was the beginning of a journey of self-discovery. However, not one person hought about what life would be like as an old lady. ~Amazon
Fri, Jun 13
STACIE PASSON, 2013 | USA | 100 MIN
Robin Weigert – best known as Calamity Jane on Deadwood – stars as Abby, a suburban wife and mother married to her overachieving partner Kate (Julie Fain Lawrence). But soon after Abby is hit in the head in a playground accident, she will shed her boring soccer-mom life to become a high-priced call girl for women. And when her worlds collide, the lines between love and desire may experience the most unexpected traumas of all. Maggie Siff (Sons Of Anarchy), Janel Moloney (The West Wing), Ben Shenkman (Royal Pains) and Emily Kinney (The Walking Dead) co-star in this provocative and acclaimed debut feature from writer/director Stacie Passon
LINDA BLOODWORTH-THOMASON, 2013 | USA | 80 MIN
On May 7th, 2011 a young man named Shane Bitney Crone tragically lost the love of his life, Tom, to an accident. Because they weren’t married or prepared for the unexpected, Shane lost all legal claim to Tom after he died. Tom’s family banned Shane from the funeral and he was unable to say goodbye. On May 7th, 2012 Shane posted a video on YouTube, entitled “It Could Happen to You.” He created it to honor his partner and show the world what can happen when two people are legally barred from having equal rights and equal protections under the law to marry. Shane’s partner was named Tom Bridegroom
Fri, Jun 20
6PM: OUT IN THE DARK
MICHAEL MAYER, 2012 | HEBREW & ARABIC W/SUBTITLES | 100 MIN
Out in the Dark is as much of a political and societal commentary as it is an original romantic story. Compelling and intimate, Michael Mayer’s taut first feature follows a border-crossing relationship between an Israeli lawyer and an increasingly desperate Palestinian student. Nimer, an ambitious Palestinian student in the West Bank, dreams of a better life abroad. One fateful night in Tel Aviv, he meets Roy, an Israeli lawyer, and the two fall in love. As their relationship deepens, they are both confronted with the harsh realities of a Palestinian society that refuses to accept Nimer for his sexual identity, and an Israeli society that rejects him for his nationality. When Nimer’s close friend is caught hiding illegally in Tel Aviv and sent back to the West Bank, where he is brutally murdered, Nimer is forced to choose between the life he thought he wanted and his love for Roy.
8PM: GOD LOVES UGANDA
ROGER ROSS WILLIAMS, 2013 | USA | 80M
With God Loves Uganda, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams (Music by Prudence) explores the role of the American Evangelical movement in fueling Uganda’s terrifying turn towards biblical law and the proposed death penalty for homosexuality. Thanks to charismatic religious leaders and a well-financed campaign, these draconian new laws and the politicians that peddle them are winning over the Ugandan public. But these dangerous policies and the money that fuels them aren’t coming from Africa; they’re being imported from some of America’s largest megachurches. Using vérité, interviews, and hidden camera footage, the film allows American religious leaders and their young missionaries that make up the “front lines in a battle for billions of souls” to explain their positions in their own words. Shocking and enlightening, touching and horrifying, God Loves Uganda will leave you questioning just how closely this brand of Christianity resembles the one you think you know.
May. 2, 6PM, TOOTSIE, Dir. Sydney Pollack (1982) 116 min
Dustin Hoffman garnered an Oscar nomination for his lead role as a frustrated actor who impersonates a mature woman to land a role ina television soap opera. He gains unexpected success, but at a life-cost. Suspend your disbelief about Hoffman’s and watch the sitcom play out. Sydney Pollack plays a theatrical agent to perfection, and Bill Murray, Teri Garr, and Jessica Lange all contribute, with Lange winning a Best Supporting Actress award.
May. 9, 6PM, NEIGHBORS, Dir. John G. Avildsen (1981) 94 min
How would you like your serene, tree-lined suburban Paradise to be torn asunder by mad man John Belushi at the height of his disruptive powers? That is the dilemma facing Dan Aykroyd in this dark comedy based on the novel by Thomas Berger. Middle class living will never be the same.
May. 16, 6PM, CAR WASH, Dir. Michael Schultz (1976) 97 min
An ensemble cast enlivens this slapdash comedy about one day in the life of a Los Angeles car wash. Richard Pryor plays a sleazy ghetto preacher, Professor Irwin Corey a mad bomber, and Antonio Fargas a gay blade in this improbable but hilarious. Music by the Poynter Sisters and Norman Whitfield adds extra pizzazz.
May. 23, 6PM, IDENTITY THIEF, Dir. Seth Gordon (2013) 111 min
Melissa McCarthy is a brazen criminal with a heart of gold. Or maybe tin. Her shenanigans in taking over the life and identity of Jason Bateman drive him over the edge, and he decides to fight back. As they chase each other around the country, both are exposed to some droll life lessons.
May, 30, 6PM, THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL directed by John Madden (2011) 124 minutes
Retirees from England travel to India to take up residence in a newly-restored hotel that fails to live up to its advertised schedule of amenities. But what the hotel gives up in creature comforts is comically counter-balanced by the naivete of its owners and the yearnings of the retirees themselves. Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, and Bill Nighy head up an appealing cast.
Tales of Hoffman ~ a tribute to Philip Seymour, April, 2014 ~ Note: Time Change to 6PM begins in April
Apr. 11, 8PM ~ Capote ~ directed by Bennett Miller (2005) 115 minutes Philip Seymour Hoffman won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of writer Truman Capote,but this film is not a traditional biopic. Instead, in concentrates on one significant period of Capote’s life, when he decided to write a “non-fiction novel,” In Cold Blood. Two petty criminals kill a family during a brutal home invasion in Kansas, and are sentenced to be executed. Capote journeys to the heartland, accompanied by friend and fellow writer Harper Lee. Capote befriends the two killers, learns from them, and uses them for his own career advancement. Capote ends up paying an emotional price he did not expect, and Hoffman’s portrayal is utterly believable as a gentrified New York intellectual who ventures onto thin ice.
Apr. 18, 8PM ~ Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead ~ directed by Sidney Lumet (2007) 117 minutes Hoffman and his ne’er-do-well brother, Ethan Hawke, plan the robbery of a jewelry store in this, director Sidney Lumet’s last film. Nothing in the heist goes as it was planned, and the amateur criminals are soon in way over their heads. The guilty pleasure of watching this film is seeing how the brothers try evading the claustrophobic repercussions, and how their tough guy personae dissolve when confronted with circumstances beyond their control.
Apr. 25, 8PM ~ The Master ~ directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (2012) 143 minutes Set just after the close of World War II, this is the story of a psychically-wounded, alcoholic war veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls under the spell of Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the charismatic inventor of a modern religion called The Cause. Dodd sinks deeper and deeper into the temptations that the prerogatives of leadership offer, to disastrous results. By all accounts, this is a fictionalized treatment of the beginnings of scientology by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, disguised only enough to fend off the inevitable law suits. Hoffman was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in this, but it was clearly a lead role.
3/7 ~ NUTS 1987 directed by Martin Ritt (116 minutes) Barbra Streisand plays a high-priced call girl who is arrested for killing one of her clients. Her mother and stepfather try to persuade the court she is crazy, to avoid a manslaughter conviction, but Streisand, fearing the indeterminate length of a criminal commitment, fights back, assisted by a meek Public Defender, played by Richard Dreyfus. A melodrama, yes, but a compelling one.
3/14 ~ THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE 1994 directed by Nicholas Hytner (107 minutes) Nigel Hawthorne steals this lust historical epic, based on the temporary affliction of England’s King George III from a metabolic imbalance. This disease hits King George as the American Revolution is going on, and while he is involved in a power struggle, allowing his ne’er-do-well son, the Prince of Wales, to try usurping the king’s throne. Helen Mirren is also outstanding as the king’s wife, Queen Charlotte, who surreptitiously arranges for his treatment.
3/21 ~ MARAT/SADE 1966 directed by Peter Brook (115 minutes) The inmates at the Charenton mental asylum perform a re-enactment of the French Revolution under the fiendish direction of one of their own, the Marquis de Sade. This startling premise was first performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company as a stage play, and Peter Brook’s staging and cinematic genius achieve a breakthrough on film. Brook proves the adage that insane folk can say and act out things that sane folk cannot, thereby getting away with uncomfortable truths.
3/28 ~ AMADEUS 1984 directed by Milos Forman (158 minutes) The genius of Mozart is palpably demonstrated, but seen through the manically-envious eyes of a rival court composer, Antonio Salieri. F. Murray Abraham won an Oscar for his depiction of the slow descent into madness of the Italian Salieri. The film and its director also won Academy Awards, richly deserved. But an historical warning: Salieri’s solution to the court rivalry may make good theater, but is pure fiction. ———————————————
4/4 ~ THE SHINING 1980 directed by Stanley Kubrick (144 minutes)
AND ROOM 237 2012 directed by Rodney Ascher (102 minutes) When Stanley Kubrick released 2001: A Space Odyssey, a great debate arose in the contemporary press about possible hidden meanings in the space epic. A decade later, he released The Shining, made from a Stephen King horror novel. Ostensibly, it is about an alcoholic writer who takes his family to a remote lodge in the Rockies, and acts as winter watchman while he writes his novel. Jack Nicholson is the writer who becomes unhinged. Over thirty years later, two filmmakers who are also best friends (Rodney Ascher and Tim Kirk) become convinced that The Shining has subtle meanings embedded within. Room 237 examines nine of these subliminal messages, including the “faking” of the 1969 Moon landing and the dual genocides of the Native Americans and the European Jews. Some of these messages seem whacko, but there are enough telling details to make one wonder. Kubrick died in 1999, so we may never know for sure. One thing is clear – Kubrick paid a lot more attention to small details than other directors, and chose projects, like Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, that reveled in the reverberating dual meanings of things. We realize that most of our audience will have seen The Shining, probably decades ago, so we are showing Room 237 first, at 6:00 PM, and The Shining at our normal starting time, 8:00 PM. Be a part of this special Friday Flicks event, at NPR Library on April 4 (the closest we could get to April Fool’s Day!)
Frontier February (2014) Westerns from the 1920s to the 1950s were frequently intended to celebrate and mythologize the settling of the American West by waves of immigrants, and by extension, the evolution of America into an all-hemisphere superpower. After the horrors of the mid-20th Century, some filmmakers began to shift their attitudes about America’s see-no-evil vision. For February, we present four Westerns that re-defined the genre, one from the 1950s, one from the 1960s, and two from the early 1970s.
THE SEARCHERS (1956) directed by John Ford (120 minutes) Named one of the ten best films of all time, The Searchers is John Wayne and John Ford at their respective peaks. Wayne’s Ethan Edwards is mysterious and conflicted, a rebel missing since the conclusion of the Civil War, seeking his niece who has been kidnapped by Indians. Jeffrey Hunter plays a half-breed Cherokee who participates in the epic search, but comes to fear Ethan’s dark intentions. The film, shot in Vista Vision that highlights Monument Valley, deflates the myth of the epically-heroic settlers. The Searchers is one of the first anti-Westerns, made by the master of the traditional genre.
CHEYENNE AUTUMN (1964) directed by John Ford (154 minutes) John Ford’s last Western is about a promised Cheyenne resettlement to Oklahoma that never materializes. Two Cheyenne chiefs, tired of broken government promises and desperate to feed their people, head north to Wyoming, pursued by the U.S. Cavalry, who are intent to turn the renegades around. Ricardo Montalban and Gilbert Roland are the chiefs, and Richard Widmark the captain of the Cavalry. Ford examines how the frontier press distorts the event, and allows for cameos by Jimmy Stewart as Wyatt Earp and Arthur Kennedy as Doc Holliday. Cheyenne Autumn takes place in 1887, when the West is about to undergo “civilizing” changes.
LITTLE BIG MAN (1970) directed by Arthur Penn (147 minutes) The ultimate in revisionist Westerns with its own peculiar sense of humor, Little Big Man creates the unforgettable character of Jack Crabbe, who lived both as an Indian and a white man. Dustin Hoffman nails the role, especially as an 121-year-old geriatric recalling his epic youth for an anthropologist’s tape recorder. Everybody is fair game in this sprawling social satire, from the ill-fated General Custer to the mystical Indian chief who becomes Crabbe’s surrogate father. If you don’t believe the Indian genocide is a send-up of Vietnam’s My Lai tragedy, watch closely the ethnicity of the massacred extras.
McCABE AND MRS. MILLER (1971) directed by Robert Altman (121 minutes) The romance of frontier life is downplayed in this fable about the emergence of Western community in the constructed shacks of con men and prostitutes. Haunted by Leonard Cohen ballads, this Altman masterpiece features anti-star performances from Warren Beatty and Julie Christie. The homely town of Presbyterian Church evolving is one of the characters in this saga populated by dreamers, losers, and ne’er-do-wells. Never had a Western so undermined the official epic formulation of manifest destiny when McCabe and Mrs. Miller was released.
Fri, Jan. 3, 8PM WHAT’S NEW PUSSYCAT? (1965) Directed by Clive Donner 108 minutes After his star-making turns in Lawrence of Arabia and Becket, Peter O’Toole demonstrates his comic timing in this farce penned by a young Woody Allen. Determined to remain a woman-conquering bachelor, he consults an even-more-lecherous shrink played by Peter Sellers. This is a true Sixties period piece, with some dated gags and sumptuous, psychedelic sets. Look for Richard Burton to pop up in a small cameo.
Fri, Jan. 10, 8PM THE RULING CLASS (1972) Directed by Peter Medak 141 minutes The British class system and other sacred cows take a hilarious beating in this biting comedy featuring Peter O’Toole as a daft heir to the 13th Earl of Gurney. O’Toole thinks he’s Jesus Christ and gives away the family fortune while undergoing self-crucifixion in the manor’s living room. Alistair Sim stands out as a daffy Anglican bishop.
Fri, Jan. 17, 8PM MY FAVORITE YEAR (1982) Directed by Richard Benjamin 92 minutes Peter O’Toole plays an over-the-hill swashbuckling actor brought to New York to confer pizzazz to an early-Fifties live television comedy revue. The boozing Alan Swann, patterned after Errol Flynn, is chaperoned by a young idealistic writer, and drags his charge through a series of outrageous escapades while showing him the difference between an actor and a star. This is a fictionalized glimpse behind the scenes of Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows.”
Fri, Jan. 24, 8PM THE LION IN WINTER (1968) Directed by Anthony Harvey 134 minutes Peter O’Toole plays Henry II and Katherine Hepburn his sequestered wife Eleanor of Aquitaine in this drama of wits and manipulation among English royalty in the 12th Century. The nobility of royalty is undercut by James Goldman’s merciless script, in which family members plot and intrigue to gain status in a backstabbing regal pecking order. The title refers to Henry II’s advancing age, depicted skilfully by the then-30-something O’Toole.
Fri, Jan. 31, 8PM THE STUNT MAN (1980) Directed by Richard Rush 129 minutes Peter O’Toole plays another Christ-like figure, similar to the mad earl he creates in The Ruling Class. This time, it is megalomaniacal Eli Cross, a film director who abuses his charges on and off the set. When a haunted Vietnam vet on the lam turns up on the set, Cross mesmerizes the fugitive into taking the place of a recently-deceased stunt man. Reel and real get confused in this cult classic which languished on the shelf unreleased for two years before finally coming out.
December 2013 Selections
TOM JONES- Fri, Dec. 13 at 8PM 1963, DIR Tony Richardson, 129 minutes If this is not the greatest movie ever made from a great novel (in my opinion), it is certainly the most mirthful.Set in 18th Century England, it is the story of a charming foundling, his bad luck and good fortune. The supporting roles of Hugh Griffith and Dame Edith Evans as country gentry are hilarious, and Albert Finney’s title role is as endearing as it gets. Tom Jones won a bevy of Oscars, including Best Picture. If there was ever an award for bring a bygone era back to visual splendor, it would have won that honor as well.
PIRATE RADIO, Fri, Dec. 20, 8PM 2009, DIR Richard Curtis, 111 minutes When rock and roll hit the British Isles, it was looked down upon and seldom played by the magisterial “voice of the state,” the BBC. In an era before iPods and You Tube, teenagers still needed their own rebellious brand of music. Unlicensed radio stations filled this gap, and this ensemble comedy tell the tale of one such station, broadcasting offshore from a chaotically-crowded fishing trawler. The music is familiar and the screwball cast are mostly lovable losers.
NO FILM on Fri, Dec. 27 – Happy Holidays
November 2013 Selections
Nov. 1 ~ A LITTLE ROMANCE From the days of Romeo and Juliet, the subject of innocent, early teen romance has proved its irresistible allure. This George Roy Hill charmer is set in the lovers’ cities of Paris and Venice, with Diane Lane in her first starring role. Homage to earlier screen sizzlers, it is a pure delight, even before the scene-stealing entrance of Laurence Olivier as the young couple’s benefactor, a beguiling con man. 1979 108 min
Nov. 8 ~ IL POSTINO This is a deeply subversive movie about the idealistic nature and subtle failings of poetic genius. Chilean bard Pablo Neruda is exiled to the Isle of Capri, where he, a man-of-the-people communist, meets real working class people for the first time. The humble postman who delivers Neruda’s mail becomes fascinated with the great man, only to learn that greatness is not sainthood. But along the way, the postman also learns how poetry operates its special magic on the human heart. 1994 113 min
Nov. 15 ~ MORGAN: A Suitable Case for Treatment ~ Karel Reisz director The angry young man became a British cliche during the late Fifties and early Sixties. Karel Reisz further complicated this stereotype by making Morgan, his angry young man, crazier than a Bessie Bug. David Warner’s Morgan, with Vanessa Redgrave as his estranged wife, is the saga of a daft and troubled artist and his gorilla suit. A much darker version was televised in England as A Suitable Case for Treatment. 1966 97 min
Nov. 22 ~ HAROLD LLOYD medley Along with Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, the silent film era’s “third genius” was Harold Lloyd. We begin our tribute with Number Please (1920 25 min). While at an amusement park, trying vainly to forget the girl he has lost, the young man sees her with her new boyfriend. When her dog gets loose in the park, both suitors try to help catch it. Then, the girl’s uncle, a balloonist, gives her a pass for two. She offers to take along the first admirer who can gain her mother’s consent. Next up is Safety Last (1923 70 min), a Horatio Alger-style story of a country boy trying to make good in the big city. He leaves his sweetheart to pursue his fortune, landing a job as a clerk at a department store. But, in his letters home to his beloved, he pretends to be the store’s manager and spends all of his earnings to send lavish gifts. His friend, the “human fly,” performs stunts for money. In a urn of events, the boy must instead make an arduous climb up his department store, dodging a variety of obstacles, climbing higher and higher and eventually dangling from the store’s clock tower, in the film’s most memorable image.
October 2013 Selections
Oct. 4 – SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE Take the rogue planet Tramalfador, a Playboy playmate, a Pilgrim who becomes “unstuck” in time, and the horrors of the firebombing of Dresden in World War II, and what have you got? An unclassifiable classic. It could only stem from the insanely fertile mind of Kurt Vonnegut translated on screen, with a score by Canadian piano virtuoso Glenn Gould. 1972 103 minutes
Oct. 11 – CHINESE ROULETTE A psychological game of “Truth or Dare” is orchestrated by a disabled young girl who sees through the poses and pretenses of her well-to-do family. She summons them all to the family chateau to confront their hypocrisies and presides over their unmasking. This film is a cinematographic joy, written and directed by German New Wave legend Rainer Werner Fassbinder. 1976 82 minutes
Oct. 18 – A WEDDING Two culturally-disparate haute bourgeois families are thrown together for a weekend of hilarious miscommunications as the apples of their respective eyes, two youths barely wet behind the ears, wed. Robert Altman takes the ensemble concept to its max with nearly fifty characters. As with other Altman efforts, the soundtrack contains more than it seems. 1978 125 minutes
Oct. 25 – MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN One of the most honored novels of post-war fiction finally hits the screen, under the watchful care of novelist Salman Rushdie. Two Indian children, one Hindu, the other Muslim, are born at the exact moment that India becomes a democracy, and we experience the growing pains of south Asia through their eyes. 2012 148 minutes
Contemporary Latin American Films in September 2013 – all films start at 8PM on Fridays.
Sept. 6 – Viva Cuba
Sept. 13 – Los Colores de la Montana
Sept. 20 – Whisky
Sept. 27 ~ Petites Planètes
Foreign Art House Films for August 2013
8/2: M (1931)
8/9: Loves of a Blonde (1965)
8/16: Il Posto (1961)
8/23: Fires on the Plain (1959)
8/30: Black Orpheus (1959)
NPR Public Library Friday Flix
July 2013 Theme: THRILLERS!
NPR Library Friday Flix – presents May 2013 theme
“FRED & GINGER”
The following Fridays at 8PM
Fri, May 10 – TOP HAT (1935 101 min)
An American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, but she mistakes him for his goofy producer. — IMDb
Fri, May 17 – THE GAY DIVORCEE (1934, 107 min)
An unhappily married woman mistakes a suitor for the gigolo hired to end her marriage. — TCM (Katrina’s Prom!)
Fri, May 24 – SWING TIME (1936, 103 min)
A performer and gambler travels to New York City to raise the $25,000 he needs to marry his fiancée, only to become entangled with a beautiful aspiring dancer. — IMDb
Fri, May 31 – SHALL WE DANCE (1937, 109 min)
A budding romance between a ballet master and a tap-dancer becomes complicated when rumors surface that they’re already married. — IMDb
NPR Library Friday Flix – presenting our April Fools – the MARX BROTHERS
Every Friday in April 2013 at 8PM
4/5: Horse Feathers
1932, 68 min.
4/12: Animal Crackers
1930, 97 min.
4/19: Night at the Opera
1935, 96 min.
4/26: Duck Soup
1933, 68 min.
A Month of Dynamic Duos @ NPR Library’s Friday Flix in February 2013
Fri, Feb. 1 – BARTON FINK (1991, 116 min, DIR Cohen Bros) In 1941, New York intellectual playwright Barton Fink comes to Hollywood to write a Wallace Beery wrestling picture. Staying in the eerie Hotel Earle, Barton develops severe writer’s block. His neighbor, jovial insurance salesman Charlie Meadows, tries to help, but Barton continues to struggle as a bizarre sequence of events distracts him even further from his task. -IMDb
Fri, Feb. 8 – VERTIGO (1958, 128 min, DIR Alfred Hitchcock) Considered by many to be director Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest achievement, Leonard Maltin gives Vertigo four stars, hailing it as “A genuinely great motion picture.” Set among San Francisco’s renown landmarks, James Stewart is brilliant as Scottie Ferguson, an acrophobic detective hired to shadow a friend’s suicidal wife, Madeleine (Kim Novak). After he saves her from drowning in the bay, Scottie’s interest shifts from business to fascination with the icy, alluring blonde. When he finds another woman remarkably like his lost love, the now obsessed detective must unravel the secrets of the past to find the key to his future. –Universal Studios
Fri, Feb. 15 – THE STING (1973, 129 min, DIR George Roy Hill) Johnny Hooker, a small time grifter, unknowingly steals from Doyle Lonnegan, a big time crime boss, when he pulls a standard street con. Lonnegan demands satisfaction for the insult. After his partner, Luther, is killed, Hooker flees, and seeks the help of Henry Gondorff, one of Luther’s contacts, who is a master of the long con. Hooker wants to use Gondorff’s expertise to take Lonnegan for an enormous sum of money to even the score, since he admits he “doesn’t know enough about killing to kill him.” They devise a complicated scheme and amass a talented group of other con artists who want their share of the reparations. The stakes are high in this game, and our heroes must not only deal with Lonnegan’s murderous tendencies, but also other side players who want a piece of the action. To win, Hooker and Gondorff will need all their skills…and a fair amount of confidence. –IMDb
Fri, Feb. 22 – MARY AND MAX (2009, 80 min, DIR Adam Elliot) It is a simple tale of pen-friendship between two very different people; Mary Dinkle, living in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia and New Yorker Max Horovitz. Spanning 20 years and 2 continents, Mary and Max’s friendship survives much more than the average diet of life’s ups and downs. —IMDb
Ring in the New Year with Silence – NPR Library’s Friday Flix in January 2013
Fri, Jan. 11 – IT (1927, 72 min, DIR Clarence G. Badger, STARS Clara Bow) Shopgirl Betty Lou has designs on Cyrus Waltham, the handsome owner of the department store where she works. Waltham doesn’t even know Betty Lou exists. In hopes of attracting Waltham’s attention, she accepts a date with his best friend, Monty, under the condition that they dine at the Ritz, where Waltham also has a dinner date that evening. Her plan works and in no time at all she and Waltham are contemplating marriage. The romance cools when a newspaper reporter mistakenly writes a story depicting Betty Lou as an unwed mother.
Fri, Jan. 18 – SADIE THOMPSON (1928, 91 min, DIR Raoul Walsh, STARS Gloria Swanson and Lionel Barrymore) Sadie Thompson arrives in Pago-Pago to start a new life, but when extremist missionary Davidson lashes out against her lifestyle and tries to force her back to San Francisco, she may lose her second chance.
Fri, Jan. 25 – THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1920, 78 min, DIR Robert Wiene, STARS Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt and Freidrich Feher) Shortly after a traveling showman, Dr. Caligari (Werner Krauss), arrives in the town of Holstenwall with his cadaverous somnambulist, Cesare (Conrad Veidt) – who, the doctor claims, is able to predict the future – a number of persons are murdered. Following the first of these killings, two locals, Francis (Friedrich Feher) and his friend Alan, attend a performance given by Caligari and Cesare, at which the latter prophesies that Alan will die before the next dawn. When his friend is killed that same night, Francis begins to suspect that Caligari and his strange companion may be responsible for the murders. The young hero’s subsequent efforts to protect both his town and Jane (Lil Dagover), the woman he loves, reveal that there is far more to this story than is at first apparent.
December 2012’s Friday Flix – a month of (Allen) Konigsberg & Keaton
Fri, Dec 7 – SLEEPER (1973, 89 min) – DIR Woody Allen A clarinet player (who also runs a health food store) is cryogenically frozen. In the future, he is brought back to life by anti-government radicals who want him to assist them in their attempts to overthrow an oppressive government. He begins to explore this brave new world of confessional robots and Orgasmatron booths that replace sex.
Fri, Dec 14 – PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM (1972, 85 min) – DIR Herbert Ross A mild mannered film critic is dumped by his wife, and his ego is crushed. His hero is the iconic tough guy played on film by Humphrey Bogart. And, Bogart begins appearing to him, offering him advice. He actually tries dating again, with less than satisfactory results, until he relaxes.
Fri,Dec 21 – INTERIORS (1978, 93 min) – DIR Woody Allen This film is Allen’s Homage to Ingmar Bergman. It’s a family drama involving a fashionable Long Island interior designer who tries to impose her overbearing, critical standards on her husband and three grown daughters. The film is a realistic look at the relationships within this artistically-oriented family; one daughter is a successful writer; the second is looking for an artistic outlet; and the third is an actress. The mother has been deserted by her husband, their father. She thinks and hopes they may reconcile, but she soon learns that he has other interests.
Fri, Dec 28 –ANNIE HALL (1977, 93 min) – DIR Woody Allen Twice-divorced Alvy knows it’s not easy to find a mate in New York with its pretentious intellectuals and lifestyle-obsessed Rolling Stone writers. Annie is different. Along the rocky road of their relationship, the pair weigh in on topics such as endless therapy, movies vs. TV, the absurdity of dating rituals, anti-Semitism, drugs, repressed Midwestern WASP insanity vs. crazy Brooklyn Jewish boisterousness and eventually vacuous, mantra-fixated California.
Friday Flix – “FOODIE FILMS”
November, 2012 (Fridays at 8PM)
Fri, Nov. 2 – WHO IS KILLING THE GREAT CHEFS OF EUROPE? (1978, 112 min, DIR Ted Kotcheff) After creating a menu for the Queen of England, 4 of Europe’s most famous chefs are killed one after another using their very own recipes. Natasha O’Brien is the pastry chef who knows that her name is next on the deathlist. Ted Kotcheff’s exquisite murder menu of a film has a splendid cast of Robert Morley, George Segal, Jaqueline Bisset and Philippe Noiret. Combine the suspense of Agatha Christie and the black humor of the Ealing-school into such an harmonious union. Everything is presented with wit and European flair.
Fri, Nov. 9 – DELICATESSEN (1991, 99 min, DIR Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro, French) The story centers on a post-apocalyptic society where food is so rare it’s invaluable and is used as currency. The owner of an apartment delicatessen is in need of a new maintenance man since the original “mysteriously” disappeared. A former clown applies for the job and the butcher’s intent is to have him work for a little while and then serve him to quirky tenants.
Fri, Nov. 16 – BOTTLE SHOCK (2008, 112 min DIR Randall Miller) The story of the early days of California wine making featuring the now infamous, blind Paris wine tasting of 1976 that has come to be known as “Judgment of Paris”.. –IMDb
Fri, Nov. 23 – NO FILM THIS WEEK – ENJOY YOUR THANKSGIVING WEEKEND. Fri, Nov. 30 – CHOCOLAT (2007, 112 min, DIR Julian Schnabel) When a single mother and her six-year-old daughter move to rural France and open a chocolate shop – with Sunday hours – across the street from the local church, they are met with some skepticism. But as soon as they coax the townspeople into enjoying their delicious products, they are warmly welcomed. —IMDb
Friday Flix – “THE BEST OF THE BREAST” – Ode to Female Directors
October, 2012 (Fridays at 8PM)
Fri, Oct 5 – THE BIGAMIST (1953, 80 min) JOAN FONTAINE – DIR Ida Lupino Harry and Eve Graham are trying to adopt a baby. The head of the agency senses Harry is keeping a secret and does some investigating. He soon discovers Harry has done an unusual amount of traveling from his home in San Francisco to Los Angeles. Harry gets tracked down in L.A. where he has a second wife and a baby. Via flashbacks, Harry tells the adoption agent how he ended up in two marriages.
Fri, Oct 12 – AN EDUCATION (2009, 95 min) – DIR Lone Scherfig In the early 60’s, 16 yr. old Jenny lives with her parents in the London suburbs. Everything that Jenny does is in the sole pursuit of being accepted into Oxford, as her father wants her to have a better life than he. Jenny is bright, pretty, hard working and naturally gifted. Jenny’s life changes after she meets David Goldman, a man over twice her age who exposes her to cultural activities.
Fri, Oct 19 – ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW (2005, 91min) – DIR Miranda July Richard (John Hawkes) is a newly single shoe salesman and father of 2. When the captivating and spontaneous Christine enters his life, he panics. She’s an artist and “”Eldercab”” driver who vacillates between heartbreak and faith, weaving together reality and the fantastical in her art and life. Life is not so oblique for Richard’s 7 yr. old Robby, who is having an internet romance with a stranger, and his 14 yr. old Peter, who is forced to be the “”impartial authority”” in a test of skill inflicted by classmates.
Fri, Oct 26 – LOST IN TRANSLATION (2003, 102 min) SCARLETT JOHANSSON, BILL MURRAY – DIR Sofia Coppola. Sofia Coppola’s romantic comedy is hilarious and moving, intelligent and dreamy, melancholy and stunningly beautiful. On the top floor of a five star hotel in Tokyo, an encounter between two insomniacal Americans. Bob is a film star who is going to shoot a commercial for a whisky brand, Charlotte is a young woman who stumbles along behind her workaholic husband, a fashionable photographer. Their encounter leads to a surprising friendship and memorable excursions into the Japanese megalopolis so incomprehensible to them.
Fri, Sep 7 – PINK PANTHER (1963,115 min) DAVID NIVEN, PETER SELLERS – DIR Blake Edwards David Niven stars as the suave Sir Charles Litton, leading a double life as a jewel thief called “The Phantom.” Vacationing in a luxurious winter resort, Litton aims to steal the Pink Panther diamond, owned by a beautiful Indian Princess. Although Clouseau (Sellers) has been on Litton’s trail for years. Clouseau’s wife, who is Litton’s lover, warns him of her husband’s moves. Also joining the hunt for The Phantom is Litton’s brighter but just as smug American nephew, George (Robert Wagner).
Fri, Sep 14 – I LOVE YOU ALICE B. TOKLAS (1968, 115 min) PETER SELLERS, JO VAN FLEET – DIR Hy Averback. Sellers stars as Harold Fine, a self-described “square” 35 yr. old LA lawyer who is not looking forward to middle age and his upcoming wedding. His life changes when he falls in love with Nancy, a free-spirited young hippie. After Harold and his family enjoy some of her “groovy” brownies, he decides to “drop out” with her and become a hippie too. But can he return to his old life when he discovers that the hippie lifestyle is just a little too independent for his tastes?
Fri, Sep 21 – BEING THERE (1979, 130 min) PETER SELLERS, SHIRLEY MACLAINE – DIR Hal Ashby. A simple-minded gardener named Chance has spent all his life in the Washington D.C. house of an old man. When the man dies, Chance is put out on the street with no knowledge of the world except what he has learned from television. After a run in with a limousine, he ends up a guest of a woman (Eve) and her husband Ben, an influential but sickly businessman. Now called Chauncey Gardner, Chance becomes an unlikely political insider.
Fri, Sep 28 – THE WRONG BOX (1966, 105 min) JOHN MILLS, MICHAEL CAINE – DIR Bryan Forbes. A tontine is established for 12 children, a tontine being a kind of bet/insurance, and the last survivor receives the lot. Eventually only two brothers remain, one watched by his nephews who will keep him alive at all costs, the other in ill health and poverty as the only support of his fairly stupid grandson. Statues and bodies are switched, in the wrong boxes, until everyone is sure someone has died. Now if they can only make it seem as if the other brother died first, hundreds of thousands of pounds will be theirs.
Friday Flix – ODE TO CINEMATOGRAPHY
August 2012 – Fridays at 8PM
Fri, Aug. 3 – 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968, 141 min, DIR Stanley Kubrick) Kubrick visits our prehistoric ape-ancestry past, then leaps millennia (via one of the most mind-blowing jump cuts ever conceived) into colonized space, and ultimately whisks astronaut Bowman into uncharted realms. This film is a dazzling, Oscar winning visual achievement, a compelling drama of man vs. machine, a stunning meld of music and motion. -Warner Bros.
Fri, Aug. 10 – O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? (2000, 107 min, DIR Ethan and Joel Cohen) Based on Homer’s “Odyssey” this film follows Everett Ulysses McGill and companions in 1930s Mississippi. Sprung from a chain gang and trying to recover buried loot they are confronted by a series of strange characters. Sirens, a cyclops, and a blind prophet, who warns “the treasure you seek shall not be the treasure you find.” –IMDb
Fri, Aug. 17 – PLEASANTVILLE (1998, 124 min DIR Gary Ross) A brother and sister are sucked into their television set and find themselves trapped in a 1950s style TV show. Here they have loving parents, old fashioned values, and an overwhelming amount of naiveté. They integrate with this “backwards” society, bringing color to their white world. As innocence fades, the two wonder if their 90s outlook is really to be preferred. –IMDb
Fri, Aug. 24 – THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY (2007, 112 min, DIR Julian Schnabel) The story of a man imprisoned in his body becomes a film about love, imagination, and the will to live. After a stroke, Jean-Dominique can only move his left eye; he learns to communicate, one letter at a time, writing a stunning memoir This film is as engrossing and hypnotic as a thriller, a movie that wrestles with mortality yet has stubborn streaks of dark humor and eroticism –Bret Fetzer
Fri, Aug. 31 – ZELIG (1983, 79 min DIR Woody Allen) The thinking person’s Forrest Gump, Woody Allen’s 1983 Zelig is a mockumentary about the collision of one man’s manifest neuroses colliding with key moments in 20th-century history. Complex and painstaking, the film’s special effects place Allen in a number of scenes along Hitler at a Nazi rally, a pope at the Vatican, and famous guests at a garden party hosted by F. Scott Fitzgerald