special screenings Articles
Director: René Clément
Starring: Georges Poujouly, Brigitte Fossey, Amédée, Laurence Badie, Madeleine BabuléeIn Brief: René Clément's Forbidden Games (1952) is one of those art-house staples where you can see what all the fuss was about, but may have a harder time actually feeling it. This simple tale — a young girl's parents (and dog) are killed in an air strike while fleeing the Nazis in WWII France — was expanded from a short film. Even at a brief 86 minutes, the strain sometimes shows. There are still moments of power and a perceptive look at childhood, but the much-praised naturalness of it all seems less remarkable now.
Genre: Sophisticated Romantic Comedy
Director: Billy Wilder
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Walter Hampden, John WilliamsIn Brief: One of the most delightful and sparkling romantic comedies ever made, Billy Wilder's Sabrina -- the tale of a chauffeur's daughter who's besotted with the son of the rich family her father works for -- finds the usually cynical director in fine humor and high style. The impeccable stars -- Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden -- a funny, charming script and those shimmering Paramount production values do the rest. Shown here in a newly restored digital print, it's classic Hollywood at its best and as it was meant to be seen. Not to be missed.
Genre: MGM Musical Compilation
Director: Bud Friedgen, Michael J. Sheridan
Starring: June Allyson, Cyd Charisse, Lena Horne, Howard Keel, Gene Kelly, Ann MillerIn Brief: Twenty years after they first milked the old MGM cow with That's Entertainment! (1974) and 18 years after they drained ol' Bossy dry with That's Entertainment, Part II, somebody got the idea that the old gal might have another quart in her. The result was That's Entertainment! III. Like its predecessors, it's worthless and misleading as film history, but it's also packed to the gills with stuff we've seen before and stuff we didn't need to see in the first place. The few points of genuine interest are from movies that never were finished, movies that were recast or movies that lost scenes.
Director: Peter Bogdanovich (What's Up, Doc?)
Starring: Ryan O'Neal, Tatum O'Neal, Madeline Kahn, John Hillerman, P.J. JohnsonIn Brief: Peter Bogdanovich's Paper Moon (1973) — the beguiling tale of a Bible-selling con man and the little girl who may or may not be his daughter traveling through the Depression-era midwest — found the filmmaker at the peak of his career and his popularity. Whether he ever made another film this good is open to debate, but he would never again make such a crowd-pleaser.
Director: William Nigh, Christy Cabanne
Starring: Bela Lugosi, Clayton Moore, Joan Barclay, George Zucco, Joyce ComptonIn Brief: A double dose of 1940s trash horror at its most virulent, William Nigh's Black Dragons (1942) and Christy Cabanne's Scared to Death (1947) both star the great Bela Lugosi. They also occupy a special niche in the hearts of Lugosiphiles, who understand that to love Bela is to love bad Bela. And in any rational sense, these two films are very bad indeed. However, there's bad and then there's bad — these have the kind of badness that is charming in its sheer loopiness.
Genre: Musical Comedy
Director: Frank Tuttle (This Gun for Hire)
Starring: Bing Crosby, Shirley Ross, Martha Raye, Bob Burns, Lief Erickson, George BarbierIn Brief: Bing Crosby stars as the idea man for an Hawaiian pineapple company who finds himself forced to romance the winner of his "Pineapple Queen" contest in order to save his job. This delightfully silly, often very funny Crosby vehicle makes the most of its star's effortless charm and affords him several new Ralph Rainger-Leo Robin songs, including "Blue Hawaii." Stylish direction and an appealing leading lady (Shirley Ross) help put it over.
Genre: Fact-Based Drama
Director: Marc Rothemund
Starring: Julia Jentsch, Alexander Held, Fabian Hinrichs, Johanna Gastdorf, André HennickeIn Brief: The film charts the last days of 21-year-old Sophie Scholl's life, when she and her brother (Fabian Hinrichs)—members of the anti-Nazi student organization, the White Rose—were arrested, interrogated, “tried” and executed by the Nazi government for high treason. An uneven and imperfect film that rises above its shortcomings on the power of its material.
Genre: Suspense Drama
Director: Quentin Lawrence
Starring: Peter Cushing, André Morell, Richard Vernon, Norman Bird, Kevin StoneyIn Brief: Though it often feels like a high-end TV movie -- and its message "twist" is pretty obvious early on -- Quentin Lawrence's Cash on Demand is one of the most successful of all Hammer Films' forays into something other than horror. First rate performances from Peter Cushing and, especially, Andre Morell help. Thoroughly entertaining and with the good sense not to overstay its welcome.
Director: James Whale
Starring: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, John Boles, Boris Karloff, Edward Van Sloan, Dwight FryeIn Brief: Frakenstein is a title that needs no introduction. Everyone knows it's "the story of a man who made a monster," and most of us have seen it at one time or another (and if you haven't, there's really no excuse). It's the movie that made Boris Karloff a star and James Whale a world-class filmmaker. It's also the first modern horror film in the sense that it's neither apologetic nor reticent about its horror and shock content. And here it is again in a stunning new restoration that allows you to see it as never before.
Genre: Fantasy Thriller
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Eduardo Noriega, Marisa Paredes, Federico Luppi, Fernando Tielve, Iñigo GarcésIn Brief: Guillermo del Toro's frequently brilliant ghost story The Devil's Backbone (2001) — set at an orphanage during the Spanish Civil War — is one of the filmmaker's best works. It blends supernatural and human horror in such a way that the dividing line is not entirely clear. Even though del Toro has gone the film one better with his masterful Pan's Labyrinth (2006), this is still a movie well worth having.
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