The Cinema Lounge
The next meeting of the Cinema Lounge will be on Monday, July 12 at 7:00pm. The topic to be discussed is cookie-cutter formulas in films.
The Cinema Lounge, a film discussion group, meets the second Monday of every month at 7:00pm at Barnes and Noble, 555 12th St., NW in Washington, DC (near the Metro Center Metro stop). You do not need to be a member of the Washington DC Film Society to attend. Cinema Lounge is moderated by Daniel R. Vovak, ghostwriter with Greenwich Creations.
Last month at Cinema Lounge
On June 9, 2008, we talked about movies against authority and/or corporations. The person who originated the topic had a list of films that he believed captured the spirit of the discussion. Some of those films include: Working Girl (1988), In the Company of Men (1997), Easy Rider (1969), Taxi Driver (1976), Office Space (1999), Goodfellas (1990), The Graduate (1967), Dead Poet's Society (1989), and Hudsucker Proxy (1994).
Some in the group saw a change in Hollywood around the year 1992, creating an era from the mid-1960s through 1992. Someone added that some of the helpful starters on the topic include: Bonnie and Clyde (1967), The Man with No Name trilogy, and Sidney Lumet's book "Making Movies."
Some actors who help define the character against authority include: Candice Bergen, Glen Close, Meryl Streep, Robert Duvall, and Aaron Eckhart.
Strong character-driven films were also mentioned: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), Paths of Glory (1957), MASH (1970), The Player (1992), and Gosford Park (2001), making Robert Altman, Stanley Kubrick, and Frank Capra directors who set the stage for such anti-establishment films. Another group of films was then mentioned: Wag the Dog (1997), There Will Be Blood (2007), Supersize Me (2004), Fast Food Nation (2006), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Full Metal Jacket (1987), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Dr. Strangelove (1964), and Natural Born Killers (1994).
We ran into a problem trying to define anti-establishment, though a distinction was discovered. In some movies, the movie itself was anti-establishment, when someone has lost his soul. In others, a character himself was anti-establishment. The former would include Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). The latter includes Rick in Casablanca (1942) and Hans Solo in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977).
American Beauty (1999) is a perfect example of the topic, with Kevin Spacey defining the foe as himself. Another great example is Baby Boom (1987).
In Fight Club (1999), the rebellion against the Establishment was blatant. Other films also played into the topic: American Psycho (2000), Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004), Animal House (1978), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Conspiracy Theory (1997), various movies with Gene Hackman in them, Cool Hand Luke (1967) with Paul Newman's role versus the warden, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Erin Brockovich (2000), State and Main (2000), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), and The Election (2007).
Calendar of Events
American Film Institute Silver Theater
A Steven Spielberg retrospective begins in July and runs through early September. Films in July include Jaws, The Sugarland Express, Duel, 1941, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark with more in August.
"Totally Awesome," films from the 1980s, continues in July. Titles include The Goonies, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains, Better Off Dead, One Crazy Summer with more in August.
"Muppets, Music & Magic: Jim Henson's Legacy" begins July 12 and runs through August 24; titles for July include The Muppet Movie, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth and programs of short films.
For director David Lean's centennial celebration, you can see Oliver Twist, Brief Encounter, Blithe Spirit, Great Expectations, Summertime with more in August.
"AFI Life Achievement Award Retrospective: Warren Beatty" looks at some of the actor's films including Bonnie and Clyde, Splendor in the Grass, Mickey One, Heaven Can Wait, The Parallax View; the series continues in August.
"The Films of Milos Forman" includes early Czech films as well as American films. July titles include The Firemen's Ball, Taking Off, Loves of a Blonde, Black Peter with the American films being shown in August.
"Johnny To: Action Auteur" will complement the Freer's 13th annual "Made in Hong Kong Film Festival" (see below) with July titles Mad Detective, The Mission, Fulltime Killer, PTU and the remainder in August.
Once again, the AFI plays host for the NIH "Science in the Cinema" series. Titles in July include Away From Her, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Canvas with more in August. See below.
Freer Gallery of Art
"Thirteenth Annual Made in Hong Kong Film Festival" runs through July and August. On July 11 at 7:00pm and July 13 at 2:00pm is Exiled (Johnny To, 2006); on July 18 at 7:00pm and July 20 at 2:00pm is My Name is Fame (Lawrence Lau, 2006); on July 25 at 7:00pm and July 27 at 2:00pm is Exodus (Pang Ho-cheung, 2007). More in August. See the AFI above for more Johnny To films.
On July 10 at 7:00pm is "Magic Lantern Art Night," a revival of the Edo era tradition accompanied by live narration and music. More Magic Lantern shows are at the National Gallery of Art and the Goethe Institute.
National Gallery of Art
The Gallery continues its "Envisioning Russia: Mosfilm Studio" series on July 5 at 12:30pm with I Walk Through Moscow Streets (Georgi Daneliya, 1963). On July 5 at 2:30pm is Jazzman (Karen Shakhnazarov, 1983); on July 6 at 2:00pm is Uncle Vanya (Andrei Konchalovsky, 1970); on July 6 at 4:30pm is The Ascent (Larissa Shepitko, 1966); and on July 11 at 2:30pm is July Rain (Marlen Khutsiev, 1966) shown with Courier (Karen Shakhnazarov, 1986).
To accompany the exhibition "Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul" is a series of Afghan films. On July 4 at 12:00pm is The Giant Buddhas (Christian Frei, 2005); on July 18 at 2:30pm is The Kite Runner (Marc Forster, 2007); on July 20 at 4:30pm is a program of short video art films including a discussion. More in August.
"Michelangelo: The Italian Treasures" begins on July 19 at 2:00pm with the documentary Michelangelo Antonioni (Luca Verdone, 2005) with the director in person. On July 19 at 4:30pm is The Vanquished (1952); on July 25 at 2:30pm is Lady Without Camellias (1953), on July 27 at 4:30pm is The Girlfriends (1955). More in August.
"Stanley Kubrick: Two Views" celebrates what would have been Kubrick's 86th birthday on July 26. At 1:30pm is Dr. Strangelove (1963) and at 3:45pm is Eyes Wide Shut (1999).
Special events at the Gallery include Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twleve Parts (Scott Hicks, 2007) on July 4 at 3:00pm and July 5 at 4:30pm. On July 12 at 4:30pm is "Magic Lantern Show: Victorian Transformations" with David Francis as lanternist, Joss Marsh as narrator and Philip Carli on piano. On July 13 at 5:00pm is "Magic Lantern Show: Spirit of '76" with Terry Borton as lanternist and Nancy Stewart and singer/pianist. More Magic Lantern shows are at the Goethe Institute and The Freer Gallery of Art.
National Museum of the American Indian
On July 12 at 1:30pm is a documentary Passing Poston: An American Story (Joe Fox and James Nubile, 2007) about four Japanese Americans detained during WWII on an Indian reservation in Arizona. Discussion with the filmmakers follows the screening. On July 18 at 6:30pm is This Land is Me: Trudell (Heather Rae, 2004) about John Trudell, a leader of the American Indian Movement.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
On July 16 at 6:00pm is 23rd Psalm Branch: Part I (Stan Brakhage, 1966), a meditation on war using imagery from WWII newsreels. On July 23 at 6:00pm is 23rd Psalm Branch: Part II (Stan Brakhage, 1978). On July 31 at 6:00pm is Zora Neale Hurston: A Heart with Room for Every Joy (2005), a documentary about the author.
National Museum of Women in the Arts
On July 22, 23 and 24 at 6:30pm are three programs of video work by women from the 2008 OVNI (Unidentifiable Video Observatory) film festival. On July 25, 26 and 27 is the third annual Washington African Diaspora Film Series: On July 25 at 4:30pm is Looking for Life (Claudette Coulanges; at 6:00pm is Gulpilil: One Red Blood (Darlene Johnson); at 8:00pm is NY's Dirty Laundry (Patrice Johnson) followed by Q&A with the filmmaker. On July 26 at 10:00am is Nelio's Story (Solveig Nordlung; at 12:00 noon is Maria Bethania: Music is Perfune (Georges Gachot); at 2:00pm is Faraw! Mother of the Dunes (Abdoulaye Ascofare). On July 27 at 11:00am is Susana Baca: Memoria Viva (Mark Dixon); at 12:00 noon is Sara Gomez: An Afro-Cuban Filmmaker (Alessandra Muller); at 2:00pm is Cape Verde: My Love (Ana Ramos Lisboa) and at 4:00pm is As Old as My Tongue (Andy Jones).
On July 30 at 7:00pm is Sugar Cane Alley (Euzhan Palcy, 1983) with the filmmaker in attendance, part of the series "Sisters in Cinema."
Films on the Hill
In July Films on the Hill's series is "1950s Technicolor Swashbucklers." On July 9 at 7:00pm is The Warriors (Henry Levin, 1955) starring Errol Flynn as The Black Prince in his last swashbuckler. On July 12 at 7:00pm is Lorna Doone (Phil Karlson, 1951) starring Richard Greene and Barbara Hale, based on the popular novel by Richard D. Blackmore. On July 23 at 7:00pm is The Iron Mistress (Gordon Douglas, 1952) starring Alan Ladd and Virginia Mayo. All are Technicolor; shown at 7:00pm.
Washington Jewish Community Center
On July 7 at 7:30pm is the Israeli film No Exit (Dror Sabo, 2006), winner of Best Film and Best Actor at the Jerusalem Film Festival, offering a critical look at the reality television craze, especially dating shows. On July 21 and July 28 at 7:30pm is In Treatment (Hagai Levy, 2005) one of the most successful Israeli television dramas shown in two parts.
"Summer Surfing" includes The Endless Summer (Bruce Brown, 1966) on July 22 at 7:00pm and Pacific Vibrations (John Severson, 1970) on July 29 at 7:00pm. More surfing movies in August.
"The Best of Film|Neu" reprises some of the hits from past series. On July 7 at 6:30pm is The Edukators (Hans Weingartner, 2004). On July 14 at 6:30pm is Summer in Berlin (Andreas Dresen, 2005). More in August.
On July 12 at 1:00pm is a Magic Lantern show "Shadow Land or Light from the Other Side," a stereoscopic film based on the 1897 autobiography of materialization medium Elizabeth D'Esperance and "Lost" a performance for stereo slides, a hand-cranked projector and 78 rpm gramophone records. Erkki Huhtamo, UCLA professor, will present the program. Note that there are other Magic Lantern shows at the National Gallery of Art and the Freer Gallery of Art.
On July 10 at 7:00pm is Off and Running (Tonie Marshall, 2008), starring Nathalie Baye and Edouard Baer.
The Japan Information and Culture Center
On July 16 at 6:30pm is Umizaru 2: Test of Trust (Eiichiro Hasumi), based on a popular comic book in Japan.
The National Theatre
To celebrate Bette Davis' centennial is a series of summer films: On July 7 is Jezebel (William Wyler, 1938); on July 14 is Dark Victory (Edmund Goulding, 1939); on July 21 is The Letter (William Wyler, 1940); and on July 28 is All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950). All begin at 6:30pm. More in August.
National Institutes of Health
"Science in the Cinema" is a film series promoting public understanding of science, health, and medicine. Films with a medical science theme are screened and an expert on the subject provides a commentary and leads an audience question and answer period. All films are held at the AFI's Silver Theater. On July 9 at 7:00pm is Away From Her (Sarah Polley, 2006) with the theme of Alzheimer's. On July 16 at 7:00pm is The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Julian Schnabel, 2007) about the locked in syndrome. On July 23 is Canvas (2006) with the theme of schizophrenia. On July 30 at 7:00pm is The Quiet Duel (Akira Kurosawa, 1949) on the theme of syphilis. More in August.
Screen on the Green
Movies play outdoors on the Mall on a giant screen between 4th and 7th Streets at 8:00pm. On July 14 is Dr. No (1962) with Sean Connery as James Bond. On July 21 is The Candidate (1972), a political satire with Robert Redford. On July 28 is Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) with Cary Grant. Bring blankets to sit on.
As part of the "Running for Office Film Series" is The Senator Was Indiscreet (George S. Kaufman, 1947) on July 19 at noon, starring William Powell and Ella Raines.
On July 9 at 8:00pm as part of the "Czech Lions" series is The Indian and the Nurse (Dan Wlodarczyk, 2006). For the "French Cinémathèque" film series is Paloma Delight (Nadir Mokneche, 2007), winner of the FilmfestDC Capital Focus Award for Best Film on July 16 at 8:00pm.
On July 2 at 6:30pm is Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (Zhang Yimou, 2005); on July 9 at 6:30pm is Kekexili (Lu Chuan, 2004), both part of the China Program.
Embassy of Australia
On July 9 at 6:00pm is Yolngu Boy (Stephen Johnson, 2003) about indigenous kids from Northern Australia caught between their culture and the new world of rap and football. On July 10 at 6:00pm is The Tracker (Rolf de Heer, 2002) with David Gulpilil as a tracker pursuing an aborigine fugitive. Reservations are required 202-797-3025 and photo ID is needed for entry. The Embassy is located at 1601 Massachusetts Ave.
Anacostia Community Museum
On July 19 at 2:00pm is The Jackie Robinson Story (Alfred E. Green, 1950), shown at the Historical Society of DC, 801 K Street, NW.
The Jerusalem Fund
Films in July include With Blood (Juliana Fredman and Dan O'Reilly-Rowe, 2006) shown with Open Heart (Claire Fowler, 2006) on July 2 at 6:30pm. On July 9 at 6:30pm is Driving to Zigzigland (Nicola Ballivan, 2006) shown with Kemo Sabe (Rana Kazkaz, 2005). On July 16 at 6:30pm is USA Vs. Al-Arian (Line Halvorsen, 2007). On July 23 at 6:30pm is Swings (Basil Ramsis, 2007) and on July 30 at 6:30pm is The Color of Olives (Carolina Rivas, 2006). Most are documentaries and all are in English or have English subtitles.