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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Classic Film Screenings for June in Greater Boston

Summer is officially here, and many New Englanders will be heading to the beach, mountains, Tanglewood, etc to enjoy the short outdoor season.  For indoor activities, there are no shortage of classic film screenings in the area in June to cool us off from all the outdoor exertions (!)

The Brattle
It's hard to believe that we'll be a full year removed from last year's "Summer of Darkness" with Ball State University and TCM, but the learning continues with the year-long film noir repertory series screening at the Brattle.  This fun series continues with "Prime Noir of the 1950s" from Weds June 8 through Thurs. June 16.  Click the link above for the full schedule of films, most of which are 35 mm screenings.  I'm particularly excited about IN A LONELY PLACE (1950), which, while I saw during "Summer of Darkness", I believe might have been the most emotionally impactful noir I've seen, with a powerhouse performance from Humphrey Bogart. Leading lady Gloria Grahame is especially poignant; in real life she was apparently going through a divorce from director/husband Nicholas Ray. This is screening on Fri June 10 and I have plans to attend.

The Brattle staff's 'pick' is SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1957) with Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster, screening in 35 mm on Thursday June 9 at 8:30 PM and Sunday June 12 at 1 PM.  I'm eager to see this one as well, as I've not seen it, and it's later noir.  Finally, I'm eager to see Richard Widmark and Gene Tierney in Jules Dassin's NIGHT AND THE CITY (1950).  This one is a digital screening on Thursday, June 16 at 7:30 PM.
Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster

Other films that are being screened in the series are:  SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950), HIS KIND OF WOMAN (1951), MACAO (1952), KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL (1952), TOUCH OF EVIL (1958), THE BIG COMBO (1955), THE BIG HEAT (1953), ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW (1959), THE CRIMSON KIMONO (1959), THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950), THE KILLING (1956),  PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET (1953).

There are some other interesting offerings in the second half of the month.  In the "not sure it's considered a classic film but this sure sounds like a cool event" category -- for fans of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, a double feature on Monday June 20 of a fan-made "remake" of the film and a 2016 "making of" documentary by Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen (RAIDERS! THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE) will be presented.  In both cases the filmmakers will be on hand to discuss their projects.  Watch the trailer here:

An intriguing-sounding series called "Man Meets Wilderness" is presented the last week in June and will feature the classic Chaplin comedy THE GOLD RUSH (1925) at noon on Sunday June 26th, and Robert Altman's western MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER (1971) at 2 PM and 7 PM also on the 26th.

Harvard Film Archive
Robert Aldrich
The HFA seems to have an great summer ahead for cinephiles--they will feature two summer long 'complete works' retrospectives; the first, that from director Robert Aldrich, starts in June. (Rouben Mamoulian is promised later this summer!)  Aldrich's career started in the early 40s and lasted through the early 80s.   As of this writing the HFA hasn't published the detailed summer schedule, but June screenings are lining up like this:

Friday June 3, 7 PM KISS ME DEADLY (Aldrich 1955) - a great cold-war style late noir that was featured in last year's 'noir summer'.
Sunday June 5, 5 PM 10 SECONDS TO HELL (Aldrich 1959) -- a WWII drama starring Jack Palance.

A sports double-feature is tempting on Friday June 10, 7 PM THE LONGEST YARD (Aldrich 1974) and 9:30 PM BIG LEAGUER (Aldrich 1953)
Saturday June 11 it's an Aldrich Western double-feature, both films featuring Burt Lancaster:  7 PM ULZANA'S RAID, and APACHE (1954) at 9 PM.
Sunday June 12 at 5, it's THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX (Aldrich 1965) with James Stewart.
Friday June 17, at 7 PM it's THE LAST SUNSET, and at 9:15 it's THE CHOIRBOYS (1977)
Saturday June 18 at 7 PM THE DIRTY DOZEN, (Aldrich 1967) followed at 9 PM by the noir THE PROWLER (Joseph Losey, 1951) -- a fave of mine.
Sunday June 19,  5 PM William Wellman's THE STORY OF G.I. JOE (1945) with Burgess Meredith and Robert Mitchum starts the evening, followed by  SODOM AND GOMORRAH (Aldrich,1962) at 7 PM

The weekend of June 24-26 will be a 'Members Weekend' and while no screening announcements have yet been made, I'll be planning to attend at least one evening as I greatly enjoyed this event last winter.

Coolidge Corner Theatre
The Coolidge's "Big Screen Classics" continues on full steam through the summer.  In June, they will be screening classic screwball comedy THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940) with Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and Jimmy Stewart (how's that for a trifecta of top-tier stars?) on Monday June 6th at 7:00,  Two special guests, documentary filmmakers Joan Kramer and David Heeley, who knew Stewart and Hepburn, will be on hand for a Q&A.  Then on the following Monday (13th) will be the epic LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962), which is just a bit too long at 3.5 hours for a work night for me.

Somerville Theatre
Greta Garbo & John Gilbert
Two all-time great early screen stars Greta Garbo and John Gilbert will throw romantic sparks on the big screen in their 1926 silent melodrama FLESH AND THE DEVIL in 35 mm. This continues the 'Silents, Please' series on Sunday June 25th at 2 PM, with live music by pianist Jeff Rapsis.  I greatly enjoyed the screening of the funny caper PATHS TO PARADISE earlier this month, also with Rapsis, who is a local who does a tremendous job accompanying films with piano or organ.  More about him on his website here.

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