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Mary Pickford Theater

Current Film Schedule: July - September 2008

Thursday, June 26 (7:00pm)

Japan at War

Himeyuri no To = The Eternal Monument = Tower of the Lilies (Geneisha/Toho, 1982). Dir Tadashi Imai. Wrt Yoko Mizuki. With Komaki Kurihara, Yuko Kotegawa, Kumiko Oba, Yoshiko Tanaka, Tomoko Saito. (140 min, color, 35mm, in Japanese with English subtitles)

Unlike The Battle of Okinawa (see June 5), which is primarily a large scale war epic, The Eternal Monument is more intimate in scope as it tells the story of a group of female high school students assigned to the island's army field hospitals. The picture is based on real life events which have over the years received several cinematic treatments, the first of which (1953) was also directed by Tadashi Imai. With its focus on suffering and self-sacrifice and its unabashedly sentimental celebration of the Japanese spirit, the film was obviously aimed at local audiences (it was a box office hit in Japan), and has never been released in the West. The title refers to the Okinawa monument commemorating almost 200 girls who perished in the battle.

Friday, June 27 (7:00pm)

Wake in Fright, a.k.a. Outback (NLT Productions - Group W Films, Australia/U.S., 1971). Dir Ted Kotcheff. Wrt Evan Jones, from the novel by Kenneth Cook. With Gary Bond, Donald Pleasence, Chips rafferty, Sylvia Kay, Jack Thomspon. (96 min, color, 35mm)


Frightmare [Trailer] (1974). (2 min, color, 35mm)
Love and Bullets [Trailer] (1979). (2 min, color, 35mm)
Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary [Trailer] (1975). (2 min, color, 35mm)


Small Apartment (Andrew T. Betzer Films, 2008). Dir: Andrew T. Betzer. With Alex Wasinski, Alexandre Marouani, Julia Fragias. (8 min, color, 35mm)

John Grant is a mild mannered young schoolteacher in the desolate Australian outback town of Tiboonda. Summer vacation occurs and John is taking leave to heavily populated Sydney, where his girlfriend awaits. Along the way, he must stop in the town of Bundanyabba (or "Yabba") to catch a flight. Once there, John encounters a clan of people unlike anything he has ever known. They are charming people who inhale alcohol in equal quantities as they do air. Men who are quickly prone to violence and derive pleasure in it, including their main joy of hunting and slaughtering kangaroos. John slowly finds himself slipping further and further into the madness of his surroundings.

Controversial and unsettling, the highly praised Wake in Fright is often named by Aussie critics as "The Greatest of Australian Film Achievements". It was nominated for the Golden Palm at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival. The script was penned by Evan Jones (Eva, These Are the Damned, King & Country) from the award winning novel by Kenneth Moore. Directed by Ted Kotcheff, who went on to a long and extremely successful career directing such films as First Blood, North Dallas Forty, and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. Wake in Fright is a difficult film to see as all but a handful of prints have been lost or are incomplete. The print that will be screened tonight is an original in excellent condition.

Preceded by a selection of trailers and the short Small Apartment . In the latter, a middle-aged man, his son, and daughter-in-law explore love and perversion in 700 square feet of space. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 South By Southwest Film Festival.

Tuesday, July 8 (7:00 pm)

Der Krieger und die Kaiserin = The Princess and the Warrior (X Filme Creative Pool, Germany, 2000). Dir & Wrt Tom Tykwer. With Franka Potente, Benno Fürmann, Joachim Król, Lars Rudolph, Melchior Beslon, Ludger Pistor. (135 min, color, scope, 35mm, in German with English subtitles)

German director Tom Tykwer's followup to the hugely successful Run Lola Run was a return to the more contemplative, dreamlike tone of his earlier Winter Sleepers. Set in the city of Wuppertal, the metaphysical Princess and the Warrior is heavily concerned with fate, chance encounters, sheer coincidence. Sissi (Potente), a nurse at a psychiatric hospital, gets hit by a truck on her way to the bank. Her life is saved by Bodo (Fürmann), an ex-army officer on the run from police. After her recovery, Sissi is determined to find her savior, and when she does, refuses to accept his rejection. (WK)

Thursday, July 10 (7:00 pm)

Two with Timothy Carey

The Oufit (MGM, 1974). Dir John Flynn. Wrt Flynn, based on the novel by Richard Stark. With Robert Duvall, Karen Black, Joe Don Baker, Robert Ryan, Timothy Carey, Richard Jaeckel, Sheree North. (103 min, Metrocolor, 35mm)

Timothy Agoglia Carey (1929-1994) was one of the great American character actors, an indescribable original on and off screen. He was known to go to unusual lengths to get a role. Hoping for a part in Prince Valiant, he donned medieval robes and climbed a fence to brandish a knife at Henry Hathaway. At a casting call for The Godfather, he shot blanks at Francis Ford Coppola, who returned fire with glee. Carey didn’t get either of those parts, though Coppola kept trying to hire him anyway. Not satisfied with chewing somebody else’s scenery, Carey directed himself in the notorious underground film The World’s Greatest Sinner, and upon his death was working on a stage production of a play he called "The Insect Trainer," a salute to the irrepressible creative energy of flatulence.

Carey was best known for supporting roles in Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing and Paths of Glory. The Outfit reunites him with two fellow co-stars from The Killing, Marie Windsor and Elisha Cook. Robert Duvall stars as an ex-con set to avenge his brother’s death at the hands of gangsters (led by Robert Ryan, in his penultimate role). (PP)

Friday, July 11 (7:00 pm)

Two with Timothy Carey

Poor White Trash (American National Films, 1962). Dir Harold Daniels. Wrt Edward I. Fessler. With Peter Graves, Lita Milan, Douglas Fowley, Jonathan Haze, Edwin Nelson, Tim Carey. (88 min, b&w, 35mm)


Apryl and Her Baby Lamb (Atlantis Productions, 1956). With Apryl Lyna Brace, Peter Israel. (13 min, color, 16mm)

Poor White Trash (a.k.a. Bayou ) pits a soulful, menacing Cajun named Ulysees (Carey) against a boring Yankee architect played by Peter Graves. This drive-in classic provided Carey with his most substantial role outside of The World’s Greatest Sinner, and he takes full advantage of it, from his Brooklyn-on-the-Bayou accent to an incantatory dance sequence that ranks among the most unusual terpsichorean performances ever committed to celluloid.

Shown with Apryl and Her Baby Lamb , a children’s short film posessed of an unexpectedly sophisticated psychological structure akin to no less than Ingmar Bergman’s Persona. (PP)

Tuesday, July 15 (7:00 pm)

National Film Registry

The King Of Jazz (Universal, 1930). Dir John Murray Anderson. Wrt Edward T. Lowe, Jr. With Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, John Boles, Laura La Plante, Glenn Tryon, Jeanette Loff, Merna Kennedy, Stanley Smith, Slim Summerville, Otis Harlan, William Kent, Bing Crosby and the Rhythm Boys. (101 min, color, 16mm)

Paul Whiteman was probably the most well-known, easily recognized and most frequently caricatured musical performer anywhere during the 1920's. He had a meteoric and exponential rise to fame commencing with his Victor recording contract in 1920. His commissioning of "A Rhapsody in Blue" in 1924 and the discovery and fostering of great talent such as Bing Crosby and Bix Beiderbecke carved out a commercial and artistic immortal niche for Whiteman. His fame was at its peak and crest when he signed with Universal to make the motion picture The King of Jazz .

Shot in two-strip Technicolor, The King of Jazz was easily the best of the "revue" genre of early sound films trotted out by all of the major studios during the first years of the talkies. John Murray Anderson’s direction deftly combines the talents of the Whiteman Orchestra, animation, lavish sets and costumes and Paul Whiteman’s own natural, unaffected camera presence.

Of special interest are appearances by Bing Crosby (his first in motion pictures), Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang and virtuoso comic instrumentalist Willie Hall (trombone, violin and bicycle pump). (DS)

The screening will be introduced by jazz historian and Grammy nominee David Sager.

Thursday, July 17 (7:00 pm)

National Film Registry

Torrid Zone (Warner Bros., 1940). Dir William Keighley. Wrt Richard Macaulay, Jerry Wald. With James Cagney, Ann Sheridan, Pat O’Brien, Andy Devine, Helen Vinson, Jerome Cowan. (87 min, b&w, 35mm)


You Ought to Be in Pictures (Leon Schlesinger Productions/Vitaphone, 1940). Supervised by I. Freleng. Wrt Jack Miller. (7 min, b&w, 35mm)

Sweat oozes, passions boil, and wisecracks fly in this improbable comedy-adventure from Warner Bros. set on a Latin American banana plantation. James Cagney, bursting with wit and swagger, attacks the lead role with his usual gusto. Ann Sheridan, as a chanteuse and cardsharp, is a smart, appealing sparring partner. George Tobias nearly steals the show as a loopy revolutionary. James Wong Howe’s excellent cinematography and the Library’s resplendent print make Torrid Zone sparkle on the big screen. Also showing: You Ought to Be in Pictures , in which Porky Pig, abetted by an ambitious Daffy Duck, aspires to stardom in feature films. Will Porky be Bette Davis’s new leading man? (JO)

Friday, July 18 (7:00 pm)

Crime Wave (Warner Bros., 1954). Dir Andre De Toth. Wrt Bernard Gordon, Richard Wormser, from the story by John Hawkins and Ward Hawkins. With Sterling Hayden, Gene Nelson, Phyllis Kirk, Ted de Corsia, Charles Bronson. (73 min, b&w, 35 mm)


The Naked City [Trailer] (1948). (b&w, 35mm)
The Alpha Caper [Trailer] (1973). (color, 35mm)

'Doc' Penny and his gang rob a gas station and wind up killing a cop. They seek refuge with a former cell-mate, Steve Lacey, an ex-con trying to build a clean life. Sterling Hayden is the hardboiled, screwy detective who doesn't believe that Lacey can reform. Timothy Carey (see July 10 & 11) makes a brief appearance as a crazed thug. Gritty and fast-paced with excellent performances and innovative camera work shot on location in Los Angeles and Glendale, CA. Preceded by a selection of trailers. (LP)

Tuesday, July 22 (7:00 pm)

Summer Surfing

The Endless Summer (Bruce Brown Films, 1966). Dir & Wrt Bruce Brown. With Michael Hynson, Robert August, Sammy Lee, Butch Van Artsdalen, Lord (Tally Ho) Blears. (91 min, Technicolor, 35mm)


Gidget. Dear Diary--Et Al (Screen Gems/ABC, 9/15/1965). Dir William Asher. Wrt Ruth Brooks Flippen. With Sally Field, Don Porter, Lynette Winter, Pete Duel, Mike Nader. (30 min, color, 16mm)


Big Wednesday [Trailer] (1978). (color, 35mm)

Can you smell the coconut in the suntan oil? Can you feel those ocean breezes? Can you feel the freedom of wearing a bathing suit and little else? Come cool off from the dog days of summer with a really cool surf film series at the Library of Congress Pickford Theater, a visual chronology covering the period from the early Sixties to the present and including films rarely seen in the D.C. area. Each film not only documents the essence of what it means to be a surfer, as well as the cultural importance of the California lifestyle, but also includes great musical soundtracks to further inspire the drive and inspiration of the surfing way of life.

The Endless Summer is the granddaddy of all surf films and is largely considered the masterpiece of the surf film genre. It was honored in 2002 by being selected for the Library of Congress National Film Registry largely for the its impact on American culture. A travelogue of top surf spots around the globe, the film helped spread the California surf, sun and fun culture worldwide. It remains a cultural icon, a symbol of American freedom, and a testament to the romantic ideal of the California mythos of fun, surf, beautiful boys & girls and endless sunshine. This film has rarely been screened in the Washington area and we are lucky to have a copyright print of one of it's many re-releases.

Shown with the pilot episode of Gidget , a series of fun in the surf and sun from the early days of television in living color. The title character is in hot water with her boyfriend. She must fight to get him back and reestablish their standing as a dream couple. Her supportive father is there to help her cope. (CSPE)

Thursday, July 24 (7:00 pm)

The Keep (Paramount, 1983). Dir Michael Mann. Wrt Mann, based on the novel by F. Paul Wilson. With Scott Glenn, Alberta Watson, Jurgen Prochnow, Robert Prosky, Gabriel Byrne, Ian McKellen. (96 min, Metrocolor, scope, 35mm)

In Romania, 1942, the German Army is sent to guard a mysterious citadel located on a strategic mountain pass. When soldiers begin to be savagely murdered, the SS finds an evil force trapped within the walls of the fortress which will do anything in order to escape. Based on a novel by F. Paul Wilson, directed by Michael Mann, and with music by Tangerine Dream, this cult classic has never been released on DVD. (CA)

Friday, July 25 (7:00 pm)

Asian Reflections (National Film Registry)

King of the Khyber Rifles (20th Century-Fox, 1953) Dir Henry King. Wrt Ivan Goff, Ben Roberts, Harry Kleiner. With Tyrone Power, Terry Moore, Michael Rennie, Guy Rolfe, John Justin, Frank Lackteen. (100 min, Technicolor, CinemaScope, 35mm)

Talbot Mundy’s name is synonymous with fantastic adventure in the mysterious east. When Fox brought his most famous novel to the screen a second time, it was transformed into a widescreen Tyrone Power vehicle infused with a social consciousness story set against the Sepoy rebellion of 1857. Yet the film also resembled plans for a film Mundy had hoped to script in the 1930's which ran into prohibitive British censorship. King of the Khyber Rifles inaugurated a cycle of colonial adventure films with a revisionist interpretation of the imperialist ethic that Hollywood had celebrated in earlier decades. (BT)

This screening will feature a special introduction by MBRS Library staffer Brian Taves (PhD, University of Southern California), author of a new book on Mundy.

Tuesday, July 29 (7:00 pm)

Summer Surfing

Pacific Vibrations (John Severson Productions/American International Pictures, 1970). Dir & Wrt John Severson. With Jock Southerland, Billy Hamilton, Rolf Aurness, David Nuuhiwa, Merv Larson. (92 min, color, 35mm)


Kings of the Wild Waves (Seymour Borde Associates/Paramount, 1964). Dir Edward Depriest. Narrator Steve Ellis. With Greg Noll, Mickey Dora, Mike Hansen. (16 min, color, 35mm)


Skaterdater (Byway Productions/UA, 1965). Dir & Wrt Noel Black. With Michael Mel, Melissa Mallory. (18 min, color, 35mm)

Get stoked! This is a rare viewing of one of surviving original 35mm prints of John Severson’s Pacific Vibrations . There were only three 35mm prints, which opened to full houses in Santa Monica, Huntington Beach and San Diego in 1970. Afer hearing word of the film's success, the American International Pictures picked it up and showed it in various theaters in the country. John Severson, filmmaker and founder of Surfer magazine, revolutionized surf cinema by intertwining art, music and narration in his Surf Safari (1960). In 1970, he did it again with Pacific Vibrations . In Severson’s words, he wanted to make an "environmental surf film that celebrated the beauty of the ocean and our relationship, and at the same time, making the viewer aware that we needed to take care of this resource."

"Surfers are happy people!" Paramount introduced the mainstream public to big waves, surf lingo and popular surf places in the 1964 short Kings of the Wild Waves . Take a trip to Mexico and Hawaii to enjoy 30 foot swells and the tubes of Pipeline (Hawaii) with top surfers Greg Noll and Mickey Dora.

Do you remember that gang of friends you used to hang out with to ride bikes and skateboards? The one that always got you into trouble as you were running with the pack. Remember the dynamic a young girl brought into the group? Skaterdater is a wonderful whirlwind of all these elements in a musical and visual tribute to youth and skateboarding. The film was nominated for an Academy Award and won the first prize for short films at Cannes in 1966. Music is by Dave Allen and the Arrows. (JH)

Thursday, July 31 (7:00 pm)

In Name Only (RKO Radio Pictures, 1939). Dir John Cromwell. Wrt Richard Sherman, from the novel "Memory of Love" by Bessie Breuer. With Carole Lombard, Cary Grant, Kay Francis, Helen Vinson, Katherine Alexander. (94 min, b&w, 35mm)

There is Cary Grant on horseback, watching Carole Lombard attempting to cast a flyrod in a lake that has no fish. As the two principals meet cute in the glorious sunshine of a Connecticut afternoon, we're inclined to expect a romantic comedy. This movie is nothing of the sort. Instead, the story is filled with marital disillusionment which includes a priceless scene where a wife admits to her husband that she married him for his money. The husband is played by Mr. Grant. John Cromwell, an underappreciated director, somehow makes this nonsense plausible -- and a pleasure to watch. (DN)

Friday, August 1 (7:00 pm)

An Evening with Marcel Marceau

Shanks (William Castle Productions/Paramount, 1974). Dir William Castle. Wrt Ranald Graham. With Marcel Marceau, Tsilla Chelton, Philippe Clay, Cindy Eilbacher, Larry Bishop. (92 min, color, 35mm)


A Fable (Mobil Oil Corp. International Division/Columbia, 1968). Dir & Wrt Rolf W. Brandis. With Marcel Marceau. (18 min, color, 35mm)

Beloved master of gimmicks William Castle's final work, as well as the late Marcel Marceau's only lead film role. In this macabre and near-silent fairy tale, the puppeteer Shanks (Marceau) learns from a scientist (also Marceau) how to reanimate the dead. Shanks then uses this knowledge to take revenge on his cruel stepsister and brother in law. Needless to say, things don't turn out well. Shanks was Oscar-nominated for Alex North's extensive score. Flawed yet ambitious, Castle's farewell to cinema is a strangely uncommercial (for him), off the wall and one of a kind experiment. (WK)

Shown with A Fable , with Marcel Marceau "in a film about the value of building friendships, and the dangers of insularity. The presence of a beautiful blonde neighbor contributes a vital, but innocent adult element as well." (Academic Film Archive)

Tuesday, August 5 (7:00 pm)

Summer Surfing

Big Wednesday (A-Team/Warner Bros., 1978). Dir John Milius. Wrt John Milius, Dennis Aaberg. With Jan-Michael Vincent, William Katt, Gary Busey, Patti d'Arbanville, Lee Purcell, Joe Spinell, Barbara Hale. (123 min, Metrocolor, Panavision, 35mm)

Big Wednesday was director John Milius's big attempt to achieve the fame that had eluded him but was cast upon his good friends Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas and Steven Speilberg. Fresh from the success of writing the screenplay for Apocalypse Now, he was afforded the backing of Warner Bros. Big Wednesday was a labor of love for Milius, an avid surfer himself, as he tried to make a Hollywood film that truly honored the California surf culture and lifestyle, while also reflecting the sentiments of the late 1960's, the era of the Vietnam war and social change. The film incorporates great surf footage shot mainly at Baja, Sunset and California's Bixby Ranch beaches. In a cameo appearance, Gerry Lopez represents the new school of short boarders as Johnson (Vincent) and friends are left behind in the short board revolution of the late '60's. Although the film was not a huge box office success nor did it help Milius achieve fame, it is considered by many as one of Hollywood's best surf films. (CSPE)

Thursday, August 7 (7:00 pm)


Films were picked by matching shelf location numbers with the screening date (0807)

Shannon. King Leal Report (Screen Gems/Syndicated, 1961). Dir Fred Jackman. Wrt Norman S. Hall. With George Nader, Hal Smith, Jan Arvan, Doodles Weaver, Edwin Rand, Pat Healy. (25 min, b&w, 16mm)

Stingaree (RKO, 1934). Dir William Wellman, Wrt Becky Gardiner (screenplay), Lyn Riggs, Leonard Spigelgass (adaptation), based on the novel by E. W. Hornung. With Irene Dunne, Richard Dix, Mary Boland, Conway Tearle, Andy Devine, Henry Stephenson, George Barraud, Una O'Connor. (75 min, b&w, 35mm)

Friday, August 8 (7:00 pm)

Kill! (Procinex - Este Films - ICAR - Dieter Geissler Film Produktion, France/Spain/Italy/West Germany, 1972). Dir/Wrt Romain Gary. With Stephen Boyd, Jean Seberg, James Mason, Henri Garcin, Luciano Pigozzi, Memphis Slim, Curd Jürgens. (113 min, color, 35mm)

Emily Hamilton (Seberg) is a bored housewife of Interpol agent Alan Hamilton (Mason). That is until the day she becomes entwined in an international conspiracy after finding the trunk of her automobile filled with corpses while in Italy. Frightened and a bit excited, she turns to stranger Brad Killian (Boyd), an unorthodox vigilante, a man who lives only for bloody and brutal deaths of all drug smugglers. Clad in just a matching leather pants and jacket ensemble (a.k.a. shirtless), Brad wanders through Afghanistan and other exotic climates filling drug dealers and porn peddlers with eyefuls of his chest hair and stomachs full of lead. This is much to the chagrin of Emily's husband, despite the fact that he also has a sanguineous work ethic (the film begins with Alan shooting a man point blank in the face with a shotgun). The attitude is morally corrupt, the violence is gratuitous, the corpses are un-countable, and most other exploitation devices are used in an over the top and absurd manner (10yr heroin addicts from upper-class homes in London, for example).

Kill! (or as it is also known, Kill, Kill, Kill ) is the brainchild of writer-director Romain Gary. Gary, the only person to win the literary Prix Goncourt twice, was the husband of actress Jean Seberg. Gary's previous film, Birds in Peru (Les Oiseaux vont mourir au Pérou), was the first film to be given an "X-Rating" by the MPAA. The unique cinematography is by Edmond Richard, whose work includes Orson Welles's The Trial (1962), Marcel Carné's La Merveilleuse Visite (1974), and Luis Buñuel's The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972). Producer Alexander Salkind would go on to produce such classics as The Three Musketeers (1974), Superman (1978), and Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Rainbow Thief.

Kill! is a very hard movie to find, let alone see in a theater. The Library of Congress is showing a completely un-cut and beautiful 35mm print. (JS)

Tuesday, August 12 (7:00)

Summer Surfing

Riding Giants (Forever Films - StudioCanal - Setsuna - Agi Orsi Productions/Sony Pictures Classics, U.S./France, 2004). Dir Stacy Peralta. Wrt Peralta, Sam George. With Mark Foo, Laird Hamilton, Kelly Slater, Greg Noll. (105 min, color, 35mm)

Dropping 50 feet at 40 mph down a moving wall of water and you are riding a giant! Former professional skateboarder of the Z-boys fame Stacy Peralta’s documentary Riding Giants , takes the viewer on a journey through the origins of surfing and history of big wave riding with new and archival footage, home movies, and interviews. (JH)

Thursday, August 14 (6:30 pm)

Pre-Code Double Bill (National Film Registry)

Safe in Hell (First National, 1931). Dir William A. Wellman. Wrt Houston Branch, Joseph Jackson, Maude Fulton. With Dorothy Mackaill, Donald Cook, Ralf Harolde, John Wray, Ivan Simpson, Victor Varconi, Nina Mae McKinney. (65 min, b&w, 35mm)


Red Dust (MGM, 1932). Dir Victor Fleming. Wrt John Mahin, based on the play by Wilson Collison. With Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Gene Raymond, Mary Astor, Donald Crisp, Tully Marshall. (83 min, b&w, 35mm)


A Great Big Bunch of You (Harman-Ising Productions/Vitaphone, 1932). (7 min, b&w, 35mm) FPE 8144

One of classic Hollywood’s favorite plots was to put a so-called lady of easy virtue in an exotic setting, throw some men at her, and see what happens. While this may sound like a simple formula for misogynistic twaddle, pre-Code era films sometimes turned dross into gold. In Safe in Hell , Dorothy Mackaill, in a tough, uncompromising performance, plays a New Orleans prostitute holed up on a Caribbean island with a hotel full of male criminals. They see her as a tidbit for the taking, but we see them through her eyes. As Vantine, the lady with a past stranded at an Indochinese rubber plantation in Red Dust , Jean Harlow takes everything, from human hypocrisy to a smoldering Clark Gable, all in stride. Both films, although not explicit by today’s standards, are refreshingly frank in their depictions of desire and offer complex, sympathetic portraits of their women. Also showing: the Merrie Melodies cartoon A Great Big Bunch of You , in which a collection of junkyard rejects perform the lively title song. (JO)

Friday, August 15 (6:30 pm)

Asian Reflections

Kraft Television Theater. The Sea is Boiling Hot (NBC, 5/12/1958). Dir William Graham. Wrt Shimon Wincelberg. With Earl Holliman, Sessue Hayakawa. (60 min, b&w, 3/4" video)


Farewell to Manzanar (Korty Films/NBC, 3/11/1976). Dir John Korty. Wrt Jeanne Wakutsuki Houston, James D. Houston, John Korty, from the book by the Houstons. With Yuki Shimoda, Nobu McCarthy, Akemi Kikumura, Pat Morita, Clyde Kusatsu. (108 min, color, 16mm)

The effects of race and war are examined in two films. First is an NBC television show about two combatants isolated on an island, a Japanese and American, and how they must learn trust despite the barriers of language, and the Japanese must accept his nation’s defeat and surrender. Following this is the 1976 telefilm Farewell to Manzanar , the true story of a family sent to the Japanese internment camp in 1942 that was highly acclaimed upon its broadcast but has not been reissued in video. Farewell to Manzanar was filmed on location at the site of the California camp, and is notable for its spare style, almost resembling the neo-realism of the post World War II era, and avoiding the sort of Hollywood conventions that were found in another treatment of the same issue, the bigger budget theatrical feature, Come See the Paradise (1991). (BT)

Tuesday, August 19 (7:00 pm)

Keenen Ivory Wayans (National Film Registry)

Hollywood Shuffle (Conquering Unicorn/Samuel Goldwyn, 1987). Dir Robert Townsend. Wrt Townsend, Keenen Ivory Wayans. With Townsend, Wayans, Anne-Marie Johnson, Helen Martin, Starletta DuPois, Craigus R. Johnson, Angela Teek. (78 min, color, 35mm)


In Living Color. No 225, Best of Show No. 1 (20th Century Fox Television, 4/14/1991). Dir Paul Miller. Wrt Keenen Ivory Wayans, Damon Wayans. With Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans, David Allan Grier. (30 min, color, 3/4" video)

Keenen Ivory Wayans is a talented and successful director, writer, producer who also sits at the head of a family of popular comedians. His career took off in the late 1980's when he collaborated with Robert Townsend on the script for Hollywood Shuffle , a brilliant satire about the film and television industry’s treatment of African Americans actors on-and-off screen. Wayans also co-stars here with writer/director Townsend who made the film on a shoestring budget using his credit cards.

The film is preceded by an episode from Wayans’ hit sketch comedy television show In Living Color that ran for five seasons (1990-1994) on the Fox network. The show broke the careers of a number of talented actor/comedians including Jim Carrey and Jamie Foxx. (CSCH)

Thursday, August 21 (7:00 pm)

Keenen Ivory Wayans

I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (Ivory Way/UA, 1988). Dir & Wrt Keenen Ivory Wayans. With Wayans, Dawn Lewis, Bernie Casey, Ja’net DuBois, Antonio Fargas, Steve James, Anne-Marie Johnson. (88 min, color, 35mm)

A former army man returns home to find his brother died from wearing too many gold chains. Wanting to clean up the "gold chain trade" that has overrun the neighbor he works to reunite a group of black action heroes including Jim Brown, Bernie Casey, and Issac Hayes. Wayans wrote, directed and stars in this hilarious parody of 1970's blaxploitation movies. (CSCH)

Friday, August 22 (7:00 pm)

A Dandy in Aspic (Columbia, U.K., 1968). Dir Anthony Mann. Wrt Derek Marlowe, based on his novel by the same name. With Laurence Harvey, Tom Courtenay, Mia Farrow, Harry Andrews, Peter Cook, Lionel Stander. (107 min, Technicolor, Panavision, 35 mm)


48 Hours to Live [Trailer] (1959). (b&w, 35mm)
The Journey [Trailer] (1959). (color, 35mm)

In this Cold War thriller with a mod touch, a Russian double agent is given the difficult task of hunting down and eliminating himself. The byzantine plot is nonetheless a nifty cat-and-mouse game marked by great performances and Mann's characteristic stunning visuals - in this instance, great use of locations in West Berlin and London. Mia Farrow is the Twiggy-esque love interest with outfits to die for. Anthony Mann died during production and Laurence Harvey completed the film. Preceded by a selection of trailers. (LP)

Tuesday, August 26 (7:00 pm)

Two More by Loach

Ladybird Ladybird (Parallax Pictures, U.K., 1994). Dir Ken Loach. Wrt Rona Munro. With Crissy Rock, Vladimir Vega, Sandie Lavelle, Mauricio Venegas., Ray Winstone. (101 min, color, 35mm)

At the 1994 Berlin Film Festival, actress Crissy Rock won the Silver Bear award for her role as Maggie Conlan, an unmarried and abused British woman who fights with Social Services over the care of her children. Maggie, who has children from four different partners, bounces from one violent relationship to the next, unable to escape a pattern of domestic abuse. One night, she carelessly leaves her children alone at home and they are hurt in a fire. The incident is brought to the attention of Social Services and they take Maggie’s kids away, deeming she is an unfit mother. Maggie struggles to gain custody of her children, but is unsuccessful. One day she meets Jorge, a Paraguayan expatriate who is non-violent and a caring man. In time, Maggie and Jorge develop a positive relationship and begin to start a family. While Maggie finally appears to have achieved stability and happiness with Jorge, her personal life and his is turned up-side down when Social Services intervenes again and removes their new-borne child. Based on a true story, Ladybird Ladybird undoubtedly stands as one of Ken Loach’s most critically acclaimed and engaging docu-dramas. (KT)

Thursday, August 28 (7:00 pm)

Two More by Loach

Sweet Sixteen (Sixteen Films, U.K., 2002). Dir Ken Loach. Wrt Paul Laverty. With Martin Compston, William Ruane, Annmarie Fulton, Michelle Abercromby, Michelle Coulter. (106 min, color, 35mm)

Like many of Loach’s main characters, Liam, a typical restless Scottish teen, finds himself alone in an environment of unemployment, dismal surroundings, and drugs. Living in the shipyard town of Greenock, Liam dreamily awaits the day of his mother’s release from prison, where she is serving a term for a crime actually committed by her drug -pushing boyfriend, Stan. Motivated by his mother’s unjust situation, Liam recognizes that he needs to take some action on her behalf. And, he begins to imagine himself capable of rescuing her from Stan, as well as her mean-spirited and foul-mouthed father. Convinced that he and his mother can start life afresh in a caravan park in the quiet village of Kilbride, Liam tries to find ways to fund the journey, but he winds up making enemies, and finds himself in trouble with the law. (KT)

Friday, August 29 (6:30 pm)

Before the Beatles: The Early Days of British Rock and Roll

Rock Around the Clock (Clover Productions/Columbia, 1956). Dir. Fred F. Sears. Wrt Robert E. Kent, James B. Gordon. With Bill Haley and His Comets, Johnny Johnston, Alix Talton, Lisa Gaye, John Archer, Henry Slate and Earl Barton. (72 min, b&w, 35mm)


That’ll Be the Day (Goodtimes Enterprises/Anglo-EMI, U.K., 1973). Dir Claude Whatham. Wrt Ray Connolly. With David Essex, Ringo Starr, Rosemary Leach, James Booth, Billy Fury, Keith Moon, Rosalind Ayres. (90 min, Technicolor, 35mm)

Rock Around the Clock was the first of numerous low-budget features produced by Sam Katzman to cash in on the sudden popularity of rock and roll. Cheapness is a virtue here though, as there’s little plot to get in the way of the music, and the unchoreographed dancing extras respond to rock and roll as though they really enjoy it! The film is said to have caused several spontaneous riots in British theatres when it was released there. UK teenagers had heard rock and roll, a bit, but the actual sight of it was apparently overpowering. Bill Haley and the Comets followed up with several English tours, becoming a vital part of the British rock and roll story.

The same year that George Lucas mythologized the end of the first rock and roll era in American Graffitti. British audiences got That’ll Be the Day , a gritty take on the same period in their own history. David Essex plays Jim MacLaine, a directionless young man adrift in late 1950's England, to whom little besides rock and roll makes any sense. Ringo Starr gives his best film performance as an aging teddy boy and carny making his way with Jim through the cheap flash of the holiday resorts where they work, to the accompaniment of a fabulous rock and roll soundtrack. (MB)

Tuesday, September 2 (7:00 pm)

Pinter: Take Two

The Go-Between (MGM-EMI - World Film Services, U.K., 1970). Dir Joseph Losey. Wrt Harold Pinter, from the novel by L.P. Hartley. With Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Michael Redgrave, Margaret Leighton, Dominic Guard, Michael Gough, Edward Fox. (118 min, Technicolor, 35mm)

Continuing the Harold Pinter series from the previous schedule, this block focuses on a selection of the Nobel Prize winning playwright’s screenplay adaptations of novels by other writers.

T he Go-Between unfolds in 1900 where 12 year old Leo (Guard) is used to carry letters between clandestine lovers (Bates and Christie) engaged in an adulterous liaison. The narrative also runs back and forth in time, affording perspective on the adult Leo (Redgrave) and the modern world. (SS)

Thursday, September 4 (7:00 pm)

National Film Registry

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Twentieth Century-Fox, 1953). Dir Howard Hawks. Wrt Charles Lederer, based on the musical by Joseph Fields and Anita Loos (book), and Jule Styne and Leo Robin (music & lyrics). With Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid, Tommy Noonan. (91 min, Technicolor, 35mm)


Duck Amuck (Warner Bros. Cartoons, 1953). Dir Charles M. Jones. Wrt Michael Maltese. (7 min, Technicolor, 35mm)

The Marilyn Monroe cult was born with a delightful movie musical. This incarnation of the quintessential gold digger Lorelei Lee launched a career, and an image, that is still shaping popular culture around the world. It sure didn’t hurt that the director, Howard Hawks, was a master and that the color process, Technicolor, is as dazzling as ever. Add to this the allure of top-billed Jane Russell, who gives one of her best performances as Lorelei’s protective pal. Both women shine in the musical numbers, whether it’s Russell ogling the guys in "Ain’t There Anyone Here for Love?" or Monroe putting over the gold digger’s manifesto, "Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend." Also showing: Duck Amuck , in which Daffy suffers indignities perpetrated by a malicious unseen animator. (JO)

Friday, September 5 (6:30 pm)

Before the Beatles: The Early Days of British Rock and Roll

Play it Cool (Independent Artists/Anglo Amalgamated, U.K., 1962). Dir Michael Winner. Wrt Jack Henry. With Billy Fury, Anna Palk, Michael Anderson Jr., Dennis Price, Richard Wattis, Helen Shapiro, Shane Fenton and the Fentones, Bobby Vee, Jimmy Crawford, Danny Williams. (81 min, b&w, 35mm)


It’s Trad Dad ; U.S. title: Ring-a-Ding Rhythm (Amicus Productions/Columbia, 1962). Dir Richard Lester. Wrt Milton Subotsky. With Craig Douglas, Helen Shapiro, Felix Felton, Arthur Mullard, Alan Freeman, Gene Vincent, Brook Brothers, Chubby Checker, Gary "U.S." Bonds, Gene McDaniels, Del Shannon, John Leyton, Mr. Acker Bilk, The Temperance Seven, Kenny Ball. (78 min, b&w, 35mm)

In Play it Cool , Liverpool rocker Billy Fury plays "Billy Universe," leader of the Satellites, a young, scuffling rock band who are headed for the top—just ask them! In the meantime though, they’ve got to help a runaway heiress find her singer-boyfriend in the nooks and crannies of Soho, where they encounter fellow British rockers Shane Fenton (later known as Alvin Stardust) and Helen Shapiro (who later toured with the Beatles), and American visitors Bobby Vee and Jimmy Crawford. Handsome, dynamic and personable, Billy Fury (1940-2003) was one of the best of Britain’s early rock stars. His singing style unabashedly echoed Elvis and Buddy Holly, but he still put his songs over with class and energy.

It’s Trad Dad refers to the British school of Dixieland Jazz known as "Trad" (for "traditional"), which in the 50's and early 60's held its own with skiffle and early rock and roll among the younger set in England. When the doddering Lord Mayor of an unnamed "New Town" suburban development finds his quiet cup of coffee disrupted by The Temperance Seven jazz band, he determines to expunge all of the younger generation’s loud music from his quiet, model community. Undaunted, two local teens mount their own show, seeking talent from the local Trad scene as well as among visiting American rock and rollers at the local TV station. This was the first feature film directed by Richard Lester, and his first collaboration with cinematographer Gilbert Taylor. Two years later, the pair would strike gold with A Hard Day’s Night. (MB)

Tuesday, September 9 (7:00 pm)

Pinter: Take Two

The Last Tycoon (Academy Pictures/Paramount, 1976). Dir Elia Kazan. Wrt Harold Pinter, from the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. With Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Tony Curtis, Robert Mitchum, Jeanne Moreau, Donald Pleasance, Ray Milland, Dana Andrews. (123 min, Technicolor, 35mm )

Film version of Fitzgerald’s unfinished, posthumously published novel marks the final directorial effort of Elia Kazan. Set in the late nineteen twenties and early thirties, De Niro plays movie mogul Monroe Stahr, a character closely modeled on legendary Hollywood producer Irving Thalberg. Boasting a remarkable cast, the production benefits immensely from Pinter’s restrained, enigmatic screenplay which melds his own distinctive style with Fitzgerald’s milieu. (SS)

Thursday, September 11 (7:00 pm)

National Film Registry (Audience Request)

The Horn Blows at Midnight (Warner Bros., 1945). Dir Raoul Walsh. Wrt Sam Hellman, James V. Kern, from an idea by Aubrey Wisberg. With Jack Benny, Alexis Smith, Dolores Moran, Allyn Joslyn, Reginald Gardiner, Guy Kibbee, John Alexander. (80 min, b&w, 35mm)

"If you ever saw it in the movies you'd never believe it," exclaims Jack Benny in the film's final line, commenting on his exploits as an angel sent to destroy Earth by blowing the trumpet at midnight. Benny often joked how the film was so bad that it ended his movie career, and it was indeed his final feature. A reevaluation of this much maligned work has been long overdue, and we are presenting it as a National Film Registry candidate at the request of members of the Pickford audience. To nominate a film for the Registry and have it considered for a screening at the Pickford Theater, please go to NFR Nominations (link to < >). (ZS)

Friday, September 12 (7:00 pm)

Before the Beatles: The Early Days of British Rock and Roll

What a Crazy World! (Capricorn Productions/Warner-Pathé, U.K., 1963). Dir Michael Carreras. Wrt Alan Klein, Carreras, based on the musical play by Klein. With Joe Brown and the Bruvvers, Susan Maughan, Marty Wilde, Harry H. Corbett, Freddie and the Dreamers. (88 min, b&w, 35mm)


Don’t Knock the Rock (Granada Television, U.K., 1964). Dir Phillip Casson. With Gene Vincent, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Animals, Sounds Incorporated. (52 min, b&w, 3/4" video)

Joe Brown was the East End’s contribution to the early days of British Rock and Roll, and he’s still going strong. Most of us over here didn’t get a glimpse of him until recently, when he appeared in the George Harrison memorial concert. Brown was a favorite of the Beatles, a hot guitarist and showman with style and charisma who never forgot where he was from. What a Crazy World! finds him playing Cockney misfit Alf Hitchens, who hopes that music will be his ticket to the top.

With Beatlemania now taking hold of the world, Granada Television produced Don’t Knock the Rock special featuring three American rock and roll pioneers who toured Britain in the late 1950s and early 1960s, meeting and inspiring the Beatles and many other artists: Gene Vincent, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. The Animals and backing band Sounds Incorporated are here as well, just to show how well they learned their lessons! (MB)

Tuesday, September 16 (7:00 pm)

Pinter: Take Two

The French Lieutenant's Woman (Juniper Films/UA, 1981). Dir: Karel Reisz. Wrt Harold Pinter, from the novel by John Fowles. With Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Hilton McRae, Emily Morgan, Charlotte Mitchell, Leo McKern. (124 min, color, 35mm)

Parallel worlds are juxtaposed as the relationship of two actors is contrasted with that of the romantic protagonists they are playing on a film set and in Victorian England. Pinter introduced the screenplay’s story within a story structure in an attempt to approximate the self reflexivity of Fowles’ multi-layered novel. (SS)

Thursday, September 18 (7:00 pm)

The Amazing Dobermans (Rosamond Productions/Golden Films, 1976). Dir Byron Chudnow. Wrt Richard Chapman, William Goldstein, Michael Kraike With Fred Astaire, Barbara Eden, James Franciscus, Jack Carter, Billy Barty. (96 min, color, 35mm)

Fred Astaire plays Daniel Hughes, a bible thumping ex-con who has five crime fighting Doberman pinchers that he controls with a remote control. Hughes and his pack of dogs team up with a government agent going undercover in a circus act to catch a gang of racketeers. The film, marketed to children, boasts the lovely and talent Barben Eden wearing costumes that would make Jeannie blush. (CSCH)

Friday, September 19 (7:00 pm)

Before the Beatles: The Early Days of British Rock and Roll

Finders Keepers (Inter-State Films, U.K., 1966). Dir Sidney Hayers. Wrt Michael Pertwee. With Cliff Richard and the Shadows; Robert Morley, Graham Stark, Peggy Mount, Viviane Ventura. (94 min, Eastmancolor, 35mm)


Rhythm ‘n’ Greens (Inter-State Films, U.K., 1964). Dir & Wrt Christopher Miles. With The Shadows: Hank Marvin, Brian Bennett, John Rostill & Bruce Welch; Joan Palethorpe, Audrey Bayley, Sally Bradley, Wendy Barrie, Cliff Richard. (32 min, color, 35mm)

Sir Cliff Richard has been a British rock and roll legend from almost the very beginning of his career in the late 50's, and a major star throughout Europe as well. In the U.S., he’s mainly known for a string of pop hits in the late 70's and early 1980's. He was by far Britain’s biggest rock star of the pre-Beatles era, and one of its biggest during and after the Beatles era, though he didn’t find much success in America until the mid-70's. His earlier features with the Shadows usually find them performing in the highly orchestrated, non-rocking style of contemporary film musicals however, and Finders Keepers was first in which they got to work mostly in their own style. It’s a Cold War spoof that finds Cliff and the Shadows arriving in a Spanish sea side town too late to make their gig, but just in time to join the hunt for a missing atom bomb!

Cliff Richard’s crack back-up band the Shadows had a considerable career on their own, though this is the only time they got top billing in a film. Rhythm ‘n’ Greens is a delightful oddity in which the Shadows act out a guitar-driven history of Britain from the Stone Age on, with the help of narrator Robert Morley, and a special appearance by Cliff himself (as King Knut!). (MB)

Tuesday, September 23 (7:00 pm)

2 Days in the Valley (Redemption Productions - Rysher Entertainment/MGM/UA, 1996). Dir & Wrt John Herzfeld. With Danny Aiello, James Spader, Paul Mazursky, Teri Hatcher, Charlize Theron. (104 min, color, 35mm)

Film critic Roger Ebert appears to have an insider's perspective about how it's possible for the many characters in this movie to establish a connection: "The movie illustrates a world view shared by a lot of people in Los Angeles: If there are only six degrees of separation between any two people in the world, there are only two or maybe three separating everyone in the Valley from the rich and famous who light up the pages of the National Enquirer. A cop can become Joseph Wambaugh. A personal trainer can become Steven Seagal. A hooker can become Heidi Fleiss." (DN)

Thursday, September 25 (7:00 pm)

Preservation Showcase

The Case of the Curious Bride (First National, 1935). Dir Michael Curtiz. Wrt Tom Reed, based on the novel by Erle Stanley Gardner. With Warren William, Margaret Lindsay, Donald Woods, Claire Dodd, Allen Jenkins. (74 min, b&w, 35mm)


Jimmy the Gent (Warner Bros., 1934). Dir Michael Curtiz. Wrt Bertram Milhauser (screenplay), Laird Doyle, Ray Nazarro (story). With James Cagney, Bette Davis, Allen Jenkins, Alan Dinehart, Alice White, Arthur Hohl. (67 min, b&w, 35mm)

Two Michael Curtiz-directed films recently preserved from original nitrate negatives in the Library's United Artists Collection and first shown at the 2007 "Il Cinema Ritrovato" festival in Bologna, Italy. The Case of the Curious Bride , with Warren William as Perry Mason, is a witty and fast-paced whodunit with "the flair and vitality of a Feuillade serial" (Peter von Bagh). In Jimmy the Gent , Cagney gives one of the most breathtaking performances of his career as a fast-talking con-man tracking down heirs of people who have died without leaving behind a will. (ZS)

Friday, September 26 (7:00 pm)

Kamikaze 1989 (Regina Ziegler Filmproduktion - Trio-Film - Oase Film Produktions - ZDF, West Germany, 1982). Dir Wolf Gremm. Wrt Robert Katz, Gremm, based on the novel "Murder on the 31st Floor" by Per Wahlöö. With Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Günther Kaufmann, Boy Gobert, Franco Nero, Brigitte Mira, Richy Müller. (106 min, color, 35mm, in German with English subtitles)

In the not-too-distant future, the apocalypse has yet to happen... but, may begin momentarily. It is a different world than one might expect. It is a world born directly out of the loins of the West Berlin punk sensibilities of the late 1970's/early 1980's and comic book archetypes. All drugs have been legalized, suicide and murder have become extinct (there are only "accidental deaths"), and television consists of nothing but one reality show where people compete to see who can laugh the longest. Neon is the only man-made lighting in existence, hair colors are of the more extreme nature and crimes against fashion have never been so cruel. All television, radio, movies, newspapers and other media are controlled by one man, the Ruper Murdoch-like "Blue Panther."

Out of this world comes police lieutenant Jansen (Fassbinder), sporting a leopard print suit with a red button-up, an 8 o'clock shadow, and rings around his eyes that one could hula hoop in. Jansen is called into action to investigate a series of bomb threats and "accidental deaths" at one of the Blue Panther's factories. His task: break the nebulous entity called "Krysmopompas", find the one-eyed assailant (played colorfully by Franco Nero), avoid unknown burly male assassins dressed in black lingerie, and muscle through the self-serving police propaganda machine. All this while maintaining his gruff, condescending and razor tongued attitude.

Kamikaze 1989 is a collaboration of several key practitioners of New German Cinema. Rainer Werner Fassbinder is considered by many to be the most powerful filmmaker to come out of post-war Germany. In sixteen years he directed and wrote (and many times also acted, edited and even photographed) forty-two motion pictures and one entire television series, as well as worked on thirty projects for other directors. This is Fassbinder's last screen appearance - he died of a massive drug overdose shortly after filming was complete. Wolf Gremm, who was staying at Fassbinder's apartment at the time of the director's death, has made several attempts at defining film as an experimental and communicative art, although most of his works have yet to make it to American shores. Kamikaze 1989 was filmed by the award winning cinematographer (and filmmaker) Xaver Schwarzenberger, who designed the complex look of the film by using almost entirely gelled and neon lighting.

Kamikaze 1989 is difficult to see outside of Germany. The Library of Congress is presenting an uncut 35mm print with beautiful color. (JS)
Film notes by Chris Ames (CA), Matthew Barton (MB), Jennifer Harbster (JH), Wilbur King (WK), David Novack (DN), Jennifer Ormson (JO), Pat Padua (PP), Lynne Parks (LP), David Sager (DS), Sam Serafy (SS), Christel Schmidt (CSCH), Zoran Sinobad (ZS), John Snelson (JS), Chris Spehr (CSPE), Brian Taves (BT), and Kim Tomadjoglou (KT).

Projectionists: Amy Gallick, David March, Jennifer Ormson, Mike Smith, Chris Spehr
Theater Managers: Chris Ames, Jerry Hatfield, Christel Schmidt, Chris Spehr

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