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June 16, 2014
Packard Campus July Films Spotlight Comedy, Early Cinema
As part of the third annual "Mostly Lost" film identification workshop for archivists, scholars and silent-film buffs, the Library of Congress Packard Campus Theatre will host special silent-film screening events in July. They include new restorations of the 1916 Douglas Fairbanks western "The Good Bad Man" and the 1929 drama "Linda," directed by Dorothy Davenport (Mrs. Wallace Reid). The grand finale of the weekend is an evening of silent-comedy shorts at the State Theatre in Culpeper, Va. The Washington D.C.-based Snark Ensemble will provide live musical accompaniment for this event.
The month opens with a tribute to actor, writer and director Harold Ramis, who died in February, including "National Lampoon’s Animal House," which was added to the National Film Registry in 2001. Other National Film Registry titles being shown in July are director Rouben Mamoulian’s early talkie "Applause," starring Helen Morgan, and Disney’s first animated feature film, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." The latter is being shown as part of the Film Foundation’s "Story of the Movies: The Animation Universe" development workshop for classroom teachers, which is being held at the Packard Campus from July 31 to Aug. 2. The workshop’s afternoon and evening screenings are open to the public. For more information on the National Film Registry, visit www.loc.gov/film.
Short subjects will be presented before select programs. Titles are subject to change without notice. Screenings at the Packard Campus are preceded by an informative slide presentation about the film, with music selected by the Library’s Recorded Sound Section.
All Packard Campus programs are free and open to the public, but children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. For general Packard Campus Theater information, call (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994 during regular business hours. For further information on the theater and film series, visit www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/. In case of inclement weather, call the theater information line no more than three hours before showtime to confirm cancellations.
Seating at the Packard Campus Theater’s free screenings is on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, for a ticketing service charge, patrons can ensure admission to these shows by reserving tickets through the State Theatre website (www.culpepertheatre.org(external link)) or by visiting the State Theatre ticket office at 305 S. Main Street in Culpeper, Va.
The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation is a state-of-the-art facility funded as a gift to the nation by the Packard Humanities Institute. The Packard Campus is the site where the nation’s library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of motion pictures, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings (www.loc.gov/avconservation). The Packard Campus is home to more than 7 million collection items. It provides staff support for the Library of Congress National Film Preservation Board (www.loc.gov/film), the National Recording Preservation Board (www.loc.gov/rr/record/nrpb) and the national registries for film and recorded sound.
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. It seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.
Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater ScheduleThursday, July 10 (7:30 p.m.)
"Caddyshack" (Orion, 1980, R-rated*)
Harold Ramis made his directorial debut and co-wrote this comedy classic that follows the travails of a young caddy as he gets caught up in the goings-on at the wacky Bushwood Country Club. The film stars Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, Michael O'Keefe, Bill Murray and a pesky gopher.
* No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Friday, July 11 (7:30 p.m.)
"National Lampoon’s Animal House" (Universal, 1978, R-rated*)
John Landis directed this groundbreaking low-budget comedy set at a fictitious college that became a cultural phenomenon and launched the gross-out genre. The New Yorker lauded Harold Ramis, one of the film’s writers, as a key force in creating movies that "attack the smugness of institutional life," thereby rescuing Hollywood comedy from its "smooth, polite perfection." The film stars John Belushi, already a big name on "Saturday Night Live," and up-and-comers Karen Allen, Tom Hulce, Kevin Bacon, Peter Riegert and Tim Matheson. It was named to the National Film Registry in 2001.
* No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Saturday, July 12 (7:30 p.m.)
"Ghostbusters" (Columbia, 1984)
Screenplay writers Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray star in this comedy as three intrepid parapsychologists in New York City who start a ghost-catching business. Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis co-star as a potential client and her neighbor. Critic Leonard Maltin called it "Engagingly offbeat" and "Great fun all the way." The film was nominated for Academy Awards for best visual effects and best original song.
Thursday, July 17 (7:30 p.m.)
"Linda" (First Division, 1929)
Mrs. Wallace Reid (Dorothy Davenport) directed this silent drama starring Helen Foster as Linda Stillwater, a bright young girl from a poor mountain family. Linda’s brutal father forces her to marry Armstrong Decker, the elderly head of the local lumber mill, although she is in love with the town doctor. Noah Beery Sr., Warner Baxter, Kate Price and Bess Flowers also star in the film, which was photographed by eight-time Oscar nominee Ernest Laszlo. Ben Model will provide live musical accompaniment on the Walker theater organ for this new 35-mm print from the Library of Congress Film Preservation Lab.
Friday, July 18 (7:30 p.m.)
"The Good Bad Man" (Triangle, 1916)
Douglas Fairbanks stars as "Passin’ Through," a cowboy Robin-Hood type who robs from the rich and gives to orphaned children. Along the way, he seeks revenge for past evils visited upon his family by The Wolf (Sam De Grasse) and finds a sweetheart (Bessie Love). Allan Dwan directed this lively western, which was produced and written by Fairbanks and photographed by Victor Fleming in picturesque Tucson. This new restoration was produced by a three-way partnership among the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, Cinémathèque Française, and the Film Preservation Society. Film historian Rob Byrne will introduce the film and Philip Carli will provide live musical accompaniment on the Walker theater organ.
Saturday, July 19 (7:30 p.m.)
"A Brief History of Time" (Triton, 1991)
In this film adaptation of physicist Stephen Hawking’s book about the origins of the universe, director Errol Morris has woven together graphics, interviews and archival material in a story about both Hawking’s life and science. David Ansen in Newsweek has called it, "an elegant, inspirational and mysterious movie. Morris turns abstract ideas into haunting images, and keeps them spinning in the air with the finesse, and playfulness, of a master juggler." Philip Glass composed the original score for the documentary.
Saturday, July 19 (7:30 p.m.) at the State Theatre
"An Evening of Silent Comedy Shorts" (1917-1928)
The renowned Washington D.C.-based Snark Ensemble will perform its original and spirited scores for a program of silent comedy shorts at the historic State Theatre in downtown Culpeper. Included on the program are "There It Is" (1928), a surrealist live action, stop-motion animation "haunted house" spoof, starring Charley Bowers; "The Hansom Cabman" (1924), a hangover comedy with baby-faced Harry Langdon, Marceline Day and Andy Clyde; "Married to Order" (1920), directed by and starring Charley Chase with Oliver Hardy; and Charlie Chaplin’s "Behind the Screen" (1916). Admission is $6 and tickets are available at the door.
Thursday, July 24 (7:30 p.m.)
"Applause" (Paramount, 1929)
This early sound-era masterpiece was the first film for both stage director Rouben Mamoulian and cabaret star Helen Morgan. Many have compared Mamoulian’s debut to that of Orson Welles’ "Citizen Kane" because of his flamboyant use of cinematic innovation to test technical boundaries. The tear-jerking plot boasts top performances from Morgan as the fading burlesque queen, Fuller Mellish Jr. as her slimy paramour and Joan Peers as her cultured daughter. However, the film is remembered today chiefly for Mamoulian’s audacious style. While most films of the era were static and stage-bound, Mamoulian’s camera reinvigorated the melodramatic plot by prowling relentlessly through sordid backstage life. The film was named to the National Film Registry in 2006.
Friday, July 25 (7:30 p.m.)
"We Still Kill the Old Way" (Lopert, 1967)
Writer-director Elio Petri won the best screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival for this Mafia crime drama and political thriller. The film stars Gian Maria Volonté as an intellectual loner who finds himself in over his head when he probes the assassination of two friends. Beautifully photographed in Sicily and featuring a lush score by Luis Enrique Bacalov, the film also stars Irene Papas. It is presented in Italian with English subtitles.
Saturday, July 26 (7:30 p.m.)
"The Roaring Twenties" (Warner Bros., 1939)
James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart star as former WWI Army buddies who become prohibition racketeers in this hard-hitting gangster film, directed by Raoul Walsh. The voice-over narration by journalist-turned-producer Mark Hellinger—assuring audiences that "what they are about to see is based upon real people and events" he covered as a newsman during the 1920s—and the use of actual newsreel footage give the crime drama a documentary feel. The film also stars Priscilla Lane, Jeffrey Lynn, Gladys George, Frank McHugh and Paul Kelly.
Thursday, July 31 (2:30 p.m.)
"The Adventures of Prince Achmed" (UFA, 1926)
The oldest surviving animation feature film, this German fairy tale is based on elements taken from the collection "One Thousand and One Arabian Nights." Director Lotte Reiniger used hand-cut silhouettes and stop motion to create her story frame by frame. Preceding the feature will be three animated shorts, each chosen to demonstrate a different narrative structure: "The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics" (MGM, 1965); "One Froggy Evening" (Warner Bros., 1955), which was added to the National Film Registry in 2003; and "Enter Life" (Pyramid Media, 1981). This screening is part of the Film Foundation’s "Story of the Movies: The Animation Universe" development workshop for classroom educators that is open to the public.
Thursday, July 31 (7:30 p.m.)
"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (Disney, 1937)
Walt Disney’s groundbreaking "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"—the first American animated feature film and a warm and joyful rendition of the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale—is still in a class by itself. In addition to winning an Honorary Academy Award as a "significant screen innovation, which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field," the film was also nominated for best musical score. The animated classic was named to the National Film Registry in the registry’s inaugural year, 1989. This screening is part of the Film Foundation’s "Story of the Movies: The Animation Universe" development workshop.
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