March 27, 2009 Film Screenings in 200-Seat Art Deco Theater Resume at Library of Congress Packard Campus
Press Contact: Sheryl Cannady (202) 707-6456
The Library of Congress National Film Registry, the Beatles, and a Disney Studio animated feature highlight next month’s film series at the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va., starting April 3. The schedule will also feature new installments of ongoing series devoted to film adaptations of literary works and a special screening of the MGM classic “Dinner at Eight,” exactly 75 years after it originally premiered in the local Culpeper theater. Of special note is a silent film presentation of 1908 shorts with live musical accompaniment. Among these are Thomas Edison's “Rescued From An Eagle’s Nest,” the debut acting performance by legendary director D.W. Griffith; Vitagraph's trick film “The Thieving Hand”; Gaumont's “Fantasmagorie,” animated by Émile Cohl; and Selig's “The Count of Monte Cristo,” starring Hobart Bosworth. A motion picture expert will also provide historical context for these rare films. Beginning in May the film series will expand to three shows per week with the addition of a Saturday evening program. “My colleagues and I are pleased that the Library’s 2009 budget has been approved and that we are able to resume public programs at the Packard Campus,” said Patrick Loughney, chief of the audiovisual conservation center. According to Loughney, future objectives of the Packard Campus programs are (1) to showcase the film, television, radio and recorded sound collections of the Library of Congress; (2) to celebrate the extraordinary range of creativity and exuberance inherent in the recorded forms of American culture and entertainment since the late 19th century and (3) to demonstrate the work of the staff and laboratories devoted to preserving and restoring analog and digital audiovisual materials in the Packard Campus laboratories. All Packard Campus programs are free and open to the public. For reservation information, call (540) 827-1079 extension 79994 or (202) 707-9994 during business hours beginning one week before any given screening. For further information on the theater and film series, visit www.loc.gov/avconservation/mtponytheater/index.html. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Culpeper, Va., the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation is a state-of-the-art facility where the nation’s library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of films, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings. 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 and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its Web site at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized Web site at myLOC.gov. Series Schedule and Themes Friday, April 3 (7:30 p.m.) Theme: It’s Only Rock & Roll … But I Like It, Part 1: Meet the Beatles. From Chuck Berry to Woodstock, Elvis to Altamont, a musical journey through the music of our lifetime, beginning with the Fab Four. “A Hard Day’s Night” (United Artists, 1964) An exaggerated “Day in the Life” of the Fab Four at the height of Beatlemania. The Beatles were fresh off their triumphant appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show when “A Hard Day’s Night” began production in the spring of 1964. By the time the film premiered in August, they were well on their way to revolutionizing popular music. This astonishing film—an exuberant romp whose style borrows directly from the French New Wave—was an important milestone in that conquest. Directed by Richard Lester; Producers: Denis O'Dell & Walter Shenson; Screenwriter: Alun Owen; Cinematographer: Gilbert Taylor. With John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Wilfrid Brambell (Paul's Grandfather), Norman Rossington (Norm),Victor Spinetti (Television Director), John Junkin (Shake). 35 mm, black & white, 87 minutes. Copyright deposit print. Special Note: Each Friday night, the pre-screening music will be a specially selected program compiled by members of the Library’s Recorded Sound Section. This month’s selections are presented by Recorded Sound curator Matt Barton. Tonight’s program features Billboard’s Top 10 on August 11, 1964, the day “A Hard Day’s Night” premiered in America. Saturday, April 4 (2:00 p.m.) Theme: Culturally, Historically or Aesthetically Significant: Films from the National Film Registry. The Library will continue to show those films determined to be the best America has to offer. For a complete list of films on the National Film Registry go to www.loc.gov/film/filmnfr.html. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (20th Century-Fox, 1969) Two free-spirited bank robbers flee railroad detectives and head for Bolivia. Paul Newman and Robert Redford bring an undeniable chemistry to the screen as Butch and Sundance in one of cinema’s greatest actor pairings, shown to great effect in this marvelously entertaining, witty western. Because of the interplay of the two stars—along with an Academy Award-winning script by William Goldman—Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was named to the National Film Registry in 2003. Directed by George Roy Hill; Producer: John C. Foreman; Screenwriter: William Goldman; Cinematographer: Conrad L. Hall; Music and Lyrics: Burt Bacharach and Hal David. With Paul Newman (Butch Cassidy), Robert Redford (The Sundance Kid), Katharine Ross (Etta Place), Strother Martin (Percy Garris). 35mm, color, 110 minutes. Print gift from 20th Century-Fox. Friday, April 10 (7:30 p.m.) Theme: From Page to Screen. From the written page to the silver screen, this will be an ongoing look at how Hollywood has treated some of our literary classics. A Tale of Two Cities (MGM, 1935) Charles Dickens’ classic story of two men in love with the same woman during the French Revolution. The lavish 1935 version of “A Tale of Two Cities” is considered by some to be the best cinematic interpretation of any Charles Dickens work. It features Ronald Colman at the height of his career, ably supported by a host of character actors from the MGM stable. Directed by Jack Conway; Producer: David O. Selznick; Screenwriters: S.N. Behrmann & W.P. Lipscomb, based on the novel by Charles Dickens; Cinematographer: Oliver Marsh; Music: Herbert Stothart. With Ronald Colman (Sidney Carton), Elizabeth Allan (Lucie Manette), Edna May Oliver (Miss Pross), Reginald Owen (Striver), Basil Rathbone (Marquis St. Evremonde). 35 mm, black & white, 128 minutes. Print deposited with colorized version in 1992. Saturday, April 11 (2:00 p.m.) Theme: The Wonderful World of Disney The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Walt Disney, 1996) A deformed bellringer must assert his independence from a vicious government minister in order to help his friend, a gypsy dancing girl. Following the recent screening of Disney’s “Beauty & the Beast,” the Packard Campus presents the equally enjoyable, yet greatly underrated “Hunchback of Notre Dame.” As an added attraction, Mickey Mouse will appear in a special extended-length short subject “The Prince & the Pauper.” Directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise; Producer: Don Hahn; Screenwriter: Tab Murphy, from the novel by Victor Hugo; Original Score: Alan Menken. With the voices of Tom Hulce (Quasimodo), Demi Moore (Esmeralda), Kevin Kline (Phoebus), Jason Alexander (Hugo), Paul Kandel (Clopin), Mary Wickes (Laverne). 35mm, color, 91 minutes. Copyright deposit print. Friday, April 17 (7:30 p.m.) Special silent film presentation with live musical accompaniment. A Century Ago: The Films of 1908 (various studios, 1908) The program will feature a number of 1908 shorts, among them Edison’s “Rescued from an Eagle’s Nest,” featuring the debut acting performance of famed director D.W. Griffith; Griffith as director for Biograph with “After Many Years,” starring Florence Lawrence, filmdom’s first acknowledged star; Vitagraph’s trick film “The Thieving Hand”; Gaumont’s “Fantasmagorie” animated by Émile Cohl; Selig’s “The Count of Monte Cristo” starring Hobart Bosworth; Pathé's comedy “Troubles of a Grass Widower,” starring Max Linder; and one of the earliest Italian productions, the hand-tinted “Le Farfalle” (Butterflies). Randy Haberkamp, program coordinator of Educational and Special Projects for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will provide historical context for these rare films. Musical accompaniment will be provided by Michael Mortilla. 16mm & 35mm, black & white, 180 minutes. Prints from the Library of Congress, Academy Film Archive, George Eastman House, Museum of Modern Art, and UCLA Film & Television Archive. Saturday, April 18 (2:00 p.m.) Theme: Culturally, Historically or Aesthetically Significant: Films from the National Film Registry His Girl Friday (Columbia, 1939) An unscrupulous editor plots to keep his ex-wife star reporter from remarrying. Howard Hawks directs Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell and a brilliant cast of supporting players at a breathless pace, using overlapping dialog to increase the feeling of frenzy. Some of those witty lines were improvised, such as in a rapid-fire telephone exchange when Grant responds to another actor’s line with “The last person to say that to me was Archibald Leach just before he cut his throat!” (Archibald Leach was Grant’s real name). This quintessential screwball comedy was named to the National Film Registry in 1993. Directed by Howard Hawks; Producer: Howard Hawks; Screenplay: Charles Lederer, adapted from the play “The Front Page” by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur; Photography: Joseph Walker; Music: M. W. Stoloff. With Cary Grant (Walter Burns), Rosalind Russell (Hildy Johnson), Ralph Bellamy (Bruce Baldwin), Gene Lockhart (Sheriff Hartwell), Porter Hall (Murphy), Ernest Truex (Bensinger), Cliff Edwards (Endicott). 35mm, black & white, 92 minutes. Preserved by the Library of Congress from original camera and soundtrack negatives. Friday, April 24 (7:30 p.m.) Theme: Culpeper Remembrance Days: Playing 75 Years Ago in Culpeper Dinner at Eight (MGM, 1933) A high-society dinner party masks a comical hotbed of scandal and intrigue. The Packard Campus joins the celebration of Culpeper Remembrance Days with a film that was screened at the Fairfax Theatre on Davis Street on April 24, 1934. “Dinner at Eight” is a brilliant ensemble comedy, but the standout is Marie Dressler as an aging actress struggling to maintain her dignity amid the madness. Prior to the film, a special slide presentation highlighting the history of film exhibition in Culpeper will also be featured. Directed by George Cukor; Producer: David O. Selznick; Screenwriters: Herman Mankiewicz, Frances Marion, Donald Ogden Stewart, adapted from the play by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman; Cinematographer: William H. Daniels. With Marie Dressler (Carlotta Vance), John Barrymore (Larry Renault), Wallace Beery (Dan Packard), Jean Harlow (Kitty Packard), Lionel Barrymore (Oliver Jordan), Billie Burke (Mrs. Oliver Jordan), Lee Tracy (Max Kane). 35mm, black & white, 111 minutes, print gift from Turner Entertainment Co. Collection. Saturday, April 25 (2:00 p.m.) Theme: It’s Only Rock & Roll … But I Like It, Part 1: Meet the Beatles Let It Be (United Artists, 1970) The Beatles are shown rehearsing, refining and recording a new album. If “A Hard Day’s Night” features four young men on the exhilarating precipice of worldwide adulation, then the cinema verité documentary “Let It Be” shows a “supergroup” in the throes of creative lethargy and personal animosity. There are moments of grace—the concert on the rooftop of their Apple headquarters in London would be the last time the Beatles ever performed in public—but “Let It Be” is considered an undeniably sad moment for the group’s millions of fans. Directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg; Producer: Neil Aspinall; Cinematographer: Tony Richmond. With John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, Billy Preston, George Martin, Linda McCartney. 35mm, color, 81 minutes. Copyright deposit print.