December 26, 2013 Packard Campus Film Series Celebrates National Film Registry
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Five new additions to the National Film Registry, announced on Dec. 18, will be screened at the Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater in the first month of the new year. The titles represent the creative diversity of America’s film heritage, ranging from the powerful courtroom drama based on Nazi war criminal-trials “Judgment at Nuremberg”; and the screen adaptation of Edward Albee’s Tony Award-winning play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” to the silent comedy “Ella Cinders”; Michael Moore’s groundbreaking 1989 documentary “Roger & Me”; and Quentin Tarantino’s influential and controversial “Pulp Fiction.” Culpeper’s historic State Theatre also will show the National Film Registry title “The Sound of Music” as part of “The Library of Congress Presents” film series. For more information on the National Film Registry, visit www.loc.gov/film.
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Packard Theater will present two Civil Rights Movement documentaries that were originally broadcast on network television in 1961. In January, the Packard Campus will mark the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics with the 2004 Disney film “Miracle”—the true story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team—and “Downhill Racer,” starring Robert Redford as an ambitious skier who joins the U.S. Olympic ski team. Also, Joan Fontaine, who passed away in December 2013, will be remembered with a screening of “Suspicion.”
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. The Packard Theater will be closed Jan. 17-18.
Admission to all programs in the “Library of Congress Presents” film series at the State Theatre is $6. For State Theatre information, visit its website (www.culpepertheatre.org External) or call 540-829-0292.
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 or by visiting the State Theatre ticket office at 305 S. Main Street in Culpeper.
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 Schedule
Thursday, Jan. 2 (7:30 p.m.)
“55 Days at Peking” (Allied Artists, 1963)
Set in Peking during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, Chinese nationals—angry at the presence of foreigners on their soil—have attacked a group of embassies. Maj. Matt Lewis (Charlton Heston) and his soldiers arrive to help the group trapped in the embassy compound. While they wait for reinforcements, tensions escalate as soldiers, diplomats and their families unite for survival. Ava Gardner and David Niven co-star in this all-star epic.
Friday, Jan. 3 (7:30 p.m.)
“Suspicion” (RKO, 1941)
Joan Fontaine won an Academy Award for her role as Lina, a wealthy and naïve young wife who begins to suspect her gambler playboy husband (Cary Grant) of murder. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, this psychological drama was also nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Score by Franz Waxman.
Saturday, Jan. 4 (2 p.m.)
“The Lion King” (Disney, 1994)
A young lion cub hides from his colony after being blamed for his father’s death, but triumphantly returns when he realizes his destiny is to be King. The animated Disney feature won two Academy Awards—for its original score by Hans Zimmer and for the song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by composer Elton John and lyricist Tim Rice. Directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, the film features the voices of Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones and Jonathan Taylor Thomas. “The Lion King” is the highest-grossing animated film of the 20th century.
Thursday, Jan. 9 (7:30 p.m.)
“Sanjuro” (Toho, 1962)
Akira Kurosawa’s sequel to “Yojimbo” is a dark comedy about surly Sanjuro (Toshirô Mifune), a larger-than-life samurai who, adrift in an era of fading tradition and increasing lawlessness, instructs a gang of scheming radicals in samurai wisdom. An unlikely hero who loves an action-packed swordfight and is quick with the sarcasm, Sanjuro doesn’t always practice what he preaches, but he always remains true to himself.
Friday, Jan. 10 (7:30 p.m.)
“Judgment at Nuremberg” (UA, 1961)
Selecting as its focus the “Justices Trial” of the post-World War II Nuremberg war crimes tribunal, rather than the more publicized trials of major Nazi war criminals, “Judgment at Nuremberg” broadened its scope beyond the condemnation of German perpetrators to interrogate the concept of justice within any modern society. Conceived by screenwriter Abby Mann during the period of McCarthyism, the film argues passionately that those responsible for administering justice also have the duty to ensure that human-rights norms are preserved even if they conflict with national imperatives. Mann’s screenplay, originally produced as a Playhouse 90 teleplay, makes “the value of a single human being” the defining societal value that legal systems must respect. “Judgment at Nuremberg” startled audiences by including in the midst of its narrative seven minutes of film footage documenting concentration camp victims, thus using motion-picture evidence to make its point both in the courtroom and in movie theaters. Mann and actor Maximilian Schell received Academy Awards and the film boasted fine performances from its all-star cast. The film was added to the National Film Registry in 2013.
Saturday, Jan. 11 (7:30 p.m.)
“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (Warner Bros., 1966)
Edward Albee’s 1962 stage triumph made a successful transfer to the screen in this adaption written by Ernest Lehman. The story of two warring couples and their alcohol-soaked evening of anger and exposed resentments stunned audiences with its frank, code-busting language and depictions of middle-class malaise-cum-rage. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton—who were both Academy Award nominees for their work (with Taylor winning)—each achieved career high-points in their respective roles as Martha and George, an older couple who share their explosive evening opposite a younger husband and wife, portrayed by George Segal and Sandy Dennis. “Woolf’s” claustrophobic staging and stark black-and-white cinematography, created by Haskell Wexler, echoed its characters’ rawness and emotionalism. Mike Nichols began his auspicious screen directing career with this film, in which he was already examining the absurdities and brutality of modern life, themes that would become two of his career hallmarks. The film was added to the National Film Registry in 2013.
Thursday, Jan. 16 (7:30 p.m.)
“Civil Rights Television Documentaries”
CBS Reports: “Who Speaks for Birmingham?” (1961)
Howard K. Smith reports on the racial division between the white and black communities in Birmingham, Ala. Residents discuss their conflicted feelings of how racial integration will affect their lives.
ABC Bell & Howell Close-up!: “Walk in My Shoes” (1961) This critically acclaimed and Emmy-nominated documentary, produced and directed by Nicholas Webber, gives the viewer candid insight into the lives and experiences of African-Americans during the early 1960s.
Thursday, Jan. 23 (7:30 p.m.)
“Roger & Me” (Warner Bros., 1989—R-rated*)
After decades of product ascendancy, American automakers began facing stiff commercial and design challenges in the late 1970s and 1980s from foreign automakers, especially the Japanese. Michael Moore’s controversial documentary chronicles the human toll and hemorrhaging of jobs caused by these upheavals, in this case the firing of 30,000 autoworkers by General Motors in Moore’s hometown of Flint, Michigan. As a narrative structure, Moore uses a comic device sometimes found in political campaign commercials, weaving a message around trying to find the person responsible for a wrong, in this case General Motors Chairman Roger Smith. “Roger & Me” is take-no-prisoners, advocacy documentary filmmaking, and Moore makes no apologies for his brazen, in-your-face style—he would argue the situation demands it. The themes of unfairness, inequality and the unrealized attainment of the American Dream resonate to this day, while the consequences of ferocious auto-sector competition continue, playing a key long-term role in the city of Detroit’s recent filing for bankruptcy protection. The film was added to the National Film Registry in 2013.
*No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Friday, Jan. 24 (7:30 p.m.)
“Ella Cinders” (First National, 1926)
With her trendsetting Dutch bob haircut and short skirts, Colleen Moore brought insouciance and innocence to the flapper image, character and aesthetic. By 1926, however, when she appeared in “Ella Cinders,” Moore’s interpretation of the flapper had been eclipsed by the more overtly sexual version popularized by Clara Bow or Joan Crawford. In “Ella Cinders,” Ella (Colleen Moore) wins a beauty contest sponsored by a movie magazine and is awarded a studio contract. New York Times reviewer Mordaunt Hall observed that the film was “filled with those wild incidents which are seldom heard of in ordinary society,” and noted “Miss Moore is energetic and vivacious.” The film is an archetype of 1920s comedy, featuring a star whose air of emancipation inspired her generation. Ben Model will provide musical accompaniment. The film was added to the National Film Registry in 2013.
Saturday, Jan. 25 (7:30 p.m.)
“Pulp Fiction” (Miramax, 1994—R-rated*)
By turns utterly derivative and audaciously original, Quentin Tarantino’s mordantly wicked Möbius strip of a movie influenced a generation of filmmakers and stands as a milestone in the evolution of independent cinema in the United States, making it one of the few films on the National Film Registry as notable for its lasting impact on the film industry as its considerable artistic merits. Directed by Tarantino from his profane and poetic script, “Pulp Fiction” is a beautifully composed tour-de-force, combining narrative elements of hardboiled crime novels and film noir with the bright widescreen visuals of Sergio Leone. The impact is profound and unforgettable. The film was added to the National Film Registry in 2013.
*No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Thursday, Jan. 30 (7:30 p.m.)
“Miracle” (Disney, 2004)
Kurt Russell stars as player-turned-coach Herb Brooks, who led the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team to victory over the seemingly invincible Russian squad. Based on the true story of one of the greatest moments in sports history, the tale captures a time and place where differences could be settled by games and a cold war could be put on ice. Directed by Gavin O’Connor, the inspiring family sports drama also stars Patricia Clarkson, Noah Emmerich and Sean McCann.
Friday, Jan. 31 (7:30 p.m.)
“Downhill Racer” (Paramount, 1969)
Michael Ritchie directed this high-energy sports drama starring Robert Redford as cocky David Chappellet who stuns the ski world when, as a fledgling member of the U.S. ski team, he wins his first world-class race. As the arrogant athlete rises to the top of his class, he alienates girlfriends, his coach (Gene Hackman) and even his father. Redford and Hackman garnered New York Film Critics Circle nominations for their performances and Redford won a BAFTA Award.
State Theatre Schedule
Sunday, Jan. 5 (2 p.m.)
“The Sound of Music” (20th Century-Fox, 1965)
Nominated for 10 Academy Awards and winner of five—including Best Picture and Best Director for Robert Wise—Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music” remains one of the most popular movie musicals of all time. Based on the true story of the Trapp Family Singers, Julie Andrews stars as Maria, a young nun in an Austrian convent who is sent to care for the seven unruly, motherless Von Trapp children. She soon tames them—and finds herself falling for their stern father (Christopher Plummer). After the Nazis march into Austria, the family must plan their escape. Stunning Austrian locations transformed the popular stage musical into a cinema classic. Also starring Richard Haydn and Eleanor Parker, who passed in December, the film was added to the National Film Registry in 2001.
Sunday, Jan. 12 (2 p.m.)
“Raiders of the Lost Ark” (Paramount, 1981)
The first Indiana Jones film finds the archaeologist and adventurer hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis do. Harrison Ford and Karen Allen star in this action film, which was directed by Steven Spielberg. It was added to the National Film Registry in 1999.
Sunday, Jan. 19 (2 p.m.)
“Ice Age” (20th Century-Fox, 2001)
With the impending ice age almost upon them, a mismatched trio of prehistoric animals—Manny, the woolly mammoth (Ray Romano); Diego, the saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary); and Sid, the giant sloth (John Leguizamo)—find an orphaned infant and decide to return the child to its human parents. Along the way, the unlikely allies become friends, but when enemies attack, their quest takes on far nobler aims. Chris Wedge directed this Academy Award-nominated, animated family feature.
Sunday, Jan. 26 (2 p.m.)
“Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (EMI, 1975)
The Monty Python clan’s second feature skewers King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they quest far and wide for the Holy Grail. Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam directed and star in this outlandish fantasy-comedy, which features fellow Python members Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin—all in multiple roles.