August 18, 2014 Packard Campus September Films Spotlight Robin Williams, Star Wars
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Academy Award-winning actor, comedian and esteemed USO performer Robin Williams will be remembered with screenings of three of his best-loved films in September at the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia. The tribute will include “Mrs. Doubtfire,” his Oscar-nominated performance in “Good Morning, Vietnam,” and “Aladdin,” for which he won a special Golden Globe Award for his voice acting as the Genie.
The 75th anniversary of the German invasion of Poland, which marked the beginning of World War II, will be observed with the screening of the second installment in Frank Capra’s “Why We Fight” documentary series, titled “The Nazis Strike,” and Ernst Lubitsch’s 1942 comedy “To Be or Not to Be,” which was added to the National Film Registry in 1996.
The first three films produced in the space-epic “Star Wars” series will be shown on successive Saturday nights beginning on Sept. 13. The 1977 original release of “Star Wars” was included on the first list of 25 titles selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1989 and the 1980 original release of “The Empire Strikes Back” was added in 2010. The special-edition versions, released in 1997, will be shown. For more information on the National Film Registry, visit www.loc.gov/film.
A mix of science fiction, thrillers, comedies and a Civil War drama completes the remainder of the September program.
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) or by visiting the State Theatre ticket office at 305 S. Main Street in Culpeper, Virginia.
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, Sept. 4 (7:30 p.m.)
“To Be or Not To Be” (United Artists, 1942)
Jack Benny stars as “that great, great actor” Joseph Tura, whose Polish theater troupe is put out of business by invading Nazis—until they become involved in espionage and find their thespian skills being put to the ultimate test. Carole Lombard plays Tura’s wife Maria who has eyes for the handsome young pilot Lt. Stanislav Sobinski (Robert Stack). Ernst Lubitsch directed this clever black comedy, which was named to the National Film Registry in 1996. Also on the program is the second film in the “Why We Fight” series, “The Nazis Strike.”
Friday, Sept. 5 (7:30 p.m.)
“Mrs. Doubtfire” (20th Century Fox, 1993)
Robin Williams won a Golden Globe Award as best actor for his portrayal of Daniel Hillard, a loving but irresponsible father of three. When his exasperated wife (Sally Field) gets a divorce, the judge allows him only weekly visits with the kids until he gets a steady job and a suitable residence. When Daniel hears that his ex is interviewing for a housekeeper, he schemes to get the job so he can be close to his kids, no matter what he has to do. The comedy, directed by Chris Columbus, won an Oscar for best makeup and co-stars Pierce Brosnan and Harvey Fierstein.
Saturday, Sept. 6 (2 p.m.)
“Aladdin” (Disney, 1992)
Disney’s adaptation the Arab folktale of “Aladdin and the Magic Lamp” tells the story of a street urchin who falls in love with a princess and finds a magical genie who grants him three wishes. Robin Williams’ hilarious rapid-fire patter as the Genie is the heart of this colorful musical, which Warner Bros. cartoon director Chuck Jones called “the funniest feature ever made.” His role as the Genie was instrumental in establishing the importance of star power in voice-actor casting. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, this animated film won Oscars for best music, original score (Alan Menken) and best song for “A Whole New World.”
Saturday, Sept. 6 (7:30 p.m.)
“Good Morning, Vietnam” (Touchstone, 1987, R-rated *)
Robin Williams received the first of his four best-actor Oscar nominations for playing Armed Forces Radio Service DJ Adrian Cronauer. His manic radio show proves to be a great morale-booster for the troops, but exasperates his superiors with what they call his “irreverent tendency.” Barry Levinson directed the war comedy that co-stars Forest Whitaker, Bruno Kirby and Robert Whul.
* No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Thursday, Sept. 11 (7:30 p.m.)
“Jumpin ’Jack Flash” (20th Century Fox, 1986, R-rated *)
Terry (Whoopi Goldberg), a bank employee who transfers funds for a large financial institution in Manhattan, gets a cryptic computer message from an unknown source. After decoding the missive, she finds herself in the middle of an international espionage ring. Penny Marshall directed this lively comedy that also stars Jim Belushi, Carol Kane, Annie Potts and Jonathan Pryce. The film was one of the first to feature online communications as a key part of the plot.
* No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Friday, Sept. 12 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Hunt for Red October” (Paramount, 1990)
Set during the Cold War era, a Soviet submarine captain (Sean Connery) is suspected by an American CIA analyst (Alec Baldwin) of wanting to defect to the U.S. during the maiden voyage of a super-secret nuclear sub. John McTiernan directed this complex thriller based on Tom Clancy’s novel of the same name.
Saturday, Sept. 13 (7:30 p.m.)
“Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope” (20th Century Fox, 1977)
This first film in the epic American space opera created by George Lucas continues to be one of the most popular movies of all time. Film critic Leonard Maltin called it an “elaborate imaginative update of Flash Gordon” and “a hip homage to B-movie ethics and heroism in the space age.” Young Luke Skywalker is aided by a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the universe from the Empire’s world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader. Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Alec Guiness, the film received 10 Academy Award nominations including best picture, winning six. The original-release version of “Star Wars” was named to the National Film Registry in its inaugural year in 1989. The 1997 special edition will be screened.
Thursday, Sept. 18 (7:30 p.m.)
“Raintree County” (MGM, 1957)
Elizabeth Taylor was nominated for an Academy Award for best actress for her portrayal of a spoiled Southern belle in this Civil War epic. As Susanna Drake, she lures the pacifist abolitionist John Shawnessy away from his high-school sweetheart and into an unhappy marriage. Frustrated, John leaves home to fight for the Union army while Susanna descends into depression and insanity. Directed by Edward Dmytryk, the film also stars Montgomery Clift and Eva Marie Saint.
Friday, Sept. 19 (7:30 p.m.)
“An Ideal Husband” (Miramax, 1999)
A stalwart member of Parliament (Jeremy Northam) learns that his career and marriage will suffer scandal unless he submits to a blackmailer (Julianne Moore). He turns his fate over to lifelong bachelor Lord Goring (Rupert Everett), “the idlest man in London.” Oliver Parker directed this delightful adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s classic 1895 comedy, which also features Cate Blanchett and Minnie Driver.
Saturday, Sept. 20 (7:30 p.m.)
“Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strike Back” (20th Century Fox, 1980)
After the rebels have been brutally overpowered by the Empire on their newly established base, Luke Skywalker takes advanced Jedi training with Master Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader. The much-anticipated continuation of the “Star Wars” saga, Irvin Kershner’s 1980 sequel sustained the action-adventure and storytelling success of its predecessor and helped lay the foundation for one of the most commercially successful film series in American cinematic history. It was nominated for three Academy Awards and won a Special Achievement Award for visual effects. Stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher are joined by Billy Dee Williams and Frank Oz as the voice of Yoda. The original version of “The Empire Strikes Back” was added to the National Film Registry in 2010. The special 1997 edition will be screened.
Thursday, Sept. 25 (7:30 p.m.)
“Gattaca” (Columbia, 1997)
Set in a future where the wealthy can choose the genetic makeup of their descendants, the genetically perfect “Valids” dominate the natural born “In-Valids.” Vincent Freeman, who was conceived outside the eugenics program, struggles to overcome genetic discrimination to realize his dream of traveling into space. Andrew Niccol wrote and directed this science-fiction tale that stars Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman with Jude Law, Loren Dean, Ernest Borgnine, Gore Vidal, and Alan Arkin appearing in supporting roles.
Friday, Sept. 26 (7:30 p.m.)
“Unbreakable” (Buena Vista, 2000)
After David Dunne survives a train crash unscathed that kills everyone else on board, he meets a mysterious stranger who suggests that David was one of the “unbreakable”—people who have extraordinary endurance and courage, a predisposition toward dangerous behavior, and feel invincible. They also are said to have strange premonitions of terrible events. Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the suspense thriller stars Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson and Robin Wright.
Saturday, Sept. 27 (7:30 p.m.)
“Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” (20th Century Fox, 1983)
Set one year after “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Return of the Jedi” deals with the rebel forces’ last stand against the Empire and Luke Skywalker’s fateful confrontation with his archrival, Darth Vader. Skywalker tries to rescue Han Solo and Princess Leia from Jabba the Hutt, while the rebel army and the small, furry Ewoks battle the rebuilt Death Star. Directed by Richard Marquand, this finale of the original epic space trilogy stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams and Frank Oz as the voice of Yoda. The special edition, released in 1997, will be shown.