March 16, 2015 Packard Campus Showcases Classic Films, Great Television

Press Contact: Sheryl Cannady (202) 707-6456
Public Contact: Rob Stone (202) 707-0851
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Films by some of cinema’s most influential directors—including Akira Kurosawa, Alfred Hitchcock, D.W. Griffith, and Robert Altman—and re-creations of three of the most popular programming blocks in television history will be featured in April at the Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper, Virginia.

The month opens with three nights of television, celebrating NBC’s “Must See TV” Thursday-night lineup; ABC’s Friday night schedule during the 1971-1972 season; and the best of them all, the legendary CBS 1973-1974 Saturday-night block of “All in the Family,” “M*A*S*H,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Bob Newhart Show” and “The Carol Burnett Show.”

International filmmaking is represented by Akira Kurosawa’s 1951 classic “Rashomon,” presented in a beautiful 35 mm restoration from the Academy Film Archive on April 17 and “Amour,” the 2013 winner of the Academy Award’s best foreign language category, directed by Michael Hanekeon, on April 9. Two expatriate directors also will be featured later in the month—Brit Alfred Hitchcock with “Notorious” and German-born Douglas Sirk’s “All That Heaven Allows.”

Silent films with live musical accompaniment also will be showcased in April. “Orphans of the Storm,” D.W. Griffith’s last commercial success, will be screened on April 11 with Andrew Simpson accompanying a 35 mm print on loan from the Museum of Modern Art. Jeff Rapsis makes his Packard Campus Theater debut on April 18 when he accompanies Gloria Swanson in 1923’s “Zaza.”

The April schedule was curated by Mike Mashon, head of the Library’s Moving Image Section, who will elaborate on his selections on the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center blog “Now See Hear!” during the month.

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, April 2 (7:30 p.m.)
"NBC Thursday: Must See TV
(Warner Bros., 1936)
Although the notion of a television “schedule” may have lost some its potency in the age of DVRs and online viewing, it’s still an important means by which networks and cable channels attract viewers. Never in the history of television did one network dominate a single night for such an extended period as NBC with its long-running “Must See TV” Thursday night lineups (1982-2006). This program will draw mainly from the 1984-1985 season, with its formidable lineup of “The Cosby Show,” “Family Ties” (which will not be included because of time constraints), “Cheers” and “Night Court.” And instead of an episode of “Hill Street Blues,” the devastating, Emmy Award-winning “Love’s Labor Lost” episode from “ER,” which aired on March 9, 1995, will be shown.

Friday, April 3 (7:30 p.m.)
ABC Friday
(1971-1972)
Building a prime-time evening around comedies has always been a popular tactic, and that was certainly the case for ABC’s Friday-night schedule for the 1971-1972 season. “The Brady Bunch” remains a pop-culture touchstone—even being featured in the best of this year’s Super Bowl ads—but the most popular ratings draw that night was “The Partridge Family” (David Cassidy for the girls, Susan Dey for the guys). “Room 222” was a groundbreaking “dramedy” set in a Los Angeles high school, while “The Odd Couple” was adapted from the Neil Simon play/feature film, showcasing a remarkable chemistry between Jack Klugman and Tony Randall as mismatched roommates. The program closes with a segment from the comedy-anthology “Love, American Style.”

Saturday, April 4 (7:30 p.m.)
CBS Saturday
(1973-1974)
This might be considered the single greatest lineup in the history of television. Consider this Murderer’s Row of TV classics: “All in the Family,” “M*A*S*H,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” and “The Carol Burnett Show.” Representative samples from each will be presented, including “Chuckles Bites the Dust,” the “Mary Tyler Moore” classic from 1975. It features beloved WJM-TV personality Chuckles the Clown meeting his demise when, dressed as Peter Peanut for a parade, he’s shelled by a rogue elephant. Although in questionable taste, hilarity ensues.

Thursday, April 9 (7:30 p.m.)
“Amour
” (Les Films du Losange, 2012)
A beautiful, emotionally wrenching tale of retired music teachers Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) and their struggle to cope in the aftermath of a stroke that leaves Anne partially paralyzed. Sensitively directed by the ever-brilliant Michael Haneke, “Amour” won the 2012 Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival as well as the Academy Award for best foreign language film in 2013.

Friday, April 10 (7:30 p.m.)
“M*A*S*H
” (20th Century-Fox, 1970, *R-rated)
The 70s were truly a Golden Age of Hollywood films, featuring the rise of such talents as Francis Ford Coppola, Jack Nicholson, Martin Scorsese, Al Pacino and Peter Bogdanovich, but one iconoclast stands out: Robert Altman. At age 45, Altman was something of an old hand with a great deal of TV experience by the time he came to direct Ring Lardner Jr.’s adaptation of Richard Hooker’s novel about a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in Korea. This uproariously anarchic black comedy won the 1970 Palm d’Or at Cannes and was named to the National Film Registry in 1996.
* No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

Saturday, April 11 (7:30 p.m.)
“Orphans of the Storm
” (United Artists, 1921)
Two sisters (Lillian and Dorothy Gish) are swept up in the tumult of the French Revolution in this D.W. Griffith-directed epic, the last commercially successful film in his long and influential career. It also marked the final collaboration between Griffith and Lillian Gish, who subsequently cemented her reputation as one of the silent screen’s most accomplished actresses when she signed with MGM. The screening print is courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art. Andrew Simpson provides musical accompaniment.

Thursday, April 16 (7:30 p.m.)
Les Blank Double Feature
“Hot Pepper”
(Flower Films, 1973)
“Always for Pleasure” (Flower Films, 1978)
Documentarian Les Blank might have been born in Florida, but he had a Louisiana soul. The evidence is this double feature. “Hot Pepper” celebrates the music of Clifton Chenier, the “King of Zydeco,” while “Always for Pleasure” is Blank’s love letter to the City that Care Forgot, New Orleans. Beautifully composed and joyous to the core (which is considered a good description of Blank himself), both films are pure Americana and representative of the kind of movies he made over the course of a celebrated 50-year career.

Friday, April 17 (7:30 p.m.)
“Rashomon
” (Daiei Film, 1951)
A samurai is murdered and his wife sexually assaulted, but the circumstances remain elusive in this monumental classic of world cinema, directed by Japan’s most celebrated director, Akira Kurosawa. Starring Toshiro Mifune—Kurosawa’s favorite actor—“Rashomon” questions the very nature of “truth” by recounting the incident through four disparate, conflicting perspectives. The screening print was restored by the Academy Film Archive, with funding from The Film Foundation.

Saturday, April 18 (7:30 p.m.)
“Zaza
” (Paramount, 1923)
Gloria Swanson stars as a French music-hall entertainer in the first of her eight collaborations with director Allan Dwan. Swanson was Paramount’s most consistently bankable star for most of the 1920s, having skyrocketed to popularity via a series of sexual-innuendo-laden films directed by Cecil B. DeMille. “Zaza” is prototypical Swanson, resplendent in one eye-popping costume after another, the center of attention in every frame she occupies. Jeff Rapsis provides the musical accompaniment.

Thursday, April 23 (7:30 p.m.)
“sex, lies, and videotape
” (Miramax, 1989, *R-rated)
It’s a matter of conjecture to pinpoint the beginnings of the American independent film movement, but “sex, lies, and videotape” has as good a claim as anyone is likely to find. First-time director and writer Steven Soderbergh’s mesmerizing tale of sexual frustration and release was a surprising sensation, winning the Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the Audience Award at Sundance. Its influence on American cinema—then emerging from a rather tepid 1980s—was outsized, and the film was named to the National Film Registry in 2006.
* No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

Friday, April 24 (7:30 p.m.)
“Notorious
” (RKO, 1946)
Alfred Hitchcock—renowned for his meticulous pre-planning and storyboarding practices—once claimed that the most boring part of filmmaking was actually shooting the film. Perhaps more than any other director, he understood the grammar of film, the multitude of ways in which visual imagery and its juxtaposition via editing impacts the viewer experience. This is exemplified by Hitchcock’s quote: “If it’s a good movie, the sound could go off and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of what was going on.” “Notorious,” an exquisitely plotted tale of intrigue and romance, is a case in point. The film also is supported by a stellar cast—Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains. “Notorious” was named to the National Film Registry in 2006.

Saturday, April 25 (7:30 p.m.)
“North Dallas Forty
” (Paramount, 1979, *R-rated)
Based on former Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Peter Gent’s semi-autobiographical novel, “North Dallas Forty” is a riotously grim, serio-comic satire of professional football, making the National Football League seem less a sports concern and more a delivery vehicle for sex and drugs—especially drugs. Still, few films have so convincingly portrayed the profit-driven and soul-destroying side of professional sports as this film. Nick Nolte stars as the bedraggled wide receiver trying to coax his pain-wracked body through one more season, while singer-songwriter Mac Davis is a revelation as the hard-partying quarterback.
* No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

Thursday, April 30 (7:30 p.m.)
“All That Heaven Allows
” (Universal, 1955)
Widow Jane Wyman falls in love with a younger man (Rock Hudson) in a suburban New England town, resulting in an avalanche of public and private shaming. From this deceptively simple May-December set-up, director Douglas Sirk weaves a rich, beautifully composed and stinging critique of middle-class 1950s America. Critically dismissed when it was released, “All That Heaven Allows” is now recognized as one of the finest melodramas in cinema history, and Sirk as that genre’s finest practitioner. The film was named to the National Film Registry in 1995. Next month, the Library of Congress will present two films inspired by “All That Heaven Allows”: Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul” on May 14 and Todd Haynes’ “Far From Heaven” on May 21.

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PR 15-043
2015-03-16
ISSN 0731-3527