August 17, 2015 September Film Lineup Features Thrills, Chills and Silent Film

Press Contact: Sheryl Cannady, Office of Communications, (202) 707-6456
Public Contact: Rob Stone (202) 707-0851

Author Dr. Paul Fryer will present an evening of “Verdi and the Silent Film,” with composer and pianist Makia Matsumura providing live musical accompaniment, in September at the Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper, Virginia. Favorite Ben Model also will be at the keyboard during the month for a silent double feature of “Broken Hearts of Broadway,” starring Colleen Moore, and “Lights of Old Broadway,” starring Marion Davies. Model will make a second appearance for a series of silent comedy shorts hosted by “Lame Brains and Lunatics” author Steve Massa.

Guest programmer Rachel Parker, a processing technician in the Moving Image Section and co-organizer of the annual film identification workshop “Mostly Lost,” has chosen a broad spectrum of titles for the remainder of the month, ranging from the 1982 children’s animated fantasy “The Last Unicorn” to the third installment in the horror “Evil Dead” franchise “Army of Darkness.” “All are films that I unabashedly enjoy,” said Parker. “Instead of choosing exclusively my favorite films, I picked films that I truly want to see on the big screen.”

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. Seating at the screenings is on a first-come, first-serve basis. 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 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. 3 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Public Enemy”
(Warner Bros., 1931)
Raw and brutal, this crime saga—an early example of the “gangster” genre by Warner Bros., the studio known for its gritty tales of the street—features James Cagney in an incendiary star-making portrayal of a two-bit bootlegger and his rise to the top amid gang warfare. Director William Wellman infuses the film with fierce machismo as witnessed by the now-famous grapefruit-in-the-face scene (the face belongs to Mae Clarke). Jean Harlow as Cagney’s moll gives viewers little indication of the superstar she’d become in a few short years. “The Public Enemy” was added to the National Film Registry in 1998.

Wednesday, Sept. 9 (7:30 p.m.)
“Verdi and the Silent Film”
(various, c. 1911)
The relationship between composer Giuseppe Verdi and early cinema will be explored in a program that includes extracts from the rarely seen film, “Giuseppe Verdi: Nella Vita e Nella Gloria” (Labor Films, Rome, 1913). Directed by Giuseppe Di Ligouro, the film was released in the U.S. in 1914 under the title “The Life and Work of Verdi.” The early silent version of Verdi’s “Aida” (Edison, 1911) will also be screened. Directed by Oscar Apfel and J. Searle Dawley, it is one of the earliest and most ambitious attempts to bring grand opera to the screen. The program will be presented by Dr. Paul Fryer, associate director of Research and director of The Stanislavski Centre at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance in the United Kingdom. Film sources are from The Cineteca Nazionale in Rome, La Cineteca Del Friuli, Gemona and EYE Film Instituut Nederland in Amsterdam. In her Packard Campus Theater debut, Makia Matsumura will provide live musical accompaniment.

Thursday, Sept. 10 (7:30 p.m.)
“Sea of Love”
(Universal, 1989, R-rated*)
Al Pacino stars as burned-out NYPD detective Frank Keller who is on the hunt for a serial killer known for using personal ads in singles magazines to attract the victims. Keller teams up with another detective (John Goodman) and they place an ad as bait, which attracts the tough and beautiful Helen Cruger (Ellen Barkin). Keller falls hard for Helen, who soon becomes the top suspect in the case. Film critic Roger Ebert wrote that this atmospheric thriller, directed by Harold Becker, “had an ingeniously constructed story that depends for its suspense on the question: What happens when you fall in love with a person who may be quite prepared to murder you?”
*No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

Friday, Sept. 11 (7:30 p.m.)
Double Feature

“Suddenly” (United Artists, 1954)
An ex-soldier-turned-assassin (Frank Sinatra) and his two henchmen take over a house in the suburban town of Suddenly, California where they terrorize the inhabitants and plot to assassinate the president of the United States. Lewis Allen directed this white-knuckle thriller written by Richard Sale. Sinatra garnered great reviews for his portrayal of a thoroughly detestable character, as did Nancy Gates as a widowed pacifist and Sterling Hayden as the local Sheriff. Due to the similarities between Sinatra’s character and Lee Harvey Oswald, “Suddenly” was withdrawn from local TV packages for several years after the assassination of president John F. Kennedy.

“Beast From Haunted Cave” (Allied Artists, 1959)
Monte Hellman (best known for the cult film “Two-Lane Blacktop”) made his directorial debut when he was selected by famed cult movie director/producer Roger Corman to helm this low-budget horror-heist film, which pits runaway robbers against a mysterious, spider-like monster. Shot by Corman’s production crew in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the cast includes Michael Forest, Sheila Carol and Richard Sinatra (Frank’s nephew) who enjoyed a brief career in a few films and on television. The monster in the film was created and played by actor Chris Robinson who later starred on the daytime drama “General Hospital.”

Saturday, Sept. 12 (2 p.m.)
“The Last Unicorn”
(Jensen Farley, 1982)
This animated fantasy film was based on the children’s novel of the same name by Peter S. Beagle, who also wrote the screenplay. Mia Farrow voices the title role in the story of a unicorn who, upon learning that she is the last of her species in the world, goes on a quest to find out what has happened to the others of her kind. The film includes the voices of Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, Angela Lansbury and Christopher Lee with a musical score and songs composed by Jimmy Webb. The New York Times critic Janet Maslin called the film “an unusual children’s film in many respects, the chief one being that it is unusually good. It features a cast that would do any live-action film proud, a visual style noticeably different from that of other children’s fare, and a story filled with genuine sweetness and mystery.”

Saturday, Sept. 12 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Last of the Mohicans”
(20th Century-Fox, 1992, R-rated*)
Daniel Day-Lewis stars as rugged frontiersman Hawkeye, a white man who was adopted and raised by a Mohican father. He saves two newly arrived English settlers—the Munro sisters—from a Huron ambush and ends up in the midst of the battle between the British and the French for control of the American colonies. Directed by Michael Mann and based on James Fenimore Cooper’s novel, this historic epic received nearly universal praise from the critics. Filmed mostly in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, cinematographer Dante Spinotti earned an award for his work from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. This first-rate production also stars Madeleine Stowe as the Munro sister who wins Hawkeye’s heart and Wes Studi as the Huron warrior who has a score to settle with her father. Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman composed the music.
*No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

Thursday, Sept. 17 (7:30 p.m.)
“What Dreams May Come”
(Polygram, 1998)
Robin Williams stars as physician Chris Nielsen who, after dying in car accident and going to heaven, discovers that his wife Annie (Annabella Sciorra)—inconsolable after the loss of her husband only a few years after the death of their two children—commits suicide and goes to hell. Risking eternal damnation, Nielsen leaves paradise and embarks on an epic journey to save his spouse’s soul. Based on a 1978 metaphysical novel by Richard Matheson, this romantic fantasy-drama won an Oscar for best visual effects and was nominated for best art direction. Cuba Gooding Jr. and Max von Sydow are also in the cast.

Friday, Sept. 18 (7:30 p.m.)
Silent Movie Double Feature

“Broken Hearts of Broadway” (Irving Cummings Productions, 1923)
This rags-to-riches Broadway drama features Colleen Moore in one of her first starring roles as stage-struck country girl Mary Ellis who arrives in New York and lands a job in the chorus line with the help of her gold-digging friend, Bubbles Revere (Alice Lake). Mary is soon fired when she turns down the advances of one of the show’s owners. Although she has by then found romance with struggling songwriter George Colton (Johnnie Walker), Mary is ready to give up and go home, when shockingly she is arrested for murder. Ben Model will provide live musical accompaniment.

“Lights of Old Broadway” (MGM, 1925)
Marion Davies plays a duel role as twin sisters Fely and Anne O’Tandy, who are orphaned on a ship sailing from Ireland to America. Fely is taken in by a family that lives in an Irish shantytown on the edge of New York and grows up to become a singer in a pub, while Anne is adopted by a wealthy family, the de Rondes, and becomes a society girl in New York. Romance comes in the form of Dirk de Rhonde (Conrad Nagel), who falls for the poor sister after they meet during a shantytown uprising. Monta Bell directed this drama, which was produced by William Randolph Hearst’s Cosmopolitan Productions. Ben Model will provide live musical accompaniment.

Saturday, Sept. 19 (2 p.m.)
“More Lame Brains and Lunatics”
(1915 – 1920)
Following his crowd-pleasing compilation of rarely seen silent comedy shorts in Oct. 2013, Steve Massa—author of “Lame Brains & Lunatics: The Good, The Bad, and The Forgotten of Silent Comedy”—returns to the Packard Campus Theater with another program of laughs from the past. Drawn from the Library’s collection, the films give an appreciative look at forgotten (by some) comedians. Titles include: “Her First Flame” (1919) with Gale Henry, “Speed to Spare” (1920) with Snub Pollard, “Tweedledum’s Scrambled Honeymoon” (1916) with Marcel Perez, and “The Bogus Booking Agents” (1915) with Lloyd Hamilton and Bud Duncan. Ben Model will provide live musical accompaniment for the afternoon lineup of fun.

Thursday, Sept. 24 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Changeling”
(Associated Film, 1980, R rated*)
After his wife and daughter are killed in a car accident, classical composer John Russell (George C. Scott) moves to Seattle to teach at his alma mater. Looking for a quiet place to live, he rents a secluded estate in the countryside, but soon discovers that the house is haunted by the presence of a child who died there more than 80 years ago. The story is based upon events that writer Russell Hunter said he experienced while living in a mansion in Denver, Colorado. Directed by Peter Medak, this chilling horror classic also stars Trish Van Devere and Melvyn Douglas. Martin Scorsese added “The Changeling” to his “Scariest Movies of All Time” list.
*No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

Friday, Sept. 25 (7:30 p.m.)
“Arachnophobia”
(Buena Vista, 1990)
Fed up with the inherent dangers of big-city life, Dr. Ross Jennings (Jeff Daniels) moves his family to a seemingly safe small California town. Soon Jennings encounters a series of sudden deaths where the bodies have been completely drained of blood. Evidence begins to point to a deadly spider species that has been mistakably imported from the rain forests of Venezuela. Frank Marshall, longtime producer of Steven Spielberg’s films, made his directorial debut and John Goodman gives a noteworthy performance as a slovenly exterminator. Advertisers didn’t know if they should market the film as a horror movie, thriller or a comedy so the term “thrill-omedy” was coined.

Saturday, Sept. 26 (7:30 p.m.)
Cult Horror Film Double Feature

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (20th Century Fox, 1992)
In this action-comedy horror film, valley girl cheerleader Buffy (Kristy Swanson) learns from a mysterious man named Merrick (Donald Sutherland) that she is the “chosen one” of her generation destined to rid the world of vampires. Also in the cast are Luke Perry, Rutger Hauer, Paul Reubens and Hilary Swank. The film was taken in a different direction from the one that its writer, Joss Whedon, had intended so five years later he created the darker and acclaimed TV series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

“Army of Darkness” (Universal, 1992, R rated*)
Bruce Campbell returns as the one-armed Ash in the third installment of director Sam Raimi’s slick comic book-like horror trilogy that began with “The Evil Dead” in 1982. Continuing from “Evil Dead II,” Ash is transported back in time—with his ‘73 Oldsmobile and a chainsaw—to 14th-century England where he must locate the Book of the Dead in order to return to the present day. Also starring Elizabeth Davidtz and Bridget Fonda, with music by Danny Elfman, this tongue-in-cheek sequel delivers comedy, gore and sword-and-sorcery-style action. The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films awarded the movie the Saturn Award for best horror film of 1992.
*No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

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PR 15-143
2015-08-17
ISSN 0731-3527