March 14, 2016 Library's Packard Campus Theater Features Live Old-Time Radio
April Celebration Includes Harry Potter Series, "The Wiz," "Ziggy Stardust"
Press Contact: Sheryl Cannady, Office of Communications, (202) 707-6456
Public Contact: Rob Stone (202) 707-0851
Films based on music or musicals will be on tap during April at the Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater, including "The Wiz," "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars," two movies featuring country-music great Willie Nelson (winner in 2015 of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song) and a biopic about Gilbert & Sullivan.
The theater also welcomes a live old-time radio event on April 16, and the last four films in the Harry Potter series will be screened April 1-3.
The Metropolitan Washington Old Time Radio Club, members of which played to an enthusiastic full house last August, returns with a new program, recreating broadcasts of two 15- minute soap operas from 1936 and 1940, plus an episode of the private-eye series "Pat Novak for Hire." Special guest Ben Model will provide the musical accompaniment on the theater organ.
Matt Barton, recorded sound curator at the Library's Packard Campus, has programmed the remainder of the month with films centered on music or radio. Offerings include several rarely projected films in original release prints from the Library's holdings.
There will be no screenings the second week of April as the Packard Campus hosts the 10th Orphan Film Symposium, an international gathering of archivists, scholars, curators, preservationists, technical experts, artists, and media-makers devoted to screening and discussing films of uncertain provenance, films that have been abandoned by their rights-holders, or films that are otherwise in some state of neglect.
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. 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 world's largest library. 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
Friday, April 1 (7:00 p.m.)
"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (Warner Bros., 2007)
As Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts for his fifth year of studies, he discovers that the magical community is in a state of denial about his recent horrific encounter with the ominous Lord Voldemort. In fact, The Daily Prophet has launched a smear campaign against Harry and Prof. Dumbledore, and Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge, fearing that Headmaster Dumbledore is forming a rebellion against the Ministry, assigns Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton), the new Defense against the Dark Arts professor, to spy on Dumbledore and keep an ironclad watch over the tense student body. The rebellion involving the students of Hogwarts and the secret organization the Order of the Phoenix against the Ministry of Magic and Voldemort's cadre, the Death Eaters, begins. This installment was directed by David Yates who would go on to direct the remaining three films in the series.
Saturday, April 2 (7 p.m.)
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" (Warner Bros., 2009)
Lord Voldemort tightens his grip on both the wizarding and Muggle worlds and enlists Harry's nemesis, fellow Hogwarts student Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) to carry out a secret mission. Headmaster Albus Dumbledore persuades his old friend Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) to return to Hogwarts, ostensibly as Potions professor. Romance strikes many of the now-teenage students at Hogwarts, and Dumbledore and Harry secretly work together to discover how to destroy the Dark Lord once and for all.
Sunday, April 3 (2 p.m.)
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1" (Warner Bros., 2010)
In what is to be their final year at Hogwarts, Harry Potter and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger instead embark on a dangerous quest to find and destroy Lord Voldemort's secret to immortality – the horcruxes. Along the way, they encounter Death Eaters, Snatchers and the mysterious Deathly Hallows as Harry's connection with the Dark Lord's mind becomes ever-stronger. Bill Nighy joins the cast as Rufus Scrimgeour, the new Minister of Magic.
Sunday, April 3 (7 p.m.)
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2" (Warner Bros., 2011)
After destroying one horcrux and discovering the significance of the three Deathly Hallows (a wand, a stone to bring the dead to life, and a cloak of invisibility), Harry, Ron and Hermione continue to seek the remaining horcruxes in an attempt to eliminate Voldemort. The Dark Lord launches an attack on Hogwarts School, where the trio return for one last stand against the dark forces that threaten to rid the wizarding world of those with non-magical heritage to achieve pure-blood dominance. This final installment in the series was one of the best-reviewed films of 2011.
Friday, April 15 (7:30 p.m.)
"Play Misty for Me" (Universal, 1971 – R-rated *)
Late-night jazz disc jockey and inveterate playboy Dave Garver (Clint Eastwood) plays the field like he plays records on his show, but meets his match when he becomes involved with a dangerously obsessed fan, played by Jessica Walter. "Play Misty for Me" was shot memorably on location by Bruce Surtees around Eastwood's home in Carmel-by-the Sea, California and at the Monterey Jazz Festival, where Cannonball Adderly and Johnny Otis are seen. Eastwood and Surtees had worked together earlier in the year on Don Siegel's "The Beguiled," and collaborated on 11 features over the next 20 years. This was Eastwood's directorial debut and proved to be a major hit. In addition to Errol Garner's classic rendition of "Misty," the soundtrack includes Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," a little-known 1969 recording that subsequently became an international pop hit and beloved standard. *No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Saturday, April 16 (7:30 p.m.)
"An Evening of Old-Time Radio with the Metropolitan Washington Old-Time Radio Club"
Club members will re-create three broadcasts, complete with sound effects and live music from the Golden Age of Radio: a 1940 episode of the soap opera "John's Other Wife," a 1936 episode of the children's series "Little Orphan Annie," (two examples of daily, 15-minute radio serials), and a 1949 episode of the private-eye series "Pat Novak for Hire," a self-contained 30-minute evening program. Founded in 1984, the Metropolitan Washington Old-Time Radio Club honors, collects and preserves information on vintage radio, meeting each month in Northern Virginia. Members have hosted OTR panel discussions and made presentations at the Smithsonian Institute, NOVA College, The National Air and Space Museum, The Newseum and for numerous senior citizens' groups and retirement homes. Last August, the club performed before a capacity crowd here at The Packard Theater, so come early for the best seats! Special guest Ben Model will provide musical accompaniment on the theater organ.
Friday, April 22 (7:30 p.m.)
"Citizen's Band" (aka "Handle With Care") (Paramount, 1977)
The CB radio was at its peak of popularity and impact when this clever comedy was released, but the movie still failed to find an audience. The film has languished ever since and has not been released on DVD, in spite of being one of Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme's earliest efforts. "Citizen's Band" reunited Paul Le Mat and Candy Clark from the cast of "American Graffiti" with Le Mat as Spider, a beleaguered Nebraskan CB radio repairman and volunteer first-responder to local highway emergencies. Clark plays his ex-fiancée, one of too many local CB operators in the area who are hilariously but dangerously misusing the Citizen's Band, leading Spider to launch a one-man crusade against a rogue's gallery of homegrown troublemakers with handles like "The Red Baron," "The Hustler," and "Chrome Angel" that he can hear, but not see.
Saturday, April 23 (2 p.m.)
"The Wiz" (Universal, 1978)
Charlie Smalls's jazzy, updated version of "The Wizard of Oz" won seven Tony Awards on Broadway in 1975, and was brought to the screen three years later with Diana Ross taking the lead role of a grown-up, urban Dorothy that Stephanie Mills originated on Broadway. In spite of a wonderful score, Oscar-winner Sidney Lumet's direction and an all-star cast that included Michael Jackson as Scarecrow, Nipsey Russell as the Tin Man, Lena Horne as Glinda the Good Witch, and Richard Pryor in the title role, "The Wiz" was not a major hit, though the soundtrack album was a bestseller. The film, its music, and its message found an audience over the years, and the 2015 live network television production of the show created further interest in it.
Saturday, April 23 (7:30 p.m.)
"Soul Power" (Sony Pictures Classics, 2008)
As part of the build-up to the 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle" heavyweight title bout between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire, three nights of all-star concerts were held in the capital city of Kinshasa to celebrate the music and culture of Africa and the Americas. Due to legal problems, the film of these concerts went unseen for 34 years, when it was finally assembled by director Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and billed as "the greatest musical festival you have never seen." "Soul Power" features James Brown, the Spinners, B.B. King, Bill Withers, Sister Sledge, the Crusaders, Manu Dibango, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masakela, Johnny Pacheco, Celia Cruz and the Fania All-Stars at the peak of their careers in a montage of live performances, along with Muhammad Ali himself.
Friday, April 29 (7:30 p.m.)
Glam and Metal Rock Doc Double Feature
"Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" (20th Century Fox, 1973)
On July 3rd, 1973, David Bowie assumed his "Ziggy Stardust" persona on stage for the last time, joined by his band "The Spiders from Mars." Documentarist D.A. Pennebaker was originally retained by RCA Victor to shoot about 20 minutes of the show for a promotional film, but after seeing Bowie's July 2nd concert, decided that "there was a full-length film here asking to be made" and quickly assembled a small crew on short notice to capture the full concert. The result is a rough but compelling document of one of rock's greatest performers at the peak of the first phase of his career, fronting the band that helped first define him for audiences. The interplay between Bowie and guitarist Mick Ronson is particularly memorable. The film did not receive a theatrical release until 1983.
"The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years" (New Line Cinema, 1988 – R-rated *)
Director Penelope Spheeris's often-hilarious film showcases the inhabitants of L.A.'s then-burgeoning metal culture. Chris Holmes (of Wasp) gives a frightening poolside monologue, while Ozzy Osbourne, seen at home frying eggs, is charming. Also seen are Alice Cooper, Poison, and members of Aerosmith, KISS and Motörhead. With live footage of Megadeth, Faster Pussycat, Lizzie Borden, London, Odin and Seduce. The film is a sequel to Spheeris's 1981 documentary of the L.A. punk-rock scene.*No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Saturday, April 30 (2 p.m.)
"The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan" (United Artists, 1953)
Robert Morley and Maurice Evens portray William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, who conquered the worlds of theater and music in the 19th century with their still-beloved operettas. This English Technicolor production features the legendary D'Oyle Carte Opera Company, which was an integral part of the Gilbert & Sullivan story, premiering all 14 of their collaborations, and carrying on their legacy until 1982. In the film, the 1950s company is seen performing excerpts from "Trial by Jury" (1875), "H.M.S. Pinafore" (1878), "The Pirates of Penzance" (1879), "Iolanthe" (1882), "The Mikado" (1885), "Ruddigore" (1887), "The Yeomen of the Guard" (1888) and "The Gondoliers" (1889).
Saturday, April 30 (7:30 p.m.)
"Outlaw" Country Music Double Feature
"Willie Nelson's 4th of July Celebration" (Alston/Zanich International, 1979 – R-rated *)
Since 1973, Willie Nelson has hosted his annual 4th of July celebrations at various locations, mainly in Texas. The second of these was a three-day festival that drew tens of thousands of fans to the Texas World Speedway in College Station to hear Willie, Waylon Jennings, Leon Russell, Doug Kershaw, B.W. Stevenson, the Lost Gonzo Band, Michael Murphey and many others. It was filmed by a loose consortium of production crews that included NBC's "Midnight Special." Performance clips were seen on television, but the planned theatrical documentary was held up for several years by disagreements among the backers, filmmakers and performers and only saw a limited release in 1979. The film captures country music's uninhibited, free-living "outlaw" community on its home turf just as it was about break nationally. *No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
"Outlaw Country" (aka "Heartworn Highways") (First Run Features, 1981)
"The best music and the best whiskey come from the same part of the country" the posters for this rarely seen documentary declared. A more intimate look at the outlaws of 1970s country than "Willie Nelson's 4th of July Celebration," it features artists Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, David Allan Coe, Charlie Daniels, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, Larry Jon Wilson, Steve Young and Barefoot Jerry in both formal and informal settings including a recording studio, a high school gymnasium and the Tennessee State Prison. Though it was released in 1981, the film was shot in late 1975.