July 18, 2017 August at Packard Spotlights World War II and the Sound of Blues

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Public Contact: Rob Stone (202) 707-0851
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Highlights on the August schedule for the Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater include World War II films that commemorate the U.S. Army Air Force’s bombardier training program and the 75th anniversaries of the Siege of Malta and the Battle of Mount Austen in Guadalcanal. Blues songwriter, singer, guitarist and Virginia native Eli Cook will perform live in concert on August 18.

“Eli Cook – River of Blues” is free, but tickets are required, and there may be special restrictions. Visit this event-ticketing site for more information and to secure your ticket. Tickets will be available beginning on July 19th. Composer and pianist Makia Matsumura will provide live musical accompaniment for the 1926 silent film “La Bohème,” starring Lillian Gish and John Gilbert, on Aug. 4. Lillian Gish will be showcased the following evening in a stellar performance later in her career, in the 1955 National Film Registry title “The Night of the Hunter.” The month’s programming closes out with an evening of short subjects that are part of the National Film Registry.

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-served basis unless otherwise noted. 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.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.


Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater Schedule

Thursday, August 3
(7:30 p.m.)
“Pat and Mike” (MGM, 1952)
College physical-education instructor Pat Pemberton (Katharine Hepburn) enters into a professional competition as a golf and tennis player, but loses her confidence whenever her undermining fiancé is around. Mike Conovan (Spencer Tracy), a likable but shady sports promoter, first attempts to get Pat to lose, but later wants to become her manager – and perhaps more. Directed by George Cukor, “Pat and Mike” was the seventh of nine pictures that Hepburn and Tracy made together and the second one scripted by the husband-and wife-team of Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon. Their screenplay, designed to showcase Hepburn's athletic abilities, was nominated for an Oscar.


Friday, August 4 (7:30 p.m.)
“La Bohème”
(MGM, 1926)
Often referred to as the “First Lady of American Cinema,” Lillian Gish had appeared in more than 70 films beginning in 1912 when she signed with the recently formed MGM. With significant creative control on her projects, Gish selected King Vidor to direct “La Bohème” based on Henri Murger's 1851 novel “La Vie de bohème” (The Bohemians of the Latin Quarter). Gish portrays Mimi, the delicate seamstress who takes up residence in Paris's artists’ colony where she falls in love with aspiring painter Rodolphe (John Gilbert). Renée Adorée co-stars as the saucy Musette and Edward Everett Horton is Rodolphe's musician friend Colline. Makia Matsumura will provide live musical accompaniment.

Saturday, August 5 (7:30 p.m.)

“The Night of the Hunter” (United Artists, 1955)
In his sole directorial endeavor, British actor Charles Laughton creates a parable of greed, corruption and redemption in this dark allegory of good versus evil. Robert Mitchum stars as Harry Powell, a deranged, self-appointed preacher who terrorizes two children to learn the hiding place of some stolen money while romancing their widowed mother (Shelley Winters). He meets his match in Rachel Cooper (Lillian Gish), a saintly protector of runaway and abandoned children. “The Night of the Hunter” was added to the National Film Registry in 1992.

Thursday, August 10 (7:30 p.m.)
 (RKO, 1943)
Richard Wallace directed this World War II drama about the first training program for bombardiers of the United States Army Air Forces. Pat O'Brien and Randolph Scott star as the pilots in charge of training, who clash over teaching methods. The supporting cast includes Eddie Albert and Robert Ryan as cadets and Anne Shirley as a civilian clerk. “Bombardier” was begun before the U.S. entered the war and underwent several revisions over the next few years, including a reference to Pearl Harbor, to accommodate the swiftly changing events of the world conflict. Authentic footage of bombardier training was shot on location at Kirtland Field in Albuquerque, New Mexico and many of the real-life cadets appeared as extras.

Friday, August 11 (7:30 p.m.)
“Malta Story” (United Artists, 1953)
Alec Guinness stars as RAF photographer Flight Lt. Peter Ross, with Jack Hawkins as his commanding officer, in this British drama based on the heroic air defense of Malta during the Siege of Malta (June 1940 – November 1942) during World War II. The idea for the production came from Britain’s Central Office of Information, which wanted to point out the cooperation among the three branches of the armed services during the war. Director Brian Desmond Hurst shot much of the picture in Malta with aircraft used during the siege that was still operational, some of which did not exist elsewhere. Stock footage also contributed to the authenticity of the film.

Saturday, August 12 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Thin Red Line” (20th Century Fox, 1998 - R-rated *)
Based on James Jones' novel, this epic war drama tells a semi-fictionalized version of the Battle of Mount Austen (December 1942-January 1943), which was part of the Guadalcanal Campaign in the Pacific Theater in World War II. Director Terrence Malick, who also wrote the screenplay, shot on location in Australia and the Solomon Islands. The ensemble cast includes Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Adrien Brody, George Clooney, John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Elias Koteas, Jared Leto, John C. Reilly and John Travolta. “The Thin Red Line” was nominated for seven Oscars including best picture, best director and best adapted screenplay. * No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

Thursday, August 17 (7:30 p.m.)
“Each Dawn I Die” (Warner Bros., 1939)
James Cagney stars as cocky reporter Frank Ross in this fast-paced crime drama directed by William Keighley. While investigating a crooked district attorney running for governor, Ross is framed for manslaughter and sent to prison where he befriends a famous gangster 'Hood' Stacey (George Raft). The film also features George Bancroft as the no-nonsense prison warden, Victor Jory, Jane Bryan and Maxie Rosenbloom.

Friday, August 18 (7:30 p.m.)
“Eli Cook – River of Blues” (Live)
“Eli Cook – River of Blues” is a performance celebrating the story of blues music in America. Following the tradition of the great blues musicians, Eli Cook performed in churches and late-night gospel revivals in, while also playing every hole-in-the-wall bar that could handle his acoustic and deep baritone voice and talents of his supporting bassist and drummer. Blending the influences of John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Fred MacDowell, Bukka White and Lightning Hopkins with the likes of Clutch, Soundgarden, C.O.C, and Rage against the Machine, he forged a fresh sound, alive with the southern blues tradition. Cook's new album “High-Dollar Gospel” will be released in August 2017.This event is free, but tickets are required, and there may be special restrictions. Visit this event-ticketing site for more information and to secure your ticket. Tickets will be available beginning July 19th.

Saturday, August 19 (7:30 p.m.)
“True Lies” (20th Century Fox, 1994 - R-rated *)
James Cameron co-wrote, produced and directed this action comedy starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Harry Tasker, a spy in an ultra-secret, high-tech government agency. His wife (Jamie Lee Curtis) thinks he’s just a nerdy computer salesman but when Harry's identities collide, the Taskers find themselves in the clutches of international terrorists, fighting to save their marriage and their lives. “True Lies” was Oscar-nominated for best visual effects and Jamie Lee Curtis won a Golden Globe Award for best actress in a musical or comedy. The supporting cast includes Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton and Art Malik. * No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

Thursday, August 24 (7:30 p.m.)

“Platinum Blonde” (Columbia, 1931)
Jean Harlow is the title character in this romantic comedy directed by Frank Capra. Originally intended as a vehicle for starlet Loretta Young who is top-billed, the name was changed from “Gallagher” (Young’s character) to “Platinum Blonde” to capitalize on Harlow's rising popularity. Both women vie for the attention of reporter Stew Smith: Young as one of his newspaper pals and Harlow as a society dame whose family was recently embroiled in a sex scandal that Stew covered for the tabloid. Critics praised the performance of relative newcomer Robert Williams as the cocky reporter and predicted a big career in pictures to follow. Sadly, Williams died from peritonitis just four days after the film's bi-coastal premiere.

Friday, August 25 (7:30 p.m.)
“Allegheny Uprising” (RKO, 1939)
Set in in the days before the American Revolution, local settlers and Indian fighters in Pennsylvania's Allegheny Valley try to persuade the British authorities to ban the trading of alcohol and arms with the marauding Native Americans. William A. Seiter directed this historical adventure based on a true incident. The supporting cast includes Brian Donlevy as a crooked trader and George Sanders as a tyrannical British captain. The 35mm film print being shown was made by the Library of Congress Film Preservation Lab in 2016.

Saturday, August 26 (2 p.m.)

“Tuck Everlasting” (Disney, 2002)
Based on the best-selling children's book by Natalie Babbitt, this Disney-released family fantasy film asks the question, “If you could choose to live forever, would you?” It tells the story of the strictly brought up teenager Winnie Foster (Alexis Bledel) whose world is opened up by a chance meeting with a boy and his backwoods family who seem to have discovered the secret to eternal life. Directed by Jay Russell, the cast also includes Jonathan Jackson, Sissy Spacek and William Hurt.

Thursday, August 31 (7:30 p.m.)

“All Things Being Equal 2: National Film Registry Shorts” (1896-1953)
Of the 700 films currently on the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry, a significant number are not feature-length films. Shorter films - experimental, animated, avant-garde, or musical in nature - also populate the list. “All Things Being Equal 2” is an evening showcasing these briefer works which, though they may not fill theaters or marquees, have nevertheless had a profound impact on the art of filmmaking and the development of America’s cultural landscape. In 2014, the Packard Campus showcased a screening of these shorter films, and this evening will feature a brand-new slate of National Film Registry titles including the 1950s Civil Defense film “The House in the Middle”; a cartoon by Tex Avery; a dance piece by the great Martha Graham; the avant-garde works “I, An Actress” and “Free Radicals” and the “scandalous” 1896 Edison film “The Kiss.”


PR 17-101
ISSN 0731-3527