BMFI's Summer Film Preview
By Dan Santelli, BMFI Programming Intern
As the temperatures rise, the sun shines bright, and schools let out, why risk sunburn when you can catch the beam of a projector bouncing off the silver screen? Summer movie season is on the horizon and BMFI is serving up a slew of classic films, special events, and the best new releases guaranteed to entertain movie lovers of all ages and sensibilities.
Our Summer Classics programming begins with a bang thanks to a 35 mm screening of Die Hard, shown as part of the June class Action Films as Art, taught by BMFI's Director of Education, Andrew J. Douglas, Ph.D., and Programming Manager, Valerie Temple, M.F.A. Dr. Douglas will also lead a course on the early works of Alfred Hitchcock in conjunction with a July series featuring two of Hitchcock’s British pictures—The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes—and two American features—Rebecca and Spellbound.
If suspense isn’t up your alley, warm up your vocal chords with sing-along showings of Bye Bye Birdie, My Fair Lady, and An American in Paris, shown as part of the Singin’ in the Summer series. Free popcorn if you wear a costume!
|"The Children of Marx and Coca-Cola": Jean-Pierre Leaud and Chantal Goya in Godard's Masculin Feminin.|
Inspired by AMC’s hit show Mad Men (it's a BMFI office favorite) and its suave, sophisticated characters, Ms. Temple has cooked up a series of five films with the Drapers in mind. Billy Wilder’s comedy triumph The Apartment, Godard’s New Wave classic Masculin Feminin, and Douglas Sirk’s 1955 melodrama All That Heaven Allows are highlights.
Be sure to figure out Who’s That Lady? at screenings of Orson Welles’ The Lady From Shanghai and Best Picture Oscar winner All About Eve, as well as rediscover two Bill Murray scene stealers—Caddyshack and Tootsie.
|Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth in The Lady from Shanghai.|
Director Philip Kaufman will be in our focus during the month of August with screenings of his acclaimed features The Right Stuff and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, with a special appearance by film critic and author Annette Insdorf, Ph.D.
|The Perm (Donald Sutherland, above) and The Mullet ("Rowdy" Roddy Piper, below) face off in BMFI's alien-centric summer favorites.|
BMFI’s The Late Show series will continue its run of hidden gems and offbeat cult movies on select Fridays at 11:30 pm throughout the summer, showcasing the weird side of the studio system with five ’80s Hollywood Oddities. Beginning with Jim Henson and Frank Oz’s 1982 Tolkien-inspired Muppet epic, The Dark Crystal, and ending with John Carpenter’s alien-laden critique of 1980s ideology They Live, the series also includes Terry Gilliam’s Orwellian Brazil, John Carpenter’s kung-fu actioner Big Trouble in Little China, and Robert Greenwald’s campy musical Xanadu. Whether you’re looking for social satire, Muppets, a darkly humorous vision of the future, or a good kick to the head by Kurt Russell, The Late Show is bound to please.
The summer ends with big screen showings of the evergreen Ben-Hur and Casablanca. If you haven't seen these classics on the big screen, you're missing out. Buy your tickets early--Casablanca is an end-of-summer tradition and tickets go fast.
In addition to our line up of classic films, we're also featuring three special events, including an encore viewing of Michael Smerconish's interview with Chris Matthews on June 3, and the ReelAbilities Film Festival's June 7 screening of the French film The Straight Line, about an ex-con who trains a blind racetrack runner.
On June 11, BMFI will hold a special screening of the documentary Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us? at 7:30pm. Prior to the screening, enjoy a special honey-centric dinner provided by Whole Foods Market with expert beekeepers in attendance. Come on down and hear the buzz on the horrors of bee colony collapse disorder and what you can do to help fix it.
|Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis) sets course in search of her mother in Beasts of the Southern Wild.|
As always, a score of acclaimed new releases will accompany the old favorites. We do our programming on a week-by-week basis, but we're hoping to show the Cannes favorite Moonrise Kingdom (the new Wes Anderson picture) and the Grand Jury Prize winner at Sundance, Beasts of the Southern Wild, praised by Ms. Temple as “the best of the fest” and film critic Roger Ebert as “the best film I’ve seen this year."
Showcasing the best of high art and the most spectacular entertainments, there’s no putting a foot wrong with beating the heat and staying cool in a movie theater.
For more information about these and the rest of the films that BMFI is featuring this summer, check out the summer issue of Projections. From all of us at Bryn Mawr Film Institute, we wish everyone a happy, healthy, and safe summer. We look forward to seeing you at the movies.
Dan Santelli, BMFI's Programming Intern, is a 2012 graduate of Temple University with a Bachelor's degree in Film and Media Arts. A lifelong cineaste, his favorite films (in no particular order) include Leon: The Professional, The Night of the Hunter, Touch of Evil, Blue Velvet, Brazil, Apocalypse Now, Dressed To Kill (1980), Halloween, and Les Yeux Sans Visage.