Friday, May 31, 2013

Summer Classics: BMFI Staff Picks

By Devin Wachs, Public Relations Manager, BMFI 

Our annual Summer Classics series of repertory favorites from Hollywood and beyond begins next week, Tuesday, June 4, with the original King Kong. All summer long, we’ll be featuring vintage and recent classics on the big screen, with film series celebrating iconic filmmakers Alfred Hitchcock and David Lean, three new sing-alongs, the new 90th anniversary DCP restoration of Harold Lloyd’s silent comedy Safety Last!, and one night Summer Classic Seminars on Back to the Future and Brief Encounter. In addition, for the first time we’re featuring family films on Saturday mornings all summer long, including a month of the Marx Brothers!

We asked some of our staff to tell us what they're most looking forward to seeing at BMFI this summer. Do you agree? What are you excited to see?

Little Shop of Horrors Sing-along – Wednesday, June 12, 7:00 pm
Chosen by Kerri Grogan, Staff Assistant

I don't know about you, but I make it a habit to sing along with every musical I know, every time I watch them. And what's more fun than a campy musical about carnivorous alien plants? Answer: watching campy musicals about carnivorous alien plants on a big screen...and singing along with everyone in the theater. It sounds like it's gonna be a blast.

Sing along with Rick Moranis, who plays Seymour, the caretaker to the floral menace known as Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors.

Safety Last! – Tuesday, June 25, 7:00 pm
Chosen by Andrew J. Douglas, Ph.D., Director of Education

I’m very much looking forward to Safety Last! (1923) because though it’s Harold Lloyd’s most famous film, it really hasn’t been seen by a large segment of the contemporary audience, and this style of daring, physical comedy—similarly performed by Lloyd’s (even) more famous peers, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle—is a lost art that needs to be preserved, and enjoyed, through theatrical screenings like this one. Also, I think, not unlike “Rosebud,” far more people know the image of a man dangling from a clock, (apparently) high above a city street, than have actually seen the film from which it originates, and I like that people who come to see the film will be reminded of that connection—or make it for the first time.

Harold Lloyd hangs precariously from the clock of a New York skyscraper in Safety Last!

Back to the Future - Tuesday, July 2
Film at 7:00 pm
Summer Classics Seminar at 6:30 pm
Chosen by Valerie Temple, Programming Manager

I'm teaching a Summer Classics Seminar on Back to the Future, but that's only part of the reason I'm looking forward to seeing the time travelling adventure on the big screen. Even though I've seen this particular film approximately 192 times (at least), I've never had the pleasure of seeing it on the big screen. Finally, I'll get to see that souped up DeLorean zooming across a screen larger than my TV! I am worried that I'll disturb the other patrons as I know the dialogue by heart and can't help but quote along with the movie. So, if you come to the screening and I'm making too much of a ruckus, don't hesitate to tell me to "make like a tree and get out of there!"

Great Scott! Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox are perfectly cast in Back to the Future.

Brief Encounter - Tuesday, August 13
Film at 7:00 pm
Summer Classics Seminar at 6:30 pm

Chosen by Pat Wesley, Director of Development and Communications

I am not sure which pairing is less likely: two thirty-something, properly married (to others) war-time Brits or David Lean and Noël Coward. I do know the result is a wistful, tender Brief Encounter and I can’t wait to get lost again in the foggy heartbreak of it all.

Celia Johnson, boarding a train, shares a poignant look with Trevor Howard in Brief Encounter

Heavyweights – Saturday, August 17, 11:00 am
Chosen by Andrew J. Douglas, Ph.D., Director of Education

I’ve never seen Heavyweights, but I’m very much looking forward to completing the trilogy of Ben Stiller-as-extremely-fit-but-dumb-as-a-bag-of-hammers-guy films that also includes Zoolander (2001) and Dodgeball (2004). Given the Disney branding and family-friendly elements of this film, I’m not expecting for the hilarity to be quite as ribald as it was in those films, but on the other hand, with co-writer/executive producer Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin) behind the scenes, and comic talents like Paul Feig (director of Bridesmaids), Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live), Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development), and comedy duo Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara on screen, I don’t think I’ll be disappointed.

Ben Stiller stars in Heavyweights as the insane (and insanely strict) fitness coach at Camp Hope.

For my part, although many of these films are personal favorites, I am particularly excited to bring a recent delight back to BMFI: Magic Camp, which we'll be showing on Monday, July 15 at 1:15 pm. If you missed our Pennsylvania Premiere of the film in December, this is your chance to see this charming documentary about Tannen's Magic Camp on the big screen again, with the added bonus of a Q&A with director Judd Ehrlich and performances by professional magicians who are instructors at the camp. Plus, it was filmed a few blocks away at Bryn Mawr College, where the camp meets!

Meet Magic Camp filmmaker Judd Ehrlich and campers and instructors from Tannen's Magic Camp at BMFI's encore of this fun documentary.

You can explore all of our films and upcoming events, watch trailers, and buy tickets at, or look at the latest issue of Projections, our program guide.

Devin Wachs is the Public Relations Manager for Bryn Mawr Film Institute. She joined BMFI in 2005, following her graduation from Bryn Mawr College. If you send BMFI a message on Facebook or Twitter or are interested in onscreen sponsorships, she's the one who'll be in touch!

No comments:

Post a Comment