The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson, an Administrative Assistant at the Packard Campus.
Friday, January 29 (7:30 p.m.)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Warner Bros., 1971- R rated*) In Robert Altman’s McCabe & Mrs. Miller, the acclaimed director’s impressionistic style revises western events and characters in such a way that the film reflects on history, industry, and genre from an entirely new perspective. The landscape and characters converge in the role of the film’s production. Altman had the set built from scratch according to specific historical parameters. Cast and crew lived in the buildings, which gradually emerged as the town of Presbyterian Church which is built up throughout the film. The outstanding production includes cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond and a score by Leonard Cohen, as well as acclaimed performances by Warren Beatty and Julie Christie, who received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Actress for her performance. Added to the National Film Registry in 2010. 120 minutes. *No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Saturday, January 30 (2 p.m.)
Hail the Conquering Hero (Paramount, 1944) Who but writer-director Preston Sturges could satirize the worship of war heroes and mothers and get away with it during wartime? Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, Hail the Conquering Hero follows the foibles of a would-be war hero (Eddie Bracken) dismissed from active duty because of chronic hay fever and enlisted by a group of Marines to return home as the war hero. The lightning-paced plot that develops upon his return from “war” offers Sturges myriad opportunities to spoof corruption in small town politics, as well as the propensity to idolize the military. Added to the National Film Registry in 2015. 101 minutes.
Saturday, January 30 (7:30 p.m.)
Top Gun (Paramount, 1986) The Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer production Top Gun comprises a deft portrait of mid-1980s America. Applications to naval aviation schools soared as a result of this relentless, pulsating film famed for its vertiginous fighter plane sequences. Director Tony Scott, always most at home when crafting slick, visually arresting action set pieces with distinctive flair, delivers and then some. The film propelled Tom Cruise to the top echelon of in-demand actors. Kelly McGillis costars as a civilian instructor. Added to the National Film Registry in 2015. 110 minutes.
SUNDAY, January 31 (2 p.m.)
The Shawshank Redemption (Columbia, 1994- R rated*) Banker Tim Robbins is wrongly convicted of the double murder of his wife and her lover. But he spends much of his prison sentence beset by guilt over whether he contributed to her infidelity and consumed by the knowledge that he had seriously contemplated murdering her. Eventually, Robbins decides he must “get busy living or get busy dying” and plots an eventual escape. The poignant Thomas Newman score and the moving character portrayals and deep friendship between inmates Robbins and Morgan Freeman contributed to the film’s enduring popularity. Added to the National Film Registry in 2015. 142 minutes. *No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.