The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Thursday, August 22 (7:30 p.m.)
High School (Zipporah Films, 1968)
Filmmaker Fred Wiseman employed the techniques of a burgeoning documentary style known as “direct cinema” to capture reality truthfully and without narration. Wiseman roamed freely through Philadelphia’s Northeast High School to document students continually clashing with administrators who confuse learning with discipline. Richard Schickel, writing in Life magazine, called this film a “wicked, brilliant documentary about life in a lower-middle-class secondary school.” This is one of Wiseman’s shortest documentaries, yet the impact is as memorable as his longer works. The film was added to The National Film Registry in 1991. Wiseman’s film Hospital, made two years later, is also on the Registry. 35mm film print produced by the Library of Congress Film Preservation Lab in 2015, 75 min.
Friday, August 23 (7:30 p.m.)
L’Avventura (Janus Films, 1960)
Michelangelo Antonioni invented a new film grammar with this masterwork. An iconic piece of challenging 1960s cinema and a gripping narrative on its own terms, L’avventura concerns the enigmatic disappearance of a young woman during a yachting trip off the coast of Sicily, and the search taken up by her disaffected lover (Gabriele Ferzetti) and best friend (Monica Vitti, in her breakout role). Antonioni’s controversial international sensation is a gorgeously shot tale of modern ennui and spiritual isolation. The film won the 1960 Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize and went on to international box office success. 35mm film print courtesy of Janus films, 144 min.
Saturday, August 24 (2 p.m.)
Jumanji (TriStar, 1995)
When two siblings discover an enchanted board game that opens the door to a magical world, they unwittingly invite into their living room a man who’s been trapped inside the game for 26 years–and whose only hope for freedom is to finish the game. Robin Williams stars in this family adventure comedy that was adapted from the 1981 children’s book. The cast also features Bonnie Hunt, Kirsten Dunst, Bradley Pierce, Jonathan Hyde, Bebe Neuwirth and David Alan Grier. Jumanji was a box office hit and was followed by Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017), with an upcoming film, Jumanji: The Next Level set to be released in December 2019. 35mm archival film print, 104 min.
Saturday, August 24 (7:30 p.m.)
The Dark Crystal (Universal, 1982)
Master Muppeteers Jim Henson and Frank Oz co-direct this puppet-animated, dark fantasy adventure film that tells the mythical tale of Jen, the last of the Gelfling race, who is charged with healing the Crystal of Truth after its mutilation ushered in an era of terror at the hands of the wicked Skeksis. Jen must find a missing shard in the observatory of an ancient astronomer before the Skesis are given the power to rule for all eternity. The screenplay was written by The Muppet Show veteran David Odell, based on a story concept by Henson. The animatronics used in the film were considered groundbreaking and the primary concept artist was fantasy illustrator Brian Froud, famous for his distinctive fairy and dwarf designs. A prequel television series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, will premiere on Netflix on August 30, 2019. 35mm archival film print, rated PG. 93 min.
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