The following is guest post by Jenny Paxson, Administrative Assistant at the Packard Campus and the Packard Campus Theater programmer for December.
Thursday, December 11 (7:30 p.m.)
The Castle (Miramax, 1997)
This charming Australian comedy was the biggest cinematic hit in 1997 in its native land. After it played at the Sundance Film Festival, Roger Ebert called it “one of those comic treasures like The Full Monty that shows its characters in full bloom of glorious eccentricity.” Working-class tow-truck driver and father of four, Darryl Kerrigan’s only distinguishing feature is his beaming reverence for his home and family. Although his kids appear to be underachievers and his home is located on the edge of a major international airport, his family is his pride and joy and his home is his castle. When government officials demand that Kerrigan sell his house for an expansion of the airport, he fights back through the legal system–all the way to the Supreme Court. The Kerrigans’ optimism is inspirational and their belief in themselves–and the creative spin on what some perceive as negative–is both hilarious and touching. Directed by Rob Sitch, the film stars Michael Caton, Anne Tenney and Eric Bana in his screen debut.
Friday, December 12 (7:30 p.m.)
The Palm Beach Story (Paramount, 1942)
Preston Sturges wrote and directed this romantic screwball comedy, starring Joel McCrea as struggling inventor Tom Jeffers. His wife Gerry (Claudette Colbert), frustrated with their penniless existence, decides to get a divorce and marry a millionaire to get her hands on the cash to finance her soon-to-be ex-husband’s career. Gerry hops a train to Palm Beach where she meets wealthy and eccentric bachelor J.D. Hackensacker III (Rudy Vallée) and later his wacky man-hungry sister (Mary Astor). Theatergoers should pay close attention to the fast-paced prologue during the opening credits, which is revisited at the end of the movie.
Saturday, December 13 (7:30 p.m.)
Amadeus (Orion, 1984)
In this Academy Award-winning film based on Peter Shaffer’s 1979 play, the lives of genius composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri, the once respected but long since forgotten court composer of Emperor Joseph II, are the starting point for a highly fictionalized drama of envy and audacity. Directed by Miloš Forman, the lush production stars Tom Hulce as loutish Mozart and F. Murray Abraham as the refined Salieri. Nominated for 11 Academy Awards, the film won eight top awards, including best picture, best director, best actor for Abraham and best adapted screenplay for Shaffer. The original soundtrack recording of Mozart’s music, performed by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and conducted by Sir Neville Marriner, won a Grammy Award and became one of the best-selling classical albums of all time.
For more information on our programs, please visit the web site at www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.