The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson, an Administrative Assistant at the Packard Campus.
Friday, March 25 (7:30 p.m.)
The Ten Commandments (Paramount, 1956)
Cecil B. DeMille’s last and most successful work is a partial remake of his 1923 silent film. This Biblical epic follows the life of Moses (played by Charlton Heston) from birth and abandonment through manhood, slavery, and trials in his leading the Jews out of Egypt. Filmed on location in Egypt, Mount Sinai and the Sinai Peninsula, it was at the time of its release, the most expensive film ever made as well as the highest-grossing film of 1956. The all-star cast includes Yul Brynner as Rameses, Anne Baxter, Edward G. Robinson, Yvonne De Carlo, Debra Paget and John Derek. Filmed in Technicolor and VistaVision, the Oscar-winning special effects include the Burning Bush, the Angel of Death, the Pillar of Fire, the giving of the Ten Commandments and most notably, the Parting of the Red Sea. Nominated for six additional Oscars including Best Picture, the film was added to the National Film Registry in 1999. 220 minutes.
Saturday, March 26 (7:30 p.m.)
A Town Called Panic (Zeitgeist Films, 2009)
A film unlike anything you’ve seen before, A Town Called Panic (Panique au village) tells the story of Indian, Cowboy, and Horse, who share a house in the country. It’s Horse’s birthday and his two roomies have forgotten to get him a present. In ordering bricks to build Horse a BBQ, a typing error cause 800 million to be delivered, rather than 80. This is the catalyst for an amazing adventure that literally goes around, in and under the world. And did we mention that all the characters are played by small plastic toys? This fast paced, highly animated comedy is fun for the whole family. The film is in French, with English subtitles. 75 minutes.
Metropolis (UFA, 1927-Kino Lorber, 1984)
In 1984, shortly after his musical work in Flashdance, Cat People, and Scarface made him very wealthy, composer Giorgio Moroder embarked on a personal project to present a restored and “modernized” version of Fritz Lang’s silent sci-fi epic. Working with the German Archives, Moroder was able to gain access to top quality materials for the film that had not been seen in decades. To try making this silent film acceptable to the modern eighties audiences, Moroder enlisted the likes of Pat Benatar, Loverboy, Freddie Mercury, and Bonnie Tyler to sing within it a new pop/rock score. On top of that, color tinting was added and dialogue intertitles redone as subtitles. While the result was not to everyone’s taste, it did prove that silent films could still be a marketable commodity, if given a quality presentation. And now, some thirty years on, it becomes a nostalgic reminder of the 1980s. The 35 mm film print being screened is believed to be one of the few original surviving release prints. 83 minutes.
For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.