The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Friday, August 26 (7:30 p.m.)
The Royal Tenenbaums (Buena Vista, 2001 – R-rated *)
Wes Anderson followed his great success of “Rushmore” (1998) with this serio-comic tale about the dysfunctional Tenebaum family. Down on his luck, the scoundrel patriarch, Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman), returns after a twenty-two year absence to try and win back his family’s affection. Finding himself not at all welcome by wife Etheline (Anjelica Huston) or their three children, he pretends to have a terminal illness and stealthily moves in with a hospital bed. Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, and Luke Wilson co-star as the Tenenbaum offspring. All are former child prodigies who have had their early brilliant success followed by two decades of disaster and their own band of eccentric families and sidekicks. Film critic Roger Ebert found the film “at heart profoundly silly, and loving.” Alec Baldwin, the film’s narrator, calls it “arguably one of the most original movies in tone and style” and cites Hackman’s performance as the key inspiration for his own Emmy winning work playing television network executive Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock. The screenplay by Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson was nominated for an Academy Award. 110 minutes *No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Saturday, August 27 (2 p.m.)
Fantastic Mr. Fox (Fox, 2009)
Mr. and Mrs. Fox (George Clooney and Meryl Streep) live a serene and comfortable life with their son Ash and nephew Kristopherson. But eventually, Mr Fox’s wild animal instincts cause him to slip back into his old ways as a sneaky chicken thief and he endangers not only his much-loved family, but the entire neighboring animal community. Trapped underground with not enough food for everyone, the animals band together to fight against the evil Farmers. Wes Anderson directed and co-wrote the screenplay for this animated family adventure-comedy, based on Roald Dahl’s children’s novel of the same name, adding new scenes to set up the story before the action in the novel begins. The voice cast includes Jason Schwartzman, Eric Anderson, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson. Time magazine named Fantastic Mr. Fox as one of the ten best films of the year. Alexandre Desplat’s music received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score and the film was nominated for Best Animated Feature. 87 minutes
Saturday, August 27 (7:30 p.m.)
Captain Blood (Vitagraph, 1924)
Early silent film hero J. Warren Kerrigan stars as the title character in this first film adaptation of Rafael Sabatini’s adventure novel, Captain Blood, His Odyssey. Set during the Revolution of 1688, sharp-witted Irish physician Dr. Peter Blood is arrested for treason. He is sold into slavery in Barbodos and purchased by Colonel Bishop at the behest of his niece Arabella (Jean Paige). With the other slaves, Blood captures a Spanish galleon and becomes the terror of the Caribbean privateers until he is offered a commission in the English Navy. The big budget the studio spent on the film is particularly evident in the sea battle finale with explosions, sinking ships and sword fights. Originally running 11 reels (110 mins), this rarely screened incomplete print is the longest known existing version of the title and the missing footage should not affect the story. The enormously successful remake of Captain Blood, starring Errol Flynn and Olivia De Havilland, was released in 1935. Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Andrew Simpson. 89 minutes.
For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.