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Film Night at the Mary Pickford Theater: Thursday, November 8

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Thursday, November 8th, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.

Every month, films from the Library’s collection are shown at the Mary Pickford Theater in the James Madison building, ranging from titles newly preserved by the National Audio Visual Conservation Center film lab, classics from the National Film Registry, and lesser known titles worthy of discovery.


Each year, the Librarian of Congress selects 25 films of enduring importance to American culture for inclusion in the National Film Registry. The selection takes into account thousands of titles nominated annually by the public, as well as recommendations of the National Film Preservation Board and the Library’s film curators. Once a film is inducted into the Registry, the Library determines if it has already been preserved, and, if not, seeks to ensure that it eventually will be preserved by the institution or individual holding the best master material. In anticipation of next month’s announcement of a new batch of inductees, the Pickford Theater will screen two classics already on the Registry as “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” works, both in new 35mm prints made from the studios’ preservation elements for the Library’s National Film Registry Collection.

On Thursday, November 8th, we present:

Lobby card for Medium Cool
Lobby Card from “Medium Cool” (H & J Pictures / Paramount, 1969)

MEDIUM COOL (H & J Pictures / Paramount, 1969). Directed and Written by Haskell Wexler. With Robert Forster, Verna Bloom, Peter Bonerz, Marianna Hill, Harold Blankenship. (110 min, Technicolor, 35mm, rated R).

Against the backdrop of the tumultuous 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, a TV news cameraman struggles with his conscience and ambition while pursuing a budding relationship with a single mother and her son. The youth counterculture and antiwar movement of the 1960’s had a significant impact on American cinema, and only at the peak of its influence could a politically charged cinéma vérité drama with a cast of unknowns have been released by a major Hollywood studio. Directed by cinematographer Haskell Wexler, one of the most respected and influential artists in his field, “Medium Cool” skillfully blends fictional storytelling and documentary techniques to paint a visceral portrait of an era of social and political upheaval, or, as critic Vincent Canby put it, “a picture of America in the process of exploding into fragmented bits of hostility, suspicion, fear and violence.” Selected for the National Film Registry in 2003. New print acquired as a gift from Paramount Pictures.

Seating is on a first-come first-serve basis.  Doors open at 6:30 pm. No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

For more information on our programs, please visit the Mary Pickford Theater website.

The Mary Pickford Theater is located on the 3rd floor of the Library of Congress James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Washington, DC, 20540.

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