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Now Playing at the Packard Campus (Nov. 15 -17, 2018)

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The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.

Dog Fight (Warner Bros., 1991)

Thursday, November 15 (7:30 p.m.)
Dogfight (Warner Bros., 1991 – Rated R*)
Set in San Francisco in 1963, this original and thought-provoking drama chronicles the brief relationship between a young Marine (River Phoenix) who is about to be shipped out to Vietnam and the rather plain aspiring folk singer (Lili Taylor) who teaches him a few important lessons about life and the treatment of women. Presented as part of a series of films from contemporary women directors from the 1970s to the present, this is the second feature film directed by Nancy Savoca, who also directed True Love (1989), Household Saints (1993) and Union Square (2011). Savoca was mentored by John Sayles, and she in turn, has mentored up-and-coming filmmakers through the IFP’s Emerging Visions program. 35mm archival film print. 92 min. *No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

Friday, November 16 (7:30 p.m.)
Home for the Holidays (Paramount, 1995)
Holly Hunter stars as Claudia Larson, a single mom who, after being fired from her job as an art restorer and regretfully having an affair with her ex-boss, apprehensively decides to fly to Baltimore to spend Thanksgiving with her eccentric extended family. Jodie Foster directed this affectionate but dark comedy with a cast featuring Anne Bancroft and Charles Durning as Claudia’s parents and Robert Downey Jr. as her younger brother and confidante Tommy. Film critic Roger Ebert praised Foster’s ability to “direct the film with a sure eye for the revealing little natural moment,” and Downey’s performance that “brings out all the complexities of a character who has used a quick wit to keep the world’s hurts at arm’s length.” Rated PG-13. 35mm archival film print. 103 min.

Babe (Universal, 1995)

Saturday, November 17 (2 p.m.)
Babe (Universal, 1995)
Babe, an orphaned piglet, is chosen for a “guess the weight” contest at a county fair. The winning farmer, Arthur Hoggett (James Cromwell), brings Babe home and allows him to stay with his Border Collie named Fly, her mate Rex and their puppies in the barn. While trying to fit in with the other barnyard animals, Babe learns the skill of sheepherding from Fly and is entered in a competition. Despite its unlikely premise and low profile, Babe’s inspirational story, directed and co-written by Australian filmmaker Chris Noonan, was embraced by audiences and critics alike. With its sympathetic view of the intellectual, emotional and social capacities of animals, Babe had a marked effect on the growth of vegetarianism, particularly among younger viewers. James Cromwell, already a vegetarian for 20 years, became an ethical vegan as a result of starring as Farmer Hoggett, saying, “Working with a lot of animals and animal trainers during production, I cared about their welfare and then, of course, you have lunch and it’s all there in front of you, and I thought, I should go the whole hog, so to speak.” The movie was named Best Film of the Year by The National Society of Film Critics and was  nominated for seven Academy Awards (including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay), winning the Best Visual Effects Oscar. 35mm archival film print, 91 min.

Saturday, November 17 (7:30 p.m.)
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (Paramount, 1987 – Rated R*)
After his flight home to Chicago has been cancelled due to bad weather, high-strung marketing executive Neal Page (Steve Martin) runs into one disaster after another while trying to get home to his family for Thanksgiving, which includes being stuck with loquacious traveling salesman Del Griffith (John Candy) as his unshakable traveling companion. Written, produced, and directed by John Hughes, the comedy was a widely noticed change in the repertoire of the filmmaker who up until that time was known for his popular coming-of-age teen movies such as Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985) and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986). Planes, Trains and Automobiles was greeted with critical acclaim and stayed in the top ten box office hits for seven weeks. 35mm archival print, 93 min. *No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

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