The following is post is by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Thursday, March 21 (7:30 p.m.)
It’s Always Fair Weather (MGM, 1955)
Producer Arthur Freed’s third pairing (along with Singin’ in the Rain,1952, and On the Town, 1949) with director Stanley Donen, co-director and star Gene Kelly and the writing team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green, It’s Always Fair Weather follows three WWII soldiers over a ten year span after they are discharged and when they reunite and compare notes. Clever use of montage and split screen techniques follows the men on their individual courses as the years go by. The film features a host of memorable musical numbers, including stars Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey and Michael Kidd hoofing with garbage can lids on one foot; Kelly gliding over the city streets on roller skates in a love-drunk stupor; Dolores Gray decimating a male chorus line via trap doors and exploding stage props; and Cyd Charisse in a sexy dance. Critically acclaimed, but not a hit at the time, “It’s Always Fair Weather’s” spoof of television and the advertising business, ebullient musical numbers, melancholy observations about the transitory nature of friendships and some fiendishly inventive performances, make the film a continual favorite with contemporary audiences. 35mm archival print. 101 min.
Friday, March 22 (7:30 p.m.)
Belle de Jour (Allied Artists Pictures, 1967 – Rated R*)
Catherine Deneuve’s reserved patrician beauty hides a cracked interior in one of the actress’s most iconic roles: Séverine, a Paris housewife who begins secretly spending her afternoon hours working in a bordello. This surreal and erotic late-sixties daydream from provocateur for the ages Luis Buñuel is an examination of desire as well as a gently absurdist take on contemporary social mores and class divisions. Fantasy and reality commingle in this film, one of Buñuel’s biggest hits. Belle de Jour won the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival in 1967. *No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian. 35mm film print courtesy of Janus Films. 100 min.
Saturday, March 23 (7:30 p.m.)
The Band Wagon (MGM, 1953)
Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Oscar Levant, Nanette Fabray and Jack Buchanan star in this sophisticated backstage toe-tapper produced by Arthur Freed and directed by Vincente Minnelli, widely considered one of the greatest movie musicals of all time. Astaire plays a washed-up movie star (in reality he’d been a successful performer for over 30 years) who tries his luck on Broadway, under the direction of irrepressible mad genius Jack Buchanan. Musical highlights include “That’s Entertainment, “”Triplets,” “Dancing in the Dark” and Astaire’s sexy Mickey Spillane spoof “The Girl Hunt” danced to perfection by Cyd Charisse. Fred Astaire would only make three more musicals after The Band Wagon before turning to a film and television career that included the occasional turn as a dramatic actor. Added to the National Film Registry in 1995. 35mm archival film print, 112 min.
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