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At the Packard Campus Theater — May 2019

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Packard Campus Theater Schedule for May, 2019

In May, the Packard Campus Theater will showcase four special programs presented by guest speakers ranging from local historian Bud Hall sharing stories about Walt Whitman’s time in Culpeper, to Josh Mills and Ben Model with two programs featuring comedy greats Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams, to Al and Lee Beltrone with a fascinating multimedia presentation and lobby display about the Vietnam Graffiti Project.

Other highlights on the May schedule are three films to celebrate Mother’s Day: I Like It Like That – Columbia, 1994, Mother – Paramount, 1996, and Steel Magnolias – Columbia, 1999; Harold Lloyd’s silent comedy Speedy with live musical accompaniment by Ben Model and the film noir classic The Woman in the Window in a new 35mm print from the Film Preservation Lab at the Packard Campus.

Programs are free and open to the public, but children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Seating at the screenings is on a first-come, first-served basis unless otherwise noted. Short films may be shown before some features. For general Packard Campus Theater information, call (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994. For further information on the theater and film series, visit

Request ADA accommodations at least five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or [email protected].

Thursday, May 2 (7:30 p.m.)
I Like it Like That (Columbia, 1994 – Rated R*)
The year-long Contemporary Women Directors series at the Packard Campus Theater continues with this comedy drama about the trials and tribulations of a young Puerto Rican couple: Lisette Linares, a young mother of three, married to Chino, a bicycle messenger, who live in the poverty-stricken New York City neighborhood of the South Bronx. Written and directed by Darnell Martin making her feature film debut, I Like it Like That was nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards: Best First Feature, Best Female Lead (Luna Lauren Velez), Best Male Lead (Jon Seda) and Best Cinematography (Alexander Gruszynski), and Martin won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best New Director. Darnell Martin apprenticed as an assistant camera operator on Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989) and soon began directing commercials, music videos and short films. She works as a director both for theatrical features, such as the musical drama Cadillac Records (2008), and for television productions, having directing several episodes of shows like ER (NBC, 1994-2009), Oz (HBO, 1997-2003) and Sleepy Hollow.

(Fox, 2013-). 35mm archival film print. 104 min. *No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

Friday, May 3 (7:30 p.m.)
Mother (Paramount, 1996)
Debbie Reynolds, in her first leading role in 27 years, steals every scene she’s in as Beatrice Henderson, whose son John (Albert Brooks, who also directed) wants to move back home after his second marriage has ended in divorce. A prickly, set-in-her-ways widow, Beatrice cooperates but is not pleased and the two constantly butt heads over day-to-day minutiae including Beatrice’s insistence on buying the cheapest brands of everything (“Sweet Tooth” sherbet, anyone?). The film was a hit with audiences and critics alike. New York Times film critic Janet Maslin wrote, “Mr. Brooks, whose humor thrives delightfully in this hothouse of Freudian confusion, brings vast reserves of quarrelsome, hairsplitting hilarity to the story of a man going mano a mano with his sweet little mom.” Albert Brooks and co-writer Monica Johnson won both the New York Film Critics Circle Award and the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay and Reynolds was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. Rated PG-13. 35mm archival film print. 104 min.

Saturday, May 4 (2 p.m.)
Brother Bear (Disney, 2003)
Set against the natural grandeur of the Great American Northwest, this animated children’s feature tells the story of a boy named Kenai, whose life takes an unexpected turn when the Great Spirits transform him into a bear – the creature he hates most. Befriended by a bear cub named Koda, Kenai sets out to regain his human form while his brother (who doesn’t realize Kenai is now a bear) pursues him on a mission of revenge and family honor. The film features the voices of Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Suarez and Rick Moranis and songs by Academy Award winner Phil Collins. USA Today film critic Claudia Puig praised the film for its “message of tolerance and respect for nature that rings loud and clear. And family audiences are treated to a vibrantly hued movie with appealing characters.” Brother Bear was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature, but lost to another Disney Picture, Finding Nemo. 35mm archival film print. Rated G. 85 min.

Saturday, May 4 (7:30 p.m.)
Steel Magnolias (Columbia, 1989)
Adapted from the autobiographical off-Broadway hit play by Robert Harling, Steel Magnolias is a bittersweet drama laced with comedy that follows five tightly-knit women who congregate at a beauty parlor in a small Louisiana town. When Shelby (Julia Roberts), the newlywed daughter of M’Lynn  (Sally Field), decides to have a baby knowing it could risk her health, her worried mother’s group of strong, funny and colorful women friends come together to support Shelby and M’Lynn through one of the toughest crises they’ll ever have to face. Directed by Herbert Ross, the star-studded cast also includes Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Dolly Parton, Tom Skerritt, Sam Shepard, Dylan McDermott and Daryl Hannah. Julia Roberts, in the role that made her a star, received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Rated PG-13. 35mm archival film print. 117 min.

Thursday, May 9 (7:30 p.m.)
The Woman in the Window (RKO, 1944)
In this psychological thriller, an unassuming college professor (Edward G. Robinson) who becomes involved with a beautiful model (Joan Bennett) finds himself ensnared in a web of blackmail, deception and murder. A masterful storyteller, director Fritz Lang is in top form as he weaves this spellbinding noir, replete with stunning cinematography by Milton R. Krasner, sublime editing and pitch-perfect direction. Seeking creative freedom away from the Hollywood studio system, Joan Bennett, her semi-independent producer husband, Walter Wanger, and Austrian-German filmmaker Lang joined forces to create the Diana Company which produced The Woman in the Window. The team, along with Edward G. Robinson, reunited the following year to make Scarlett Street which is equally regarded as a quintessential film noir. Dan Duryea served as the criminal element in both films. 35mm film print restored from the original camera negatives by the Library of Congress Film Preservation Lab in 2017. 107 min.

Friday, May 10 (7:30 p.m.)
An Evening with Changemaker Ernie Kovacs
As part of the Library of Congress’ yearlong initiative exploring America’s Changemakers, the Packard Campus Theater presents an evening of highlights from the career of comic genius and television pioneer Ernie Kovacs (1919-1962). The outsized influence Kovac’s comedic aesthetic continues to have on generations of television producers and comedians makes him a changemaker, first class. More than just a funny man, Kovacs brilliantly exploited video’s editing and special effects techniques, creating a visual grammar to rival the work of filmmakers like D.W. Griffith and Sergei Eisenstein. It’s easy to see Kovacs’ influence on Saturday Night Live, Monty Python’s Flying Circus and countless other TV shows and performers. His career was short – he died in a car crash at age 42 – but his impact remains enormous. Ernie Kovacs and his on-screen partner and wife Edie Adams first appeared on television together in 1951. From that time on, they were consistently on all four networks until Kovacs’ death in 1962. The Library acquired the Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams Collection in 2015 from Adams’ son Josh Mills, and on May 10 the Packard Campus Theater will commemorate the Kovacs centenary with a program hosted by Mills and Kovacs archivist Ben Model, who curated two Ernie Kovacs Collection DVD box sets (2011 and 2012), followed by a May 11 program celebrating Adams’ multifaceted talent.

Saturday, May 11 (2 p.m.)
Speedy (Paramount, 1928)
Speedy was the last silent feature to star Harold Lloyd – and one of his very best. The slapstick legend reprises his “Glasses Character” (self-described as “quiet, normal, boyish, clean and sympathetic”), this time as good-natured but scatterbrained “Speedy” Swift, whose enthusiasm for baseball interferes with his holding a job. He finally finds his true calling when he becomes determined to help save New York City’s last horse-drawn streetcar, which is operated by his sweetheart’s crusty grandfather. From its joyous visit to Coney Island to its incredible Babe Ruth cameo to its hair-raising climactic stunts on the city’s streets, “Speedy,” directed by frequent Lloyd collaborator Ted Wilde, is an out-of-control love letter to New York that will have you grinning from ear to ear. Digital presentation. Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Ben Model. 85 min.

Saturday, May 11 (7:30 p.m.)
An Evening with Edie Adams
Edie Adams (1927-2008) may be best known as the Muriel Cigar girl, for her movie roles in The Apartment and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World or for being the widow of actor and comedian Ernie Kovacs. Her work as creator-producer-star of her own variety series on ABC or as a pioneer television conservationist is often overlooked. Adams’ tireless efforts going back to the 1960s to locate, acquire and save the television programs of her late husband won Kovacs a new generation of fans in the 1970s, and two recent DVD box sets have done even more to boost his reputation as “television’s original genius.” The Library acquired the Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams Collection in 2015 from Adams’ son Josh Mills. Mills and Ben Model, archivist for the Kovacs/Adams collection, will present this program of memorable moments from Adams’ successful and inventive variety series Here’s Edie (ABC, 1962-64) along with other highlights from her career.

Thursday, May 16 (7:30 p.m.)
Hotel Rwanda (United Artists, 2004)
Shown in observance of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, which occurred during the spring of 1994, Hotel Rwanda stars Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo as hotelier Paul Rusesabagina and his wife Tatiana, and documents their acts to save the lives of his family and more than a thousand other refugees by providing them with shelter in the besieged Hôtel des Mille Collines. The film was nominated for multiple awards, including Academy Award nominations for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Original Screenplay and was on a number of film critics’ top 10 best films lists for 2004. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Mick LaSalle wrote that the film was a “harrowing experience”, and that “it documents for a mass audience what it was like. It’s useful, in that it shows how it can happen. It’s even hopeful, in that it shows that it’s possible – not guaranteed, but possible – for people to maintain their humanity in the face of unhinged barbarism.” Digital presentation. Rated PG-13. 121 min.

Friday, May 17 (7:30 p.m.)
Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam
Al and Lee Beltrone, co-founders of the Vietnam Graffiti Project, and other special guests will present a multimedia story about the men who were transported to Vietnam aboard the P2 General Nelson M. Walker, leaving behind musings and folk-art style drawing on their berthing canvases. The graffiti, discovered by Al Beltrone in 1997 while he was touring the ship to study its construction for a film set, tells a unique story about the war and those who fought it. Research of the names on the canvases led to finding the veterans who originally created the graffiti, and audio interviews were conducted to preserve their voyage stories. The VGP is a registered non-profit organization “…to collect, preserve, and make available for display to the public artifacts from various troop transport ships used during conflicts in which the United States is currently engaged, was engaged in the past, or will be engaged in the future.” An exhibit of historic items from the Graffiti Project will be on display in the theater lobby.

Saturday, May 18 (7:30 p.m.)
Oliver! (Columbia, 1968)
Sir Carol Reed directed this exuberant adaptation of Lionel Bart’s long-running stage musical, which was based on Charles Dickens classic novel, Oliver Twist. Mark Lester stars as the titular orphan who escapes the workhouse and is taken under the wing of wily pickpocket Fagin (Ron Moody) and his sidekick The Artful Dodger (Jack Wild). Musical numbers as Consider Yourself, As Long as He Needs Me, Oliver!, Where Is Love?, I’d Do Anything, Be Back Soon and Who Will Buy? A Box Office and critical success, Oliver! was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won six, including Best Picture (the last G-rated film to receive the honor), Best Director for Reed, and an Honorary Award for choreographer Onna White. Film critic Roger Ebert called it “as well-made as a film can be.” Rated G. 35mm archival film print, 153 min.

Thursday, May 23 (7:30 p.m.)
Whitman in Culpeper – followed by Shenandoah (Universal, 1965)
For two months in early 1864, poet, essayist, and journalist Walt Whitman (1819-1892) resided in Culpeper, Virginia, while serving as a volunteer nurse in the Army of the Potomac’s nearby field hospitals. Despite the ravages the war had visited upon the area, Whitman described Culpeper as “one of the pleasantest towns in Virginia.” As part of the Library of Congress’s series of events commemorating the Whitman bicentenary, local historian Bud Hall will present a talk about Whitman’s time in the area, followed by a screening of Shenandoah. Set during the Civil War, James Stewart stars as a prosperous Virginia farmer who has raised six sons and a daughter on his sprawling, self-contained farm since his wife died in childbirth. Though morally opposed to slavery, he struggles to maintain a neutral stance until the conflict affects his family. Directed by Andrew McLaglen, the film also stars Doug McClure, Glenn Corbett and Patrick Wayne. 35mm archival film print, 105 min.

Thursday, May 30 (7:30 p.m.)
Vibrations, 1972 (WNET, 1972)
Produced for PBS by WNET, Vibrations was a Music Magazine program that ran for only one season, (1972-73) and covered a wide assortment of musical genres. The selected segments for this program include Bobby Short performing unreleased Cole Porter songs, Dave Brubeck rehearsing his band at his home, a UK produced short about folk legend Peggy Seeger, a recording session at Electric Lady Studio with audio engineer Eddie Kramer and Glam Rock Star Jobriath, On the Road with Charley Pride, an exploration of Electronic Music featuring Phillip Glass and other Avant Garde  pioneers, an interview and performance with Guitar Hero Roy Buchanan, and a UK produced tour of Scotland with Bassist Jack Bruce, immediately after quitting the Super Group Cream. The highlight of the lineup is a rare live studio performance of R&B music legend Donny Hathaway (1945-1979) taken from outtakes in the collection that never aired. Digital presentation, approximately 90 min.

Friday, May 31 (7:30 p.m.)
Summer With Monika (Svensk Filmindustri, 1953)
Inspired by the earthy eroticism of Harriet Andersson in the first of her many roles for him, Ingmar Bergman had a major international breakthrough with this sensual and ultimately ravaging tale of young love. A girl (Andersson) and boy (Lars Ekborg) from working-class families in Stockholm run away from home to spend a secluded, romantic summer at the beach, far from parents and responsibilities. Inevitably, it is not long before the pair are forced to return to reality. The version initially released in the U.S. was reedited by its distributor into something more salacious, but the original Summer with Monika (Sommaren med Monika), presented here, is a work of stunning maturity and one of Bergman’s most important films. 35mm film print courtesy of Janus Films. 97 min.

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