The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
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) becomes involved with a beautiful model (Joan Bennett) and 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.
For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: //www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/