Seventy-five years ago during the summer and fall of 1944, a number of pivotal events took place during World War II and several films have been programmed in commemoration including Is Paris Burning? about the liberation of Paris; A Bridge too Far, an account of the Allied attempt to break through the German lines in occupied Netherlands; the fictional bank-caper comedy Kelly’s Heroes, plus the home front comedy by Preston Sturges, Hail the Conquering Hero.
The remainder of the month is a celebration of Halloween with a number of scary and crowd pleasing titles, including Poltergeist, the iconic Friday the 13th, the recent cultural phenomenon Get Out, and the kid friendly The Witches, based on a Roald Dahl story.
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 October 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 //www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/schedule.html
The theater schedule is posted monthly with weekly updates on Now See Hear!, the National Audio Visual Conservation Center blog //blogs.loc.gov/now-see-hear/. You can subscribe to regular updates from the Now See Hear! blog by RSS and e-mail so you’ll get the news first. In case of inclement weather, call the theater information line no more than three hours before showtime to see if the screening has been cancelled.
Request ADA accommodations at least five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or [email protected].
The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation is a state-of-the-art facility funded as a gift to the nation by the Packard Humanities Institute. The Packard Campus is where the nation’s Library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of motion pictures, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings (loc.gov/avconservation/).
Thursday, October 3 (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 supergroup 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. Rescheduled from May 30, 2019. Digital presentation, approximately 90 min.
Friday, October 4 (7:30 p.m.)
Is Paris Burning? (Paramount, 1966)
This French-American epic takes its title from the question reportedly asked by Adolf Hitler following his order to destroy the city rather than let it be re-captured by the Allies. Based on the book by journalists Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, it follows the liberation of Paris in August 1944 by the French Resistance and the Free French Forces during World War II. Rene Clement directed the cast of American, French and German actors including Kirk Douglas, Glenn Ford, Gert Fröbe, Orson Welles, Anthony Perkins, Robert Stack, Charles Boyer, Yves Montand, Leslie Caron, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Simone Signoret and Alain Delon. The film was praised for its painstaking attention to authenticity with many scenes shot at the actual locations where the events took place. Its black-and-white photography, which earned an Oscar nomination for Marcel Grignon, evoked the quality of a newsreel, seamlessly integrating 1944 footage with new material shot in 1965. Rated PG-13. 35mm archival film print, 175 min.
Saturday, October 5 (2 p.m.)
Hail the Conquering Hero (Paramount, 1944)
Who but writer-director Preston Sturges could satirize the worship of war heroes and mothers and get away with it during wartime? Bosley Crowther of the New York Times credited the success of this film to its “sharpness of verbal wit and the vigor of visual expression” and the ability of Sturges to temper “irony with pity.” Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, Hail the Conquering Hero follows the foibles of Woodrow Truesmith (Eddie Bracken), a would-be war hero dismissed from active duty because of chronic hay fever. Truesmith is coerced by a group of Marines to return home as the hero he pretended to be in letters he wrote home to make his mother proud. The lightning-paced plot that develops upon his return offers Sturges a myriad opportunities to spoof corruption in small town politics, as well as the propensity to idolize the military. The great French critic André Bazin called this film “a work that restores to American film a sense of social satire that I find equaled only in Chaplin’s films.” Hail the Conquering Hero was added to the National Film Registry in 2015. 35mm film print from the Library of Congress Film Preservation Lab in 1986. 101 min.
Saturday, October 5 (7:30 p.m.)
A Bridge Too Far (United Artists, 1977)
Richard Attenborough directed this massive war epic based on Cornelius Ryan’s 1974 book, an account of Operation Market Garden, a failed Allied attempt to break through German lines at Arnhem in the occupied Netherlands during World War II. To bring this powerful true story to life, producer Joseph E. Levine cast 14 international stars in key roles – including Oscar-winners Gene Hackman, Laurence Olivier, and Maximilian Schell, and future Oscar-winners Michael Caine, Sean Connery, and Anthony Hopkins – then sent many of them to the actual locations in Holland where the events had taken place. At the 31st BAFTA Awards, the film won five out of eight categories, including Edward Fox for Best Supporting Actor and John Addison – who himself had served with the British during Operation Market Garden – for Best Score. Rated PG. 35mm archival film print, 175 min.
Thursday, October 10 (7:30 p.m.)
Kelly’s Heroes (MGM, 1970)
Clint Eastwood stars as the title character in this anti-war comedy/bank-job caper directed by Brian G. Hutton. Kelly is the leader of a platoon of restless GIs in the chaos of post D-Day France. When he captures a German officer who tips him off about a cache of 14,000 Nazi gold bars stored in a bank vault 30 miles away, Kelly enlists the help of Quartermaster “Crapgame” (Don Rickles), Sergeant “Big Joe” (Telly Savalas) and Sherman tank driver “Oddball” (Donald Sutherland) to help him sneak behind enemy lines and retrieve the booty. Much of the film was shot in Yugoslavia, one of the few nations at the time whose army was still equipped with functioning World War II mechanized equipment. The screenplay was loosely based on an entry in the Guinness World Records: “The greatest robbery on record was of the German National Gold Reserves in Bavaria by a combine of US military personnel and German civilians in 1945.” Rated GP: All ages admitted – Parental guidance suggested. 35mm archival film print. 144 min.
Thursday, October 17 (7:30 p.m.)
I Am Legend (Warner Bros., 2007)
This post-apocalyptic tale follows the seemingly last man on Earth as he struggles to survive while fending off the infected survivors of a devastating vampiric plague. A brilliant scientist who raced to discover a cure for the man-made virus as humanity came crumbling down all around him, Robert Neville (Will Smith) was inexplicably immune to the highly contagious superbug. Now the entire population of New York City — and perhaps the world — has been transformed into carnivorous bloodsuckers that fear the light and live solely to spread their contagion to any remaining living creature that crosses their path. Based on the 1954 novel of the same name by Richard Matheson, the book was previously adapted for the screen in 1964 The Last Man on Earth starring Vincent Price and the 1971 Charlton Heston action film The Omega Man. Rated PG-13. 35mm archival film print. 101 min.
Friday, October 18 (7:30 p.m.)
Onibaba (Toho/Criterion, 1964)
Deep within the wind-swept marshes of war-torn medieval Japan, an impoverished mother and her daughter-in-law eke out a lonely, desperate existence. Forced to murder lost samurai and sell their belongings for grain, they dump the corpses down a deep, dark hole and live off of their meager spoils. When a bedraggled neighbor returns from the skirmishes, lust, jealousy, and rage threaten to destroy the trio’s tenuous existence, before an ominous, ill-gotten demon mask seals the trio’s horrifying fate. Driven by primal emotions, dark eroticism, a frenzied score by Hikaru Hayashi, and stunning images both lyrical and macabre, Kaneto Shindo’s chilling folktale Onibaba is a singular cinematic experience. In Japanese with English subtitles. Unrated but contains material more suited for adults. 35mm film print courtesy of Janus Films. 103 min.
Saturday, October 19 (7:30 p.m.)
Poltergeist (MGM/UA, 1982)
A close-knit family in a California suburb find their lives upended when their home is invaded by malevolent ghosts that abduct their younger daughter. Steven Spielberg wrote and produced this classic horror film that was directed by Toby Hooper and stars Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Beatrice Straight, Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins and Heather O’Rourke. The film was a critical and box office success with Vincent Canby of The New York Times calling it “a marvelously spooky ghost story with extraordinary technical effects that were often eerie and beautiful but also occasionally vividly gruesome.” Poltergeist was nominated for three Oscars and won the 1983 Saturn Award for Best Horror or Thriller Film. Rated PG. 35mm archival film print. 114 min.
Thursday, October 24 (7:30 p.m.)
The Monster Squad (TriStar Pictures, 1987)
The Monster Squad, a secret club of five pre-teen, old-horror-movie loving boys, find their obsession with the genre useful when their town in suddenly invaded by the Wolfman, Frankenstein, the Mummy and Gill-Man, all led by Dracula who is trying to locate a powerful amulet that has the potential for serious disaster. Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times wrote that “Although you can never regain childhood innocence, you can find compensation in being able to appreciate the artistry with which director Fred Dekker and co-writer Shane Black (who also wrote Lethal Weapon) have brought to this horror comedy-adventure aimed at youngsters.” Thomas also praised the special effects by Oscar-winner Richard Edlund and the monster makeup effects by Oscar-winning supervisor Stan Winston. Rated PG-13. 35mm archival film print. 79 min.
Friday, October 25 (7:30 p.m.)
Friday the 13th (Paramount, 1980 – rated R*)
Twenty years after several mysterious deaths shut it down, Camp Crystal Lake reopens — but the place clearly hasn’t shaken its “death curse,” as a deranged killer terrorizes the teen counselors in this original version of the classic slasher flick. Gruesome makeup and effects, an attractive young cast of then unknowns (including Kevin Bacon, Laurie Bartram, Mark Nelson and Peter Brouwer) and an iconic villain make this horror film a genre-defining classic for the ages. This gory shocker from director Sean S. Cunningham made a killing at the box office and was followed by eleven sequels, a television series, novels, comic books, video games, and tie‑in merchandise, making it one of the longest-running horror film series. 35mm archival film print. 95 min. * No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Saturday, October 26 (2 p.m.)
The Witches (Warner Bros., 1990)
A little boy and his kindly grandmother try to thwart the efforts of a coven of witches to rid Britain of children by turning them into mice. This dark fantasy comedy is based on the 1983 children’s novel by Roald Dahl and features imaginative puppetry by Jim Henson’s creature shop. Directed by Nicolas Roeg, the film stars a deliciously wicked Anjelica Huston as the Grand High Witch, with Mai Zetterling, Rowan Atkinson, and Jasen Fisher in the supporting cast. The Witches was nominated for five Saturn awards from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films and Huston won a Best Actress Award from the National Society of Film Critics. Rated PG. 35mm archival film print. 91 min.
Thursday, October 31 (7:30 p.m.)
Get Out (Universal, 2017 – rated R*)
When a young African-American man visits his white girlfriend’s posh suburban family estate, he becomes ensnared in a more sinister reason for the invitation. Actor, comedian and filmmaker Jordan Peele wrote the screenplay and made his directorial debut with this provocative hit horror mystery film, dubbed a “cultural phenomenon” by the Los Angeles Times. Get Out stars Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Lil Rel Howery, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephen Root, and Catherine Keener. The film was chosen by the National Board of Review, the American Film Institute and Time as one of the top 10 films of the year. At the 90th Academy Awards, it was nominated for four awards, including Best Picture, and won for Best Original Screenplay. 35mm archival film print. 104 min. * No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.