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Now Playing at the Packard Campus (October 3 – 5, 2019)

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

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, plus 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 found in the collection which were never aired. Rescheduled from May 30, 2019. Digital presentation, approximately 90 min.

Is Paris Burning? (Paramount, 1966)

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.

Hail the Conquering Hero (Paramount, 1944)

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.

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