Packard Campus Theater Schedule for November, 2019
Four films that prominently feature the Berlin Wall, the guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989, will be shown at the Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater in November to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Wall. The titles consist of Wim Wender’s romantic fantasy Wings of Desire (1987), the historic drama Bridge of Spies (2015) starring Tom Hanks, Billy Wilder’s anarchic One, Two, Three (1961), and the spy drama Funeral in Berlin (1965) with Michael Caine.
A special roadshow version of the AMIA (Association of Moving Image Archivists) Archival Screening Night that highlights the preservation work of film archives from around the world is scheduled on November 7 and the silent film this month is The White Sister (1923) starring Lillian Gish and Ronald Colman, a title recently preserved in the Library’s National Audio Visual Conservation Center Film Lab.
Our video presentation is Musical Highlights from Late Night With David Letterman (NBC, 1982-1993) and for Thanksgiving we’ll join Arlo Guthrie and Officer Obie at Alice’s Restaurant (1969, rated R).
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 //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/).
Friday, November 1 (7:30 p.m.)
Wings of Desire (Orion Classics, 1987)
Wings of Desire is one of cinema’s loveliest city symphonies. Bruno Ganz is Damiel, an angel perched atop buildings high over Berlin who can hear the thoughts – fears, hopes, dreams – of all the people living below. But when he falls in love with a beautiful trapeze artist, is he willing to give up his immortality and come back to earth to be with her? Made not long before the fall of the Berlin Wall, this stunning tapestry of sounds and images, shot in black and white and color by the legendary Henri Alekan, is movie poetry. And it forever made the name Wim Wenders synonymous with film art. The Wall itself was reconstructed in a studio, but Wenders made extensive use of the city’s landmarks – including an extended tour of the modernist Berlin State Library, designed by Hans Scharoun. The film competed for the Palme d’Or and won for Best Director at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. Rated PG-13. New 4K digital restoration, courtesy of Janus Films, 128 min.
Saturday, November 2 (7:30 p.m.)
Bridge of Spies (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, 2015)
Tom Hanks stars as American attorney James B. Donovan, who is entrusted with negotiating the release of Francis Gary Powers – a U.S. Air Force pilot whose U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War – in exchange for Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), a convicted Soviet KGB spy held under the custody of the United States. The name of the film refers to the Glienicke Bridge, which connects Potsdam with Berlin, where the prisoner exchange took place. British data-journalist David McCandless wrote that while taking creative license into account, the film is 88.8% accurate when compared to real-life events, summarizing it as “pretty damn truthful, reflecting a general trend in Hollywood towards more historically accurate tales.” Directed by Steven Spielberg, this historical drama received six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, and won Best Supporting Actor for Rylance. Rated PG-13. 35mm archival film print. 142 min.
Thursday, November 7 (7:30 p.m.)
AMIA Archival Screening Night (1913–1988)
Archival Screening Night has been the centerpiece of every Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) conference since 1991. For the first time ever, this event usually available only to AMIA members is being made accessible to the public. Now, everyone can see the incredible, strange, astonishing, hilarious, and curious treasures from the world’s moving image archives. Composed of 22 films and videos from archives ranging from Rochester to Alaska, Hawaii, Israel, the Netherlands, and back, this program has something for everyone. The contribution from the Library of Congress is an excerpt from All-American Newsreel (made specifically for African-American audiences) from 1942. This cinematic Cabinet of Wonders features a wonderful promotion for a lost Thai film, a bizarre antidrug commercial with Alice in Wonderland, a banned experimental film from Albania, Josephine Baker dancing the Charleston in wooden clogs, a commercial to buy your own Stonewall action figures, and many more. Digital presentation, 110 min.
Thursday, November 14 (7:30 p.m.)
Musical Highlights from NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman (1982-1993)
Late Night with David Letterman premiered on NBC on February 1, 1982, following The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and ran through 1993 when Letterman moved to CBS. Letterman was joined by Paul Shaffer and the World’s Most Dangerous Band and the show hosted hundreds of top musical acts as guests. Featured artists on this exclusive program curated from the video collections of the Library of Congress include Wilson Pickett, Gregg Allman, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, John Hiatt, Lou Reed, Steve Earle, John Lee Hooker, Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams, The B-52’s, Robert Palmer, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Red Hot Chili Peppers, James Taylor, Chris Isaak, Pixies, Lindsey Buckingham, Los Lobos, Al Green, Pete Townshend, Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen. Digital presentation, 90 min.
Friday, November 15 (7:30 p.m.)
The White Sister (Metro Pictures, 1923)
Set in an Italian village in the shadow of smoldering Mount Vesuvius, The White Sister stars Lillian Gish as Angela, the daughter of a wealthy Italian prince who is in love with the dashing Captain Giovanni Severini (Ronald Colman). When her father dies and she hears that Giovanni has been killed in the war, Angela decides to devote herself to helping others, becoming a nun. Filmed in Rome, Naples and Algeria over a period of nearly six months, this was Gish’s first starring role after leaving D.W. Griffith and she involved herself in every facet of film production alongside director Henry King. The film was a great success, playing more than six months in New York, in a 13-reel “roadshow” version, as well as a standard ten-reel edition. Live musical accompaniment by Ben Model. 35mm film print produced by the Library of Congress Film Preservation lab in 2019. 143 min.
Saturday, November 16 (2 p.m.)
Chicken Run (Dreamworks, 2000)
Facing mortal peril, Rocky the rooster and Ginger the hen decide to rebel against evil farmers Mr. and Ms. Tweedy and lead their fellow chickens in a great escape from the farm where they are being held captive. This stop motion animated comedy was the first feature-length film produced by the British studio Aardman Animations, known for their popular Wallace & Gromit shorts. It was directed by Peter Lord and Nick Park and features the voices of Julia Sawalha, Mel Gibson, Tony Haygarth, Miranda Richardson, and Benjamin Whitrow. The screenplay by Karey Kirkpatrick spoofs the World War II prison pictures The Great Escape and Stalag 17 with characters who are true eccentrics. Chicken Run became the highest-grossing stop motion animated film in history. Rated G. 35mm archival film print. 84 min.
Saturday, November 16 (7:30 p.m.)
One, Two, Three (United Artists, 1961)
Director Billy Wilder’s Cold War farce stars James Cagney as C.R. MacNamara, a Coca-Cola executive who is sent to Berlin to promote the product on the other side of the Iron Curtain. But he soon learns that his real job is baby-sitting his boss’s teenage daughter, Scarlett (Pamela Tiffin), who has secretly married volatile Communist Otto Piffl (Horst Bucholz). Filming took place in West Berlin until one morning when the Berlin Wall went up, forcing the crew to move to Munich. Variety praised the comedy calling it “a fast-paced, high-pitched, hard-hitting, lighthearted farce crammed with topical gags and spiced with satirical overtones.” This was Cagney’s final film until he was coaxed out of retirement for a small role in 1981’s Ragtime. One, Two, Three received an Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography for Daniel L. Fapp and a Writers Guild nomination for Best Written American Comedy (Screen) for Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond. Digital presentation. 104 min.
Thursday, November 21 (7:30 p.m.)
Funeral in Berlin (Paramount, 1966)
British Intelligence agent Harry Palmer (Michael Caine) is sent to Germany to arrange the defection of Colonel Stok (Oskar Homolka), a Russian intelligence officer posted to East Berlin, despite Harry’s suspicions of ulterior motives. And as it turns out, there is much more to the mission than Harry’s cagey boss (Guy Doleman) is telling him. Funeral in Berlin was the second film in the successful trilogy featuring Michael Caine as agent Palmer. Directed by Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger), it was shot on location on the streets and in the outskirts of Berlin as well as near the heavily-patrolled Berlin Wall where the camera crew had to use a telephoto lens from a distance to shoot Caine crossing the border. The Cleveland Press called it “a smooth and slickly done espionage movie that is well ahead of the gimmicky Bond epics with their super-good, super-evil characters.” 35mm archival film print. 102 min.
Friday, November 22 (7:30 p.m.)
Beauty and the Beast (DisCina, 1946)
Jean Cocteau’s sublime adaptation of Mme. Leprince de Beaumont’s fairy-tale masterpiece – in which the pure love of a beautiful girl melts the heart of a feral but gentle beast – is a landmark of motion picture fantasy, with unforgettably romantic performances by Jean Marais and Josette Day. The spectacular visions of enchantment, desire, and death in Beauty and the Beast (La Belle et la Bête) have become timeless icons of cinematic wonder. Critic Roger Ebert wrote in his four star review, “Before the days of computer effects and modern creature makeup, here is a fantasy alive with trick shots and astonishing effects, giving us a Beast who is lonely like a man and misunderstood like an animal. Cocteau, a poet and surrealist, was not making a ‘children’s film’ but was adapting a classic French tale that he felt had a special message after the suffering of World War II: Anyone who has an unhappy childhood may grow up to be a Beast.” Rescheduled from January 12, 2019. In French with English subtitles. 35mm restoration film print on loan from Janus Films. 93 min.
Saturday, November 23 (7:30 p.m.)
Alice’s Restaurant (United Artists, 1969 – rated R*)
Arlo Guthrie plays himself in this comedy drama directed by Arthur Penn, based on Guthrie’s eighteen-minute talking blues ballad The Alice’s Restaurant Massacree. This deadpan protest against the Vietnam War draft follows a comically exaggerated but essentially true story from Guthrie’s own life: he is arrested and convicted of illegally dumping trash on Thanksgiving Day, which later leads to him being rejected by the draft board due to his criminal record of littering. Pat Quinn as Alice Brock and James Broderick as Ray Brock co-star in fictional parts of the story and folk singer Pete Seeger appears as himself, performing Pastures of Plenty and the Car-Car Song with Arlo. Guthrie’s album The Alice’s Restaurant Massacree was added to the National Recording Registry in 2017 and it is a Thanksgiving tradition at many radio stations across the country. Filmed in and around Stockbridge Massachusetts, Alice’s Restaurant received an Oscar nomination for Best Director. Digital presentation, 111 min.* No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.