The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Thursday, February 20 (7:30 p.m.)
Black Journal: A Salute to William Greaves (NET/PBS, 1968-1977)
“lack Journal was the first national American public affairs television program that was broadcast on the NET Network (Pre-PBS). This program was developed during the turbulent 1960’s and its mission was to cover political, economic, and cultural issues to a largely neglected African-American population. Laid out in a 60 Minutes style, the show was comprised of short documentary films. A few months after production began in June 1968, co-host William Greaves was made executive producer. In 1970, under the direction of Greaves, the program won an Emmy for excellence in public affairs. Greaves was also a documentary filmmaker; his 1968 experimental documentary Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One was added to the National Film Registry in 2015. This program, curated from the Library of Congress’s television collection, consists of stories and performances produced during William Greaves tenure including looks at the Black Panthers; John Lee Hooker; Southern Consumers Co-op; Julian Bond; Roberta Flack; Mississippi Politics; Duke University Protest; the Black Music industry (which Includes a trip to Motown and Stax Records); a Black Athletes Panel with Jackie Robinson, Bill Russell and Arthur Ashe; Nina Simone and Black G.I.’s in Vietnam. Digital presentation, 115 min.
Friday, February 21 (7:30 p.m.)
Marketa Lazarová (Filmové studio Barrandov, 1967)
In its native land, František Vláčil’s Marketa Lazarová has been hailed as the greatest Czech film ever made. Based on a novel by Vladislav Vančura, this stirring and poetic depiction of a feud between two rival medieval clans is a fierce, epic, and meticulously designed evocation of the clashes between Christianity and paganism, humankind and nature, love and violence. Vláčil’s approach was to re-create the textures and mentalities of a long-ago way of life, rather than to make a conventional historical drama. With its inventive widescreen cinematography, editing, and sound design, Marketa Lazarová is an experimental action film. In Czech and German with English subtitles. 35mm film print courtesy of Janus Films,165 min.
Saturday, February 22 (2 p.m.)
Old Yeller (Disney/Buena Vista, 1957)
Stories of boys and their dogs have long been fodder for films and books, but none has ever resonated more strongly with the public than this 1957 adaptation of the Fred Gipson novel. Produced by Disney, which knew how to touch the hearts of moviegoers with both laughter and tears, the beloved film was directed by Robert Stevenson and stars Fess Parker, Dorothy McGuire, Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran. Purchased for three dollars from a Van Nuys animal shelter, the real star of Old Yeller was a yellow Black Mouth Cur that trainer Frank Weatherwax named Spike. Spike went on to appear in 20th-Century-Fox’s 1960 remake of A Dog of Flanders, as well as on the short-lived NBC series The Westerner starring Brian Keith, and sired two more generations of animal actors. Few movie endings have ever proved as emotionally affecting as the conclusion of Old Yeller. The film was included on the National Film Registry in 2019. 35mm archival print, 83 min.
Saturday, February 22 (7:30 p.m.)
Clerks (Miramax, 1994 – rated R*)
A hilarious, in-your-face, bawdy-yet-provocative look at two sardonic young slackers. Dante (Brian O’Halloran) toils as a New Jersey convenience store clerk while his alter-ego video store friend Randal (Jeff Anderson) works when the mood strikes him. At 23 years old, director Kevin Smith (who also plays Silent Bob) made his debut film for $27,000, reportedly financed by selling his comic book collection and using proceeds from when his car was lost in a flood. This sleeper hit helped define an era, grossed over $3 million, achieved prominent cult status among Generations X to Z, and easily garnered the most public votes in this year’s National Film Registry balloting. Critic Roger Ebert described Clerks as “utterly authentic” with “the attitude of a gas station attendant who tells you to check your own oil. It’s grungy and unkempt, and Dante and Randal look like they have been nourished from birth on beef jerky and Cheetos. They are tired and bored, underpaid and unlucky in love, and their encounters with customers feel like a series of psychological tests.” 35mm archival film print, 92 min. *No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: //www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/