2012 Schedule

June 2
Friendly Persuasion. Starring Gary Cooper & Dorothy MGuire, this 1956 film is the story of a family of Quakers in Indiana in 1862. Their religous sect is strongly opposed to violence and war. It's not easy for them to meet the rules of their religion in everyday life but when Southern troops pass the area they are in real trouble. Should they fight, despite their peaceful attitide? Anthony Perkins gives an exceptional performance as the son who wrestles with the notion of fighting over his pacifistic views. William Wyler's direction is brilliant.
June 9 Saturday Night Fever. Saturday Night Fever is one of those movies that comes along and seems to change the cultural temperature in a flash. After the movie's release in 1977, disco ruled the dance floors, and a blow-dried member of a TV-sitcom ensemble became the hottest star in the U.S. For all that, the story is conventional: a 19-year-old Italian American from Brooklyn, Tony Manero (John Travolta), works in a humble paint store and lives with his family. After dark, he becomes the polyester-clad stallion of the local nightclub; Tony's brother, a priest, observes that when Tony hits the dance floor, the crowd parts like the Red Sea before Moses. Director John Badham captures the electric connection between music and dance, and also the desperation that lies beneath Tony's ambitions to break out of his limited world. The soundtrack is dominated by the disco classics of the Bee Gees, including "Staying Alive" and "Night Fever."
June 23 Sunset Boulevard. Billy Wilder's 1950 classic drama stars Gloria Swanson as reclusive silent movie queen Norma Desmond. Sharing a mansion with her live-in butler/former husband Max (Erich von Stroheim), she dreams of making a comeback. But when she begins a relationship with a young hack screenwriter (William Holden) her desire to return to the spotlight quickly leads to madness and tragedy. With Jack Webb, Cecil B. DeMille. 110 min.
August 18 Hoosiers. One of the most rousingly enjoyable sports movies ever made, this small-town drama tells the story of the Hickory Huskers, an underdog basketball team from a tiny Indiana high school that makes it all the way to the state championship tournament. It's a familiar story, but sensitive direction and a splendid screenplay helped make this one of the best films of 1986, highlighted by the superb performances of Gene Hackman as the Huskers' coach, and Oscar nominee Dennis Hopper as the alcoholic father of one of the team's key players. As the drama unfolds we come to realize that many of the characters (including Barbara Hershey as a schoolteacher with whom Hackman falls in love) are recovering from disappointing setbacks, and this depth of character is what makes the otherwise conventional basketball story so richly rewarding. Like Rocky, Rudy, and Breaking Away, this is a quintessentially American movie about beating the odds and rising above one's own limitations. Just try to watch it without cheering!
Sept. 1 Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom. The second of the George Lucas/Steven Spielberg Indiana Jones epics (1984) is set a year or so before the events in Raiders of the Lost Ark . After a brief brouhaha involving a precious vial and a wild ride down a raging Himalyan river, Indy (Harrison Ford) gets down to the problem at hand: retrieving a precious gem and several kidnapped young boys on behalf of a remote East Indian village. His companions this time around include a dimbulbed, easily frightened nightclub chanteuse (Kate Capshaw), and a feisty 12-year-old kid named Short Round (Quan Ke Huy). Throughout, the plot takes second place to the thrills, which include a harrowing rollercoaster ride in an abandoned mineshaft and Indy's rescue of the heroine from a ritual sacrifice. There are also a couple of cute references to Raiders of the Lost Ark, notably a funny variation of Indy's shooting of the Sherpa warrior.
Sept. 29 Happy Feet. Happy Feet is an animated wonder about a penguin named Mumble who can't sing, but can dance up a storm. George Miller, the driving force behind the Babe (and Mad Max) movies, takes another creative step in family entertainment with this big, beautiful, music-fueled film that will have kids and their parents dancing in the streets. From his first moment alive, Mumble (voiced Elijah Woods) feels the beat and can't stop dancing. Unfortunately, emperor penguins are all about finding their own heart song, and the dancing youngster--as cute as he is--is a misfit. Luckily, he bumps into little blue penguins and a Spanish-infused group (led by Robin Williams) and begins a series of adventures. Miller has an exceptional variety of entertainment: Busby Berkley musical numbers, amusement-park thrills, exciting chase sequences (seals and orca lovers might like think otherwise), and even an environmental message that doesn't weigh you down. Best of all, you don't know where the movie is going in the last act, a rare occurrence these days in family entertainment. A fusion of rock songs, mashed-up and otherwise, are featured; this movie is as much a musical as a comedy. Mumble's solo dance to a new version of Stevie Wonder's "I Wish" by Fantasia, Patti, and Yolanda may be the most joyful moment on camera in 2006

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