The Cinematheque’s Friday night screening series this summer features personal selections from our entire Cinematheque programming staff. The all 35mm lineup includes nostalgic 60s musicals; a recent Iranian masterpiece; American-in-Paris William Klein’s satirical Mister Freedom; 35mm gems from the 70s and 90s; and Douglas Sirk’s final movie.
- Fri., Jun. 19 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In the film that made her a star, Ann-Margret plays Kim McAfee, the lucky teenager chosen to kiss drafted rock 'n' roller Conrad Birdie goodbye on The Ed Sullivan Show. Rosie (Leigh) has cooked up this publicity stunt to help her biochemist-turned-songwriter boyfriend Albert (Van Dyke), but nothing goes quite as planned. One of the best Broadway adaptations of the 1960s, this bouncy musical spoof of the Elvis Presley phenomenon also boasts hilarious performances from Paul Lynde as Kim's neurotic father and Maureen Stapleton as Albert's clingy mother. And Ed Sullivan appears as himself! (AM)
- Fri., Jun. 26 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Always play it the company way. Remember, a secretary is not a toy. Following these and other ethically-suspect tips, J. Pierpont Finch (Morse, aka Mad Men’s Bert Cooper) sets out to climb the corporate ladder at the World Wide Wicket Company, schmoozing boss J.B. Biggley (Vallee) and wooing sweet Rosemary Pilkington (Lee). UA's adaptation of the Tony-winning musical satire brings much of the original Broadway cast to the screen, along with Bob Fosse's distinctive choreography and Frank Loesser's classic songs. Add an almost garishly colorful production design, and you've got some quintessentially Sixties fun! (AM)
- Fri., Jul. 3 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Armitage’s stellar 1990 adaptation of Charles Willeford’s crime novel of the same name is a heady brew of Hare Krishnas, haikus, and homicide. Baldwin plays a sociopath criminal causing mayhem all over Miami, Ward the seemingly hapless cop on his trail, and Leigh the hooker with the heart of gold who comes between them. Fast-paced, witty, and daringly eclectic, Miami Blues is also gorgeously photographed by Tak Fujimoto. Don’t miss a rare opportunity to see a 35mm print of this hidden gem from under-appreciated writer-director Armitage (Grosse Pointe Blank). (BR)
- Fri., Jul. 10 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
From Farhadi, the acclaimed, Oscar-nominated director of A Separation and The Past comes this mystery-thriller that has been compared to Antonioni’s L’Avventura. A fun weekend outing for a group of adult couples visiting the Caspian Sea becomes fraught with anxiety when invited guest Elly, a newcomer to the group, disappears without a trace. While they begin their search for Elly and call in police to investigate, the panicking friends begin to blame each other for the events leading up to the disappearance. Championed by international critics, About Elly was produced before A Separation and The Past, but due to rights issues, it remained unreleased in the U.S. until this year.
- Fri., Jul. 17 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
An All-American blowhard (Abbey) saves France from a commie invasion in William Klein’s delirious superhero sendup, the ideal antidote to all the tired men in tights currently clogging the multiplex. Hysterically satirizing US foreign policy with candy-colored comic book style, Klein’s giddy and ferocious political cartoon is now more relevant than ever. French New Wave siren Delphine Seyrig (Last Year at Marienbad), decked out in a bright red afro, costars as an ironically sexy double-agent, and the surreal supporting cast includes Donald Pleasance, Serge Gainsbourg, and Yves Montand. “Spirited and hilarious… conceivably the most anti-American movie ever made” (Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader). (MK)
- Fri., Jul. 24 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Coming off two critical and commercial successes, Bogdanovich combined the gorgeous black and white photography of The Last Picture Show and the screwball comedy dialogue pace of What’s Up, Doc? to tell the seriocomic tale of a con man (Ryan O’Neal) and his young charge (an Oscar-winning performance from Tatum O’Neal) on the road and evading the authorities in Great Depression era Kansas and Missouri. Laszlo Kovacs cinematography is incandescent and Alvin Sargent’s screenplay (an adaptation of the novel Addie Pray by Joe David Brown) boasts an authenticity that the lived-in performances serve to highlight. (BR)
- Fri., Jul. 31 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
The staggering culmination of Douglas Sirk’s 1950s masterworks is at once a heartbreaking melodrama and searing social critique. Turner stars as an aspiring actress and single mother who hires on a black single mother (Moore) to keep house and tend to their two children while she pursues her career. What follows is a fiercely perceptive portrait of race in America, as Sirk brilliantly uses lush artifice and color to cast a damning light on middle-class complacency and superficiality. The unforgettable climax features a cathartic performance by gospel icon Mahalia Jackson. “An American masterpiece… the toughest-minded, most irresolvable movie ever made about race in this country” (Village Voice). (MK)