JONATHAN DEMME & GEORGE ROMERO: HEROES OF CINEMA
With four screenings this fall, we will commemorate the careers of two remarkable and enormously influential directors who passed away in 2017. Jonathan Demme (1944-2017), known for his energized, music loving and often humanistic body of work, will be represented by his totally unpredictable 1986 screwball comedy Something Wild and his revered 1984 Talking Heads concert movie, Stop Making Sense. George A. Romero (1940-2017) announced his arrival on the movie scene in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead, the first in his hugely popular cycle of flesh-eating zombie horror satires and a movie that launched an entire sub-genre in entertainment. Often shown in inferior copies, a glorious new restoration of Night of the Living Dead will be shown, along with Romero’s fun variation on his zombie cycle from 1973, The Crazies.
- Sat., Sep. 23 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
No band characterized 80s new wave sounds and styles more than the Talking Heads. Director Demme’s concert film, photographed over three performances at Los Angeles’ Pantages Theater, captures the band, particularly frontman David Byrne, at the pinnacle of their creativity. Demme’s minimally invasive style foregrounds the music, and keeps the audience rapt with subtle visual quirks.
- Sat., Sep. 30 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Charlie, (Daniels) a seemingly straight-laced, white collar suburbanite is picked up on his lunch break and taken on a joyride by the Bohemian “Lulu” (Griffith sporting a Louise Brooks wig). Their impulsive moment leads to a wildly unpredictable road trip filled with sex, violence, petty crime, and a high school reunion. One of the best films of the 80s, Something Wild is highlighted by an eclectic music score (featuring David Byrne, John Cale, UB40, and Sister Carol), engaging lead performances, and a memorable supporting turn from Liotta as Griffith’s volatile ex-husband.
- Sat., Nov. 18 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
‘They’re coming to get you!’ Seven people hole up in a country farmhouse while an army of flesh-eating zombies try to get in. The first in Romero’s cycle of ghoulish satires remains a touchstone of modern horror drama, and its essential power to chill remains undiminished despite scores of imitations and remakes. A new, Romero-approved 4K restoration from New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Janus Films, will be screened.
- Sat., Dec. 2 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
As a small town is accidentally exposed to a biological weapon that turns people into homicidal maniacs, an unprepared U.S Army swoops in to quarantine and control the damage. Mixing elements of his Night of the Living Dead with The Andromeda Strain, Dr. Strangelove and M*A*S*H, Romero’s breakneck-paced, full-color, bleakly comic sci-fi thriller doubles down on both social commentary and political satire as well as fast-cut editing that was to become his stylistic calling card. (BR)