Movie

Movie: Blazing Saddles 1974 / 93 min. / R

It’s 1874. Rock Ridge is a town about to be transected by the railroad. Mayor Hedley Lamar (Harvey Korman) intends to keep for himself the wealth the railroad portends, so he recruits an array of thugs (including Nazis and Methodists) to scare townspeople away. Then he hires a Black sheriff (Cleavon Little). This is an undisciplined sendup with something to offend everyone. Directed by Mel Brooks, adorned by Madeline Kahn as Lili von Shtüpp.

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Movie: Bowling for Columbine 2002 / 120 min. / R

Documentarian Michael Moore’s darkly comic take on gun violence comes from a deadly serious gun control advocate’s perspective. The film weds the watershed Columbine High School massacre to absurdities of American life. It earned critic pronouncements such as “Provocative” and “Incendiary!”  For it, Moore received a Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, a Best Documentary Oscar, and many other awards.

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Movie: Brazil 1985 / 143 min. / R

Written by Tom Stoppard and Terry Gilliam, Brazil is a dystopian satire set in a totalitarian regime. Central character Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce), is a bored workaday clerk who daydreams he’s a classical warrior rescuing Jill (Kim Greist), a distressed lady. Meanwhile, a bureaucratic snafu concerning air conditioning in Sam’s tiny apartment transforms Sam and Jill into suspected terrorists. Robert DeNiro and Bob Hoskins appear in supporting roles.

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Movie: Green Book PG-13

Friday, June 28   Green Book      2018 / 130 min. / PG-13


In 1962 an eccentric African American jazz pianist, Doctor Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), needs a driver for a tour of the Deep South. He hires Copacabana bouncer “Tony Lip” Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen), a coarse but affable White guy. As the two move south, Tony becomes angry when Don is treated disrespectfully in white venues, and Don warms to Tony when Tony rescues him from trouble. The film won the 2019 Oscar for Best Picture, and Ali won for Best Supporting Actor.

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Movie: Jazz on a Summer’s Day (not rated)

Friday, June 21   Jazz on a Summer’s Day   1959 / 85 min. / NR


More than a concert film, Jazz on a Summer’s Day takes place at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival during the America’s Cup yacht races. The narration-free film has the immediacy of a lived experience, shifting its focus between the ocean’s blues, straining sails and exquisite music performed by the likes of Anita O’Day, Thelonius Monk, Chuck Berry, Big Maybelle, Dinah Washington, Ray Charles, Mahalia Jackson, Louis Armstrong and Jack Teagarden.

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Movie: Songcatcher PG-13

Friday, June 7           Songcatcher    2000 / 109 min. / PG-13


It is 1907. When a female musicologist and college professor (Janet McTeer) is passed over for a deserved promotion, she angrily departs for the Appalachians of western North Carolina to record mountain dwellers’’ traditional songs, intending to restart her career’s momentum. More than she bargained for, the music and its singers absorb and transform her. Written and directed by Maggie Greenwald, the film has a captivating soundtrack.

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