This March, Tampa Theatre presents four new films – including three epic documentaries and the motion picture adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s beat-generation novel On The Road, starring Twilight’s Kristen Stewart and OSCAR®-nominee Amy Adams – plus the conclusion of the Sex Symbols of the Silver Screen classics series, a silent feature with live organ accompaniment and public tours perfect for getting to know Tampa’s historic movie palace.
A PLACE AT THE TABLE (Friday, March 1 through Thursday, March 14)
50 million people in the U.S.—one in four children—don’t know where their next meal is coming from, despite our having the means to provide nutritious, affordable food for all Americans. Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush examine this issue through the lens of three people who are struggling with food insecurity: Barbie, a single Philadelphia mother who grew up in poverty and is trying to provide a better life for her two kids; Rosie, a Colorado fifth-grader who often has to depend on friends and neighbors to feed her and has trouble concentrating in school; and Tremonica, a Mississippi second-grader whose asthma and health issues are exacerbated by the largely empty calories her hardworking mother can afford.
Their stories are interwoven with insights from experts including sociologist Janet Poppendieck, author Raj Patel and nutrition policy leader Marion Nestle; ordinary citizens like Pastor Bob Wilson and teachers Leslie Nichols and Odessa Cherry; and activists such as Witness to Hunger’s Mariana Chilton, Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio and OSCAR®-winning actor Jeff Bridges.
HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA - (Friday, March 15 through Monday, March 18)
Deep in the heart of the Siberian Taiga, far away from civilization, 300 people inhabit the small village of Bakhta at the river Yenisei. There are only two ways to reach this outpost: by helicopter or boat. There‘s no telephone, running water or medical aid. The locals, whose daily routines have barely changed over the last centuries, live according to their own values and cultural traditions. With insightful commentary written and narrated by acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man), Happy People takes viewers on yet another unforgettable journey into remote and extreme natural landscapes, following one of the Siberian trappers through all four seasons of the year to tell the story of a culture virtually untouched by modernity.
56 UP (Saturday, March 23 through Thursday, March 28)
In 1964, acclaimed filmmaker Michael Apted (Coal Miner's Daughter, Gorillas in the Mist) began his career as a researcher on a new experimental series called Seven Up, which explored the Jesuit maxim “Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man.” The original concept was to interview 14 children from diverse socio-economic backgrounds from all over England to see whether a class system was in place. By asking the children about their lives and their dreams for the future, differences in attitudes and opportunity were witnessed.
For almost a half century, Apted has interviewed the original group every seven years, examining the progression of their lives. Now they are 56. From success and disappointment, marriage and childbirth, to poverty and illness, nearly every facet of life is discussed with the group, as they assess whether their lives have ultimately been ruled by circumstance or self-determination.
ON THE ROAD (Opens Friday, March 29)
Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Walter Salles and based on the iconic novel by Jack Kerouac, On The Road tells the provocative story of Sal Paradise (Sam Riley), a young writer whoselife is shaken and ultimately redefined by the arrival of Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund), a free-spirited, fearless, fast talking Westerner and his girl, Marylou (Kristen Stewart).
Traveling cross-country, Sal and Dean venture out on a personal quest for freedom from the conformity and conservatism engulfing them in search of the unknown, themselves, and the pursuit of “it” -- the pure essence of experience. Seeking unchartered terrain and the last American frontier, the duo encounter an eclectic mix of men and women -- Bull (Viggo Mortensen), Camille (Kirsten Dunst), Carlo (Tom Sturridge), Jane (Amy Adams), Terry (Alice Braga), Galatéa (Elisabeth Moss) – each impacting their journey indelibly.
Show times for all productions are available on www.TampaTheatre.org. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for children, seniors, military and Tampa Theatre members at the box office, located at 711 N. Franklin Street in downtown Tampa.
In addition to their documentary features, the theatre also continues it's most seductive, sultry, and titillating series of all time! Before there was George Clooney, there was a young Marlon Brando. Before there was Angelina Jolie, there was Marilyn Monroe. And before all of them, there was the original “it” girl, silent film seductress Clara Bow. Sunday afternoons will sizzle as Tampa Theatre presents eight classic movies featuring some of the most iconic Sex Symbols of the Silver Screen on select Sundays, Jan. 13 – March 17.
· It starring Clara Bow (3 p.m. Sunday, March 10)
In a film that gained her the title of the original “it” girl, Clara Bow stars as spunky shop girl Betty Lou Spence, who has a crush on Cyrus Waltham, Jr. (Antonio Moreno), her wealthy and handsome boss at the department store. But despite vastly different social classes, competition from his socialite girlfriend and Betty Lou’s plot to help protect a sickly friend’s baby from meddling social workers, Cyrus just can’t resist that “it” factor for long. Silent film with live accompaniment by Dr. Steven Ball on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ.
· Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck (3 p.m. Sunday, March 17)
Frustrated by her tightly controlled and overly scheduled life, Princess Ann (Hepburn) slips out of the embassy to enjoy a day in Rome, where she meets Joe Bradley (Peck.) The American reporter doesn’t immediately recognize his royal acquaintance, but once he does, he smells a story and quickly offers to play tour guide with the help of his friend and photographer, Irving (Eddie Albert.)
Tickets for the Sex Symbols of the Silver Screen classic movie series are $9 for adults and $7 for Tampa Theatre members; tickets for the silent film “It” with live accompaniment are $12 for adults and $10 for children, seniors, military and members at the box office, or online at www.TampaTheatre.org ($2 convenience fee applies).
If you've ever wondered more about the secrets of how a historic theatre operates, this is the part you've been waiting for! Where does the Mighty Wurlitzer organ go when the movie starts? Why are there stuffed peacocks perched around the proscenium? (And, for that matter, what is a “proscenium” anyway?) Learn the Theatre’s secrets, stories, art and architecture with a “balcony to backstage” tour of the historic movie palace. The 90-minute tour will kick off in the lobby at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 5 and Saturday, March 9. Tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for children ages 2 to 12. Tampa Theatre members are free.
Built in 1926, Tampa Theatre hosts more than 600 events each year, including first-run films, classic movies, concerts, corporate events, educational programs, weddings and tours. The historic Theatre is a passionately protected landmark, a member of the League of Historic American Theatres and one of America’s best-preserved movie palaces, maintained as a dynamic cultural institution by the Tampa Theatre Foundation. Programming is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Classics film series are presented with the support of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners.
Be sure to subscribe to this column, and travel to some of the greatest local getaways around, all from the comfort of your desktop (or laptop, or PDA, or smartphone!) If you have a favorite local attraction you'd like to see profiled, please let me know. Also, be sure to follow me on twitter, and read my articles about motorsports, HOAs, elections, and restaurants.