When it comes to catching up on classic movies, you can’t beat the big-screen experience. And that’s what makes the Midtown Cinema Classics film series currently running at Atlanta’s Midtown Art Cinema so cool.
Viewers are treated to restored, 35mm prints of the films, with gifted moderator Matthew H. Bernstein, director of film studies at Emory University, hosting a Q&A after each screening.
While it would be nice to have these classics play on the weekend, when more people can attend, bottom line is that it’s awesome to have these movies showing on the big screen, period.
Here’s a rundown of the remaining five films in the 2013 lineup:
Tuesday, Oct. 29
City Lights (1931)
Directed by Charlie Chaplin
Mixing Chaplin’s trademark slapstick and physical comedy with moments of poignancy (ah, that final scene), this may be Chaplin’s finest hour, with City Lights currently sitting at No. 38 on the IMDB’s list of the Top 250 films of all-time.
Chaplin, who also wrote and directed, plays The Little Tramp character for which he’s best known. In City Lights, he falls in love with a blind girl and tries to help raise money for an operation to restore her vision. An excellent place to start with Chaplin if you’ve never seen his films.
Tuesday, Nov. 5
The Rules of the Game (1939)
Directed by Jean Renoir
The great films ever by the greatest French director? Critics ranked it #4 in the latest Sight and Sound poll, behind only Citizen Kane, Vertigo and Tokyo Story. Judge for yourself in this scathing comedy/drama that chronicles a weekend of socialization among the well-to-do and their servants – along with the secrets, lies and deceit that come with the territory.
Tuesday, Nov. 12
High and Low (1963)
Directed by Akira Kurosawa.
Despite a Criterion DVD release, this taut police procedural still has a relatively low profile among Kurosawa films, surprising given its stellar 8.2 IMDB user rating and excellent performance by Kurosawa regular Toshiro Mifune (Seven Samurai, Yojimbo). Given that it’s celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, what better time to check it out?
Tuesday, Nov. 19
Directed by Federico Fellini
Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Amarcord is far from Fellini’s best work – but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have plenty to offer. With Amarcord, Fellini (La Dolce Vita, 8-1/2) turned his childhood memories into a wild blend of arthouse ambition and fart and boob jokes, and Nino Rota’s fantastic score complements the zany action. Best of all, Fellini’s visual mastery is on full display, making Amarcord a good flick to catch on the big screen. (Read more on Italian movies.)
Tue, Dec 3
Wings of Desire (1987)
Directed by Wim Wenders
Confession: I found this tale of an angel (Bruno Ganz) listening to the musings of the people below and falling for a trapeze artist a bit dull in spots. But I’m clearly in the minority, as the film’s 8.0 IMDB user rating attests. Regardless of what you think of the narrative, the black-and-white cinematography is stunning – again, this is a film that warrants a theatrical viewing.
The Landmark Midtown Art Cinema’s Midtown Cinema Classics series runs on select Tuesdays at 7 a.m. through Dec. 3, 2013. For more information, visit the Midtown Art Cinema website.