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Spring 2014 Cinema Classics Series Gets Rolling at the Midtown Art Cinema

Federico Fellini's "8 1/2" is screening as part of the spring Cinema Classics lineup.
Federico Fellini's "8 1/2" is screening as part of the spring Cinema Classics lineup.

The Landmark Midtown Art Cinema is kicking off its spring “Cinema Classics” series tonight, and Atlanta movie fans are once again in for a treat. The series presents a fantastic opportunity to see classic films on the big screen, often in digitally restored format or via rare 35mm prints.

The spring series runs on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. from March 4 through April 29, with no screening on April 22. Eight international films will be featured, and while all eight are top-notch, here are my picks for the five that are most worth your time:

Seven Samurai (1954)
Tuesday, March 4

IMDB users have merely ranked Akira Kurosawa’s beloved samurai classic the top-rated foreign language film of all-time. If that’s not enough, the ridiculously awesome visuals make this a classic that benefits even more from big-screen viewing. 35mm print.

Breathless (1960)
Tuesday, March 11

Jean-Luc Godard’s art-house sensation screened at the Midtown Art Cinema four years ago as part of its 50th anniversary re-release, and now it’s back. The film that kicked off the French New Wave and inspired a slew of U.S. classics isn’t for everyone, but if you enjoy rule-breaking cinema, Breathless is a must. And the big screen is the best way to revel in Godard’s jump cuts, unusual camera angles and other unconventional techniques. 35mm.

Solaris (1972)
Tuesday, March 25

This Russian sci-fi classic was remade by Steven Soderbergh a little over a decade ago, but this is the version you want to see. Though the slower pacing isn’t for everyone, this is a visually stunning film that’s pretty rare to see screening in theaters, so consider checking it out. 35mm print.

8 1/2 (1963)
Tuesday, April 1

Want to know why Federico Fellini ranked among the top 10 directors of all-time in Sight and Sound’s latest critics’ and directors’ polls? The towering 8 1/2, starring the incomparable Marcello Mastroianni as Fellini’s alter ego, is a fine place to start. And Fellini’s lavish set pieces should be tasty on the big screen, especially in this digital restoration.

A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
Tuesday, April 15

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, this is legendary director John Cassavetes’ top film according to IMDB users. Need more convincing? It nabbed Oscar nominations for Cassavetes and lead actress Gena Rowlands. And Peter Falk, as an average Joe dealing with his wife’s instability, does some of his best work here. 35mm print.

For more information on the Cinema Classics Series and a full screening list, visit the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema website.

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