Thursday, February 25, 2010

Revival: Husbands

The Charles will screen John Cassavetes' praised and reviled HUSBANDS three times this week in the Revival time slots.

Saturday, February 27 at Noon
Monday, March 1 at 7pm
Thursday, March 4 at 9pm

1970 John Cassavetes. Ben Gazzara, Peter Falk, John Cassavetes. Restored version.

"...this formally radical, deeply personal work still packs plenty of surprises.
The story centers on three longtime friends, neighbors on Long Island and fellow-commuters—Gus, Archie, and Harry —whose buddy Stuart has died suddenly. After the funeral, they go on a two-day bender. Returning home, Harry has a violent row with his wife and his mother-in-law and decides to fly off to London that day. Fearing for Harry’s well-being, Archie and Gus accompany him. Once there, the three go to a casino and end up bringing women back to their hotel rooms. The drama turns on a simple question: whether any of them will go home." (Richard Brody, The New Yorker)

"A master at the top of his groundbreaking form.
Never before had Cassavetes been this powerful and personal." (Rolling Stone)

"HUSBANDS is an important and great film!"
(Time Magazine)

"Sigmund Freud himself could not have done the job more efficiently. It's a film that - like much of Cassavetes' work - is excessively boring, hard to follow, and extraordinarily illuminating about masculinity and its incorrigible delusions." (The Guardian)

NEXt CTWU Art Exhibit

Thursday, February 18, 2010

poster by mr.freibert

Magic Eye presents Baltimore filmmakers

Monday, February 22, 2010
The Charles Theater

Magic Eye is proud to present a night of short films and videos created by Baltimore artists. This group features work by Kari Altmann, Kristen Anchor, Mark Brown, Lauren Friedman, Jenny Graf, Clarissa Gregory, Justin Kelly, Andrew Mausert-Mooney, Catherine Pancake, Jimmy Joe Roche, Paul Sharitis, Stan Vanderbeek, Fred Worden and Karen Yasinsky.

The films, dating from the early 60s to contemporary work, range from experimental narrative to animation, music videos and performance documentation.

In celebration and remembrance, Magic Eye will screen Paul Sharits’ T,O,U,C,H,I,N.G (1968) featuring the Baltimore poet David Franks.

This installment of Magic Eye is programmed by Matt Porterfield.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Revival: American Graffiti

AMERICAN GRAFFITI plays twice this week at the Charles. There will be no Monday show.

Show Times:

1973 George Lucas. Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Mackenzie Phillips, Wolfman Jack, Bo Hopkins, Harrison Ford, Johnny Weissmuller, Jr., Joe Spano, Suzanne Somers. 112m. Technicolor.

"The Charles Theatre revival series this week offers its loyal but frigid audiences the closest they can come right now to Grade A cinematic comfort food: George Lucas' 'American Graffiti.'

George Lucas' memories of growing up with carhops, cruising, hot rods and hoods produced a film 37 years ago that sent the whole country into an early-1960s flashback. Its in-and-out, vignette style, and its nonstop rock-oldies soundtrack, quickly became standard issue for teen movies. Some of Lucas's characters - the nerd (Charlie Martin Smith), the deceptively 'dumb' blonde (Candy Clark), the hot-rodder (Paul Le Mat) - were stock figures even in 1962, the year in which the story takes place. But Lucas reanimates the cliches, using them to externalize and flesh out the cruising mind-set of his teen era. He gets at the archetypal bonds and tensions between eternal high school types like the brainy semi-outsider ( Richard Dreyfuss) and the sharp yet inertia-prone class prez ('Ronny' Howard). And the rock-and-roll moviemaking rhythms give 'Graffiti' a souped-up engine all its own. This 1973 movie recaptured the idea of teen years being fun - a notion that has since gotten way out of hand.

The uncanny casting, including Harrison Ford as Paul Le Mat's nemesis and Suzanne Somers as Dreyfuss' dream girl, doubly ensures this film's place in history. By now, it too is a nostalgic memory - not just for the supposedly innocent time of 1962, but for the seat-of-the-pants innovations of early-1970s moviemaking. The Dolby Digital prints allow you to appreciate how Walter Murch's sound montages woke a generation on the rise to the power of the soundtrack. He uses classic rock 'n' roll in ways it had never been used before. It becomes the natural sound of a small-town California night - more natural than crickets or coyotes. Murch and Lucas don't just exploit rock to set a mood; they use it to fix the movie's meanings in a viewer's mind, like a Greek chorus with a beat. At times, the sound alone makes us feel as if we're in the middle of a giant, rainbow-colored jukebox.

But the filmmakers also know how to blow away that aural mist to exploit silence and sound effects - usually in places where conventional movies would use a musical score to pound home emotional tension or crises in the plot. When Dreyfuss has to sneak a hook onto the undercarriage of a police car in order to prove himself to a gang known as the Pharoahs, the rock 'n' roll subsides. All you hear is the nerve-rattling sound of an approaching train. A year before, the sound of an unseen train had worked for Michael Corleone's murder of a rival mobster and a crooked cop in 'The Godfather.' In a different manner and context, it works just as brilliantly here.

Cinematographer Haskell Wexler has said that 'what was groundbreaking' for him was that 'we were able to use documentary techniques, we were able to use smaller equipment, we were able to work in a simpler way and still have what ultimately was on the screen be interesting and good.' These days, Lucas is known for digital wizardry. He did some latter-day digital touch-ups on 'American Graffiti,' too. But what makes this movie click was the edge the actors got from knowing that Lucas was seizing on their most spontaneous reactions - including their stumbles and 'mistakes.'" (Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun)

"A brilliant work of popular art" (Dave Kehr)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Revival: The Last Picture Show (try number two)

Due to the weather of the past week THE LAST PICTURE SHOW will be shown at the Charles again next week.

Saturday, February 20 at Noon
Monday, February 22 at 7PM
Thursday, February 25 at 9PM

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Revival: The Last Picture Show

The revival this week is the Last Picture Show.


1971 Peter Bogdanovich. Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman, Ellen Burstyn, 126m. (Director's Cut). bw. Written by Larry McMurtry.

"Peter Bogdanovich followed the route of the French New Wave filmmakers when he left criticism to make this 1971 feature, and like many of their films, it's an intimate psychological story laced with references to Hollywood movies. The setting is a small, stagnant Texas town of the 1950s; everybody's moving away, and even the movie theater is ready to close (the last picture show is Howard Hawks's Red River, apparently programmed by the Texas correspondent of Cahiers du Cinema). The few people who remain spend their time carrying on sordid affairs and eulogizing the vanishing west...Bogdanovich knows how to cast actors and highlight character turns (both Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman won Oscars). The handsome black-and-white photography is by Robert Surtees." (Dave Kehr)

new show opening at open space next friday!