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Gunfight at the OK Corral (1957) <imdb>
Directed by John Sturges
Part of The Golden Age of Westerns Discussion Series
Presented by Terry Meehan
Over fifty actors have played Wyatt Earp onscreen—film legends like Randolph Scott, Henry Fonda, Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner. Those who played Doc Holliday, however, were typically relegated to supporting roles. That all changes when screen legends Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas ride into Dodge. When they portray the prominent pair, star power meets firepower and those nasty Clantons don’t stand a chance. Mary Doria Russell, the bestselling author of Doc and The Sparrow, will be Professor Terry Meehan's special guest for a post-film discussion of the enduring power of the Earp legend—and why none of these true stories ever seem to agree on anything. Meehan introduces each of his classic westerns with rare clips and original documentaries, followed by audience reaction and conversation. Books will be for sale and signing.
Saturday, April 12 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium

The Doors (1991) <imdb>
Directed by Oliver Stone
Jim Morrison got to know a lot of people in his short life and every one of them remembers the larger-than-life icon differently. This makes writing a straightforward biography challenging, but for a filmmaker like Oliver
Stone—with a talent like Val Kilmer up his sleeve—it serves as a license to rewrite the story of the band, the 60s and the nation itself according to his own shamanistic vision. Kilmer not only looks like Morrison, but he sounds eerily like him, too. (The soundtrack famously boasts vocals from both the actor and the icon and few can tell the difference.) His performance increases in mesmerizing power as the story traces the poet's journey from shy, reserved youth to drugged-out Lizard King. As the fame of The Doors grows, Morrison's obsession with death increases. The band grows weary of missed recording sessions and no-shows at concerts. Sinking deeper into a haze, having mystical sexual encounters with a rock journalist witch, he finally slips away.
Saturday, April 19 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium

Jacob’s Ladder (1990) <imdb>
Directed by Adrian Lyne
This is not a horror movie as some would have it, but a philosophical drama disguised as an effects-heavy, supernatural thriller. Tim Robbins plays a New York postal worker who can't keep his head straight. Haunted by memories of his wife, his dead son and his time in Vietnam, he's most disturbed by the fact that his memories don't add up. There are contradictions and hallucinations—at least he hopes they're hallucinations. Visions of a demon-infested city seem to be leading him somewhere, driving him towards a tragic fate. Maybe he has a fever. Maybe the government experimented on his platoon with weapon-grade LSD and he's just having flashbacks. Maybe everybody who's trying to help him is secretly out to get him. “The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won't let go of life, your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they're not punishing you. They're freeing your soul. So, if you're frightened of dying and... and you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth.”
Saturday, April 26 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium

F for Fake (1973) <imdb>
Directed by Orson Welles
Trickery. Deceit. Magic. In Orson Welles' free-form documentary, the legendary filmmaker (and self-described charlatan) gleefully engages the central preoccupation of his career—the tenuous line between truth and illusion, art and lies. Beginning with portraits of world-renowned art forger Elmyr de Hory and his equally devious biographer, Clifford Irving, Welles goes on a dizzying cinematic journey that simultaneously exposes and revels in fakery and fakers of all stripes—not the least of which is Welles himself. Charming and poignant, F for Fake is an inspired prank and a searching examination of the essential duplicity of cinema.
Saturday, May 3 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium

The Big Country (1958) <imdb>
Directed by William Wyler

Part of The Golden Age of Westerns Discussion Series
Presented by Terry Meehan
Gregory Peck plays a former sea captain who arrives in California to marry Carroll Baker, the daughter of wealthy cattle baron James Bickford. Peck finds himself in the middle of a bitter feud over water rights between his future father-in-law and a rival clan headed by Burl Ives. He spends much of the movie trying to convince both sides to give peace a chance—but this is a western. No one is about to hang up his gun belt just yet. Even Charlton Heston, Peck’s ally in the water dispute, rejects the sailor’s olive branch and offers a pair of fists instead. Professor Terry Meehan continues his series of classic westerns, introducing each film with rare clips and original documentaries, followed by audience reaction and a lively discussion.
Saturday, May 10 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) <imdb>
Directed by J.J. Abrams
We liked J. J. Abrams' 2009 Star Trek, but it’s his work on this sequel that gives us hope for his upcoming continuation of the Star Wars saga—pay particular attention to the opening sequence which masterfully evokes the bold vibe of the original series while simultaneously retooling it for modern audiences with cutting-edge technique. For those who skipped the first movie, this is not a rebooting of the old series. Instead, everything takes place in the aftermath of a time-traveling terrorist's crimes against the Federation. That may sound complicated, but the effect is to free Star Trek of fifty years of obsessive storytelling and leave only its best assets behind—the characters. Kirk is brash and brave. Dr. McCoy is wry. And Spock... doesn't have the same control of his emotions you'd expect— just ask his girlfriend, Uhura. Benedict Cumberbatch joins the fun as a deeply conflicted villain whose name we don't dare reveal.
Saturday, May 17 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium

Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) <imdb>
Directed by John Huston
Being down on your luck can bring out the best in people. There is a wonderful camaraderie that can be found among hard-working folks who fall on hard times, and it is not uncommon for what some would regard as next to nothing to be split into two and shared. Humphrey Bogart befriends Tim Holt while they're both chasing down the same cigarette butts in Tampico, Mexico during a lean 1925. One night while staying in a workhouse they meet a grizzled Walter Huston, an old prospector who's made and lost many fortunes and gained considerable wisdom on the subject of greed. Scrounging a few dollars together, the three set out to look for gold. They don't need much. They dream of just one little score to set them back on the path to prosperity and they're willing to work for it. A fascinating sequence ensues wherein they build their camp and demonstrate every laborious step in the quest for the shiny stuff. Their efforts are rewarded and they build up quite a trove—but there are bandits in the area and apparently they don't need badges.
Saturday, May 24 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) <imdb>
Directed by Stephen Chbosky
Nearly every teenager feels like an outsider and most high school films take advantage of this, sugarcoating real angst with cheap sarcasm. This extraordinary film, based on the bestselling novel by the director, does quite the opposite, offering a moving tale of love, loss, fear, hope and friendship that captures the gut wrenching highs and lows of growing up. Charlie is a deeply insecure, mentally unstable teen entering high school. With no friends to talk to and a cold shoulder from his own family, he is taken under the wings of two seniors—lovely Sam and loyal Patrick. What do they see in Charlie? At first, he mistakes them for boyfriend and girlfriend, but eventually their real relationship, with all its twists and turns, is revealed. After much unnecessary turmoil, Charlie learns to move beyond the mental anguish that has held him hostage for so long. So this is what being accepted feels like...
Saturday, May 31 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium

Last Tango in Paris (1972) <imdb>
Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
A young Parisian woman engages in a sordid affair with an American who lays out the ground rules that their clandestine relationship will be based only on sex with no names exchanged. In this art house classic, Marlon Brando is a middle-aged man in emotional exile who comes to Paris after his estranged wife commits suicide. Chancing to meet young Jeanne, he enters into a sadomasochistic relationship with her, lashing out at the hypocrisy all around him through his raw, outrageous behavior. He somehow hopes to purge his guilt, brilliantly and profanely articulated in a monologue delivered at his wife's coffin. If the sexuality of Last Tango is uncomfortably explicit, the combination of Brando's acting, Bertolucci's direction, Vittorio Storaro's cinematography and Gato Barbieri's music should forgive all sins. This is one of the undeniable European classics of the 1970s, albeit one that is not for all viewers.
Saturday, June 7 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium

Day of the Outlaw (1959) <imdb>
Directed by André de Toth
Part of The Golden Age of Westerns Discussion Series
Presented by Terry Meehan
This is one of those little-known gems that western movie buffs love to discover, mainly because of its surprises and twists. First of all, it looks nothing like a western. No hot dusty deserts or rock-carved valleys, this film was shot on top of a snowy mountain in the middle of winter. Cranky cattleman Robert Ryan wants to settle some scores with the town’s leader Alan Marshal who is cutting up the land with barbed wire, and who also happens to be married to Ryan’s former sweetheart Tina Louise. Just as their big gunfight scene is about to play out, a gang of outlaws rides in to town, led by renegade Union officer Burl Ives. They turn the town into a living hell—and then hell freezes over and the bitter cold may kill them all. Professor Terry Meehan continues his series of classic westerns, introducing each film with rare clips and original documentaries, followed by audience reaction and a lively discussion.
Saturday, June 14 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium

Clean Slate (1994) <imdb>
Directed by Mick Jackson
Did the makers of Memento think we'd forgotten about this movie? That far-more critically acclaimed film so clearly ripped off huge chunks of innovation from this overlooked comedy, that it’s a shame there wasn’t more of an outcry at the time. This film failed at the box office because Dana Carvey wasn’t mugging for the camera, but instead chose to push the envelope of his career with a subtle, sweet and thoughtful caper that took the elements of film noir and exposed them to the bright sunshine of Venice Beach. Carvey plays a private investigator who has developed a rare case of amnesia that causes him to forget all the details of his life. He can’t tell anyone because he is also the key witness in a murder trial and would lose all credibility. Every day he wakes up and pulls together a slightly different persona based on the circumstances that confront him and does his best to avoid being killed by various parties. You will cheer a clever, capable man who overcomes adversity using his wits in amusing ways. We liked it, anyway.
Saturday, June 21 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium

Fish Tank (2009) <imdb>
Directed by Andrea Arnold
Fifteen year old Mia is just another reckless and rebellious British teenager who has gotten herself suspended from school. Living in a shabby flat with her mom and sister—and with plenty of time on her hands—she spends most of her days drinking and getting wasted all by herself in a vacant set of rooms down the hall. She has one true passion and that is dance. Unfortunately, she shares that passion with her mother's new boyfriend. When they cross the line sexually, mother’s anger is not with her boyfriend, but with her new rival.
Saturday, June 28 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium

The Adventures of Tintin (2011) <imdb>
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Tintin is a reporter, earnest and brave. That's all you really need to know about him. The original Belgian comics, hugely popular throughout Europe for decades, were too packed with exotic adventure to leave much room for character development. (Does anybody even know what newspaper he works for?) While we're not usually fans of motion-capture CGI films like Polar Express, the decision to make the actors less photorealistic and more like Hergé's original cartoon designs eliminates the creepiness factor. And the sweeping moves of the virtual camera—impossible to film in the real world and too laborious to draw—make this arguably the most essential comic book adaptation ever made. It really captures something about the reading experience that no other medium can duplicate. Follow the curious Tintin and his loyal dog Snowy as they discover a model ship carrying a centuries-old secret and make friends with the cantankerous Captain Haddock. Together, they'll travel half the world to solve the mystery.
Saturday, July 12 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium

No Such Thing (2001) <imdb>
Directed by Hal Hartley
If we can agree, for the sake of argument, that monsters are real then we might as well go ahead and accept that a charming, modern fairy tale can be told with bitter black comedy and result in scathing social commentary. There is a monster living on remote rocky island off the coast of Iceland. He is changeless and eternal—and thoroughly annoyed by the evolution of the human race. When a news camera crew crosses his path, he brutally murders them, then records a message describing his crimes—in perfect English no less—and sends the tape back into the world as a warning. TV executive Helen Mirren smells ratings. Not only does she decide to send another reporter after the story, she chooses the doe-like Sarah Polley, fiancée of one of the slain men, for added human interest. Polley makes an impossible journey beyond the places where the horses won't go and finds the strength to offer the villain her friendship. But she could not have foreseen what would happen when she guides him back to our world and subjects him to the media spotlight.
Saturday, July 19 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium

Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) <imdb>
Directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley
This is old-fashioned Hollywood magic at its finest—a breathtaking adventure and a surprisingly gentle romance filled with hearty laughs. The script sparkles. The stunts are real. And you can forget about the murky, muddy filth of modern adaptations. This legend was filmed in Technicolor with bright reds and greens that give it the appearance of an illuminated manuscript—making it seem more authentic for all its fantasy. Sir Robin of Locksley, defender of downtrodden Saxons, runs afoul of Norman authority and is forced to turn outlaw. With his band of Merry Men, he steals from the rich, gives to the poor and still finds time to woo the lovely Maid Marian. Basil Rathbone and Claude Raines provide worthy villains. Olivia de Havilland falls hopelessly in love. And Errol Flynn gives his finest performance—graceful, witty, bold, dashing and daring—and forever puts his stamp on the virtuous rogue.
Saturday, July 26 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium

Intacto (2001) <imdb>
Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Are you born with luck? Can it be transferred from one person to another like a cold? In this twisted Spanish thriller, a mysterious elderly man lives in luxury beneath a casino where he believes he can absorb that special quality from those more fortunate than himself. One would-be gambler definitely believes he's been robbed by the old man. For his revenge, he teams up with someone who has more luck than the old man could ever possibly steal. He and his partner enter dangerous underground tournaments, win outrageous prizes from the likes of bullfighters and prepare to take the old man down... But then one nosy police investigator gets involved and that's when things really start to get weird.
Saturday, August 2 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium

The Salton Sea (2002) <imdb>
Directed by D. J. Caruso
What happens to you when you lose the love of your life? After witnessing the murder of his wife, Val Kilmer searches for... something... and finds himself adrift in the senseless world of small time thugs and simple junkies. It wasn't her fault—a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But everybody's in the wrong place at the Salton Sea, the largest inland body of water in California. This godforsaken place must have been beautiful once, but now it's a post-apocalyptic wasteland of houses, trailers and boarded-up beach clubs slowly sinking into the toxic mud. But searching for her here is all he has left... Set to the lonely resonant tones of Miles Davis, this film crawls down the long road that leads beyond crippling alienation.
Saturday, August 9 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium

Rio Bravo (1959) <imdb>
Directed by Howard Hawks
Part of The Golden Age of Westerns Discussion Series
Presented by Terry Meehan
Howard Hawks did not like High Noon—a film that everybody's supposed to like. He said a real lawman would not run around town “like a wet chicken” asking for help, “until finally his Quaker wife saves his guts.” His real reason for not liking the 1952 classic probably had more to do with fifties politics than aesthetics. Nonetheless, he considers Rio Bravo to be his answer to High Noon. But let's forget politics and enjoy the film for what it is, a well-directed, well-written and well-acted western classic. Especially fun to watch are crooner Dean Martin, fresh from his breakup with Jerry Lewis, and boy wonder Ricky Nelson, who had a number one hit on the charts and celebrated his eighteenth birthday during the shoot. Professor Terry Meehan continues his series of classic westerns, introducing each film with rare clips and original documentaries, followed by audience reaction and a lively discussion.
Saturday, August 16 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium

The African Queen (1951) <imdb>
Directed by John Huston
As an idealistic missionary in Africa, Katherine Hepburn is cut off from the news and knows little of the World War that is brewing back home. But when German imperial troops burn down her brother's mission and begin pressing the men into service, she decides to do England proud, burying her brother and planning her counterattack with a stiff upper lip. Humphrey Bogart's gin-swilling riverboat captain was just passing through. He may know a little more about the escalating war, but that doesn't mean he wants to get involved. That said, he can't leave her behind and he can't say no to her infuriating demands. Together, these mismatched middle-aged losers do the impossible—surviving hails of gunfire, raging rapids, bloodthirsty parasites and impenetrable swamps. And, of course, they fall in love. The real question is, after everything they've been through and all that they've gained so late in life, do they still go through with their suicide mission?
Saturday, August 23 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium