It's that time of year again - the time when we're reminded of all the bliss, ecstasy, contentment (and, yes, uncertainty and even misery) that goes arm-in-arm with romance. And what better way to celebrate this roller coaster of a holiday than to go to the movies and see the power of love beautifully and cathartically magnified on the big screen?
Join The American Cinematheque Valentine's Day weekend for films both classic and contemporary that celebrate amour in its many forms, including CASABLANCA, DOUBLE INDEMNITY, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S, HAROLD AND MAUDE, GONE WITH THE WIND, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, THE AFRICAN QUEEN, THE PRINCESS BRIDE and THE NOTEBOOK.
Thursday, February 10 – HAROLD AND MAUDE, Producer Robert Evans fought hard for non-conformist editor-turned-filmmaker Hal Ashby to be allowed to direct this wildly offbeat romance between suicidal youngster Bud Cort and eccentric, 80-year-old Ruth Gordon. The result is one of the most poignant and subversive films of the New Hollywood era. - 1971, Paramount, 91 min, 35mm
Saturday, February 12 – Double Feature: Digitally Restored! THE AFRICAN QUEEN, 1951, Gin-soaked captain Humphrey Bogart decides to take pity on skinny, psalm-singing spinster Katharine Hepburn after her brother is killed in a German attack during WWI - and instead, winds up falling in love, and ferrying her downriver to launch a suicidal assault on a German warship! - Paramount, 105 min. Dir. John Huston.
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, - Digitally Restored! This 1953 Oscar winner (for Best Picture, Director, Cinematography and others) remains a timeless combination of war movie and love story that's as smart and adult as it is entertaining. James Jones' novel about military life at a Hawaiian army barracks on the brink of America’s entering World War II is the source for a riveting drama starring Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed, Frank Sinatra, Montgomery Clift and many others. 1953, Sony Repertory, 118 min. Dir. Fred Zinnemann. 35mm
Sunday, February 13 – The second of four Sunday matinees, running monthly at the Egyptian Theatre. Join The American Cinematheque in the coming months for LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR and LA BOHEME, screening in beautiful digital format on the really big screen.
THE ELIXIR OF LOVE, Donizetti's charming comedy is a celebration of innocence, so what setting could be better than a small Italian-American community in Napa Valley, circa 1915? In this ingenious update, the naive Nemorino believes a love potion will win him Adina's heart. Blossoming from a shy Italian immigrant to a plucky entrepreneur, he captures both his sweetheart and the American dream over the course of this delightful opera buffa. Tenor Ram�n Vargas superbly embodies the role of the lovesick Nemorino. The beautiful but aloof Adina is sung by soprano Inva Mula. Sung in Italian with English subtitles. In two acts with one 10 minute intermission. 158 min.
Sunday, February 13 – DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, This story of Tsarists, revolutionaries, two beautiful women in love with the same man, a nation in upheaval and, above all, the poet physician (Omar Sharif) who witnesses and remembers it all - is one of the most lyrical, visually breathtaking films in the history of the medium. Co-starring Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Rod Steiger, Tom Courtenay and Alec Guinness, with sublime music by Maurice Jarre. 1965, Warner Bros., 193 min. Dir. David Lean. 35mm