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