Our Man in Havana (1959) Directed by Carol Reed
In addition to being a novelist, Graham Greene was a spy who worked for the infamous Kim Philby. His experiences in the world of secrets inspired this witty satire about British vacuum cleaner salesman Alec Guinness who is recruited by MI-6 to be a spy in Cuba during the Batista regime. By the time Reed and Greene (who also wrote the screenplay) got around to making the film, Fidel Castro had come down from the mountains to take over the island nation. Also starring Ernie Kovacs and Maureen O’Hara (whom Castro supposedly tried to date). Professor Terry Meehan continues his series, Graham Greene from Page to Screen, introducing each film with rare clips and original documentaries, followed by audience reaction and a lively discussion of the book and the movie.
Saturday, May 16 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium
Upstream Color (2013)
Directed by Shane Carruth
In 2004, when Shane Carruth wrote, directed, shot, starred in and wrote the score for the cerebral drama, Primer, we thought it was such a singular work of genius, drawn straight from the soul of the engineer, that he would never make another film and simply be content with his one masterpiece. We were wrong. It is fair to say that this is an art house film, and that will turn away one potential segment of the audience. The fact that it is thoughtful science fiction will turn away another. But those who stay will agree that you have missed out on something strangely mesmerizing and truly special. An unidentified parasite is being used to control the minds of select victims. A woman wakes up to find her life ruined and years missing. Who cured her? And why? She finds herself drawn to man who's had the same experience and, together, they try to reassemble the fragments of their shattered lives. But what is identity when you can't even tell whose memories are whose? What does it mean to be caught in the life cycle of an ageless organism?
Saturday, May 23 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium
The Misfits (1961)
Directed by John Huston
Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe make their final screen appearances in this melancholy masterpiece, graced with humor and humanity. Anything goes in the great state of Nevada, but what use is freedom to a bunch of broken misfits who don't know how to live anymore? Monroe plays a disillusioned young woman who has come to Reno for a divorce. After making fast friends with Thelma Ritter, an older divorcée who never left the state after her own divorce, and heartbroken mechanic Eli Wallach, she's introduced to a larger-than-life cowboy named Gay, played by Clark Gable. As the last of the real men, Gay is a little too good at masking his pain behind romantic speeches about cowboy freedom and the beauty of nature. After hitting it off at first, her innocent idealism clashes violently with his hard-edged, hard-hearted practicality. But wild horses still roam through the mountains and there's still plenty of room to move around.
Saturday, May 30 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium