Brighton Rock (1947)
Directed by John Boulting
Richard Attenborough stars as Pinkie Brown, a sadistic young thug in Brighton who seduces a waitress named Rose in order to use her as an alibi for murder. Often called a British film noir, it was criticized for its darkness and brutality. "No woman will want to see it,” screamed one headline. Graham Greene, who wrote both the book and the screenplay, replied to the publisher: "Your critic's disgust is an indication that one purpose of the film—the presentation of a character possessed by evil— has been successfully achieved." Professor Terry Meehan begins a new series titled Graham Greene from Page to Screen, which will consider Greene’s novels and the films they inspired. Reading the books is encouraged, but not required. Meehan introduces each film with rare clips and original documentaries, followed by audience reaction and a lively discussion of both the book and the movie.
Saturday, March 14 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium
Club Paradise (1986)
Directed by Harold Ramis
To mourn the passing of our captain Robin Williams, we have chosen a trio of his smaller films because we could not possibly do justice to the wide range of his talent without showing a dozen. It’s time to savor these performances. Let’s start light. This bright and sunny comedy also serves double duty, honoring the passing of director Harold Ramis. Neither man would point to Club Paradise as their finest achievement, but it’s warm, funny and will make you smile. Robin Williams plays a Chicago firefighter who is sick of being cold and wet all the time. He moves to a tiny island in the Caribbean and opens up a resort with reggae star Jimmy Cliff, who also provides the soundtrack. Comedy legends like Andrea Martin, Rick Moranis, Eugene Levy and Twiggy (hey, she was in The Blues Brothers) stop by to soak up the rays and play with Robin. Peter O’Toole, too!
Saturday, March 21 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium
Cadillac Man (1990)
Directed by Roger Donaldson
In this minor comic gem, Robin Williams eschews his Robin Williams schtick and sinks his teeth into an irresistible character—Joey O'Brien, a slick, car salesman who's made the fatal mistake of buying into his own line of nonsense. Joey has problems. First, he has to sell twelve cars in one day in order to keep his job. Okay, that's doable. Better get out there and hit up your leads. But before he can do that, he has to reassure his girlfriends that they're the only ones. There's a friendly reminder from the Mob that he's owes twenty grand. His ex-wife wants money, too, and apparently his teenage daughter has been out for days. As his surefire sales begin to slip away, all of his problems converge and it looks like the end. But then, a miracle in the form of Tim Robbins crashes through the showroom window on a motorcycle. He wants to kill everybody because somebody has been sleeping with his wife. The whole place panics, but Joey smiles. This is a problem he can fix. All he has to do is sell the guy...
Saturday, March 28 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium
The Night Listener (2006)
Directed by Patrick Stettner
Adapted by Armistead Maupin from his novel, The Night Listener is a slow-paced thriller set to the waning of the moon, infused with the eerie calm of night. Robin Williams plays a late night radio show host in the midst of a crumbling relationship who crafts spooky tales and haunting stories for his listeners from the depths of his troubled imagination. On the telephone, he strikes up a friendship with a fan, a young teenage boy with his own story to tell. The boy sends Williams an unpublished manuscript for a book describing years of sexual abuse from his parents, and a bond is formed between the two survivors. Toni Collette plays the boy's caretaker, but who is she really? How does a teenage boy write with such insight and depth of feeling? These are questions that Williams asks himself too late as his life descends into chaos.
Saturday, April 4 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium
The Third Man (1949)
Directed by Carol Reed
After World War II, American writer Joseph Cotten comes to Vienna to work for his old school chum, Harry Lime—better known to film lovers as Orson Welles. He arrives to find that his friend has been killed in an accident, and that the war-torn city is filled with corruption and moral ambiguity. How did Lime really die? And who is the mysterious third man that carried his friend's body? Director Reed has transformed Graham Greene’s book and screenplay into a masterpiece of cinema. From atop a giant Ferris wheel, to the sewers beneath Vienna, every scene is a marvel of moviemaking. And it’s all accompanied by the unforgettable strains of Anton Karas’ zither. 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 both the book and the movie.
Saturday, April 11 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium
All Over the Guy (2001)
Directed by Julie Davis
Who doesn't love a slick, modern romantic comedy? Wait! Please keep reading. This movie is different, we swear. First of all, it's very funny. (That's important to us.) Second, in this tale of two intertwined couples finding love, the lead pairing is comprised of two gay men who aren't flaming sitcom stereotypes from laugh track land, just two lonely guys with real anxieties, afraid to drop their guards in the face of warmth and caring. Who can't relate to that? What's amazing to us is that, all these years later, you still can’t find gay leads in Hollywood movies falling in love. They have to be dying or somebody’s best friend. In this independent triumph, it’s the straight people who play second fiddle. Frankly, we’re worried that in ten years, this film featuring a dial up Internet connection to AOL will still seem like an artifact from the future. Richard Ruccolo and Dan Bucatinsky are joined by Sasha Alexander, Adam Goldberg, Joanna Kerns, Lisa Kudrow, Christina Ricci and Doris Roberts.
Saturday, April 18 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium
The Last of the High Kings (1996)
Directed by David Keating
Howth, County Dublin, Ireland 1977. In the last days that Elvis Presley walked this earth... Jared Leto plays Frankie, an Irish teenager lost in the summer between high school and University. His father, Gabriel Byrne, bears a heavy burden on his theatrical soul. He's a working actor with five mouths to feed who must leave for New York with his son on the cusp of manhood. (That's okay. Byrne continues to makes his presence felt by writing the film’s screenplay, based on the novel by Ferdia Mac Anna.) This leaves Frankie at the mercy of his mother, Catherine O'Hara, a fire-breathing woman who channels the fury of some forgotten Celtic goddess in her efforts to make Protestants uncomfortable and keep her unruly house in order. While his friends ponder the mystic significance of Elvis's middle name, Frankie stumbles over girls like Emily Mortimer and Christina Ricci and flits away his time. He once had half an idea to throw a massive beach party, but Ireland isn't exactly California.
Saturday, April 25 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium
A Separation (2011)
Directed by Asghar Farhadi
Two years ago, Nader and Sirin wanted to leave Iran for the sake of their daughter. Now that their permit has finally been approved, Nader cannot go because he must take care of his dying father. Unable to leave the country with her daughter, Sirin decides to leave her marriage instead. Nader is forced to hire someone to help him take care of his dependents. Pregnant Razieh seems perfect for the job, but as a deeply religious woman she cannot work in a single man's household. On the other hand, creditors are threatening her out-of-work husband with jail. She takes the job, but does not handle her dilemma well. When Nader comes home one day to find his father left alone and tied to his bed, a struggle with Razieh ensues, and the whole mess ends up in court. But the judge refuses to settle the matter with a clear, black and white decision. In fact, he rather complicates things. Farsi with English subtitles. Dr. Mohammad Jafar Mahallati, Oberlin College's Presidential Scholar in Islamic Studies and a former ambassador to the United Nations returns to lead a special film discussion following the presentation of this Iranian masterpiece.
Saturday, May 2 at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium