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Film Scene: Bolshoi Ballet, William Shatner and Oscar winners on the agenda

  • The Bolshoi Ballet
  • Dr. Pamela Dee in “Love, Sweat & Tears”
  • William Shatner
 

Film Scene: Bolshoi Ballet, William Shatner and Oscar winners on the agenda

16 Mar 2017

 

Those of you who’ve been reading Film Scene for a while now are surely aware that the restored, historic Tybee Post Theater out on lovely Tybee Island has carved out a niche for itself by primarily programming one-night-only revivals of either classic or popular Hollywood pictures from decades past on its single screen, when its stage is not being used for live musical or comedy shows, that is.

That trend continues with the intimate, 200-capacity venue’s March 23 showing of the 1952 MGM musical “Singin’ in the Rain” (which was previously screened just a tad over a month ago at downtown’s Lucas Theatre). Stanley Donen (“Damn Yankees!” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”) co-directed this beloved favorite with its magnetic star, Gene Kelly, and the film’s cast includes such luminaries as Donald O’Connor and the recently deceased Debbie Reynolds (Carrie Fisher’s mom, for those of you too young to know better). The script, while fictional, is closely based on the real-life confusion and upset that accompanied Tinseltown’s rough transition from silent films to those with synchronized sound (better known as “talkies,” till that term had run its course).

Packed with show-stopping, timeless musical and dance numbers, it’s been called the “Greatest Movie Musical of All Time” by the prestigious American Film Institute. Melissa Turner, executive director of the Post Theater, says she selected “Singin’ in the Rain” because it seemed like a “perfect follow-up” to the venue’s two-night engagement of the recent smash musical “La La Land,” which takes place on March 18-19.

Going contemporary

You see, increasingly, the Post Theater is presenting special one- or two-day runs of contemporary motion pictures, such as that Oscar-winning Ryan Gosling/Emma Stone vehicle, or the similarly Oscar-winning drama “Fences” (starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis), which plays the Post on March 16-17. According to Turner, there are a significant number of Tybee residents who simply aren’t interested in making the drive from the island to Southside Savannah to catch even the biggest motion picture hits of the year. These blink-and-you’ll-miss-them bookings allow those folks to catch the occasional high-profile blockbuster (such as the sci-fi flick “Arrival,” which the Post showed a few weeks back to a strong turnout) just a few minutes’ drive or even walk from their homes.

It also gives Savannah area viewers who either had not gotten around to seeing such films in their initial first run — or perhaps want to enjoy them on the big screen again — a chance to do so while supporting a small, nonprofit theater. The drive to the beach isn’t that awfully long, folks. Pick up on it.

Ballet on the big screen

Looking ahead to other noteworthy alternative cinema offerings, on March 19, Fathom Events (which streams a wide variety of high-definition specialty programming such as concerts, plays, sporting events and classic movies into digitally equipped cinemas nationwide) follows up its recent simulcast of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of “La Traviata” with the latest effort from Moscow’s internationally renowned Bolshoi Ballet company, one of the oldest such companies in existence. Locally, this event will be shown at both the Regal Savannah Stadium 10 and the Cinemark in Bluffton, S.C.

Titled “A Contemporary Evening,” this nearly three-hour production pairs some of the best ballet dancers in the world today (such as Ekaterina Krysanova, Olga Smirnova, Semyon Chudin, Yulia Stepanova, Denis Savin and Anna Nikulina) with some of the most esteemed modern choreographers (including Jerome Robbins, Alexei Ratmansky and Harald Lander). The result is said to be a thrilling synthesis of energy, inspiration and human motion that incorporates both classical ballet and dance steeped in the traditions of Russian folklore.

As with all of Fathom’s events, expect stunning cinematography, crystal clear hi-fi audio and a collage of vantage points that serve to create an idealized “best seat in the house,” no matter where in the cinema you’ve chosen to rest your weary bones. Tickets are available in advance online through Fathom’s website, but there are usually seats available at the door on the day of the show. Showtime is 12:55 p.m., with admission ranging from about $16 for kids and seniors to about $20 for adults.

Spotlight on Shatner

A few nights later, on March 22 at The Sentient Bean, the Psychotronic Film Society of Savannah offers up its heartfelt appreciation and best wishes to fantastic cinema and television icon William Shatner, on the occasion of his 86th birthday. As this award-winning organization has done annually for over a decade now, the PFS will present a rare public showing of one of The Shat’s least-known films.

Each year they dig deep and wide to excavate a truly underappreciated nugget of Shat-related goodness — and this year is no exception. While the exact title remains a closely guarded secret (guarded by monkeys, in fact), it can be said they’ll screen the little-known “director’s cut” of a feature that even many hardcore devotees of “Captain Quirk” may be unfamiliar with. Funny? Yes. Serious? Yes. Shatner? Oh, yes. Showtime is 8 p.m., with $8 admission. There will also be a pre-show raffle for Shatner-related prizes and discounts on organic wine and craft beer during the film.

Tackling a taboo

And finally, on March 23, there will be a special presentation at the Regal Savannah Stadium 10 of a new “unconventional documentary” on the “taboo subject” of the unwanted effects of aging on women’s bodies and what they can do to “reignite and sustain romance” in their later years.

“Love, Sweat & Tears” stars Savannah’s own Dr. Pamela Dee (a specialist in such things who has emerged as a minor media sensation through regular appearances on Jenny McCarthy’s TV show) and Dr. William Dascombe, alongside a clutch of celebrities, including McCarthy, comedian Craig Shoemaker, Agape minister Michael Beckwith, actress Lynne Koplitz and the late insult comic, facelift acolyte and home shopping queen Joan Rivers.

This is but one of three area screenings organized through the crowd-driven website Gathr.com, which allows fans to request screenings of niche-oriented films by pre-ordering advance tickets to guarantee there is enough local interest to warrant such an event. One scheduled screening has already sold out, and tickets to this one are going fast, so if you’re interested in reserving a spot at this showing (or the planned encore on April 13), go online now to place your order. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., with $12.70 advance admission.

Until next issue, see you at the movies, be kind to those around you and don’t forget to turn off that cell phone.

Jim Reed directs Psychotronic Film Society of Savannah. Email psychotronicfilms@hotmail.com.

 

JIM’S NOTES

The colorful, bold and extremely athletic Bolshoi Ballet was founded in 1776 and is the largest ballet company in the world, maintaining well over 200 dancers. Only 17 years ago, they opened their very first Ballet Academy outside of the confines of Russia, in Brazil.

In addition to being internationally famous for his lead role as Captain James T. Kirk in the “Star Trek” world, William Shatner is one of the highest profile renaissance men in modern pop culture. A published author, singer, poet, talk show host, championship horse trainer, stage actor, playwright and documentarian, in 2006, Shatner also auctioned off one of his kidney stones for $25,000. He then donated that sum to Habitat for Humanity so a house could be built for a needy family — simply by the power of his bladder.

Dr. Pamela Dee Gaudry is a “sex-positive” author and speaker known to her fans as “America’s Menopause Romance Doctor.” She has made it her mission to guide women through the varying levels of fear, isolation and confusion of “the change” in hopes they can emerge both happier and healthier — and with an invigorated sex life, regardless of their age.

 

IF YOU GO

What: “Fences”

When: 7 p.m. March 16-17

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $7 for adults; $5 for children

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

 

What: “La La Land”

When: 3 p.m and 7 p.m. March 18-19

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $7 for adults; $5 for children

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

 

What: The Bolshoi Ballet — “A Contemporary Evening”

When: 12:55 p.m. March 19

Where: Regal Savannah Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee Ave., and Cinemark Bluffton, 106 Buckwalter Parkway, Bluffton, S.C.

Cost: Adults, $19.26; seniors/children $16.05

Info: fathomevents.com

 

What: William Shatner Birthday Salute

When: 8 p.m. March 22

Where: The Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave.

Cost: $8

Info: sentientbean.com

 

What: “Singin’ in the Rain”

When: 7 p.m. March 23

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $10, includes wine and chocolate)

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

 

What: “Love, Sweat & Tears”

When: 7:30 p.m. March 23

Where: Regal Savannah Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee Ave.

Cost: $12.70 in advance at gathr.us

Info: lovesweatandtearsfilm.com

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