Do Savannnah

Film Scene: Get classic horror, kids’ choice and more in Savannah, Tybee, beyond

 

Film Scene: Get classic horror, kids’ choice and more in Savannah, Tybee, beyond

14 Jun 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

How many different alternative cinema events can we pack into just one installment of Film Scene, you may ask? Well, I am tempted to say this week’s haul is the largest since this weekly feature debuted here in Do a few years back. The choices over the next seven days or so are somewhat staggering — particularly if you are a child (or even childlike).

As a result, we can’t delve too deeply into all the features, but hopefully this overview will help you plan your viewing schedule accordingly.

Campy summer fun

First up are two screenings of the latest batch of campy, snarkily embellished vintage short subjects from the RiffTrax crew (quick-witted, MST3K-style comics who add their own cheeky, ironic “commentary tracks” to a variety of quality-challenged motion pictures). This “Summer Shorts Beach Party” will be simulcast live from Nashville, Tenn., to select cinemas — including our own Regal Stadium 10 and Bluffton’s Cinemark — at 8 p.m. June 15. Look for a rebroadcast as the crew interjects their insults a few nights later, at 7:30 p.m. June 20. Expect special guest commentators, such as the reliable hilarious Paul F. Tomkins. $13.38 admission.

Day of ‘The Mummy’

A few days later, on June 17, SCAD’s Cinema Circle gives Tom Cruise a friendly poke in the eye with a double-feature of two earlier versions of “The Mummy,” which it is universally agreed (see what I did there?) are vastly superior to his own just-released reboot of that classic tale of Sarcophagus-related horror. First up at 3 p.m. will be the CGI-heavy 1999 version starring Brendan Fraser (“Gods and Monsters”) as an American on anarchaeological expedition who accidentally awakens an ancient Egyptian priest, unleashing powerful forces of evil.

Then, at 7 p.m. the same night, the incredibly creepy original 1932 B&W version of “The Mummy” starring iconic silver screen legend Boris Karloff (“Frankenstein”) will be shown. A bona fide classic of horror filmmaking, this restored version should be an amazing treat to see on the big screen. After the show, Oscar-winning sound editor David Stone and yours truly will moderate a discussion on the behind-the-scenes making of Karloff’s film and its legacy. $8 admission (free with valid SCAD ID). Dave and I hope to see you at Trustees Theater!

Silent Cinema Concert

That same day, the historic Tybee Post Theater welcomes pianist Rodney Sauer and a chamber ensemble drawn from the Savannah Philharmonic, who will perform a live accompaniment of the original score to pioneering silent movie comedian Buster Keaton’s 1926 masterpiece “The General” (as well as two additional silent comedy shorts from the same time period, starring Keaton and “Fatty” Arbuckle).

Sauer is a key member of a chamber quintet that’s widely regarded as perhaps the single finest group today reviving the lost art of live musical accompaniment of silent films, and is traveling to our area specifically for this event. After the films, he’ll discuss both the history of silent movies and Buster Keaton’s film career — which began a century ago this year. Look for a related feature article elsewhere in this issue. Two screenings only, at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., with $15 admission for adults and $7 for those 12 and younger.

Free movie on Tybee

A bit later that night, the city of Tybee kicks off its 2017 Summer Movies in the Park series with a free, outdoor showing of the animated 2016 musical comedy “Sing,” featuring the voices of Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane and “Tip Tucker” himself, Matthew McConaughey. It’s the anthropomorphic tale of a singing competition held at a financially strapped theater. The family-friendly show starts at 8:45 p.m. in Memorial Park (near City Hall), and attendees are encouraged to bring blankets, folding chairs and picnic food and drinks.

Veterans for Peace

The next evening, the local branch of activist organization Veterans for Peace hosts another of its “Movie Nights” at The Sentient Bean. While the exact title of the feature they plan to screen was unavailable at press time, this group specializes in progressive-oriented political documentaries. 8 p.m. showtime with free admission.

$2 kids’ movies

On June 20, a short drive from Savannah in Springfield, the historic Mars Theatre continues its summer series of “Two For Tuesdays” with another kid-friendly feature film. This time around, its the bombastic live-action adaptation of the beloved Dr. Seuss book “The Cat in the Hat,” starring Mike Myers (“Austin Powers”) as the title character. 10 a.m and 2 p.m. screenings, with $2 admission.

Back to the beach

Returning our attention to Tybee, on that same day the Post will screen writer-director Nicholas Stoller’s 2016 animated comedy flick “Storks” at 3 p.m. as part of its own summer kid-centric film series. Listen closely and you’ll make out the voice talents of everyone from Andy Samberg to Danny Trejo. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and younger.

A few hours later, at 7 p.m., the Post hosts the 2016 documentary “Of The Sea” in tandem with Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. The film tells the story of California’s commercial fishermen and their efforts to create a sustainable industry. All of the Gray’s Reef films promote careful stewardship of our oceans, and are both educational and dazzlingly beautiful to behold. This 7 p.m. screening is free, but the Post will gladly accept voluntary donations of $5 on behalf of the marine sanctuary.

The next day, June 21, finds the Post showing acclaimed director Lasse Hallström’s 2017 live-action PG-rated feature “A Dog’s Purpose” at both 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. The movie, which stars Dennis “Far From Heaven” Quaid and Peggy “Twin Peaks” Lipton, follows a dog throughout its life as it lives with a series of owners and struggles to understand its purpose in the universe. $7 admission for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under.

The next day, the Post’s busy schedule of family films keeps on trucking with two screenings of the acclaimed live-action drama “Lion,” which made quite an impression at last year’s Savannah Film Festival when it was shown as a sneak preview before national release. “Lion” shows at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., with $7 admission for adults and $5 for kids.

Met Opera encore

June 21 also finds Fathom Events offering an encore presentation of Bizet’s “Les Pêcheurs de Perles” (aka “The Pearl Fishers”), at both the Regal Stadium 10 and the Cinemark multiplex in Bluffton, S.C. It’s part of Fathom’s ongoing series of live, high-def performances from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Described as a tale that enjoys a worldwide following of loyal fans, it’s a lush, Southeast Asian-set tale of “love, betrayal and vengeance” concerning a lovely and captivating priestess who finds herself fielding competing romantic offers from rival pearl divers. One show only, at 7 p.m., with $13.38 admission.

Silent film rarity

That same night at The Sentient Bean, the Psychotronic Film Society’s award-winning series of overlooked or marginalized feature films offers a special treat for fans of both Sherlock Holmes and silent movies: the rarest film featuring that master detective known to exist, 1916’s “Sherlock Holmes.” Lost for decades, this silent B&W motion picture is the first time the character of Holmes ever appeared on film, and it is considered to be one of the most influential films of its type.

In fact, many of the trademarks of later film and TV incarnations of Arthur Conan Doyle’s brilliant investigator can be traced directly to this film and the charismatic performance of William Gillette — who not only wrote the play this film was based on (and its screenplay), he also plays Holmes, as he had for more than 1,500 stage performances throughout the world before this film was made. Unseen for well over half a century, a single surviving print of this film was unexpectedly discovered overseas a couple of years ago, and has now been painstakingly restored. The PFS will present it fully uncut, on the 101st anniversary of its initial theatrical release. 8 p.m. showtime, with $8 admission.

‘Peter Pan’

And finally, June 22, the Lucas Theatre (now under new management) kicks off its relatively ambitious, just-announced summer season with a special high-def digital presentation of the acclaimed, current British stage production of “Peter Pan.” Co-presented by Bristol’s Old Vic theatre and England’s National Theatre, and directed by Sally Cookson (who also helmed the recent National Theatre production of “Jane Eyre”), this is the same version that was screened last week through Fathom Events at a couple of area multiplexes. Starting now, a selection of these National Theatre stage plays will also be screened at the Lucas — a welcome development for live theater fans. One show only, at 7 p.m., with $15 admission. Don’t you dare miss it!

That’s it for this week’s Film Scene. 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 Mummy” was directed by Karl Freund, who had previously served as the cinematographer on Universal Pictures’ earlier hit “Dracula,” starring the late, great Bela Lugosi. This would become Freund’s directorial debut in the U.S., and he shot the entire film in just three weeks. It is now considered a masterpiece of foreboding and moody atmosphere.

Swedish director Lasse Hallström (who helmed “A Dog’s Purpose”) is perhaps best known for directing “Chocolat” and “The Cider House Rules.” It is not widely known, however, that he got his real start in the entertainment business by directing virtually all of the promotional videos for Swedish pop supergroup ABBA.

The 1899 stage play “Sherlock Holmes,” which served as the basis for the 1916 silent film of the same name, was itself based on elements drawn from three separate original Holmes’ short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: “A Scandal in Bohemia,” “The Final Problem” and “A Study in Scarlet.” All prints of this film were believed to have been lost; however, in 2014, a forgotten print was discovered in a French film archive and has since been restored, to the joy of both film and Sherlock Holmes fanatics worldwide.

IF YOU GO

What: RiffTrax Live presents: “Summer Shorts Beach Party”

When: 8 p.m. June 15 and 7:30 p.m. June 20

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

Cost: $13.38

Info: fathomevents.com

What: “The Mummy” 1999

When: 3 p.m. June 17

Where: Trustees Theater, 216 E. Broughton St.

Cost: $8; free with SCAD ID

Info: trusteestheater.com

What: “The Mummy” 1932

When: 7 p.m. June 17

Where: Trustees Theater, 216 E. Broughton St.

Cost: $8; free with SCAD ID

Info: trusteestheater.com

What: Silent Cinema Concert: Buster Keaton’s “The General”

When: 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. June 17

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $15 adults, $7 kids 12 and younger

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

What: Movie in the Park: “Sing”

When: 8:45 p.m. June 17

Where: Memorial Park, Tybee Island

Cost: Free

Info: cityoftybee.org

What: Veterans for Peace Movie Night

When: 8 p.m. June 18

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

Cost: Free

Info: sentientbean.com

What: “The Cat in The Hat”

When: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. June 20

Where: Mars Theatre, 106 S. Laurel St., Springfield

Cost: $2

Info: marstheatre.com

What: “Storks”

When: 3 p.m. June 20

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $7 adults, $5 kids 12 and younger

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

What: Gray’s Reef Marine Sanctuary presents “Of The Sea”

When: 7 p.m. June 20

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $5 suggested donation

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

What: “A Dog’s Purpose”

When: 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 21

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $7 adults, $5 kids 12 and younger

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

What: The Met – Live in HD: “Les Pêcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers)”

When: 7 p.m. June 21

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

Cost: $13.38

Info: fathomevents.com

What: “Sherlock Holmes” original silent version

When: 8 p.m. June 21

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

Cost: $8

Info: instagram.com/pfssav

What: “Lion”

When: 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 22

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $7 adults, $5 kids 12 and younger

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

What: National Theatre Live presents “Peter Pan”

When: 7 p.m. June 22

Where: Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.

Cost: $15

Info: lucastheatre.com

Sections: 
Top