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Film Scene: Screenings run gamut from ‘Blood Road’ for veterans to ‘West Side Story’ for date night

  • “West Side Story”
  • “Casablanca”
 

Film Scene: Screenings run gamut from ‘Blood Road’ for veterans to ‘West Side Story’ for date night

09 Nov 2017

Lately, there has a been an increasing number of alternative cinema events in our area scheduled on Thursday evenings. Covering such screenings can prove a little tricky for a weekly paper such as ours, which reliably hits the streets and the inner tubes sometime on Wednesday afternoon or evening, but often isn’t seen by readers until sometime Thursday.

As a result, I try to include as many of those “crossover” screenings as possible in the previous week’s installment of Film Scene, and then simply remind folks of their existence in the following issue. After all, last week’s column is readily accessible on DoSavannah.com, if anyone wishes to see what was already written about said events. This week there are more notable Thursday night events than usual, so here’s a very quick recap of the cinematic options afforded adventurous viewers on Nov. 9.

Thursday roundup

Service Brewing Co. (downtown on Indian Street) opens its doors and welcomes the prestigious Mountainfilm on Tour Savannah organization for its annual Veterans Day documentary film and reception.

This year, it’s the acclaimed doc “Blood Road,” which offers a unique look at the true-life tale of a female high-endurance mountain biker who decides to pedal more than 1,000 miles along Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh trail in hopes of learning more about the mysterious death of her father during the Vietnam conflict. The film screens at 6:30 p.m., with food and drinks served at 5:30. There will also be a post-show discussion with special guests connected to the film. Admission is free to all veterans (ticket prices to all Film Scene events can be found in the sidebar listings).

That same night, out on Tybee Island, the Post Theater presents the classic late ’70s music-oriented drama “Saturday Night Fever,” starring John Travolta as a young, immensely talented disco dancer who hopes that rather dubious skill will allow him access to a better life than his working class roots might otherwise provide. Showtime at 7 p.m.

At the same time, the encore presentation of the inspirational documentary “Mully” screens at the Regal Stadium 10 multiplex behind the Savannah Mall (and at Bluffton, S.C.,’s Cinemark). It profiles the true story of a poor Kenyan orphan who grows up to become a man of great wealth and power — determined to bring aid to that country’s mass of abandoned children.

And finally, one hour later, at 8 p.m., SCAD’s Cinema Circle series of important feature films continues at Trustees Theater with a relatively rare opportunity to view iconic filmmaker Stanley Kubrick’s infamous Cold War satire “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” on the big screen. Simultaneously considered one of the smartest and most wacky films of the 1960s, this B&W gem was co-scripted by counterculture novelist Terry Southern and stars Peter Sellers, George C. Scott and the late, great Slim Pickens. It’s a clever rumination on the insanity of nuclear warfare, and something of a must-see for fans of dark comedy. Oscar-winning sound editor David Stone and yours truly will co-moderate a post-show discussion on the film’s making and legacy.

Sinister and supernatural

The next night, Nov. 10, around the corner at the Lucas Theatre, the Psychotronic Film Society of Savannah hosts its first big fundraiser in several years (to help rebuild the organization’s rare movie archives after a debilitating robbery).

The PFS has arranged for an extremely rare public showing of the definitive 40th anniversary version of the 1977 occult thriller “Suspiria.” Directed by “the Italian Alfred Hitchcock,” Dario Argento, “Suspiria” has long been viewed as one of the most haunting and surreal horror films ever made. Just released to theaters a few weeks ago, this stunning 4K digital restoration was taken directly from the film’s long-lost 35mm negatives, and the tale of sinister, supernatural behavior in a prestigious German ballet academy is earning raves worldwide.

This English language version screens at 8 p.m., with discounted admission for anyone with a valid student ID. See Joshua Peacock’s article here for more details.

Timeless classic

Fathom Events has three different specialty cinema programs streaming digitally into multiplexes this week, starting with a 75th anniversary viewing of “Casablanca,” the — legitimately — timeless classic of romance and intrigue set in WWII-era Morocco and starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains. A touchstone of U.S. filmmaking, it’s universally beloved for its consistently wonderful performances, airtight screenplay and beautiful craftsmanship.

Famed critic and film historian Leonard Maltin deemed it “the best Hollywood movie of all time.” Never seen it? For shame. It screens at both 2 p.m and 7 p.m. Nov. 12 and 15 at the Regal Stadium 10 and Bluffton’s Cinemark.

3D biblical tale

Nov. 13 finds the same two venues (plus the AMC Savannah 11, which used to be known as the Carmike Wynnsong) showing the new “documentary” known as “Genesis: Paradise Lost,” which claims to use stunning visual effects and “the latest in scientific research” to bring the biblical tale of Creation “to life right before your eyes!” As one might imagine, this film will be presented in 3D, so as to, you know, look extra real. 7 p.m. showtime, with reduced admission prices at some venues if you choose to view it in only 2D.

‘Holiday Inn’ stage musical

And then, on Nov. 16, Fathom offers the recent, Tony Award-nominated Studio 54 production of composer Irving Berlin’s joyous Broadway stage musical “Holiday Inn,” which is based largely on the Oscar-winning 1942 hit musical film of the same name. This re-imagining of the movie omits certain sequences and songs, but adds a handful of other compositions by Irving Berlin. However, the same amalgam of riotous comedy and elaborate dance numbers remains intact.

The rejiggered plot involves a male protagonist who abandons the glitz and glam of showbiz to retire to a small farm in New England. Before long, however, he is hankering for the limelight again, and has — with the help of a lithesome female schoolteacher — renovated his farmhouse into a makeshift theater that’s perfect for small-town holiday-themed revues. Expect ace renditions of such tunes as “Blue Skies” and “Cheek to Cheek.” Plus, everyone who buys a ticket to this show will receive a free 90-day subscription to the Pay-TV channel BroadwayHD, which offers programming of this type year-round in subscribers’ homes. 7:30 p.m. showtime.

Get glittery

Looking into next week, on Nov. 15, the Psychotronic Film Society’s ongoing series of underappreciated feature films from around the world continues at The Sentient Bean with an extremely rare public viewing of the little-known (but highly adored) 1977 British film “The Glitterball.” Made initially for TV, this family-friendly flick has never been officially released on any home video format anywhere in the world. However, it was shown a handful of times on U.S. television in the late 1970s and is fondly remembered by many who were teens and pre-teens at that time.

A sci-fi fantasy, it is geared toward kids, yet remains quite entertaining to adults as well. It’s about a group of kids who discover a tiny space alien and join forces to protect the creature from both the Army and a gangster who are each trying to capture the space creature for their own nefarious purposes. Can these kids thwart the big, bad adults and help the tiny alien get back to his home planet? Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so. Most who have seen “The Glitterball” reckon it was on Steven Spielberg’s mind a few years later when he made a little movie of his own called “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.” You be the judge. 8 p.m. showtime.

‘West Side Story’ date night

And finally, on Nov. 16, the Tybee Post Theater presents another of its Date Night Movies. This time it’s 1961’s “West Side Story,” co-director Robert Wise’s musical update of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” set in the downtrodden tenement district of New York City, where two rival street gangs (one made up of Puerto Rican immigrants) battle each other for turf and respect. This conflict is complicated by a romance between Maria (played by the always awesome Natalie Wood), the sister of one gang’s leader, and Tony, a founder of the opposing gang.

Filled with song-and-dance sequences which can honestly be termed “epic” and a gritty-yet-stylized design, this is a bona fide classic, and one that will captivate young and old alike. “Twin Peaks”’ fans, take note: younger versions of two of the main actors from that David Lynch show — Russ Tamblyn (Dr. Lawrence Jacoby) and Richard Beymer (Ben Horne) — star alongside each other in this film. 7 p.m. showtime, and admission includes a glass of wine and some Kleenex (in case you get a little weepy).

That’s it for this week (as if that wasn’t enough). Until our 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.

IF YOU GO

What: “Blood Road”

When: 5:30 p.m. reception, 6:30 p.m. screening Nov. 9

Where: Service Brewing Co., 574 Indian St.

Cost: $15, free to veterans

Info: mountainfilmsav.org

What: “MULLY”

When: 7 p.m. Nov. 9

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

Cost: $14.98

Info: fathomevents.com

What: “Saturday Night Fever”

When: 7 p.m. Nov. 9

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $10, includes glass of wine and chocolate

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

What: “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”

When: 8 p.m. Nov. 9

Where: Trustees Theater, 216 E. Broughton St.

Cost: $5-$8 or free with SCAD ID

Info: savannahboxoffice.com

What: “Suspiria” 40th anniversary restoration

When: 8 p.m. Nov. 10

Where: Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.

Cost: $12 or $10 for students

Info: savannahboxoffice.com

What: “Casablanca” 75th anniversary

When: 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Nov. 12 and 15

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

Cost: $13.38

Info: fathomevents.com

What: “Genesis: Paradise Lost”

When: 7 p.m. Nov. 13

Where: AMC Savannah 11, 1150 Shawnee St., Regal Savannah Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee St., and Cinemark, 106 Buckwalter Pkwy., Bluffton, S.C.

Cost: $16.05-$13.38

Info: fathomevents.com

What: “The Glitterball”

When: 8 p.m. Nov. 15

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

Cost: $7

Info: instagram.com/pfssav

What: “Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn”

When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16

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

Cost: $16.05

Info: fathomevents.com

What: “West Side Story”

When: 7 p.m. Nov. 16

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $10

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

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