By now, you've likely heard the big Film Scene news: Psychotronic Film Society and the Lucas Theatre are partnering to screen "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" on Sept. 27.
If you weren't hip to this awesome event for the whole family, look elsewhere on this site for a full article on the show.
However, the short of it is: No admission will be charged. Instead, folks will be asked to make a voluntary donation at the door in whatever amount they'd like. There will also be raffle tickets available for as little as 33 cents apiece, and numbers will be drawn for valuable prizes just before the film. Plus, everyone who comes in costume as Pee-wee Herman will be in the running for Best Adult Male Look-alike, Best Adult Female Look-alike and Best Child Under 12 Look-alike, with a team of judges awarding prize packages to each winner.
Vinnie Van Go-Go's in City Market has kindly stepped up to match the first $3,000 donated at the door, and 100 percent of all proceeds from the entire night will go straight to beloved local musician Keith Kozel's kidney transplant fund.
So please come out, bring friends and family of all ages, and give generously to directly help one of Savannah's true originals in his time of need.
On Sept. 26, CinemaSavannah has partnered with Spotlight Theatres to present the local premiere of acclaimed director Paul Haggis' latest drama, "Third Person."
Described as a dense, emotional picture that features tales of love, trust, passion and betrayal (which play out in New York, Paris and Rome), the director's approach to intertwining plotlines and peculiar connections between strangers has been likened to his earlier, Academy Award-winning feature "Crash." Critics have called this new film "eccentric," "mature" and "emotionally exhausting," but also "ardently sincere."
David Thompson, writing in The New Republic, labels "Third Person" "one of the dark-horse pictures of the year," encouraging viewers to see it more than once to experience its full impact. Mick Lasalle of the San Francisco Chronicle simply names it Haggis' "best movie," and "one he has been building toward for years." The film boasts a fairly stellar cast, including Liam Neeson, Maria Bello, James Franco, Mila Kunis and Kim Basinger.
While the film will play for a solid week at Spotlight, a percentage of proceeds from all tickets to the 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows on opening night will go to CinemaSavannah. Plus, if you mention that organization's name while making your purchase, you'll get in for the discounted price of just $7. So do your best to make it on opening night, if at all possible.
That same night, SCAD's CinemaCircle offers a rare big-screen showing of the 1988 fantasy-comedy "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" at Trustees Theater. Not only did this film hit No. 1 at the U.S. box office, it is today considered the movie that single-handedly "saved" Walt Disney Animation Studios after years of fading influence, and jumpstarted a revival of interest in Disney's classic animated features.
The film blends hand-drawn animation with live-action sequences far more realistically and compellingly than had ever been accomplished before.
No less a critic than Janet Maslin of the New York Times famously wrote of the film: "Although this isn't the first time that cartoon characters have shared the screen with live actors, it's the first time they've done it on their own terms and made it look real."
The movie is based on a clever 1981 novel which imagined an alternate world where animated films, rather than being drawn, were actually made by casting "Toons," or mysteriously animated creatures which existed in real life and interact freely and openly with humans. It was executive produced by Steven Spielberg ("E.T.: The Extraterrestrial") and directed by Robert Zemeckis ("Back to the Future"). The film takes place in a hard-boiled version of 1947 Hollywood, and mixes the over-the-top zaniness of '40s-era cartoons with the dark, gritty mood of '40s film noirs. It follows the travails of a gruff, haggard private eye (played superbly by the late Bob Hoskins in a role that Harrison Ford turned down) who's been hired to investigate whether toon Roger Rabbit's wife Jessica Rabbit (voiced by an uncredited Kathleen Turner) is having an affair.
Along the way, the PI uncovers nefarious goings on, including real estate corruption (a la "Chinatown") and an evil villain (played by "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" baddie Christopher Lloyd) who's looking to wipe out all the toons for good. Watch for clever cameos by a wide variety of iconic characters never seen interacting before or since, as well as the vocal talents of the great June Foray, Charles Fleischer, David Lander ("Squiggy" on TV's "Laverne & Shirley"), and the legendary Mel Blanc in one of the final recorded performances before his death.
Interesting note: In the earliest attempts to get this movie off the ground, the studio planned on having Paul Reubens voice of Roger Rabbit. A few years later, Reubens would star in "Pee-wee's Big Adventure," which coincidentally screens the next night at the Lucas! Showtime is 7 p.m., with $8 admission ($5 for students, military and seniors).
Looking ahead to Oct. 1, the Psychotronic Film Society pays tribute to the late, great leading man George Peppard ("Breakfast at Tiffany's" and TV's "The A-Team") with a screening of the "lost" 1968 crime drama "Pendulum" at The Sentient Bean. Insanely rare, it has never been released on DVD, and remained essentially unseen for decades, despite a provocative script and impressive performances.
Peppard is cast somewhat against type as a tough, relentless cop who finds himself tempted to cross the line and break the law himself after he is accused of his own wife's murder and feels abandoned by the court system. It's a treat for fans of this under-rated actor who never got the fame he deserved. Look out for a memorable cameo by Isabel Sanford (the future "Weezy" on TV's "The Jeffersons")! Showtime is 8 p.m., and admission is $7 for mature audiences.
Until next week, see you at the movies. And don't forget to turn off that cell phone.
Jim Reed directs Psychotronic Film Society of Savannah. Read more at www.filmsavannah.com.