We will not be meeting this evening to see “The Closet”. I have sent email to those of you I have an address for, and have called everyone on my phone list. Hopefully this message will catch up with whoever I may have missed. As I said in the email, we can decide at our next film club meeting, on May 20th, whether we want to try to reschedule the film or possibly make it one of our 2014 film picks.
Thank you for your understanding and patience.
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The Lisle Library District will be closed for a full day today due to the official state of emergency. There are further postings being made on the library’s Facebook page.
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We have just received permission from the filmmakers of the PBS Senior Olympics documentary Age of Champions to allow our patrons to view it for free online from Thursday, April 18th through Friday, April 26th. Here’s what Kari Marboe, Communications Director for the documentary has to say about this new film:
Age of Champions is the story of five competitors up to 100 years old who sprint, leap, and swim for gold at the National Senior Olympics. The Washington Post called the film “infectiously inspiring” and theater audiences across the country have fallen in love with its light-hearted take on growing older.
We’re sharing the entire film for free during the national online premiere, April 18 – 28, to start a positive conversation about aging and inspire people of all ages to be healthier, happier, and more active. The film will broadcast on PBS in July 2013.
The filmmakers partnered with organizations including the National Institute on Aging, Osher Center and the President’s Council on Fitness to share the entire documentary for free during the film’s national premiere.
Use the link on the graphic below to take advantage of this unique opportunity to enjoy this film.
Link to this documentary
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For this month, we will be running our special header to commemorate the life of legendary film critic, Roger Ebert.
As we meet here online and at the library as fans of film, I’m taking a moment here to provide links to the books we have by and about him at Lisle Library, and sites that pertain to Roger Ebert. I’d also like to encourage followers of Just Between Frames, to share their thoughts on Roger Ebert, his film critiques, Ebertfest, or other stories that show your connection to this great Chicago film fan.
Ebertfest, also called The [15th] Annual Roger Ebert Film Festival, will be going ahead this month from April 17th to the 21st, click the graphic below
to go to the web site for it. Perhaps you can attend — a great way to remember him and celebrate his love of the movies.
Lisle Library’s books related to Roger Ebert:
Awake in the dark : the best of Roger Ebert : forty years of reviews, essays, and interviews by Roger Ebert
Great Movies by Roger Ebert
Great Movies II by Roger Ebert
Great Movies III by Roger Ebert
A Horrible Experience … Movies That Suck by Roger Ebert
Life Itself by Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert’s Movie Yearbook 2012 by Roger Ebert
Scorsese by Roger Ebert
Click to go to Roger Ebert’s reviews @ the Chicago Sun-Times
Click to read Wikipedia’s extensive article on Roger Ebert.
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The Pirate, our last film in the group’s American Musical series, was shown last night on JBF’s first Monday night meeting. Bringing our American Musical history forward from its start in the early 1930’s with Show Boat, The Pirate brought us into the golden age of MGM musicals. It was, in fact, Judy Garland’s second appearance in a color film. She could never have asked for a better director for taking advantage of color than her second husband, director Vincente Minnelli. He is known for creating great, colorful settings in his films, and the group agreed that The Pirate definitely demonstrates this with its lush visuals. Judy Garland has never looked more gorgeous.
We talked a bit about how her more grown-up, womanly role in this movie may have been one of the reasons audiences were split over liking this movie. Fans of the time, wanted Dorothy to stay a young girl, with only hints of romance in the film. The Pirate shows Garland as both the seduced and the seducer, which may have turned them off. The other point that came up in the featurette that we talked about was how 1940s movie goers were thrown off by having Gene Kelly play a pirate instead of his usual good-looking guy next door who just happens to dance. And while he dances up a storm in the movie (almost literally!) there’s no tap dancing – which was the mainstay of all musicals at the time. For these and other reasons, we felt critics were correct in seeing this film as being ahead of its time.
Some other innovations noted were: broadening the scope of the setting beyond the closed, “staged” feel one gets with earlier movies. The tradition of staged scenes is included in The Pirate but only within the troupe that Kelly’s character (Serafin) performs in. It also included a classic Kelly dream sequence where Judy is imagining what Serafin/Macoco would be doing on his pirate ship. We also talked about how this, and other scenes confirmed the idea that Fred Astaire dances with elegance, while Kelly is athletically acrobatic, a style seen as more more “manly” that would go over better in the 1950s musicals that were waiting in the wings… Everyone is interested in doing another short series of musicals to track the musical into the recent decades.
We talked about the careers of Judy Garland and Gene Kelly, mainly centering on the timeframe of this film. We learned that Gene Kelly came to Hollywood in 1941 after making a hit in Pal Joey on Broadway. He’d only planned to make one film to fulfill his contract and then head back to Broadway. The “kindred spirits” at MGM convinced him to stick around. We contemplated what a loss it would have been had he not stayed: there would have been no American in Paris, no On the Town – and no Singing in the Rain!!
The Pirate was Judy Garland’s come back film after giving birth to Liza Minnelli. Still suffering from postpartum depression and drug-related illness, she was one of the factors that delayed the release of the film, which added to its costs. Still, members agreed she gave a superior performance in this film. Many film critics consider it to be one of her best as well.
Members also got a kick out of the tongue-in-cheek lines and pirate film spoofs that proliferate in this movie. There’s a reason why the most memorable song is “Be a Clown” and Garland’s “Mack the Black”. One highlights the humor while the other celebrates the adventures of pirates.
Another idea that looking at musicals inspired seems to have potential for our August meeting (where we pick out next year’s films) This theme is: The Soundtrack “Made” the Film. The idea would be to have films where the soundtrack plays a key role in how much you get or like the film itself. As part of the discussion we would identify key scenes that demonstrate the soundtrack’s support of the story, etc. and then play those scenes without sound.
One final moderator note: Patti would love to hear people’s opinions on and theories about why Judy Garland is dressed early in the film in a dark yellow polka dot dress with a red and white plaid hat? It was such a garish faux pas compared to all her other outfits… What do you think? Please share any other comments you’d like to make about the films, the starts, or our American Musical series!
Posted in 2013, American Musicals, Discussion Films - 2013, March 2013 Film | Tagged Cole Porter, Gene Kelly, Judy Garland, The Nicholas Brothers, The Pirate, Walter Slezak | 1 Comment »
“Pick The Oscar Winners” Contest – Our Five Winners!
In a hard-fought year of balloting, almost 100 brave Lisle patrons entered the contest – and no one got all five categories correct. This led to the folks who got 4 out of 5 categories correct. There were 14 patrons who achieved this, so Tatiana Weinstein, our director of Adult Services, helped us out by pulling 5 of the 14 names from a basket.
We are now proud to announce that the official winners of our 2013 Oscar Contest are:
Thomas Cunningham !!! [a founding member of Just Between Frames (JBF)]
Each will receive a bag of gourmet popcorn, a movie theater-sized box of candy, and their choice of one of the following DVDs: Argo, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Les Misérables, or Silver Linings Playbook.**
**Currently only Argo is out on DVD. Winners will receive special tickets to pick up their DVDs once they are released on DVD.
Congratulations to them, and thank you to everyone who participated – it was one of our best contest years yet!
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| Saturday February 23rd is your last chance to enter Lisle Library’s Pick the Oscar Winners Contest.The Oscar broadcast is this Sunday, February 24th at 7:30 CST on ABC Channel 7.
The five winners of our contest will be announced on Monday, March 4th. They will each receive: a bag of gourment popcorn, movie theater candy, and the DVD of their choice from 5 nominated “Best Film” movies of 2013.
So remember: your guess is as good as Ebert’s!
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