Film Screening: “The Contender,” Mon., Apr. 11, part of great political films series

Programmed in consultation with the League of Women Voters (Hamden-North Haven) and Temple Beth Sholom, the current film series—dubbed “Candidates, Campaigns, and Controversies: Great Political Films”—features clasic films dealing with politics and political issues. The series continues on Monday, Apr. 11, with a screening of the 2000 drama “The Contender,” starring Joan Allen, Jeff Bridges and Gary Oldman. With the exception of “Bulworth” on Tuesday, Apr. 19, all the screenings will be on Mondays at 7 PM. Admission to each screening is $7 (TBS members get in free).

Joan Allen portrays a Senator who is nominated by the President (Jeff Bridges) to fill a vacancy caused by the death of the incumbent veep. Gary Oldman plays the role of her political opponent who tries to derail her nomination by airing a seeming sex scandal from her collegiate past.

Writing in the New York Times in 2000, critic Stephen Holden opined, “A political thriller pumped with as much dramatic juice as ‘The Contender’ doesn’t have to be believable to be gripping. If it’s realism you want, go rent the underappreciated ‘Primary Colors.’ What makes this twisty, cautionary yarn, written and directed by Rod Lurie, delicious is a cast that chews the scenery with such obvious enjoyment that you’re happy to put up with its tin-eared oratory and preposterous plot turns for the sake of a good ride.”

The schedule:

APR. 11: THE CONTENDER • Joan Allen as a nominee for Vice President! With an Oscar contending turn by Gary Oldman as the inquisitor senator and Jeff Bridges as the wily, loosey-goosey President.

TUESDAY, APR. 19: BULWORTH  • Even these days, who says fun and politics can’t mix? Our vote is for Bulworth: brilliant, hysterical and terrifying tour-de-force with Warren Beatty and Halle Berry.

APR. 25: A FACE IN THE CROWD • Andy Griffith — yes, a great actor — as a folksy demagogue! It can’t happen here — or can it? A cautionary, prescient tale of politics and the media.

MAY 2: THE CANDIDATE • Idealism: What have you got to lose when you know you can’t win? Or can you? Robert Redford as an earnest young nominee.

MAY 9: FRUITVALE STATION  • One of the most powerfully affecting independent films, starring Michael B. Jordan (Creed) as Oscar Grant, a young Black man shot by the police. Based on true events, up to the minute and unforgettable.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Apr. 7. BLUES: THE MOODY’S BLUES

• Friday. Apr. 8. FOLK: HUGH BIRDSALL & DANA TAKAKI

• Monday, Apr. 11. FILM SCREENING: “THE CONTENDER”

• Thursday, Apr. 14. INDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE, BOX FAN

• Friday, Apr. 15. ROCK: ROPE

• Tues., Apr. 19. FILM SCREENING: “BULWORTH”

• Wednesday, Apr. 20. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Thursday, Apr. 21. INDIE FOLK: THE MID SEASON, XAVIER SERRANO

• Friday, Apr. 22. JAZZ: REBECCA ABBOTT, GARY GRIPPO & FRIENDS

• Monday, Apr. 25. FILM SCREENING: “A FACE IN THE CROWD”

• Thursday, Apr. 28. SEPHARDIC MUSIC: THE HERETICS OF CORDOBA

• Monday, May 2. FILM SCREENING: “THE CANDIDATE”

Thursday, May 5. FOLK/BLUEGRASS: WALKINGWOOD MANDOLIN QUARTET

• Friday, May 6. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Saturday, May 7. SOFT ACOUSTIC/ROCK: THE HERNANDEZ BROTHERS

• Monday, May 9. FILM SCREENING: “FRUITVALE STATION”

• Wednesday, May 11. ROCK: THE NEW CHASTITY

• Friday, May 13. THREE SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: ANNE MARIE MENTA, DICK NEAL, GLEN ROETHEL

• Monday, May 16. FILM SCREENING: “SARAH’S KEY” (in partnership with the Jewish Community Center of New Haven)

• Thursday, May 19. EXPERIMENTAL: RIVENER, BLACK FLUFF

• Friday, May 20. JAZZ VOCALS & GUITAR: LINDA SATIN & JOE CARTER

• Thursday, June 16. CHRISTOPHER ARNOTT & LYS GUILLORN CELEBRATE BLOOMSDAY

• Friday, Aug. 5. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Tuesday, Aug. 30. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL