Film screening: “Ace in the Hole,” Billy Wilder’s corrosive exposé of sensationalist journalism Mon., July 25

Ace-in-the-Hole1_WebThe Best Video Film & Cultural Center film series “5 Great Directors—5 Great Moral Dilemmas,” continues Monday, July 25, with a screening of legendary director Billy Wilder’s exposé of sensationalist journalism in the 1951 film “Ace in the Hole,” starring Kirk Douglas.  The series—presented in concert with Temple Beth Sholom’s Adult Education program—runs on consecutive Mondays from July 11 through August 8. Each screening starts at 7:15 PM and admission is $7. (Temple Beth Sholom members get in for free.)

Best Video founder Hank Paper will introduce the movie and lead the optional post-film discussion for “Ace in the Hole.”

In a 2007 review at the time of the movie’s Criterion DVD release, critic Roger Ebert wrote, “There’s not a soft or sentimental passage in Billy Wilder’s ‘Ace in the Hole’ (1951), a portrait of rotten journalism and the public’s insatiable appetite for it. It’s easy to blame the press for its portraits of self-destructing celebrities, philandering preachers, corrupt politicians or bragging serial killers, but who loves those stories? The public does. Wilder, true to this vision and ahead of his time, made a movie in which the only good men are the victim and his doctor. Instead of blaming the journalist who masterminds a media circus, he is equally hard on sightseers who pay 25 cents admission. Nobody gets off the hook here.”

Remaining Schedule:

July 25: Billy Wilder’s “ACE IN THE HOLE” • A scrabbling and ambitious journalist exploits the sufferings of the victims of a coal mine disaster in order to jump-start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus. This brilliant un-Hollywood film, with white hot acting by Kirk Douglas, was way ahead of its time in 1951. In an era of social networking and the 24 hour news cycle, this film’s time is now.

August 1: John Frankenheimer’s “THE TRAIN” • What is worth more: a masterpiece of art or a human life? Like “The Swimmer,” this Burt Lancaster film is unforgettable. A stationmaster and resistance leader is asked to stop — at any cost — a heavily guarded Nazi train filled with France’s best paintings. Non-stop suspense, ingenious plotting and a philosophic context keep this film on track as a celluloid masterpiece. With Jeanne Moreau and Paul Scofield as the equally determined, art connoisseur commandant of the titular train.

August 8: Douglas Sirk’s “MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION” • When a rich, self-absorbed playboy crashes his speedboat on a lake, the only ambulance in town saves his life rather than tending to a stricken self-sacrificing doctor. When the doctor dies, it sets in motion a journey of unexpected twists and turns leading to a higher power, including a torrid and forbidden love.

Prof. Mark Schenker concludes Billy Wilder lecture series with “Witness for the Prosecution” Sun., July 10

Witness-for-the-Prosecution_poster_WebIn this third installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker of Yale College presents four lectures on “The Films of Billy Wilder.” This week, Schenker concludes the four-film series by interrogating Wilder’s 1957 drama “Witness for the Prosecution,” starring Marlene Dietrich and Charles Laughton. Admission to each lecture is $7 and they begin at 2 PM. Reservations are highly recommended.

Mark has previously dissected “Double Indemnity” (1944) on June 12, “Sunset Boulevard” (1950) on June 19 and “Stalag 17” on June 26.

Mark Schenker’s lectures are accompanied by clips from the films to illustrate the points he is making. His previous lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

In his 1958 New York Times review, Bosley Crowther wrote, “For a courtroom melodrama pegged to a single plot device—a device that, of course, everybody promises not to reveal—the Arthur Hornblow Jr. film production of the Agatha Christie play ‘Witness for the Prosecution’ comes off extraordinarily well. This results mainly from Billy Wilder’s splendid staging of some splintering courtroom scenes and a first-rate theatrical performance by Charles Laughton in the defense-attorney role.”

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, July 7. JAZZ: MICHAELA COPPOLA & AMANDA BELLITTO

• Friday, July 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOSÉ OYOLA, REBECCA KESSLER OF VIOLENT MAE (SOLO)

• Saturday, July 9. FILM SCREENING: A DARK ROOM FILM FEST WITH TONY JULIANO

• Sunday, July 10. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY BILLY WILDER (“WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION”)

• Monday, July 11. FILM SCREENING: “REMEMBER”

• Wednesday, July 13. ROCK: HOLIDAY PING

• Thursday, July 14. SINGER-SONGWRITER/INDIE ROCK: DANIELLE CAPALBO

• Friday, July 15. SINGER-SONGWRITER: KATH BLOOM, BOP TWEEDIE

• Monday, July 18. FILM SCREENING: “LIFEBOAT”

• Wednesday, July 20. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARMS STRING BAND

• Thursday, July 21. JAZZ: BRETT BOTTOMLEY

• Friday, July 22. FOLK: HOMEMADE JAM

• Sunday, July 24. INDIE, HIP-HOP: RUNNING LAPS & NATHAN CORP, THE FOREST ROOM, CHEF THE CHEF, ZAK G.

• Monday, July 25. FILM SCREENING: “ACE IN THE HOLE”

• Wednesday, July 27. DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS PRESENTS THE MUSIC OF ENNIO MORRICONE

• Thursday, July 28. DIY/EXPERIMENTAL: PAINTED FACES, BIG NURSE

• Friday, July 29. ART-ROCK: FE FI FO

• Monday, Aug. 1. FILM SCREENING: “THE TRAIN”

• Wednesday, Aug. 3. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Thursday, Aug. 4. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC: THE NAMELESS TRIO

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

• Monday, Aug. 8. FILM SCREENING: “MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION”

• Wednesday, Aug. 10. BLUEGRASS: EAST ROCK RAMBLERS

• Thursday, Aug. 11. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT

• Wednesday, Aug. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE, TINY OCEAN

• Friday, Aug. 19. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: PONYBIRD, FRANK CRITELLI, CHRISTOPHER BOUSQUET

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

• Sunday, Sept. 25. SURJ FILM SCREENING: “RACE: THE POWER OF AN ILLUSION”

• Friday, Oct. 7. BLUEGRASS/NEW ACOUSTIC: JOE WALSH & FRIENDS (A GUITARTOWN CT PRODUCTION)

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

Prof. Mark Schenker discusses Billy Wilder’s 1953 film “Stalag 17” on Sun., June 25, at 2 PM

In this third installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker of Yale College presents four lectures on “The Films of Billy Wilder.” This week, Schenker focuses on “Stalag 17,” starring William Holden. Admission to each lecture is $7 and they begin at 2 PM.

Reservations are highly recommended.

stalag-17_Web

Mark has previously dissected “Double Indemnity” (1944) on June 12 and “Sunset Boulevard” (1950) on June 19. He will interrogate “Witness for the Prosecution” (1957) on July 10.

Mark Schenker’s lectures are accompanied by clips from the films to illustrate the points he is making. His previous lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Writing in The New York Times in 1953, critic Bosley Crowther opined:

A cracker jack movie entertainment has been made from “Stalag 17,” the play by Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski that scored on Broadway two years ago. Produced and directed by Billy Wilder for the greater glory of Paramount and played by an all-male cast of experts, sparked by William Holden, Harvey Lembeck and Robert Strauss, this film version of the comedy-drama of American airmen in a German prison camp becomes a humorous, suspenseful, disturbing and rousing pastime on the Astor’s screen.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, June 22. SURF MUSIC: THE CLAMS

• Thursday, June 23. INDIE FOLK: JACKET THOR, CAT THUMBS, PALE MOON PALE WITCH

• Friday, June 24. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH, ALT-COUNTRY: LINES WEST

• Sunday, June 26. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY BILLY WILDER (“STALAG 17”)

• Monday, June 27. BEER CLASS WITH MAX FINNANCE OF SIXPOINT BREWING; MUSIC: STEVE RODGERS

• Tuesday, June 28. “THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF MAKING A MOVIE”—A FILMMAKING WORKSHOP FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

• Wednesday, June 29. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS CD RELEASE SHOW

• Thursday, June 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: QUINN HARLEY, LILIANA MALDONADO

• Friday, July 1. POST-PUNK: TELEGRAM SCAM, SPECTRAL FANGS

• Sunday, July 3. FREE AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Friday, July 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOSÉ OYOLA, REBECCA KESSLER OF VIOLENT MAE (SOLO)

• Saturday, July 9. FILM SCREENING: A DARK ROOM FILM FEST WITH TONY JULIANO

• Sunday, July 10. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY BILLY WILDER (“WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION”)

• Monday, July 11. FILM SCREENING: “REMEMBER”

• Wednesday, July 13. ROCK: HOLIDAY PING

• Thursday, July 14. SINGER-SONGWRITER/INDIE ROCK: DANIELLE CAPALBO

• Friday, July 15. SINGER-SONGWRITER: KATH BLOOM, BOP TWEEDIE

• Monday, July 18. FILM SCREENING: “LIFEBOAT”

• Wednesday, July 20. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARMS STRING BAND

• Thursday, July 21. JAZZ: BRETT BOTTOMLEY

• Friday, July 22. FOLK: HOMEMADE JAM

• Sunday, July 24. INDIE, HIP-HOP: RUNNING LAPS & NATHAN CORP, THE FOREST ROOM, CHEF THE CHEF, ZAK G.

• Monday, July 25. FILM SCREENING: “ACE IN THE HOLE”

• Wednesday, July 27. DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS PRESENTS THE MUSIC OF ENNIO MORRICONE

• Thursday, July 28. DIY/EXPERIMENTAL: PAINTED FACES, BIG NURSE

• Friday, July 29. ART-ROCK: FE FI FO

• Monday, Aug. 1. FILM SCREENING: “THE TRAIN”

• Wednesday, Aug. 3. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Thursday, Aug. 4. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC: THE NAMELESS TRIO

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

• Monday, Aug. 8. FILM SCREENING: “MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION”

• Wednesday, Aug. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE, TINY OCEAN

• Friday, Aug. 19. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: PONYBIRD, FRANK CRITELLI, CHRISTOPHER BOUSQUET

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

• Sunday, Sept. 25. SURJ FILM SCREENING: “RACE: THE POWER OF AN ILLUSION”

• Friday, Oct. 7. BLUEGRASS/NEW ACOUSTIC: JOE WALSH & FRIENDS (A GUITARTOWN CT PRODUCTION)

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

 

Mark Schenker deconstructs Billy Wilder’s “Sunset Boulevard” Sun., 6/19, at 2 PM

Sunset Boulevard_04_WebIn this third installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker of Yale College presents four lectures on “The Films of Billy Wilder.” This week, Schenker will deconstruct Wilder’s classic “Sunset Boulevard,” starring Gloria Swanson and William Holden. Admission to each lecture is $7 and they begin at 2 PM.

Reservations are highly recommended.

Mark will be discussing four Wilder films: “Double Indemnity” (1944) on June 12, “Sunset Boulevard” (1950) on June 19, “Stalag 17” (1953) on June 26, and “Witness for the Prosecution” (1957) on July 10.

Mark Schenker’s lectures are accompanied by clips from the films to illustrate the points he is making. His previous lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Writing in The New York Times in 1950, Thomas Pryor declared:

Sunset Boulevard is by no means a rounded story of Hollywood, past or present. But it is such a clever compound of truth and legend—and is so richly redolent of the past, yet so contemporaneous—that it seemingly speaks with great authority. Sunset Boulevard is that rare blend of pungent writing, expert acting, masterly direction, and unobtrusively artistic photography which quickly casts a spell over an audience and holds it enthralled to a shattering climax.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, June 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Sunday, June 19. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY BILLY WILDER (“SUNSET BOULEVARD”)

• Wednesday, June 22. SURF MUSIC: THE CLAMS

• Thursday, June 23. INDIE FOLK: JACKET THOR, CAT THUMBS, PALE MOON PALE WITCH

• Friday, June 24. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH, ALT-COUNTRY: LINES WEST

• Sunday, June 26. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY BILLY WILDER (“STALAG 17”)

• Monday, June 27. BEER CLASS WITH MAX FINNANCE OF SIXPOINT BREWING; MUSIC: STEVE RODGERS

• Tuesday, June 28. “THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF MAKING A MOVIE”—A FILMMAKING WORKSHOP FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

• Wednesday, June 29. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS CD RELEASE SHOW

• Thursday, June 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: QUINN HARLEY, LILIANA MALDONADO

• Friday, July 1. POST-PUNK: TELEGRAM SCAM, SPECTRAL FANGS

• Sunday, July 3. FREE AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Friday, July 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOSÉ OYOLA, REBECCA KESSLER OF VIOLENT MAE (SOLO)

• Saturday, July 9. FILM SCREENING: A DARK ROOM FILM FEST WITH TONY JULIANO

• Sunday, July 10. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY BILLY WILDER (“WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION”)

• Monday, July 11. FILM SCREENING: “REMEMBER”

• Wednesday, July 13. ROCK: HOLIDAY PING

• Thursday, July 14. SINGER-SONGWRITER/INDIE ROCK: DANIELLE CAPALBO

• Friday, July 15. SINGER-SONGWRITER: KATH BLOOM, BOP TWEEDIE

• Monday, July 18. FILM SCREENING: “LIFEBOAT”

• Wednesday, July 20. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARMS STRING BAND

• Thursday, July 21. JAZZ: BRETT BOTTOMLEY

• Friday, July 22. FOLK: HOMEMADE JAM

• Sunday, July 24. INDIE, HIP-HOP: RUNNING LAPS & NATHAN CORP, THE FOREST ROOM, CHEF THE CHEF, ZAK G.

• Monday, July 25. FILM SCREENING: “ACE IN THE HOLE”

• Wednesday, July 27. DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS PRESENTS THE MUSIC OF ENNIO MORRICONE

• Thursday, July 28. DIY/EXPERIMENTAL: PAINTED FACES, BIG NURSE

• Friday, July 29. ART-ROCK: FE FI FO

• Monday, Aug. 1. FILM SCREENING: “THE TRAIN”

• Wednesday, Aug. 3. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Thursday, Aug. 4. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC: THE NAMELESS TRIO

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

• Monday, Aug. 8. FILM SCREENING: “MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION”

• Wednesday, Aug. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE, TINY OCEAN

• Friday, Aug. 19. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: PONYBIRD, FRANK CRITELLI, CHRISTOPHER BOUSQUET

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

• Sunday, Sept. 25. SURJ FILM SCREENING: “RACE: THE POWER OF AN ILLUSION”

• Friday, Oct. 7. BLUEGRASS/NEW ACOUSTIC: JOE WALSH & FRIENDS (A GUITARTOWN CT PRODUCTION)

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

 

Mark Schenker returns for new lecture series starting Sun., June 12; “How to Read a Film” subject is films of Billy Wilder

In this third installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker of Yale College presents four lectures on “The Films of Billy Wilder.” All four lectures will be held on Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, starting on Sunday, June 12.  The lectures will run on consecutive Sundays with the exception of the final one, which skips the July 4th weekend and takes place on Sunday, July 10. Admission to each lecture is $7.

Reservations are highly recommended.

Billy_Wilder_Web

Born in Austria, Wilder moved to Berlin in the late 1920s. He became a newspaperman but was drawn to film, collaborating on the feature “People on Sunday” in 1929 with Fred Zinneman and Robert Siodmak. With Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, Wilder—who was Jewish— left first for Paris and then to Hollywood. Although he spoke only 100 words of English when he arrived in the United States, he broke into the business initially as a screenwriter with a deft feel for plot and character. His first film as a director was “The Major and the Minor” (1942). The groundbreaking film noir “Double Indemnity” (1944)—co-written with iconic mystery novelist Raymond Chandler—was a career-maker for Wilder and established many of the conventions of the genre.

Wilder was nominated for 21 Oscars and won six. Film critic Roger Ebert called him “one of a handful of indisputably great directors.” In his obituary for Wilder, Ebert wrote:

His films are timeless because they rarely stooped to easy sentimentality. He anticipated and helped invent the modern age of irony. There was a jaundiced view of human nature, a dubiousness about too much sincerity.

Mark will be discussing four Wilder films: “Double Indemnity” (1944), “Sunset Boulevard” (1950), “Stalag 17” (1953), and “Witness for the Prosecution” (1957).

June 12: “Double Indemnity”

June 19:   “Sunset Boulevard”

June 26: “Stalag 17”

July 10: “Witness for the Prosecution”

Mark Schenker’s lectures are accompanied by clips from the films to illustrate the points he is making. His previous lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, June 2. HALFWAY TO GUITAR NIGHT: SHAWN PERSINGER, NANCY TUCKER, NORMAN PLANKEY, ROBERT MESSORE (7:30 START)

• Friday, June 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SHAWN TAYLOR

• Sunday, June 5. FREE AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wed., June 8. INDIE ROCK: GUN SHY, SHIRESE

• Thursday, June 9. CABARET/SINATRA: RICH MORAN & FRANZ DOUSKEY

• Friday, June 10. ROCK: NOTHING SPECIAL

• Sunday, June 12. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY BILLY WILDER (“DOUBLE INDEMNITY”)

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

• Friday, June 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Sunday, June 19. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY BILLY WILDER (“SUNSET BOULEVARD”)

• Thursday, June 23. INDIE FOLK: JACKET THOR, CAT THUMBS, PALE MOON PALE WITCH

• Friday, June 24. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH, ALT-COUNTRY: LINES WEST

• Sunday, June 26. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY BILLY WILDER (“STALAG 17”)

• Wednesday, June 29. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS CD RELEASE SHOW

• Thursday, June 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: EUGENE GALLAGHER, QUINN HARLEY

• Friday, July 1. POST-PUNK: TELEGRAM SCAM, SPECTRAL FANGS

• Sunday, July 3. FREE AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Friday, July 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOSÉ OYOLA

• Saturday, July 9. FILM SCREENING: A DARK ROOM FILM FEST WITH TONY JULIANO

• Sunday, July 10. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY BILLY WILDER (“WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION”)

• Wednesday, July 13. ROCK: HOLIDAY PING

• Thursday, July 14. SINGER-SONGWRITER/INDIE ROCK: DANIELLE CAPALBO

• Friday, July 15. SINGER-SONGWRITER: KATH BLOOM, BOP TWEEDIE

• Wednesday, July 20. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARMS STRING BAND

• Sunday, July 24. INDIE, HIP-HOP: RUNNING LAPS & NATHAN CORP, THE FOREST ROOM, CHEF THE CHEF, ZAK G.

• Wednesday, July 27. DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS PRESENTS THE MUSIC OF ENNIO MORRICONE

• Thursday, July 28. DIY/EXPERIMENTAL: PAINTED FACES, BIG NURSE

• Friday, July 29. ART-ROCK: FE FI FO

• Wednesday, Aug. 3. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

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

• Friday, Aug. 19. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: PONYBIRD, FRANK CRITELLI, CHRISTOPHER BOUSQUET

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

• Friday, Oct. 7. BLUEGRASS/NEW ACOUSTIC: JOE WALSH & FRIENDS (A GUITARTOWN CT PRODUCTION)

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