Mark Schenker concludes “How to Read a Film” series on screwball comedies with “Ball of Fire” on Sun., Dec. 15, at 1 PM

In this ninth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, turned to screwball comedies. Like the gangster movie, the Western and the Hollywood musical, the genre of screwball comedy films originated in the United States. The new satirical spin (hence “screwball”) on romantic comedy stressed witty dialogue and zaniness over sentimental love, and placed big name stars in odd situations. As with gangster movies, horror films and lavish musicals, the genre found a ready audience with Depression-era film-goers who were eager for escapist fare.

The final lecture with film in this series—rescheduled from Dec. 1 due to snow—will be on Sun., Dec. 15, at 1 PM. The series winds up with “Ball of Fire” from 1941, starring Barbara Stanwyck. (The previous films were the 1934 “It Happened One Night” on Nov. 10; “The Awful Truth” [1937], and “Some Like It Hot” [1959].) Admission is $7.

From Bosley Crowther’s rave 1942 New York Times review:

According to legend, Samuel Goldwyn has made some beautiful lapsi linguae in his time and has done things with the King’s English that stand as a monument to his name. Maybe. But still Mr. Goldwyn can’t be too touchy on that score, for now he has produced a picture which deliberately kicks the language around in a manner so colorful and lively that you can almost sense his tongue stuck in his cheek. “Ball of Fire” is the title of this wholly ingratiating lark, and so pleasant is its spoofing of the professional pose, so comprehensive is its handling of the modern vernacular and so altogether winning are Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck in it that it had the customers jumping with enjoyment at the Music Hall yesterday.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Mark Schenker “How to Read a Film” explores “Some Like It Hot” Sun., Dec. 8, at 2 PM

In this ninth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, turns to screwball comedies. Like the gangster movie, the Western and the Hollywood musical, the genre of screwball comedy films originated in the United States. The new satirical spin (hence “screwball”) on romantic comedy stressed witty dialogue and zaniness over sentimental love, and placed big name stars in odd situations. As with gangster movies, horror films and lavish musicals, the genre found a ready audience with Depression-era filmgoers who were eager for escapist fare.

Because of the postponement due to snow of “Ball of Fire,” scheduled for Dec. 1, the remaining schedule has been rearranged as follows: What would have been the final lecture on “Some Like It Hot” will take place as planned on Sun., Dec. 8, at 2 PM. “Ball of Fire” has been rescheduled to Sun., Dec. 15, but at 1 PM rather than 2 PM.

Director Billy Wilder’s 1959 “Some Like It Hot” stars Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. Roger Ebert described “Some Like It Hot” as “one of the enduring treasures of the movies, a film of inspiration and meticulous craft, a movie that’s about nothing but sex and yet pretends it’s about crime and greed.”

From A.H. Weiler’s 1959 New York Times review:

There should be no doubt this morning that the members of the happily irreverent film troupe that made “Some Like It Hot” have done something constructive about the old wheeze that begins, “Who was that lady I saw you with?” For, in fashioning this overlong, occasionally labored but often outrageously funny series of variations on an ancient gag, they have come up with a rare, rib-tickling lampoon that should keep them, the customers and the management … chortling with glee.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

UPDATE 11/30: POSTPONED! Mark Schenker continues “How to Read a Film” series on screwball comedies with “Ball of Fire” on Sun., Dec. 1, at 2 PM

UPDATE: Due to the concerning weather reports, this Sunday’s scheduled How to Read a Film event with Mark Schenker is being postponed. We will announce the rescheduled date as soon as we can. (Hopefully next weekend with the final lecture/film shifted to 12/15.)

In this ninth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, turns to screwball comedies. Like the gangster movie, the Western and the Hollywood musical, the genre of screwball comedy films originated in the United States. The new satirical spin (hence “screwball”) on romantic comedy stressed witty dialogue and zaniness over sentimental love, and placed big name stars in odd situations. As with gangster movies, horror films and lavish musicals, the genre found a ready audience with Depression-era filmgoers who were eager for escapist fare.

The third lecture with film in this series will be on Sun., Dec. 1. The series winds up on Dec. 8. Admission to each lecture is $7. The Dec. 1 movie is “Ball of Fire” from 1941, starring Barbara Stanwyck. (The series began with the 1934 “It Happened One Night” on Nov. 10; the second film was “The Awful Truth.”.)

Dec 1, 2 PM: Ball of Fire (1941)

Dec 8, 2 PM: Some Like It Hot (1959)

From Bosley Crowther’s rave 1942 New York Times review:

According to legend, Samuel Goldwyn has made some beautiful lapsi linguae in his time and has done things with the King’s English that stand as a monument to his name. Maybe. But still Mr. Goldwyn can’t be too touchy on that score, for now he has produced a picture which deliberately kicks the language around in a manner so colorful and lively that you can almost sense his tongue stuck in his cheek. “Ball of Fire” is the title of this wholly ingratiating lark, and so pleasant is its spoofing of the professional pose, so comprehensive is its handling of the modern vernacular and so altogether winning are Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck in it that it had the customers jumping with enjoyment at the Music Hall yesterday.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Mark Schenker continues “How to Read a Film” series on screwball comedies with “The Awful Truth” on Sun., Nov. 17, at 2 PM

In this ninth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, turns this time to screwball comedies. Like the gangster movie, the Western and the Hollywood musical, the genre of screwball comedy films originated in the United States. The new satirical spin (hence “screwball”) on romantic comedy stressed witty dialogue and zaniness over sentimental love, and placed big name stars in odd situations. As with gangster movies, horror films and lavish musicals, the genre found a ready audience with Depression-era filmgoers who were eager for escapist fare.

The second lecture with film in this series will be on Sun., Nov. 17. The series skips Nov. 24 and winds up on Dec. 1 and Dec. 8. Admission to each lecture is $7. The series continues on Nov. 17 with the 1937 movie “The Awful Truth.” (The series began with the 1934 “It Happened One Night” on Nov. 10.)

Schenker will consider three such films from the “classic” period of the genre, and then turn to a masterpiece of the form from the late 1950’s, when its heyday had passed. The remaining schedule:

Nov 17, 2 PM: The Awful Truth (1937)

Dec 1, 2 PM: Ball of Fire (1941)

Dec 8, 2 PM: Some Like It Hot (1959)

From Bosley Crowther’s 1937 New York Times review of “The Awful Truth”:

To be frank, “The Awful Truth” is awfully unimportant, but it is also one of the more laughable screen comedies of 1937, a fairly good vintage year. Its comedy is almost purely physical- like that of the old Avery Hopwood stage farces- with only here and there a lone gag to interrupt the pure poetry of motion, yet its unapologetic return to the fundamentals of comedy seems, we repeat, original and daring.

Its obvious success with a modern audience is also rather disquieting. Just when it began to appear that an excellent case had finally been made out for spoken wit and adultness of viewpoint on the screen, the mercurial Mr. McCarey, who only a few months ago saddened us to the point of tears with his “Make Way for Tomorrow,” shocks us with a comedy in which speech is subsidiary, and maturity exists only to be deflated into abject juvenility.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Mark Schenker launches next “How to Read a Film” series on great screwball comedies Sun., Nov. 10, at 2 PM

In this ninth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, turns this time to screwball comedies. Like the gangster movie, the Western and the Hollywood musical, the genre of screwball comedy films originated in the United States. The new satirical spin (hence “screwball”) on romantic comedy stressed witty dialogue and zaniness over sentimental love, and placed big name stars in odd situations. As with gangster movies, horror films and lavish musicals, the genre found a ready audience with Depression-era filmgoers who were eager for escapist fare.

All four lectures will be held on Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, starting on Sunday, Nov. 10. The second lecture will be on Sun., Nov. 17. The series skips Nov. 24 and winds up on Dec. 1 and Dec. 8. Admission to each lecture is $7. The series kicks off with the 1934 multiple Oscar-winning “It Happened One Night.”

Schenker will consider three such films from the “classic” period of the genre, and then turn to a masterpiece of the form from the late 1950’s, when its heyday had passed. The schedule:

Nov 10, 2 PM: It Happened One Night (1934)

Nov 17, 2 PM: The Awful Truth (1937)

Dec 1, 2 PM: Ball of Fire (1941)

Dec 8, 2 PM: Some Like It Hot (1959)

Roger Ebert’s capsule take on “It Happened One Night,” from 2009:

The surprise success of “It Happened One Night” made Frank Capra one of the screen’s top directors and provided the prototype for a decade of screwball comedies. Romantic comedies like “When Harry Met Sally…” and “The Sure Thing” draw on the rapid banter, outrageous comic situations and sexy road trip of “It Happened One Night.” The movie even provided inspiration for one of the screen’s most enduring characters, Bugs Bunny.

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, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

 

Mark Schenker’s “How to Read a Film” series on film noir masterpieces concludes Sun., July 14, with 1984’s “Blood Simple,” the debut Coen Brothers film

In this eighth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, has been presenting four lectures on “A Half-Century of Film Noir Masterpieces.” The lectures have been held on consecutive Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, starting on Sunday, June 23. Admission to each lecture is $7. The series concludes Sunday, June 14, with a focus on the 1984 debut film by the Coen Brothers, “Blood Simple.”

“A Half-Century of Film Noir Masterpieces” has featured works by four directors who are new to Mark Schenker’s presentations at Best. In movies that range from the early talkie “M” by German director Fritz Lang (explored June 23) through two Hollywood films of the classic noir period of the 1940’s-50’s, through the neo-noir of the Coen Brothers’ “Blood Simple,” the series covers more than a half-century of noir and showcases the acting talents (in addition to the 26-year-old Lorre in the afore-mentioned “M”) of Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frances McDormand and the great character actor M. Emmet Walsh.

From Janet Maslin’s 1984 review of “Blood Simple” in The New York Times:

Black humor, abundant originality and a brilliant visual style make Joel Coen’s ”Blood Simple” a directorial debut of extraordinary promise. Mr. Coen, who co-wrote the film with his brother Ethan, works in a film noir style that in no way inhibits his wit, which turns out to be considerable. This is a film in which a dying man, mistakenly shot by a woman who cannot see him (and who meant to kill someone else), can hear her shout one more insult at the intended victim – and answer her, ”Well, ma’am, if I see him I’ll sure give him the message.”

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, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Mark Schenker’s “How to Read a Film” series on film noir masterpieces continues Sun., July 7, with 1950 “In A Lonely Place,” featuring brilliant Humphrey Bogart

In this eighth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, presents four lectures on “A Half-Century of Film Noir Masterpieces.” All four lectures will be held on consecutive Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, starting on Sunday, June 23. Admission to each lecture is $7. The third film examined in this series will be “In a Lonely Place” on Sunday, July 7.

“A Half-Century of Film Noir Masterpieces” features works by four directors who are new to his presentations at Best. In movies that range from the early talkie “M” by German director Fritz Lang (explored June 23) through two Hollywood films of the classic noir period of the 1940’s-50’s, through the neo-noir of the Coen Brothers’ “Blood Simple,” the series covers more than a half-century of noir and showcases the acting talents (in addition to the 26-year-old Lorre in the afore-mentioned “M”) of Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frances McDormand and the great character actor M. Emmet Walsh.

From Bosley Crowther’s 1950 New York Times review:

Everybody should be happy this morning. Humphrey Bogart is in top form in his latest independently made production, ‘In a Lonely Place,’ and the picture itself is a superior cut of melodrama. Playing a violent, quick-tempered Hollywood movie writer suspected of murder, Mr. Bogart looms large on the screen of the Paramount Theatre and he moves flawlessly through a script which is almost as flinty as the actor himself.

For critic Roger Ebert, “In A Lonely Place” is a “Great Movie.” Writing in 2009, Ebert observed:

If there is one key element of film noir, it is the flawed hero. That, usually joined with a distinctive visual style and tone, defines the genre. The hero is sympathetic but weak, often haunted by mistakes in the past or fatally tempted by greed or lust. He is likely to discover himself capable of evil he had never dreamed of, and is consumed by guilt and fear.

Bogart embodies this noir quality flawlessly in “In a Lonely Place.”

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, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Mark Schenker’s “How to Read a Film” series on film noir masterpieces continues Sun., June 30, with 1944 “Murder, My Sweet”

In this eighth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, presents four lectures on “A Half-Century of Film Noir Masterpieces.” All four lectures will be held on consecutive Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, starting on Sunday, June 23. Admission to each lecture is $7. The second film examined in this series will be “Murder, My Sweet” on Sunday, June 30.

This installment of Schenker’s “How to Read a Film” series, features works by four directors who are new to his presentations at Best. In movies that range from the early talkie “M” by German director Fritz Lang (explored June 23) through two Hollywood films of the classic noir period of the 1940’s-50’s, through the neo-noir of the Coen Brothers’ “Blood Simple,” the series covers more than a half-century of noir and showcases the acting talents (in addition to the 26-year-old Lorre in the afore-mentioned “M”) of Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frances McDormand and the great character actor M. Emmet Walsh.

From Bosley Crowther’s 1945 New York Times review:

Check off “Murder, My Sweet” as a sure cure for low blood pressure. This is the story of a private detective who would take a dollar from anyone, with no questions asked. Phillip Marlowe is just a shade above his clients, who might be politely called questionable characters. He is not a particularly shrewd operator as Dick Powell draws him, but he has a persistence and capacity for taking a beating that is downright admirable. This is a new type of character for Mr. Powell. And while he may lack the steely coldness and cynicism of a Humphrey Bogart, Mr. Powell need not offer any apologies. He has definitely stepped out of the song-and-dance, pretty-boy league with this performance.

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, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Remaining schedule:

Sun., June 30: “Murder, My Sweet” (1944)
Sun., July 7: “In a Lonely Place” (1950)
Sun., June 14: “Blood Simple” (1984)

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

 

Lecture on film: Prof. Mark Schenker concludes series on Howard Hawks with “Rio Bravo” Sun., July 30, at 2 PM

In this fifth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker of Yale College presents four lectures on “The Films of Howard Hawks.” The series began on Sunday, July 9, and concludes this Sunday, July 30, at 2 PM with a discussion of Howard Hawks’ 1959 film “Rio Bravo,” which starred John Wayne. Admission is $7.

Reservations are highly recommended.

Hawks’ filmography spans the decades—from “The Road to Glory” (1926) through “Rio Lobo” (1970)—and spans genres, from screwball comedy through sci-fi, western, war films and more. Hawks was nominated for a Best Director Oscar in 1942 for “Sergeant York” and received an Honorary Academy Award in 1975 as a “a master American filmmaker whose creative efforts hold a distinguished place in world cinema.”

The late film critic Roger Ebert hailed “Rio Bravo”:

To watch “Rio Bravo” is to see a master craftsman at work. The film is seamless. There is not a shot that is wrong. It is uncommonly absorbing, and the 141-minute running time flows past like running water. It contains one of John Wayne’s best performances. It has surprisingly warm romantic chemistry between Wayne and Angie Dickinson. Dean Martin is touching. Ricky Nelson, then a rival of Elvis’ and with a pompadour that would have been laughed out of the Old West, improbably works in the role of a kid gunslinger. Old Walter Brennan, as the peg-legged deputy, provides comic support that never oversteps.

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, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Wednesday, July 26. MUSIC FROM “THE SIMPSONS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRES OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Thursday, July 27. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: DANIELLE CAPALBO (of QUIET GIANT), SEAN HAROLD (of THE MID SEASON)

• Friday, July 28. WORLD MUSIC: NEELA

• Sunday, July 30, 2 PM. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—HOWARD HAWK’S “RIO BRAVO” (1959)

• Wednesday, Aug. 2. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Thursday, Aug. 3, 7:30 PM. WOMEN’S FILM SCREENING: “THE MILKY WAY”—HOSTED BY THE JCC OF GREATER NEW HAVEN FOR WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK (FREE)

• Friday, Aug. 4, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Sunday, Aug. 6, 11-3 PM. ART SALE—ORIGINAL PRINTS

• Wednesday, Aug. 9. EXPERIMENTAL: HUMAN FLOURISHING, DAVE SCANLON, UNDERWEAR

• Thursday, Aug. 10. ALT-COUNTRY: PLYWOOD COWBOY

• Friday, Aug. 11. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN & HER BAND, ELISA FLYNN

• Sunday, Aug. 13, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Aug. 16. INDIE ROCK: FURNSSS, TRASH CAN

• Thursday, Aug. 17. STEEL DRUM MUSIC: MIMOSA

• Fridy, Aug. 18. DEEP HAMDEN—A JAZZ MINI-FESTIVAL: ALLEN LOWE & FAKE MUSIC ENSEMBLE with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Saturday, Aug. 19. DEEP HAMDEN—A JAZZ MINI-FESTIVAL: AN HISTORIC; ROSEMARY MINKLER TRIO; BRIAN JARAWA GRAY

• Wednesday, Aug. 23. INDIE ROCK: ROZ & THE RICE CAKES, TEENAGE HALLOWEEN (A TINY BOX BOOKING SHOW)

• Thursday, Aug. 24. ROCK/JAZZ/SOUL: JOE STEIN; INDIE ROCK: ALEX MCGUIRE

• Friday, Aug. 25. POP ROCK: OBERON ROSE

• Tuesday, Aug. 29. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Thursday, Aug. 31. INDIE ROCK: DISCO TEEN ’66

• Friday, Sept. 8. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

Thursday, Sept. 14. ACOUSTIC SOUL: CHRISSY GARDNER & ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Sept. 15, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Saturday, Sept. 16, 8 PM. EXPERIMENTAL/DRONE: GARDENER, LANDING

• Wednesday, Sept. 20. BLUEGRASS: BAIT AND SWITCH

• Friday, Sept. 22. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Sept. 29. FOLK: FLINT LADDER

• Saturday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOHN GORKA (ODDBALL PRODUCTIONS)

• Friday, Oct. 6. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Friday, Oct. 13. FLASH FICTION: PAUL BECKMAN

• Friday, Oct. 20. BLUEGRASS: MISSY RAINES & THE NEW HIP (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Saturday, Oct. 28. LIGHT UPON BLIGHT HALLOWEEN SHOW

• Saturday, Nov. 4. SOLO MODERN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN (SOLD OUT!)

• Friday, Mar. 16. BLUEGRASS: ZOE & CLOYD (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

Lecture on film: Prof. Mark Schenker continues series on Howard Hawks with “The Big Sleep” Sun., July 23, at 2 PM

In this fifth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker of Yale College presents four lectures on “The Films of Howard Hawks.” All four lectures will be held on consecutive Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, starting on Sunday, July 9. Admission to each lecture is $7.

Reservations are highly recommended.

In the third installment, Schenker deconstructs Hawks’ knotty 1946 film noir “The Big Sleep”—based on the Raymond Chandler novel—this Sunday, July 23, at 2 PM.

Hawks’ filmography spans the decades—from “The Road to Glory” (1926) through “Rio Lobo” (1970)—and spans genres, from screwball comedy through sci-fi, western, war films and more. Hawks was nominated for a Best Director Oscar in 1942 for “Sergeant York” and received an Honorary Academy Award in 1975 as a “a master American filmmaker whose creative efforts hold a distinguished place in world cinema.”

Roger Ebert hailed Hawks shortly after the director’s death in 1977:

Hawks never consciously aimed for art in his films, and was perhaps quietly amazed that people found it there. But they did. He was never as well known with the public as some of his contemporaries, like Hitchcock and DeMille and Ford. But if you loved movies, you lost a friend the other day. Hawks directed some of the greatest entertainments ever made, and fundamentally shaped the way we perceive many of the great stars.

This series affords Prof. Schenker the opportunity to not only delve into Hawks’ directorial style but also to tease out the various genre conventions the director played with. As with his previous lecture series, Schenker will explore highlights of Hawks’ filmography chronologically, starting with the 1932 gangster classic “Scarface.” The 1940 screwball comedy “His Girl Friday,” starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, is the topic on July 16. The film noir “The Big Sleep,” based on the Raymond Chandler novel and starring Humphrey Bogart, is the focus on July 23 and discussion of the western “Rio Bravo” concludes the series on July 30.

“The Big Sleep” has a reputation as one of the most inscrutable classic movies. Based on a Chandler novel that was itself both a tour-de-force and a puzzling head scratcher, the film was greeted by New York Times critic Bosley Crowther with the complaint, “For ‘The Big Sleep’ is one of those pictures in which so many cryptic things occur amid so much involved and devious plotting that the mind becomes utterly confused.”

But 50 years later, Roger Ebert hailed the movie despite—or perhaps because of—its perceived imperfections:

It is one of the great film noirs, a black-and-white symphony that exactly reproduces Chandler’s ability, on the page, to find a tone of voice that keeps its distance, and yet is wry and humorous and cares. Working from Chandler’s original words and adding spins of their own, the writers (William Faulkner, Jules Furthman and Leigh Brackett)  wrote one of the most quotable of screenplays: It’s unusual to find yourself laughing in a movie not because something is funny but because it’s so wickedly clever. (Marlowe on the “nymphy” kid sister: “She tried to sit in my lap while I was standing up.”) Unlike modern crime movies which are loaded with action, “The Big Sleep” is heavy with dialogue–the characters talk and talk, just like in the Chandler novels; it’s as if there’s a competition to see who has the most verbal style.

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, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining. Schenker’s insights should be particularly trenchant when it comes to the classic “The Big Sleep.”

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Wednesday, July 19. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Thursday, July 20, 5:30 PM. WINE TASTING WITH BOB FEINN OF MT. CARMEL WINE & SPIRITS

• Friday, July 21. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH; SINGER-SONGWRITER: DANA MERRITT

• Saturday, July 22, 7 PM. GARAGE ROCK: DELICATE FLOWERS, DISCO TEEN ’66; FUNK ROCK: NEW AMSTERDAM NOBLES (A CAPITALH BOOKING SHOW)

• Sunday, July 23, 2 PM. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—HOWARD HAWK’S “THE BIG SLEEP” (1946)

• Wednesday, July 26. MUSIC FROM “THE SIMPSONS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRES OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Thursday, July 27. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: DANIELLE CAPALBO (of QUIET GIANT), SEAN HAROLD (of THE MID SEASON)

• Friday, July 28. WORLD MUSIC: NEELA

• Sunday, July 30, 2 PM. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—HOWARD HAWK’S “RIO BRAVO” (1959)

• Wednesday, Aug. 2. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Thursday, Aug. 3, 7:30 PM. WOMEN’S FILM SCREENING: “THE MILKY WAY”—HOSTED BY THE JCC OF GREATER NEW HAVEN FOR WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK (FREE)

• Friday, Aug. 4, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Sunday, Aug. 6, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Aug. 9. EXPERIMENTAL: HUMAN FLOURISHING, DAVE SCANLON, UNDERWEAR

• Thursday, Aug. 10. ALT-COUNTRY: PLYWOOD COWBOY

• Friday, Aug. 11. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN & HER BAND, ELISA FLYNN

• Wednesday, Aug. 16. INDIE ROCK: FURNSSS, TRASH CAN

• Thursday, Aug. 17. STEEL DRUM MUSIC: MIMOSA

• Fridy, Aug. 18. DEEP HAMDEN—A JAZZ MINI-FESTIVAL: ALLEN LOWE & FAKE MUSIC ENSEMBLE with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Saturday, Aug. 19. DEEP HAMDEN—A JAZZ MINI-FESTIVAL: AN HISTORIC; ROSEMARY MINKLER TRIO; BRIAN JARAWA GRAY

• Wednesday, Aug. 23. INDIE ROCK: ROZ & THE RICE CAKES, TEENAGE HALLOWEEN (A TINY BOX BOOKING SHOW)

• Thursday, Aug. 24. ROCK/JAZZ/SOUL: JOE STEIN; INDIE ROCK: ALEX MCGUIRE

• Friday, Aug. 25. POP ROCK: OBERON ROSE

• Tuesday, Aug. 29. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Thursday, Aug. 31. INDIE ROCK: DISCO TEEN ’66

• Friday, Sept. 8. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

Thursday, Sept. 14. ACOUSTIC SOUL: CHRISSY GARDNER & ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Sept. 15, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Saturday, Sept. 16, 8 PM. EXPERIMENTAL/DRONE: GARDENER, LANDING

• Wednesday, Sept. 20. BLUEGRASS: BAIT AND SWITCH

• Friday, Sept. 22. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Sept. 29. FOLK: FLINT LADDER

• Saturday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOHN GORKA (ODDBALL PRODUCTIONS)

• Friday, Oct. 6. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Friday, Oct. 13. FLASH FICTION: PAUL BECKMAN

• Friday, Oct. 20. BLUEGRASS: MISSY RAINES & THE NEW HIP (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN (SOLD OUT!)