Film Screening: Political film series continues with “The Candidate” Mon., May 2, at 7 PM

the_candidate_poster_WebProgrammed 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 Candidate” screens this Monday, May 2, at 7 PM. Admission is $7 (free for TBS members).

What happens when an idealistic political candidate enters the sausage-making machine of American politics? Bill McKay, an idealistic legal services attorney played by Robert Redford, finds out in this 1972 comedy-drama. Directed by Michael Ritchie, “The Candidate” was written by Jeremy Larner, a former speechwriter for Sen. Eugene McCarthy’s 1968 insurgent antiwar challenge to Lyndon Johnson.

Writing in the New York Times in 1972, critic Vincent Canby noted, “We all know that men who run for public office hoping only to improve the tone of the campaign, to raise the real issues, usually fail — and look terrible on television, which may be even worse. We suspect that only winning counts, yet we also fondly believe—since we’ve seen it demonstrated often enough—that the system is so corrupt that no good man can win without either being hopelessly corrupted or turned into a bewildered cipher. That pretty well describes what happens to Bill McKay (Robert Redford), the liberal young California Democrat who campaigns for the United States Senate in ‘The Candidate,’ one of the few good, truly funny American political comedies ever made.”

The schedule:

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. 28. TIN PAN ALLEY: ZAHTIE’S BATHTUB GIN

• Friday, Apr. 29. EXPERIMENTAL: FUCHSPRELLEN

• Sunday, May 1. FREE AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

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

• Thursday, May 5. BLUEGRASS: THE 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”

• Tuesday, May 10. ECLECTIC: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS, PRETEND IT DIDN’T HAPPEN, THE HUMAN LIGHT BOX

• Wednesday, May 11. ROCK: THE NEW CHASTITY

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

• Saturday, May 14. FILM SCREENING/WINE & CHEESE TASTING: VINO/NOIR

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

• Thursday, May 19. EXPERIMENTAL: RIVENER, CRETELLA|PAOLUCCI DUO, FLANDREW FLEISENBERG

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

• Thursday, May 26. EXPERIMENTAL: ELECTRONHIC

• Friday, May 27. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE BIRDMEN

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

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

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

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

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

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

• 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

Hank’s (and Rob Harmon’s) Recommendations 08/13/13

hank_paperHANK’S PICS 08/13/13

THE COMPANY YOU KEEP — When a wife and mother, and former member of the Weather Underground (Susan Sarandon), turns herself in for her role, thirty years ago, in the robbery of a bank and the murder of a security guard, it upsets a whole network of former Weathermen who have since rebuilt new lives, especially one who is now forced to go on the run, pursued by both the FBI and a dogged reporter.

Directed by and starring Robert Redford, this film is a man-on-the-run thriller, a newspaper drama about going for a big story in a dying industry, as well as a film about families, lies and betrayals. It is also about the past (the Vietnam War and the violent protests against it) and the present (posing political questions that are still relevant today).

While Redford himself looks perhaps ten years too old for the part, he has assembled an incredible cast (Shia LaBeouf, Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Terrance Howard, Stanley Tucci, Richard Jenkins, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Elliot and Brit Marling) to tell a fairly gripping, thought-provoking story.

While not, perhaps of the stature of Redford’s other directorial outings (ORDINARY PEOPLE, THE MILAGRO BEANFIELD WAR, A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT, QUIZ SHOW, THE HORSE WHISPERER; Redford also, more recently, directed the less compelling THE CONSPIRATOR), this is an under-rated, under-distributed film, both intelligent and entertaining, whose company you should definitely keep.

Rob_Harmon_image_for_picksROB HARMON’S PICS 08/13/13:

ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S BIRTHDAY

Today is the birthday of filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, born this day in 1899 in Leytonstone, England and died on April 29, 1980 at the age of 80. My earliest fascination with Hitchcock and his films almost exactly coincides with when I was first becoming interested in film itself—middle school and high school—and the two (film and Hitchcock) have been almost synonymous in my mind ever since.

Mr. Hitchcock’s staggering influence upon the cinema survives to this day, particularly in the genres of mystery/suspense thrillers and horror, but equally important in many other respects, too numerous to list here. With a total of 53 films to his credit it is never a bad time to familiarize yourself with the Master of Suspense: let’s call this Film, or Hitchcock, 101!

To Catch A Thief MoviestillsWe’ll start with Ten Hitchcock Masterpieces:

1 • REBECCA (1940): Poor Mrs. Danvers….
2 • FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (1940): Intrigue for a Yank across the pond, with Europe on the brink of war.
3 • SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943): Everyone should have an Uncle Charlie.
4 • NOTORIOUS (1946): Hitchcockian romance, at its very best.
5 • STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951): Hitchcock adapts Highsmith—mind who you speak to on trains….
6 • REAR WINDOW (1954): Did he, or didn’t he, see a murder?
7 • VERTIGO (1958): Dark, touching, and sad, this is perhaps Hitchcock’s most personal film.
8 • NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959): Some guys have all the fun.
9 • PSYCHO (1960): Bates Motel – twelve cabins, twelve vacancies.
10 • THE BIRDS (1963): It’s woman vs. nature.

Seen those? How about, Ten Must-Sees from Hitchcock’s British Period:

1 • THE LODGER (1926): Jack the Ripper, anyone?
2 • THE RING (1927): Excellent silent boxing drama.
3 • BLACKMAIL (1929): Guilt pursues the killer—an innovative use of early sound technology.
4 • RICH AND STRANGE (1932): Eerie, early romantic melodrama.
5 • THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1934): Knowing too much is a dangerous thing, indeed…. (1956 American version: Stewart and Day give strong performances; a worthy encore!)
6 • THE 39 STEPS (1935): High adventure on the Scottish moors—a man, a woman, and a pair of handcuffs!
7 • SABOTAGE (1936): Who killed cock robin?
8 • YOUNG AND INNOCENT (1937): The camera identifies the killer.
9 • THE LADY VANISHES (1938): Intrigue among passengers on a train across Europe—a ripping good yarn!
10 • JAMAICA INN (1939): Great adventure story; Laughton memorable as the villain, Sir Humphrey Pengallan.

Still hungry? Here are Ten Further Classics from Hitchcock’s Hollywood Career:

1 • SABOTEUR (1942): It’s The 39 Steps in the good old U.S.A.!
2 • LIFEBOAT (1944): Tallulah Bankhead in a boat.
3 • SPELLBOUND (1945): Romance and psychoanalysis – a union that only Hitchcock could bring about.
4 • ROPE (1948): What’s in the trunk?
5 • STAGE FRIGHT (1950): Highly under-rated; Dietrich sings “The Laziest Gal in Town.”
6 • DIAL ME FOR MURDER (1954): Crackling good murder mystery; originally filmed in 3-D!
7 • THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY (1955): Dead body on a mountain-top—what to do with it?
8 • THE WRONG MAN (1956): Eerie, dark drama based on a real-life case.
9 • MARNIE (1964): Hitchcock examines the female psyche—’nuff said!
10 • FRENZY (1972): Hitchcock returns home to England—who knew rigor mortis could be this much fun?