‘Every Old Movie is New Again’

Casey St. Charnez - June 10, 2014

'Kindly turn off your cell phone…'

The Hollywood studios, major and minor, release over 300 major new movies each year to American theaters. That averages about six fresh titles every Friday. But those 300, each fervidly competing for the top spot in the weekend box-office, are not the only flicks out there. More and more, vintage cinema is getting a new day in the sun, thanks to the miracle of digital projection. Accordingly, a number of venues have jumped onto the revival bandwagon, and that includes Santa Fe. This summer, we’ll have many opportunities to catch a great old movie on the big screen. Some of them will even be free. Here are some select choices:

The Railyard Park’s annual run of classic films began last week. There are another six Friday night presentations:

       -Repo Man (1984) June 20
       -Caddyshack (1980) July 4
       -Balto (1995) July 18
       -The Blues Brothers (1980) August 1
       -The Milagro Beanfield War (1988) August 15
       -Frozen (2013) August 29

And yup, they’re free, because each show is locally underwritten, like the First National Bank’s sponsorship of last Friday’s Raiders of the Lost Ark.
       More: http://www.heathconcerts.org.

Speaking of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lisa and I just saw it again last week at the Regal Stadium 14, and it was superbly presented. Regal Entertainment has had an ongoing policy of revivals for some time now, uniformly on Sunday at 2 p.m. and Wednesday at both 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. They’re showing them in only 56 of the chain’s plexes, and Santa Fe is the only place in the state to see these:

       -Saturday Night Fever (1977) June 8 & 11
       -Dirty Dancing (1987) June 15 & 18
       -The Godfather I and II (1972/1974) June 22 & 25

Additional titles TBA in July and August.
       More: http://www.regmovies.com/Promotions/Classic-Film-Series.

The Center for Contemporary Arts, in collaboration with St. John’s College, presents “The Auteurs” series, with the Santa Fe Reporter as the presenting sponsor. The lineup includes:          

       -Murnau’s Sunrise (1927) June 14-15-16
       -Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) June 21-22-23
       -Renoir’s The Rules of the Game (1939) June 28-29-30
       -Ozu’s Tokyo Story (1953) July 5-6-7
       -Ford’s The Searchers (1956) July 12-13-14
       -Bresson’s Diary of a Country Priest (1951) July 19-20-21
       -Bergman’s Wild Strawberries (1957) July 26-27-28                
       -Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev (1966) August 2-3-4
More: www.ccasantafe.org.

And the Jean Cocteau Cinema has a typically adventurous roster, including a tribute to the accomplished, but notorious, silent comedian Fatty Arbuckle on June 16. Other films include:
       -Nosferatu (1922) June 15
       -The Last Laugh (1924) June 16
       -Cat Ballou (1965) June 20
       -Pink Flamingos (1972) June 20
       -First Blood (1982) June 30
       -Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) July 4
       -Cleopatra (1963) July 18
       -Back to the Future III (1990) July 25
       -This is Spinal Tap (1984) August 1
       -Amélie (2001) August 8

Much of what the JCC has may be considered revival fodder, like the so-called midnight movies that start at 11 p.m.--for instance Unholy Rollers (1972) on June 13.
More: www.jeancocteaucinema.com.

Decades ago, cinephiles had to live in proximity to big cities, which had the audience base to keep revival cinemas thriving. Manhattanites, for example, could choose from the fabled Thalia (adoringly referenced in Annie Hall), The Little Carnegie, Bleecker St. Cinema, Theatre 80 St. Marks, and so many others…all of them now repurposed, or demolished. The advent of home video turned one’s den into a revival house on occasion, but the vital sense of, say, laughing at a comedy with a big audience, is all but lost at home. This summer, then, is a fine time to get back to the group experience that is the social heart of moviegoing. So kindly turn off your cell phone…and let’s not forget to go out to the lobby and get ourselves a treat!