Archive for the ‘film festival’ Category

Outdoor Film Screenings
August 19, 2007

One great thing I’ve discovered a little bit this summer as a movie watcher are the outdoor film series that have been showing throughout the D.C. Area. Festivals like Screen on the Green or the NIH Outdoor Film Festival offer people a chance to see films in a less claustrophobic setting than a movie theater with plenty of room to eat a picnic dinner or even play frisbee while the film is showing.

There is the Classic Screen on the Green series which is advertised all over the Metro and takes place on the National Mall. This year they showed All the King’s Men, Casablanca, Wait Until Dark, The Thing from Another World, and Annie Hall. Annie Hall and Casablanca are two of the most beloved movies of all time. All the King’s Men is also an appropriate choice because aside from being a great film, it was remade in the last year so it offers a chance for those who saw the remake to see the original. It also is about Louisiana which is a state that needs to be in the public consciousness more considering the devastation done by Hurricane Katrina. I don’t know anything about The Thing from Another World, but Wait Until Dark is a great underrated gem starring Audrey Hepburn as a blind woman who is clued onto a potential murder plot involving her by a 12-year old neighbor. It’s a great suspense thriller.

The Comcast/NIH Outdoor Film Festival ends tonight at the Strathmore in North Bethesda, Maryland, and although I’m posting this kind of close to the event, the last movie being shown is Happy Feet and it’s practically free. It’s only a $2 suggested donation which goes to various NIH charities. See here for details: http://www.filmfestnih.org/. The filming showed mostly films from last year (Da Vinci Code, Night at the Museum, Casino Royale, Happy Feet, Over the Hedge and Devil Wears Prada) which provided people the opportunity to see one of the great films of last year (most of these were critically successful) on the big screen rather than on DVD. They also had an advanced screening of Resurrecting the Champ and showed two classics in Wizard of Oz and North by Northwest.

Lastly, there’s the Hang’Em High film festival which plays in Rosslyn’s Gateway Park and honors Clint Eastwood. Clint Eastwood is quite possibly this decade’s most preeminent director (along with Scorsesee) which is why it’s so interesting to explore him retroactively and see him as a star. The film festival plays on a slightly smaller screen but the audio is still pretty good. There are two film showings left. This coming Friday is Clint Eastwood’s Western masterpiece Unforgiven which won him his first directing Oscar and put him on the map. It stars Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood, and Gene Hackman among others. The week after that is a film called Shane which is, along with Unforgiven, on AFI’s list of top 100 American films, and doesn’t star Clint Eastwood at all but I imagine they added it on because it’s a Western. It’s one of the most well-known of films in the Western genre and it focuses on the relationship between the 12-year old son of a farming household and a Western hero he befriends. I personally wasn’t a fan of it, but I imagine there are many who are. It’s a good family film if nothing else.