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Summer 2008 Outdoor Film Calendar

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June 24, 2008 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Block Cinema, Norris Center for Student Involvement and the Northwestern University Summer Session will present an outdoor movie series on Northwestern's Evanston campus this summer.

Three of the seven films -- "Planet of the Apes" (July 9), "Soylent Green" (July 23) and "Touch of Evil" (Aug. 6) -- will honor the late Evanston-born and Northwestern-educated Charlton Heston.

Three films – "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (June 25), "Ratatouille" (July 16) and "The Simpson Movie" (July 30) -- are geared for family viewing.

Two films related to evolution will be screened in conjunction with the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art's spring/summer 2008 exhibition "Design in the Age of Darwin: From William Morris to Frank Lloyd Wright," which is open to the public through Aug. 24.

These two films -- director Franklin Schaffner's 1968 "Planet of the Apes" (July 9) starring Heston, and Stanley Kramer's 1960 "Inherit the Wind," starring Spencer Tracy -- will also be screened in conjunction with One Book, One Northwestern's focus on Charles Darwin during the 2008-09 academic year.

The One Book, One Northwestern project is a community-wide reading program that aims to bring together individuals with different backgrounds to share and discuss a common topic. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birthday and the 150th anniversary of his famous study, "On the Origin of the Species," this year's book is nature and science writer David Quammen's "The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution" (W.W. Norton & Co. paperback, $14.95). For more information about One Book, One Northwestern visit http://www.northwestern.edu/onebook/.

This summer Block Cinema will screen the following seven films outdoors on the East Lawn adjacent to Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive. Admission is free.

The first four films will be shown at 9 p.m. and the three final movies will be screened at 8:30 p.m. In case of rain, they will be shown at Norris University Center's McCormick Auditorium, 1999 Campus Drive.

Filmgoers are welcome to bring their own folding chairs and blankets. Free parking is available in the lakefront lot directly south of the Block Museum, 40 Arts Circle Drive.

Block Cinema, a collaboration of the Northwestern University School of Communication and the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, screens classic and contemporary films. For more information, call the Block Cinema Hotline at (847) 491-4000 or go to the Block Cinema Web site at http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/block-cinema/.

SUMMER 2008 OUTDOOR FILMS

Family Series, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 25 (David Yates, 2007, 138 minutes, DVD, free).
The "Harry Potter" series isn't about the plot but about the rich tapestry of characters and atmosphere. After a lonely summer, Harry starts his fifth year at Hogwarts Academy. It is perhaps his toughest year yet.

Darwin and Heston Series, "Planet of the Apes," 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 9 (Franklin Schaffner, 1968, 112 minutes, DVD). Imagine a world where apes are the ruling species and humans are the beasts. Astronaut Taylor (Charlton Heston) falls from the sky into this uncanny world, where the ruling class refuses to believe that something as low as humans could ever be related to apes. The film is a brilliantly open-ended metaphor on race, class, fundamentalism and our inability to see beyond ourselves.

Family Series, "Ratatouille," 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 16 (Brad Bird, 2007, 111 minutes, DVD). Our hero is a provincial rat named Remy, with a passion for cooking. His habit of preparing meals for himself rather than eating garbage has made him the black sheep of the family. It also gets him sent down the sewer by one angry human homeowner. Remy pops out of the sewer in Paris where he discovers the restaurant of his idol, the great chef, Auguste Gusteau. Can Remy the rat prove Gusteau's famous motto, "Anyone can cook!" correct?

Heston Series, "Soylent Green," 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 23 (Richard Fleischer, 1973, 97 minutes, DVD). In the year 2022, the earth is over-populated and fatigued. Most natural foods are nearly extinct. People survive on water rations and a food substitute called Soylent. When the president of the Soylent company is murdered, detective Robert Thorn (Charlton Heston) leads the doomed investigation into his death.

Family Series, "The Simpsons Movie," 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 30 (David Silverman, 2007, 87 minutes, DVD).
"The Simpsons Movie" continues the great American comic tradition of villainizing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This time the EPA wants to destroy a polluted Springfield, and only Homer can save them.

Heston Series, "Touch of Evil," 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6 (Orson Welles, 1958, 112 minutes, DVD). "Touch of Evil" is probably best known for the opening tracking shot of a corrupt and combustible border town. Equally astounding are the performances of Charlton Heston and Orson Welles. They are funhouse-mirror opposites of one another with Heston, the young, button-down, Mexican detective, and Welles, the obese, bigoted American cop. The cast includes Janet Leigh and Marlene Dietrich.

Heston/Darwin Series, "Inherit the Wind," 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13 (Stanley Kramer, 1960, 128 minutes, DVD).
"Inherit the Wind" is a dramatized version of the famous 1925 Scopes monkey trial where a high school teacher, John Scopes, was tried for teaching Darwin's theories of evolution. Spencer Tracy plays Henry Drummond, the fictional stand-in for the famous trial lawyer Clarence Darrow. It is one of the great courtroom dramas.