EVANSTON, Ill. --- Jake and Elwood Blues, the Brat Pack and the inspirational bicyclists of Bloomington, Ind., are on the big screen at Northwestern University this summer as Block Cinema salutes the Chicago area and the Midwest with "The Blues Brothers," "The Breakfast Club" and "Breaking Away."
The free outdoor film series, organized in conjunction with the Norris Center for Student Involvement and Northwestern University's Summer Session, also includes "Avatar," "Sherlock Holmes" and "The Fantastic Mr. Fox."
The films will be screened on the Evanston campus at dusk (around 9 p.m. unless noted) on the east lawn of Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive. Filmgoers are welcome to bring their own chairs and blankets. Free parking is available south of Norris Center.
In the event of rain, screenings will be held at Norris University Center's McCormick Auditorium, 1999 Campus Drive.
For more information, call the Block Cinema Hotline at (847) 491-4000 or go to the Block Cinema Web site at www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/blockcinema.
SUMMER 2010 OUTDOOR MOVIES
"Avatar," 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 30 (James Cameron, 2009, United States, 162 minutes, DVD). James Cameron's 2009 blockbuster tells the story of an injured war veteran who accepts a dangerous mission to play explorer/ambassador on a distant planet, where the natives fight human visitors eager to exploit the planet's natural resources.
"The Blues Brothers," 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 7 (John Landis, 1980, United States, 133 minutes, DVD). The definitive Chicago movie, John Landis' "The Blues Brothers" (starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd) takes the titular duo in search of salvation, music and four fried chickens. Roadside attractions include a bazooka-toting Carrie Fisher with a mysterious grudge and cameos by a host of blues, soul and jazz legends, including John Lee Hooker, Aretha Franklin and Cab Calloway.
"The Fantastic Mr. Fox," 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 14 (Wes Anderson, 2009, United States, 87 minutes, DVD). After first flirting with animation in "The Life Aquatic," live action auteur Wes Anderson gets serious in this stop motion adaptation of Roald Dahl's kid lit caper. Mr. Fox (George Clooney), longing to relive his glory days as a livestock thief, teams up with an enterprising opossum and other forest creatures to rip off three curmudgeonly farmers.
"Breaking Away," 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 21 (Peter Yates, 1979, United States, 101 minutes, DVD). "Breaking Away" stands as one of the few movies about the college experience to focus sympathetically on the locals. In Bloomington, Ind., a city divided by town-gown tension, four working-class "cutters" (sons of quarry workers) who are pitted against a group of university students vow to beat their rivals in a bicycling race.
"Sherlock Holmes," 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 28 (Guy Ritchie, 2009, United States, 128 minutes, DVD). Director Guy Ritchie lends his risque wit to the other side of the law in this original -- though spiritually faithful -- interpretation of Arthur Conan Doyle's eccentric investigator. Robert Downey Jr.'s more roguish than respectable Holmes and Jude Law's quietly charming, no-nonsense Watson race to stop a serial killer in Victorian London.
"The Breakfast Club," 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4 (John Hughes, 1985, United States, 97 minutes, DVD). The fictional Chicago suburb of Shermer never felt more like a living, breathing community than in this John Hughes coming-of-age classic. A stint in weekend detention forces five teenagers from rival cliques to put aside their prejudices to stave off boredom and existential loneliness.
(Nathalie Rayter, a junior in the School of Education and Social Policy, contributed to this story.)