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Northwestern University Summer 2012 Film Calendar

Summer screenings toast Paris and baseball greats from the past

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June 29, 2012 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The City of Light and America’s national pastime are on the big screen at Northwestern University this summer with the Summer Outdoor Cinema series and a night of Rare Baseball Films.

Northwestern University’s Summer Outdoor Cinema series presents five Parisian-themed family-friendly hits and classics, including “An American in Paris,” “Hugo,” “Funny Face,” “The Muppets” and “The Artist.”

Summer Outdoor Cinema is presented by Northwestern’s Summer Session, Norris Center for Student Involvement (CSI) and Block Cinema. 

Free and open to the public, the films will be screened on the east lawn of Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. Movies begin at sundown (around 8:45 p.m.). Attendees are encouraged to bring their own blankets and chairs. Rain location is the McCormick Auditorium in Norris.

For more information, visit the Block website or call the Block Cinema Hotline at (847) 491-4000 or go to the CSI website or phone CSI at (847) 491-2350.

On July 27 Block Cinema will present “Rare Baseball Films: The Newsreels,” a special event that will be screened in the James B. Pick and Rosalyn M. Laudati Auditorium at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. General admission is $6 for the general public or $4 for Block Museum members, Northwestern faculty, staff and students with a WildCARD ID; students from other schools with valid IDs, and seniors 65 and older. For more information, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/view/cinema/rare-baseball-films-the-newsreels.html or call the Block Cinema Hotline at (847) 491-4000.

Free parking for all screenings is available in the two-level lakefront garage south of the Norris University Center and the Block Museum.

SUMMER 2012 FILMS

Outdoor screening, “An American in Paris,” sundown (about 8:45 p.m.) Wednesday, July 11 (Vincente Minnelli, 1951, United States, DVD, 113 minutes). One of the greatest American musicals, Minnelli’s homage to the City of Light was beloved by French New Wave filmmakers like Godard and Truffaut. Gene Kelly stars as a struggling artist living in Paris after World War II who falls in love with a cabaret dancer (Leslie Caron) engaged to a well-known singer. 

Outdoor screening, “Hugo,” sundown (about 8:45 p.m.) Wednesday, July 18, east lawn of Norris University Center, (Martin Scorsese, 2011, United States, DVD, 126 minutes). Young orphan Hugo lives secretly in a Parisian train station while observing its eccentric shop workers. He befriends a young girl who literally holds a key that might help him find a new home. Scorsese’s whimsical film is a visually stunning homage to a long-gone Paris and a loving tribute to French filmmaker and “cinemagician” Georges Melies. 

Outdoor screening, “Funny Face,” sundown (about 8:45 p.m.) Wednesday, July 25 (Stanley Donen, 1957, United States, DVD, 103 minutes). In this delightful musical Fred Astaire plays Dick Avery, a fashion photographer in search of a new muse and model. In Greenwich Village Dick discovers lovely bookworm Jo (Audrey Hepburn), who disdains Dick’s profession but agrees to go to Paris for a photo shoot so she can meet her idol, a French philosopher. Sparks fly when the unlikely pair fall for each other. 

Special event/indoor screening, “Rare Baseball Films: The Newsreels,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 27, Block Museum’s Pick-Laudati Auditorium. For the eighth consecutive year, Block Cinema will celebrate America’s national pastime with an annual program of rare baseball films that will entertain sports fans of all ages. Before televisions became a fixture in people’s homes, newsreels were shown before every feature film in neighborhood movie theaters and  were one of the few ways for fans to see players from around the country in action. Organized and introduced by David Filipi, film and video curator at Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts, this year’s program draws on the Hearst Metrotone News Collection at the UCLA Film & Television Archive. It includes Stan Musial’s 3000th hit at Wrigley Field, Babe Ruth’s first spring training with the Boston Braves, Sandy Koufax’s retirement press conference, Jackie Robinson relaxing at home with his family and more. Admission is $6 for the general public; or $4 for Block Museum members; Northwestern University faculty, staff and students with a valid WildCARD ID; students from other schools with valid college/university IDs; and seniors 65 and older. 

Outdoor screening/“The Muppets,” sundown (about 8:45 p.m.) Wednesday, Aug. 1 (James Bobin, 2011, United States, DVD, 103 minutes). After several years away from the spotlight, the Muppets have gone their separate ways -- Kermit lives alone in a drafty mansion, Fozzie sings in a hotel lounge act and Miss Piggy works in Paris for a fashion magazine. When a nefarious oil tycoon threatens to tear down their theater, the Muppet’s biggest fans must reunite the whole gang for one more show. 

Outdoor screening, “The Artist,” sundown (about 8:45 p.m.) Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 (Michel Hazanavicius, 2011, France, DVD, 100 minutes). In 1927 film star George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is at the height of his career when he literally stumbles upon movie extra Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo). When the silent era of Hollywood gives way to sound, Valentin finds his career in a downward spiral as Peppy’s popularity in “talkies” skyrockets. This French remake of “A Star is Born” garnered several Academy Awards, including Best Picture.