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Summer Outdoor Cinema Presents the City of Light Along Lakefront

Free film series includes “Midnight in Paris,” “Funny Face,” “Muppets” and “The Artist”

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June 27, 2012 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Moviegoers can visit the City of Light this summer without the expense of air travel or hotel accommodations, as Northwestern University’s Summer Outdoor Cinema series presents a Parisian-themed crop of family-friendly hits and classics.

This summer’s films include “Midnight in Paris,” “An American in Paris,” “Hugo,” “Funny Face,” “The Muppets” and “The Artist.”

Free and open to the public, films are 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. 

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

For more information, call the Block Cinema Hotline at (847) 491-4000 or visit the Block website at www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/view/cinema/summer-outdoor-cinema.html or go to the CSI website at http://www.norris.northwestern.edu/csi/programming/summer-cinema/ or phone CSI at (847) 491-2350.

SUMMER OUTDOOR CINEMA 2012 

“Midnight in Paris,” sundown (about 8:45 p.m.) Wednesday, June 27 (Woody Allen, 2011, 94 minutes). On vacation in Paris with his fiancee and her well-to-do parents, Gil (Owen Wilson), a successful but unfulfilled screenwriter, finds himself longing for more. While wandering the streets late one night, he is unexpectedly transported back to the 1920’s, where he encounters his idols, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein.

“An American in Paris,” sundown (about 8:45 p.m.) Wednesday, July 11 (Vincente Minnelli, 1951, 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. 

“Hugo,” sundown (about 8:45 p.m.) Wednesday, July 18 (Martin Scorsese, 2011, 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. 

“Funny Face,” sundown (about 8:45 p.m.) Wednesday, July 25 (Stanley Donen, 1957, 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. 

“The Muppets,” sundown (about 8:45 p.m.) Wednesday, Aug. 1 (James Bobin, 2011, 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. 

“The Artist,” sundown (about 8:45 p.m.) Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 (Michel Hazanavicius, 2011, France, 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.