Friday, March 07, 2008

March revivals: Ziegfeld update

Mike here with a need to update the list. The Ziegfeld finally came out with their classics screenings list and I'm a little disappointed. Only 2 weeks scheduled, and most of them a repeat from the last time they did this back in September/October of 2006. I heard rumors of digital screenings of some Bond films and a 40th anniversary screening of Planet of the Apes, but they haven't been scheduled at this time, if they're going to be scheduled at all. But since those of you looking at this probably didn't see it back then, it's new to you.

Also have to mention a correction on the price. They raised the price from 7.50 to 8 dollars. Not as cheap as it used to be, but still affordable compared to current lousy movies at full price. So here we go:

WEST SIDE STORY- Sat Mar 15 at 4:30, Sun Mar 16 and Wed Mar 19 at 8:15, and Thurs Mar 20 at 4:30 (Weekdays and weeknights tentative on the Ziegfeld's end)

GREASE SING-A-LONG- Fri Mar 14 at 8:15 and Sat Mar 15 at 2

THE SOUND OF MUSIC- Sat Mar 15 at 8, Sun Mar 16 at 1 and Tues Mar 18 and Thurs Mar 20(those last 2 dates tentative at the theater's end) at 8:15

Separate admission for each film I'm afraid. But if they get the sense that you're hear for the duration, they might let you pay for your seats without stepping outside, or at least let you leave your stuff while one of your party gets tickets for all. This happened with some friends a couple of years ago when the Indiana Jones films were all screened in one day. But don't go in thinking this will automatically happen; you're on own and so an I, so assume nothing and hope.

Now I already talked about Grease and Sound of Music on the previous listing, but West Side Story I'll bring up now that I know it will be there. Now if these dates for West Side are a little difficult, note that the Film Forum will screen this on Sat April 12. But note that the Forum will do one screening only, and their screen and sound system are not superior than the Ziegfeld's in any way (though the Forum seats are a little more comfortable).

Now as for West Side Story, it's on both AFI Top 100 lists, and in my personal Top 100. Number 2 on AFI's recent Best Movie Musical list. It is totally different seeing it on the big screen as opposed to TV. I can't describe it very well, you have to go to know what I mean. Sight and sound makes this more of an experience then just passive viewing like on tv.

Is it perfect? No. Some of the slang is just too dated, some of the actors had to be painted Latino (get a good look at George Chakiris and tell me I'm wrong), most of the teenagers are either over 21 or pushing 30, and some had to be dubbed. But mix Leonard Bernstein's music, Stephen Sondheim's songs, Jerome Robbins's choreography and Robert Wise's direction and you have a terrific film. Yes, Robbins is co-director, until his perfectionism resulted in re-shoots and extended shooting, causing the film to go over budget and behind schedule. He was fired 60 percent into shooting and Wise finished it.

Stunning use of New York locales and a terrific opening credit sequence and ending. 10 Oscars including Picture and Director. If you've never seen it on the big screen, go. And if you can only choose between Grease, West Side Story or Sound of Music, I say West Side with no hesitation.

And next is what they bill as Steven Spielberg week. I'll list all three. But I'm being dutiful in case one of you yells about what must be seen. But I'm only pushing one, the last one:

BACK TO THE FUTURE- Fri Mar 21 at 5, Sat Mar 22 at 2 and Wed Mar 26 at 8

E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (2001 Edition)- Fri Mar 21 at 8, Sat Mar 22 at 5 and Tues Mar 25 at 8

JAWS- Sat March 23, Mon March 24 and Thurs March 27 at 8

Like I said, Jaws is the one I'm pushing the most on this list. Like West Side Story, on both AFI Top 100 lists. But this is higher up for me. More like in my personal Top 35 as opposed to just one of one hundred. Don't underestimate the quality of this Spielberg film on the big screen, and on the Ziegfeld's 70mm screen? Forget about it. It's not just another fish film, Ed. 3 Oscars including John Williams's memorable score, and a nomination for Best Picture (along with One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Barry Lyndon, Dog Day Afternoon and Nashville; not shabby.)

And I must correct myself on my top 10 from a couple of posts back. Specifically with I'm Not There and the possible helpfulness of having a sixth actor playing Dylan. Now I left out Heath Ledger on purpose, since I was trying not to write an epic tome. But I completely forget Ben Whishaw who was the sixth Dylan. Ok, Richard Gere was in the film, but for our purposes, Ben is. The funny thing is, despite an extreme lack of screen time, I liked Ben more than I did Richard, go figure. Anyway, correction made, and the Ziegfeld listing has been updated. Let me know. Later all.

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