It’s Movie Time again! The Talbot Cinema Society has announced its lineup of movies for the 2014-2015 season.
The Cinema Society meets at the Avalon Theatre on the first Sunday of each month, except February, when the meeting is postponed to the second Sunday in deference to the Super Bowl. Doors open at 5:15 p.m., and light refreshments are served at 5:30. At 5:45 one of the society’s famous talking heads introduces the feature, and the house lights usually go down at 6 or shortly before.
This season’s movie menu includes something for everyone: comedy; drama; blockbusters; silent classics; documentaries; and foreign films.
“Every year we try to assemble a slate of movies that will both please our existing members and attract new blood,” says Pete Howell, the Grand Poo-Bah of the Cinema Society. “We like to think that, after much thoughtful deliberation, mud-wrestling name-calling and hair-pulling, we’ve come up with a slate that will broaden the society’s appeal and keep its membership growing.”
As it is every year, the season’s first feature is the Talbot Cinema Society’s gift to the community. Everyone is invited to join the TCS members to watch Hugo, Martin Scorcese’s charming fantasy about an orphan who lives in the walls of a Paris railroad station in the 1930s, free of charge. Hugo won five Academy Awards, and was nominated for six more.
“We have an ulterior motive,” admits Howell. “We hope our guests will like what they see and decide to join the Cinema Society.”
Those who do will be able to join for just $45 per person for the entire season. Memberships will be for sale before and after the screening at the Avalon Box Office. Cash and checks will be accepted.
This season’s lineup includes:
9/7/14: Hugo: 2011. 126 minutes. Adventure/Family Drama. Rated PG. IMDB score: 7.6/10. Metacritic score: 83/100. Leonard Maltin’s rating: 3.5/4 stars. Directed by Martin Scorcese. Starring Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Richard Griffiths, Jude Law and Christopher Lee. In 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father. The boy keeps the railway clocks running on time. The only thing he has left that connects him to his dead father is an automaton that doesn’t work without a special key. Hugo needs to find the key to unlock the secret he believes it contains. 5 Academy Awards, plus 6 nominations. Golden Globe for Best Director, and nominations for Best Drama and Best Original Score. BAFTA Awards for Best Sound and Production Design, plus 8 nominations. American Film Institute Movie of the Year. Art Directors Guild Award for Best Production Design. Nominated for Directors Guild of America Award. Grammy nomination for Best Soundtrack. National Board of Review Awards for Best Film and Director. Nominated for Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
10/5/14: Picnic at Hanging Rock: 1975. 115 minutes. Australian. Rated PG. Drama/Mystery. IMDB Score: 7.6/10. Leonard Maltin’s rating: 3/4 stars. Directed by Peter Weir. During a rural picnic, a few students and a teacher from an Australian girls’ school vanish without a trace. Their absence frustrates and haunts the people left behind.Australia’s First International Hit! BAFTA Award for Cinematography. BAFTA Award nominations for Costume Design and Soundtrack. Nominated for 7 Australian Film Institute Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress.
11/2/14: My Favorite Year: 1982. 92 minutes. Comedy. Rated PG. IMDB score: 7.4/10. Leonard Maltin’s rating: 3/4 stars. Directed by Richard Benjamin. Benjy Stone (Mark-Linn Baker) is the junior writer on a top-rated variety/comedy show, in the mid 50s (the Golden Age of Television). Alan Swann (Peter O’Toole), an Erol Flynn-type movie star with a drinking problem, is to be that week’s guest star. When King Kaiser (Joseph Bologna), the star, wants to throw Swann off the show, Benjy makes a pitch to save his childhood hero, and is made Swann’s babysitter. On top of this, a union boss doesn’t care for Kaiser’s parody of him and has plans to stop the show. Also starring Lainie Kazan and Bill Macy. Academy Award nomination for O’Toole. Writers Guild of America Award nomination for Best Original Comedy. 3 Golden Globe nominations: Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Comedy/Musical.
12/7/14: It’s a Gift: 1934. 68 minutes. Comedy. IMDB score: 7.5/10. Leonard Maltin’s rating: 4/4 stars. A henpecked New Jersey grocer (W.C. Fields) plans to move to California to grow oranges, despite the resistance of his over-bearing wife (Kathleen Howard). Included in the National Film Registry by the National Film Preservation Board.
1/4/15: Breaking Away: 1979. 101 minutes. Rated PG. Comedy/Drama/Sport. IMDB Score: 7.8/10. Leonard Maltin’s rating: 3.5/4 stars. Directed by Peter Yates. Written by Steve Tesich. Dave (Dennis Christopher), 19, has just graduated from high school, with his 3 friends: the comical Cyril (Daniel Stern, in his movie debut), the warm-hearted but short-tempered Moocher (Jackie Earle Haley), and the athletic, spiteful but good-hearted Mike (Dennis Quaid). Dave enjoys bicycle racing and hopes to race the Italians one day. Meanwhile, he vies for the affections of a college girl as he and his friends try to cast off their townie stigma while fighting with nearby college snobs. Great coming-of-age film shot on location in Indiana. Academy Award for Best Screenplay, plus Oscar nomina-tions for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress (Barbara Barrie). Golden Globe for Best Musical/Comedy, plus Globe nominations for Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best New Male Star (Christo-pher). Writers Guild of America Award. Nominated for Directors Guild of America Award. Won National Board of Review (NBR) Award for Best Supporting Actor (Paul Dooley). Included in NBR’s Top 10 Films.
2/8/15: Closely Watched Trains: 1966. 93 minutes. Czech. War Comedy/Drama. Not Rated. IMDB score: 7.8/10. Leonard Maltin’s rating: 3/4 stars. Directed by Jiri Menzel. Tragicomedy about a naïve apprentice train dispatcher’s attempts to lose his virginity during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia during World War II. In Czech and German with English subtitles. Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. Nominated for Golden Globe and Directors Guild of America Award. Nominated for Best Film and Best Soundtrack by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
3/1/15: Libeled Lady: 1936. 98 minutes. Comedy/Romance. IMDB score: 7.8/10. Leonard Maltin’s rating: 4/4 stars. A newspaperman, his jilted fiancée, and his lawyer hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news story into the truth, before a high-society woman can sue for libel. Starring Spencer Tracy, William Powell, Myrna Loy and Jean Harlow. Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
4/5/15: The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara: 2003. 95 minutes. History/ War. IMDB score: 8.2/10. Metacritic score: 87/100. Leonard Maltin’s rating: 3.5/4 stars. Directed by Errol Morris. A film about the former U.S. Secretary of Defense and the various difficult lessons he learned about the nature and conduct of modern warfare during the Vietnam War. Academy, National Board of Review, Chicago Film Critics Association, Independent Spirit, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and Toronto Film Critics Association Awards for Best Documentary. NOTE: April 30, 2015 will be the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War.
5/3/15: Safety Last!: 1923. 70 minutes. Silent Classic. Romantic Comedy/Thriller. IMDB score: 8.3/10. Leonard Maltin’s rating: 3/4 stars. Small-town boy Harold Lloyd moves to the big city, and goes to work as a department store clerk. But he tells his girl back home (Mildred Davis) he’s the manager. When she visits unexpectedly, he tries to exploit a publicity stunt by convincing a friend to climb the outside of a tall building. But when an angry policeman comes looking for his friend, Harold is forced to make the perilous climb himself. Even if you’ve never seen Safety Last!, you’ve probably seen the still photo of him hanging from the hand of a clock. Included in the National Film Registry by the National Film Preservation Board.
Anyone wishing to join the Talbot Cinema Society before the first meeting on Sept. 7 is welcome to mail his or her check to: Talbot Cinema Society, P.O. Box 222, Easton, MD 21601. Those who prepay their dues can pick up their membership cards at the box office. For more information, contact Pete Howell at email@example.com or 410-924-5752.