Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Wins 1966 Movie Poll!

Who's Afraid of Virginia WoolfThe winner of this year’s 50th anniversary movie poll is Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

The top ten follows:

  1. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (34 votes/ 4 lists)
  2. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (27 votes/ 4 lists)
  3. A Man For All Seasons (25 votes/ 4 lists)
  4. A Man and A Woman (15 votes/ 3 lists)
  5. Persona (14 votes/ 2 lists)
  6. Fahrenheit 451 (14 votes/ 2 lists)
  7. The Battle of Algiers (12 votes/ 2 lists)
  8. The Sand Pebbles (10 votes/ 2 lists)
  9. The Fortune Cookie (8 votes/ 2 lists)
  10. Alfie (8 votes/ 2 lists)

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? won Oscars for Best Actress (Elizabeth Taylor), Best Supporting Actress (Sandy Dennis), Best Cinematography (b&w), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, and Best Costume Design (b&w).

Thank you to everyone who participated!

 

Wyo Theatre Memberships Available

WyoTheatre03-27-16Laramie’s historic Wyo Theatre is going forward as a cinema. The theater is offering affordable memberships ($10 individual/ $15 family) available now with the goal of creating a membership of 50 by early April. Members will have the following benefits: $3 admission, with a free small popcorn; members can bring one “guest” per individual member at $5 per ticket; $1 refills on combined soda and popcorn; and no commercials before the feature presentation. Members will receive an advance schedule of all upcoming films. The Wyo Theatre is a 90-year-old landmark in Laramie and the Laramie Film Society looks forward to its grand re-opening. The Wyo Theatre’s website is:  http://www.wyolaramie.com/ and their membership form can be found here: http://www.wyolaramie.com/membership316.pdf

New members will be voting on whether the first film screened is CHI RAQ or MALEFICENT.

Laramie Film Society 1966 Movie Poll

1966MovieposterbannerIt’s that time again!
 
The Laramie Film Society is conducting a poll of its members of the greatest films of 1966. When movies reach their 50th anniversary, the time is ripe for an evaluation of their merits.  With an eye on creating discussion of classic films, the Laramie Film Society annually polls its members on the greatest films celebrating their golden anniversary. This year, the LFS will examine the films of 1966— a year that saw such now-classic films as: Alfie; Blow-Up; The Endless Summer; Fantastic Voyage; The Fortune Cookie; Gambit; Georgy Girl; The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly; A Man and A Woman; A Man For All Seasons; Persona; The Professionals, The Sand Pebbles; Seconds; Tokyo Drifter; and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Criteria to include: entertainment value, influence on later movies, endurance in popular culture, artistic cinema technique, and re-watchability. See voting rules in the left hand column of this blog.

Doctor Zhivago at the Gryphon Theatre

drzhivago-flyer-printThe Laramie Film Society thanks the Laramie Plains Civic Center’s Gryphon Theatre and all who attended last night’s screening of Doctor Zhivago. The 50th anniversary presentation brought the epic film back in all its glory. Thanks as well to Vicki Schuster for yet another great poster!

The Laramie Film Society thanks its 2015 sponsors: the Alibi Pub, Mizu Sushi restaurant, and Turtle Rock Coffee and Cafe, all local Laramie businesses who support all of our programs.

Zhivagoscreen1Above, a shot of the movie as it played [exit sign on far right will give you an idea of the size of the screen]; below, attendees exit the theater following the screening.

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LFS Outdoor Summer Screenings

Bobsilentpic2015This past July, a Laramie Film Society tradition continued with the screening of silents on 16mm during the Jubilee Days street dance on July 10. Bob Roten threads up the films in the photo at left.

On August 8, the Laramie Film Society presented “The Little Shop of Horrors” (1960) in the courtyard of the Alibi Pub. The LFS thanks the Alibi for the space, and for being one of our 2015 sponsors! Click the photo below for a video link showing what it was like. The Laramie Film Society thanks member Brittney Beck for shooting photos during this event for us! Below, the LFS’ Bob Roten and John Davis set up the screening.

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Doctor Zhivago Wins! Top Ten of ’65 Follows

DrZhivago_AsheetDoctor Zhivago is the winner of the 1965 movie poll– in a very close race with The Sound of Music. Below, is the top ten as voted….

1. Doctor Zhivago (57 votes/ 7 lists) 

2. The Sound of Music (50 votes/ 8 lists) 

3. For a Few Dollars More (40 votes/ 6 lists) 

4. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (35 votes/ 6 lists) 

5. A Patch of Blue (22 votes/ 3 lists) 

6. Cat Ballou (21 votes/ 4 lists) 

7. The Collector (20 votes/ 3 lists) 

8. Thunderball (19 votes/ 4 lists) 

9. The Great Race (19 votes/ 2 lists) 

10. Ship of Fools (18 votes/ 5 lists)

Film Review: Alphaville (1965) by Patrick Ivers

kinopoisk.ru-Alphaville_2C-une-_26_23233_3Btrange-aventure-de-Lemmy-Caution-674800Sci-fi drama set in a utopian society where emotions are forbidden.
 
(b/w; Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution, French). Posing as Ivan Johnson, a journalist from the Outlands, Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constantine), secret agent 003, wearing a trench coat & brimmed hat, checks into a hotel in the futuristic city of Alphaville, 9,000 km from his planet. A hostess, Beatrice, seductress 3rd class, offers to bathe with him; a man barges into the room, attempting to attack him, which he later leans was a psycho-test. “All things weird are normal in this whore of cities,” he declares. Lemmy’s assignment is to find & bring back Professor Leonard Vonbraun (Howard Vernon), formerly known as Dr Nosferatu of Los Alamos, inventor of the death ray, “alive, or liquidate.” But first he intends to locate Henri Dickson (Akim Tamiroff). Miss Natasha Vonbraun (Anna Karina) comes to the hotel room with an offer to take him to the gala reception of the city’s annual festival. As they walk down the hotel corridor, listening to her explanation of providing services for visitors, Johnson asks with incredulity: “You never have love affairs?… Has no one ever fallen in love with you?” “In love?” she replies: “What is that?”
 
A legend can make complex reality easier to communicate in director/writer Jean-Luc Godard’s sci-fi drama of a utopian society, in which asking “why” rather than saying “because” is forbidden, sometimes employing film negatives in scenes. Neon signs of “hf=mc2” & its alternative equivalent “E=mc2” flash momentarily throughout the film.
 
Dickson lives at the Red Star Hotel on Enrico Fermi, after Heisenberg Blvd, not far from Mathematical Park. On the drive, Natasha, repeating in her “pretty sphinx voice” what she’s been taught, tells Johnson, who asks her if Prof Vonbraun is her father (yes, though she’s never seen him): “No one’s lived in the past or will live in the future.” When Dickson arrives at the Red Star, Johnson gives him US currency with which Henri pays for his room key & a seductress.
 
Many people who cannot adapt to Alphaville’s highly organized lifestyle, from which all artists have been eliminated, commit suicide; others who behave illogically are executed. With is dying breath, Henri begs Johnson to make Alpha 60 self-destruct. The seductress drives Johnson to the south district where he enters the Central Memory complex of Alpha 60’s logic organization. “The present is the form of all life,” declares the computer, describing life & death as a circular pattern. Words change meanings, or meanings change words. Next Lemmy travels to the north district where he joins Natasha for a display of executions performed at a swimming pool with girls diving into the water where the victims fall after being shot. Natasha says to Johnson, taking photographs of people getting shot for expressing their emotions: “Isn’t that a crime in the Outlands?”
 
In an elevator, as Lemmy tries to speak to Prof Vonbraun alone, he’s prevented by a couple of thugs who beat him senseless. When Natasha sees him, tears flow, though she denies she’s crying because that is forbidden. Interrogated by Alpha 60 (“working for universal good”), Johnson after answering the questions hears the mechanical voice pronounce: “You are hiding certain things.” In answer to Johnson’s inquiry about Dr Nosferatu, he’s told that the scientist, who was exiled from the Outlands in 1964, no longer exists, only Professor Vonbraun. Johnson is introduced to Professors Jeckell & Heckell, who expect a war with the Outlands, so Johnson could be useful. Back in his hotel room, Lemmy finds Natasha waiting for him, admitting: “When I’m with you, I’m afraid.” He reads poetry to her from The Capital of Pain by French surrealist poet Paul Éluard. Among the words she doesn’t comprehend – words disappear every day, replaced by new words, confusing communication – is “conscience”; she searches the room for a Bible, which when she finds it (“conscience” not in it) is actually a dictionary. Alpha 60 tries to bribe Johnson with an offer of his taking charge of a galaxy with its gold & women; he poses a riddle to the computer: “If you find it, you will destroy yourself simultaneously because you will become my kin, my brother.”
 
***

 

Alphaville is available at UW’s Coe Library.

Patrick is a regular contributor to Laramie Movie Scope. See many more reviews of his at: http://www.lariat.org/AtTheMovies/old/others.html

Film Review: Loves of a Blonde (1965) by Patrick Ivers

sw01Romantic comedy wherein a provincial factory girl follows a pianist to Prague.
 
(1965, b/w; Lásky jedné plavovlásky, Czech). A reserve military unit is sent to the provincial town of Zruc where young factory girls, relocated by the Communist government, outnumber the male population sixteen to one. Three soldiers send a bottle of wine over to three girls at a dance mixer, but the waiter initially delivers it to the wrong table, before correcting his mistake. One of the men, accidentally dropping his wedding ring on the floor, retrieves it by crawling under the table where the bottle had originally been sent. Retreating to the ladies room after spending some time dancing with the soldiers & visiting at their table, having been asked to accompany them for some fun, Jana (Jana Nováková) says to Marie (Marie Salačová: “I’m not going. Those old geezers will try to drag us to the woods.” The third girl, Andula (Hanu Brejchovou), chats with the young pianist, Milda ((Vladimir Pucholta), who while reading her palm remarks on her long life line & a scar. Andula confesses to once having attempted suicide. He induces the coy girl up to his room & cleverly – ostensibly while demonstrating methods of how to defend herself from someone being a nuisance – gets her to disrobe. In bed with him, she asks him to pull down the window shade, initiating a comic routine.
 
Behind the iron curtain in this romantic comedy from director & co-screenwriter Milos Forman – with Jaroslav Papousek, Ivan Passer, & Václav Sasek – Andula says to Milda, “I don’t trust you,” & then she does with her entire heart. Repeatedly Milda assures her: “I don’t have a girl in Prague.” He compliments her as having an angular figure like a guitar in a Picasso painting.
 
At the conclusion of their weekend together, Milda returns to Prague & Andula to the shoe factory. Her previous boyfriend, Tonda (Antonin Blazejovsky), after a month’s absence, shows up, demanding that she wear or return the gold ring with a diamond that he gave her. Andula refuses: “You’re disgusting like a beast.” If they want to win a decent boy who will become the husband who will love & cherish them forever, a female comrade instructor exhorts the factory girls that they must hold onto their personal honor while earning respect from the boys by not going out with someone different every time. They all pledge to improve their conduct. Andula, catching a ride on a truck to Prague, appears in the evening at the home of Milda’s parents with suitcase in hand. Informed by Milda’s father (Josef Sebánek) that he doesn’t keep track of his son’s whereabouts, she asks if she may leave her suitcase while she goes out looking for him. “Incredible,” exclaims Milda’s mother (Milda Jezková) when her husband relates the unexpected appearance of a girl asking for Milda: “I’m worried about him.”
 
Unable to leave the building because the exit door is locked, Andula returns to ask to be let out. Instead, Milda’s mother insists on the girl’s coming inside, asking her about why she has made an appearance with apparent intention of spending the night. While his wife worries about what the neighbors will think, Milda’s father says: “We’ll fix up a bed for her. We can’t throw her out.” When Milda returns after midnight from an evening of playing piano & enjoying female company, he tells his father he didn’t invite anyone to come see him, until he recognizes Andula.
 

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Loves of a Blonde is available at UW’s Coe Library.

Patrick is a regular contributor to Laramie Movie Scope. See many more reviews of his at: http://www.lariat.org/AtTheMovies/old/others.html

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