It's too bad I'm posting this a little too late, as the Library of Congress' Packard Campus Theater welcomed the year 2011 with a screening of one of the best Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musicals, The Gay Divorcee (1934). And screening tonight at 7:30 p.m. — there's still time if you live (very) near Culpeper, VA — is the 1982 original TRON, starring Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner. [Packard Campus January 2011 schedule.]
Also of interest in the upcoming days are My Neighbor Totoro (1988), directed by Hayao Miyazaki, one of the precious few animators out there actually capable of creating magical worlds (sorry, Pixar); John Boorman's Excalibur (1981), a visually stunning retelling of the Arthurian legends; and Ingmar Bergman's cryptic Shame (1968), starring Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann as an apolitical couple who find themselves trapped in the midst of a civil war.
I've never been a big fan of Henry King's Twelve O'Clock High (1949), but this psychological military drama has lots of admirers. Trainspotting launched Danny Boyle's international career, while The Crowd (1928) may well be King Vidor's best film. As the working-class wife and mother, Eleanor Boardman, Vidor's wife at the time, delivers one of the greatest performances of the 1920s.
All shows are free, but children twelve and under must be accompanied by an adult. The theater is at the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation located at 19053 Mt. Pony Rd. in Culpeper, VA.
Reservations are encouraged and can be made one week in advance (for Saturday shows the previous Friday.) Call the information line at (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994 Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 p.m. Reservations are held until ten minutes before show time.
In case of inclement weather, check the reservation line no sooner than three hours before show time to see if the movie has been cancelled. Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov
The theater lobby will open 45 minutes before show time. Most programs are preceded by an informative slide presentation about the film and music selected by the Recorded Sound Section of the Library of Congress. Short subjects will be presented before select programs. Titles are subject to change without notice.
Images: Library of Congress