Clint Eastwood + ‘Harry Potter’ = ‘The Decline of Western Civilization’? The Packard Campus connection
Besides Harry Potter (more on the bespectacled wizard further below), movies set in the world of music and/or radio are among the April 2016 highlights at the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper, Virginia.
Packard Campus Recorded Sound Curator Matt Barton selected the documentaries and narrative features in this particular program, which, according to the Theater’s press release, includes “several rarely projected films in original release prints from the Library’s holdings.”
Androgynous David Bowie, ‘Play Misty for Me’
Radio/music titles include:
- Clint Eastwood’s 1971 feature film directorial debut, the thriller Play Misty for Me, starring Jessica Walter as a woman obsessed with both a late night disc jockey (Eastwood) and the song “Misty,” jazzily played by Errol Garner at the piano. Also in the cast: Donna Mills, frequent Eastwood director Don Siegel (Dirty Harry, Escape from Alcatraz), and veteran actress Irene Hervey (Say It in French, Destry Rides Again) in her final film role.
- Jonathan Demme’s little-seen 1977 effort Handle with Care / Citizen’s Band, with American Graffiti actors Paul Le Mat and Candy Clark as a Nebraskan CB radio (a sort of “public access radio”) repair man and his former fiancée.
- D.A. Pennebaker’s 1973 rock concert documentary Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, toplining the recently deceased David Bowie as his alter ego, the androgynous Ziggy Stardust. D.A. Pennebaker received an Honorary Academy Award in 2012.
- Penelope Spheeris’ Los Angeles-set 1988 documentary The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, featuring the likes of Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, KISS, whether in concert or in interviews. There’s also quite a bit of undressing on screen; the strippers look great in dental-floss bikinis, but their Working Girl-like hairdos have apparently been deemed obscene. So, in order to prevent any further decline of the glorious Western Civilization, no one under 17 will be allowed at this particular screening without a parent or “guardian.” (The same goes for the equally R-rated Play Misty for Me.)
‘Harry Potter’ movies
But (just about) everyone is welcome to check out the final four Harry Potter movies on the first three days of April, as the Packard Theater continues with its “Harry Potter Spring Break Film Series,” with screenings at 7 p.m. each day, in addition to an added 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. (The first four Harry Potter movies will be screened March 28–31.)
In the Harry Potter flicks you’ll find dragons, demons, and a noseless Ralph Fiennes, but since neither the bespectacled Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) nor his archenemy Lord Voldemort (that’s Fiennes) parade around in teeny bikinis, it’s all family friendly fare. And that’s why the Harry Potter movie franchise, also starring Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, has grossed (not adjusted for inflation) $7.72 billion worldwide.
Besides the three leads and Fiennes, the cast of the Harry Potter movies is a Who’s Who of British (and at times Irish) cinema and stage, including the following:
Maggie Smith. Emma Thompson. Robert Pattinson. Julie Christie. Imelda Staunton. Julie Walters. David Thewlis. Richard Griffiths. Tom Felton. Michael Gambon. Alan Rickman. Gemma Jones.
Jim Broadbent. Frances de la Tour. Miranda Richardson. John Hurt. Richard Harris. Fiona Shaw. Shirley Henderson. Zoë Wanamaker. Helena Bonham Carter. Ciarán Hinds. John Cleese. Jonny Greenwood
Leslie Phillips. Toby Jones. Gary Oldman. Timothy Spall. Robbie Coltrane. Warwick Davies. Geraldine Somerville. Brendan Gleeson. Kelly Macdonald. Domhnall Gleeson. David Tennant.
Packard’s four in April 2016 Harry Potter movies, all directed by David Yates, are:
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007).
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009).
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010).
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011).
See also: “Order of Harry Potter Movies: From Most to Least Popular.”
Old soap operas
And finally, Packard Theatergoers will be able to check out two programs presented by the Metropolitan Washington Old Time Radio Club: these are broadcast recreations of two 15-minute soap operas from 1936 (Little Orphan Annie) and 1940 (John’s Other Wife), in addition to an episode of the private-eye series Pat Novak for Hire.
Ben Model will provide the musical accompaniment on the theater organ.
10th Orphan Film Symposium
In the second week of April, there will be no screenings as the Packard Campus will be hosting the 10th Annual Orphan Film Symposium, described as “an international gathering of archivists, scholars, curators, preservationists, technical experts, artists, and media-makers devoted to screening and discussing orphan films.”
The final event at the symposium, “Celebrating Sounds from Everywhere: A Medley,” is described as “a variety of rare short film and video works”; it’ll take place on Sat., April 9, at 8 p.m. at the State Theatre in Culpeper. The presentation, like all other Packard Campus programs, is free and open to the public.
As usual, short subjects will be presented before select programs. And titles are subject to change without notice.
For more details (and more upcoming movies), check out the Packard Theater website.
Jessica Walter Play Misty for Me image: Universal Pictures.
The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years trailer: New Line Cinema.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 wallpaper with Daniel Radcliffe: Warner Bros.