A new Share a Movie with MoM plus the classic Films in the Forest spool superb films.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Two local film series launch within days of each other, and though they seem like similar animals, they have different stripes.
Armed with a new projector and stereo sound in their 90-seat theater, the Museum of Monterey’s Share a Movie with MoM will run one weekend a month until January 2013. The Forest Theater Guild’s Films in the Forest, among the pine trees of the 540-seat Outdoor Forest Theater, is a Carmel spring/summer tradition.
First, the line-up at MoM. The museum’s new film series is a collaboration with, and a dual fundraiser for, the Monterey County Film Commission, whose mission is to bring film-shoot revenue into the county. Their series of nine films complements the ongoing Music, Love & Flowers art exhibition, a love letter to the Monterey Pop Festival, and comes out of the art and politics of 1967. The content of the films – racism, crime, drugs, rebellion – are contrary to the lovey-dovey exhibit, says the museum’s executive director Lisa Coscino.
“Music, love and flowers is one part of what was happening,” she says. “These other things were happening that were very subversive and not about music, love and flowers.”
Film Commission board member Vince Arcaro helped pick the films. “I wanted to get movies that were popular at the box office, critically acclaimed, some a little bit out of the box,” he says.
Bonnie & Clyde, which opens the series this Friday, The Dirty Dozen, and In the Heat of the Night are Academy Award-winning classics. Come September, the “out of the box” factor shows up in Riot on Sunset Strip, an exploitation flick about the real-life 1966 Sunset Strip curfew riots of rock-and-roll youth (and grass! and sex! and sunglasses!); The Trip, a dated LSD-fueled psychedelic picture shot in L.A. and Big Sur starring Henry Fonda (who was arrested in the curfew riots); and Wait Until Dark, an admirable crime thriller starring Audrey Hepburn.
The series ends January 2013 with Easy Rider, a film Arcaro admits didn’t come out in 1967 (it’s from 1968) but was included anyway because, he says, “it feels like it is, everybody loves it, and it’s a good film to end the series with.” We can dig it.
Rebecca Barrymore worked for Monterey Pop Festival co-creator Lou Adler, and did post-production on the film Monterey Pop: “I did the 40th anniversary [of the film] a few years ago at Golden State Theatre,” she says.
But today she’s executive director of the Forest Theater Guild and spearheads their Films in the Forest, which began two decades ago, benefits the guild’s children’s programs, and runs a more compact twice-weekly schedule May 29-July 24 (and invites viewers to bring picnic baskets, blankets and libations). Each screening is sponsored by a local business or organization, which affords them a private reception before the public film. And the line-up includes shiny new surprises.
Their series starts Tuesday with a world premier film called Playground of Dreams, about tango dancers, artists and poets, shot at the former Alameda bar of writer Jack London and the scenic Angel Island. The evening begins with a 7:45pm performance by TANGO Dance Troupe, proceeds to the film 8:45pm, then filmmaker Sireen Daryadel and her cast and crew entertain a Q&A. The next few films are worthy and varied: DreamWorks’ WWI horse epic War Horse (8:30pm Wednesday, May 30), and Clint Eastwood’s classic Peninsula thriller Play Misty for Me (8:30pm Tuesday, June 5). Then the surprises.
The Henry Miller Library, restricted to fewer events at home, brings three nights of the Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series to the Outdoor Forest Theater: June 6, 13 and 20, $10 per night, with executive director Magnus Toren attending. On June 10, Monterey Bay Film Society brings Sundance curator Mike Plante’s Orbit Film Festival of Sundance shorts, attended by the editor of Dave Eggers’ Wholphin. (Full disclosure: Enid Baxter Blader, founder and co-director of the Film Society, is my partner.) June 12, the regularly programmed stellar stuff starts again with Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award-winning homage to film, Hugo; then Puss in Boots, Captain America, Singing in the Rain, Last Holiday (sponsored by the American Institute of Wine and Food), and more. (As with all of the films, visit our A&E Calendar for details week to week.)
“The magic of films speaks to people,” Barrymore says. “It’s the unifying thing that’s made film popular, bonds us all. That’s how I got introduced to the Forest Theater – someone invited me the first week I was here in 1998. It’s a great, fun thing.”
Share a Movie with MoM begins 5pm Friday with a mixer (7pm film), and 2pm Saturday, at Museum of Monterey, 5 Custom House Plaza, Monterey. $10/adult; $5/student, military, senior; free/museum member. 372-2608, www.museumofmonterey.org.
Films in the Forest begins 7:45pm Tuesday with a tango performance (8:45pm film), and 8:30pm Wednesday, at Outdoor Forest Theater, Santa Rita and Mountainview, Carmel. $7-$10. 626-1681, www.foresttheaterguild.org