Spring Film Series 2013

Special Library of Congress Event

April 12:

Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall (1924) Directed by Marshall Neilan and Mary Pickford.  Mary Pickford, Allan Forrest, Marc McDermott (120 min).

Christel Schmidt, editor of Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies, a lavishly illustrated anthology on the legendary silent film actress, brings a touring film program to the NCMA.  Dorothy Vernon showcases Pickford as a plucky Tudor era heiress, navigating love, laughs and thrilling action in a silent era super production.  Dorothy evades an arranged marriage, falls in love with a family enemy and mixes it up with both Mary, Queen of Scots, and Elizabeth I. This restored, tinted print is from the Royal Belgian Film Archive, and was reconstructed from two nitrate prints, one Russian and one French. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences provided English intertitles.  After playing a select few dates in the US this print will return to Europe.  Live music by Ethan Uslan. A book signing will follow. Film Notes for Dorothy Vernon.


Vacanza Italiana

Allow the scented breezes of beautiful Italy entice you to book a holiday for which you travel (for now) no farther than the NCMA.  We begin with the exquisitely beautiful A Room with a View accompanying an innocent abroad, who is enchanted by the art and landscape of Tuscany.  The film has a spiffing supporting cast including Maggie Smith and Judy Dench along with youthful performances by Helena Bonham Carter and Daniel Day Lewis.  Marcello Mastrioanni was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar (rare for an actor performing in a non-English role) as he contemplates Divorce, Italian Style.   A railway tour of Italy, and its train stations, is an integral part of Von Ryan’s Express, which recapitulates the Allies victory over the Nazis in action movie form.  Cinema Paradiso visits a small town, where a passionate projectionist inspires a small boy.  Finally, we have a Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, which should be mandatory viewing for those contemplating visiting the Eternal City, which, in many ways, looks as it did half a century ago.  Andiamo!  Euros (or Lire) not required.


April 19:

A Room with a View (1985) Directed by James Ivory.  Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Daniel Day Lewis (117 min).
Dainty Lucy Honeychurch, overcome by the beauty of Florence, Italy, falls in love with the wrong man. Merchant Ivory’s most perfect film, winner of the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, balances Edwardian propriety with swooning passion. “An exceptionally faithful, ebullient screen equivalent to a literary work that lesser talents would embalm…like a holiday out of time” New York Times. Film notes for A Room with a View.

April 26:

Divorce Italian Style (1961) Directed by Pietro Germi.  Marcello Mastroianni, Daniela Rocca, Stefania Sandrelli  (104 min).  Italian with English subtitles.

During a scorching summer, a dissolute baron, living in a wing of the crumbling family palazzo, disdains the cloying warmth of his wife’s affection and lusts after his dewy cousin. Mastroianni was nominated for an Oscar, the screenplay won. “It remains a terrific entertainment, a European corollary to Preston Sturges” Chicago Reader. Film Notes for Divorce.

May 3:

Von Ryan’s Express (1965) Directed by Mark Robson.  Frank Sinatra, Trevor Howard, James Brolin (117 min.)
A rip snorting WW II action movie stars Sinatra as a cocky American POW leading his British comrades to commandeer their own prison train and steam it through Nazi occupied Italy to freedom. Shot on Italian locations with a real train and strafing Messerschmitts. “A wild adventure” (NY Times). Film Notes for Von Ryan's Express.

May 10:

Cinema Paradiso (1988) Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore.  Phillippe Noiret, Jacques Perrin, Salvatore Cascio. (123 min). Italian with English subtitles.

A film director returns to the village where his childhood was illuminated by the movies and the man who projected them. Winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. “There are films as lovely, but none lovelier than Cinema Paradiso, a folkloric salute to the medium itself, flickering with yesterday's innocence and lingering on the mind like bubbles in wine” (Washington Post). Film notes for Cinema Paradiso.

May 17:

Roman Holiday (1953) Directed by William Wyler.  Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert (118 min).
Enjoy a valentine to Rome and romance, as a princess eludes her minders for a few hours of freedom, a Vespa ride, some gelato, a really cool haircut and the promise of amore with reporter Gregory Peck.  Hepburn’s first starring role won her an Oscar (along with the costumes and screenplay) “A lacy mixture of frothy fun and bittersweet emotion”  (TV Guide). Film Notes for Roman Holiday.


Fridays, 8 pm
East Building
Museum Auditorium

Tickets $7 ($5 Students, NCMA members)

By phone:             (919) 715-5923      
In person: Museum Box Office, East Building.