2003 Summer Films at the NC Museum of Art

Summer brings to the Museum Park the creme de la creme of recent independent-minded cinema, as well as a tasty line-up of classic films centered on the notion of flight, saluting the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers Kitty Hawk landmark.

Bring a blanket, a picnic and a low beach chair to enjoy the summer films under the stars.

Ticket information, maps and concert listings available at: www.ncartmuseum.org

Dennis Quaid Weekend:

Friday, June 6:

The Rookie (2002) Directed by John Lee Hancock. Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths, Brian Cox. (127 min.) Rated G

"If you don't have your dreams, you don't have anything." It's hard to love baseball in football-crazy West Texas, but Jimmy Morris can't help it. A high school coach who blew his youthful chance for the bigs digs deep in this family friendly, emotionally satisfying baseball weepie. Do you remember seeing the real-life Morris when he played for the Durham Bulls?

Saturday, June 7:

Far From Heaven (2002) Written and directed by Todd Haynes. Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert. (107 minutes) PG-13 for mature themes.

Hidden desires may be carried aloft on the most innocuous autumn breeze. The exquisite control of a "nice" Connecticut family is shattered when a love that dare not speak its name can no longer be silent. A celebration of the overwrought 1950s dramas of Douglas Sirk, Far From Heaven's lush production design, perfect cinematography and swoony Elmer Bernstein score reflect a cracked mirror image of a repressed decade. "A work of enthralling drama--a deconstruction of the Hollywood soap opera that is also a full-fledged, utterly unironic masterpiece of the form." (Owen Gleiberman) Or, as the director said, "I really wanted people to cry."


Saturday, June 13:

Airplane! (1980) Written and Directed by Jim Abrams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker. Robert Hayes, Julie Hagerty (88 min.) PG for a tad of sex.

A Mad Magazine pie in the face skewering disaster movies, war movies, safari movies, Saturday Night Fever, From Here to Eternity--you name it. Former pin-ups Leslie Neilson, Robert Stack and Peter Graves reinvent themselves as goofballs in a beloved parody that is more silly than naughty. There are so many gags even the biggest sourpuss will find something to laugh at. Brush up on your Reagan jokes.

Friday, June 20:

About a Boy (2002) Directed by Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz. Hugh Grant, Toni Collette, Nicholas Hoult (101 min.) PG-13 for language and mature themes.

A layabout dreamboat, living on the proceeds of his father's long ago Christmas novelty song, lives for smart clothes, chic meals, his media collection and casual sex. His plans go awry when a needy kid intrudes into his cocoon and he reluctantly pays attention to someone other than himself. Based on a novel by that saavy chronicler of interminable male adolescence, Nick Hornsby. "About a Boy is that rare romantic comedy that dares to choose messiness over closure, prickly independence over fetishized coupledom and honesty over typical Hollywood endings." (Ann Hornaday).

Friday, June 27:

Adaptation (2002) Directed by Spike Jonze. Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper (112 min.) R for language, sex, violence.

As Charlie Kaufman struggles to adapt an unwieldy book length essay into a snappy movie script, his wildly irritating identical twin brother Douglas taunts him with the ease at which he creates his own cliché-ridden screenplay. Nicholas Cage perfectly conveys the agony of the blank page, and the film crafts quite a good version of "The Orchid Thief" while excavating wickedly beneath the book's text. Chris Cooper rocks as cunning orchid obsessive John Laroche. "Adaptation is a movie that gleefully swallows its own tale." (J. Hoberman). First, a free performance by modern dance masters Eiko and Koma.


Saturday, June 28:

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) Directed by Nicholas Meyer. William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Ricardo Montalban. (113 min.) PG for violence and language.

The Starship Enteprise is the heart and soul of mid-century America's most potent folklore universe. In the best of the big screen Trek movies, Captain Kirk has a midlife crisis, Mr. Spock makes the supreme sacrifice, and William Shatner finally meets his scenery-chewing match in the magnificent Ricardo Montalban. Feel free to dress in costume and feel the love.


Saturday, July 12:

Spirited Away (2002) Directed by Hayao Miyazaki. (124 minutes) PG for scary moments.

Picked #1 film of the year by numerous critics, including Dave Kehr of the New York Times, the director said he offered this engaging anime to girls as a heroic alternative to the limiting societal goals of love and marriage. "An animated masterwork about an unhappy suburban girl plunged into a looney-sinister world of mud gods, weird sisters and radish spirits--an instant classic, it's Lewis Carrroll gone deliriously Japanese" (John Powers). "Spirited Away has the emotional resonance of classic Disney, and the expressive elegance of a wood block print." (Dave Kehr)


Friday, July 18:

From Here to Eternity (1953) Directed by Fred Zinnemann. Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed, Frank Sinatra (118 min) NR suggested PG for mature themes.

Oscar's Best Picture of 50 years ago depicts the isolation and boredom of a Honolulu army post just before December 7, 1941, changes everything. The taboo shattering lust and institutional brutality portrayed James Jones' novel were first thought unfilmable. Lancaster and Kerr's surf-kissed embrace is one of the classic romantic scenes in movies. Powerhouse highlights include Clift's struggle with the clash between individualism and a military career, Reed's scandalous "party hostess" and Frank Sinatra's shattered image as a boyish crooner. Film Notes for From Here to Eternity.



Saturday, July 19:

Monsoon Wedding (2001) Directed by Mira Nair. Naseeruddin Shah, Lillete Dubey, Shefali Shetty (114 min.) R for language and mature themes.

Drenched in tropical heat and intense color, this romantic comedy tangles several plots involving a vast extended family arriving to celebrate an arranged marriage in Delhi. Tradition clashes with modernity and the squabbling escalates as love conquers all in unexpected ways. Nair based this homage to and a tweak of Bollywood musicals on her own family. "By the climax, you're so transported you can almost smell the spices and feel the humidity on your skin." (David Edelstein). First, a concert of Indian fusion music by Project Mastana.


Friday, July 25:

Spiderman (2002) Directed by Sam Raimi. Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Willem Dafoe. (118 min.) PG-13 for stylized violence.

Gentle Peter Parker meets his fanged fate in a Columbia University science lab. The RNA revenge of a genetically altered spider results in the birth of--Spiderman! Maguire's soulful eyes update the alter-ego and challenge raging Willem Dafoe. Spidey and the Green Goblin don form-fitting supergarb to embody the good and evil versions of ripped abs.


Saturday, July 26:

The Thief of Bagdad (1924) Directed by Raoul Walsh. Douglas Fairbanks, Julanne Johnstone, Anna May Wong. (139 min) Rated G.

An enchanted Arabian Nights fantasy unfolds against a dazzling Art Deco kingdom as a lowly thief quests for the love of a dainty princess. Flying carpets, winged horses, fearsome beasts and an invisibility cloak are a few of the state of the art special effects, the main one being Fairbanks' boisterous athleticism and joyful smile. "It's a film for all ages and for all decades. It's a feast for the eyes, a humor-filled adventure story and a great star vehicle." (Jeannine Basinger). Museum of Modern Art silent film accompanist Ben Model will provide an original score.



Friday, August 1:

Star Wars (1977) Written and directed by George Lucas. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford. Carrie Fisher, (121 min) PG for sci-fi violence.

A long time ago in a galaxy far away…but it seems like only yesterday since we fell in love with Luke, Leia, Han and the gang. No plans to bring Star Wars out on DVD, but it's back on the big screen for one night. "I was nineteen. I had walked into the office to meet Lucas for Star Wars. I read the scene with Harrison. I bought the ticket to ride and rode it to the end. Had I known the film was going to make that loud a noise, I would have dressed better and refused to wear that insane hair." (Carrie Fisher).

Saturday, August 2:

Chicago (2002) Directed by Rob Marshall. Renee Zellweger, Catharine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah (110 min.) PG-13 for suggestive dancing, gunfire and swearing.

Star-struck Roxie Hart shoots her lover down and unleashes a tawdry tabloid frenzy. Razzle-dazzling Bob Fosse style production numbers shimmy and shake out of Roxie's imagination onto the Chicago jail's Murderess' Row, where she has joined her idol, vixen Velma Kelly. Chicago is this year's Oscar sweetheart. "It gives anyone who ever loved movie musicals and lamented their demise something to live for." (Stephanie Zachareck). First, a concert by Katharine Whalen and Her Jazz Squad.


Alfred Hitchcock's Birthday!

Friday, August 8:

North by Northwest (1959) Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason (136 min.) Not rated, but suitable for all ages.

The innocent man wrongly accused + the cool blonde temptress + the heartstopping climax = classic Hitchcock. An advertising executive having a drink at the Plaza Hotel is mistaken for a spy and finds himself running for his life from a crop duster in a deserted Midwestern cornfield and skittering off the giant heads of Mt. Rushmore. "North by Northwest is rightfully acclaimed as Hitchcock's greatest comic thriller" (Paul Condon and Jim Sangster). Rescheduled do to two years of thunderstorms; third time's the charm. Film Notes for North by Northwest.



Friday, August 15:

Superman (1978) Directed by Richard Donner. Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder. (143 min.) PG for scary situations.

An epic retelling of the comic book favorite, as Superman continues to fight for Truth, Justice and the American Way. Reeve's impish Clark Kent contrasts pleasingly with his modest superhero. Cackling Gene Hackman relishes Lex Luthor's villainy, and a svelte Marlon Brando presides over his son's heroic destiny. Awesome planetary production design clashes with hideous 1970s hair and clothes.

Outrageous Liars Weekend!

Friday, August 22: 8:30 pm

The Producers (1968) Written and Directed by Mel Brooks. Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Kenneth Mars (88 min) PG for bad taste.

Rapacious Max Bialystock and his nervous bookeeper Leo Bloom hit on a larcenous investment scheme in which they clean up by producing a Broadway play that simply MUST fail. And then, they find "Springtime for Hitler." The origin of the phrase "creative accounting" (really!) "This is one of the funniest movies ever made…like a bomb going off inside the audience's sense of propriety." (Roger Ebert). Film Notes for The Producers.



Saturday, August 23: 8:30 pm

Catch Me If You Can (2002) Directed by Steven Spielberg. Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken (141 min.) PG-13 for sexual content, brief language

Frank Abagnale, Jr., a teen-aged paragon of unmitigated gall, impersonates an airline pilot, a surgeon, and an attorney, leaving behind a blizzard of fake checks and broken hearts. Done in high 1960s style, this breezy entertainment about a rascally liar is directed by a master. Tom Hanks plays the dogged FBI investigator on Abagnale's tail with an undercurrent of wry humor. "Catch Me If You Can is a blast from start to finish" (Jeffrey M. Anderson)

Friday, September 5: 8:30 pm

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) Directed by Joel Zwick. Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Michael Constantine (96 min.) PG for mild sensuality and language.

When mousy Toula gave herself a beauty make-over to catch the eye of hunky Ian, little did know she was making over the whole independent film industry. Vardalos wrote and stars in a romance filled with optimism, laughs and embarrassing ethnic relatives-- and without a potty mouth. This warmhearted hit is deserving of every bit of its unprecedented success. "You are charmed as much as tickled into laughing" Desson Howe. First, a concert of traditional Greek music by Parea.

Saturday, September 6: 8:30 pm

Frida (2002) Directed by Julie Taymore. Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Ashley Judd. (118 min.) R for nudity, sex and language

Tiny Selma Hayek embodies monumental feminist icon Frida Kahlo in this sensual, brilliantly hued film, filled with delectable food, rivers of tequila and associated hedonist pursuits. Director Taymore evokes the act of creation with magical realist interludes, and reveals how Frida and Diego's tempestuous domestic arrangements turned anguish into art.

Ticket information, maps and concert listings available at: www.ncartmuseum.org