by William R. Valerio
There is no bigger treat than “Tuesday Nights at the Movies” at Woodmere. On Tuesday evenings at 7:30, the Chestnut Hill Film Group presents a movie – it may be a popular favorite or an obscure film that deserves more attention. However, it will always be a film with artistic merit, worthy of being shown in a museum.
Passion drives the Film Group’s selections, and, in this age when we often watch movies on computers and even cell phone screens, the theatrical experience of seeing a movie at Woodmere on Chestnut Hill’s biggest screen, in a dark gallery with friends and neighbors, is especially enjoyable.
Museums always seek to present works of art to their best advantage and in the manner intended, and similarly the Film Group presents every film in its correct theatrical ratio and as it was meant to be seen. For example, if you are like me and “Cabaret” is one of your very favorite movies of all time, please join us on April 22 to see the newly restored version of this Hollywood masterpiece.
I’ve learned from Ralph Hirshorn, who leads the program and never misses a Tuesday at Woodmere, that most of us have only seen “Cabaret” through a low-quality, badly expurgated and washed-out print that has been the common version in circulation for some time. The vivid intensity of the restored Technicolor Cabaret promises to knock our socks off.
The other films of the season are of equal interest. We present Sidney Lumet’s beautifully photographed “The Verdict” (1982) on April 8. With a screenplay by David Mamet, “The Verdict” is considered one of Paul Newman’s best films (he plays an alcoholic attorney).
If you are a fan of Peter O’Toole and the extraordinary Siân Phillips, don’t miss “Murphy’s War” (1971) on April 1. The Italian neorealist romantic comedy, “I Fidanzati” (1963) on March 25, will be complemented on April 15 by the French film “Le Casse” (1971), a cat-and-mouse burglary film that stars Jean-Paul Belmondo, Omar Sharif and Dyan Cannon. Who knew that Ms. Cannon could act in French?
Ralph’s three-minute spiel on the special qualities of each movie is worth the price of admission (which is free, but with $5 suggested donation that covers the cost of museum security). More information is available at woodmereartmuseum.org/calendar/tuesday-nights-at-the-movies. See you there!
William R. Valerio, Ph.D, is the Patricia Van Burgh Allison Director and CEO of Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Ave. For more information, call 215-247-0476 or visit woodmereartmuseum.org.