Thursday, May 3, 2012

Liberty Hall's Film Church Begins Sunday: We Interview Liberty's Maggie! / Plus, A Suburban Film Series in the Burbs

Sure, we'll be seeing Avengers six times this summer like the rest of you geeks, but consider starting your summer off with two cool new film series.

The first is tonight, as the "Suburban Film Series" kicks off at 7:15 at the Rio in the 'burbs of Overland Park with the 1979 cult-classic Over the Edge: see the cool poster below.  We'll be on hand talking (pompously) about suburban malaise for a few minutes prior to the film.  Future films on the first Thursday of every month this summer include Fast Times at Ridgemont High ("I know that dude!"),  Edward Scissorhands (remember when Tim Burton was still awesome?), and American Beauty ("Honey, don't be weird!"). 

And on Sunday, right here in LFK, Liberty Hall brings us the first installment of Film Church, a new series of classic films shown on Sunday mornings at 11:30 and accompanied by brunch and Bloody Mary's.   The first film:  a 35 mm print of Annie Hall!  Check out the cool poster Aaron Marable made for the event below.

And today we're chatting with Maggie from Liberty Hall about Film Church, the best Woody flicks, whether or not Maggie's prettier than TCM's host Robert Osborne, and whether or not this series will ever contain films with badass explosions in them.  To avoid TOO much direct overlap with Nick Spacek's Pitch piece , we're condensing our interview a bit.

Richard:  As far as I can tell, Film Church is pretty much the best idea ever.  Tell our readers how it originated andwhat all will be involved at the screenings.

Maggie:  Well, you are absolutely spot on: Film Church is the best idea ever! We have been dreaming of doing a “classic” film series for a few years now (that’s “classic” as in “good art”, not just “classic” as in “old”)... [and Sunday is] a good day to lazily listen to someone talk about something, especially if that something is film. Then Mick Cottin (our cinema manager) and Aaron Marable cooked up the brilliant idea of having brunch and a Bloody Mary while we watch the good movie (consider it an elaborate form of communion). Altogether, it’s a perfect way to spend a Sunday.

Richard:  Why was Annie Hall chosen as the inaugural film of the series?  And what's your personal favorite Woody Allen film?  I think I'm going with Manhattan.

Maggie:  Mick and Aaron wanted to start with Annie Hall and I think it’s a great first choice. It is one of those films that baby film nerds cut their teeth on, and it’s still beautiful every time I watch it. When you see a film, especially a comedy, which is so marvelously constructed, you begin to really appreciate the possibilities of film as an art.

As for my personal favorite Woody Allen film? Oh, man… Manhattan is really good…  It’s a tough choice, but I’d have to say my favorite is Sweet and Lowdown. The career of Emmet Ray is such a great story. And I love the way Allen incorporates documentary elements into this biopic. There are some really great performances too. It is easily my favorite Sean Penn performance, and Samantha Morton is just divine. And the whole picture is brimming with wonderful music. It’s just so watchable!

Chip:  I plan to eat a fucking LOT of biscuits and gravy at this event.  Is it all you can eat?

Maggie:  Well, that’s really the most important question, and I’m ashamed I don’t know the answer to it.  You know how it is at these sorts of things: the subtle and sophisticated set that is likely to attend such an event are too polite to tell you to stop eating. That’s sort of the same as all you can eat, isn’t it? If nothing else, you can have my share, Chip… of biscuits and gravy, NOT my bloody Mary!

Richard:   We hear you'll be doing an introduction to the film.  Will there be jokes?  Will you do a Woody Allen impression?  Or a re-enactment of the classic lobster scene?

Maggie:  Ah, yes, my “sermon”. I will be giving a brief introduction, explaining why we chose the film... Sort of like Robert Osborne on Turner Classic Movies, only slightly more acerbic (and I’m not as pretty as him). I will be doing my best Maggie Allen impression. People tell me it’s fairly convincing. No lobsters though; not only do I not speak shellfish, I am also allergic to them.

Chip:  When I'm hungover on Sundays, the films I seek out are usually not about neurotic New York intellectuals but rather films where shit blows up a lot, or perhaps where somebody is getting kicked hilariously in the balls at regular intervals.  Am I out of luck with this series?

Maggie:  Not entirely out of luck. I can think of a few films off the top of my head which will probably make it into the series which offer something in the way of explosions, and maybe even one or two groin shots. But, Film Church is just once a month, so that still gives you three Sundays a month to watch RoboCop and Spaceballs (and you should).

Richard:  If you could get access to any print, what would be your dream film for a future installment of Film Church?

Maggie:  This is easy: The Third Man. If you asked me to list the best films of all time and my favorite films of all time, it would be two very different lists. After all, the best films I’ve seen are not necessarily the same as the ones I watch again and again (I’ve seen Overboard about ten times more than I’ve seen Citizen Kane, but I’m not confused about which one is a better film). Having said that, at the top of both of those lists would be The Third Man. It is perfect: gorgeous, funny, charming, dark, suspenseful, and bittersweet. There is not a better combination of writing, directing, photography, and acting talent. And I have never had a chance to see it on a big screen. I think it would be damned difficult to get a print of it, but I desperately, selfishly desire to show that one. Honestly, it would make me so happy I would cry.


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