Showing posts with label Coolidge Corner Theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coolidge Corner Theatre. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Lonesome (1928) at the Coolidge Corner Theatre with Alloy Orchestra

Coolidge Corner Theatre sign lit up at night is a beauty to behold.
Lonesome (1928) on the Coolidge Corner Theatre marquee.

Last night was simply magical. I had the absolute pleasure of seeing Pál FejösLonesome (1928) on the big screen. This event took place at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, MA and was the grand finale of their Sounds of Silents repertory series. It included live musical accompaniment by the acclaimed Alloy Orchestra. I had seen the Alloy Orchestra before at the Somerville Armory back in 2009 for a Halloween screening of The Phantom of the Opera (1925). But that was so long ago and I was over due for another of their fine performances!  The combination of a great silent film and a wonderful musical performance all in a glorious Art Deco theater made for an unforgettable evening.

Before things got started, a contributor to the Sounds of Silents series, Dr. Martin Norman*, spoke briefly about the film. There were about 200 people in attendance but it was fairly certain that most of them were not aware of this hidden gem. In fact Dr. Norman asked the audience to raise their hands if they had either seen Lonesome (1928) before that night or had at least heard of it. My hand shot up proudly. I was one of maybe 7 others in the audience who did so. My good friend Jonas, who has been so instrumental in my education of the early history of film, introduced me to Lonesome. I enjoyed it when I saw it the first time but I fell in love with it deeply on this night.

Coolidge Corner Theatre and Alloy Orchestra's set-up

Lonesome (1928) was a perfect choice for musical accompaniment. The chaos of those first scenes with the hustle and bustle of a busy New York City and the manic hurly burly of the carnival just begged for music and sound effects. Lonesome is a part talkie. It was originally intended to be a silent movie but given the growing popularity of talkies and the major shift in the industry, it was decided to shoot and add three talking scenes to the picture.

Pre-screening talk.

The presenter noted that several critics feel like the talking scenes distract from the picture and he agreed with them. I don't agree. The shift felt strange to some and caused audience members to laugh, but the part talkie element of the film suits it so well in my opinion. 1928 was a time of transition in Hollywood. The industry was moving away from silents and to talkies but was still trying to figure out how to get there and what audiences wanted. It was also a time when the Roaring Twenties were fading away and the Great Depression was just on the horizon. It's my favorite time in movie history because it's so unique. There will never be a time of such change in film history ever again and this film is a beautiful example of that historic shift.

What I find fascinating about the three talking scenes is the fact that they are some of the quietest scenes in the picture. The silent scenes are manic and loud and the talking scenes are of quieter and more reflective moments. Quite the opposite of what you’d expect! Lonesome (1928) is probably the loudest silent film I’ve ever seen.

Alloy Orchestra at the Coolidge Corner Theatre

The Alloy Orchestra entertained the crowd with their magnificent accompaniment. The three man orchestra plays with a variety of instruments. I always enjoy the sound effects in particular the whistle used to accompany the high striker in one of the carnival scenes. Irving Berlin’s Always is integral to the plot of the story and is featured twice in the movie. In the final scene, one of the members of the Orchestra sings the song through a cone which gave his voice the effect of sounding like an old record. It was my favorite moment of the performance!

Lonesome (1928) is a timeless masterpiece that is unfairly overlooked. It’s message is still relevant today: if we don't take the time to connect with our fellow man we can be lonesome even when surrounded by many. It's message is still relevant to audiences more than 80 years later. The hectic hustle and bustle of 1928 as depicted in the film is very similar to the chaos of 2014. Our technologies are more advanced and our culture is very different but at the root of it all we still suffer from the same disconnect that is a result of a life frantically lived.

It’s a short film but it makes quite an impact on anyone who watches it. The film's stars Barbara Kent and Glenn Tryon are not big names but are perfectly suited for their roles. I particularly love the scenes of every day life. Jim and Mary getting ready in the morning, having breakfast, commuting to their jobs, working and clocking out at the end of the day. This movie is a time capsule of the late 1920s.

I went to see Lonesome (1928) all by my lonesome. I always used to always have a friend, or two or something 10 along with me to see a classic film on the big screen. Nowadays I'm lucky if I can drag my husband to a screening. Otherwise I just don't go. This made me think about reaching out to old friends, making new friends and also not being afraid to be lonesome. Being alone and putting yourself out there opens you up to the opportunity of meeting new people. And as we all know the new person dynamic is life changing.

Alloy Orchestra takes a bow.
Thank you to the Coolidge Corner Theatre and the Alloy Orchestra for a magical night!

*I'm not 100% of the presenter's name as I didn't write it down. If it's wrong, please let me know.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer of Classic Films in Boston ~ August 2011

Why would I ever leave this great city of mine? Look at the amazing selection of classic films being shown in Boston this month!


Tickets are $9, $7 for Students and Senior Citizens. Some screenings are $12 or even free (check the website)! Cash only folks. Don't bring the credit card. And you can NOT buy in advance so show up early.

Ride in the Whirlwind (1965)
August 5th (Friday) - 9:00 pm

Back Door to Hell (1964) 
August 7th (Sunday) - 5:00 pm

The Shooting (1968) 
August 7th (Sunday) - 7:00 pm
Special Event price of $12.00
Director Monte Hellman in attendance

Flight to Fury (1964)
August 15th (Monday) - 7:00 pm

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)
August 19th (Friday) 7:00 pm
August 21st (Sunday) - 5:00 pm

Dragonwyck (1946)
August 19th (Friday) - 9:15 pm

Cleopatra (1963)
August 20th (Saturday) - 7:00 pm

5 Fingers (1952) 
August 21st (Sunday) - 7:00 pm

House of Strangers (1949) 
August 22nd (Monday) - 7:00 pm

A Letter to Three Wives (1949)
August 26th (Friday) - 7:00 pm
August 28th (Sunday) - 5:00 pm

The Quiet American (1958)
August 26th (Friday) - 9:00 pm

Julius Caesar (1953) 
August 29th (Monday) - 7:00 pm


Brattle Theater - Cambridge

Tickets are $9.75, Matinees before 5 pm are $7.75. Students $7.75 with ID. Seniors $6.75. Children under 12 $6.75. You can also purchase one of many different membership packages.

Double Feature!
North by Northwest (1959)
August 2nd (Tuesday) - 2:30pm and 7:30pm
Vertigo (1958)
August 2nd (Tuesday) - 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm

These Amazing Shadows (2011) Documentary
See my review of it here and more about my experience here.
August 5th (Friday) - 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm
August 6th (Saturday) - Noon and 5:00 pm
August 7th (Sunday) - 7:30 pm

Double Feature!
It's a Gift (1934)
August 7th (Sunday) - 12:30 pm and 4:00 pm
Baby Face (1933)
August 7th (Sunday) - 2:15 pm and 5:45 pm

Double Feature! With Robert Mitchum!
On Dangerous Ground (1952)
August 8th (Monday) - 3:30pm
August 9th (Tuesday) - 5:30 pm and 9:30 pm
Cape Fear (1962) (new 35mm print)
August 8th (Monday) - 5:30pm

August 9th (Tuesday) - 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm

3:10 to Yuma (1957)
August 13th (Saturday) and 14th (Sunday) - 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 5:30 pm, 7:30 pm
August 15th (Monday) - 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm

Double Feature!
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
August 15th (Monday) - 3:00 pm
August 16th (Tuesday) - 3:00 pm and 7:15pm 
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
August 15th (Monday) - 5:15pm
August 16th (Tuesday) - 5:00 pm and 9:15 pm

Double Feature!
Romeo and Juliet (1968)
August 18th (Thursday) - 3:15 pm and 8:30 pm
The Taming of the Shrew (1967)
August 18th (Thursday) - 6:00 pm

Double Feature!
Amarcord (1973)
August 25th (Thursday) - 2:30 pm and 7:00 pm
The Clowns (1970)
August 25th (Thursday) - 5:00 pm and 9:30 pm

Double Feature! (tentative)
Citizen Kane (1941)
August 29th (Monday) - 2:15 pm
August 30th (Tuesday) - 2:15 pm and 7:00 pm
The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)
August 29th (Monday) - 4:45 pm
August 30th (Tuesday) - 4:45 pm and 9:30 pm


Somerville Theater - Somerville

Weekday matinees (before 5pm and not including Holidays) are $5. Saturday, Sunday and  Holiday matinees (before 6pm) are $7.00. All other times are $8.00. There are discounts for Senior Citizens and children under 12.

Jeff Rapsis - Silent Film Accompanist presents Buster Keaton with Live Music!
The High Sign (1921)
Cops (1922)
Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928)
August 7th (Sunday) - 7:00 pm
Special event pricing is $12 and $8 for students and seniors


Tickets are $9.75 for Adults and Matinees before 4 pm are $7.75. Children, Seniors (62+) and T.A.P. Card holders pay $6.75 Monday through Thursday and $7.75 Friday through Sunday. Membership is available and members pay $6.75 for all shows. $0.75 of each admission goes to the Capital Campaign Renovation fund.

August 8th (Monday) - 7:00 pm

August 15th (Monday) - 7:00 pm

August 29th (Monday) - 7:00 pm

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer of Classic Films in Boston - June 2011

Boston, Massachusetts is a haven for classic film lovers. We have so many wonderful repertory theatres that showcase classic films on the big screens. Summer is usually when it gets hopping, with lots of films to chose from. So even if you are not a local, the Summer is a great time to come visit Boston! I decided to highlight some of the classic film goings-on in the Boston area month by month this summer. Let's start with June which is already jam-packed with wonderful offerings.

Update: Laura of Laura's Miscellaneous Musings posted some LA classic film screening highlights on her blog. Here is the list.


Paramount Theater - Boston

The Paramount Theater, a gorgeous Art Deco theater in the heart of Boston's theatre district, opened in 1932 but closed in 1976. My graduate alma mater, Emerson College, renovated the building (while I was attending) and the theater had a grand reopening in 2010. They are showcasing a Noir Nights festival with screenings of rare Noirs (some unavailable on DVD) in their Bright Family Screening Room. It's not the theater proper but it is a good excuse to get out to the city to watch some rare Noirs!

Tickets are $10, $7.50 for Members and Seniors and $5 for Students. You can also get a festival pass for $30 which gets you in for 4 of the films. There is a membership package for Arts at Emerson which is $60 and gets you 8 free tickets to lots of shows, plus discounted tickets, discounted parking, etc. Sweet deals all around.

The Dark Mirror (1946)
June 9th (Thursday) - 6pm
June 12th (Sunday) - 7:15 pm

Cry of the City (1948)
June 9th (Thursday) - 7:45 pm

So Evil My Love (1948)
June 10th (Friday) - 7:00 pm

Alias Nick Beal (1949)
June 10th (Friday) - 9:00 pm

Tight Spot (1955)
June 11th (Saturday) - 7:00 pm

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956)
June 11th (Saturday) - 9:00 pm
June 12th (Sunday) - 5:30 pm


Brattle Theater - Cambridge

Tickets are $9.75, Matinees before 5 pm are $7.75. Students $7.75 with ID. Seniors $6.75. Children under 12 $6.75. You can also purchase one of many different membership packages.

Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948)
June 18th (Saturday) - 12:30 pm
June 19th (Sunday) - 12:30 pm

DOUBLE FEATURE! Two movies for the price of one.
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
June 19th (Sunday) 3:00 pm

The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
June 19th (Sunday) - 5:00 pm

Restored Print!
The African Queen (1951)
June 24 (Friday) - 5 pm, 7:15 pm
June 25th (Saturday) - 12:30 pm, 2:45 pm, 5 pm, 7:15 pm
June 26th (Sunday) - 12:30 pm, 2:45 pm, 5 pm, 7:15 pm
June 27th (Monday) through June 30th (Thursday) - 5 pm, 7:15 pm each day


Harvard Film Archive - Cambridge

Tickets are $9, $7 for Students and Senior Citizens. Some screenings are $12 or even free (check the website)! Cash only folks. Don't bring the credit card. And you can buy in advance so show up early.

(this is only a sampling)

Luis Buñuel Series

Viridiana (1961)
June 18th (Saturday) - 7pm

Land Without Bread (Las Hurdes: Tierra SIn Pan) (1933)
June 19th (Saturday) - 7pm

Belle de Jour (1967)
June 25th (Saturday) - 7pm


Coolidge Corner Theater - Brookline

Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
June 20th (Monday) - 7 pm


 Somerville Theater - Somerville

The Somerville Theater is hosting a Classic Film Series from June through August. Here are the June selections!

Captains Courageous (1937)
June 19th (Sunday) 11 am
June 20th (Monday) 5pm and 8pm

Double Indemnity (1944)
June 26th (Sunday) 11 am
June 27th (Monday) 5pm and 8pm

Thursday, May 12, 2011

These Amazing Shadows at the Coolidge Corner Theatre

Some weeks ago, I received an email from director Kurt Norton about These Amazing Shadows. I've been in kind of a classic movie slump and I was really hoping that this documentary (read/watch more about it here and read my review here) would help bring me out of it. And boy it did!

Carlos and I headed over to Coolidge Corner in Brookline, MA for the showing. Between the both of us we have the majority of film history covered (early part for me, later part for him). I knew that we would both enjoy the documentary in our own ways.

The documentary was shown at the historic Coolidge Corner Theatre on Tuesday May 10th.

The documentary was introduced by director Paul Mariano (who is a Boston native, woot!)

Before I had attend the event, I mentioned that I was going here and on Twitter. I got this message from none other than the Self-Styled Siren herself.

Really?! We all know that the Siren is a pretty big flippin' deal but I hadn't realized she was in the documentary. So when the Wizard of Oz portion came on, I quickly grabbed my iPhone and took a picture of the screen.

Yay! I hope she doesn't kill me for this.

After the film, there was a panel discussion moderated by film critic Jay Carr and featuring Robin Blaetz, film professor, George Willeman, the film preservationist from the Library of Congress who happened to be wearing a Roy Rogers tie and Paul Mariano, one of the two directors. It was great to hear a bit more about the documentary and to get some different perspectives on the making of it and what was featured, etc. After the discussion was over, I was very brave and went up and introduced myself to Paul Mariano who was very kind to greet me. He knew me by name which blew me away? Little ole me?

At the showing, we got these cool I Heart Movies buttons. Very neat. I wore mine with pride.

Thank you so much to Kurt Norton and Paul Mariano for inviting me to the screening. It was very nice of them. And a special thank to Kurt Norton who helped me a lot. I wish I could have met him to thank him in person.

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