Showing posts with label Paramount Theater. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paramount Theater. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) at the Paramount

My name is on the ticket!!!

I was recently invited by ArtsEmerson to attend one of the Noir Nights screenings being shown at the Paramount Theatre. While I wish I could have seen them all, but I only had time to catch Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956). Although it is the only film in the series that was available on DVD (through Warner Archive), they did show a rare print and it was great to watch it on the big(gish) screen.

The film was shown in the Bright Family Screening room which is part of the Paramount Theater building . While I was hoping to see a film in the grand 1,700 seat theater, I realize that the screening rare noir won't fill up a space that large. In fact, about 35-40 people attending this particular screening. However, I was very, very happy for any excuse to be inside the great Paramount Theater!

Now most currently active classic film bloggers are too new to the blogosphere to remember Ginger (of Asleep in New York) and her scathing and spoiler-ridden review of Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956). I remembered it though. At least I remembered it was scathing. That's pretty much all I remembered because when I went to the screening of the film I had absolutely no idea what it was about. Just that Ginger didn't like it. And you know what, coming to a film almost completely ignorant makes for a very interesting experience. Carlos, who came with me to the screening, had seen the 2009 remake of the same name and knew the plot and most importantly the major twist. So he was expecting what I wasn't.

Beyond A Reasonable Doubt [Remaster]Beyond a Reasonable Doubt  is Fritz Lang's last American film and stars Dana Andrews and some chick named Joan Fontaine. Dana Andrews is Tom Garrett, a writer who just had a lot of success with his first published book and is struggling to write the second. He's in a relationship with Susan Spencer (Joan Fontaine), the daughter of newspaper magnate Austin Spencer (Sidney Blackmer). Austin Spencer is against capital punishment and is out to prove to District Attorney Roy Thompson (Phillip Bourneuf) that circumstantial evidence could bring an innocent man to the electric chair. When a burlesque dancer is murdered, Spencer recruits Garrett to pretend that Garrett is the murderer. They place fake evidence in various places all the while taking  pictures and records of the acts to prove later that Garrett is innocent and that the evidence led prosecutors to the wrong man. Garrett even ingratiates himself with the two burlesque dancers who were the last to see the murdered woman alive. Garrett goes on trial. Then, as I like to say, things get complicated.

1956 is pretty late for the film noir era. I believe by that point audiences were so used to film noir fare that they were hungry for something new and different. Well Fritz Lang gave them what they asked for with this noir. The film has two major twists. It's those twists that make you either love the film or hate it. Most folks hate it. While I didn't love it, I didn't hate it either. I'm somewhere in the middle. Without providing too many spoilers, I agree with Ginger that the twists make the whole plot implausible. The major flaw is that there is no indication in the beginning of the film about what is to happen at the end. If there were, it would have saved the film for sure. Rebecca Myers from ArtsEmerson introduced the film and read to us from a quote which asked people to watch the film twice (unfortunately I forget the exact quote). I'm curious enough to watch the film a second time in case I missed something the first. However, overall I enjoyed the film. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time wondering what was going to happen next. Joan Fontaine was just blah. This is not her film. This is Dana Andrews film. And don't you forget it!

Thank you to ArtsEmerson for giving me the opportunity to check out the Noir Nights program! I enjoyed this screening and hope to be back soon.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Paramount Theatre in Pictures

I recently went to the Paramount Theatre in Boston for the Arts Emerson Noir Nights repertory series (post about that to come). The theater opened in 1932 as an Art Deco style movie house but closed in 1976. Emerson College renovated it and added a performing art center to it between the years of 2005 and 2008. The Paramount had it's grand reopening in 2010. I attended Emerson College during the years of renovation, restoration  and building so I never got a chance to go to the Paramount during my grad school years. Visiting the building was a real treat. I didn't get to see the main 1,700 seat theater unfortunately but hope to one day soon. Perhaps I'll have a follow up post with even more pictures then. For now, here is a glimpse of what I got to see. 

A lot of the original Art Deco decor was damaged. So although the theatre is gorgeous, the Art Deco style has a modern feel to it. Well, not really modern. I saw it as Art Deco meets 1970s.

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

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