by Jim Ridley
The Downtown Presbyterian Church, 154 5th Ave. N., has picked the theme of "Anti-Depressant" for its annual Lenten Film Series, and we can think of few films that cheer us up more than Preston Sturges' Sullivan's Travels, which kicks off the series at 7 p.m. tonight (preceded by a free light meal at 6). If you want to hear how movie dialogue is supposed to crackle, click on the clip above.
The church opens its annual citywide DIG Through Art Show (DIG = Dialogue: an Interaction for Growth) this Saturday in conjunction with the First Saturday Art Crawl downtown, starting with a potluck dinner at 6 p.m. In the meantime, check out the full schedule for the film series after the jump. All screenings are free and open to the public.
Thursdays; Dinner at 6:00 PM and Film at 7:00 PM
March 4: Sullivan's Travels (1941; directed by Preston Sturges)
Film Comedy Defined by The Great Depression 90 min.
The comedy classic about a sell-out comedy director (played by Joel McCrea) who decides to make a serious film entitled, "Oh, Brother Where Art Thou?" during The Great Depression. In the attempt he finds his comedy roots. This is a film about film, and one of the greatest such in film history. Not to be missed!
March 11: Brazil (1985; directed by Terry Gilliam) (R rated for violence)
Dreams, Terrorism, & Bureaucracy as Medication 86 min.
Terry Gilliam (of Monty Python fame) directs this surrealistic masterpiece that dances on the edge of yearning and vocation, touching the subconscious wounds of anyone who's either had a crush or worked for a living. Look for Robert De Niro as a subversive air-conditioning repair man.
March 18: Bound For Glory (1976; directed by Hal Ashby)
Music as Instigator for Personal & Social Change 147 min.
A biography of Woody Guthrie (played by the late David Carradine), that is more than a biopic. This is the story of how art denounces both the apathy of the artist and the status quo of society. This is a langud and beautifully shot film that dignifies the internal and external struggle of the artist.
March 25: Bugsy Malone (1976; directed by Alan Parker)
"We Could've Been Anything That We Wanted To Be!" 93 min.
An all-child musical about gangsters, guns and (yes) throwing lots of pies, where everyone is just a little bit bad. Two rival gangs during Prohibition take the spirit-lifting, surreal turn only an all-child musical can take. Jodie Foster and Scott Baio are directed by Alan Parker (who also directed Fame and Pink Floyd The Wall).
April 1: The Intruder (1962; directed by Roger Corman)
An Outsider in a White Suit Stirs a Racist Storm 84 min. (Adult Language, relevant to its time)
William Shatner stars as a white man in a white suit in a not-completely-white South during school integration. The intruder stirs the racist fears of a white community to the brink before the tension is finally broken. Parents should be advised that racist language of the 1962 American South predominates in this film. Watching this film is probably the closest you will get to the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins from 50 years ago.