It’s the time of year in Austin when the temperature slowly rises, prepping you for 100-degree days and nights. This can mean only one thing - time to hide out indoors at the Paramount’s annual Summer Classic Film Series.
In its 37th year, the Paramount staple is going bigger, a lot bigger. With over 100 movies and digital screenings in the State Theater, you won’t have to worry about going outside this summer.
Series programmer Jesse Trussell has been working on programming the 2012 line up since last year. After compiling a list of his wants, programming the series is a long process of finding who owns the rights to the films and then who owns the print.
The series kicks off May 24 with a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Paramount films.
After all of that, some of the prints may not be in good enough shape to lend out. “We are lucky at the Paramount to be one archives have a lot of regard for,” Trussell says. “They know we treat the prints well.”
Archives are becoming less and less willing to lend out prints as they age. “I’ve been joking to people that if they actually want to see these movies on film, come now.” Jesse warns. “It will keep dwindling.”
Since Casablanca was unavailable to screen this year, the series kicks off May 24 with a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Paramount films. You can catch To Kill a Mockingbird, The Sting, Pillow Talk, and All Quiet on the Western Front. Trussell will be focusing on restoration and the history of film during the opening week celebration.
If you’re new to classic cinema, Trussell suggests Hitchcock week June 19th-24th. “Hitchcock is so talented, his films are so fun to watch, and he’s frequently having so many classic actors in his films,” Trussell points out.
Also great for those wanting to dive into classic cinema is 70 mm week August 21st-26th. Spartacus, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and 2001: A Space Odyessy, will be screened in all their orginal glory that week. Excited about 2001: A Space Odyessy, Trussell says, “It’s better than HD.”
If you’re new to classic cinema, Trussell suggests Hitchcock week June 19th-24th.
You’ll also find a guilty pleasure hidden in 70 mm week, 1993’s Last Action Hero. “That one is a bit for me,” Trussell confesses. “It’s so in love with classic films and classic movies theaters. I thought it was appropriate,” he tells me. “I bet this print hasn’t been screened in 20 years.”
Very special this year is a female director’s week. “I looked at my schedule from last year and realized there wasn’t a single film directed by a woman.” Female directed classic films aren’t in abundance, but Trussell compiled a great list of films including international selections and a fewmore recent movies.
Included in that week is a special screening of Clueless. “We are working with Kat Candler’s UT Women in Cinema program to bring Amy Heckerling in to do a Q & A,” Jesse tells me.
Other special events this year include the Third Man with Iron and Wine and Son of Sam with Spike Lee in attendance. The schedule is packed this year. Let the cinema and air conditioning begin.