Posted May 24, 2018
By Vincent Abbatecola, guest writer
Summer is usually the season when you find a huge share of big-budget tentpole films in theaters, as well as a sprinkling of indie films that might have had their premieres at the Sundance Film Festival back in January. Whether you gravitate towards the blockbusters or art-house fare, summer is one of the best times of the year to go to the movies.
In between seeing new films you might want to seek out an opportunity to watch a classic movie on something other than your television or laptop. The Jacob Burns Film Center will cater to that need. From June 6–28, the JBFC will be screening eight films that have made lasting impressions on cinema during their series Back on the Big Screen: Hollywood Highlights 1952-1982, part of their ongoing Retro Revival series.
Having been a member of the Jacob Burns Film Center for almost two years, I’ve cherished the opportunities I’ve had to watch movies with a community of theatergoers who enjoy the atmosphere of the JBFC—of being absorbed in a movie and the post-film discussions that the Burns encourages. While I love doing this for new releases whenever I attend preview screenings or regular screenings at the theater, the Burns is going to offer visitors the opportunity to discuss some of cinema’s most classic films over a variety of genres.
As a ‘90s kid, I never had the chance to see any of the films in the Back on the Big Screen series upon their initial releases. I’ve had to resort to watching these films either on a television or laptop—but never a cellphone, thankfully. You (and I) now have the chance to see the climactic chase sequence in The French Connection, Gene Kelly dancing in a downpour in Singin’ in the Rain, the bleak and grand sci-fi visuals of Blade Runner: The Final Cut, the epic scope of Lawrence of Arabia, and other classics on the big screen. If you’re an avid movie buff, you can’t pass on the chance to see these films the way that they’re meant to and deserve to be seen. And if you’re a JBFC member, even better! June is the JBFC’s anniversary month, and many of the films in the Back on the Big Screen, as well as a selection of other films outside the series, are available to members for free. It’s the JBFC’s way of saying thanks for being a part of the Burns community.
Even beyond Back on the Big Screen, the Burns is screening other well-known films throughout the summer: the Academy Award-winning Chariots of Fire, the Audrey Hepburn heist-comedy How to Steal a Million, and the Clint Eastwood spaghetti western A Fistful of Dollars.
While the JBFC shows a lot of films that are geared more towards adults, one of the great things about them is that they always keep younger filmgoers in mind. This summer, their family series, JBFC Kids, will screen The Land Before Time, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, and Rookie of the Year (on 35mm film!)—each of which I must have watched 100 times while in preschool and kindergarten. If there are any families in the region who wish to share the magic of the movies on a summer afternoon, the Burns is the perfect place to make that happen.
Whether you’re an older or younger moviegoer, and no matter what genre you favor, the JBFC will have something for everyone. So, this summer, let the Burns transport you to wondrous places on screen.
Chariots of Fire and How to Steal a Million are part of Senior Afternoon Cinema, sponsored by The Knolls—a Bethel community.
Back on the Big Screen begins June 6. Tickets are on sale now.