CinemaLit is Live Again!
After more than a year of Friday night CinemaLit discussions on Zoom, we're going live again at the Mechanics' Institute screening room. Join us at 6pm for a film followed by a lively discussion. Concessions have returned, along with wine service!
All attendees must wear masks and bring proof of vaccination.
CinemaLit November 2021: She's a Character!
November at CinemaLit honors three great character actresses of classic Hollywood: Beulah Bondi, Agnes Moorehead, and Thelma Ritter. If you're an old movie buff and don't know their names, you've seen their faces. Collectively they earned 12 Academy Award nominations as Best Supporting Actress. None of them ever was bestowed an Oscar, an oversight the Academy cannot live down. Each had long careers and appeared time and again in dozens of films, most always supporting younger, prettier, and more famous stars. But their talent and versatility were occasionally given a chance to shine in full light. The three films in our series, Make Way for Tomorrow (1937), The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), and The Mating Season (1951), showcase these wonderful actresses at their best.
November 19 – The Mating Season (1951), 101 minutes, directed by Mitchell Leisen, starring Gene Tierney, John Lund, and Thelma Ritter.
Former CinemaLit host and curator Michael Fox will join us as guest co-host for the screening of The Mating Season.
A woman mistakes her mother-in-law as the newly hired help in this sometimes tender, sometimes pointed, and sometimes wacky domestic comedy. Tierney and Lund are the starring newlyweds from different social strata, but this is Ritter's movie all the way. She endears herself with homespun wisdom and a no nonsense attitude to life and its crazy predicaments.
Matthew Kennedy, CinemaLit’s curator, has written biographies of Marie Dressler, Joan Blondell, and Edmund Goulding. His book Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s, was the basis of a film series on Turner Classic Movies.
“I don't have a favorite film,” Matthew says. "I find that my relationships to films, actors, genres, and directors change as I change over the years. Some don't hold up. Some look more profound, as though I've caught up with their artistry. I feel that way about Garbo, Cary Grant, director John Cassavetes, and others."
“Classic films have historical context, something only time can provide,” Matt observes. “They become these great cultural artifacts, so revealing of tastes, attitudes, and assumptions.”
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Future CinemaLit Films
Jan 28 - 6:00pm
Feb 4 - 6:00pm