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Cinematheque Sets 25th-Anniversary Weekend

By admin Published: July 14, 2011

The official word: The Cinematheque celebrates the 25th anniversary of its first film screening at the Cleveland Institute of Art (which took place 6000 feature films ago on August 8, 1986) with an extended weekend of special films, August 4-8, 2011.

The weekend begins with on Thursday, August 4, at 7:30 pm when the Cinematheque partners with PlayhouseSquare’s Cinema at the Square to present the original KING KONG at the Palace Theatre downtown. Tickets cost $5; seniors 65 & over, students, children $4.

On August 5 and 6 at its own theatre inside the Institute of Art (11141 East Boulevard in University Circle) the Cinematheque will screen: a new documentary about legendary cameraman Jack Cardiff, an early Technicolor expert; a previously-unreleased-in-America 1952 Japanese drama shot on location in Hiroshima just a few years after the dropping of the atomic bomb there; a surprise movie; and the 1980 shot-in-Cleveland feature THOSE LIPS, THOSE EYES, which has never been released on DVD. [NOTE FROM RICH: In fact, "Those Lips" is on DVD as an on-demand title as part of an MGM collection through Fox Home Entertainment; you can find it for sale at online retailers including]

There will be no films on Sunday, August 7, but on Monday, August 8 (the day of the 25th anniversary), the Cinematheque will present the Cleveland premiere of A USEFUL LIFE, a 2010 Uruguayan comedy about a struggling cinematheque in Montevideo and its beleaguered director who has worked there for 25 years. [RICH NOTE: Amusing choice.] A dessert and champagne reception precedes the movie at 6:45 pm for those who would like to pay $25 extra.

Admission to each of the films showing August 5-8 is $9; Cinematheque members $7; anyone ages 25 or under $5 (with proof of age). An additional film on the same day costs $5. All tickets can be purchased at the door on show nights; the Cinematheque accepts cash and checks only. Free parking is available for filmgoers in the adjacent Cleveland Institute of Art lot, located off of East Boulevard.

Continues after the jump.


A weekend of rare and special films leading up to the actual date of the Cinematheque’s 25th anniversary at the Cleveland Institute of Art, August 8.

Thursday, August 4, at 7:30 pm at

The Palace Theatre at PlayhouseSquare!


USA, 1933, Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack

To kick off our 25th Anniversary Weekend, the Cinematheque co-presents the opening night film in PlayhouseSquare’s Cinema at the Square festival, now in its 14th year! Every August Cinema at the Square shows 35mm prints of classic Hollywood movies on the largest non-IMAX screen in the state. Films are preceded by organ recitals on the theatre’s fully-restored 1928 Kimball organ and by vintage short subjects and cartoons. Admission per program is only $5 (seniors 65 & over, students, and children $4). King Kong, this year’s opener, is the granddaddy of all giant-ape movies and one of the greatest adventure films ever made. Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, and Faye Wray star in this classic tale of “beauty and the beast” which has been remade two times, but never bettered. 103 min. Cinema at the Square continues through August 21 with 16 movies spanning 1933 to 2002, among them 42nd Street, Jailhouse Rock, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. For a complete schedule, go to Special thanks to Nathan Scott and Tom Sarago, PlayhouseSquare.

Friday, August 5, at 5:30 pm &

Saturday, August 6, at 9:10 pm


Britain, 2010, Craig McCall

In 2001 Britain’s Jack Cardiff (1914-2009) became the first cinematographer to win an honorary Academy Award. This honor came 53 years after he won his first Oscar (for Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s Black Narcissus). A Technicolor specialist, Cardiff shot other Powell-Pressburger films (The Red Shoes, Stairway to Heaven) during a remarkable career than spanned eight decades and such classics as John Huston’s The African Queen, Alfred Hitchcock’s Under Capricorn, and Richard Fleischer’s The Vikings, among many others. With Martin Scorsese, Kirk Douglas, et al. “Four stars…Filled with Cardiff’s achingly beautiful work.” –Time Out Film Guide. Cleveland premiere. 35mm. 86 min.

Friday, August 5, at 7:15 pm &

Saturday, August 6, at 5:00 pm

Four by Kaneto Shindo

New 35mm Print!



Japan, 1952, Kaneto Shindo

66 years ago this weekend the U.S. dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, the hometown of Japanese filmmaker Kaneto Shindo. Shindo’s heartfelt, humanist 1952 drama Children of Hiroshima was shot on location as soon as the U.S. occupation of Japan ended, and wasn’t released theatrically in America until this year. The movie tells of a schoolteacher (played by Shindo’s wife and frequent star Nobuko Otowa) who returns to Hiroshima a few years after the bomb to visit her parents’ grave and check on friends and former students who survived the blast. Oddly enough, amid widespread pain, regret, and devastation, she finds some hope. “The first important work of a distinctive and protean visual storyteller, whose films—ghost stories, violent allegories, quiet neo-realist fables—balance ethical seriousness with an almost voluptuous appetite for natural beauty and pictorial elegance... Mr. Shindo combines austerity and sensuality to stirring, sometimes mesmerizing effect.” –The NY Times (4/21/11). Cleveland premiere. Subtitles. 97 min.

Friday, August 5, at 9:15 pm

The Great Whatsit #4


Here’s our fourth-ever surprise movie, the first in three years. We can’t reveal the title, but we can give you three clues: (1) it’s a classic Hollywood comedy suitable for all ages; (2) we’ve never shown it before (nor, to our knowledge, has it ever been shown theatrically in Cleveland for at least 35 years); (3) It has never been released legally on video or DVD in the U.S. If you’re a film buff or like to laugh, you won’t want to miss this! 16mm. Approx. 90 min.

Saturday, August 6, at 7:00 pm

The Silver Anniversary Screen

Shot in Cain Park!


USA, 1980, Michael Pressman

Filmed in 1979 in Cleveland Heights’ Cain Park, this affectionate remembrance of 1950s summer stock theatre was written by David Shaber, an ex-Clevelander who worked at Cain Park when he was a young student. Frank Langella plays an aging, frustrated actor stuck starring in operettas in the sticks while awaiting his big break. A pre-Amadeus Tom Hulce plays a medical student turned star-struck stage manager who falls for the company’s sweetheart (Glynnis O’Connor). Rarely revived theatrically, this shot-in-Cleveland gem has never been released on DVD. [See note above.] 35mm. 107 min.


Monday, August 8, at 8:00 pm &

Friday, August 12, at 5:30 pm

Special 25th Anniversary Presentation!

Pre-film reception on Monday!



Uruguay/Spain, 2010, Federico Veiroj

25 years ago today the Cinematheque showed its first films at its new, permanent home, the Russell B. Aitken Auditorium of the Cleveland Institute of Art. Fittingly, we will celebrate our anniversary with the first Cleveland showing of a deadpan new film about—what else?—a struggling cinematheque and its beleaguered administrator who has worked there for 25 years! A Useful Life takes place at the Uruguayan Cinematheque, which (in the movie) is a cash-strapped institution that makes the Cleveland Cinematheque look like The Getty. Attendance is dwindling, funding is drying up, the seats and projectors need repair. What’s a shlubby, middle-aged program director—who has largely lived his life vicariously through the movies—to do? The answer is both wry and satisfying. This small film, Uruguay’s official entry for this year’s Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, was made by a young filmmaker who once worked at the Cinemateca Uruguaya. It is infused with a love of movies and of repertory theatres, and stars real-life Uruguayan film critic Jorge Jellinek and former Cinemateca director Manuel Martínez Carril. “Delectable…A droll romantic comedy.” –Variety. Cleveland premiere. Subtitles. 35mm. 67 min. A Useful Life is co-presented by the Global Film Initiative and is part of the Global Lens 2011 film series. For more information, visit

In keeping with the celebration of our 25th Anniversary, for $25 moviegoers on Monday can see the 8:00 pm screening of A Useful Life and attend a 6:45 pm champagne and dessert reception prior to the film. To make a reservation, call (216) 421-7415 before Thursday, August 4. Walk-up tickets to the film only can be purchased, for regular prices, starting at 7:30 pm on 8/8.

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