Classic film screenings at The Wooly on Wednesdays


The original version of “The Day the Earth Stood Still” is among the highlights of a series of classic films screening bi-weekly at The Wooly on Wednesdays.

The Associated Press
Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 2:15 p.m.

In an era in which new, big-budget movies costing millions elbow each other other off screens weekly in cineplexes, a new series of classic films is celebrating older films, specifically film noir and sci-fi classics, every second and fourth Wednesday respectively through Aug. 28 at The Wooly, an event space at 20 N. Main St.

Following Rita Hayworth's “Gilda,” which opened the series Wednesday, the series will feature “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951) on June 26, says series organizer Roger Beebe, also owner of Video Rodeo and a professor of film and media studies at the University of Florida.

“We wanted to start with a real classic, something pretty canonical, which I think a lot of peole think they should have seen and haven't seen.”

Directed by Robert Wise, “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” portrays an alien (Michael Rennie) who arrives on Earth with a robot named Gort to warn earthlings against the use of military power.

Some of the films represent highlights of a collection of 1,900 old films from UF and another 2,000 that came from a collector in Jacksonville who was moving to Minnesota, says Beebe, who organized the screenings in two themes: with film noir films screening on the second Wednesday and sci-fi films on the fourth Wednesday of each month.

Other film noir movies in the series include Otto Preminger's “Laura” on July 10 and the psychological French thriller “Diabolique” on Aug. 14, while the sci-fi films include the animated French film “Fantastic Planet” on July 24, and “Interkosmos,” a pseudo-documentary about an East German space plans, on Aug. 28.

Gourmet popcorn along with beer and wine will be available at each screening, and a surprise short film will begin each night's screening at 8 p.m. (followed by the night's featured film at 8:20 p.m.). Proceeds from the $3 admission for each screening will go to upgrading Video Rodeo's remaining VHS tapes to DVDs, Beebe says.

“I think these films will really play well with a crowd too,” he says. “Watching them in your living room, you don't have that energy of a whole room full of people, and I think that will really add a lot to it.”

Contact Entertainment Editor Bill Dean at 374-5039 or at bill.dean@gvillesun.com, and follow on Twitter @SceneBillDean.

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