Dear New Parkway Lover:
A bit of a simpler week starting Friday, though there’s not much simple about us (except for the free parking, mostly $6 movies, and tasty food and drink). We’re opening some award-winning pictures from last year, as well as some other things new and old. Here are some of the highlights:
· I don’t see many films, so take this with a grain of salt, but we’re showing one of my favorite movies of 2012, Don’t Stop Believin’. I don’t want to give it away but this is a fascinating film, one of those documentaries with a story so interesting that many people might think it fictional. Throw in some fun music and you’ve got a great two hours at the movies. And at least one of the shows will have some live singing (and not by me).
· Champions League soccer is down to the Elite 8, so come on out to our lunchtime specials on Tuesday (Barcelona v. PSG) and Wednesday (Real Madrid v. Galatsaray) at 11:45AM. Free!
· Late night shows of Evil Dead on Friday and Labyrinth Quote Along on Saturday. Good stuff in very different ways.
· We're offering a couple of mid-day/early afternoon brunches on Easter Sunday, each with its own bunny movie. We'll start at 12:30 with the family-friendly Hop and then show the 1950 classic, Harvey, at 1:30. For each movie, we'll have family style French-ish food offerings, including sweet and savory crepes and yummy salads. The food packages are for entry plus food for either 2 or 4 people. If you’re an odd number of people, just buy a package based on the amount of food you want and you can buy an extra entry ticket day of. We’ll also sell movie only tickets on Sunday for $6.
· And we’ve got both Harold AND Kumar in the house on Thursday, and guess where they’re going? And we’ve got food to go with that Parkway Classic that might even be better than White Castle. Might.
And now for what Adam has to say about our features this week:
Either the law of diminishing returns has set in (I assume you read this column religiously and can remember accurately what was written a week ago) or we just have too many good movies to show and too few screens in which to show them. But either way, we have four glorious new movies to show/share this week. You are truly spoiled for choice. You can see the 'Best Picture of the Year', the Best Foreign Picture of the Year', or Steven Soderbergh's final movie. You can even see a documentary on the band 'Journey'. But go see the others first if you haven't yet. They are better.
Given that I was born in 1982, I knew very little about the Iranian embassy hostage-taking that occurred in 1979. One might argue that this is the reason we are taught history and I am an ignorant buffoon. In my defense I knew the American embassy was taken over and it happened in Iran in the late 70's which probably puts my knowledge well ahead of the average 30 year old American before this movie came out. But what a wonderful story this is.
It turns out when the embassy was attacked, six extremely sneaky embassy employees managed to evade capture and make it to the Canadian ambassador's residence. 'Argo' tells the gripping story of what happened next (don't want to spoil the ending). The time period and locations are meticulously re-created. The pacing and story are superb. The acting and directing is faultless. May cause stomach cramps due to nervous tension.
Most movies have to be able to condense their plot into one sentence in order to get made. Die Hard in the White House. American Pie meets The Breakfast Club. Occasionally a European movie gets wide release in the U.S. that makes a marketing executive reach for the Valium bottle. A movie about retired music teachers. In their 80's. In French! Mon dieu! The toy line at Hasbro would be an old woman in a wheelchair and an old man who is struggling with her decline. Not an easy sell then.
But Amour is unforgettable. One of the best-reviewed films of the last year, it truly deserves the huge amount of praise and accolades that have been heaped upon it. Each actor draws on a lifetime's worth of experience, performing with grace and rare, uncompromising realism (Minneapolis Star Tribune). Transfixing and extraordinarily touching, perhaps the most hauntingly honest movie about old age ever made (Entertainment Weekly). This is one movie you will never forget.
Steven Soderbergh is prolific. In the past 15 years he has cranked out almost 20 feature movies. Including Oceans 11, Get Shorty, Erin Brockovich, Traffic, The Informant, and Contagion Understandably he is tired. Thus, this may be the last movie we get from him as he is threatening retirement (although he threatened once before so we might be seeing more of him). He has made an excellent movie to go out on if this is his last. This feels very close to Hitchcock in setup and story.
It is a thoroughly satisfying thriller full of twists, suspense, double crosses, and dangerous liaisons. It respects a viewer's intelligence and is packed with wonderful performances and excellent direction. One might say it is the polar opposite of 'Olympus has Fallen'. Just don't have too much beer and go for a long toilet break because you will probably miss something.
Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey
It's funny how quickly a much loved but under-recognized song can go from being on the radio once a month to being on the radio once an hour. Through a combination of the Sopranos going out on a Journey high and Glee shamelessly ripping off the classic tune, Journey have experienced one of the greatest rock comebacks of all time, without doing much at all.
This movie follows the real life story of Filipino Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from YouTube to become the new front man for Journey. Having already overcome a life full of painful obstacles and now saddled with the immense pressures of leading a world renowned band and replacing a legendary singer, the film follows Arnel on this personal journey.
And now for more information about our repertory and special events programming:
New Parkway Family Classics—This week we’re showing SITA SINGS THE BLUES both on Friday afternoon at 4:30 and Saturday at 12:30. I don’t know anything about this movie except that it’s one of my ex-girlfriend’s all time favorites, which doesn’t mean much in itself, except she’s one of the founders of the SF International South Asian Film Festival. And we didn’t break up over her movie tastes. So check it out!
Spectrum Queer Cinema—SPECTRUM Queer Media.com presents AUDRE LORDE—THE BERLIN YEARS 1984-1992. 2012 marked the 20th anniversary of Audre Lorde's passing, the acclaimed Black lesbian feminist poet and activist. Audre Lorde - The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992 explores a little-known chapter of the writer's prolic life, a period in which she helped ignite the Afro-German Movement and made lasting contributions to the German political and cultural scene before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Lorde mentored and encouraged Black German women to write and publish as a way of asserting their identities, rights and culture in a society that isolated and silenced them, while she challenged white German women to acknowledge and constructively use their white privilege. This has the makings of a sold-out show so get your advance tickets soon!
Thrillville— THRILLVILLE THEATER presents NIGHT OF THE LEPUS (1972), guest hosted by Misery Ann Mayhem! Gigantic, savage, mutant killer rabbits terrorize a peaceful, remote Southwestern community in this psychotronic seasonal favorite starring Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun, and DeForest "Bones" Kelley!
Baby Brigade—After a couple weeks in a row of only one Baby Brigade, we’re back to two this week with a 4:30 showing of Side Effects and a 6:30 showing of Argo. Heck, tell the baby it’s double feature night and stay for both!
Doc Night—We’ll be showing one of our features, Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, as our doc this week. Come out to see Bay Area’s own Journey and Arnel Pineda’s fascinating story. Be ready to sing and smile!
2 for 1 Wednesdays—All day Wednesday, 2 for 1 admission prices with movies starting at 3:30. And now with Happy Hour drinks from 5-7PM followed by arts and crafts projects in the café that you can do with your buzz on.
Parkway Classics— Will the Thrill's PARKWAY CLASSICS presents HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE (2004). This contemporary comedy classic about two slacker stoners (Kal Penn and John Cho) dealing with racist cops, rogue raccoons, extreme sports punks, and an escaped cheetah during their quest to satisfy the epic "munchies" was a huge hit at the original Parkway. Let's see if history will repeat itself. Smoke 'em before you get here...
Thanks for your continued and growing support of the New Parkway Theater. We hope to see you soon!