• By Don Dwiggins
  • Posted Monday, December 20, 2010

“Movies about Movies” at Central Library


January 10th at 6:30 pm
Starring Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper
Directed by Spike Jonze. 2002
Rated R

Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (played here by Cage) writes about a period of his own life where he was trying to complete a screen adaptation of a novel about orchids. Kaufman was at times overwhelmed by his feelings of inadequacy, and so he enlisted the aid of his twin brother, also played by Cage. The “fourth wall” is broken in spectacular style as the audience is allowed to see the action of the book which he is trying to adapt. Oscar nominations for both Cage and Streep, who plays the author of the novel. Oscar win for supporting actor Cooper.

“A work of outstanding, brilliant originality, this is highly recommended." -- Video Librarian
"'Adaptation' is simply brilliant." -- Washington Post


January 24th at 6:30 pm
Starring Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker and Patricia Arquette
Directed by Tim Burton. 1994
Rated R

From the inspired imagination of visionary filmmaker Tim Burton comes this quirky and often bizarre look at famed B-movie director Ed Wood, portrayed brilliantly by Johnny Depp. Burton masterfully reproduces Wood's poignant relationship with fading film icon Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau) and the director’s off-screen lifestyle, which often paralleled the comedic tone of his legendary screen turkeys. This is a lovingly wacky tribute to creative ambition, however misguided it may be. Oscar win for supporting actor Landau.

“Outrageously entertaining. Depp is terrific.” -- Rolling Stone
“Two big thumbs up. We love this film and this film loves the movies.” -- Siskel & Ebert
"A comedy of the ridiculous in which the ridiculous turns unexpectedly sublime.” -- Entertainment Weekly


January 31st at 7:00 pm
Starring Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser, Lynn Redgrave and Lolita Davidovich
Directed by Bill Condon. 1998
Rated R

Long since retired, James Whale, the famed director of the classic “Bride of Frankenstein,” is haunted by his past as he develops a relationship with his gardener. The unlikely bonding between the two men- the intelligent and refined Whale and his not-so-bright but affable gardener- brings to both characters a much needed healing. Oscar nominations for McKellan and Redgrave. Oscar win for screenplay by Condon.

“Deeply touching, elegant and inventive” -- Entertainment Weekly
“Virtuoso performance by Ian McKellan” -- Salon.com
“Rich, multi-layered portrait of a director from Hollywood’s Golden age” -- Reel Views


February 7th at 7:00 pm
Starring Mia Farrow, Jeff Daniels and Danny Aiello. Directed by Woody Allen. 1985
Rated PG

Life and art mix in this bittersweet comedy. Mia Farrow stars as a Depression-era waitress whose humdrum existence is magically given excitement and hope and when a handsome movie star from her favorite film literally steps off the screen and enters her life. Things become complicated when the other characters in the film are unable to continue their parts until their wayward colleague returns. An enchanting tribute to the magic of the movies. Oscar nomination for screenwriter Allen.

“A masterpiece. One of the best movies about movies ever made.” -- Time Magazine
“Intoxicating” -- Cosmopolitan

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