By Jim Reed/SMN
Looking ahead to Sept. 7, the Tybee Post Theater (one of our area’s restored, single-screen historic cinemas) presents a one-show-only revival of the iconic romantic dramedy “The Graduate” starring Dustin Hoffman (“Outbreak”), Katharine Ross (“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”) and Anne Bancroft (“The Miracle Worker”). Directed by the late, great Mike Nichols (“The Birdcage”), co-written by Buck Henry (TV’s “Get Smart”) and featuring a best-selling soundtrack of Simon & Garfunkel tunes, this seminal 1960s motion picture about the unlikely love triangle formed by a young man, his girlfriend and her mother earned six Oscar nominations and influenced untold scores of coming-of-age pictures around the globe.
A legitimate masterpiece of awkward comedic timing and bittersweet subject matter, echoes of “The Graduate” can be plainly seen and felt in such disparate later works as Wes Anderson’s “Rushmore” and Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” If you don’t happen to live on the island, it’s well worth the drive to see this one in a theatrical setting. Plus, admission price for this 7 p.m. show includes a glass of wine (if you’re old enough) and a piece of chocolate. Beat that!
By Jim Reed/SMN
Those of you who’ve been reading Film Scene for a while now are surely aware that the restored, historic Tybee Post Theater out on lovely Tybee Island has carved out a niche for itself by primarily programming one-night-only revivals of either classic or popular Hollywood pictures from decades past on its single screen, when its stage is not being used for live musical or comedy shows, that is.
That trend continues with the intimate, 200-capacity venue’s March 23 showing of the 1952 MGM musical “Singin’ in the Rain” (which was previously screened just a tad over a month ago at downtown’s Lucas Theatre). Stanley Donen (“Damn Yankees!” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”) co-directed this beloved favorite with its magnetic star, Gene Kelly, and the film’s cast includes such luminaries as Donald O’Connor and the recently deceased Debbie Reynolds (Carrie Fisher’s mom, for those of you too young to know better). The script, while fictional, is closely based on the real-life confusion and upset that accompanied Tinseltown’s rough transition from silent films to those with synchronized sound (better known as “talkies,” till that term had run its course).
Packed with show-stopping, timeless musical and dance numbers, it’s been called the “Greatest Movie Musical of All Time” by the prestigious American Film Institute. Melissa Turner, executive director of the Post Theater, says she selected “Singin’ in the Rain” because it seemed like a “perfect follow-up” to the venue’s two-night engagement of the recent smash musical “La La Land,” which takes place on March 18-19.
You see, increasingly, the Post Theater is presenting special one- or two-day runs of contemporary motion pictures, such as that Oscar-winning Ryan Gosling/Emma Stone vehicle, or the similarly Oscar-winning drama “Fences” (starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis), which plays the Post on March 16-17. According to Turner, there are a significant number of Tybee residents who simply aren’t interested in making the drive from the island to Southside Savannah to catch even the biggest motion picture hits of the year. These blink-and-you’ll-miss-them bookings allow those folks to catch the occasional high-profile blockbuster (such as the sci-fi flick “Arrival,” which the Post showed a few weeks back to a strong turnout) just a few minutes’ drive or even walk from their homes.
It also gives Savannah area viewers who either had not gotten around to seeing such films in their initial first run — or perhaps want to enjoy them on the big screen again — a chance to do so while supporting a small, nonprofit theater. The drive to the beach isn’t that awfully long, folks. Pick up on it.
By Jim Reed/ SMN
Sept. 16-17 finds the restored Tybee Post Theater launching its first Silent Film Fest, which will include two nights’ worth of vintage silent movies, with live musical accompaniment by acclaimed pianist, organist and historian Dennis James.
Since 1964, this American multi-instrumentalist has played “a pivotal role in the international revival of silent films presented with period-authentic live music,” and has done so across the globe, utilizing piano, theater organ, chamber ensembles and full symphony orchestras. He follows the approach used by the original silent film accompanists, meaning that he views the movie while it is being projected and plays along with the film, taking care to cue his music exactly with the action and emotion being conveyed, in real time.
This is a fascinating lost art that he and a handful of others in our modern times are striving to maintain and promote. Each night’s 8 p.m. program runs about two hours in length, with the first night including several shorts by iconic silent film comedians Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin, and the second night featuring a “fully staged early cinema program,” adding guest vocalists Jared Hall and Jane Ogle, and focusing on the full-length silent feature from 1928, “Show People.” Tickets are just $15 in advance each night, with discount passes available now at www.tybeeposttheater.org.
Honestly, folks, it doesn’t get much cooler than that. Kudos to local musician, instructor and concert promoter Ricardo Ochoa for organizing this very special and unusual cinema and music event at one of our area’s most wonderful new venues. Save those dates if you can.
BIG NEWS: The Tybee Post Theater will begin showing family friendly movies weekdays during the summer for our local families and our visitors! Here’s a first look at the movie listings and dates! Mark your calendars, parents!
Tickets are $7 for adults; $5 for children 12 and under. The concession stand will have $2 popcorn and $2 soft drinks! (And cold beer and wine for mom and dad!)
Summer fun for everyone!!
Just announced! Starting the second week in June, the Post begins showing family-friendly movies at 3 and 7 pm most weekdays! Bring the kids for a perfect escape from the hot summer sun after a morning at the beach or surf camp!
Here’s our June listings; mark your calendars!