03/10/12 9:00am

Movies at the Library (at the firehouse) will present one of the finest films every produced, “Inherit the Wind,” next Tuesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. at the Center firehouse cinema upstairs.

Directed by Stanley Kramer, this superb film is based on the stage play of the notorious Scopes monkey trial.

A biology teacher is put on trial for teaching the theory of evolution; the courtroom battle that actually took place between Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan could not have been more powerful or stimulating than the acting battle put on by two of America’s most respected  actors — Spencer Tracy and Frederic March.

There are so many reasons to see “Inherit the Wind” — a brilliant script; lighting and design that faithfully captures the atmosphere of early 20th century mid-America; courtroom drama, always fascinating; a timely subject, an issue that still pervades our culture; and, most compelling, outstanding, unforgettable acting.

Do not miss this wonderful American classic next Tuesday. As always, popcorn and free bottled water will accompany the drama. See you at the movies.

02/27/12 6:00am

Movies at the Library (at the Center firehouse) will present Robert Altman’s “McCabe and Mrs. Miller,” a very different western, next Tuesday evening, February 28, at 7 p.m.

The setting is a dreary and muddy town in the Pacific Northwest toward the end of the 19th century, a town with few amenities and with the unlikely name Presbyterian Church.

McCabe, a small-time wheeler-dealer (Warren Beatty) arrives to seek his fortune with a plan to open a casino-brothel-bathhouse. He needs help to get it going and the help arrives in the shape of Mrs. Miller (Julie Christie), an experienced madam and competent business manager who becomes his partner.

Together they build a very successful enterprise. As the town grows, the owners of the local mine get jealous and decide to take over the brothel, leading to trouble for everyone.

“McCabe and Mrs. Miller” is a visually enthralling film and the acting is superb, including the fascinating character actors. The music is by Leonard Cohen.

The feeling is one of “slice of life” realism; a New Yorker critic called it “a beautiful pipe dream of a movie.”

Don’t miss this visually striking comedy-drama with sparkling performances next Tuesday evening. As usual, free popcorn, bottled water and entertainment.

See you at the movies.

02/11/12 9:00pm

Movies at the Library (now at the Center firehouse) has presented a wide variety of interesting and great movies from all over the world these past eight years, but the next one, on Tuesday, February 14, at 7 p.m., “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” is way out there in two ways. First, it’s from Australia — that’s way out there — and second, it’s a wacky, off-beat blast from start to finish. And Priscilla isn’t the leading lady, or a lady at all — it’s a bus.

And talking of ladies, well …

“Adventures” follows three cross-dressing entertainers, two drag queens and a transsexual through small-town stops in a broken-down lavender bus named Priscilla, en route to Alice Springs for a big time gig at a casino. Along the way, the friends change into outrageous costumes and lip-sync disco tunes for the outback’s befuddled locals. They hope to transform the desert.

The movie never fails to delight visually. The over-the-top costumes (the film won an Oscar for best costume design), the campy performances in the desert and the opera scenes are wonderful to watch.

This might not have been your idea of  typical Valentine’s Day entertainment, but “The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” is a combination of hilarious situations, music, visual candy and bizarre fun that highlights love, friendship and self-respect.

Don’t miss this outstanding, engaging and truly original film next Tuesday.

As always, the movie, bottled water, popcorn and laughs are free.

See you at the movies!

01/29/12 2:00pm

Murder, music, media and all that jazz — put them all together and what do you get? The Academy Award-winning musical from 2002, “Chicago,” a Movies at the Library selection — at the Center firehouse — on Tuesday, January 31, at 7 p.m.

“Chicago” is an entertaining masterpiece, one of the best film musicals ever, featuring a somewhat dark story, perfect casting and dancing, dancing, dancing.

A murderess in 1920’s Chicago (Renee Zellweger) becomes an instant celebrity, thanks to her high-powered and shady lawyer (Richard Gere) and the insatiable press. The story spirals into a razzle-dazzle tour de force. Zellweger and Gere act, sing and dance beautifully and Catherine Zeta-Jones (an Oscar winner herself) is even better. There is an amazing chemistry among the cast, which also includes Queen Latifah and John C. Reilly.

“Chicago” was directed by Rob Marshall, who is also a choreographer, and the influence of Bob Fosse, who directed the Broadway original, is happily evident throughout the film.

Winter blues have you down a bit? Then don’t miss lavish and energetic “Chicago” next Tuesday at the firehouse cinema with its big screen and surround-sound. And we’ll “bet your bottom dollar you’ll lose your blues at ‘Chicago.’” See you at the movies!

01/11/12 4:53pm

In the 1930s and early 1940s, with the economy in the doldrums and the war drums of Europe getting louder, Americans turned to Hollywood to lighten their lives. Director Preston Sturges was there to provide light and joy in the form of his “screwball” films and social comedies, and among the best of these was his “Sullivan’s Travels.”

Movies at the Library will inaugurate its delayed winter season next Tuesday, January 17 with “Sullivan’s Travels,” at the temporary cinema in the Center firehouse, which, like the library’s cinema, features a big screen, surround-sound setting.

But the most important feature is the brilliant film itself, a movie listed in “One of the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.”

Sturges’s pure genius produced this social comedy, a witty and knowing spoof of Hollywood, where a famous film director decides to find out what life outside the Tinseltown fantasy land is really like. The cast, with Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake and William Demarest, among a happy group of character actors, is excellent.

Don’t miss “Sullivan’s Travels,” a genuine Hollywood classic, next Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Center firehouse. Park and enter from the rear and either use the elevator or climb the stairs. As always, bottled water and popcorn for all!

See you at the movies.