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February in our Screening Room!

Alright, it's time for another month of putting eyeballs on great movies. We've got a ton of great stuff lined up for our Screening Room in February, along with a few events and choices from some outside groups like SIFF! Remember, all of our screenings are FREE! Just remember to pick up some beer or snacks or other refreshments from VHSPresso! Click on the image for a bigger version you can save.

 

Let's start with Sundays, which we have set aside for a few unique shows. This weekend while you're all watching the Superbowl (Go Hawks!), we'll have a little bit of counterprogramming for anyone who might prefer some vintage Hong Kong cinema over the big game. The legendary producer Sir Run Run Shaw recently passed away at the tender young age of 106. He was one of the famous Shaw Brothers, and their studio produced hundreds and hundreds of films over the decades. And not just martial arts films but comedies, musicals and horror films, just to name a few of the genres Shaw studios tackled. So on Sunday, February 2nd starting at 5pm (after our 2pm screening of the pick from this week's THE STORY OF FILM episodes), we'll be showing 3 lesser-known Shaw classics. First is King Hu's seminal wuxia film COME DRINK WITH ME, a major inspiration for Ang Lee's CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON. Then we have Lau Kar-Leung's underappreciated martial-arts gem SHAOLIN MANTIS, followed by a change of pace with 80's musical comedy TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR. Catch one or all, or just cruise on by and take a look for a while.

On the 9th, the Cinema Dames of the Grand Illusion are back for another screening, this time of Michele Soavi's STAGE FRIGHT, a great Italian horror film about a troupe of actors locked in a theater with a murderer.

On Sunday the 16th at 6pm, we have a special Black History Month tribute to the great Oscar Micheaux, regarded by many as the first major African-American feature filmmaker and the most successful African-American filmmaker of the first half of the twentieth century. We'll be showing the documentary MIDNIGHT RAMBLE: THE STORY OF OSCAR MICHEAUX, followed by the 1920 Silent feature WITHIN OUR GATES, directed by Micheaux, about a woman who dedicates herself to an impoverished African-American school.

Finally on the 23rd at 6pm, SIFF takes over for the debut of their monthly Best of SIFF slot, showcasing a double feature of great movies from past festivals. This month it's WATTSTAX followed by WHEEDLE'S GROOVE, both excellent funk/soul music documentaries.

Now onto Monday, and speaking of music documentaries, we wrangled local band The Maldives into recommending some films for our Music Monday screenings. On the 3rd, it's KURT COBAIN: ABOUT A SON, about the legendary Nirvana frontman (and former Scarecrow customer). Then on the 10th it's HEARTWORN HIGHWAYS, a fantastic documentary about some unsung heroes of Country Music. Finally on the 24th it's THE LAST WALTZ, Martin Scorsese's film of The Band's 1976 final concert, featuring a murderer's row of famous musicians. All of these shows start at 7pm

Tuesdays as usual is Geeks Who Drink Trivia Night!

Wednesdays in February are dedicated to Baadasssss Cinema, the best Blaxploitation movies you've never seen. Everybody knows SUPERFLY or COFFY, but we're screening some lesser-known titles that put the lie to most folks' idea of Blaxploitation being a place for crummy acting, stereotypes and "so-bad-it's-good" junk. On Wednesday the 5th it's TRUCK TURNER, maybe the greatest Blaxplo movie ever made, starring the great Isaac Hayes as a private detective on the trail of a killer pimp (Yaphet Kotto) and his main mama (Nichelle Nichols). The 12th brings DARKTOWN STRUTTERS, an absolutely bonkers film about a crew of outrageous glam-bikers who stumble on to a plot to clone black leaders! It's directed by William Witney, whose career goes all the way back to early westerns and serials. You gotta see this one to believe it. On the 19th, it's THE SPOOK WHO SAT BY THE DOOR, about a young man who gets a job at the CIA due to Affirmative Action, where he discovers that he's totally ignored since he's the only black employe. He goes about making plans for total revolution! Music by Herbie Hancock! This one was lost for a long time due to a censorship controversy. Finally on the 26th it's GORDON'S WAR, directed by Ossie Davis and starring Paul Winfield in a good old back-to-the-hood yarn about some Vietnam vets who return from combat only to find their neighborhood beseiged by criminals. All of these shows begin at 7pm.

Thursdays continue our run of THE STORY OF FILM, with 2 episodes a night. Each week we'll ask you to choose a film featured in that week's episodes, and we'll screen that movie the following Sunday afternoon. The series will end with the final episode on Thursday the 20th, so on the 27th we'll be screening the 1984 documentary BLACK HOLLYWOOD, which despite being 30 years old still holds a lot of truth about African-American representation in Hollywood.

Fridays bring a great mix. First on the 7th it's BONNIE'S KIDS, one of the best exploitation films ever made, about a couple of young girls who only seem innocent but are actually just holy terrors! It recently screened at the Grand Illusion, and a few of you told us you missed it there so we're giving it a spin. It played along with another great Bad Girls feature, SAVAGE STREETS, starring Linda Blair, and we're showing that as well on Friday the 28th. Both movies start at 8pm. In between, on the 14th for Valentine's Day, Scarecrow and the Grand Illusion bring you our joint venture VHSEX, a clip reel featuring some of the most esoteric erotica in our voluminous stacks of VHS. The show starts at 7pm to give you enough time to catch it and then head over to the Grand Illusion for VHSEX II at 9pm!

On the 21st we have guests! The Sci-Fi Commons Film Club has chosen FLASH GORDON for the debut of their monthly meeting! It plays at 8pm.

And we've got some real rarities lined up for you on Saturdays. On the 8th it's FEAR IS THE KEY, a little-seen action adventure film that stars Barry Newman (from VANISHING POINT) as a man who begins the movie by leading the cops on an incredible car chase (one of the best ever filmed). We won't tell you how all this ends up in a sunken submarine! 

On the 15th it's FANGS aka SNAKES aka HOLY WEDNESDAY. This one's pretty difficult to track down. What starts out as a simple drama about a kindly (if pretty run down) old man who just likes his peace and quiet and his weekly Wednesday ritual with friends turns into one of the strangest ultra-low-budget revenge movies we've seen lately. Definitely don't miss this one. There isn't even a trailer on Youtube!

And finally on the 22nd it's another Shaw Bros movie, THE BATTLE WIZARD, a real looper about a young man caught up in a feud between his adopted father and the man his mother had an adulterous affair with. Did we mention most of them shoot laser beams out of their fingers and that one of them has artificial legs? 78 minutes of pure crazy.

Last but not least, on Monday the 17th we're hosting a special event. Local horror film THE INVOKING is going to have a pre-release party at 7pm! You'll be able to meet the cast and crew and pick up the DVD before it officially comes out. CLICK HERE for details on that.

That about does it for February in the Screening Room. Hopefully you'll make it out for some of the great movies we're showing. See you there!

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