Outremont Theatre showing classics like “2001: A Space Odyssey” – “Citizen Kane”
“The media don’t pay much attention to the role of programmers”—protested Roland Smith—during the press conference in which the lineup for The Films of My Life, a selection of movies to be shown at the Outremont Theatre, was announced. Smith certainly knows what he was talking about: he has been programming films since 1963 when he started at the old Empire on O’Gilvy Street. After that, Smith went to the Verdi, on St. Laurent near St. Viateur, the first venue he owned, and then to the Outremont and finally to the Cinèma du Parc. In a way “he has nurtured generations of movie-goers.” Very important: he has championed movies that—despite their undeniable artistic quality—don’t always get the attention of programmers at the big theatre chains, concerned with showing mostly Hollywood productions. “It is rare that programmers choose films of their own preference like they do at Cinèma du Parc, Beaubien or Le Tapis Rouge at Trois Rivières,” said Smith.
Putting together a total of 47 movies to be screened over 27 days and in 80 presentations at the Outremont wasn’t easy, explained Smith. He has to knock at doors of distributors in England, France, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Montreal, and deal with various issues related to rights and permissions. He got restored 35 mm. copies to offer a high-quality program. “It is a selection that will appeal to different publics and generations,” he told me after the press conference. And it should certainly will if we look at some of the titles.
Let’s mention some of the classic films: “Citizen Kane” by Orson Welles, a masterpiece that anyone with a certain interest in the cinematic art and in understanding how media empires are built should see, will be screened on August 3 at 4 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Stanley Kubrick one of the best science-fiction movies ever made which still evokes philosophical discussions will be shown on August 19 and 20 at 8:30 p.m. “Amadeus” by Milos Forman, a very iconoclastic approach to the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will be presented on August 4 at 8:30 p.m. “The Good, the Bad & the Ugly” by Sergio Leone (with Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, and Lee Van Cleef) marked the beginning of a sub-genre that became known as the “spaghetti western,” i.e., the Italian take on the quintessential American cowboy stories. This film will be on August 11 and 12 at 8 p.m. And if I mention Italian movies, “La dolce vita” by Federico Fellini (with Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, and Anouk Aimée), is a classic 1960 movie depicting the dilemmas of a disenchanted generation. Not to be missed: the initial scene with that emblematic statue of Jesus flying over Rome, the subtly erotic submersion of Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg in the Trevi fountain, nor the excellent music score by Nino Rota.
All movies will be presented in their original version: those in English with French subtitles, some of the French movies with English subtitles, and foreign-language movies with French subtitles. Tickets are $9, five tickets for $40. The Outremont Theatre is located at 1248 Bernard West St. Free parking at 475 Bloomfield Ave. and 500 Dollard blvd. Close to Outremont metro station and to various bus routes on Park and Bernard. More detailed information at theatreoutremont.ca
Outremont Theatre – 1248 Bernard West St.
“Citizen Kane” – August 3 at 4 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.
“Amadeus” – August 4 at 8:30 p.m.
“The Good, the Bad & the Ugly” – August 11 and 12 at 8 p.m.
“2001: A Space Odyssey” – August 19 and 20 at 8:30 p.m.