From Tarantino to John Hughes to Eisenstein, this is the movie zone

Betsy PickleOur Town Arts

Everyone knows that summertime is movie time. But it’s hard for some of us to get excited about going to the theater when every film playing seems to be targeted to superhero-obsessed guys.

There’s nothing wrong with the occasional superhero flick. And it definitely doesn’t pay to live in the past in the real world. But the Tennessee Theatre’s Summer Movie Magic series, presented by Denark Construction, offers some timeless (and more recent) classics.

“The Breakfast Club,” playing at 8 p.m. this Friday, June 21, is a touchstone for a lot of people who came of age in the 1980s. It made stars out of its young cast – original “Brat Pack” members Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez and Anthony Michael Hall – and set the standard for soundtrack albums of the era with the breakout hit “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds.

Writer-director John Hughes became the guru of teen movies for a time, and “The Breakfast Club” was (arguably) the high point of that success. It exposed stereotypes for the masks that they are and dug into the shared concerns of all teens. It’s smart, funny, revealing and satisfying.

Charlie Chaplin and Virginia Cherrill in “City Lights” (1931)

On Sunday, June 23, Charlie Chaplin’s masterpiece “City Lights” will play at 3 p.m. at the Tennessee. Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” is on July 12, and “The Little Mermaid” (sing-along version) is July 14. “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (“Ni!” “Shhh!”) plays July 19, and we’re off to see “The Wizard of Oz” July 21.

Summer Movie Magic continues into August with the original “Ghostbusters” on Aug. 2, Alfred Hitchcock’s intense “North by Northwest” on Aug. 4, “Saturday Night Fever” starring John Travolta on Aug. 16, Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly’s “Singin’ in the Rain” on Aug. 18, Clint Eastwood’s “Unforgiven” on Aug. 23 and Brad Bird’s “The Iron Giant” on Aug. 25.

Times and ticket prices are on the website.

Tarantino double feature slays

Uma Thurman in “Kill Bill, Volume 1” (2003)

And now for something completely different, as Monty Python types would say. Knoxville’s neighborhood theater, Central Cinema, 1205 N. Central, is playing both parts of “Kill Bill” in a double feature tonight.

“Volume 1” starts at 7 p.m. and “Volume 2” at 9:10 p.m. Knoxville-born Quentin Tarantino outdid himself with this revenge saga, and if you’ve never watched them back to back, you’re in for a great ride.

Central Cinema started the Tarantino party last weekend with showings of “Volume 1.” This Friday, Saturday and Sunday you can catch screenings of “Volume 2,” if you don’t have time to do tonight’s double feature.

Central Cinema is a true asset to the community, programming films for all kinds of audiences. Friday starts a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” Ultimate Pizza Party Weekend, with six showings of the 1990 big-screen debut by the heroes in a half-shell.

The first show, 1 p.m. Friday, will be no-frills, but the 9 p.m. Friday late show will feature a more adult atmosphere along with prizes and Cruze Farm pizza slices at the concession stand. There’s even a karaoke after-party!

Scene from “Battleship Potemkin” (1925)

Get more details and the Saturday-Sunday lineup on the website. While you’re at the site, check out the films in the June 21-27 Nightmare Cinema series. And look beyond the weekend: On Wednesday, June 26, Central Cinema will present Sergei Eisenstein’s  classic 1925 silent film “Battleship Potemkin.” The screening will be accompanied by a score written by Knoxville composer William Wright and performed live by Wright and his ensemble.

Shred this

Don’t forget, the Bijou has a special movie screening on Wednesday, June 26. “Return to Earth” starts at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7.

“Return to Earth” is described as “a cinematic journey that will immediately transport you into that feeling of total immersion you get on a bike ride,” with footage shot in such stunning landscapes as Hawaii, Utah and Patagonia.

Scene from “Return to Earth” (2019)


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