August offerings at the Castro Theatre

  • by David Lamble
  • Wednesday August 1, 2018
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August offerings at the Castro Theatre

The Castro Theatre observes the dog days of summer with a calendar highlighted by a rare screening of the noir thriller "Miracle Mile," and two of the most exceptional classic films ever to grace the 96-year-old theatre's screen, David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and Alfred Hitchcock's once-neglected late-1950s San Francisco-set masterpiece "Vertigo."

"Miracle Mile" (1988) 30th anniversary screening, with Steve De Jarnatt and Eddie Muller in conversation. Director De Jarnatt's apocalyptic thriller stars Anthony Edwards and Mare Winningham. Plus a rare screening of De Jarnatt's 1972 short "Tarzana," a love letter to noir genre shot in 35mm B&W, starring Michael C. Gwynne as the Chandleresque private detective. (both 8/9)

"Lawrence of Arabia" (1962) With David Lean's ageless and intimate epic's homo content deftly understated, "Lawrence" is a must-see to understand our most perilous foreign-policy hot spot. It's also a human spectacle that plays to all the Castro's assets. Almost four hours with an intermission. With Peter O'Toole (screen debut), Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Arthur Kennedy and Omar Sharif. In 70MM. (8/10-12)

"Sorry to Bother You" In an alternate reality of present-day Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green's (Lakeith Stanfield) career takes off while his friends and co-workers organize protests against corporate oppression. But Cassius falls under the spell of Steve Lift (Armie Hammer), a cocaine-snorting CEO who offers him a salary beyond his wildest dreams. Making his feature debut, writer-director Boots Riley's bold satire co-stars Tessa Thompson, Terry Crews, Danny Glover, and the voices of David Cross, Steve Buscemi, and Patton Oswalt. (8/13-14)

"Down by Law" (1986) Jim Jarmusch's portrait of loners and misfits in the American landscape. When fate brings together three hapless men - unemployed DJ Tom Waits, small-time pimp John Lurie, and strong-willed Italian tourist Roberto Benigni - in a Louisiana prison, a madcap adventure begins. Part nightmare and part fairy tale, with sterling performances and crisp black-and-white cinematography by the esteemed Robby M�ller.

"Mystery Train" (1989) Indie minimalist Jarmusch plants young foreigners in the Country Music capital Memphis for quirky hijinks. With Steve Buscemi and blues star Screaming Jay Hawkins. (both 8/15)

"Paris, Texas" (1984) Nearly mute drifter Travis (Harry Dean Stanton), living with his brother in LA, tries to reconnect with his young son and find his missing wife. New German Cinema pioneer Wim Wenders and cinematographer Robby M�ller bring their keen eye for landscape to the American Southwest in this moving character study, written by playwright Sam Shepard. Co-stars Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell, and Ry Cooder's indelible music. Winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes.

"Repo Man" (1984) Clean-cut Emilio Estevez' ambitionless path leads him into the company of car repossessers, UFO fanatics, Latino revolutionaries, and an atomic scientist with deadly cargo in the trunk of a hot Chevy Malibu. With Harry Dean Stanton, Dick Rude, and a classic LA punk rock soundtrack. (both 8/16)

"Yellow Submarine" (1968) 50th anniversary 4K Restoration! Fab Beatles score combined with cutting-edge animation. (8/17-21)

"The Smallest Show on Earth" (1957) A young married couple inherit a rundown cinema, and turn it into an unlikely success. From veteran director Basil Dearden, and boasts wacky characters played by comedy stalwarts including Peter Sellers, Margaret Rutherford, and Bernard Miles. (8/19)

"Blade Runner: The Final Cut" (1982/2007) Harrison Ford is Rick Deckard, an ex-cop forced out of retirement to hunt four renegade android slaves on the acid rain-swept streets of dystopian LA, 2019.

"One from the Heart" (1982) Director Francis Ford Coppola gave everything he had to create this visually striking musical. A couple (Teri Garr, Frederic Forrest) split on their fifth anniversary, chasing dreams in the arms of ideal lovers (Raul Julia, Nastassja Kinski). Oscar-nominated score by Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle. (both 8/22)

"Alphaville" (1965) Eddie Constantine stars as intergalactic hero Lemmy Caution, on a mission to kill the inventor of fascist computer Alpha 60, aided by the scientist's daughter (Anna Karina). Jean-Luc Godard's irreverent fusion of science fiction, pulp characters, and surrealist poetry, in French with English subtitles. (8/23)

"Vertigo" (1958) 60th anniversary! Early-retired SFPD detective James Stewart is asked to tail a friend's wife prone to mysterious absences. Hitchcock allows us to experience Scotty's growing obsession with the object of his detecting. Hitch's masterpiece is his most powerful and personal work. With Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes and Bernard Herrmann's indelible music score. (8/24-26)

"Die Hard" (1988) 30th anniversary! Bruce Willis is John McClane, an off-duty Gotham cop who tackles German terrorists holding a holiday party for ransom atop an SoCal skyscraper. Four sequels and many imitations followed, but this one still stands tall. Alan Rickman, Alexander Godunov, and Bonnie Bedelia co-star.

"The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" (2009) Recently demoted NYC subway system dispatcher Denzel Washington draws on his extensive knowledge of the world's largest underground transit operation to outflank wily mastermind John Travolta, who has hijacked a train and is holding all of the passengers hostage for ransom. Director Tony Scott's brash take on the John Godey bestseller is pure fun. With James Gandolfini, John Turtrurro, and Luis Guzman. (both 8/29)

"Stop Making Sense" (1984) Post-punk band Talking Heads were at the peak of their powers when lead singer David Byrne designed this theatrically striking concert. Director Jonathan Demme gives the viewer a front-row seat for some of their greatest, most danceable hits, from New Wave to New Funk.

"True Stories" (1986) Virgil, Texas citizens come together for the Celebration of Specialness, a pageant celebrating the 150th anniversary of their offbeat home. Assembling the story from tabloid articles, writer-director David Byrne narrates, and Talking Heads provide the whimsical songs. Virgil's eccentric residents are brought to life by a colorful cast including John Goodman, Swoozie Kurtz, Spalding Gray, and Pops Staples. (both 8/30)