The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced that the November and December lineups for its ongoing Family Films series and Midnight Movies series.
The Family Films series will celebrate the special relationship that kids have with animals during the next two months led by classics like Caroline Thompson’s BLACK BEAUTY (1988), Fred M. Wilcox’s LASSIE COME HOME (1943), and Clarence Brown’s NATIONAL VELVET (1944). Family favorites like Joe Camp’s BENJI (1974), Richard Donner’s FREE WILLY (1993), Jay Russell’s MY DOG SKIP (2000) and Bernard McEveety’s NAPOLEON AND SAMANTHA (1972) with a very young Jodie Foster round out the schedule, as well as the charming international films THE BLUE TIGER (2012) and CHANDANI: THE DAUGHTER OF THE ELEPHANT WHISPERER (2010).
The Midnight Movies series will highlighted by three encores of sorts in November and December with Larry Cohen returning to Film Society (following a recent appearance for a special Film Comment Selects presentation) to introduce his film Q (1982), Casey Pugh’s STAR WARS UNCUT (2012) (which launched the Midnight Movies series), and Richard Pryor: LIVE ON THE SUNSET STRIP (1982) (following a previous screening of Richard Pryor: LIVE IN CONCERT). Other films in the Midnight lineup are; Tobe Hooper’s scarefest THE FUNHOUSE (1982); Edgar Wright’s popular adaptation of SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD (2010); Thom Eberhardt’s 80’s staple NIGHT OF THE COMET (1984); and a Midnight Movies’ salute to Christmas with Charles E. Sellier Jr.’s SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT (1982).
Film, Description & Schedule
BENJI (1974) 86min
Director: Joe Camp
The first in a series about the lovable iconic stray dog was a huge box office hit. Benji bravely steps in to save two children who are kidnapped from a small Texas town.
Screens November 24, 25
BLACK BEAUTY (1994) 88min
Director: Caroline Thompson
The fourth feature film adaptation of the 1877 novel by Anna Sewell has become a classic. It tells the poignant story of a beautiful and noble black stallion living in England. Despite the many hardships he endures, including illness, a fire, and cruel treatment by his owners, the film is heartwarming and intensely engaging, as it highlights animal rights issues that are sadly still relevant.
Screens December 29, 30
THE BLUE TIGER (Modrý tygr) (2012) 90min
Director: Petr Oukropec
Country: Czech Republic
Johanka and Mátyás are on a mission to save a historic part of town that includes the Botanic Garden where they both live. Old and run-down, the garden is in danger of being replaced by an entertainment center in a plan hatched by the greedy town mayor. When a mysterious blue tiger appears in the garden, the kids have to protect it from a group of mean classmates and the mayor’s henchmen. A visually beautiful tale full of magic and imagination.
Screens December 24-January 1
CHANDANI: THE DAUGHTER OF THE ELEPHANT WHISPERER (2010) 87min
Director: Arne Birkenstock
Countries: Germany/Sri Lanka
Chandani’s great-great-grandfather was a mahout, an elephant trainer. The skills are usually passed down to the sons, but Chandani has no brothers and she wants the job. In this documentary film that feels like fiction, Chandani breaks with tradition and challenges everyone’s beliefs that a girl cannot train an elephant. Her father brings her a baby elephant and she eagerly takes up the challenge of getting him, and herself, ready to ride in the Perahera, a noisy festival where decorated elephants are paraded through the town. An engaging and dramatic story, this film will have your kids asking for an elephant for their next birthday. Winner of the LOLA award for Best Children’s Film (Germany).
Screens December 1, 2
FREE WILLY (1993) 112min
Director: Richard Donner
A young orca who has been separated from his parents is taken to an adventure park, where he reluctantly becomes the star attraction. When he befriends a 12-year-old abandoned street kid who teaches him wild tricks, a series of unexpected events lead to the prospect of freedom. Rated PG.
Screens December 15, 16
LASSIE COME HOME (1943) 89min
Director: Fred M. Wilcox
The bond between a Yorkshire boy and his beloved and devoted collie is so profound that, when the dog is sent hundreds of miles away, she embarks on a very long and difficult but relentless journey to return home. This moving children's classic, shot in Technicolor and starring the canine actor Pal is based on the 1940 novel by Eric Knight. It was the first in a series of seven MGM films starring "Lassie".
Screens December 22, 23
MY DOG SKIP (2000) 95min
Director: Jay Russell
Young Willie is unpopular, often bullied by other kids in his town. Until he receives a pet dog, a Jack Russell terrier named Skip, who turns his life into an exciting adventure. Based on the bestselling memoir by the late Willie Morris.
Screens November 10, 11
NAPOLEON AND SAMANTHA (1972) 92min
Director: Bernard McEveety
Jodie Foster made her screen debut at age 9 as Samantha, a spunky girl whose friend Napoleon (Johnny Whitaker) lives on a farm in Oregon with his grandfather (Will Geer). One day, a circus performer persuades the boy and his grandfather to take in Major, an aging lion. But when grandpa dies, Napoleon tries to avoid being sent to an orphanage by running away into the mountains with Samantha and the lion in search of his friend Danny (Michael Douglas).
Screens December 8, 9