So, here is the thing about the Paramount Summer Classics film series: They are all, by definition, good movies. Or at least interesting ones. But mostly extremely good ones. So there are lots to chose from.
Here is the first in an occasional series of posts exploring the Paramount offerings.
If you have never seen them in the theaters, here are three must-see science fiction films.
“Metropolis” (1927, 148 min/b&w/silent w/English intertitles, DCP). Directed by Fritz Lang. There are a couple of versions of this 1927 classic. The 153 min. version hasn’t been seen since the 1920s. Various black and white (and one famously tinted and rescored version) edits floated around for years, most of them well under 100 minutes. Then, in the early 2000s, a 16mm reduction negative of the original cut was found in the archives of Buenos Aires, Argentina’s Museo del Cine. Along with a few other prints, a 148 min. version was restored and debuted in 2010.
This is that version and it is essential viewing for anyone into sci-fi, film history, massive sets, Fritz Lang, pre-war German culture, class warfare, Expressionism, and robots that magically turn into beautiful ladies. July 12, 7 p.m. at the Paramount.
“The Thing” (1982, 109 min/color, 35mm). Directed by John Carpenter. Most remakes don’t work. This one, a reboot, as the kids say, of a 50s horror flick, is still insanely scary. Helicopter pilot Kurt Russell heads to Antarctic research station to investigate some very weird goings on. There’s a Lovecraftian aspect to the proceedings that Carpenter explored more his literal Lovecraft adaptation “In the Mouth of Madness” in 1995. But this is the superior film and a modern classic of bone-chilling terror. 7 p.m. July 13, 9:15 p.m. July 14 at the Paramount.
(P) “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968, 160 min/color, 70mm) Directed by Stanley Kubrick.If you have never seen this movie on a big screen, you have never really seen it. And I am not someone who is precious about that sort of thing, but there are certain films that really do feel like different experiences projected as largely as possible. This is one of them. 7 p.m. Aug. 23, 7 p.m. Aug. 24.