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PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: North By Northwest

Hitchcock’s classic thriller North By Northwest was written by Ernest Lehman, who wanted to write “the Hitchcock picture to end all Hitchcock pictures.” In my estimation, he far exceeded his goal.

After over 40 years, this action packed thriller still keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. North By Northwest is the best expression of one of Hitchcock’s favorite themes: the wrong man. The wrong man theme puts an everyman into an impossible situation. Cary Grant plays Roger O. Thornhill, an ad executive from New York who is mistaken for secret agent George Kaplan. Thornhill gets kidnapped by Phillip Vandamm (James Mason), who tries to kill him. Through the many twist and turns that the movie takes Cary Grant, as usual, is very debonair, sophisticated and believable in his approach to this character. I believe that North By Northwest is Grant’s most celebrated performance. This role lets him play many different character types: hero, clown, victim, drunkard, and – the part that he always plays best – the romantic lead. Grant is in almost every scene and he owns the screen, whether he is being seduced by Eve Kendall or chased by Phillip Vandamm or the CIA.

Eva Marie Saint as Eve Kendall is also very believable in her part. She is sexy, mysterious and dangerous. She keeps us guessing in each different scene, who her character really is. James Mason is also brilliant in his role as the villain. Mason also has a very sophisticated, charming air about him that even competes with Grant. Jessie Royce Landis is very funny as Cary Grant’s mother. Truly, Grant is the star of this show, but everyone in the show shines in their parts.

The crop dusting scene is my personal favorite in the film. Our hero in the show, Roger Thornhill finds himself attacked by a machine-gun-equipped crop dusting plane. It is one of the most remarkable scenes in film history. It has left me on the edge of my seat and holding my breath every time I watch the film. Although, all the scenes are impeccably done: the Mt. Rushmore visitor center scene, the drunk driving scene, the auction and the UN segment.

Hitchcock’s vision, Grant’s charm, and the rest of the casts’ truly brilliant performances makes this one film that you need to see. Join us on Monday, November 12th at 6:30 pm. See you at the PIX!

 

 

Kitty Messplay 

Vice President

Board Of Directors

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PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: Ghostbusters

Who you gonna call? “Ghostsmashers.”

Well, I don’t know about you, but I am sure glad the original title didn’t stick for Ghostbusters. Who could forget the classic 1984 comedy featuring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis, of which Aykroyd conceived and later rewrote with Ramis. From the moment you hear the Ghostbusters theme song, which reached number one on the Billboard charts for three weeks straight, and see the iconic Ghostbusters logo, the movie grabs your attention and the characters keep you engaged with the story and make you smile with their witty comedy.

I remember being a teenager at the time and this being one of the most talked about comedies of the time. The movie was originally intended for an adult audience but the cast and crew were shocked to find that children were loving the film for its fun fantasy adventure of scientists battling supernatural threats with their innovative technology to track down and capture the ghosts and ghouls. This lead to a continuation of Ghostbusters as a successful 80’s Saturday morning cartoon then leading to the sequel in 1989 with the same beloved cast as the first.

So head on over to Waukesha Civic Theatre and grab your bag of popcorn on Monday, October 8 at 6:30 pm for some ghoulish delight from a great cast of characters. You will definitely get your fill of laughs, suspense, and heroic moments. There is even a love to hate antagonist figure that adds additional drama to the overall all battle of the rather unorthodox heroic Ghostbusters. Please get the word out and make our showing of Ghostbusters the highest-grossing PIX Flix film of all time just like Ghostbusters was the highest-grossing comedy of all time (until it was topped by Home Alone).

 

 

Rich Johnson

Treasurer

Board Of Directors

 

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: Mary Poppins

I love the penguins. There, I said it. How could you not? They are as enamored with Mary as we are and can hardly contain their joy at being around her. Soon we will have a sequel to Mary Poppins, starring none-other than Lin-Manuel Miranda, and I have read that the penguins will be back! This makes me happy. It makes me happy that Disney is working to stay true to the whimsy and joy that is Mary Poppins.

I grew up on this movie, it was released the year I was born, no I won’t tell you which year that was, and I remember being spellbound as Julie Andrews (the ONLY Mary Poppins there will ever be for me) and Dick Van Dyke frolicked around, above and literally IN the streets and sidewalks of London. It introduced me to the city of London, and to this day, it is my favorite city in the world!

Mary Poppins received a total of 13 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture – a record for any other film released by Walt Disney Studios – and won five; Best Actress for Andrews, Best Film Editing, Best Original Music Score, Best Visual Effects, and Best Original Song for “Chim Cher-ee”. In 2013, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Mary Poppins is widely considered to be Walt Disney’s crowning live-action achievement, his only film to gain a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars in his lifetime. (Thank you, Wikipedia, for that entire last paragraph.)

But it isn’t just the music and the visual effects that make this a must-see on the big screen. The story addresses a range of situations and emotions relevant in today’s world: Parents distracted by careers, social activism, the need for civility and manners and so much more. But unlike productions and movies of our current day, Mary Poppins doesn’t preach, nor does her main character apologize, cajole or bully.

Tie this together with a spoonful of sugar and you have a classic that should not be missed. Take a break from the summer heat, enjoy the beauty of the cool dark theater with your family and brush up on your non-sensicality. It is time to come see Mary Poppins – August 13 – 6:30 P.M.

 

Jane Klett

Board Director

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Bueller (Pause)…. Bueller (Pause).… stated in a monotone voice. One of the most often used quotes when someone mentions the 1986 movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Come enjoy watching High School senior Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) show us how to skip school by faking an illness to enjoy a fun filled, adventurous day in Chicago with his pessimistic best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) and his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara). Ferris dances and sings to Twist and Shout fully enjoying his entire day while his sister, Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) and the school principal, Edward Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) fail at trying to find proof that Ferris is just playing hooky.

Even the people seen dancing (including the construction worker and the window washer) during the parade scene thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Originally, they had nothing to do with the film as they were simply dancing to the music being played during filming. Director John Hughes found it so humorous, that he told the camera operators to record it.

As quoted by Ferris Bueller on his day off, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it!” Don’t miss your chance to join us on June 11th at 6:30 to sit back and enjoy this funny comedy that will leave you wanting to dance your way out of the theater.

 

 

 

Nancy McCaskey

Board Director

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing – A 31 Year Old Favorite

So if you’re looking for a movie to make you feel good, has toe tapping catchy music, sexy dancing, great acting and an awesome story line filled with a little spice and good girl falls for bad boy – Dirty Dancing is the film to see! Released in 1987, Dirty Dancing is one of the best dance/teen love movies ever made. It’s also the movie that catapulted the career of Swayze. Just three years later he went on to make the movie Ghost with Demi Moore (another awesome love story, but let’s stay focused!) Dirty Dancing is literally one of those movies you can watch again and again, and never get tired of it.

It’s been said that Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey had terrible chemistry off camera – but you’d never know that watching them on the big screen. The movie takes off when Baby Houseman and her family go on vacation to a resort in New York. After Baby meets the camp’s dance instructor, Johnny, and signs up for dance lessons…well, let’s just say sparks begin to fly. Some of the scenes between Johnny and Baby draw you in and leave a feeling of happy, sad, excitement – and might even make you think you could dance. There have been many movies made with music and dancing since 1987 – but none quite like Dirty Dancing. It’s in a category all by itself.

So bring a friend, relative or significant other to the Waukesha Civic Theatre to watch this nostalgic feel-good feature film. Future movies include The African Queen, Apollo 13, Rear Window, and the final PIX film feature – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In addition, there are many Mainstage performances to choose from.

Come see Dirty Dancing on Monday, February 5th at 6:30 pm and have ‘the time of your life’! See you at the PIX!

Anthony Ventress

Board Director