Film series takes urban turn

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The atmosphere of a big city will soon arrive in Flagstaff.

The annual College of Arts and Letters film series will focus on “Cinema and the City” in its fall lineup. Classic films from the 1930s to 1980s will show at 7 p.m. Tuesdays in the Cline Library Assembly Hall from Aug. 26 through Dec. 9. All films are free and open to the public.

Settings in San Francisco, New York, Rome, Paris, Washington, D.C., London, New Orleans and Vienna will be highlighted.

The new co-directors of the series, Paul Helford, principal lecturer in the School of Communication, and Paul Ferlazzo, professor of English, say that in many of the films, the city itself becomes a major character.

“The one I’m most looking forward to is Antonioni’s Blow Up,” Helford said. “It may feel a little dated, but I think it will be a real kick for people with its depiction of a London and a world on the verge of major cultural shifts in 1966 within the context of a brilliant and baffling mystery.”

Moviegoers not only get to witness the classics on a big screen with an upgraded projector and DVD player, they are eligible for door prizes, will learn about the film during an introduction emphasizing its place in history and can stick around for a more in-depth discussion following each film.

The series includes the No. 1 and No. 2 best romantic comedies of all time as designated by the American Film Institute: Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights and Woody Allen’sAnnie Hall.

Some of the featured stars include Humphrey Bogart (The Maltese Falcon), Jimmy Cagney (Angels with Dirty Faces), James Stewart and Jean Arthur (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) and Stewart with Kim Novak (Vertigo), Diane Keaton (Oscar winner for Annie Hall), Leslie Caron (Gigi) and Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters).

Featured directors include Chaplin and Allen, John Huston, Elia Kazan, Roberto Rossellini, Robert Wise, Alfred Hitchcock, Vincent Minnelli, Frank Capra, Michelangelo Antonioni, Francois Truffaut, Don Siegel, and Milos Foreman.

The series kicks off Aug. 26 with City Lights from 1931. Information on the series is online at Free parking is available at the Riordan and Knoles covered garage and behind Cline Library.