Spring library programs celebrate classic movies
This spring, Heights Libraries will celebrate classic American films with film screenings, book talks, live movie music, and film talks by local experts John Ewing, Neal Hodges and Mark Dawidziak.
Original Voices Book Club: Hollywood Edition. [All programs in this series take place on Wednesdays, at 7:30 p.m., at the Lee Road branch, 2345 Lee Road.]
March 14: The Loved One: An Anglo-American Tragedy by Evelyn Waugh. Waugh’s fictionalized account of his time in Hollywood focuses on the strange and surreal practices of the mortuary industry. This biting commentary on American culture and the film community was called a “macabre frolic filled with laughter” and “fiendishly entertaining” by The New York Times.
April 11: West of Sunset by Stewart O’Nan. In this fictional biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the famous author, now financially ruined and in failing health, settles in Hollywood to re-start his career as a screenwriter. O’Nan’s novel is an intimate portrait of the writer’s last years painted alongside a vivid cast of characters.
May 9: The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett. Named one of the “100 Best Books” by The Guardian, this classic novel introduced Sam Spade to the world and gave shape and substance to the image of the hard-boiled detective and the whole genre of noir mysteries. Follow in Spade’s footsteps as he seeks out a statuette that brings death in its wake.
Lee Road Movie Night. [Movies in this series are shown on Fridays, at 6:30 p.m., at the Lee Road branch.]
March 16: "It Happened One Night." Frank Capra’s romantic comedy stars Claudette Colbert as a spoiled heiress running away from her family and Clark Gable as a reporter in need of a story. This early talkie won five Best Oscars: picture, actor, actress, director, and screenplay. (1934)
May 11: "The Maltese Falcon." Based on a Dashiell Hammett novel, John Huston’s film follows Detective Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) as he gets tangled up with murder cases, eccentric criminals, a beautiful dame and the search for a priceless statuette. It also stars Mary Astor and Peter Lorre. (1941)
Race(ing) to the Movies. Thursday, April 19, 7 p.m., at the Lee Road branch. Neal Hodges presents an excursion into films made for African Americans by African Americans during the Golden Age of Cinema (1919–50).
The Cinematic Glories of Silent Films. Tuesday, April 24, 7 p.m., at the Lee Road branch. John Ewing, director of the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque and curator of film at the Cleveland Museum of Art, discusses one of his favorite eras in film history. His talk will be supplemented by memorable clips from some great silent movies.
Monsters Are Universal: Silver Screams in Hollywood’s Golden Age. Tuesday, May 15, 7 p.m., at the Lee Road branch. Largely Literary Theater Co. co-founders Sara Showman and Mark Dawidziak use lighthearted sketches, props and costume pieces to explore Hollywood’s Golden Age of horror, with a special emphasis on the Universal films starring Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, as well as the genre’s literary origins.
Music and the Movies
Wednesday, May 30, 7 p.m. Vocalist Eileen Burns and her three-piece jazz combo present an entertaining and informative program featuring memorable songs and interesting stories from classic Hollywood films, such as "Casablanca," "Swing Time," "Breakfast at Tiffany’s," "Brigadoon," "Singin’ in the Rain," and more.
Classic Movie Night: "The Invisible Man." Thursday, April 5, 7 p.m., at the Noble Neighborhood branch, 2800 Noble Road. "The Invisible Man" is considered a classic horror film. An adaptation of the famous H.G. Wells novel of the same name, it was an early example of the magic that could be done on a silver screen. Come see this classic before the Johnny Depp reboot comes out in theaters. (1933)
The Sounds of Hollywood’s Golden Age with Shari Hunter. Thursday, April 19, 7 p.m., at the Noble Neighborhood branch. Listen as Shari Hunter performs famous songs from classic movies from Hollywood’s Golden Era, and explains what makes these songs so famous. Songs to be performed include “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “Luck be a Lady Tonight,” and “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.”
H.G. Wells Film Series. [Movies in this series are shown on Tuesdays, at 6:30 p.m., at the University Heights branch, 13866 Cedar Road.]
March 27: "Island of Lost Souls" (1933)
April 24: "War of the Worlds" (1953)
May 29: "The Time Machine" (1960)
Sheryl Banks is the communications manager for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System.