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Friday Night Flix at the Belfast Free Library – “Classic Comedies for Midsummer Nights”
July 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
An event every week that begins at 7:00pm on Friday, happening 4 times
“Classic Comedies for Midsummer Nights” is the theme for July at the Belfast Free Library’s “Friday Night Flix” film series. The month features four critically acclaimed comedies dating back as far as the 1960s. All the movies are free and take place at 7pm in the Abbott Room.
Leading off on July 7th is Shampoo (1975). It’s election eve, 1968. Richard Nixon is about to become President. But a different kind of politics is being played out in Beverly Hills – sexual politics. Warren Beatty and Julie Christie star in this film about a hairdresser who beds down as many clients as he can. But Beatty is unhappy with the direction of his life. So he and one of his “clients” scheme to have her husband bankroll Beatty’s dream of owning his own salon. But will Beatty pay the bigger price? The all-star cast also includes Goldie Hawn, Jack Warden and Lee Grant.
On July 14th, it’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard star in this story of an aspiring socialite and a struggling writer – two lost souls who are forced to confront their failed dreams, even as their attraction builds. Some movies defy stereotypes. Is it a romantic comedy or a heartbreaking drama? Regardless, it just gets better with age. It’s worth seeing again – if only for the opening scene where Audrey Hepburn stands alone outside Tiffany’s at dawn in an elegant evening gown, holding a pastry and a takeout coffee with Moon River playing in the background. What else do you need?
On July 21st, it’s Love and Death (1975). Who else but Woody Allen could pull off a split-your-sides parody of serious Russian novels like War and Peace and Crime and Punishment? Woody Allen and Diane Keaton team up to portray unlikely lovers (Boris and Sonja) in Czarist Russia. As with many of Allen’s early films, the plot of Boris becoming an accidental war hero, marrying Sonja and plotting to assassinate Napoleon takes a backseat to the rollicking slapstick humor – which harkens back to Chaplin and The Marx Brothers. And the comic dialogue is vintage early Woody Allen.
The finale on July 28th is Harold and Maude (1971). An odd couple, indeed. Harold is 20, rich and obsessed with death. Maude is poor, 79 and obsessed with life. They meet at the funeral of a total stranger. And thus begins one of the most unlikely and beguiling love affairs ever put on film. This eccentric cult classic stars Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort. There is dark humor, for sure. But it’s no match for the joy and hope the story ultimately delivers. Its offbeat nature was perfectly timed to reflect the rebellion and chaos of the 1960s. Throw in an unforgettable soundtrack by Cat Stevens, and you get something akin to the perfect movie-going experience.