Paramount Summer Classic Film Series: Beautiful Dreamers

Clue, Cleo From 5 to 7, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Boogie Nights

Clue (1985)

Tue., June 16, 9:25pm & Wed., June 17, 7pm (S)
Suspiciously evocative of Neil Simon (Murder by Death) parodying Agatha Christie (And Then There Were None), Bath-born writer/director Jonathan Lynn (My Cousin Vinny) sourced a baser literary source: Parker Bros. board game, Clue. A post-World War II game conceived in the UK, its silver-screen appropriation lurches an all-star-comedy SEAL team into whodunit mode – Eileen Brennan, Madeline Kahn, and Lesley Ann Warren vs. the boys: Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, and Martin Mull. Even so, it's Tim Curry stealing every piece of silverware. The Bath-educated Rocky Horror Picture Show genius glistens with preternaturally actorly beauty while delivering punch lines with kill-shot hilarity. Tour de force. – Raoul Hernandez

Cleo From 5 to 7 (1962)

Thu., June 25, 8:45pm & Fri., June 26, 7:25pm (S)
Cleo is a beautiful dreamer whose bubble-headed artifice is shaken by reality's intrusion. She's a French pop chanteuse whose vapid lyrics are suddenly chewed up and spit out by the unwelcome shadow of mortality that passes over her life. Filmed in a radical style by Agnès Varda, Cleo From 5 to 7 follows Cleo for 90 minutes as she wanders around Paris waiting for the results of a cancer biopsy. (It might make Cleo smile to know that 50 years in the future, getting biopsy results in 90 minutes flat would be viewed as the real marvel.) – Marjorie Baumgarten

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

Tue., June 30, 9:10pm & Wed., July 1, 7pm (S)
The debonair good looks and suavity of speech, peppered with five-dollar phrases like "metallurgic arts" and "paterfamilias," surely suggest a confidence man in whom one might have some confidence, but George Clooney's Ulysses Everett McGill must be the most maladroit mountebank to wander the South during the Great Depression – a silver-tongued slick totally inept at talking himself out of trouble and fatally fixated on Dapper Dan pomade. Clooney, in arguably his most finely calibrated performance, spouts McGill's highfalutin flimflammery effortlessly and manages to convey at once the character's brains and cluelessness, his resolve and misplaced faith in himself, and this Ulysses' Achilles heel: his vanity. – Robert Faires

Boogie Nights (1997)

Sat., Aug. 1, 8pm (P)
Main man Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) tells his girlfriend, "We've all got one special gift." Easy perspective from a guy with a package one can really build a reputation on. In reality, most people are brimming with unspecialness. But it's the ones who think they are unique who get things done, whether it's finishing high school or creating a worthwhile film that also happens to be a porno. If you're beautiful, you can afford to be a dreamer. As for the rest of us, well, we'll just have to get a grip. – Danielle White

The 2015 Paramount Summer Classic Film Series kicks off May 22 with a 35mm print of Casablanca and runs through Sept. 6. See the insert in this issue and for complete schedule. Films screening at the Paramount Theatre (P), 713 Congress, are presented in 35mm; films at the Stateside (S), 719 Congress, are presented in digital HD.

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