The end of summer means the start of the Buffalo Film Seminars
Castle in the Sky
Summer is flying by, of course. However, there’s plenty of time to park yourself inside an air-conditioned movie theater. Enjoy this month’s offerings and also be sure to check out Spree’s August outdoor screenings calendar here.
Buffalo Film Seminars: A sure sign that summer is nearing its close is the return of the BFS. Its thirty-fifth season begins this month, and the lineup is deliriously interesting: Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Wim Wenders’s Wings of Desire, Pedro Almodóvar’s Julieta. It all starts on August 29 with F.W. Murnau’s visually intoxicating silent favorite, Sunrise. (7 p.m. on August 29 at the Dipson Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main St.; csac.buffalo.edu/bfs.html)
Musicals and family films at the Riviera Theatre: North Tonawanda’s Riviera has a packed lineup for the summer. Musicals include Hello Dolly! on August 3, Chicago on August 10, West Side Story on August 17, and Rent on August 24. Family fare is also on tap, including Wall-E on August 3, Pocahontas on August 10, Brave on August 17, and Mulan on August 24. Finally, The Sound of Music falls into both categories, and screens twice on August 31. (Family films at 3 p.m., musicals at 7 p.m., and The Sound of Music at 3 and 7 p.m., at the Riviera Theatre and Performing Arts Center, 67 Webster St., N. Tonawanda; rivieratheatre.org)
Regal Summer Movie Express: The long-running Summer Movie Express from Regal Cinemas is a reliably affordable (just $1) trip to the cinema for the little ones. The series started in June and stretches into August. This month’s two-day double-bills (both films play both days, starting at 10 a.m.) are Kubo and the Two Strings and Ratchet and Clank on August 1 and 2; The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water and The Adventures of Tintin on August 8 and 9; Happy Feet Two and Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore on August 15 and 16; and Storks and The Lego Batman Movie on August 22 and 23. (10 a.m. at Regal Transit Center, 6707 Transit Rd., Williamsville; regmovies.com/movies/summer-movie-express)
French Crime Classics, special screenings, and kid favorites at TIFF Bell Lightbox: The Toronto International Film Festival is right around the corner, but cinema is in full swing at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Panique: French Crime Classics features stories of femme fatales and shady characters from directors like Georges Franju (Eyes Without a Face, August 5), Jean-Luc Godard (Band of Outsiders, August 18), and François Truffaut (Shoot the Piano Player, August 25). The TIFF Cinematheque Special Screenings roster is highlighted by Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up (August 17), David Cronenberg’s Crash (August 19), and Nagisa Oshima’s erotic masterpiece In the Realm of the Senses (August 26). Plus, the TIFF Kids Summer Series includes two of my seven-year-old son’s favorites, Shaun the Sheep: The Movie (August 9) and Spy Kids (August 23). The Schoberts will see you there. For the full lineup and showtimes, visit tiff.net.(Screenings at TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., Toronto; tiff.net)
Aurora Theatre Summer Family Film Series: The gorgeous and historic Aurora Theatre is once again offering a summer of free family films. July featured the likes of Sing and The Wizard of Oz, while this month kids can watch Trolls on August 2 and 5, Shaun the Sheep: The Movie on August 9 and 12, and Storks on August 16 and 19. (11 a.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays through August 19 at the Aurora Theatre, 673 Main St., East Aurora; theauroratheatre.com)
Fathom Events—Castle in the Sky and Doctor Who: The Five Doctors: One of the summer’s most pleasant bits of programming is the Fathom Events GKIDS Presents Studio Ghibli Fest 2017, a series of film from the legendary Japanese animation studio. August brings one of the earliest Ghibli efforts, Hayao Miyazaki’s gorgeous adventure Castle in the Sky. Also on tap from Fathom is another “RiffTrax Live” presentation, featuring the 1983 Doctor Who film The Five Doctors. (Doctor Who: The Five Doctors: 8 p.m. on August 17 and 7:30 p.m. on August 24; Castle in the Sky (dubbed): 12:55 p.m. on August 27; Castle in the Sky (subtitled): 7 p.m. on August 28; both at the Regal Elmwood Center, 2001 Elmwood Ave., and Regal Transit Center, 6707 Transit Rd., Williamsville; fathomevents.com)
Flix Free Family Film Series: The popular free summer series at Flix is back again, and August features The Lego Movie (August 5), Sing (August 12), Storks (August 19), and The Secret Life of Pets (August 26). (10 a.m. Saturdays through September 2 at Flix Stadium 10, 4901 Transit Rd., Lancaster; dipsontheatres.com)
Bonnie and Clyde ©1967 – All rights reserved. Courtesy Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc.
TCM Big Screen Classics—Bonnie and Clyde: It was lovely to see Bonnie and Clyde costars Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway presenting the Best Picture Oscar the Academy Awards, at least, until the La La Land/Moonlight snafu. Forget all of that and enjoy the fiftieth anniversary of Arthur Penn’s searing, violent culture-changer on August 13 and 16. The depression-set story of gangsters in love is the latest Turner Classic Movies screening selection. (2 and 7 p.m. on August 13 and 16 at the Regal Elmwood Center, 2001 Elmwood Ave., and Regal Transit Center, 6707 Transit Rd., Williamsville; fathomevents.com)
Salome and Peter Pan at the Fredonia Opera House: Two productions from London’s National Theatre will be screened in August at the Fredonia Opera House. First is a bold retelling of Salome on August 5. A family-friendly adaptation of Peter Pan follows on August 19. (Salome: 1 p.m. on August 5; Peter Pan: 1 p.m. on August 19; at the Fredonia Opera House, 9 Church St., Fredonia; fredopera.org)
Free Films courtesy of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library: The library system features new DVD releases every Thursday and a free family film on the first Saturday of the month at the Central Branch, along with its usual free family film on the second Saturday of the month at the Crane Branch. (Thursday Film Series: 5 p.m. on August 2, 10, 17, 24, and 31 at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Central Branch, 1 Lafayette Square; First Saturday Family Film Series: 1 p.m. on August 5 at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Central Branch and 11 a.m. on August 12 at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Crane Branch, 633 Elmwood Ave.; buffalolib.org)
Thursday Night Terrors—Zombie: The Terror is back, baby, and the third season kicks off with Lucio Fulci’s Zombie. As you can probably tell, it’s a zombie flick, and one that sounds huge. (An underwater battle? I’m in!) Interestingly, it was marketed in Italy as a sequel to Dawn of the Dead. The biggies are fun, but Zombie is the kind of under-the-radar pick that makes Thursday Night Terrors so important. (7:30 p.m. on August 24 at the Dipson Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main St.; facebook.com/thursdaynightterrors)
Noir Essentials—The Killers: It is hard to find a better pairing than Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner. Therefore, it’s hard to find a better opening selection for Noir Essentials, a new monthly retrospective at the Dipson Eastern Hills CInema. (7:30 p.m. on August 16 at the Dipson Eastern Hills Cinema, 4545 Transit Rd., Williamsville; dipsontheatres.com)
Turn It Around: The Story of East Bay Punk: This documentary exploring the Bay Area’s punk rock history features Iggy Pop and Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong. (7 p.m. on August 31 at the Dipson Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main St.; dipsontheatres.com)
UB Student Association Summer Film Series: The UB summer series brings recent blockbusters to the North Campus (next to the student union) and the South Campus (Hayes Hall lawn). The North Campus lineup is Get Out on August 4; Alien: Covenant on August 7 and 11; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales on August 14; Wonder Woman on August 18; and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on August 21 and 25. The South Campus lineup features Get Out on August 2; Alien: Covenant on August 9; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales on August 16; and Wonder Woman on August 23. (All films start at 8:45 p.m.; sa.buffalo.edu/summerfilms.)
Silent/Sound: Variations on Napoleon: The great Brian Milbrand will remix footage from films about Napolean Bonaparte, including Abel Gance’s silent classic, alongside a live performance of Beethoven’s Sinfonia Eroica. This outdoor event will take place on the gallery’s front lawn, so bring our blankets and chairs. The evening is presented by Squeaky Wheel, as part of the Burchfield Penney’s M&T Second Friday series. (9:30 p.m. on August 17 at Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Ave.; burchfieldpenney.org)
Roycroft Film Society—Sherlock Jr.: Each summer, the Roycroft Film Society presents an outdoor film in front of the Roycroft Power House. And this year’s pick, Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr., is a great one. Keaton’s story of a film projectionist involved in a mystery may be silent, but it still plays, for both adults and children. Attendees are asked to bring chairs, blankets, drinks, and snacks. (8:30 p.m. on August 19 in front of the Roycroft Power House, 39 S. Grove St., East Aurora; roycroftcampuscorp.com)
Wegmans Family Movie Night: Bee Movie: The animated Jerry Seinfeld comedy Bee Movie, free, at Shakespeare Hill in Delaware Park? Good luck finding a more serene spot for a film this month. (8 p.m. on August 14 at Shakespeare Hill in Delaware Park; bfloparks.org/delaware)
The Screening Room August schedule: The Summer Noir series at the Screening Room features Loretta Young in Cause for Alarm on August 1 and Frank Sinatra in The Man With the Golden Arm on August 3. Next up is 1966’s Batman, starring the late Adam West, on August 18, 19, and 24. (Check screeningroom.net for times; all events at the Screening Room, 880 Alberta Dr., Amherst)
Smurfs: The Lost Village at the Elma Public Library: The latest Smurfs film came and went from theaters quickly, but little ones will enjoy it. Catch a free screening on August 25 in Elma. (6:30 p.m. on August 25 at the Elma Public Library, 1860 Bowen Rd., Elma; buffalolib.org)
Christopher Schobert is a film critic for the Buffalo News and other outlets. This September, he’ll be covering the Toronto International Film Festival for Spree.