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Coming Attractions

Cold nights, hot screens

Jack O’Connell and Sienna Miller in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat photo by Johan Persson


February is a rather quiet month for film screenings. The holidays are behind us, and Oscar season is nearing its close. But there’s plenty here to dig into during this frigid month.


Buffalo Film Seminars: The latest Buffalo Film Seminars season started on January 29 with Mervyn LeRoy’s Gold Diggers of 1933 and—no surprise—the four classics to follow are a diverse delight. While Casablanca and High Noon are a bit obvious, how can one find fault with their inclusion here? The former screens in February 6, while High Noon is set for February 27. Jacques Tourneur’s Robert Mitchum-starrer Out of the Past screens on February 13, while Ozu’s Tokyo Story is scheduled for February 20. Curtiz, Tourneur, Ozu, and Zinneman? That’s a killer lineup. (7 p.m. on February 6, 13,20, and 27 at the Dipson Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main St.; csac.buffalo.edu/bfs.html)


TCM Big Screen Classics—The Philadelphia Story: The Turner Classic Movies Big Screen Classics series is mostly hit; even the misses (like Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner) are culturally significant. The Philadelphia Story is a hit, and then some. George Cukor’s quintessential romantic comedy stars an unmatched trio—Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and James Stewart—and has aged remarkably well. As usual, the screenings will feature insight from TCM host Ben Mankiewicz. (2 and 7 p.m. on February 18 and 21 at the Regal Elmwood Center, 2001 Elmwood Ave., and Regal Transit Center, 6707 Transit Rd., Williamsville; fathomevents.com)


National Theatre Live—Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: One of 2017’s most powerful (and sadly underseen) films was Una, an adaptation of the play Blackbird starring Rooney Mara. The film’s director, Benedict Andrews, is best known for his stage work, and his latest is a revival of Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. This National Theatre Live simulcast stars Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell. (7 p.m. on February 22 at the Regal Elmwood Center, 2001 Elmwood Ave., and Regal Transit Center, 6707 Transit Rd., Williamsville; fathomevents.com)


Thursday Night Terrors—Night of the Comet: It’s fun when Thursday Night Terrors brings a less-heralded cult classic to the Amherst Dipson, and there’s no better example than Thom Eberhardt’s Night of the Comet. While the 1984 sci-fi-horror flick lacks the name recognition of some of this season’s picks, like Carrie and Escape From New York, Comet is ideal Terrors fare. This story of the survivors of a deadly comet has proven hugely influential. (7:30 p.m. on February 22 at the Dipson Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main St.; facebook.com/thursdaynightterrors)


Pariah, presented by Cultivate Cinema Circle: If you are a Netflix subscriber, I sincerely hope you’ve watched Mudbound. Director Dee Rees’s searing, overwhelmingly powerful drama about two Mississippi families during and after World War II was undoubtedly one of 2017’s best. And it marked Rees as one of cinema’s most thrilling filmmakers. Cultivate Cinema Circle offers a can’t-miss opportunity see her debut feature, 2011’s Pariah, at Hallwalls on February 8. It’s the story of an African-American teenager embracing her identity as a lesbian. Beyond Boundaries Film and Discussion Series curator Ruth Goldman will introduce the film, part of CCC’s year-long Women Direct series. (7 p.m. on February 8 at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 341 Delaware Ave.; cultivatecinemacircle.com)


Pariah poster design by Jared Mobarak


Old Chestnut Film Series—Conquest: The Clark Gable-Greta Garbo season of the long-running classic film series continues with this 1937 drama starring Garbo as the mistress of Napoleon (Charles Boyer). (7:30 p.m. on November 17 in the Community Room of the Phillip Sheridan School, 3200 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore; oldchestnut.com)


Victoria & Abdul at the Town of Collins Public Library: It’s easy to scoff at a film like Victoria & Abdul—another costume drama starring Judi Dench? But this tale of the friendship between Queen Victoria and her Indian servant is charming and entertaining. It screens at the Town of Collins library on February 2. The screening is co-sponsored by the 50+ Seniors and Collins Library. (1 p.m. on February 2 at the Town of Collins Public Library, 2341 Main St., Collins; buffalolib.org)

The Royal Opera House presents Rigoletto: The latest Royal Opera House simulcast is Verdi’s tale of Rigoletto, the ridiculed court jester. (11 a.m. on  February 18 at the Dipson Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main. St.; dipsontheatres.com)


February at the Fredonia Opera House: A trio of screenings are scheduled this month at the Fredonia Opera House, First up is David Hockney at the Royal Academy of Art, a documentary about the British artist focusing on his 2012 and 2016 exhibitions held at the Royal Academy of Art in London, screens in February 1. On February 10, the Opera House presents a the Met’s production of Donizetti's The Elixir of Love. And on February 24 comes the Met’s production of Puccini’s La Bohème. (David Hockney at the Royal Academy of Art: 7:30 p.m. on February 1; The Elixir of Love: noon on February 18; La Bohème: 12:30 p.m. on February 24; at the Fredonia Opera House, 9 Church St., Fredonia; fredopera.org)


Academy Awards Preview in Rochester: The Oscars are set for March 4, but the George Eastman House offers a unique preview event a few weeks earlier. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle columnist Jack Garner breaks down this year’s Academy Awards at a special event at the Eastman House Dryden Theatre on February 16. (6 p.m. on February 16 at the George Eastman Museum, 900 East Ave., Rochester; eastman.org)


The Passion of Joan of Arc, presented by Cultivate Cinema Circle: CCC presents a one-night-only screening of the brand new 2K restoration of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1928 silent masterpiece. This new 2K restoration will be accompanied by Richard Einhorn’s “Voices of Light” score. (9:30 p.m. on February 15 at the North Park Theatre, 1428 Hertel Ave.; cultivatecinemacircle.com)


Screenings at the Burchfield Penney: The Burchfield features a diverse lineup of fascinating documentaries this February including The Algerian War, 1954-1962: The Roots of Counterinsurgency (6 p.m. on February 8); Korey Green’s The Blackness Project (7:30 p.m. on February 9); the acclaimed James Baldwin bio I am Not Your Negro (7 p.m. on February 15); and terrorism study Hamburg Cell (6 p.m. on February 22). (All screenings at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Ave.; burchfieldpenney.org)


February at the Screening Room: Amherst’s Screening Room starts the month with Rob Reiner’s cult classic, The Princess Bride (February 2, 3, 9, and 14; the screening on February 9 features Princess Bride trivia). In addition, films include first-run thriller Desolation (February 2 and 3); Hollywood classic Casablanca (February 10, 13, 14, 16, and 17); Tommy Wiseau’s legendarily awful film The Room (February 22, 23, 24, and 27); horror flick The Lodgers on February 23. Remember to check screeningroom.net for times and a full schedule of films and events. (The Screening Room, 880 Alberta Dr., Amherst; screeningroom.net)


Roycroft Film Society—Frantz: François Ozon’s startling post-World War I mystery-drama is about a German woman whose fiancé died during the war, and the French soldier who killed him. (4 p.m. on April 8 at Parkdale Elementary School, 141 Girard Ave., East Aurora; roycroftcampuscorp.com)


The Last Year at the North Park Theatre: This acclaimed documentary looks at President Barack Obama’s final year in the White House. (11:30 a.m. on February 17 and 18 at the North Park Theatre, 1428 Hertel Ave.; cultivatecinemacircle.com)


TIFF Next Wave Festival: TIFF offers a unique film fest that’s free for anyone under twenty-five. Check tiff.net for details. (February 16 to 18 at TIFF Bell Lightbox is located in Reitman Square, 350 King St. West, Toronto, Ontario; tiff.net)


Christopher Schobert is a film critic whose worked has appeared in the Buffalo News and numerous other outlets.


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