NOW that its Shakespeare series is over, the Library of Congress' Mary Pickford Theater will present a two-sided view of the American way of life as seen through 80 years of movies.
On the one hand, "American Satire" will take dead aim at film fans' funnybones with movies from such directors as Woody Allen and Albert Brooks. On the other hand, "Real-Life America" will offer a collection of non-fiction film and television documentaries, including the famous 1973 An American Family series, which followed the daily lives of the William Loud family for nearly a year.
The series' first offering, the Washington premiere of John Cassavetes' 1984 Love Streams on Friday, is already booked, but there are still seats available for Tuesday's 7:30 screening of Italianamerican and Joe and Maxie. On Wednesday, see Warner Brothers' 1932 The Dark Horse with Warren William and Bette Davis. Remember, the theater has only 64 seats, so you'd better make reservations in advance. To do so, or to get a printed schedule, call 287-5677 between 9 and 4:30, Monday through Friday. The series runs for three months.
Shelley Nemerofsky's anxiety attack on film, The Bulb, attracted the most applause from moviegoers to take top honors recently at the Biograph's 17th "Expose Yourself" film festival. Nemerofsky's five-minute work in animation is a look at her discovery that it takes much longer than expected to produce a film. Nemerofsky lives in Bethesda, where she designs television production training courses for community participation in Montgomery Community Television.
Michael Farkas' nine-minute deadpan on restaurant mishaps, Entree Lapin, finished second. In third place was Matt Greenberg's New This Fall, a six-minute spoof on television programs, such as one starring a blind and deaf-mute private detective confined to a wheelchair who still always gets his man. Bruce Cooke's 32-minute futuristic black-and-white One State received an honorable mention.
The cover story in a recent issue of People magazine told us "who makes what," and if it's on the money, it could make a grown taxpayer cry.
The magazine reported 24-year-old actor Michael J. Fox, who hit it big last summer with Back to the Future, is now asking for $1.5 million per film, a tidy $1,250,000 raise. Also asking for more is Kim Basinger, 31-year-old former Revlon model, who's been seen in The Natural and Never Say Never Again. She received only $400,000 18 months ago for her steamy bondage scenes with Mickey Rourke in 9 1/2 Weeks. But don't worry about her finances, she's signed on for a go-round with Richard Gere in No Mercy, this time for a cool $1 million.
The magazine says that Barbra Streisand, who in the early '60s sang in Manhattan clubs for a mere $5 a night, will soon get $5 million for playing a hooker in Nuts. This brings her lifetime earnings to close to $100 million. Other stars collecting big checks are Paul Newman, who reportedly gets $4 million per picture; Eddie Murphy, $5 million; Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman, each asking $6 million plus a percentage of the gate; and box- office knockout Sly Stallone, who now looks for $12 million just for standing on the right side of the lens.
Yeah, but just think of all the tax problems.
Speaking of Stallone, while there was no mention of any of the "Rocky" or "Rambo" films at the 58th Academy Awards, the actor is still revered by film companies such as the Cannon Group. In a recent Daily Variety, Cannon chairman Menahem Golan and company president Yoram Globus paid $1,300 for a full-page advertisement to congratulate Stallone on receiving The People's Choice Award for "Favorite Motion Picture Actor." Of course, the cost for the ad was a mere drop in the bucket compared to the box office receipts rung up by the tough-talking actor. Yo! Bank teller . . . .
While we already know what the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences thought about last year's crop of films, Southern Californians Jim Chiesa and George Tait have gone to great lengths to find out what America's critics thought. The pair have released their "Twelfth Annual Top Ten Tally," the favorite 10 movies of 100 film critics from around the nation and Canada. According to the survey, Prizzi's Honor led the list with 61 critics listing it as their 1985 favorite. Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo was second, followed by Ran, Witness and Kiss of the Spider Woman. Two films were tied in the No. 6 spot, Back to the Future and Out of Africa, while After Hours was ranked eighth followed by The Color Purple and The Official Story.
In their newsletter, which so far is sent free to anyone interested in film, Chiesa and Tait say they "don't represent any organization . . . We just do this for the hell of it." They started doing it "out of curiosity," says Chiesa. "We just wanted to get an idea of what the critics around the country thought." Chiesa and Tait now spend about a full week working on the list each year. If you'd like a copy of the critics' picks, send a legal-size SASE to: Top Ten Tally, P.O. Box 1723, Santa Monica, California. 90401.
The major photography on Robert Redford's latest film, Legal Eagles, was completed several weeks ago in New York, and after some post-production work back at the Universal lot on the West Coast, the picture could be in release by June. Joining Redford in the comedy thriller about art fraud and murder are Debra Winger and Daryl Hannah . . . Aaron Spelling has just completed the principal photography on 'night, Mother, which probes the controversal right to take one's own life and stars Sissy Spacek and Anne Bancroft. The film, based on Marsha Norman's stage play, is expected out next fall.
SHORT TAKES -- The National Gallery's Brideshead Revisited series concludes this weekend with Episodes 9 and 10 screening at 12:30 on Friday and Saturday, respectively, and Episode 11 on Sunday at 6. Among the gallery's other weekend screenings are Friday's 2 p.m. showing of Winslow Homer: The Nature of the Artist; Saturday's 2:30 offering of Blood and Sand; and a 78-minute look at 600 years of English landscape gardening in The English Garden on Sunday at 1. The last is narrated by Sir John Gielgud and winds up the "Treasure Houses of Britain" exhibition.
In Baltimore, the Baltimore Film Forum-sponsored International Film Festival continues at the Baltimore Museum of Art Friday evening at 7:30 with Italy's Allonsanfan. Directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, it's a sardonic essay on the failure of political commitment, and centers on the few who continued their quest for freedom after the fall of Napoleon's empire. It stars Marcello Mastroianni. At 9:45, see American-made Louie, Bluie, a 60-minute look at the life of Howard Armstrong, a 76-year-old fiddler, mandolin player and painter who continues to lead one of the last black string bands in the country. Sunday's only screening is at 7:30 for Kamilla, made in Norway. On Thursday see the Israeli-made Beyond the Walls at 7:30 followed at 9:45 by the Cuban-produced Up to a Certain Point. Admission is $3 for Film Forum and Museum members; $4 for the general public. For a complete screening schedule, call 301/685-4170. The Baltimore Museum of Art is at 516 North Charles Street.
The Information and Culture Center of the Japan Embassy continues to offer free lunchtime screenings of documentary films and avant-garde works by contemporary Japanese artists. On Friday at 12:30 see two short films, An Expression (9 minutes) and Ordinary Life (12 minutes); on Monday and Tuesday it's . . . !? ET? (9 minutes), Scale (6 minutes), and A-R-K (6 minutes). The center is at 917 19th Street NW. Call 775-0847/0848 for details.
Anthropologist and author Judith Lynne Hanna is the featured guest in Sunday's free Footroots program, "The Ritual in Dance: From Bali to New York City," at the American Film Institute Theater. Film highlights include clips from Trance and Dance in Bali and several other dance films.. The program is sponsored by Dance Arts Moving Arts and begins at 4. Call 737-1662 or the AFI box office, 785-4601.
Brooklyn Bridge, the dramatic and tragic story of the constuction of one of the world's best-known bridges, receives a free screening Tuesday at noon at the National Geographic's Grosvenor Auditorium, 1600 M Street NW.
The American History Museum this month features Hollywood films that explore spectacular versions of the industry's own history. Now how's that for ego? This Wednesday at noon the series presents MGM's 1952 The Bad and the Beautiful, directed by Vincent Minelli. The film, which won five Academy Awards, sports a cast that includes Kirk Douglas, Dick Powell, Lana Turner, Gloria Grahame, Barry Sullivan and Walter Pidgeon. The series winds up on April 23 with the Pathe' company's 1914 Deadly Turning, a 10-minute silent movie, doubled billed with Paramount's 1947 The Perils of Pauline, a musical-comedy about silent-film stars. All screenings are free in Carmichael Auditorium. Call 357-2700.
George Mason University concludes its free five-part French film series on Wednesday at 7:30 with Jean Luc Goddard's Carmen. The screening will be in Lecture Hall No. 1 at the main Fairfax campus. Call 323-2220.
Also on Wednesday evening, the McLean Community Center sponsors a special showing of Alaska's spectacular scenery through the eyes of naturalist Ken Creed. The film, called simply Alaska, starts at 8 and features a boating expedition down the Chena and Tana rivers, along with scenes of gold mining and Anchorage's annual Sled-Dog Racing Championship. This year, as you might remember, the event was canceled due to lack of snow. The film screens at the National Wildlife Federation auditorium, 8925 Leesburg Pike, Vienna. Tickets are $4. Call 790-9223.
FILM HISTORY -- Actor Joel Grey celebrates his 54th birthday on Friday while actress Louise Lasser turns 47. It was 126 years ago Saturday that James J. Andrews and a group of Union volunteers stole a Confederate train near Marietta, Ga., but were later caught. This episode inspired the 1927 Buster Keaton movie "The General." A serious version of the story was made by the Disney people in 1956 and called "The Great Locomotive Chase."
Jazz musician Lionel Hampton is 73 on Saturday and actress-dancer Ann Miller is 63.