January Films at the Library

In George Orwell's novel 1984, "doublethink" is the act of accepting two contradictory thoughts at once. It's a fitting notion for this month's line-up of free film screenings at the Kansas City Public Library.

After all, what could be further apart than a stark, futuristic, dystopian-themed film series and an enchanting, down-to-earth Faye Dunaway retrospective? Are we guilty of doublethink in bringing both of these series at once? Step inside our Durwood Film Vault and judge for yourself.

Independent: A Faye Dunaway Retrospective Film Series

Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. in the Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault

Faye Dunaway starred in some of the most influential independent films of the 1960s and 1970s while helping redefine audience expectations for lead actresses. Her screen presence often dominated leading men like Warren Beatty and even Steve McQueen, clearing a path for a generation of actresses to carry their own films.

Bonnie and Clyde (1967) on January 8. Dunaway and Warren Beatty star as the titular duo in a film that helped redefine Hollywood. Amid the Great Depression, two reckless bank robbers become minor celebrities as the press and the public become infatuated with their skill and daring. Directed by Arthur Penn. Rated R. (112 min.)

Chinatown (1974) on January 15. Dunaway is the mysterious woman who propels the protagonist into action. When PI Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) takes on a standard adultery investigation, he finds an elaborate civic corruption scandal built upon a decades old family secret. Directed by Roman Polanski. Rated R. (130 min.)

Network (1976) on January 22. Her portrayal of a broadcasting executive charged with increasing ratings for a flagging news operation won Dunaway an Oscar for Best Actress. Co-starring fellow Oscar winner Peter Finch as suicidal news anchor Howard Beale. Directed by Sidney Lumet. With William Holden, Beatrice Straight, and Robert Duvall. Rated R. (121 min.)

The Eyes of Laura Mars (1978) on January 29. This paranormal thriller stars Dunaway as a fashion photographer who experiences psychic flashes from the perspective of a serial killer. With Tommy Lee Jones and Raul Julia. Rated R. (104 min.)


Dystopian Depictions Film Series

Mondays at 6:30 p.m. in the Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault

Physics makes it plain: what goes up, must come down. History supports this notion with evidence that civilizations eventually decline and sometimes fall – and Hollywood enjoys a well-aged civilization in decay.

This film series complements the 2011 Adult Winter Reading Program.

Brazil (1985) on January 3. A one-of-a-kind film about flights of fantasy and the nightmare of reality, terrorism and late night shopping, as well as true love and creative plumbing. Sam Lowry’s life is immediately and tragically changed by a computer’s typographical error in this brilliant and controversial look at a futuristic society. Starring Jonathan Pryce and Robert De Niro. Directed by Terry Gilliam. Rated R. (131 min.)

City of Ember (2008) on January 10. Built as a refuge from the uninhabitable world above, an underground city is crumbling as its citizens watch helplessly. Two teenagers set out on a dangerous journey to the surface in hopes of finding salvation. Starring Saoirse Ronan and Harry Treadaway with Bill Murray and Tim Robbins. Rated PG. (90 min.)

Logan’s Run (1976) on January 24. This science fiction classic is set in the year 2274, a time when society deems that citizens are only allowed to live to age 30. As a policeman nears his age limit, he desperately searches for a way to avoid mandatory extermination. Won an Oscar for its visual effects. Based on the novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. Rated PG. (120 min.)

Equilibrium (2002) on January 31. In the future, crime and war have been eliminated by suppressing human emotions completely. When a top-ranking law enforcement officer misses a dose of Prozium – the emotion-inhibiting drug – he falls under the sway of a woman who seeks revolution against the brainwashing regime. This film has the look and feel of The Matrix while borrowing story elements from the classic novels Fahrenheit 451 and 1984. Starring Christian Bale, Emily Watson, and Taye Diggs. Rated R. (107 min.)


Note: These aren't the only free movies showing at the Library. Many of our locations offer film screenings for kids, teens, and the whole family. Check our listings for show times.