Program Notes

From the Film Vault Blog

Program Notes: The Straight Story (1999)

The Straight Story movie poster

The Straight Story is a glorious aberration. At a time when movies tend to dazzle with speed and style, it rolls along at a snail's pace, allowing us plenty of time to observe the changing sky and the flora in the roadside ditches.

Program Notes: Badlands (1973)

Badlands movie poster

Badlands is about two teenagers on a cross-country murder spree. Yet it's terribly funny. As a comedy of middle-American blandness mutating into indifferent homicide, it's no less satirical than Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove.

Program Notes: Harry and Tonto (1974)

Harry and Tonto movie poster

Director Paul Mazursky performs a delicate balancing act in Harry and Tonto. The film is a comedy, certainly, but a comedy shot through with issues of mortality, age, and dislocation.

Program Notes: It Happened One Night (1934)

It Happened One Night movie poster

Watching it today, it’s impossible to imagine It Happened One Night starring anyone but Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. Yet director Frank Capra originally had in mind totally different actors.

Film Series Intro: Road Trip!

Road Trip!

There’s something quintessentially American about hopping in the car and taking out for parts unknown, of indulging our wanderlust and our appetite for new sights and new people.