The Louisville Palace Directors Series presents 'It Happened One Night' and 'Modern Times' [Movies]

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The Louisville Palace Directors Series presents 'It Happened One Night' and 'Mod

Although I despise summer and its godforsaken heat and humidity, it does bring with it some fantastic things – Waterfront Wednesday, for one, as well as swimming pools and the perfect excuse for ice cream. Also: the Louisville Palace Summer Film Series. The Palace is a gorgeous venue, and probably the best place in the city to see classic films. This year’s theme is The Directors Series: Hollywood’s Golden Age, and it all starts tonight with a screening of It Happened One Night.

It Happened One Night has the distinction of being the very first film to win all five major Academy Awards categories: Best Picture, Director (Frank Capra), Actor (Clark Gable), Actress (Claudette Colbert), and Screenplay (Robert Riskin). It tells the story of a rich girl running away from her family and being helped along by a man who is actually a reporter looking for a story. It Happened One Night screens tonight at 8:00.

If my treatise on tonight’s film seems sparse, it’s because I am tremendously excited to discuss this weekend’s other film in the series: tomorrow night’s screening of the Charlie Chaplin masterpiece Modern Times.

I call it a masterpiece, but that is redundant because all of Chaplin’s films are masterpieces. For twenty years he delighted audiences with shorts and features about the lovable Tramp, the mustache-wearing cane-wielding homeless man with an air of sophistication and serious heart. Chaplin’s films are hilarious, utilizing a perfect blend of slapstick (not cheap slapstick, though, such as the Three Stooges) and situational comedy. The comedy, though, only complements the emotion-inducing dramatics of the stories.  The Kid is a favorite, in which you will laugh to gasping, but if you don’t feel like shedding a tear as father and adopted son are separated, you have no soul. Chaplin’s films make you feel good about life; they are the perfect antidote for melancholia.

Modern Times is my other favorite. It was the last silent film that Chaplin would make – and he made it in 1936, nine years after the advent of the talkie. In Modern Times, our lovable Tramp undergoes a nervous breakdown at his factory job and finds himself in and out of jail and struggling to find work while fantasizing about a better life with his love interest, a fellow homeless woman. It is a funny film, but also tremendously beautiful – the final scene never fails to find me with a tear in my eye.

Modern Times plays at the Louisville Palace tomorrow, Saturday, at 8:00. It is the perfect venue for a perfect film, and I urge everybody: do not miss this fantastic opportunity.

The Louisville Palace is located at 625 S. 4th Street. All the information about the Directors Series can be found at the Palace website.

Image: Internet Movie Database

About Allan Day
My "real" job is bartending, but I'm a writer and a filmmaker, owner of Monkey's Uncle Productions LLC. I am also a single father, avid reader of books, watcher of movies, and listener of music. My idols include Kurt Vonnegut, Charlie Chaplin, Charlie Kaufman, Lloyd Kaufman, Lars von Trier, Ingmar Bergman, Thom Yorke, Jonsi, Don DeLillo, and David Foster Wallace.
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