Years ago, there was this thing called repertory cinema, where you could see a different second-run film every day, in a real theater -- which, once upon a time, people really wanted to do. A shared experience! In Denver, you'd sometimes hit places like the Flick in Larimer Square and the Ogden Theatre two or three times a week to, as my brother recently put it, "see a particular movie. Not 'whenever.' Not whatever.'" We both used to work at the Flick, and I later managed the Ogden: Both were temples to the cult favorites, the classics, the oddball films and the indies.
We still have our art-film theaters, but repertory was long ago bulldozed by technology, unless you know where to look. A good place to start would be at the Boulder Public Library, of all places, where film curator Joel Haertling mines the canon for diamonds, season after season, and the admission is free. I'm especially enamored at the moment with the New American Cinema 1967-1974 series he's included in his fall schedule, for which he's unearthed such long-buried cultures studies as Paul Mazursky's Blume In Love, Hal Ashby's delightful cult flick Harold and Maude, Watermelon Man by Melvin Van Peebles (a black comedy on more than one level) and more. Today's series offering, The Strawberry Statement, is a side trip into counterculture history of the Sixties, loosely based on James Kunen's novel about the 1968 student riots at Columbia University and featuring a soundtrack punctuated by Neil Young tunes and the Thunderclap Newman hit "Something in the Air."
Statement starts at 7 p.m. in the BPL's Canyon Theater, 1000 Canyon Boulevard, Boulder; future films mining similar territory include Drive, He Said and Getting Straight. Get a complete schedule at the film series website or call 303-441-3197.
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