Cinema  smorgasbord

Cinema smorgasbord

The Old Pasadena Film Festival brings 20 classic films to Old Pasadena settings Friday through July 27

By Carl Kozlowski 07/02/2013

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Anyone living in Southern California likely loves the movies as well as the great outdoors. For the past six years, the Old Pasadena Film Festival has been bringing those two elements together to create the largest open-air film festival in California, a month-long blast for movie buffs who get to see classic and cult-classic movies in a variety of the area’s most colorful settings.  

This year’s fest kicks off the first of its 20 screenings on Friday with three great choices. The Distant Lands travel bookstore continues its tradition of showing acclaimed travel documentaries with an 8 p.m. screening of the 1966 surf-doc classic “The Endless Summer,” in which two California surfers travel the world searching for the perfect wave.
Meanwhile, two outdoor screenings will compete for attention, as Woody Allen’s Best Picture-winning “Annie Hall” shows at 8:30 p.m. on One Colorado Courtyard’s big screen. Those seeking something a little scarier can head over to Pasadena’s Central Park instead, where there will be a dark and creepy screening of the 2002 modern horror classic “The Ring” at 8:30 p.m.

The rest of the festival lineup is as follows:
Saturday, July 6: The 1974 version of “The Great Gatsby,” starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tale of a humble Midwestern young man who gets caught up in the lives of his rich Long Island neighbors.
Sunday, July 7: The 2002 winner for  Best Picture at the Oscars, “Chicago” holds up as a rollicking good time over a decade later with its musical tale of two women (Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger) on trial for murders and the slick lawyer who handles both cases.

Thursday, July 11: It’s back to Central Park, horror buffs, for a free 8:30 p.m. screening of the original 1963 version of “The Haunting,” about an eerie mansion with a history of death and insanity.

Friday, July 12: Enjoy an exquisite Parisian setting Woody Allen-style, when his smash 2011 hit “Midnight in Paris,’ shows at Distant Lands. Meanwhile, Wes Anderson’s 2009 stop-motion-animation classic “Fantastic Mr. Fox” offers its delightful charms at One Colorado.

Saturday, July 13: Tim Burton’s darkly outrageous alien-invasion comedy “Mars Attacks!” hits One Colorado at 8:30 p.m. the same time that Central Park plays host to the 1945 classic melodrama “Mildred Pierce,” which won Joan Crawford the Best Actress Oscar.

Friday, July 19: Distant Lands plays host at 8 p.m. to not one but two great travel films, “White Silk Road” and “The Bus,” while One Colorado presents the original 1969 version of the Western “True Grit, “for  which  John Wayne won his only Oscar.  

Saturday, July 20: One of the greatest films of all time is also easily the festival’s best offering, with Orson Welles and Joseph Cotton teaming up in 1949’s “The Third Man,” playing at Central Park. Meanwhile, One Colorado goes for goofy, giddy retro fun with its screening of the original 1960 version of “Ocean’s Eleven.”

Sunday, July 21: It’s sci-fi comedy fun as 1997’s original “Men in Black” plays Central Park, giving attendees fun laughs and action under the stars with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.

Thursday, July 25: Mel Brooks’ greatest artistic achievement “Young Frankenstein,” one of the funniest films ever, plays at Central Park.

Friday, July 26: The intriguing 2010 travel documentary “180 Degrees South” follows the adventure-filled journey of the intrepid Jeff Johnson as he tracks the steps of two earlier mountain climbers who disappeared during an 8 p.m. screening at Distant Lands. On a lighter note, Woody Allen’s sci-fi comedy “Sleeper” hits One Colorado Courtyard at 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 27: The fest closes with a one-two punch, as the 1993 comedy classic “Groundhog Day” wraps things up at One Colorado Courtyard, while the intensely atmospheric thriller “The Night of the Hunter” is sure to cause nightmares in Central Park with its depiction of Robert Mitchum as a creepy minister who is chasing two innocent children. n

The Old Pasadena Film Festival 2013 presents movies at three main locations: One Colorado Courtyard, 41 Hugus Alley, Pasadena; Central Park 99 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena: and Distant Lands, 20 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena. All screenings are free and open to the public. For more information, visit


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