Wex Drive-In Returns with Free Outdoor Movies; Indoor “Soundtrack”
Series Has Double Features, Package Deal
The Wexner Center announced its two summer film series
via a live stream today: Wex Drive-In (the outdoor movie series, now in its fourth year) and Soundtrack Available: Music in American Film (this year’s indoor series).
The Wexner Center brings the big screen outside for the Wex Drive-In Outdoor Film Fest series of free open-air film screenings on the Wexner Center Plaza, 15th Avenue and High Street on the campus of The Ohio State University. More than 2,000 people attended the Drive-ins last year over the course of the summer. Says film curator Dave Filipi, “To be able to see a film outside, under the stars, with friends and family, can be one of the great joys of summer. With the continued success of the Drive-In series, we’re pleased to again be able to offer a free event for the entire community to enjoy.” All Drive-In movies start around dusk (generally around 9 pm), but filmgoers can come starting at 8 pm for free popcorn and Jeni’s Ice Cream; a cash bar will also be available. In the event of rain, the screenings will move inside to the Wexner Center Film/Video Theater. As in previous years, Wexner Center members will also receive a Wex Drive-In commemorative mug.
On the opening night of the Wex Drive-in series June 18, GenWex (the Wexner Center’s young patron group) will present a Drive-In Warm-Up with DJ True Skillz. Starting at 6:30 pm, moviegoers can come early, grab a cold one, stake out some blanket space, listen to some tunes, and mingle with other film fans before the screening of the 1941 classic The Wolf Man. The warm up is free and open to the public.
WEX DRIVE-IN SCHEDULE:
Thursday, June 18: The Wolf Man (1941), the classic monster movie with a warm-up before, courtesy of GenWex (see sidebar for details).
Thursday, July 23: American Graffiti* (1973), the definitive coming-of-age-in-one-night classic.
Thursday, August 20: O Brother, Where Art Thou?* (2000), the bluegrass musical retelling of Homer’s The Odyssey starring George Clooney.
*These films are also part of the Soundtrack Available series.
TICKET PACKAGE for SOUNDTRACK AVAILABLE: The Wex is offering a special ticket package of nine tickets for $54 for the general public, or $36 for members. The vouchers can be used at any of the Soundtrack Available films, or redeemed for multiple seats at any combination of screenings. Call (614) 292-3535 or stop by the Wex. SOUNDTRACK-THEMED DRINKS: Check out the Soundtrack Available-themed drinks at Surly Girl, (1126 North High Street, Columbus), this summer (examples: The Easyrider and The Manhattan). REDUCED PRICED SOUNDTRACKS: Used Kids Records (1980 North High Street, Columbus) will be offering a discount on soundtracks at their store with a ticket stub from any of the “soundtrack” movies.] [Text Box: Easy Rider (1969), showing as part Soundtrack Available on August 13. Image courtesy of Sony Pictures Repertory.
The indoor summer film series this year, Soundtrack Available—running July 2–August 27—features American films that have influential or memorable soundtracks. As film curator Dave Filipi notes, “Not only does this series feature films with incredibly memorable soundtracks but it also traces the evolution of the use of popular songs in film from relatively early examples like The Graduate and Easy Rider up to the present day.” Featuring 17 films that have had staying power through the years, Soundtrack Available features films notable for their creative and thoughtful use of popular music as a cinematic element, often spawning albums with an impact equal to the film itself. Each of the “soundtrack” films will be screened as a double feature (except for the final film) on Thursday evenings at 7 pm. Single tickets (per night) are $7 for general public, and $5 for members, students, and senior citizens and are available at the door or in advance at 614 292-3535. See inset for info on a specially priced ticket package for this series.
SOUNDTRACK AVAILABLE SCHEDULE:
* Denotes also a part of the Wex Drive-in series
Thursday, July 2 (7 pm, second film 9 pm):
Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese, 1973, 110 mins, 35mm), with Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro as small-time NYC hoods (famous songs: the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and the Rolling Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”).
Saturday Night Fever (John Badham, 1977, 119 mins., 35mm), wherein John Travolta and his white suit helped disco spread to every corner of the country (famous songs on the best-selling soundtrack: the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive” and “How Deep is Your Love?”).
Thursday, July 9 (7 pm, second film 9 pm):
Purple Rain (Albert Magnoli, 1984, 111 mins., 35mm), starring Prince as a misunderstood Minneapolis musician struggling to gain acceptance with his fresh brand of music (famous songs: “When Doves Cry” and “I Would Die 4 U”).
Beat Street (Stan Lathan, 1984, 105 mins., 35mm), capturing early days of hip-hop culture in NYC, with Rae Dawn Chong and end-to-end break dancing and DJing (famous songs from two soundtracks include Grandmaster Melle Mel’s “Beat Street Breakdown” and Afrika Bambaataa’s “Frantic Situation”).
Thursday, July 16 (7 pm, second film 9:10 pm):
Velvet Goldmine (Todd Haynes, 1998, 123 mins., 35mm), which captures the spirit of the British glam rock scene in the early ’70s—based largely on David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust persona (famous songs: Brian Eno’s “Needle in the Camel’s Eye” and Lou Reed’s “Satellite of Love”).
The Virgin Suicides (Sofia Coppola, 1999, 97 mins., 35mm), the story of five sisters who all inexplicably commit suicide (soundtrack includes two tracks by Air, plus such ’70s hits as Heart’s “Magic Man” and ELO’s “Strange Magic”).
Thursday, July 23 (7 pm, second film outdoors at dusk)
Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater, 1993, 102 mins., 35mm), a pitch-perfect beer-and-smoke-filled cruise through the last day of school in a small Texas town in 1976 (famous songs: Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion” and Kiss’s “Rock and Roll All Nite”).
American Graffiti* (George Lucas, 1973, 110 mins., 35mm), the hit-filled coming of age film set amid the sock-hops and drive-ins of Modesto, California, in the pre–Vietnam War era, with DJ Wolfman Jack spinning the records that set the mood (famous songs: Del Shannon’s “Runaway” and the Platters’ “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”).
Thursday, July 30 (7 pm, second film 8:40 pm):
Rushmore (Wes Anderson, 1998, 93 mins., 35mm), which follows the unproductively focused Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) as he attempts to navigate life at his beloved private school, with an eclectic soundtrack scored by Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh (famous songs: Cat Stevens’s “Here Comes My Baby” and the Stones’ “I Am Waiting”).
Manhattan (Woody Allen, 1979, 96 mins., 35mm), which follows Woody Allen’s typically neurotic persona as he juggles relationships with the women in his life, including his 17-year-old girlfriend (Mariel Hemingway) and lesbian ex-wife (Meryl Streep) (including Gershwin standards “Rhapsody in Blue” and “Embraceable You”).
Thursday, August 6 (7 pm, second film 9:25 pm):
Urban Cowboy (James Bridges, 1980, 135 mins., 35mm), with John Travolta finding romance in a mechanical-bull bar (famous songs: Johnny Lee’s “Lookin’ for Love” and Anne Murray’s “Could I Have This Dance”).
The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967, 108 mins., 35mm), with Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson romancing the much-younger Dustin Hoffman character (famous songs: “Mrs. Robinson” and “Sounds of Silence”).
Thursday, August 13 (7 pm, second film 9:40 pm):
Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarantino, 1997, 154 mins., 35mm), with blaxploitation icon Pam Grier in the title role as an airline stewardess who helps the ATF bring down arms smuggler Samuel L. Jackson (famous songs: Johnny Cash’s “Tennessee Stud” and Foxy Brown’s “[Holy Matrimony] Letter to the Firm”).
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Amy Heckerling, 1982, 92 mins., 35mm), comedy penned by Cameron Crowe portraying teen culture in the San Fernando Valley of the early ’80s, with Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason-Leigh, and Forest Whitaker (famous songs: Jackson Browne’s “Somebody’s Baby” and the Go-Go’s “We Got the Beat”).
Thursday, August 20 (7 pm, second film outdoors at dusk):
Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper, 1969, 95 mins., 35mm), the quintessential American motorcycle road movie, following bikers Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda as they try to make it from L.A. to New Orleans in time for Mardi Gras (counterculture film was the first to feature rock songs, including the Band’s “The Weight” and Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild,” as a narrative foundation).
O Brother, Where Art Thou?* (Joel Coen, 2000, 102 mins., 35mm), a Depression-era comedy that led to a resurgence in the popularity of American bluegrass, with George Clooney, Tim Blake Nelson, and John Turturro (famous songs: Alison Krauss’s “Down to the River to Pray,” Krauss and Gillian Welch’s “I’ll Fly Away,” and Ralph Stanley’s “O Death”).
[Text Box: Follow Wex film programming on Facebook] Thursday, August 27 at 7 pm: Magnolia (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1999, 188 mins., 35mm), with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, and Tom Cruise; takes place during one seemingly uneventful day in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley and follows the randomly intersecting lives of a handful of characters as they all reach crisis points in their lives (with most of the songs in the film written and performed by Aimee Mann, who received an Oscar nomination for “Save Me”).
EVENT AND SEASON SUPPORT
Significant contributions for the Wexner Center’s 2008–09 film/video season are made by the Rohauer Collection Foundation. Wex Drive-In is presented with major support from Orange Barrel Media. Additional support provided by ZenGenius and Reed Arts. In-kind support is provided by Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and Pam’s Market Popcorn. Promotional support is provided by CD 101, ColumbusUnderground.com, The Other Paper, and WOSU: Public Media. The preferred airline of the film/video program is American Airlines/American Eagle. All film/video programs and events also receive support from the Corporate Annual Fund of the Wexner Center Foundation and Wexner Center members, as well as from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, The Columbus Foundation, Nationwide Foundation, and the Ohio Arts Council.