The third film in Rialto Cinemas’ anniversary celebrations is Disney’s “Fantasia,” which turns 75 this year. This movie is a series of animated interpretations of classical music performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, led by the great Leopold Stokowski. The sequences include abstract animation set to Bach’s “Tocatta and Fugue in D minor,” a depiction of the changing of the seasons set to Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite”, Mickey Mouse getting himself in a whole lot of trouble accompanied by “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” by Paul Dukas, the history of the earth set to Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” creatures from Greek mythology accompanied by Beethoven’s 6th Symphony, dancing animals set to Amilcare Ponchielli’s “Dance of the Hours,” and a horror fantasy set to “Night on Bald Mountain” by Mussorgsky.
Many of us had our first exposures to serious art music through cartoons. Disney, Warner Brothers and other animation studios often set their works to classic music. “Fantasia” is probably most ambitious marriage of the two forms. The production was also technically ambitious: it introduced Fantasound, the first stereo surround-sound system.
Leopold Stokowski and his associates won a special Academy Award for their work on “Fantasia.” Walt Disney, William E. Garity and J.N.A. Hawkins also got a special Academy Award for their advancement of sound in movies. “Fantasia” has a Tomatometer rating of 96%. The movie was selected to the National Film Registry in 1990 as a “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant film.”
Yannik Nezet-Seguin now leads the Philadelphia Orchestra. This showing of “Fantasia” will include a behind-the-scenes look at the orchestra’s rehearsals, including a selection of pieces from the movie. Nezet-Seguin will also lead a discussion about Stokowski, “Fantasia,” and the impact they had on the world of symphonic music.
“Fantasia” will be shown at the Cerrito at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 8, and at the Elmwood on Sunday, November 8 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and again on Monday, November 9 at 7:00 p.m. You can get tickets at the box office or on line through the Cerrito or Elmwood web site.
Rialto Cinemas is celebrating the anniversaries of three classic films. The second is “Oklahoma!,” which turns sixty this year. This movie features Gordon MacRae as Curly, Gloria Grahame as Ado Annie, Shirley Jones as Laurey, Eddie Albert as Ali Hakim and Rod Steiger as Jud. The story involves romance, jealousy and obsession.
Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote the score, with such great songs as “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top,” “Kansas City,” “People Will Say We’re in Love” and “Oklahoma!” The movie won Academy Awards for Best Sound and Best Music, and was nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing. It was selected to the National Film Registry in 2007 as a “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant film.”
This newly remastered version will be accompanied by a performance by a current Broadway star of some of his favorite songs from “Oklahoma!”
“Oklahoma!” will be shown at the Cerrito at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 7, and at the Elmwood on Sunday, November 1 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and again on Monday, November 2 at 7:00 p.m. You can get tickets at the box office or on line through the Cerrito or Elmwood web site.
Coming up: more information about the third film in this anniversary series: “Fantasia.”
Over the next several weeks Rialto Cinemas will be celebrating the anniversaries of three important classic movies, starting with fiftieth anniversary of “My Fair Lady.” Audrey Hepburn plays Eliza Doolittle, a poor cockney flower girl who is the subject of a bet between Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) and Colonel Pickering (Wilfred Hyde-White). Higgins believes that, with proper training, Eliza can pass herself off as a member of high society. “My Fair Lady” has great characters, great cinematography and a fantastic score by Lerner and Loewe featuring such unforgettable songs as “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?, “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “Get Me to the Church on Time” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.” The movie won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Music.
This newly-restored print will be accompanied by a ten-minute featurette, “The Fairest Fair Lady,” giving a behind-the-scenes view of how “My Fair Lady” was made.
“My Fair Lady” will be shown at the Cerrito at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 24, and at the Elmwood at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 18 and again at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, October 19. You can get tickets at the box office or on line through the Cerrito or Elmwood web site.
In November Rialto will feature “Oklahoma!” for its sixtieth anniversary and “Fantasia” for its seventy-fifth anniversary. We will send more information as the dates for these movies get closer.