Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Now Playing: JULY 4, 1962

In honor of American independence, Miami proudly presents the end of the world.

Here's a trailer for this perfect holiday attraction, uploaded to YouTube by OutpostChannel.

Elsewhere, the big attraction for the holiday was something perhaps more patriotic in spirit. This ad is for a New London CT theater.

I read Allan Drury's novel when I was a kid. I blame my fascination with the era just before I was born and a sort of campy interest in Cold War pop culture. In print, Advise and Consent began a decade-long series of books that grew increasingly apocalyptic in their anti-communist rhetoric. They certainly were page-turners, though. It's been a while since I saw Otto Preminger's adaptation, so I don't recall whether the film retains Drury's right-wing attitude. In any event, warnervod has the documentary-style trailer up for our perusal.

Of course, some exhibitors had different ideas about holiday entertainment. Consider Sarasota Fl, for instance.

Sometimes you need evidence like this to verify that something like Brain That Wouldn't Die actually played in theaters.
Art houses have their own ideas, like this theater in Reading PA.

I guess Aunt Tillie is left to choose from disembodied heads, political scandals, and the end of civilization. We certainly can't trust her with a three-year old French movie, can we?
But Reading's idea of "art" cinema isn't the same as St. Petersburg's.

Art and obscenity are similar, after all: hard to define, but you know 'em when you see 'em. For some people, they might be one and the same; art is obscenity, obscenity art. The distinction in movies did get more clear later, but there was arguably more freedom in exhibition when the lines were more blurred -- and freedom is what we're supposed to celebrate today. Happy Independence Day.

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