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Wondering if you should go to see Harold Lloyd’s The Freshman, which starts Friday at the Trylon?  Let’s see what the New York Times said about the film when it premiered back in September 1925:

 

 

If laughter really is a panacea or some ills, one might hazard that a host of healthy persons were sent away from the Colony yesterday after regaling themselves in wild and rollicking explosions of mirth over Harold Lloyd’s comic antics in his latest hilarious effusion, “The Freshman.” Judging from what happened in the packed theatre in the afternoon, when old folks down to youngsters volleyed their hearty approval of the bespectacled comedian, the only possible hindrance to the physical well-being of the throngs was as attack of aching sides.

In this new production Mr. Lloyd burlesques a young college student with athletic aspirations. While it is a decidedly boisterous affair, it is evident that Mr. Lloyd knows his public. He gives them something easy to laugh at a film in which the authors could not be accused of dodging slapstick or of flirting with subtlety. It is a story which deserved more gentle handling, but there’s no gainsaying that the buffoonery gained its end in its popular appeal. Occasionally this jazz jester rubs in the fun by repeating his action, and he also anticipates laughter.

Harold Lamb (Mr. Lloyd) first is introduced as a deserving youth who idolizes the past year’s most popular student at Tate College. Harold’s father is a rampant radio enthusiast, and in one sequence is deluded into the belief that he has reached some far-distant country, only to discover that what he hears are the odd yells of his college-mad son, who is practicing as a cheer-leader in a room above

[...]

The most amusing chapter in this stretch of fun is where Harold succumbs to the notion that he is a possible candidate for the football team. He permits himself to be tackled and bowled about by the husky students, and is eventually permitted to sit on the players bench at the most important contest of the season. Tate’s team fares badly, one after another being put hors do combat. The coach observes the ridiculous Harold aching for his chance, but has no faith in the young man who wears his spectacles under his rubber nose protector, Harold’s insistence, however, gives him his chances and all sorts of laughable gags follow, one of them being introduced when Harold is warned by the umpire that he must release the ball when the official whistles. Later one perceives Harold clutching the ball, dashing toward the opponent’s goal. Suddenly there is a factory whistle. He is five yards from his destination when he halts and throws down the ball.

[...]

This is a regular Harold Lloyd strip of fun, which is made all the more hilarious by introducing something like suspense in the sequences on the football field.

 

The Freshman screens Friday and Saturday, November 21 and 22, at 7:00 and 9:00, and Sunday, November 23 at 5:00 and 7:00.  Live accompaniment by The Rats and People MN.  Tickets are $10.00, and you can purchase them here.

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Our series “The Play’s the Thing: Vaclav Havel, Art and Politics” continues with Jan Němec’s A Report On Party and Guests.

A pleasant afternoon outing is cut short when a few pushy intruders force a group of friends to play a round of ridiculous party games. Jan Němec’s absurdist parable on the behavior of authority figures is a landmark of the Czech New Wave of the brief Prague Spring. Preceded by The Mist (Mlha) (1966, 28m) Capturing Prague’s celebrated Theatre on the Balustrade from a variety of different perspectives, The Mist is a celebration of the place where Václav Havel began as a dramaturge and stagehand.

Screens at the Trylon Monday and Tuesday, November 10 and 11 at 7:00 and 9:00. All shows are free and open to the public.

We are proud to partner with the National Film Archive Prague, Václav Havel Library, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, and Czech and Slovak Sokol Minnesota to bring to the Twin Cities these feature-length and short films celebrating Havel’s work.

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by Trylon volunteer Caty Rent

 

Written in 1925 by Anita Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes took the world by storm. There was already a stage adaptation in 1926 and a silent movie in 1928, which unfortunately is currently classified as a lost film. Then there was a musical on Broadway in 1949 starring Carol Channing. It ran for 740 performances and it is said that Marilyn Monroe was in the audience every evening for a month to study the part. It is from the musical that the Howard Hawks film was mostly born. Of course, from print to play to theatre to silver screen there are many things that end up being taken out or re-written, but Blondes still packs quite the punch in any of the forms.

 

Although Marilyn Monroe had already been in several films, this was her big breakout role. Jane Russell was actually the top-billed star because she had already been around for a few years longer. The actresses met in real life during rehearsal and hit it off very well. They became friends and it shows in the picture, which is one of the main themes that made it into all the reincarnations of Blondes. Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe) and Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russell) are best friends. They stick up for each other and are good at schemes. Sometimes they don’t see eye to eye because they have very different personalities/demeanors, but they still care about one another very much. Lorelei is the secretly clever blonde bombshell always on the lookout for a man with diamonds, while Dorothy is more of the wise-cracking brunette heartthrob that falls for the broke fellas. The combination of the two is sweetly comical, and the one-liners are priceless.

 

Lorelei and Dorothy work together as showgirls. They are heading to France because the quiet, agreeable, and very rich Mr. Gus Esmond (Tommy Noonan) has proposed to Lorelei and his father does not approve of the marriage. Mr. Esmond finds out he will be delayed, so he and Lorelei will be unable to travel together. Dorothy is to watch over Lorelei during the boat trip. While they are on the dock, it is discovered that the entire Men’s Olympic Team will be traveling on the same vessel. Dorothy is more than thrilled to see all the hunks. Mr. Esmond seems nervous and reminds Dorothy why she’s there. She quips, “Nobody chaperones the chaperone.” Lorelei is also warned that if there is any hint of a scandal his father will most likely hear about it. Young, handsome, and with a quick attention to detail, Ernie Malone (Elliott Reid) has been hired as a Private Detective by Mr. Esmond Senior to keep an eye on Lorelei. At a cocktail party, the girls meet Sir Francis Beekman, (Charles Coburn) owner of a diamond mine. He is an older Englishman who likes to be called, “Piggy.” Lorelei decides to get better acquainted with Piggy, especially after she finds out his wife, Lady Beekman, owns a diamond tiara and she would do anything to get it. Much ado and hilarity ensue throughout the rest the the picture due to that tiara.

 
The sets and costumes truly make this movie something magical, and Hawks is a brilliant director. Some extra music was written for the film, with help from Hoagy Carmichael and Harold Adamson. “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend,” is clearly the iconic take-away. Nobody could ever forget that perfect, over-the-top imagery. The magnetism and allure of the leading ladies transcends the screen. The girls were honored by being invited to cement their foot and hand prints at the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. This film is a true classic and definitely a diamond that will never fade. — Caty Rent

 
Caty Rent is a confirmed ghost story and horror film addict.

 

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes screens Friday and Saturday, November 7 and 8 at 7:00 and 9:00, and Sunday, November 9 at 5:00 and 7:00, at the Trylon.  There will also be a special screening on Saturday, November 8 at 10:00 am, with a discussion of the book to follow next door at Moon Palace Books. Advance tickets for all shows can be purchased here.

 







 

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Pavel Juráček’s two-part absurdist drama examines the life of a soldier under socialism, and features Vaclav Havel in a role as a patient seeking treatment. Preceded by The Uninvited Guest (Nezvaný host) (1969, 22m): When a boorish official enters and makes himself at home in a young couple’s flat, it’s soon apparent that all the flats in the building face the same dilemma—each has its own intruder.

Screens at the Trylon Monday and Tuesday, November 3 and 4 at 7:00 and 9:00.  All shows are free and open to the public.

We are proud to partner with the National Film Archive Prague, Václav Havel Library, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, and Czech and Slovak Sokol Minnesota to bring to the Twin Cities these feature-length and short films celebrating Havel’s work.

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Hausu is an absurd, winking and blood-drenched high-wire act, the sort of movie you’d get if Quentin Tarantino had directed The Rocky Horror Picture Show using only the sets of Pee Wee’s Playhouse. It might be a masterpiece, but no one has ever been able to tell: the movie won’t stop jumping around long enough for anyone to get a good look at it. It’s stuffed to the gills with visual gags, verbal non-sequiturs,  zany Technicolor in-jokes and baffling shifts in tone, style and music.

It has a plot, sort of: a pack of giggling Japanese schoolgirls are out on summer break.  One of the girls impulsively writes to her mysterious aunt, asking if she and her schoolmates can visit her old house in the country.  Soon a reply comes through the mail: all the girls are welcome. Once the girls arrive we quickly discern that the aunt likes them the way a spider likes flies; and in short order the house begins picking off the sailor-suited unfortunates in various horrible, demented and darkly comic ways.

But the plot doesn’t really matter; sitting through Hausu is an act of visual gluttony that makes you feel like you had a hundred Japanese game shows and a thousand episodes of Sailor Moon mainlined into your cerebral cortex. Watch the trailer below: doesn’t it look like fun?  Yes, it does. And it is. It’s become a Halloween tradition at the Trylon. You don’t want to miss out, do you? - Michael Popham

 

 

 Hausu screens Friday and Saturday, October 31 and November 1 at 7:00, 8:45 and 10:30; and Sunday, November 2 at 5:00, 6:45 and 8:30 at the Trylon.  Purchase advance tickets here.