by Sam Juliano
What ever happened to the years when March came in like a lamb? Winter seems more and more reluctant to relinquish it’s icy grip in the weeks leading up to spring, and as a result heat bills are staying the course. But I am speaking here of the weather in the Northeast. The midwest has had it even worse, and still others can actually boast of very favorable conditions. But what of weather in general? It’s really nothing more than a convenient way for me to start these weekly threads.
Lucille and I took the three boys to a Fay Wray Scream-alike contest on Sunday morning at 11:00 A.M. that was staged after the regularly-scheduled “Film Forum Jr.” screening of the 1933 King Kong. Any child under the age of 12 was eligible to participate in their own rendition of the terrified young heroine of the monster adventure classic in her famed voice rantings. Our youngest child Jeremy was third in line to do his thing, but it was clear that ‘screaming’ was never a favorite pastime of the 10 year old fifth grader. He didn’t finish among the six finalists (the grand prize was four free tickets to the Empire State Building Tour) but got lucky in the ensuing raffle, and managed to win a King Kong tee-shirt. The ‘Film Forum Jr.’ series has been a smash success, selling out week after week, and necessitating advance purchases for those wishing to attend. The past three weeks also included a second screening on another of the theater’s three screens of the film at 11:10 A.M., though that overflow addition on Sunday of course did not include the wonderful festivities that have made the series such a weekend essential for NYC youngsters. The upcoming screenings include Jason and the Argonauts, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T., Young Frankenstein and Easter Parade, with the Garland/Astaire featuring a ‘Crazy Hat contest.’ Program Director Bruce Goldstein announced on Sunday that due to the wild success of the series, thirteen weeks have been added. Some of those additions include The School of Rock with a guitar contest and Chaplin’s The Kid with a Charlie Chaplin look-alike competition.
We also saw three other films over the weekend, after a trying week centering around a health scare for Lucille that turned out to be a kind of acid reflux. I am not looking for sympathy and was even reluctant to mention it here, except to say that Lucille spent a few days in the hospital having nuclear stress tests, and I was in no disposition to do the writing required for the link scroll. Hence I will give it a full rest and will only note the star ratings for the films I saw:
Stoker ** (Saturday night) Sunshine Landmark Cinemas
The Gatekeepers *** (Friday night) Montclair Claridge
Jack the Giant Slayer ** (Saturday afternoon) Secaucus
King Kong (1933) ***** (Sunday morning) Film Forum