Giant monsters, giant Texas, & getting through War and Peace: What’s playing at the Castro in May

Have you checked the Castro Calendar since April ended? You have a lot of good chances to enjoy movies on the big screen.

Outside of festivals, which I’m covering in other ways, these are the most exciting things coming up at the Castro in May, in order of excitability:

War and Peace (Saturday, May 25, 1:00): The 1950s and early ’60s were Hollywood’s golden age for historical epics. So the Soviet Union, unconcerned with budgets or profits, made the greatest epic of them all (or so I’ve read). I’ve wanted to see this Oscar-winning, seven-hour movie for more than 50 years. I’ve already bought my ticket for the full-day experience. You can read more about this in this NYT article.

War and Peace

King Kong & Godzilla, apart and together (Saturday, May 11): The original 1933 King Kong, silly, yet magical and meaningful, belongs on the big screen. While we generally laugh mockingly at Godzilla movies, the 1954 original is actually pretty good. But when they’re brought together in 1962’s King Kong vs. Godzilla…well, this is the sort of big monster movie you’ll want to mockingly laugh at.

Giant (Sunday, May 12, 3:30): Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor carry George Steven’s epic of mid-20th century Texas, even though it’s mostly remembered as James Dean’s final performance A great, shambling story of love and power. Unlike my Blu-ray, this DCP version has an intermission. It’s double-billed with There Will Be Blood, which seems appropriate, although those two films together make a long day at the movies (but not as long as War and Peace).

King Kong vs. Godzilla

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
(Friday, May 10): Not only can you watch Rocky Horror in a theater without staying out late, but you can actually see and hear the movie. According to the Castro’s notes: “This is a non-interactive presentation.”
On a double bill with Little Shop of Horrors.

A Streetcar Named Desire (Wednesday, May 8, 7:00): An important work of serious American cinema, and the film that make Brando famous. It’s on a double bill with Clash By Night, which I haven’t seen.

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Tommy (Tuesday, May 28, double bill starts at 7:00): I’m a huge fan of The Who, but have mixed feelings about Ken Russell’s version of Pete Townsend’s ground-breaking rock opera. Much of it is brilliant, including the scenes with Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, and Elton John. But who thought Oliver Reed and Jack Nicholson could sing? On the other hand, Ann-Margret is fantastic. And the DCP contains the original Quintophonic sound mix. On a double bill with Purple Rain, which I haven’t seen.

The Shining (Monday & Tuesday, May 20 & 21): I’m really not a big fan of Kubrick’s horror film, but I know many people are. What’s special about this presentation is a new 4K restoration supervised by Kubrick keeper of the flame, Leon Vitali.

The Shining