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In the weeks and months to come, there will be a variety of movies and programming at the historic Ashland Theater. The Town of Ashland now owns the theater, as a result of it generously being donated by Jean and A.D. Whittaker, and plans are afoot to restore this beautiful theater. While those plans are taking shape, a local group of volunteers are running the theater and helping create some energy and support for this important project.
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The Sting is a 1973 American caper film set in September 1936, involving a complicated plot by two professional grifters (Paul Newman and Robert Redford) to con a mob boss (Robert Shaw). The film was directed by George Roy Hill, who had directed Newman and Redford in the western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The story was inspired by real-life cons perpetrated by brothers Fred and Charley Gondorff.
The title phrase refers to the moment when a con artist finishes the “play” and takes the mark‘s money. The film is played out in distinct sections with old-fashioned title cards, with lettering and illustrations rendered in a style reminiscent of the Saturday Evening Post. The film is noted for its anachronistic use of ragtime, particularly the melody “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin, which was adapted for the movie by Marvin Hamlisch (and a top-ten chart single for Hamlisch when released as a single from the film’s soundtrack). The Sting was hugely successful at the 46th Academy Awards, being nominated for 10 Oscars and winning seven, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.
Essay Contest #3: Newman and Redford are “lovable” guys. Are they criminals for their actions in the movie ‘The Sting’? Or, are they justified to score big against Robert Shaw? What does Scott Joplin’s ragtime add or subtract from the movie?
(Response due by March 30, 2015)
(Essay Responses due by March 30, 2015) Teachers may submit up to two essays per class to the Ashland Film Club Awards committee. Send essays to P.O. Box 33 Ashland, VA 23005 or email to email@example.com. Approval to publish essay winners will be required by both the parents and students. Questions? Please call Ragan Phillips, Ashland Film Committee Chairman at 804-798-3429.
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Due to icy conditions on Mar 1st – ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ will be shown on Mar 22, Sunday at 4:30pm. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee. It stars Gregory Peck in the role of Atticus Finch and Mary Badham in the role of Scout.
The film, widely considered to be one of the greatest ever made, earned an overwhelmingly positive response from critics, and was a box office success. The film won three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Peck, and was nominated for eight, including Best Picture.
In 1995, the film was listed in the National Film Registry. It also ranks twenty-fifth on the American Film Institute‘s 10th anniversary list of the greatest American movies of all time. In 2003, AFI named Atticus Finch the greatest movie hero of the 20th century.
Essay Contest #4: In 1966 the Hanover County School Board banned ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ from public schools as being “immoral.” From watching the movie why do you think they took this action? Was it, at the time, justified?
(Response due by April 1, 2015)