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Friday, October 29, 2010

Hitchcock and Rocky Horror Rockin' the City and the Suburbs

Strand In the Place Where You Live
  • Strand In the Place Where You Live

This weekend, in honor of Halloween, the Earl Smith Strand Theatre, on the square in Marietta will be showcasing a selection of 35mm film screenings mirroring, and rivaling the programming of the Plaza Theatre.

In this corner, the tried-and-true Plaza Theatre presents Rocky Horror Picture Show, each and every Friday at Midnight.

The challenger: the upstart Strand will showcase Rocky Horror Picture Show for one show only, on Saturday, October 30 at 11:55 pm.

Because one knows (almost) exactly what to expect at Lips Down on Dixie's live floor show, and ample opportunities to experience their program abound, it is tempting to hop onto 75 North to see just what kind of craziness a post-"Glee" Rocky Horror will unleash in the suburbs. The Web site encourages the audience "to enjoy the movie in costume," and the program includes "live organ pops variety show and sing-along at 11:30 PM."

By the light of the night, itll all be alright

The second round brings two Hitchcock classics head to head.

On Halloween night at 7:00, the Strand will screen Rear Window. Before the 1954 film, the audience is invited to enjoy a live organ pops variety show and sing-along at 6:30 PM. They are also invited to come in costume.

Now, Voyeur!

The Plaza counters with the knock-out blow: the 50th Anniversary of Psycho, screening nightly at 7:30pm - all Halloween weekend.

Eye Spy: Mister Bates watches Marion Crane

While Rear Window is among Alfred Hitchcock's greatest cinematic accomplishments, a formal masterpiece, a perfect studio picture, a technical tour de force, and veritable dissertation on voyeurism, Psycho changed the game. When Vivian Leigh closed the shower curtain, and met her grizzly fate, Psycho gave birth to a genre. The film shocked movie-goers the world over. It subverted expectations. It scared people dirty.

From its stark black-and-white cinematography, its deviant structure, Bernard Herman's pensively chilling soundtrack, and Anthony Perkins' note-perfect performance of an adult man-child who believes that a "boy's best friend is his mother," Psycho, despite certain 50-year-old social mores, is so relentlessly urgent in its presentation that it still feels modern. (Is this why Gus Van Sant's remake was so misguided?)

Do yourself a favor and see it on the big screen, with an audience. The screams and laughter and tension and gasps make it truly unforgettable.

Though, you can't really go wrong with either choice...

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