Friday Night Films
Our Friday film series returns with a new name and a fresh look to celebrate our 15th year of FREE movies on Mercer Island! Discover the “Art of Film” through a dozen films about visual arts, dance, music, theater, and more. From musicals to documentaries, animated features to biopics, this season will delight art lovers of all ages.
Most screenings start at 7:30 pm at Aljoya, 2430 76th Avenue SE. Film historian Lance Rhoades sets the stage with an introduction for each film and then leads a Q&A to share more insights and interesting facts. All films are free and open to the public.
View the 2020 schedule with links below.
January 10: An American in Paris (Vincente Minnelli, 1951)
Music by George Gershwin and choreography from Gene Kelly light up this musical comedy. A winner of six Academy Awards©, including Best Picture, the film features classics such as “I Got Rhythm” as well as a ballet finale performed to Gershwin’s jazz-influenced orchestral piece An American in Paris.
February 7: Bird (Clint Eastwood, 1988)
Forest Whitaker plays Charlie “Bird” Parker in this tribute to the life and music of the revolutionary alto saxophonist.
Special Event Feature: Charlie Parker's Yardbird
Join Alex Minami, Community Engagement Manager at the Seattle Opera, for a look at the upcoming production of Charlie Parker's Yardbird. Told as a dream sequence on the night of Charlie Parker's death, this touching opera bridges the two worlds of classical and jazz music, creating a match made in music heaven. Audience members can receive a card for discounted tickets to see the show, which opens February 22 at McCaw Hall.
February 28: The Concert (Radu Mihaileanu, 2009) **CANCELED**
This 2009 French comedy-drama follows the misadventures of a ragtag symphony orchestra traveling from Moscow to Paris to perform under false pretenses. (Film notes: Presented in French with English subtitles.)
This screening takes place at 7 pm Mercer Island Presbyterian Church, 3605 85th Avenue SE. Check back soon for more details about an associated event hosted by the Mercer Island Sister City Association.
March 6: Immortal Beloved (Bernard Rose, 1994) **CANCELED**
After Ludwig van Beethoven’s death, his assistant Anton Schindler attempts to discover the true identity of the “immortal beloved” addressed in three letters from the late composer’s estate. Gary Oldman portrays the infamous composer in this semi-biographical account of Beethoven’s life.
March 27: Le mystere Picasso (Henri-Georges Couzot, 1956) **CANCELED**
Stop-motion and time-lapse photography capture revolutionary painter Pablo Picasso’s creative process in this French documentary. (Film notes: Presented in French with English subtitles.)
Sponsored by the Mercer Island Sister City Association. Enjoy wine and cheese starting at 6:30 pm, courtesy of Aljoya.
April 3: Mad Hot Ballroom (Marilyn Agrelo, 2005)
Follow the lives of several fifth graders in New York City as they prepare for a ballroom dancing competition in this heartwarming documentary.
May 1: Fantasia 2000 (Walt Disney Studios, 1999)
Sixty years after the release of Fantasia, a new generation of Disney artists present exciting visual interpretations of classical music compositions by Beethoven, Stravinsky, Gershwin, and more.
About the Film Series Curator
Lance Rhoades is a graduate in Literature and Cinema Studies from The University of Washington, where he has taught in the Cinema Studies, Comparative History of Ideas, Ethnic Studies, American Indian Studies, and Comparative Literature departments and was a recipient of the university's Excellence in Teaching Award. Rhoades regularly presents talks throughout North America, Asia, and Europe on cultural history in film, and each year he teaches a course in the humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has also been a featured scholar on Humanities Washington's Speakers Bureau, and he has programed the Arts Council's film series since its inception.