Its a tad disturbing that the latest films by two of our more interesting midcareer directors, Spike Jonze and Wes Anderson, are adaptations of childrens books (Where the Wild Things Are and Fantastic Mr. Fox). At the height (or depth) of the Great Recession, with the U.S. enmeshed in war, these filmmakers choose to devote their considerable talents and energies to pre-adolescent angst and animated escapism? Take a trip back in time to the Golden Age of American film, when Hollywood made movies for adults and youth culture didnt exist. Samuel Goldwyn Presents salutes the iron-willed independent producer whose vast catalog spans the silent era through the mid-1950s. Goldwyns greatest achievement, the multiple Oscarwinning The Best Years of Our Lives (screening at 2:50 and 8 p.m.), follows three war vets awkwardly and painfully constructing normal lives after their victorious return. William Wylers 1946 film is shot through with an unwavering emotional truth that remains profoundly moving. Another kind of domestic drama fuels Our Very Own (1 and 6:10 p.m.), the story of a happy postwar family rocked by a daughters discovery that her teenage sister is adopted. As revealed in this 16-film series, there was nothing juvenile about Sam Goldwyns postcards from America.
Dec. 2-10, 2009