06.29.2017 | posted 2 years, 6 months ago
Escape The Heat At Roxy Cinema - What's On For July
They say it started with Jaws.
Before Steven Spielberg’s beach-clearing megahit – the first officially recognized “summer blockbuster” as we have come to know the term – there were movies that were huge hits. Gone With the Wind. The Ten Commandments. Ben Hur. Event movies of their time, but there was an element, a bit of alchemy, that didn’t factor in to the equation until Spielberg’s little shark movie (made at a modest 8 million; hugely over-budget at the time but a mere pittance by current mega-franchise standards) hit screens in late June of 1975. It was the element of summer.
In its very design, Jaws was a summer movie. It took place during the summer, in a community that made its money off of summer tourism. Add to that a primal fear suffered by all beachgoers – of being attacked by a shark while attempting to enjoy some water-based fun – and you have the making of a phenomenon. Suddenly, sharks were everywhere, lurking just beyond the surf, a glimpsed fin cresting behind a wave. And movie-goers ate it up. The movie made over 100 million dollars in the states alone – staggering numbers at the time — catapulting its director into legend and creating a cinematic wave we are still riding some 40 years later.
Some might say we’re drowning in it. Movies, at their core, have always been about escapism, designed to take us where we cannot go, a point of departure removed from where we are, be it time, place, or plane of reality. And Jaws – which the Roxy is happily featuring this month – is escapism at its best. Unfortunately, we can’t have nice things, and in the last four decades, as studios became dependent on these mega-sized hits, and smaller, more personal films became marginalized. Summertime can be hard on a film lover whose brand of escapism doesn’t involve superheroes, giant robots or musclemen in muscle cars.
That’s why, for July, we at the Roxy would like to widen the net to include other brands of cinematic escapism, a bigger boat, so to speak. Comedy lovers can revisit the days of summer camp with Meatballs, Meatballs Part 2 and Wet Hot American Summer. Or feel the heat of a steamy thriller like Body Heat, Double Indemnity or The Beguiled. Nothing makes the blood run colder than a good horror movie, so we’ve got (appropriately) I Know What You Did Last Summer and The Wicker Man. If you forgot your sunscreen or just can’t make it out to the beach don’t worry; you can join us for Beach Party, Blue Hawaii, Suddenly Last Summer and Surf Nazis Must Die. If nostalgia is what you’re looking for, there’s The Cotton Club and American Graffiti. And then there’s the escapism of losing yourself in a great work of art; Nights of Cabiria. La Dolce Vita. Aguirre Wrath of God. A Streetcar Named Desire. Masterworks waiting to take you into their brilliantly realized worlds.
And there’s more. Gimme Shelter, The Last Waltz, King Creole and Band Aid for music lovers. The glorious tryptic of the Taken series for action junkies. Gritty rebellion with The Warriors and Over the Edge. Children’s fantasies Beauty and the Beast, The Sandlot, The Goonies and ET. High art with Manifesto. Historical epic Queen of the Desert. Or maybe a classic blockbuster, like Tim Burton’s genre-busting Batman Returns or Spielberg’s own Jurassic Park. There’s an escape for everyone this July, so come cool out with us in the best of all summer getaways – Roxy Cinema!
Words By Sebastian O’Brien