Golden Anniversaries, which is co-presented by the St. Louis Public Library, features classic films celebrating their 50th anniversaries. This third edition of the event will highlight 14 films from 1970, including two double bills.
Because in-person events remain problematic during the pandemic, Cinema St. Louis is unable to host screenings. Unfortunately, obtaining streaming rights for most older films is impossible, so a virtual event also was not an option. Rather than simply skip the series this year, CSL will instead hold free online conversations on the films in a format similar to CSL’s Movie Club, with people watching the films on their own but gathering virtually to discuss them.
The films in Golden Anniversaries are available on a variety of streaming platforms. To find the option most convenient for you, click on the link for the website JustWatch that accompanies each film.
Film critics, film academics, and filmmakers will offer introductory remarks and then participate in discussions about the films. Those conversations will be offered as free live streams at 7:30 PM every Monday from Aug. 10-Oct. 26.
In addition to a fine selection of St. Louis critics, Golden Anniversaries will feature a quartet of experts from elsewhere, including David Edelstein, former film critic of New York magazine (“M*A*S*H” on Aug. 10); AJ Schnack, director of such documentaries as “Gigantic (A Tale of Two Johns),” “Kurt Cobain About a Son,” “We Always Lie to Strangers,” and the recent “Long Gone Summer” (double bill of “Gimme Shelter” and “Woodstock” on Sept. 7); Charles Taylor, author of “Opening Wednesday at a Theater or Drive-In Near You: The Shadow Cinema of the American ’70s” (“Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” on Sept. 21); and Novotny Lawrence, author of “Blaxploitation Films of the 1970s: Blackness and Genre” (double bill of “Cotton Comes to Harlem” and “The Watermelon Man” on Sept. 28).
The discussions with the presenters will be facilitated by Cliff Froehlich, CSL’s executive director. Audience members will be able to ask questions and make observations on the films through the chat function of the live stream; those queries and comments will be relayed to the presenter by CSL.
To sign up to view and participate in the live-stream conversations on the films, viewers should use the registration link that accompanies each film. The live streams will be hosted by our virtual-festival partner, Eventive.
If you’re unable to join a live stream when it's held, the introductions and discussions will also be recorded and archived on CSL’s YouTube channel for Golden Anniversaries. The conversations will generally be available the day after they’re held.
Essays on many of the films will appear on The Lens, CSL's blog. Those pieces will be posted periodically throughout the run of the event. An introductory essay on the era that Golden Anniversaries is currently exploring can be found here.