Summer Music & Movies
Blue Nights: The Early Films of Paul Newman
Mondays, July 20–August 18 in Loring Park Free
Music begins at 7 pm; films begin at dusk (approximately 8:45 pm)
Join us for what has become a classic (and literally priceless) summer night out. The series’ films delve into Paul Newman’s early career, which was marked by a series of electric, now-iconic performances as anti-heroes. The complexity and shades of vulnerability he brought to these characters ensured that he transcended his film-idol status as the man with the bright blue eyes. This selection of four of Newman’s triumphs is just one point of focus on a prolific, 52-year career that included acting for the stage and screen, directing, and a devotion to philanthropy and humanitarian causes. His death last September marked the passing of a rare figure: not just a multi-talented legend, but a Hollywood star heralded for his authenticity and down-to-earth characters.
In case of rain, events will move to the Walker Cinema. Seating is first-come, first-served. Visit walkerart.org for details and updates.
Copresented by the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board. Summer Music & Movies is sponsored by Lunds. Additional support is generously provided by Elizabeth Redleaf.
Monday, July 20
Music: Halloween, Alaska
“. . . moody guitar and keyboards bric-a-brac atop subtly quaking beats . . . glassy drones, worried groove glitch, a shy come-on cribbed from an old Prince song.” —Blender
Drink in the summer sun and crafty pop, pure and now, by members of such esteemed local outfits as Love-cars, 12RODS, and Happy Apple. Mining the breaks between electronic and organic Halloween, Alaska ignites a gorgeously layered atmosphere of heady lyricism, indie hooks, and articulate beats. Featuring James Diers (voice, keys, guitar), Matthew Friesen (bass, sampler), Jacob Hanson (guitar), and David King (drums).
Movie: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Directed by Richard Brooks
In his first of ten Academy Award–nominated performances, Newman plays injured ex-football star Brick: a sardonic, alcoholic, and impotent husband to the ambitious and conniving Maggie—“the cat”(Elizabeth Taylor at her sultry best). Despite the dysfunction, Southern charm oozes in this lush adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ play about an established Mississippi family plagued by secrets and financial ambitions. 1959, 16mm, 108 minutes.
Monday, July 27
Music: Roma di Luna
“Evoking an old-timey Americana vibe riddled with scary hints of neo-Gothic mayhem, Roma di Luna play sparse tunes that squirm and fret under thriving uncertainty.” —City Pages
Compelling and stark, lovely and dark, Roma di Luna cooks a lush hash of early folk, bluegrass, and old-time country shot through with an ethereal edge. From busking on the street to basking in the glow of critical acclaim Roma di Luna is the wife-husband duo Channy Moon Casselle (vocals, violin) and Alexei Moon Casselle (guitar, vocals) with Ben Durrant (electric guitar), James Everest (bass guitar), Ryan Lovan (percussion), Jessi Prusha (backing vocals), and Michael Rossetto (banjo).
Directed by Martin Ritt
Newman upends the cowboy myth as Hud Bannon, an unprincipled, ruthless lothario in Texas’ windswept cattle country. Hud’s callous ways are intriguing to his impressionable nephew and a source of irritation to his law-and-order father, but when a disease threatens to wipe out the herd, he’s forced to be a man. “The black-and-white cinematography turns his famous baby blues into an eerie shade of gray…. He finds depths in these shallows”—Manohla Dargis, New York Times. Based on a book by Larry McMurtry, the film received seven Oscar nominations, including a nod to Newman and the statue to Patricia Neal as Alma, the family’s tough housekeeper. 1963, 16mm, 112 minutes.
Monday, August 3
Music: Gospel Gossip
“It’s fuzzy, pretty, and uberrhythmic—that midtempo, incredibly danceable pop that Fugazi and Nation of Ulysses popularized in Washington, D.C., in the early ’90s.” —Bitch Magazine
Northfield’s Gospel Gossip crafts beautifully sprawling, buzzed-out power pop with cathartic melodies, necessary noise, and playful bounce all fully realized through Sarah Nienaber’s inimitable vocals. Take in 60 minutes of fun and fierce songs that “harken to the finer, headier days when brainiacs like the Velvet Underground and New Order were called party music.” —City Pages
Movie: Cool Hand Luke
Directed by Stuart Rosenberg
In portraying spirited inmate Luke Jackson, Newman created an anti-hero for the ages. Jackson’s rejection of authority and his repeated escapes from a Florida prison camp hit home amid the rebellious late-‘60s zeitgeist. With memorable lines such as “What we got here is … failure to communicate,” and the classic scene that sparked egg-eating contests among young Americans everywhere, Cool Hand Luke remains Newman’s most unforgettable characterization of youthful defiance. Dubbed at the time a “picture of chilling dramatic power” (Time), it still packs a punch. 1967, 16mm, 126 minutes.
Monday, August 10
“Distills everything powerful about Mongolian folk music and makes something new from the ingredients . . . transcendently powerful music that anyone from anywhere can understand.” —Pitchfork
Frenetic and foreign, ancient and avant-garde—it’s called “Chinagrass,” and we think you’ll like it. This Beijing-based sextet with members from China’s Inner Mongolia province has a decidedly eclectic take on East meets West roots and rock with an inspired blend of disparate sonic elements. Horse-hair fiddles, surf guitar, traditional throat-singing, two-stringed lutes, electronics, and an ex-punk rock singer take on centuries-old song forms.
Movie: The Hustler
Directed by Robert Rossen
Newman made an indelible impression as Fast Eddie Felson, an up-and-comer pool shark striving to beat the legendary Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason) in a battle of skill vs. character. Awash in drink, the humbled Felson takes up with pretty alcoholic Sarah (Piper Laurie) before falling under the thumb of gambler Bert Gordon (George C. Scott). With riveting pool scenes, The Hustler’s beautiful black-and-white cinemascope photography underscores the smoky aura of the underworld. “There are only a handful of movie characters so real that the audience refers to them as touchstones. Fast Eddie Felson is one of them.”—Roger Ebert. 1961, 16mm, 134 minutes.