Summer film means much more than big-budget blockbusters — especially in 2010. This year, enthusiasts throughout the county are dishing up a bevy of screenings, re-releases, and mini-fests that runs the cultural gamut. Below you’ll find just a smattering of the numerous cinematic events in store this season. And be sure to keep your eyes peeled, as more are destined to pop up in the months to come.
This Monday, June 28, Magic Lantern’s summer screenings kick off at Isla Vista Theater with The Crazies. The recent remake of the 1973 thriller tells the story of a small Iowa town whose residents are infected with a government–born virus that makes them kill. On July 1, downtown’s Contemporary Arts Forum hosts Fast-Forward, a compilation of short videos by contemporary artists working in the film medium. Selections range from comedy to computer animation to action-based performance pieces.
Also in July, UCSB’s Arts & Lectures (artsandlectures.sa.ucsb.edu) teams up with the Santa Barbara County Park Foundation, the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, and the Santa Barbara Film Commission to present Monsters! Classic Horror Films from Universal Pictures. The summer-long series, which promises screenings at both Campbell Hall and the Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens, features classics like Dracula (July 7 and 9) with Bela Lugosi, James Whale’s 1931 adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (July 14 and 16), The Wolf Man starring Lon Chaney Jr. (July 21 and 23), and The Bride of Frankenstein (July 28 and 30) with Elsa Lanchester. Wednesday-night showings take place at Campbell Hall. Friday-night screenings are at the Courthouse.
On Thursday, Friday, and Monday, July 8-12, Magic Lantern screens the oh-so-overlooked Ben Stiller dramedy Greenberg, about a post-breakdown forty-something who returns home to L.A. to find peace. The Squid and the Whale’s Noah Baumbach writes and directs, and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy composes. On Sunday, July 11, the Ojai Film Society kicks off its summer of rock flicks with Jonathan Demme’s Neil Young Trunk Show at Ojai Theatre. The concert film follows the rocker during 2007’s Chrome Dreams II tour stop at the Tower Theater in Philly. And on Thursday, Friday, and Monday, July 15-19, the Lantern screens the Joan Jett biopic The Runaways, starring Twilight’s Kristen Stewart as the young rocker.
In August, the Contemporary Arts Forum dishes up a night of animated highlights with The Best of the Ottawa International Animation Film Festival on Thursday, August 5. The free screening promises a collection of favorites from the yearly fest, including award winners like David O’Reilly’s sci-fi offering, Please Say Something. Also this month, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art hosts two films in conjunction with its current exhibit Chaotic Harmony: Contemporary Korean Photography. On Thursday, August 12, the museum screens director Jeong Jae-eun’s coming-of-age tale Take Care of My Cat. And on Thursday, August 26, the venue hosts Chihwaseon, about real-life painter Jang Seung-up’s struggles to achieve artistic freedom in the late 1800s.
And the UCSB/Sunken Gardens monster mash continues throughout the month with Boris Karloff in 1932’s The Mummy (August 11 and 13), Lon Chaney in 1925’s The Phantom of the Opera (August 18 and 20), and Richard Carlson in 1954’s The Creature from the Black Lagoon (August 25 and 27). Don’t forget to pack the popcorn.