Cher, Harrison Ford, Kevin Spacey among actors lined up for AFI event
Harrison Ford travels across the skyline of a dark, futuristic Los Angeles. Shrek perilously treks over a moat of lava. A man you thought was human grotesquely morphs into an alien creature. These scenes from Blade Runner, Shrek, The Thing, and more will be on the big screen at an event presented by the American Film Institute later this month.
The lineup for the event, AFI Night at the Movies, was unveiled Tuesday. AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale calls the event “a film festival on speed” — 12 films will screen simultaneously in the Arclight Hollywood on Wednesday, April 24. The event will take over the Los Angeles venue, using every auditorium, including the 32- by 68-foot Cinerama Dome, where 1967 mystery film In the Heat of the Night will screen with an introduction by Sidney Poitier.
Gazzale told EW, “Ultimately what we’re looking for is an evening that crosses genres, everything from animation to romantic comedy to sci-fi, and then also crosses decades. We want to be certain that we’ve got a lifespan of movies here… that shows what the art form does across the years.”
Check out the full list of films, along with the actor introducing each one, below:
Kathy Bates presenting Misery (1990)
Cher presenting Moonstruck (1987)
Sally Field presenting Norma Rae (1979)
Peter Fonda presenting Easy Rider (1969)
Harrison Ford presenting Blade Runner (1982, the final cut)
Samuel L. Jackson presenting Pulp Fiction (1994)
Shirley MacLaine presenting Terms of Endearment (1983)
Demi Moore presenting Ghost (1990)
Mike Myers presenting Shrek (2001)
Sidney Poitier presenting In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Kurt Russell presenting The Thing (1982)
Kevin Spacey presenting The Usual Suspects (1995)
Each presenting actor will introduce the film and tell a story about its making, but Gazzale noted that “they all handle it differently. We want them to feel like the room is theirs. Some of them encourage Q&A. Some of them tell great stories and want to get right to the film. It’s an intimate, personal kind of experience because it’s not a formal presentation. It’s a moment for the artist and the audiences to really be together.”
AFI first put on its Night at the Movies in 2007 to celebrate its 40th anniversary. This will be the third time AFI has organized the event. Past actors who have encouraged audience members to ask questions before the film have included Jack Nicholson, who presented One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Gazzale told EW that they brought the event back for the first time since 2008 “because there is this insatiable desire to see these stories up on the big screen.” Indeed, Jurassic Park‘s 3-D re-release collected $18.2 million this weekend, and audiences appear to be as hungry for the big screen treatment of old favorites as they were when The Lion King 3D racked in $94.1 million in 2011.
As for Gazzale’s advice about how to choose which of the 12 films to see, the AFI head says, “Find a film you haven’t seen yet and take a risk. They’re all spectacular stories, and they’re stories that have found their ways into the hearts of people across time. So I’d surprise yourself. I’d take a leap of faith and pick something new.”
AFI Night at the Movies tickets go on sale this Thursday, April 11 at 10 a.m. PT on the Arclight website. Tickets are $30 and include a large popcorn, soda, and Magnum ice cream bar. The event is sponsored by Magnum Ice Cream and Target. All 12 screenings start at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24.
Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmilyNRome
From ‘Jurassic Park’ to ‘Back to the Future’: Movies meant to be seen on the big screen