Opening Night at the Bijou

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The angst-ridden James Dean fights the system in Rebel Without a Cause, one of the classic movies showing at the Bijou Theater's grand opening.
Santikos Theaters is opening the Bijou Theater at the Crossroads Mall, Fredericksburg Road and Loop 410, this week, and our favorite film historians at Texas Public Radio are helping them do it in style. On Thursday, July 24 at 6:30, a party will get underway with ersatz movie stars and searchlights, real caviar, and champagne, and a silent auction benefitting the radio station. At 8:30, a classic movie will unspool for free in each of six screening rooms, and the list is a movie buff's dream: Breakfast at Tiffany's, From Here to Eternity, Rear Window, Rebel Without a Cause, Some Like it Hot, and To Kill a Mockingbird. We're betting that Mockingbird gets an influx of fans wishing to pay tribute to recently departed star Gregory Peck, but if that theater overflows you can hardly be disappointed in your options. There's no set ticket price - suggested donation is $15 - and all proceeds benefit TPR, who have done so much for SA's movie nightlife that this event is just icing on the cake. RSVP at 496-1300, Ext. 0.

Rito Terminal
Dir. and writ. Óscar Urrutia Lazo; feat. Guillermo Larrea, Soledad Ruiz, Ángeles Cruz (NR)

The Alameda hosts the final night of the "Cine y Más: A New Word & Image Series" Thursday, July 24, with a feature-length video by Óscar Urrutia Lazo that was nominated for 14 Ariel Awards. From the filmmaker's synopsis: "Rito Terminal explores indigenous beliefs and native culture that come face-to-face with the modern world. Mateo, a photographer, inexplicably loses his shadow when preparing a feature on patron saint day celebrations in an indigenous community. Then, during a traditional funeral ceremony, a spiritual exchange causes him to lose his sense of the convictions that bind him to the 'real' world. What ensues is a quintessential hero's journey in which he is forced to confront the question of what is left behind when you submit, unconditionally, to progress."

Rito Terminal screens at 7pm (reception at 6pm) at the Alameda's Koehler Auditorium (2nd floor), Casa de México Building, 318 W. Houston Street. Admission is $5 or $3 with student ID.

En Este Pueblo No Hay Ladrones
Dir. Alberto Isaac; writ. Isaac, Emilio García Riera; feat. Julián Pastor, Rocío Sagaón, Graciela Enríquez, Luis Buñuel, Alfonso Arau, Gabriel García Márquez, José Luis Cuevas, Leonora Carrington, Juan Rulfo, et al (NR)

This debut film from director Alberto Isaac features a cast of Mexican artists and authors, and was based on a story by the legendary Gabriel García Márquez. Translated as There Are No Thieves In This Town, the story involves a young man who steals billiard balls from a local business, hoping that they are ivory and he will be able to sell them.

En Este Pueblo No Hay Ladrones screens at the Instituto de Mexico, 600 HemisFair Park, at 4pm on Sunday, July 27. Info: 227-0130.

Bigger Than Life
Dir. Nicholas Ray; writ. Cyril Hume, Richard Maibaum; feat. James Mason, Barbara Rush, Walter Matthau, Robert Simon, Christopher Olsen (NR)

Although he directed the James Dean classic Rebel Without A Cause and the Humphrey Bogart fave In A Lonely Place, director Nicholas Ray is far better known among filmmakers than he is to the general public. Wings of Desire director Wim Wenders, for instance, proved his admiration by casting him in his 1977 film The American Friend and collaborating with him on Lightning Over Water, Ray's final work before dying of cancer. Known for his love of alienated protagonists, Ray had an influence over European filmmakers disproportionate to his stateside fame.

So it's a little odd that we aren't able to review Bigger Than Life for Current readers - the film hasn't been released on DVD, and isn't available on video tape, either. Film Comment magazine listed it among the 20 best films that aren't available on home video, in fact. One of the first Hollywood movies to deal seriously with drug addiction, the story follows a school teacher played by James Mason who learns he has a rare, fatal disease. Mason's doctor prescribes Cortisone, which helps with the disease but has disturbing side effects. As he descends into addiction, Ray uses Mason's family as a case study in '50s middle-class American values. JD

Bigger Than Life screens Tuesday, July 29 as part of Texas Public Radio's "Cinema Tuesdays" series. 7:30pm at AMC Huebner Oaks, admission $10 members/$12 non-members, 614-8977 or tpr.org for reservations. •

More by John DeFore



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