A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
1992, Sony Repertory, 128 min, USA, Dir: Penny Marshall

“There’s no crying in baseball!” Professional sports were pitched a curveball by WWII, when many players were pulled from the field for military duty; the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was created to fill the void. Penny Marshall’s affectionate look back at the game and the women of the Rockford Peaches stars Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell, Lori Petty and Madonna, with Tom Hanks as the team’s initially skeptical manager. Named to the United States National Film Registry in 2012. “Though big of budget, A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN is one of the year’s most cheerful, most relaxed, most easily enjoyable comedies. It’s a serious film that’s lighter than air, a very funny movie that manages to score a few points for feminism in passing.” - Vincent Canby, New York Times


THE SANDLOT
1993, 20th Century Fox, 101 min, USA, Dir: David Mickey Evans

Like THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and A CHRISTMAS STORY, this is a great film, largely ignored upon release, that found life on television and DVD. Here’s your chance to see it on the big screen the way it was meant to be seen. David Mickey Evans (RADIO FLYER) directs his first feature film and knocks it out of the park. It’s sandlot baseball set in the summer of 1962, with Babe Ruth-autographed baseballs, best buddies and giant demon dogs named the Beast that live beyond the rickety home run fence. Geeky kid Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) moves to the San Fernando Valley with his parents and is unable to make friends until sandlot baseball hero Benny Rodriguez adds him to the team. Made up of all the magic little moments of childhood, when scary things really were over the fence and crazy drawn-in-the-dirt battle plans actually worked. Patrick Renna ("Ham") stands out in one of the best kid casts since THE BAD NEWS BEARS. "You're killing me, Smalls!" has become a catch phrase to many since. Also stars James Earl Jones.


I AM CUBA
SOY CUBA
1964, Milestone Films, 108 min, Cuba/Soviet Union, Dir: Mikhail Kalatozov

Started only a week after the Cuban missile crisis, this film was designed to be Cuba’s answer to both Eisenstein’s POTEMKIN and Godard’s BREATHLESS. But I AM CUBA turned out to be something quite unique - a wildly schizophrenic celebration of Communist iconography, mixing Slavic solemnity with Latin sensuality. The plot, or rather plots, explore the seductive, decadent (and marvelously photogenic) world of Batista’s Cuba - deliriously juxtaposing images of wealthy American tourists with scenes of ramshackle slums. Cinematographer Sergei Urusevsky’s gravity-defying camera glides effortlessly through long, continuous shots, but beyond its bravura technical accomplishments, I AM CUBA succeeds in exploring the innermost feelings of the characters and their often desperate situations.


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