The Pitch (February 11-18)

Jason Asbell
February 9, 2022
A way out west there was a fella, fella I want to tell you about, fella by the name of Jason Asbell. I only mention it 'cause some- times there's a man--I won't say a hee-ro, 'cause what's a hee-ro?--but sometimes there's a man. And I'm talkin' about Jason here-- sometimes there's a man who, wal, he's the man for his time'n place, he fits right in there--and that's Jason, the Programming Director of The Civic Theatre. . . sometimes there's a man. Wal, I lost m'train of thought here. But--aw hell, I done innerduced him enough.

The nominations for this year’s Academy Awards just dropped this morning and the Civic’s confirmed Feb. 11th booking, Nightmare Alley, made the list for ‘Best Picture’, ‘Best Production Design’, ‘Best Cinematography’, and ‘Best Costume Costume Design’.

Guillermo del Toro, who won ‘Best Picture’ and ‘Best Direction’ Oscars in 2017 for his last feature, Shape of Water, brings his unique and lush visual style to this neo-noir set against a 1940’s carnival.  Down-on-his-luck Stanton Carlisle endears himself to a clairvoyant and her mentalist husband at a traveling carnival. Using newly acquired knowledge, Carlisle crafts a golden ticket to success by swindling the elite and wealthy. Hoping for a big score, he soon hatches a scheme to con a dangerous tycoon with help from a mysterious psychiatrist who might be his most formidable opponent yet. 

Of his nomination del Toro told Deadline, “I am very happy and grateful… The key is to be in the conversation. We are very proud of our film and the work everyone delivered. This is a great blessing. We are in great company with filmmakers we admire and we thank the Academy and feel elated. Maybe the pandemic affected me in ways that I may not even see, but it was very moving and very cherished to get this surprise and love this morning. Covid showed us all how tenuous it is to plan, craft and release a film. And how being in this craft is a joy not to be taken for granted.” I agree Guillermo; and being able to see movies together in cinema should not be taken for granted either.  I hope you will all come out to see this visual treat on the big-screen this week. 

Stay tuned for more Oscar nominated films showing up on the Civic Theatre calendar.  P.T. Anderson’s, Licorice Pizza, and ‘Best Documentary/Best Animated Feature and Best International Feature’ nominated Flee, will be hopefully gracing our screen starting Feb. 25th.

Be sure to check out Guillermo’s amazing work from Reo’s video, especially the brand new Criterion Collection gifted bluray box set, Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro, which features three of his early Spanish language films including the Oscar nominated, Pan’s Labyrinth.

Little Spidey, Tom Holland along with co/star Mark Wahlberg visit The Civic next week with their new film, Uncharted.

See you at the carnival.

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