Judy Chaikin's The Girls in the Band

The Girls in the Band (Opens Friday!)
Director: Judy Chaikin
Writers: Judy Chaikin, Edward Osei-Gyimah
Cast: Geri Allen, Jane Ira Bloom, Clora Bryant, Herbie Hancock

The documentary follows the untold stories of female jazz and big band instrumentalists and their journeys from the late 1930s to the present day.

Screen Daily said about The Girls in the Band: “A fascinating, moving and wonderfully tuneful documentary, Judy Chaikin’s absorbing The Girls In The Band is a real treat for music-lovers – especially jazz fans – as well as being a powerful examination of the struggles by talented musicians to break into the resolutely male world of jazz…[It] is a must for any savvy arts broadcaster and has the style, panache and provocative storyline to also work theatrically.”

Detroit Unleaded (Tuesday, Indie Night)
Director: Rola Nashef
Writers: Jennifer Ginzinger, Heather Kolf, Rola Nashef
Cast: EJ Assi, Nada Shouhayib, Mike Batayeh, Akram El-Ahmar

The romantic comedy centers on a Lebanese-American youth who is forced to take over his family's gas station business after the untimely death of his father. From behind bullet-proof glass, he attempts to socialize and swoon a girl who stops by, while finessing the challenges of social rules.

The film will screen as part of Film Society's ongoing Indie Night series. Writer/director Rola Nashef spoke with FilmLinc last week about the film: “A big inspiration for telling this story is that Arab America is really a lot of fun. It was a great community to grow up in. Of course it has its ups and downs like anywhere else. But an inspiration was definitely to say, 'Hey look at my friends, they're so sexy, cool and fun, you know?'”

Make Mine Music (Saturday & Sunday, Family Film)
Directors: Robert Cormack, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, Josua Meador
Cast: Nelson Eddy, Dinah Shore, Benny Goodman, The Andrew Sisters, Jerry Colonna, Andy Russell, Sterling Holloway

This coming weekend's Family Film offering is a 1946 animated classic that unfolds to what was then “contemporary popular music.” The film screened at the first Cannes Film Festival in 1946 and often had comparisons made to Fantasia.

Recalling the immediate post-war period in which Make Mine Music launched, Turner Classic Movies notes: “Make Mine Music was the first of what is often referred to by modern sources as Disney's 'package features.' Although the studio had previously experimented with combining distinctly separate animated segments in the earlier features Fantasia, Saludos Amigos and Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music was the first of a series of films, released after the war, which were specifically made to ease the studio's severe financial problems.”

From Here to Eternity (May 17 & 19, Man of Steel: Burt Lancaster at 100)
Director: Fred Zinnemann
Writers: Daniel Taradash (screenplay), james Jones (novel)
Cast: Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed, Frank Sinatra, Philip Ober

Set in Hawaii during the war, the classic drama/romance centers on a private who is cruelly punished for not boxing on his unit's team. Meanwhile, his captain's wife and second in command are falling in love.

The Guardian said of the film in 2010 following the restoration of the 1953 Oscar-winner: “Burt Lancaster is the tough sergeant enjoying a blistering affair with a beautiful and highly-strung woman, played by Deborah Kerr, the wife of his incompetent commanding officer. This rerelease is a reminder that their famous kiss in the surf, with Burt having rather uncomfortably to strain his head up into the clinch, actually only lasts a second – despite being frozen, immortalised, on the poster and in a thousand spoofs…What a punch this movie still packs.”

Apache (May 18 & 20, Man of Steel: Burt Lancaster at 100)
Director: Robert Aldrich
Writers: James R. Webb, Paul Wellman (novel)
Cast: Burt Lancaster, Jean Peters, John McIntire, Charles Bronson, John Dehner

During Geronimo’s surrender to the U.S. Cavalry, a lone Apache warrior (Lancaster) defiantly interrupts the ceremony of his white conquerors. Captured and shipped off to the Florida Everglades, he escapes and begins an epic journey back to his desert Southwest home. One of Robert Aldrich’s best and leanest anti-establishment narratives, and one of Lancaster’s most energetic and athletic performances. With Jean Peters as his lover and fellow fugitive, John McIntire as the grudgingly sympathetic frontier scout who pursues them, and Charles Bronson (then Buchinsky) as an old Apache rival who has donned Cavalry Blue.