From Aeschylus and Sophocles to The Lord of the Rings and High School Musical, as long as there have been stories, there have been those that cannot stay contained to a single part. As the long, hot summer winds to a close, cool off with five classic movie trilogies, including Hollywood blockbusters, art-house prizewinners, and the Back to the Future films presented in stunning 2K digital projection!

Robert Zemeckis’s time-hopping misadventures remain a clever, funny, and resoundingly entertaining stand-out from a formative era of the blockbuster. The scrappy Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) begins by jeopardizing his own existence after being catapulted back to 1955, with his parents played by Crispin Glover and Lea Thompson. In the innovative sequels, Zemeckis plunged into what-if sci-fi with the futuristic design of BTF2 and then a warped ode to westerns with BTF3, astonishingly shooting the two films back to back.

The collective winner of nine Academy Awards (and 29 nominations), including the first-ever Best Picture Oscar awarded to a sequel, Francis Coppola’s epic chronicle of the Corleone family remains the gold standard by which all chronicles of Mafia life shall forever be judged. Presented here in the stunning digital restoration supervised in 2009 by Coppola, cinematographer Gordon Willis and film preservationist Robert A. Harris.

Among the greatest living filmmakers, Abbas Kiarostami first rose to international prominence with this rich, humane trio of films set in and around the Iranian village of Koker. Reflecting the director’s multilayered engagement with cinema—and the audience—the trilogy begins with the lyrical tale of a schoolboy’s journey to deliver a book, then revisits the region after the 1990 earthquake in a semiautobiographical story about a director and his son, and concludes with a comedy about filmmaking. Together they reveal Kiarostami as an artist whose self-aware style only enriches the humanity of his work.

MAD MAX: Sept 3
George Miller’s hell-on-wheels vision of the future notched a novel international action hit for the burgeoning Australian cinema, giving a new meaning to the notion of a “road movie.” The battle-ready cars, ravaged landscapes, and punkish road warriors make for one of the defining dystopias visualized in cinema. Rising star Mel Gibson plays the ex-police officer who takes the law into his own hands, facing down sadistic gangs, gas shortages, and, in the final installment, Tina Turner.

Hailed by critics as the greatest European director of his generation, the late Krzystof Kieslowski achieved international auteur superstardom with his this remarkable trilogy inspired by the three colors of the French flag and their symbolic meanings: liberty, equality and fraternity. Set, respectively, in Paris, Warsaw and Geneva, Blue, White and Red are not obviously connected in matters of plot or characters—until almost all the principals appear together at the conclusion of the third film. But they are dominated by Kieslowski’s career-spanning themes of chance, coincidence and the mysteries of fate.