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See Scout and Pina

Scout and Atticus

A couple weeks ago, before the rains came, I opened the windows one last time on a warm night. When I heard the dry leaves skittering on the sidewalk outside, my mind went to To Kill a Mockingbird. This movie, as you’ll recall, ends on Halloween, evoking the nostalgia and the scariness of childhood.

Seeing To Kill a Mockingbird in a theater is a no-brainer (Friday, November 9, at 7:00 pm). You can relish the understated black-and-white cinematography, the indelible performances, and the beautiful music and sound. This week’s screening at the Cinematheque also offers, of course, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and greet Mary Badham, Oscar-nominated for the role of Scout (beaten by Patty Duke in The Miracle Worker), who will be on hand to answer questions. When will you get another chance in your life to see this movie on a big screen and also meet Scout? (Here’s Ms. Badham’s website.)

Much as I love both the book and the movie, I have some quibbles with each of them. I’ll write about that later in the week. For right now, I urge everyone to get your tickets ($20 for non-members) via www.brownpapertickets.com. The 600-seat Cinematheque probably won’t sell out, but one never knows.

I also enthusiastically recommend Pina, a documentary about the choreographer Pina Bausch by her friend, the great German director Wim Wenders, showing Saturday at 9:40 and Sunday at 6:30. I’ve heard from some people who claim they don’t even like dance who liked this film. Bausch’s pieces are odd, memorable, beautiful, and sometimes funny. The poignant commentary from Wenders and others who knew her (she died before the film was completed) round out the movie.

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