Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Puzzle Within the Castro Theater's February 2014 Calendar

The Castro Theater is only closed one day in February - on the 18th.  It is having a private event on February 4 and the program for February 25 is still to be announced.  That left only three photos on the calendar for the month.

After several days of on-line and paper copy perusal, I drew a blank.  The most promising lead was the man pictured in February 4.  I identified the statuette he is holding as an Emmy Award.  That sent me off in the wrong direction as I assumed the person had won the Emmy in the 1950s or 1960s based on the vintage of the photo.  That proved to be incorrect.  My co-worker also thought he was on the verge of recognizing the man.  After scouring the list of Emmy winners from the era, I switched tactics.

I next turned my attention to the month of February and guessed the puzzle had something to do with Presidents Day, Valentine's Day or perhaps the Winter Olympics.  I searched photos of actors sharing the same surname as presidents and Winter Olympians or actors named Valentine or Valentin.  I discovered I don't know the names of very many Winter Olympians.

At this point, I gave up and I cheated by using Google Image Search on the February 4 photo.  I discovered to my chagrin that the photo is of Bob Newhart, a comedian I have enjoyed for years.  I discovered the highlight of his early stand-up comedy routine was to portray a phone conversation with someone or even God.  The photo is likely a routine Newhart did on an Emmy Awards telecast.

Armed with Newhart's identity, I immediately suspected the February 25 photo was of William S. Hart and I quickly confirmed this.  The Valentine's Day theme was confirmed - Newhart and then Hart.  I made a guess (which was proven correct) that the woman pictured on February 18 was not named Newhart or Hart or had "heart" in her surname.  I quickly zeroed in on the names Hartley and Hartman.

I searched through IMDB listings of Hartley first.  I first eliminated Mariette Hartley and eventually a number of other actresses named Hartley whom I didn't know about.  The highlight was scanning Nina Hartley's credits; the most recent of which is Lesbian Adventures: Strap-On Specialists Vol. 5...Volume 5 is, of course, the seminal entry in the series.   Hartley, a porn star with over 600 "acting credits" to her name, has been making porn for 30 years.  Her sole "legitimate" role was in Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights.  I remember her performance well; she played William S. Macy's wife.  After diligently looking through Ms. Hartley's photos (my favorites were Splendor in the Ass and Pussyman 15: Bone Voyage), I decided it was not her and I gave up on Hartleys altogether.

I moved on to Hartman and hoped it was photo of a young Lisa Hartman.  It was not but I will say that Ms. Lisa Hartman posed for several bikini photos that would have made Ms. Nina Hartley proud.

The next name on the list was the late Elizabeth Hartman.  She passed away in 1987 at the age of 43.  I have not seen any of her films except for the original Walking Tall where she portrayed Mrs. Buford Pusser.  I don't recall her performance in that film.  Her IMDB photos were promising and I searched on-line and immediately found the exact photo used on February 18. Nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in A Patch of Blue (1965), "Hartman [eventually] succumbed to her lifelong depression and jumped from the fifth floor window of her apartment in an apparent suicide" in 1987.  I have not seen A Patch of Blue but am now interested in seeing it.

February 4 - Bob Newhart

February 18 - Elizabeth Hartman

February 25 - William S. Hart

I can only assume the clues are referencing Valentine's Day and its common symbol:  the heart.


Looking at the Castro calendar for the month, Age of Consent (1969) on February 13 looks promising.  "James Mason is a painter on the wane who retreats to a remote island off the Great Barrier Reef, unexpectedly finding inspiration in the form of nubile free spirit Helen Mirren. This sublime restoration of Michael Powell’s last feature includes the infamous censored nude scenes and the original score."

The Coen Brothers' Miller's Crossing (February 19) is one of my all-time favorite films although it's been many years since I last watched it.  Unfortunately, IndieFest and Mostly British are playing that night.

Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors (February 21) is one of my favorites by him.  It screening as part of a Midnites for Maniacs program.

I haven't seen Star 80 (February 27) for many years and have never watched it on the big screen.  I recall the film favorably although it has been 20+ years since I last saw it.


Castro Theater Calendar - February 2014

No comments: