Summertime in Philadelphia means beer gardens, trips to the shore, and outdoor movies. While there’s been no word yet on an Awesome Fest lineup (due to a legal spat, the indie-focused program almost didn’t happen last year), you can expect more family friendly programming to continue on our two waterfronts.
Starting June 30 with National Treasure, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation will host its weekly Screenings under the Stars series at Penn’s Landing. The following Thursday, July 7, it will show Creed, and I can’t think of a better venue for the latest Rocky reboot than one with the Philly skyline behind you.
Across Center City, the Schuylkill River Development Corporation hosts movie nights at various spots along Philly’s other river. The next screening, at the Grays Ferry Crescent on June 23, will show every ’90s kid’s favorite animated-live action mashup: Space Jam. And this year the SRDC managed to sneak in an R-rated selection, This Is Spinal Tap, on July 14 at the Walnut Street Bridge location.
Political cult classics
July will bring the Democratic National Convention to Philadelphia, and if you want to hide from the chaos around the South Philly sports complex, I recommend heading to PhilaMOCA for a series of four political cult classics. First, the Psychotronic Film Society will show a secret film, allegedly about a “George W.-like president who was more powerful than God,” on July 25. The next night will bring the 1981 Satanic conspiracy tale Early Warning. Both screenings are free.
PhilaMOCA will also host Idiocracy on July 27 — cue comparisons between Dwane Elizondo and Donald Trump — and a 1978 documentary on former Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo that ran for two weeks during its original release. These two screenings cost $10 apiece.
Documentaries and mockumentaries
Everyone remembers (and most would rather forget) David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation of Dune. But in the late 1970s, Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky tried to film his own version of the classic sci-fi novel. He didn’t succeed, although his efforts were explored in the 2013 documentary Jodoworski’s Dune. On June 23 and 24, CineMug will host screenings of the doc. The event is free, although there is a $2 BYOB fee.
On June 22, Cinema Ray will screen The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, a music mockumentary, at Tattooed Mom for $8. Think of it as Spinal Tap, but for early punk instead of early metal.