Festivals, Godard and The Knights Who Say Ni: Philly movie screenings in November

5 minute read
'This is Spinal Tap' screens at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute. (Image courtesy of Embassy Pictures)
'This is Spinal Tap' screens at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute. (Image courtesy of Embassy Pictures)

It's now November, and it's a big month for movies. The multiplexes and arthouses will be full of Oscar contenders, and Philadelphia will have no fewer than three film festivals this month: The First Glance Film Festival, The Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, and the Gershman Jewish Film Festival's Fall Fest. There's also a long list of repertory screenings, including some that are showing as part of the latter two festivals.

Here are highlights on the November calendar.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

It was reported by New York magazine last week that Disney has begun blocking and even canceling repertory screenings of older Fox movies, following their purchase of the Fox studio. The one film they wouldn't dare take out of circulation? Rocky Horror, which will again screen just before midnight on November 1, at Ritz at the Bourse (400 Ranstead Street). As usual, Transylvanian Nipple Productions will be on hand for the "shadow cast."

The Deer Hunter

The Best Picture of 1978, Michael Cimino's three-hour Vietnam epic starred Robert De Niro, John Cazale, Christopher Walken, and Meryl Streep, and it's showing, in a digital restoration, at the Colonial Theatre (227 Bridge Street, Phoenixville) on November 3 at 1:30pm.


It's Godard month at Bryn Mawr Film Institute (824 Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr), as BMFI will present a program and seminar on the work of French New Wave living legend Jean-Luc Godard called "Godard: Revolution Forever." First up, November 7 at 7:15pm, is Contempt, Godard's 1963 film about a writer (Michel Piccoli) hired to adapt The Odyssey. Lisa DeNight will introduce the film, which will be shown in a remastered print.

Law Abiding Citizen

The Philly Made Film Series, a series of screenings of Philadelphia-shot films which launched earlier this fall, will continue November 8 at 7pm with Law Abiding Citizen, F. Gary Gray's 2009 film that starred Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx. As with the rest of the series, it will show at the Michael A. Nutter Theatre, inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center (1101 Arch Street).


The next midnight movie at Ritz at the Bourse is Akira, director Katsuhiro Otomo's 1998 Japanese post-apocalyptic animated classic, which shows November 8.

Three Seasons

The Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, in addition to an extensive program of new films, will feature a 20th anniversary showing of director Tony Bui's 1999 Three Seasons, which was the first foreign film about Vietnam that wasn't about the Vietnam War. The film will show November 9 at 5pm at the Lightbox Film Center (3701 Chestnut Street), and the director is expected to be in attendance.


Jonathan Demme's locally produced 1993 film, which starred A-listers Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington and was the first major Hollywood film to deal with the AIDS crisis, will get a rare local showing on November 10 at 1:30pm at the Colonial Theatre. The film is showing with a new digital restoration.

Heir to an Execution

The Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival will also feature some older films in addition to its debuts, and one of those is Heir To An Execution, the 2004 documentary about the legacy of the 1953 execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg-directed by the Rosenbergs' granddaughter, Ivy Meeropol. This shows November 13 at 7pm at the National Museum of American Jewish History (101 South Independence Mall East). Meeropol will be in attendance.

Enter the Dragon

One of the greatest martial arts films of all time, Robert Clouse's 1973 Enter the Dragon starring Bruce Lee, will show in 35mm at the Philadelphia Film Center (1412 Chestnut Street) at 7pm on November 13.

The Godfather

You've almost certainly seen Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 mob masterpiece, but if you haven't ever seen it on a big screen, now's your chance. The film will show at the Ambler Theater at 7pm on November 14. The Godfather was produced by the legendary Robert Evans, who passed away earlier this week.

Band of Outsiders

The Jean-Luc Godard program at BMFI continues November 14 at 7:15pm with 1964's heist flick, also known under its French title Bande à part. The film, which starred Claude Brasseur, Sami Frey, and Anna Karina, will be introduced by Raymond Saraceni, Ph.D.

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

Another oldie-but-goodie, screening as part of GPJFF, its Ted Kotcheff's 1974 Canadian comedy, which starred a young Richard Dreyfuss as a working-class Jewish kid from Montreal who goes to work at a hotel in the Canadian version of the Catskills. The film shows at 2pm on November 17 at the National Museum of American Jewish History, and will be introduced by film critic Nick Pinkerton.

This is Spinal Tap

Director Rob Reiner's very quotable 1984 musical parody, starring Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer, will show at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute on November 20 at 7pm, marking its 35th anniversary. Those buying tickets will get a free cocktail from the nearby Grog Grill.


Paul Verhoeven's 1995 stripper saga, starring Saved by the Bell's Elizabeth Berkeley, may have been utterly vilified upon its release, but over the years it's been re-assessed and become something of a camp classic. Showgirls is showing November 21 at 9:30pm at the Philadelphia Film Center, and will be preceded at 7:30 by You Don't Nomi, Jeffrey McHale's 2019 documentary about the film's strange journey.

Downtown 81

Edo Bertoglio's film about New York's downtown art and music scene was shot in 1981 but not finished. It was finally completed and released 19 years later, in 2000, and 19 years after that, it will show at the Lightbox on November 22 at 7pm as part of the Louis Bluver's Arthouse Revisited series.

American Psycho

Mary Harron's 2000 film of Bret Easton Ellis' novel about Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), a 1980s Wall Street bro who's also a serial killer, will turn 20 years old in April. The movie that ensured no one will ever view business cards or Phil Collins the same ever again will show at Ritz at the Bourse just before midnight on November 22.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty Python's 1975 film, which parodied Arthurian legend with much absurdity, has been an oft-quoted touchstone for generations of nerds. It's showing twice at the Colonial Theatre, on November 29 and 30. The film will have two showings each day, in traditional and sing-along versions at 2pm and 9:30pm.

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