Discovering the cult classics and revisiting the familiar

The BSR March 2023 repertory movie roundup

5 minute read
B&W film still. A man in a suit at a podium, other men in suits look on behind him, a large poster with a man reads KANE.
Sight and Sound long revered ‘Citizen Kane’ as the number one movie. There’s a new film at the top this year. (Image courtesy of RKO Radio Pictures.)

After this unseasonably snow-free winter, spring is on the way and the month of March will feature a long list of exciting repertory filmmaking. It includes a popular musical followed by a star Q&A, a month-long series of movies about women, and more from the Sight and Sound 100 list.

The highlights

Citizen Kane
Tuesday, March 7, 2pm and 7pm
Ritz Five, 214 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

With all of the talk about the Sight and Sound list of the 100 greatest films of all time, it’s sometimes forgotten that Orson Welles’s 1941 Citizen Kane had a 50-year run as the number one film in every version of the survey between 1962 and 2012 before Vertigo overtook it; and then, this year, Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce took the top spot. While the Film Society countdown of the list won’t reach Citizen Kane until December, you’ll have a chance this month to see Welles’s masterpiece, the story of a William Randolph Hearst-inspired mogul who is undone by his hubris. Available in a 4K digital remaster, it’s part of both Ritz Five’s Retro Replay and the Seeing Double: Welles and Lean series, which also features Welles’s Touch of Evil on Tuesday, March 21.

One Sings, the Other Doesn’t
Friday, March 10, 7pm
PFS Bourse, 400 Ranstead Street, Philadelphia

Saturday, March 18, 6pm
Philadelphia Film Center, 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

Following the passing of French auteur Agnès Varda in 2019, the Film Society and Lightbox Film Center announced plans for a spring 2020 retrospective of Varda’s work—which was sadly scuttled by the arrival of the pandemic. But one Varda film, 1977’s One Sings, the Other Doesn’t, at last comes to town at two different PFS venues. Part of the Film Society’s Women’s March, a series of films from important women filmmakers from around the world, One Sings tells the story of two women and their friendship against the backdrop of the women’s movement in 1970s France.

Tuesday, March 14, 6:30pm
Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr

The film that goes by our city’s name, Jonathan Demme’s 1993 exploration of a lawyer with AIDS (Tom Hanks) who sues his white-shoe law firm for firing him, marks its 30th anniversary this year. More than a decade into the epidemic, it was the first major Hollywood film that was primarily about AIDS. Hanks won an Oscar for the film, as did Bruce Springsteen for his song “The Streets of Philadelphia,” while Denzel Washington was nominated for his role as a personal injury lawyer who takes the case when no one else would. In addition to the film, Jennifer Fleeger of Ursinus College will host a Cinema Classics Seminar about numerous aspects of the film, from its depiction of the “intersection of race and queerness” to cinematic depictions of illness.

2001: A Space Odyssey
Sunday, March 26, 4pm
Hiway Theater, 212 York Road, Jenkintown

Hiway is hosting a Sci-Fi Film Fest in the latter part of March, including screenings of The Fifth Element, Total Recall, and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The festival wraps up on Sunday, March 26, with Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 stunner 2001: A Space Odyssey. Based on the work of Arthur C. Clarke and set over the course of thousands of years, the film follows the appearance of a series of monoliths, from prehistoric times to far in the future. The film is presented in a 4K restoration.

Other notable screenings

On the Waterfront
Wednesday, March 1, at Ambler Theater

Love & Basketball
Thursday, March 2, at Ambler Theater

Fiend Without a Face
Saturday, March 4, at Media Arts Council

Saturday, March 4, and Saturday, March 18, at Bryn Mawr Film Institute

Sunday, March 5, at Colonial Theatre

The Night of the Hunter
Monday, March 6, and Thursday, March 9, at Bryn Mawr Film Institute

Sunset Boulevard
Thursday, March 9, at PFS at the Bourse

Jennifer’s Body
Wednesday, March 15, and Friday, March 24, at Philadelphia Film Center

The Hidden
Friday, March 17, at Philadelphia Film Center

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Friday, March 17, at Ritz Five

Spring Break and Joysticks
Saturday, March 18, at PhilaMOCA

Imitation of Life
Sunday, March 19, at Philadelphia Film Center

Touch of Evil
Tuesday, March 21, at Ritz Five
Thursday, March 23, and Monday, March 27, at Bryn Mawr Film Institute

The Fifth Element
Friday, March 24, at Hiway Theater

Saturday, March 25, at Philadelphia Film Center

Spirited Away
Sunday, March 26, at Philadelphia Film Center

Sunday, March 26, at Colonial Theatre

The Gold Rush
Wednesday, March 29, at Lightbox Film Center

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Thursday, March 30, at Bryn Mawr Film Institute

Sign up for our newsletter

All of the week's new articles, all in one place. Sign up for the free weekly BSR newsletters, and don't miss a conversation.

Join the Conversation