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LAFF RIOT! A Celebration of Motion Picture Comedies

Updated: Dec 18, 2021

By audience request, this special edition of the Cupertino Library Film Series focuses on that most demanding and exacting form of film making: just getting a laugh! From side-splitting silent films to a fresh look at overlooked and hilarious classics, we’ll be exploring the precision mechanics of mirth-making. Please join filmmaker and scholar Mark Larson for this rowdy cinematic journey! A spirited group discussion follows every film.

All events will be held at the Cupertino Senior Center, 21251 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014, from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. All screenings are free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Cupertino Library Foundation.

March 12, 2019: 1. Pillow Talk (1959) Doris Day and Rock Hudson share a Technicolor telephone line where romance and laughs combine, building to a wild Cinemascope climax of mirth! And Tony Randell comes along for the ride to deliver a legendary comic performance in this mid-century modern masterpiece!

March 19, 2019: 2. Shorts from Mabel and Fatty and Buster Too! (1917) There’s knockabout slapstick galore as we share this rambunctious cinematic treat – a special showing of short films from three early masters of early comedy – Roscoe Arbuckle, Buster Keaton and the unsung heroine of silent-comedy filmmakers – Mabel Normand!

March 26, 2019: 3. A New Leaf (1971) Water Matthau gives a one-of-a-kind inspired performance as a rich man needing lots of money and who will do anything to get it! From the brilliant actor and writer and director Elaine May come this darkly tinged comic masterpiece of greed, murder, and love!

April 2, 2019: 4. Ninotchka (1939) Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas star in one of the funniest and most beautiful films ever made about Communism and Capitalism! When two ideologies meet sparks of romance and laughter fly in this beautifulfilm from the master himself – Ernst Lubitsch!

April 9, 2019: 5. The Nutty Professor (1963) When a professor’s mad experiments go terribly wrong – madcap antics explode across the screen! The one and only genius Jerry Lewis leads into a crazy world of dual personalities and wild nightclubs and talking birds and Stella Stevens!

April 16, 2019: 6. Victor/Victoria (1982) In 1930’s Paris, a down and out singer goes on a wild journey of nightclubs, gangsters and ever changeable personas! Julie Andrews, James Garner, and Robert Preston give the performances of their lives in Blake Edwards’ comic musical extravaganza.

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