Free Movie Night at the Underground
By Carlos Ramone
On February 14th, the Ashland Free Press and film impresario Stephen Mayerson kicked off the first of a three-show series of Free Movie Nights at the Underground Shops with a show that was quite nearly standing-room only. Stephen's medley of film shorts and inspired excerpts from classic films had a Valentine's Day theme that had the audience alternately laughing uproariously, dabbing their eyes with their hankies, and feeling all soft and mushy. Kicking off the show with Grace Jones' 80's style MTV video of Roxy Music's tune“Love Is The Drug,” Mayerson proceeded through a medley of video clips including: classic cartoons like “How To Kiss” and “Little Rural Riding Hood;” Busby Berkeley's incredible production of the thirties tune, “I Only Have Eyes From You,” featuring dozens of women dressed and made up identically; a clip of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire reconciling their differences musically in “Swing Time;” the video of the late Freddie Mercury celebrating pansexuality in drag and a moustache, singing “I Want To Break Free;” a traditional blues number by Alberta Hunter, singing “The Love I Have For You” in an intimate ensemble setting at The Cookery in NYC; Nicole Kidman's can-can extravaganza in “Moulin Rouge;” and, closing out with the parade of historic screen kisses from the closing scene of “Cinema Paradiso.” I for one felt I had received an astral open-heart massage that reawakened childhood memories and warmed my view of a world that has not been loved so tenderly by its filmmakers in the last couple of decades.
The Tuesday, March 14th show, entitled “Odd Advertisements and Twisted Propaganda,” will start at 6:30 pm, and continue until 9:00 pm with a short intermission so the audience can refuel at The Divine Cup coffee-spot and Los Gordos, serving food, beer and wine until closing time. Stephen informs us in advance that the program will include “The Man Who Planted Trees,” “Hemp for Victory,” “Peace on Earth,” and “Electronic Behavior Control System,” four of his favorite samples of cinematic mind-control and persuasion techniques. Be there, along with the rest of the town. Resistance is futile!