This week’s episode of Arthur Radio begins with a late summer breeze, wafting between blades of bright green grass under a saturated blue sky, not a cloud in sight. Saturday morning cartoons creep out of an open window, on the other side of which the smell of hot cornbread begins to fill an empty kitchen. Beyond billowing white curtains, a lonesome gray-haired wolf rambles through the rolling meadows, whistling a nostalgic tune… in the distance, a soaring note begins to accompany his song, which soon escalates into a full-on bittersweet dirge of emotion.
We’d like to invite you all to the best 4th of July party since the Capitol Celebration of 1778, when George Washington gave the United States Army an artillery salute and a double ration of rum! Well, we’re gonna give you a quintuple ration of cinema with one of our signature Cinefamily “Mondo” nights. It’s all planned out: an open door to our sweet back patio, good music, friends, and that most American of traditions—a BBQ, so bring something to grill! And if it gets too hot, just step inside our nice air-conditioned theatre, and catch our marathon film festival. “Mondo” means a world of weirdness built around a theme, and tonight’s theme is America, so it’s a patriotic free-for-all of film formats, from DVDs to 16mm industrials, to 35mm features. We’ll be keeping the fest alive all night long, just like our grill! Check out the highlights:
5PM: We light the grill. We begin the festivities… [Arthur Magazine deejays will be on hand to spin proper barbecue music. Also, courtesy Rounder Records, we will be giving away copies of Willie’s sweet new album — see below—to winners of a contest whose nature is yet to be determined.]
6PM-ish: WILLIE NELSON’S 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION! An incredibly rare boozy ‘n woozy full-length concert film, shot at the 1977 edition of Willie’s very informal annual 4th of July concert festival. Featuring Willie, Waylon, Leon Russell, Doug Kershaw and other great country stars singin’, sweatin’, partyin’—and most importantly of all, drinkin’. These folks were some of the ultimate party animals, with Leon Russell emerging as the King of Booze in some of the most gloriously inebriated footage ever shot! As Austin, TX’s Alamo Drafthouse says: “These good ol’ boys knew as much about partying as Marie Curie knew about radium. Be there!!!!”
8:08PM: VIRTUAL FIREWORKS SHOW! According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the July 4th sun will set at 8:08 PM. We wouldn’t want you to miss the fireworks, so we’ll be screening best-of videos from international fireworks competitions, experimental films and enough jingoistic eye candy to make you oooh and aaah!
8:30-ish: UNCLE SAM The climax of the night is this patriotic back-from-the-dead revenge slasher from the fevered minds of William Lustig (Maniac) and Larry Cohen (It’s Alive, God Told Me To), featuring a Gulf War solider killed by friendly fire who returns to extract bloody payback from any draft dodgers, flag burners and oily military men he can find. Perfect viewing for when you’re chomping down the last charred remains of any remaining hot dog from the grill. Abbondanza!