City Paper is not for tourists
People love their Screen on the Green—-so much so that, when it looked like HBO was going to nix the annual summer film series several years ago, the D.C. Film Alliance was able to channel significant local outrage via Facebook and save the event. So expect this year’s Screen on the Green, which begins tonight on the National Mall, to be packed.
It’s hard to argue with this year’s selections—-they’re all undisputed Hollywood classics. But those Porta-Potty lines can get long, so it’s worth planning your bathroom breaks ahead of time. Below, our suggestions for when to pee at Screen on the Green.
JULY 25: IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1967)
In which two cops (Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger), one black and one white, investigate a murder in a racist Mississippi town.
Run to the bathroom…during the first 10 minutes, before Poitier shows up. We’re shown a murder scene we don’t particularly care about and don’t have any frame of reference for—-basically, a pre-credit scene worthy of Murder She Wrote or Monk.
But be around for…two iconic Poitier moments. When his character, Philadelphia detective Virgil Tibbs, is asked what he’s called in his hometown, he says, “They call me Mr. Tibbs.” Later, he’s slapped by a white suspect, and slaps him back.
AUGUST 1: ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’s NEST (1975)
In which a convict (Jack Nicholson) thinks he can avoid hard labor by entering a psychiatric institution, and ends up becoming a metaphor for 1960s anti-authoritarianism.
Run to the bathroom…during the famous scene in which Jack Nicholson is electrocuted—-if you’re squeamish.
But be around for…when Nicholson hijacks a bus, picks up a prostitute, and takes his fellow inmates on a fishing trip.
AUGUST 8: GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953)
In which Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell play two attractive and highly available cruise-ship singers on the hunt for love.
Run to the bathroom…whenever you want, for the most part. Most of the other musical numbers are forgettable. There’s a mystery about who stole what, and an ensuing courtroom scene, but basically the plot is dispensable. The point here is Monroe doing her thing.
But be around for…the Monroe number “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” the film’s only show-stopper. Also essential are lines like, “Excuse me, but what is the way to Europe, France?” Monroe’s self-aware ditziness is utterly singular.
AUGUST 15: COOL HAND LUKE (1967):
In which, like a counter-cultural Christ, an inmate (Paul Newman) dies for his fellow prisoners’ sins and is reborn in notoriety.
Run to the bathroom…during the second half of the iconic eating-contest scene, in which Luke’s stomach is engorged from the consumption of 50 eggs.
But be around for…“What we’ve got here is…failure to communicate.” It’s uttered twice, just in case.
Screen on the Green showings begin at dusk on the National Mall between 8th and 14th street.