Your Ultimate Guide to The Bryant Park Film Festival

Written by NYPress on . Posted in Arts & Film, Arts Our Town, Film, Our Town.


HBO and NY team up to give us some classics in the sunset

The screen is already up for this year’s Bryant Park Film Festival, and we’re very excited to indulge our nostalgia and catch some classics this year.

Bryant Park - photo courtesy of Flickr Commons

As part of a tradition since the early 90s, HBO, starting May 18, is set to deliver quality oldies on The Great Lawn every summer Monday at 5 PM. The festival, a staple of Midtown, draws huge crowds all summer long, providing films for the most casual watcher and also for the most discerning cinephile. The festival runs for ten weeks throughout the summer, and there are plenty of great films to catch –evidently, HBO knows its movie stuff.

It’d be great to have the time, but given that it might be tough to open up your schedule every Monday, we at New York Press have compiled a list of the best Bryant Park Film Festival movies to make time for this summer:

Psycho- May 18 – Alfred Hitchcock, 1960

Arguably Hitchcock’s most influential and scariest film, the seminal fright-fest has had viewers scared to shower for over 50 years (or is it just me?). Norman Bates, the movie’s villain has become a cultural icon –Patrick Bateman in American Psycho isn’t just coincidence– and Hitchcock’s incessantly-studied shower scene is simply awesome. Bring a friend for the walk home after this one.

Wizard of Oz – July 2 – Judy Garland, Toto, 1939

If only because it’s summer, and you might dance into the sunset like Dorothy, you should definitely get around to the park during the festival’s third week. Flying monkeys can be somewhat scary, but the music and imagination, as you’ve probably witnessed before, is perfect to see during the summer.

On the Waterfront – July 9 – Marlon Brando, 1954

This starts off a bit slow, maybe too slow, but picks up to become one of the best crime dramas in cinema. Brando is great, plain and simple. In the year of its release, Elia Kazan and his crew won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director. Bear through the beginning and the muffled dialogue, and you won’t be disappointed.

Raiders of the Lost Ark – August 20 – Harrison Ford, George Lucas – 1981

My personal favorite. Whenever I flip the channels and this is on TNT (it happens very often) I never flip again until it’s done. Non-stop action and a bunch of super-loud punches and whip cracks always make for greatness.

According to Bryant Park’s site, there are no chairs, tables, or dogs allowed. The lawn opens up at 4 PM, so bring your blanket and enjoy a fun night every Monday this summer.

–Nick Gallinelli

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