The Somerville Theatre prides itself on giving viewers the opportunity to enjoy rare movies unavailable elsewhere. With its new Jack Nicholson film series, kicking off on March 14, the theater hopes to bring older, lesser-known films into the spotlight again.
The retrospective film series will run through October with a handful of films each month, starting with “The Raven,” “Psych-Out,” and “Head” in March. The series was sparked by a desire to see Jack Nicholson on screen again in the iconic roles that have captured hearts.
“It all stemmed from just chatting with friends and so forth, and everybody just being like, ‘Wow, when was the last time Jack Nicholson made a movie?’” Film Programmer for the series Ian Judge says. “Jack Nicholson has always been in movies, as long as I’ve been alive, even for people my parent’s age, for most of their lives too. We missed seeing Jack Nicholson on our screens, so we decided that this was as good a time as any.”
Somerville Theatre has collected 90 percent of all Nicholson movies for the event, most of which are high-quality film prints rather than digital copies.
“It is a lot to track down, because he’s got so many different movies and they’re all from different studios,” Judge says. “People might think it’s as simple as renting a DVD, but it’s really not what we do, we try to get film prints as much as possible. Tracking all of that down and contacting the half dozen studios or more that own all of his various works was hard. Like anything, it just takes a lot of back and forth and research.”
Showing classic movies in film is a way for the Somerville Theatre to hearken back to earlier days of movie going and stay true to the filmmakers’ visions.
“It’s important to us because really that’s how those films were meant to be seen, if it was shot on film it was released on film, that’s what the filmmaker wanted you to see,” Judge explains. “It’s an important part of what defines us as a movie theater, that we do repertory cinema, which is older stuff and classic films, it defines who we are because it’s not something you see at the average mall multiplex. It’s what keeps us interesting, and it’s fun for us.”
Judge hopes enthusiastic Nicholson fans will gravitate toward lesser-known films, expanding their palates and taking advantage of the wide offering of movies during the series.
“If you can give people the opportunity to see something a little more rare, like “The Border” or “Goin’ South,” or something that just doesn’t play anymore, you’re using the big movies to subsidize the small movies, in a way,” Judge says. “Appreciative audiences, it gives them an opportunity to see something that hasn’t played on screen in a long time.”
View the full line-up here.
Scout and the Somerville Theatre are collaborating on a ticket giveaway for the series! Enter here to win.