February 20, 2013

Elegant Winter Party Time is Near

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In the light of the most enthralling diamond heist in European crime history, which took place this week in Brussels, it is natural that at Cornell, we celebrate the spine-chilling glamour of conmen, gambling and thrillers. If you enjoy impeccably dressed men, mind-games, spectacular master-plans, gorgeous pin-up girls, counting cards and an illusion that the roaring ’20s and the swinging ’60s are here to stay, you absolutely must ready yourself for a “night worth gambling on” at the Willard Straight Theatre on March 2 at 7:30 p.m.

After a brutal and grueling week of prelims and the tedious wait for spring break to finally show up around the corner, it will be surreal to step into a Willard Straight Theater that has been transformed into a gambling parlor. The problem sets for all of those credits you are taking can wait, because Cornell Cinema’s annual Elegant Winter Party is finally here. This year, Cornell Cinema is screening two epic con thrillers: The Pettifogger (2011) and The Sting (1973).  The Pettifogger captures a year in the life of a young con man whose world is crumbling down in the early ’60s. The loosely knit plot centers on the Pettifogger’s (a lawyer employing dubious practices) lust for money, women, cards and schemes. Filling in part two of the bill, The Sting, directed by George Roy Hill,  is set in 1930s Chicago and tells the story of a young man yearning for revenge for his murdered partner. He teams up with the king-pin behind the scheme to walk away with a windfall fortune from a criminal banker. The Sting stars the legendary Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Robert Shaw who are accompanied by the late actor Harold Gould  (M.A. ’48, Ph.D. ’53). This year marks the 40th anniversary of The Sting, and its anniversary will be celebrated at the screening. Moreover, it is always a pleasure to dress up in your winter haute couture and gorge on a sinful array of hors d’oeuvres and desserts. However, the best part of the night: There will be complimentary tastings of Merleau specialty wines, courtesy of Frederic Bouche of Ports of New York. The proceeds from the event will contribute towards transforming the cinema experience at Cornell, says Cornell Cinema Director Mary Kathleen Fessenden: “It’s particularly important this year because we are trying to come up with enough money to equip Willard Straight Theatre with a new DCP (digital cinema) projection system, which is very costly but necessary, as film prints are becoming less and less available, and both new films and restorations of classic titles are only being made available digitally.” It is the closest one gets to la dolce vita at Cornell; miss it at your own risk.

Original Author: Aditi Bhowmick