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Demme Digs Up Rarely Seen Movies at Burns Center in Pleasantville

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Local residents and members of the Jacob Burns Film Center are given an opportunity to delve into the past once a month and view films not often screened in theaters as a part of Jonathan Demme’s Rarely Seen Cinema Series at the Pleasantville theater.

“For me, it’s a great experience to get a perspective of my own past through the films in terms of what the times were like then,” said Nancy Dotlo of Sleepy Hollow.

Each month, Demme screens a movie of his choice at the center from a collection of movies from previous decades.  After the screening, the award winning filmmaker best known for directing “Silence of the Lambs,” moderates a question and answer discussion with the audience about the film.  In previous months, movies screened included “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence” and “Four Friends” among many others.  Sunday evening, Demme chose to screen the 1960s film “Petulia,” the story of an odd affair between a recently married socialite and a recently divorced doctor.

Dotlo said she enjoyed the film, but was a bit put off by the infidelities in the storyline.

“It was a good film, but it wasn’t a fun film,” Dotlo said.  “It was so dishonest, and we live in such a dishonest society and it was actually a little depressing,”

Before the film began, Demme praised the audience for packing the theater to view a movie that was originally screened for the first time more than four decades ago.

“It’s great seeing all these people come out to the theater to see these movies as opposed to just watching them at home on their iPhone or computer,” Demme said.  “People are still going to see movies, which is a good thing,”

Although the movie was not her favorite, Dotlo said she plans on coming to the next screening held by Demme.

“I always respect Demme’s choices and tastes for movies,” Dotlo said.

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