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High to Host "Races, Chases, and Classy Chassis: Cars on Screen" Film Series

ATLANTA, April 6, 2010 – The High Museum of Art will present the film series “Races, Chases, and Classy Chassis: Cars on Screen” from Friday, April 23, through Friday, May 28. With classics such as “Goldfinger” and “American Graffiti,” the series features six films that celebrate the beauty and power of the automobile through the cinematic experience. This series is presented in coordination with “The Allure of the Automobile” exhibition, on display at the High through June 20, 2010.

“The automobile and motion pictures have parallel histories – both came into use during the early 20th century and became enormously powerful and influential American industries. So it’s no surprise that cars play a major role in movies – from the chaotic car chases of the Keystone Kops to the devotion of an entire genre – road movies – to episodic automobile adventures,” said Linda Dubler, curator of media arts at the High. “This program of six car-centric films, ‘Races, Chases, and Classy Chassis,’ is closely coordinated with the automobile exhibition but don’t for a moment think that these movies are anything less than superb entertainments in their own right. It will be a treat to revisit these classics on the big screen – particularly on the really big screen that will be erected on the Sifly Piazza for the free outdoor screenings of ‘Goldfinger’ and ‘American Graffiti.”

The festival opens on Friday, April 23, with Francis Ford Coppola’s 1988 film “Tucker: The Man and His Dream.” Set in the 1940’s, this tribute to American automobile manufacturer Preston Tucker follows a man who strove to revolutionize the industry, but was brought down by the Big Three from Detroit and hired guns from Washington D.C. A Tucker Model 48 Torpedo, one of the most original Tucker models in existence, is included in “The Allure of the Automobile,” on loan from the Cofer Collection in Tucker, Georgia.

The classic 1964 film “Goldfinger,” presented on Friday, April 30, pits star Sean Connery as the infamous 007 British spy James Bond against Auric Goldinger, a sinister gold bullion dealer. Equipped with an Aston Martin including features such as machine guns, oil slick, smoke screens, and a passenger ejector seat, Bond must prevent the villain from detonating a nuclear bomb in Fort Knox. On display in “The Allure of the Automobile” is a 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato, a limited-production Gran Turismo that raced competitively. This film is featured as an outdoor screening at 9 p.m. on Sifly Plaza and is free to the public. In the event of rain, film will be shown in the Rich Theatre.

On Friday, May 7, the series continues with “Ronin,” an entertaining espionage thriller starring Robert De Niro and Jean Reno. In this John Frankenheimer film, a group of mercenaries are assembled for a mysterious mission of stealing a metal case and its unknown contents. With a convoluted yet satisfying plot, this film celebrates the art of the car chase while the story takes on some twists of its own.

Frank Capra’s “It Happened One Night” pairs the star talent of Clark Gable with the whip-smart actress Claudette Colbert in this witty and risqué screwball comedy on Friday, May 14. On an all-night bus trip from Miami to New York, complications ensue and the duo—a newspaper man with the hopes of reclaiming his job and a spoiled rich girl trying to escape her controlling father—must resort to hitching a ride. Clark Gable was the previous owner of two of the cars on view in “The Allure of the Automobile” exhibition.

The 1968 film “Bullitt” on Friday, May 21, is a gritty portrait of a police detective who is assigned to protect a key witness in a Mafia trial. His straight-forward assignment becomes infinitely more challenging when he finds himself banging heads with the worst sort of adversary—a corrupt politician. The ultra-cool performance of its charismatic star Steve McQueen, paired with the intense car chases made this Peter Yates piece a seminal film of the 1960’s. “The Allure of the Automobile” exhibition features Steve McQueen’s 1957 Jaguar XK-SS Roadster.

The film series concludes on Friday, May 28 with “American Graffiti,” George Lucas’s now classic coming-of-age film. The plot follows four teenage boys raised in car-centric California as they say goodbye to their childhoods the night before two of them are scheduled to leave for college. Set in the 60’s rock-and-roll youth culture, the viewing of this film is paired with local car clubs on hand showing off the gorgeous cars of the era. This film is featured as an outdoor screening at 9 p.m. on Sifly Plaza and is free to the public. In the event of rain, film will be shown in the Rich Theatre, and the car show will be cancelled.

Film Series Schedule
Unless otherwise noted, all films begin at 8 p.m. and are screened in the Richard H. Rich Theatre. The theatre is located in the Memorial Arts Building, adjacent to the High at Peachtree and 15th Streets in midtown Atlanta (MARTA stop N5.).

Tucker: The Man and His Dream
Friday, April 23
(U.S., 1988, 110 minutes.)

Goldfinger
Friday, April 30
(U.K., 1964, 112 minutes.)
Free outdoor screening
9 p.m., Sifly Piazza

Ronin
Friday, May 7
(U.K./U.S., 1998, 122 minutes.)

It Happened One Night
Friday, May 14
(U.S., 1934, 105 minutes.)

Bullitt
Friday, May 21
(U.S., 1968, 114 minutes)

American Graffiti
Friday, May 28
(U.S., 1973, 110 minutes.)
Free outdoor screening
9 p.m., Sifly Piazza

Tickets
To purchase tickets in advance go to www.high.org, visit the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office or call 404-733-5000. Tickets for all shows are $7 general admission and $6 for students, seniors and Museum members. Patron-level members enter free. Tickets may also be purchased at the door on the night of the screening.

The High Museum of Art
The High Museum of Art, founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 12,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists and is distinguished as the only major museum in North America to have a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of folk and self-taught art. The High’s media arts department produces acclaimed annual film series and festivals of foreign, independent and classic cinema. In November 2005, the High opened three new buildings by architect Renzo Piano that more than doubled the Museum’s size, creating a vibrant “village for the arts” at the Woodruff Arts Center in midtown Atlanta. For more information about the High, please visit www.high.org.

The Woodruff Arts Center
The Woodruff Arts Center is ranked among the top four arts centers in the nation. The Woodruff is unique in that it combines four visual and performing arts divisions on one campus as one not-for-profit organization. Opened in 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art and Young Audiences. To learn more about the Woodruff Arts Center, please visit www.woodruffcenter.

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