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The Reel Queens: QTIP hosts Moving Image’s picks for masterpiece series

A two-year construction project has prevented Astoria’s Museum of the Moving Image from screening classic films on the screen at its 35th Avenue locale, so the museum is taking its latest series to Flushing Meadows Corona Park this fall.

The museum will screen six of film’s longest-enduring classics at the Queens Theatre in the Park at Flushing Meadows between Oct. 1 and Nov. 19. Moving Image Masterpieces is the museum’s latest in a series of screenings at locales in Manhattan and Queens as the institution undergoes a $65 million expansion project expected to be completed next year.

Films in the series include “Citizen Kane,” “Metropolis,” “The Rules of the Game,” “Tokyo Story,” “8 1/2” and “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

“While work proceeds on our expansion-renovation project, the Museum of the Moving Image is a motion picture institution temporarily without a movie theater,” said Rochelle Slovin, the museum’s founder and director. “But we will not let that deter us from providing audiences with outstanding film series.”

All screenings will take place Thursday evenings at the Queens Theatre’s 464-seat auditorium at the former New York State Pavilion site in the park. The series is the first of its kind at the theater.

“Our theater has been eager to host a film series for a number of years, but it did not want to proceed without curatorial expertise,” said Jeffrey Rosenstock, executive director of Queens Theatre in the Park.

Tickets for the screenings are $10 per film or $8 apiece if customers purchase tickets for more than one show. The museum will also offer a $30 series pass for all six films.

“I think it’s great-looking projection and the whole concept is that it’s our selection of the great masterpieces that people should see,” said David Schwartz, the museum’s curator. “We hope to do a wider range of programs at Queens Theatre in the Park. They want to have film as part of their program.”

The first screening in the series will be Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane” (1941), which is often ranked as the greatest film of all time in critics’ polls, Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. The film follows the life of an ambitious but lonely newspaper tycoon via flashback as a reporter attempts to make sense of the final word he uttered: “Rosebud.”

The series will continue Oct. 8 with a 7:30 p.m. screening of Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent classic “Metropolis,” which will be accompanied by live music performed by Ben Model. The film presents a vision of a dystopian future in which the exploited working class lives underground and serves the wealthy ruling class. The stunning vision of the future incorporates mad scientists, a cyber-heroine and lavish sets.

On Oct. 29, the museum will screen Jean Renoir’s masterpiece “The Rules of the Game,” (1939) which is often ranked as the second-greatest film of all time, at 7:30 p.m. The movie, which was made as the storm clouds of World War II hovered over Europe, is set during a weekend hunting party that is, at turns, humorous, romantic and tragic in its depiction of a fading aristocracy.

Yasujiro Ozu’s heartbreaking 1953 film “Tokyo Story” will screen Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. The film, which inspired Hirokazu Koreeda’s recent picture “Still Walking,” explores the clash between modernity and tradition by following an aging couple on a trip from their rural village to visit their ungrateful children in Tokyo.

On Nov. 12, the Moving Image will present Federico Fellini’s influential “8 1/2” (1963) at 7:30 p.m. The film features screen legend Marcello Mastroianni as a philandering film director who retreats into his memories and fantasies, while attempting to come up with an idea for his next film. “8 1/2” is often considered Fellini’s best and most personal film and it has inspired the Broadway sequel “Nine,” which has been adapted into a film that will be released this fall.

The final screening in the series is Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” (1968) which is often considered the greatest science-fiction film of all time, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m. The film traces the history of humanity from the dawn of civilization through the space age in a mind-expanding journey and culminates with a mysterious final sequence that is given to multiple interpretations.

The series is the museum’s latest to screen at a location outside its 35th Avenue site. This summer, the Moving Image screened a selection of the French New Wave’s most influential films at the Museum of Arts and Design at Manhattan’s Columbus Circle.

This fall, the museum will host its annual series of screenings with Variety magazine that introduces the fall’s big awards contenders. The screenings kick off Sept. 15 at Manhattan’s Sunshine Cinema with Jane Campion’s “Bright Star.”

The museum’s a $65 million renovation will include a new 264-seat theater, an education center, a 64-seat screening classroom, a courtyard and a new gallery. The project will add three stories to its building at 35th Avenue and 37th Street.

Read film reviews by Nathan Duke at criticalconditions.net.

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