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Classic leading ladies take over State

'Reel Classy Broads' film festival runs Friday to Sunday
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal features editor
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Some of Hollywood’s leading ladies are taking over the State Theatre this weekend. The Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center’s annual film festival kicks off today and runs through Sunday. The theme of this year’s festival is “Reel Classy Broads,” and the festival’s films feature some of the industry’s classic divas. “The women really hold their own in these films,” said Jennifer Sanders, one of the festival’s co-chairwomen. “They’re just as good, if not better, than the male characters.” Reel Classy Broads features six films: “The Women,” “The Thin Man,” “Double Indemnity,” “All About Eve,” “A Star is Born” and “The Philadelphia Story.” All but one of these films, released in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, are only available in black-and-white format, with the exception of “A Star is Born.” All but one film — “All About Eve” — will be shown in 35-millimeter film on the big screen. Reel Classy Broads is Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center’s second annual film festival, and follows last year’s successful Best of Hitchcock fest. The State Theatre is also home to the Cinema at the State Third Thursday monthly film series. “We found that the classics, the black-and-white ones, tend to be more popular ones,” Sanders said. “It’s something different, to see them on the big screen. It’s stepping back in time a little.” Using the term “broad” to encompass the female-friendly fest theme is meant to invoke an image of “women who can throw a mean punch without spilling their cocktails,” Sanders indicated. The films that made the cut also each pack quite a punch with “absolutely wonderful performances from so many incredible stars,” Sanders said. “I have seen all of them and I think ‘All About Eve’ is one of my top 10 favorites,” she said. “The dialog is fantastic. It’s Bette Davis being Bette Davis. It’s kind of a no-holds-barred performance on her part.” “The Thin Man” is Carol Vickers’ favorite among this weekend’s lineup. “The relationship between Myrna Loy and William Powell, they were awesome together,” Vickers, another festival co-chairwoman, said. Performances by leading ladies including Judy Garland, Katharine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck, Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford are just as wonderful now as when the films originally came out, Sanders said. “They’re performances that don’t lose anything over time,” she said. “It’s definitely not just chick flicks. It’s great acting.” Vickers agrees. “They’re all strong female parts,” she said. “They’re all incredible actresses. It’s the cream of the crop.” The festival isn’t just about films. Other festivities include an opening night gala, pre-film speakers and a costume contest. The gala starts at 6 p.m. today and features appetizers by The Club Car, a no-hostess bar and live music by Gypsy Standard Time. Cost is $12. “It’s a fun, classy way to start the evening,” Sanders said. There’s no gender bias involved in the costume contest — ladies and gents alike are welcome to come dressed as her or his favorite favorite classic movie star. Judging takes place at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, and the grand prize includes a vintage purse and a certificate for a free massage from Michelle McCreery of the Healing Light Institute, Vickers said. __________ Know and Go What: Reel Classy Broads film festival When: Friday-Sunday Where: State Theatre, 985 Lincoln Way, Auburn Cost: $45 for festival pass, $9 per film; box office opens 90 minutes before each film Info: (530) 885-0156, www.livefromauburn.com/ #reel_classy Opening Gala What: Opening night gala featuring food by The Club Car, no-hostess bar and live music by Gypsy Standard Time When: 6 p.m. Friday Where: State Theatre, 985 Lincoln Way, Auburn Cost: $12; advance-purchase required Featured Films “The Women” 7:30 p.m. Friday “The Thin Man” 11 a.m. Saturday “Double Indemnity” 3 p.m. Saturday “All About Eve” 7 p.m. Saturday “A Star is Born” 3 p.m. Sunday “The Philadelphia Story” 7 p.m. Sunday