A Fish Called Wanda (under the stars@Cucina)

View Trailer Roger Ebert's 1988 rave
A FISH CALLED WANDA had audiences rolling in the aisles before becoming one of the most rented titles back in the days of, dare we say, home video. Decades later, the Oscar-winning ensemble movie about a clueless weapons expert, a bumbling barrister, a quick-witted femme fatale, and a stuttering con artist remains a cult favorite indebted as it is to the Ealing Studio comic tradition, courtesy of its director Charles Crichton & co-collaborator Monty Python alum, John Cleese. Starring Cleese, Kevin Kline (won Oscar for Supporting Actor), Michael Palin, Jamie Lee Curtis, and of course, the eponymous fish, the film boasts some of the strongest comic performances of its actors’ careers. 
UK, 1988, directed by Charles Crichton, R, 109 mins.

“And comedy this outrageous needs a soft spot at its heart, to offset its lust, brutality and cheerful disregard for propriety. Fortunately for all concerned, not one of these needs seems to go unmet.”
-Sheila Benson, L.A.Times

OUTDOORs at Cucina – Dinner & A Movie SCREENING

Thursday, Aug 27  (rain date Sunday Aug 30)
7pm @Cucina in Woodstock  9pm A FISH CALLED WANDA under the stars

Ticket – $65 Upstate Films Members / $75 others

… includes CUCINA’S Summer House BBQ w/ lobster rolls, chicken, pasta. Eat at socially distanced picnic tables before the movie. Bring blanket or portable seating. Only 45 spaces available. We appreciate your support for this Upstate Films’ fundraising show. 



View Trailer NYTimes Critics Pick

A great cast meets a great screenplay and are directed with a perfect touch. The stars align as Loretta (Cher), a young widow, has resigned herself to marry Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello), a man she does not love… until she meets his younger brother (Nicolas Cage) and sparks fly.


Thursday, Aug 13th (raindate Sunday Aug 16th)

7pm @Cucina in Woodstock  9pm MOONSTRUCK under the stars

Ticket – $45 Upstate Films Members / $50 others

… includes Cucina’s Summer House BBQ w/ lobster rolls, chicken, pasta. Eat at socially distanced picnic tables before the movie. Bring blanket or portable seating. Only 45 spaces available.
Please support this Upstate Films’ fundraising show.


Cher won Best Actress, the great Olympia Dukakis won Best Supporting Actress, and the writer, John Patrick Shanley, the Bard of the Bronx, took home an Oscar for Original Screenplay at the 1988 Academy Awards. Although Nicolas Cage didn’t win, he’s perfect in the role as younger brother Ronny. The film centers on Loretta Castorini (Cher), a Brooklyn bookkeeper who has agreed to  marry the best friend of her late husband who died seven years earlier. While Johnny’s out of town visiting his sick mother who controls his life, Loretta hand delivers an invite to the upcoming wedding to her soon to be brother-in-law, Ronny (Nicolas Cage). Sparks fly and Loretta becomes involved with Ronny, who tries to persuade her to break up with Johnny: “Love don’t make things nice. It ruins your life. It ain’t perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. We’re here to love the wrong people and break our hearts.” Or at least meet him at the Met for a performance of La Boheme. As the title song declares, “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.”  

PG / 102 mins / US / dir by Norman Jewison / 1987

“Reviews tend to make it sound like a madcap ethnic comedy, and that it is. But there is something more here, a certain bittersweet yearning that comes across as ineffably romantic, and a certain magical quality.” – Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times 


View Trailer Review

Now a modern classic this comedy is loosely based on Jane Austen’s 1815 novel Emma but here transposed to Beverly Hills where a wealthy, good-looking fashion forward high school girl, Cher Horowitz, is happy to orchestrate her friends’ lives, even as she dabbles in her own affairs of the heart, and all the while adding to the lexicon. Totally! Whatever!

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Thelma and Louise

Best friends – one, Thelma, a bored housewife, the other, Louise, a straight-laced waitress at a coffee shop –  have grown sick and tired of what they’ve settled for, and decide they need to take a break.
OUTDOOR SCREENING Saturday Aug 24 at Greig Farm, Red Hook (243 Pitcher Ln) … Bring a Picnic or Enjoy Papa’s Best Batch incredible edibles. (Online tickets will be available until the morning of the show. Tickets will also be on sale evening-of at Greig Farm.)  GET ADVANCE TICKETS ON LINE here

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The Secret Garden

This summer, you can read the book, watch the film, and see a live performance of The Secret Garden! The live production is currently running at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck (click here for details). And on Sunday, July 14th at 12:30pm, Upstate Films and Oblong Books will co-present a special screening of the 1993 film adaptation starring Maggie Smith, followed by an informal book group discussion. Click here to purchase film screening tickets in advance. Click here to purchase the book online through Oblong Books.
Following a silent film version in 1919 and a dramatic rendition in 1949, Agnieszka Holland’s The Secret Garden became the third, and to date the most definitive, adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel for the big screen. Both a critical and a commercial success at the time of its release, Maggie Smith received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in the film, and the British Film Institute today includes it in their list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14.
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Back in the mid-1940s in the heyday of the studio system a tug of war throw-down between a studio and its head – Fox and Darryl Zanuck – and a director – Otto Preminger- miraculously resulted in a hit film noir that decades later, in 1999, was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”, and was chosen by the American Film Institute as one of the 10 best mystery films of all time.
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