When: Fri., June 15 2012
I recently again watched Rocky for a course on screenwriting I taught at N.C. State's McKimmon Center and was reminded that for all the diminishing returns of the sequels, the original was a damn good movie. The setting was realistic, the relationships were well drawn, and scenes like Rocky's run through Philly were still moving and triumphant. Who didn't flinch when he got up at a quarter to five to drink raw eggs and run through those lonely streets? Brother deserved that damn statue they put up. Sniff. Props to Mr. T and Dolph Lundgren, but the original, simple story of a never-was boxer getting to fight the champ and see if he could go the distance is still one of the most relatable tales in cinema, even after 500 parodies/ ripoffs.
Hoosiers is a film sacred to the Indiana branch of my extended family. Like Rocky, it was an underdog story both on screen and in real life. Star Gene Hackman has been quoted saying he did it for the money and expected it to be a career killer. Instead, its tale of high school basketball has inspired decades of fan loyalty, lumps in the throat and homages (Parks and Recreation recently did not one but two references to it in a debate-themed episode). Seeing the film on Netflix Instant Watch recently caused me to question rooting for a 1950s all-white basketball team taking on an all-black team, but research revealed that interracial sports competition in Indiana wouldn't have happened anyway in the 1950s, so ... progress? The films run through June 21; call 919-560-3030 or visit carolinatheatre.org for showtimes and ticket information, which were not announced at press time. —Zack Smith