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Through a series of thematic film festivals, the Evanston Public Library will celebrate the topical issues raised in the Big Read choice book, “Into the Beautiful North.” This festival focuses on the theme of road trips as vehicle to tell stories. The schedule follows. All movies but one will be shown at the Main Library, 1703 Orrington Ave. “Smoke Signals” will be shown at CAMS, the Chicago Avenue/Main Street branch.
11 a.m. “It Happened One Night.” In Frank Capra’s acclaimed romantic comedy, spoiled heiress Ellie Andrews impetuously marries the scheming King Westley, leading her tycoon father to spirit her away on his yacht. After jumping ship, Ellie falls in with cynical newspaper reporter Peter Warne, who offers to help her reunite with her new husband in exchange for an exclusive story. But during their travels, the reporter finds himself falling for the feisty young heiress. Not rated; 105 min.
1:30 p.m. “Thelma & Louise.” Louise is working in a diner as a waitress and has some problems with her boyfriend Jimmy, who, as a musician, is always on the road. Thelma is married to Darryl, who likes his wife to stay quiet in the kitchen so that he can watch football on TV. One day they decide to break out of their normal life and jump in the car and hit the road. Rated R, 130 min.
3 p.m. (at CAMS) “Smoke Signals.” The movie tells the parallel stories of Arnold, who rescued Thomas from a fire when he was a child. Thomas thinks of Arnold as a hero, while Arnold’s son Victor resents his father’s alcoholism, violence and abandonment of his family. Uneasy rivals and friends, Thomas and Victor spend their days killing time on a Coeur d’Alene reservation in Idaho and arguing about their cultural identities. When Arnold dies, the duo set out on a cross-country journey to Phoenix to retrieve Arnold’s ashes. Rating: PG-13 (for some intense images); 89 min.
4 p.m. “Central Station.” Bitter former schoolteacher Dora supports herself by taking dictation from illiterate people in Rio de Janeiro who want to write letters to their families and then pocketing their money without ever mailing the envelopes. One day, Josue, the 9-year-old son of one of her clients, is left alone when his mother is killed in a bus accident. Reluctantly taking him in, Dora joins the boy on a road trip to find his long-missing father. Rated R; 113 min.
1 p.m. “Get on the Bus.” This movie follows several black men on a cross- country bus trip to the Million Man March. On the bus are an eclectic set of characters including a laid off aircraft worker, a former gang banger, a Hollywood actor, a cop who is of mixed racial background, and a white bus driver. All make the trek discussing issues surrounding the march, manhood, religion, politics and race.
Rated R, 120 min.
3:30 p.m. “The Motorcycle Diaries.” In 1952, 23-year old-medical student Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, one semester away from graduation, decides to postpone his last semester to accompany his biochemist friend Alberto Granado on his four month, 8,000-kilometer-long dream motorcycle trip through South America, starting from their home in Buenos Aires. Their quest is to see things they have only read about in books and to finish that quest on Alberto’s 30 birthday on the other side of the continent in the Guajira Peninsula in Venezuela. Rated R, 126 min.