Golden Anniversaries features classic films celebrating their 50th anniversaries. This fourth edition of the event will highlight films from 1971.

Because in-person events remain problematic during the pandemic, Cinema St. Louis will be unable to host in-person screenings during the first half of 2021. Unfortunately, obtaining streaming rights for most older films is impossible, so a virtual Golden Anniversaries is not an option. As we did in 2020, CSL will instead hold free online conversations on the selected works, with people watching the films on their own but gathering virtually to discuss them. 

Film critics, film academics, and writers will offer introductory remarks and then participate in discussions about the films. In addition to a fine selection of St. Louis-based experts, Golden Anniversaries will feature a quartet of authors from elsewhere: Carrie Courogen (“A New Leaf”), Mark Harris (“Carnal Knowledge”), Novotny Lawrence (“Shaft”), and Charles Taylor (“McCabe & Mrs. Miller”).

The conversations will be offered as free livestreams at 7:30 PM on the second Monday of every month except November, when we hope to offer several in-person Golden Anniversaries screenings as part of the St. Louis International Film Festival. Those in-person plans, of course, will depend on the success of the vaccine program to control the pandemic.

The discussions with the presenters will be facilitated by Cliff Froehlich, CSL’s executive director, or Chris Clark, CSL’s artistic director. Audience members will be able to ask questions and make observations on the films through the chat function of the livestream; those queries and comments will be relayed to the presenter by CSL.

The films in Golden Anniversaries are available on a variety of streaming platforms. To find the option most convenient for you, click on the link for the website JustWatch that accompanies each film.

To sign up to view and participate in the livestream conversations on the films, viewers should use the registration link that accompanies each film. The livestreams will be hosted by our virtual-festival partner, Eventive.

If you’re unable to join a livestream when it's held, the introductions and discussions will also be recorded and archived on CSL’s YouTube channel for Golden Anniversaries. The conversations will generally be available the day after they’re held.

Essays on many of the films will appear on The Lens, CSL's blog. Those pieces will be posted periodically throughout the run of the event. An introductory essay on the era that Golden Anniversaries explores can be found here.

As noted, we hope to hold screenings of additional Golden Anniversaries films during the St. Louis International Film Festival from Nov. 4-14. Candidates include Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange,” Jan Troell’s “The Emigrants,” William Friedkin’s “The French Connection,” Sam Peckinpah’s “Straw Dogs,” Melvin van Peebles’ “Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song,” and Monte Hellman’s “Two-Lane Blacktop.” The Classic French Film Festival — currently slated for in-person presentation in August 2021 — will also feature a pair of 1971 films: Claude Jutra’s French-Canadian classic “Mon Oncle Antoine” and François Truffaut’s “Two English Girls.