Golden Anniversaries — co-presented with the St. Louis Public Library — 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 filmmakers will offer introductory remarks and then participate in discussions about the films. In addition to a fine selection of St. Louis critics, Golden Anniversaries will feature experts from elsewhere.

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. 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.

The first two conversations — Peter Bogdanovich’s “The Last Picture Show” with Joshua Ray on Jan. 11 and Gordon Parks’ “Shaft” with Novotny Lawrence on Feb. 8 — have been confirmed. The remainder of the schedule will be announced in February 2021. Among the potential selections are Mike Nichols’ “Carnal Knowledge,” Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange,” Don Siegel’s “Dirty Harry,” William Friedkin’s “The French Connection,” Joseph Losey’s “The Go-Between,” Alan J. Pakula’s “Klute,” Robert Altman’s “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” Elaine May’s “A New Leaf,” and Ted Kotcheff’s “Wake in Fright.”

The Classic French Film Festival — currently slated for in-person presentation in August 2021 — will also feature several 1971 films.