Quibbling with Near Perfection – Changing Screen on the Green


In many respects, it’s rather difficult to complain about DC Screen on the Green. Comcast and HBO returned it from the abyss last year, so a certain level of gratitude should be afforded. It’s a free movie night in the most majestic of settings. The US Capitol Police, and Park Police officers largely look the other way when we indulge in ostensibly banned beverages. And if you’ve ever been, you know that the experience is sublime in so many ways that defy description.

Having said all that, I am about to exercise my prerogative for two largely minor quibbles.

Whose idea was it to hold this shindig during the hottest part of the year in DC?Just about every year in recorded meteorological history (or at least as far back as I can recall) late July and early August are prone to obnoxious heat and oppressive humidity. I understand the initial reasoning (Congressional schedule, little kids not in school, etc.) but wouldn’t it be nice to extend it for four weeks after Labor Day?

And the movies were pretty ignorable this year. I get it, you don’t really go specifically for the movie. You go for the experience, the date night, the drinking with friends, doing the HBO dance with ten thousand other people, the general specialness of it all. But there is still a movie to be watched and Goldfinger (among the best Bond movies of that generation) grew even more dated with every sexist and misogynistic reference. The charm of Goodbye Girl faded about thirty minutes in, and Bonnie & Clyde simply did not stand the test of time. The brilliance of 12 Angry Men, however, cannot be understated, but that was just one movie.

So howzabout it HBO & Comcast? Whadya say next year we do a second half to the SotG season. And since you asked for my suggestions, the four movies I think would be perfect for movie night on The Mall are:

Bull Durham

The Princess Bride

The Thomas Crown Affair

All the President’s Men

If you were ruler of all things, what movies would you show, dear readers?

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4 Responses to Quibbling with Near Perfection – Changing Screen on the Green

  1. Christina says:

    I second the Princess Bride. One that I may add is Twelve Angry Men.

    They showed 12 Angry Men this year, and I couldn’t agree more, it is a terrific SotG selection.

  2. laloca says:

    this probably goes without saying, but just to clarify: you’re talking about the original, 1968 Thomas Crown Affair?

    I’d add The Terminator.

    Actually, I think that the later TCA is the rare instance of a remake far out-stripping the original in quality… and Terminator? Really? I guess I could see the original being a good show.

  3. Shannon says:

    I think the only thing I’d really fix about Screen on the Green is the people who go to it. Poor etiquette abounds (high lawn chairs blocking everyone’s view, arriving after the movie starts and standing up to greet all 27 people in your party, that weird guy who basically narrated the movie to his girlfriend…).

    I stopped going because it stopped being worth the hassle.

    Maybe I’ve been luck because I’ve rarely encountered the type of gross violations of etiquette as you described. Sadly, I am not the least bit surprised that you have as it seems that common courtesy is increasingly uncommon with every passing minute.

  4. Vie says:

    I’d add “Casablanca” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Probably also “North by Northwest” and “Rear Window.”
    Probably “Stardust” as well, since it was cheesy, campy, and fun in a similar vein to the “Princess Bride.”

    This is assuming that nothing can be rated R, naturally.

    All good selections – and I am fairly sure that there is no requirement that movies be PG-13 or lower.

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