Houston’s Downtown has been vibrant for many years so a little ol’ hurricane named Harvey didn’t dampen the spirits of the businesses there. Although the theatre district was hit especially hard (we’ve all seen the photos of the flooding), the affected arts organizations found creative ways for the show to go on: Houston Grand Opera (www.HoustonGrandOpera.org) built the “HGO Resilience Theater” in the George R. Brown Convention Center, the Alley Theatre’s (www.AlleyTheatre.org) crews worked around
the clock to make sure they re-opened in time for the annual holiday run of A Christmas Carol and the Houston Ballet (www.HoustonBallet.org) sent the Sugar Plum Fairy to Sugar Land in December and back to the Hobby Center this month.
Each year, I query leaders in different communities of Houston about their favorite films. This year – in honor of their “Houston Strong” attitude — I asked folks representing downtown organizations. I am grateful for all they did to keep our city going during and after the storm. They held us together when sometimes we couldn’t ourselves.
Hats off to our city’s fearless leader Mayor Sylvester Turner! He doesn’t have much time to sit down and watch movies – much less think about his favorite – but I was able to get out of him that he likes the Star Trek and Star Wars series of films. He also likes war movies and anything with gladiators or Romans in them because of the storytelling and escapism of those genres. Our city’s oldest church is Christ Church Cathedral (www.ChristChurchCathedral.org) and its current Dean, Barkley Thompson,
is a huge movie fan, so much so that he works them into his sermons and teachings whenever he can! “I watch Bart Freundlich’s Myth of Fingerprints every year prior to Thanksgiving, since it chronicles a dysfunctional family who have come together for that holiday. The film is about the high cost of reconciliation and the desire to substitute it with a thin veneer of agreeability.” Around the corner from the Cathedral is the Hines Center for Spirituality and Prayer (www.HinesCenter.org) and I wanted to know what its new Executive Director, Monica Grinage-Prince, favored. “Mo Better Blues stands out for me because it stars my favorite actor, Denzel Washington, and is a Spike Lee production. This film speaks to my passion for jazz music, the soundtrack is amazing and the love story between the man and his trumpet inspires me.”
Over in the theatre district, Kevin Rigdon, Associate Director for Design for the Alley Theatre, chose the very moving Schindler’s List because he felt it was an important story told in a brilliant way – “It connects to me personally because my family is from Warsaw and I’ve walked that path and been in that ghetto.” And, finally, Theater District Houston (www.TheaterDistrictHouston.org) CEO Kathryn McNiel told me, “My all-time favorite film is William Wyler’s classic Roman Holiday. Audrey Hepburn
and Gregory Peck riding around Rome on a scooter – what else could you want in a movie?! I love watching it for the timeless themes of loyalty, respect for family and the honoring of responsibilities and love. And Audrey Hepburn plays a strong, fun, curious woman that any girl can look up to.”
DOWNTOWN HOUSTON SERVES AS THE HEARTBEAT
OF OUR CITY AND IT’S NICE TO KNOW THAT IT’S THRIVING!
WANT TO SEE MORE ART FILMS?
CHECK OUT THESE VENUES
14 Pews (www.14pews.org)
Alamo Drafthouse (www.drafthouse.com)
Asia Society (www.asiasociety.org/texas)
Aurora Picture Show (www.aurorapictureshow.org)
Blaffer Art Museum (www.blafferartmuseum.org)
Café Brasil (www.cafe-brasil.net)
Contemporary Arts Museum (www.camh.org)
Discovery Green (www.discoverygreen.com)
Holocaust Museum (www.hmh.org)
Jewish Community Center (www.erjcchouston.org)
Landmark River Oaks Theatre (www.landmarktheatres.com)
Menil Collection (www.menil.org)
Miller Outdoor Theatre (www.milleroutdoortheatre.com)
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (www.mfah.org/films)
Orange Show (www.orangeshow.org)
Rice Cinema (www.ricecinema.rice.edu)
Sundance Cinemas (www.sundancecinemas.com)