Movie News & Reviews

Horror classic opens film series

Ever wish you could go to film school? The Olympia Film Society has a film series that could help you replicate the experience.

The monthly series features a classic film from Janus Films, screening usually on the third Saturday of each month.

“Janus is the one distributor in the United States with a focus on classic European, American and Asian films,” said Helen Thornton, the society’s film programmer. “It’s small, it’s independent, and it’s not owned by a big studio.

“We wanted to do a classic film series, and Janus is who you go to if you want to get classic films.”

Of the boxed set “Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films,” released in 2006, Entertainment Weekly critic Tim Purtell wrote: “This Criterion set makes film school almost irrelevant. (It’s also a helluva lot cheaper.)”

But the selections at the Capitol Theater will be shown in 35-millimeter film, so watching the DVD wouldn’t be remotely the same.

Thornton said she is choosing to screen only films for which high-quality prints are available.

This month’s entry is “Diabolique,” a 1954 horror classic by Henri-Georges Clouzot. Prior to Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” the film was considered the most frightening artist horror movie ever made.

“It’s been remade a couple of times,” Thornton said. “The film title is recognizable.” A 1996 remake starred Sharon Stone and Isabelle Adjani.

Thornton plans to continue the series through at least the end of next year.

“Our members had been asking us to show more classic films,” she said.

And no, there’s no danger of running out of good films. Of that 52-film boxed set, Entertainment Weekly’s Purtell wrote: “There’s not a loser in this bunch.”

Coming up

Dec. 19: “F For Fake,” a 1975 documentary by Orson Welles

Jan. 16: “Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai Du Commerce,” a 1975 feminist classic about a single mom who is a prostitute

Feb. 20: “Au Revoir Les Enfants,” Louis Malle’s 1987 film about a school raided by the Gestapo

March 20: “Fanny & Alexander,” Ingmar Bergman’s last feature film, made in 1982

April 10: “Gimme Shelter,” a documentary about the Rolling Stones’ 1969 tour, which culminated in the festival at Altamont, at which four people died and many others were injured

May 15: “Harlan County, USA,” a 1976 documentary about coal miners on strike

June 19: “In The Realm of the Senses,” a controversial 1976 French-Japanese film about an obsessive affair


What: The French film “Diabolique” is widely considered one of the most frightening and artistic horror films ever made. It’s part of the Olympia Film Society’s Janus Classic Film Series.

When: 9 p.m. Saturday and 11:59 p.m. Nov. 28

Where: Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. S.E., Olympia

Tickets: $8 general admission, $5 for OFS members

Information: 360-754-5378 or