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Clint Schemmer writes about history, heritage preservation and the American Civil War.  On Facebook: Past is Prologue  On Twitter: @prologuepast  ContactEmail Clint or call 540/374-5424.

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Mount Pony Theater in Culpeper to screen Alex Haley’s ‘Roots’ this Thursday; February film series announced

MORE: Read more Spotsylvania County news

This news just in from the Library of Congress.

Kunta Kinte, famous ancestor of the late Alex Haley, author of the best-selling movel “Roots”–inspiration for the TV miniseries–was enslaved on the Waller plantation in Spotsylvania County.

Library Highlights Epic Drama “Roots” During Black History Month

The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation pays tribute to the African-American experience in its February film series. “Roots,” the historical miniseries that chronicles an African-American family from 1750 through the post-Civil War South, will be shown in the plush theater in Culpeper, Va., during Black History Month.

Other screenings will showcase such legendary directors as Orson Welles, Roman Polanski and John Carpenter.

Brian Taves, Library of Congress archivist and author of “Thomas Ince: Hollywood’s Independent Pioneer,” will also host a special program featuring the iconic filmmaker who revolutionized the role of producer in the movie industry. The program will also highlight selected shorts and the film “One a Minute.”

Programs in the film series are preceded by an informative slide presentation about the film, with music selected by the Library’s Recorded Sound Section. Some screenings will also include short subjects before the main feature. Titles are subject to change without notice.

All Packard Campus programs are free and open to the public, but children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. For reservation information, call (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994 during business hours, beginning one week before any given screening. Reservations will be held until 10 minutes before showtime. In case of inclement weather, call the theater reservation line no more than three hours before showtime to confirm cancellations. For further information on the theater and film series, visit www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.

The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation is a state-of-the-art facility funded as a gift to the nation by the Packard Humanities Institute. The Packard Campus is the site where the nation’s library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of motion pictures, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings (www.loc.gov/avconservation/).

The Packard Campus is home to more than 6 million collection items, including nearly 3 million sound recordings. It provides staff support for the Library of Congress National Film Preservation Board, the National Recording Preservation Board, and the national registries for film and recorded sound.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. It seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.

FILM SERIES SCHEDULE:

Thursday, Feb. 2, 7:30 p.m.

“Roots”: Parts 1 & 2 (ABC TV, 1977)

This historical drama chronicles an African-American family beginning in 1750, with the capture of forebear Kunta Kinte, a Mandinka warrior in West Africa who is then enslaved in Virginia, to the family’s emancipation in the post-Civil War South. Marvin J. Chomsky, John Erman, David Greene and Gilbert Moses directed the series and LeVar Burton, Cicely Tyson and Edward Asner are featured in the first two parts of this award-winning miniseries.

Friday, Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m.

“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (RKO, 1939)

Charles Laughton plays the title role in this critically acclaimed version of Victor Hugo’s classic novel about a deformed bell ringer who rescues a gypsy girl, falsely accused of witchcraft and murder. Directed by William Dieterle, the film also stars Maureen O’Hara and Cedric Hardwicke.

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2 p.m.

“Swiss Family Robinson” (Disney, 1960)

Ken Annakin directed Walt Disney’s Technicolor adventure film about a family shipwrecked on a deserted island. It stars John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur and Sessue Hayakawa.

Thursday, Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m.

“Roots”: Parts 3, 4 & 5 (ABC TV, 1977)

The award-winning miniseries continues the story of Kunta Kinte—now called Toby—his life on a Virginia plantation, his escape attempts, his marriage to Belle and their daughter Kizzy. LeVar Burton, Louis Gossett Jr., Lorne Greene and Madge Sinclair are among the cast in the middle section of the series, which covers the years 1776-1806.

Friday, Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m.

“Repulsion” (Compton Films, 1965)

Roman Polanski directed this disturbing psychological drama about an introverted young woman (played by Catherine Deneuve) who suffers horrifying hallucinations and dreams when she is left alone for a few days. The suggested rating by the Motion Picture Association of America is “R.”

Saturday, Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m.

Sci-Fi Double Feature Directed by John Carpenter

“Escape From New York” (AVCO Embassy Pictures, 1981)

Kurt Russell portrays a hardened criminal who is offered a pardon if he rescues the president from convicts in the prison city of Manhattan. The film is R-rated.

“The Thing” (Universal, 1982)

Scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that has been buried for more than 100,000 years. Kurt Russell, Richard Dysart and Richard Masur star in this R-rated horror film.

Thursday, Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m.

“Roots”: Parts 6 & 7 (ABC TV, 1977)

The story of Kizzy and her son Chicken George is covered in the years 1824-1865. John Amos, Leslie Uggams, Louis Gossett Jr., Thayer David and Ben Vereen star.

Thursday, Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m.

“Roots”: Part 8 (ABC TV, 1977)

In the final episode that takes the series up to 1870, Chicken George’s son Tom and his family have been freed from slavery, but continue to find hardship as sharecroppers. The program stars Ben Vereen, Leslie Uggams, Chuck Connors and Scatman Crothers.

Friday, Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m.

Thomas Ince Silent Film Program

Thomas H. Ince (1882-1924) turned filmmaking into a business enterprise. Progressing from actor to director and screenwriter, he revolutionized the motion-picture industry by developing the role of the producer. Brian Taves, author of “Thomas Ince: Hollywood’s Independent Pioneer” (University Press of Kentucky, 2011), will introduce the evening’s program, which will feature a live musical accompaniment by Ben Model.

“One a Minute” (Thomas H. Ince Corp., Paramount, 1921)

Douglas MacLean stars in this silent comedy as a young go-getter who inherits his father’s drugstore, only to lose customers to a newly opened chain store. The screening also will include selected silent short subjects by Thomas Ince.

Saturday, Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m.

“Citizen Kane” (RKO, 1941)

Orson Welles directed, produced, co-wrote and stars in this highly praised story of the investigation of a publishing tycoon’s dying words, which reveals conflicting stories about his scandalous life. Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead and Dorothy Comingore also star in this drama, which was selected for the National Film Registry in 1989.

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