Believe it or not, the UW Cinematheque is now 10 years old, a landmark that Henri Langlois, the founder of Paris' Cinémathèque Franaise, would surely propose a toast to, were he still alive. Instead, the folks at 4070 Vilas Hall will celebrate with a Friday night screening (7:30 p.m.) of what some of us consider the greatest Hollywood musical of all time, Singin' in the Rain. Umbrella in hand, Gene Kelly will swing around the lamppost yet again, this time in a newly restored 35mm print that should leave the iPhone generation squealing with delight. But everyone's welcome, and you can't beat the price: free.
On Saturday night (7:30 p.m.), the Cinematheque will begin a four-film series called "Vote Cinema: American Politics on Film." It's meant as a lead-in to the November elections and will open with Robert Drew's pivotal 1960 documentary Primary, which is credited with having originated fly-on-the-wall filmmaking. Armed with a hand-held movie camera, Drew and his crew followed John Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey around the state of Wisconsin as they tried to wrest the Democratic presidential nomination from each other. The rest is history.