Historians don’t talk about 1984 as a classic movie year, but any annum that includes both the silly inspiration of “Amadeus” and the inspired silliness of “Ghostbusters” has a lot to recommend it. The Public Library will devote its 2014 Summer Film Series to seven pictures that were “Made in 1984.”
Screenings take place at 2 p.m. in ImaginOn, 300 E. Seventh St., except for the outdoor showing of “Ghostbusters” that caps the series. Sam Shapiro, film series programmer for the library, will introduce all of these. Best of all, they’re free. Here’s the lineup:
May 24: “The Natural.” Robert Redford stars as Roy Hobbs, a ballplayer with near-magical powers who attempts a comeback 16 years after he’s shot. Barry Levinson directed this adaptation of Bernard Malamud’s novel.
May 31: “Blood Simple.” Not too bloody, but fairly simple: The Coen brothers’ debut is about a woman (Frances McDormand) who uses a would-be lover (John Getz) to get rid of the husband she doesn’t want (Dan Hedaya).
June 21: “Broadway Danny Rose.” The team of director Woody Allen and star/wife Mia Farrow was in its prime. He played a struggling agent, she the brassy and unhappy wife of an Italian singer (Nick Apollo Forte) to whom the agent has hitched his star.
June 28: “Top Secret!” The directing/writing team of Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker created a pastiche of World War II espionage capers and Eisenhower-era rock ’n’ roll musicals, with Val Kilmer as an Elvis-type singer in an Eastern European-type country.
July 5: “A Passage to India.” David Lean ended his 42-year directing career with this drama set in 1920s India during the time of British rule, as a young British tourist (Judy Davis) accuses an Indian doctor (Victor Banerjee) of attempted rape. Alec Guinness and Peggy Ashcroft co-star.
July 19: “Amadeus.” The multi-Oscar-winner stars Tom Hulce as giddy genius Mozart and F. Murray Abraham as Antonio Salieri, the court composer who’s in awe of Mozart’s talent but nearly slain by envy. The picture, Abraham, writer Peter Shaffer and director Milos Forman won Oscars.
July 26: “Ghostbusters.” This will be screened outdoors at Carolina Theater Park, the little park at the corner of Sixth and North Tryon streets, as soon as darkness falls. It’s about … er … ghostbusters.