To complement this year’s Oscar-nominated films, the Strand Arts Center presents a season of previous years’ Best Picture winners.

First up is a great Oscar classic from 1969. by Johannes Schlesinger Midnight Cowboy (January 21 & 28 at 8:00 p.m.) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid saw a Best Picture competition.

Midnight Cowboy

Convinced of his irresistible attraction to women, Texas dishwasher Joe Buck (Jon Voight) quits his job and leaves for New York thinking he’s dating a rich widow. However, New York is not as welcoming as he imagined, and Joe soon finds himself in an abandoned building with a Dickens layman named Enrico “Ratso” Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman).

Next up is American Beauty (Feb. 4 & 11 at 8 p.m.) Lester Burnham is a paid suburban husband and father.

american beauty

Tired of his boring, stagnant existence, he quits his job and decides to reinvent himself as a stoner, responsible teenager. What follows is at once cynical, hysterical and ultimately tragically uplifting.

A break is scheduled for the screening of David Lean’s epic at The Strand Lawrence of Arabia on February 18 and 25.

Lawrence of Arabia

Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn and Omar Sharif lead the all-star cast of this daring and successful war drama, which won 7 Oscars, including glorious cinematography by Freddie Young and unforgettable score by Maurice Jarre.

1970s misfit Michael Cimino won best director for his 1977 Oscar-winner The Deer Hunter (March 3 and 10 at 8pm) and enjoyed only brief success before the unfairly maligned masterpiece Heaven’s Gate tarnished his reputation three years later .

The deer hunter

In The Deer Hunter, lifelong friends from the working-class Pennsylvania town Michael (Robert De Niro), Nick (Christopher Walken) and Steven (John Savage) prepare to defy Steven’s lavish wedding and go on one last overseas hunt together. .

In Vietnam, their dreams of military glory are quickly shattered by the inhumanity of war; Even those who survive are haunted by the experience, as is Nick’s hometown sweetheart, Linda (Meryl Streep).

And Shirley MacLaine steals the show in Billy Wilder’s Simply Perfect The Apartment (March 17, 24 and 31 at 8 p.m.).

The apartment

She controversially lost best actress to Elizabeth Taylor, who had just recovered from an emergency tracheostomy, boosting her popularity ahead of awards season.

In The Apartment, MacLaine’s superlatives are surpassed by Best Actor nominee Jack Lemmon as an employee who tries to climb the ranks at his company by getting his managers to use his apartment for a date, but complications ensue and one of his own Romance.

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