In honor of the 40th anniversary of Jaws, the movie that invented the Hollywood summer blockbuster, O Cinema Miami Beach, 500 71st St., is celebrating the work of director Steven Spielberg with retrospective screenings of some of his biggest hits. Here is a list of the films being screened in 2K DCP digital projection June 26-30. For tickets and showtimes, visit www.o-cinema.org or call 786-207-1919.
– Jaws (1975): Spielberg’s second theatrical film, a notoriously troubled production that went wildly over budget, became a pop culture phenomenon that permeated the American consciousness in a way that wasn’t equaled until two years later, when his pal George Lucas unveiled his little sci-fi adventure called Star Wars. (Plays at 8 p.m. June 26 and 10:30 p.m. June 27)
– Jurassic Park (1993): Skip that atrocious Jurassic World sequel and take the family instead to revisit Spielberg’s revolutionary original, which features some of the director’s all-time best setpieces (most notably the initial T. rex attack; objects in mirror are closer than they appear!) (Plays at 10:30 p.m June 26 and 8 p.m. June 27)
– E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982): One of the highest-grossing films of all time, this story about the friendship between a lonely boy and an alien stranded on Earth is also one of Spielberg’s most personal works. An added bonus: One of composer John Williams’ finest scores. That closing scene will get to you no matter how many times you’ve seen the movie. (Plays at 1 p.m. June 27 and 6 p.m. June 28)
Never miss a local story.
– Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981): Spielberg and Lucas collaborated on this revival of old Hollywood adventure serials. But the film felt so fresh and new, it even made the cover of Time magazine. A superb example of what great action pictures were like before the era of CGI (compare this one to, say, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). (Plays at 3:15 p.m. June 27 and 8:15 p.m. June 28)
– Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977): Spielberg’s follow-up to Jaws was a much riskier project, starring Richard Dreyfuss as a father and husband who becomes obsessed with the possibility of aliens trying to make contact with mankind. The final 20 minutes (which feature the late Francois Truffaut in a small role as a scientist) have lost none of their wonder and awe, all these years later. A bit of interesting trivia: This is one of only two Spielberg movies he wrote and directed himself; the second was A.I. Artificial Intelligence. (Plays at 8 p.m. June 29. The version being shown is the 1998 “director’s cut” which incorporates elements from both the original theatrical release and the 1980 “Special Edition” re-release.)
– Schindler’s List (1993): Released the same year as Jurassic Park, Spielberg’s black-and-white masterpiece about the Holocaust definitively proved he was as good at great, searing drama as he was at popcorn entertainment. The movie earned Spielberg his first two Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. (Plays at 7 p.m. June 30. Free admission.)
Follow Herald movie critic Rene Rodriguez on Twitter by clicking here.