Special Showing

An Evening with Charlie Chaplin

Monday, December 16 at 8pm

Images Cinema

To celebrate 103 years of movies on Spring Street, Images Cinema will present An Evening with Charlie Chaplin, featuring three classic Chaplin shorts with live musical accompaniment from Donald Sosin and Joanna Seaton.


An Evening with Charlie Chaplin

By 1916—the same year the Walden Theater opened in Williamstown—Charlie Chaplin had become the most famous entertainer in the world, a mere two years after appearing in his first motion picture. Buoyed by his enormous success and popularity, he was offered the largest contract ever extended to a movie star— $670,000 for a single year’s work—to make 12 short comedies at Mutual Film Corporation. For Mutual, Chaplin produced what many film historians believe to be his best works, including the three featured in this program: The Immigrant, The Adventurer and The Count.

About the films:

The Immigrant (1917)
Considered one of Chaplin’s greatest shorts, The Immigrant finds the Little Tramp crossing the Atlantic on his way to America. Along the way, he falls in love with a beautiful young woman, but the two are separated at Ellis Island. When they reunite at a beanery, Charlie finds he has a whole new problem—no money.

The Adventurer (1917)
An escaped convict on the run, Chaplin manages to elude the prison guards looking for him just long enough to also save a young lady from drowning. As a reward for his bravery, she brings Charlie back to her house, where her father turns out to be the judge who convicted him and her boyfriend promptly calls the police. Soon, everyone seems to be chasing poor Charlie.

The Count (1916)
Chaplin is a tailor’s handyman who decides to borrow the identity of one of their clients, the wealthy Count Broko, to attend a fancy party. Unfortunately, his hulking boss also has the same idea, and once at the party, both men find themselves competing for the attention of a lovely young lady. Things get even more complicated when the real Count arrives at the party as well.

About Donald Sosin and Joanna Seaton:
Acclaimed silent film accompanist Donald Sosin has been enthralling audiences in the US and Europe with his silent film music for over thirty years. He was the resident film accompanist at the Museum of Modern Art in the late ’70s, and returns there frequently as a guest pianist. He performs regularly at major film festivals including New York, San Francisco, Telluride and TriBeCa. He is the resident pianist for the Film Society of Lincoln Center, BAM and the Museum of Moving Image, and has appeared at other film repertory house and archives include the Pacific Film Archives, Symphony Space, Harvard Film Archives, the National Gallery, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Berlin Filmmuseum, MASS MoCA, and Film Forum.

Joining Sosin at Images Cinema will be actress and singer Joanna Seaton, whose credits include leading roles in over 70 productions of musicals and plays, in New York and at regional and stock theatres across the country, including the Kennedy Center. Most recently, she sang the title role in Patience with the Light Opera Company of Salisbury and appeared in The Vagina Monologues at Barrington Stage Studio Space in Great Barrington, MA and the Studio Theater in Lindenhurst, NY. As a singer, she has also been heard at Symphony Space’s Wall-to-Wall Richard Rodgers, the St. Regis Hotel, and the Rainbow Room. The New York Times has praised her “silvery soprano.”

  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Genre: Comedy

Film Series

20th Century Women

Mondays at 7pm, unless otherwise indicated

Images Cinema

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States. In celebration of that historic expansion of voting rights, Images Cinema is presenting a series of films about women’s activism and advocacy from then until today. January through May 2020 Images will present both narrative and documentary films that highlight woman activist stories. Each film is paired with a woman activist guest speaker or speakers.

Regular admission prices apply unless otherwise noted.


We Are the Radical Monarchs

Guest Speaker: Director Linda Goldstein Knowlton via skype

Set in Oakland, a city with a deep history of social justice movements, We Are the Radical Monarchs documents the Radical Monarchs, an alternative to the Scout movement for girls of color, aged 8-13. Its members earn badges for completing units on social justice, being an LGBTQ ally, the environment, and disability justice. The group was started by two queer women of color, and their work is anchored in the belief that adolescent girls of color need dedicated spaces and that the foundation for this innovative work must also be rooted in fierce inter-dependent sisterhood, self-love, and hope.

  • Director: Linda Goldstein Knowlton
  • Runtime: 1 hour 37 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary


One Woman, One Vote

Starring: Narrated by Susan Sarandon

Guest Speaker: Bette Craig, The Northern Berkshire Suffrage Centennial Coalition

Admission is free.

This PBS documentary is a sweeping look at the women’s suffrage movement, from Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s famous Seneca Falls call to arms to the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women voting rights. Narrated by Susan Sarandon, the documentary features historical photos and video clips of the suffrage movement, as well as a number of historians who provide needed context. The film also delves into the deep divisions within the suffrage movement.

  • Runtime: 2 hours
  • Genre: Documentary

“Inspiring without being rhapsodic. It tells as much about the exigencies of American politics as about the heroism of three generations of American women.”

– New York Times


Erin Brockovich

Starring: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart

Guest Speaker: Joya Sonnenfeldt, Natural Resources Defense Council

Julia Roberts won an Oscar for her portrayal of real-life super hero Erin Brockovich. Desperate for a job to support herself and her three children, Erin convinces attorney Ed Masry to hire her and promptly stumbles upon a monumental law case against a giant corporation polluting a community’s water. Erin is determined to take on this powerful adversary even though no law firm has dared to do it before. Ed doesn't want anything to do with the case, but Erin won't take "no" for an answer. So the two begin an incredible, sometimes hilarious, sometimes heart-wrenching fight that will bring a small town to its feet and a huge company to its knees.

  • Director: Steven Soderbergh
  • Rating: R
  • Runtime: 2 hour 12 minutes
  • Genre: Drama

“From the opening to the perfect final shot, Julia Roberts is in nearly every scene of Erin Brockovich, and there isn't a second when we're not on her side.”

– Salon.com


Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed

Starring: Shirley Chisholm, Walter Cronkite, George Wallace

Guest Speaker: Barbara Winslow, founder and director emerita of the Shirley Chisholm Project

Winner of a Peabody Award and nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival, this powerful documentary follows the career of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman ever to run for President of the United States. A teacher in Harlem, Chisholm had a passion for progress, which brought her to local politics, then a seat in Congress, and ultimately a run for the presidency in 1972. With archival footage and contemporary interviews, including with Walter Cronkite, George Wallace, and Chisholm herself, this provocative film is a testament to Chisholm’s “sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo”.

  • Director: Shola Lynch
  • Runtime: 1 hour 16 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

“Rather than seeming dated, Chisholm's moxie and commitment is a refreshing antidote to the opportunism and cynicism that rules the political roost today.”

– Hollywood Reporter


Time for Ilhan

Starring: Ilhan Omar

Guest Speakers: Tracy Baker White of Greylock Together and Maddy Art of Mount Greylock REV (Register, Educate, Vote) will speak about local voter engagement initiatives

On November 8, 2016, a young, hijab-wearing mother-of-three named Ilhan Omar made history, becoming the first Somali Muslim woman to be elected to state office in America. She was hailed by the New York Times as “one of the bright lights in the post-election darkness,” and the documentary film Time for Ilhan intimately chronicles her hard-fought campaign for State Representative in Minnesota’s Senate District 60B, home to the nation's largest Somali community. A fresh take on the old story of the American Dream, Time for Ilhan offers an inspiring, stereotype-busting portrait of a rising political star as she begins a bold and powerful political career.

  • Director: Norah Shapiro
  • Runtime: 1 hour 29 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

“The story of the immigrant Omar’s remarkable journey is a light in the darkness of current American politics.”

– Culture Trip


Salt of the Earth

Starring: Juan Chacón, Rosaura Revueltas

Guest Speaker: Jacqueline Hidalgo, Williams College Associate Professor of Latina/o Studies and Religion

Based on the 1950 strike by zinc miners in New Mexico, this little-seen classic tells the story of Mexican-American workers protesting unsafe work conditions and unequal wages compared to their Anglo counterparts. Ramon Quintero helps organize the strike, but he is shown to be a hypocrite by treating his pregnant wife, Esperanza, with the same unfairness the company bosses show him. When an injunction stops the men from protesting, women find themselves on the picket lines while the men stay at home, undermining traditional gender roles. This 1954 film, written, directed, and produced by three blacklisted filmmakers, features actual miners and their families in roles based on their own lives and experiences.

  • Director: Herbert J. Biberman
  • Runtime: 1 hour 34 minutes
  • Genre: Drama

“Salt of the Earth has a powerful and often lyrical script, is shot in a style informed by Italian neorealism, and makes atmospheric use of New Mexico's landscapes. It's a rousing tribute to its subjects' fight not only for economic parity with Anglo workers, but for racial justice. It also treated, uniquely for the time it was made, questions of race and class as inseparable from those of gender. ”

– The Guardian


Norma Rae

Starring: Sally Field, Ron Liebman, Beau Bridges

Guest Speaker: Karen Burkart, a union organizer with UNITE HERE

Sally Field won an Oscar for her portrayal of Norma Rae, a young working class Southern woman struggling to get by. Like a lot of her family before her, Norma Rae works at the local textile mill, where the pay is hardly commensurate with the long hours and lousy working conditions. After hearing a rousing speech by labor activist Reuben, Norma is inspired to rally her fellow workers behind the cause of unionism. Her decision rankles her family, especially her fiancé, Sonny, and provokes the ire of her employers. Based on the true story of labor organizer Crystal Lee Sutton, Norma Rae has become the a labor organizing classic.

  • Director: Martin Ritt
  • Rating: PG
  • Runtime: 2 hours 3 minutes
  • Genre: Drama

“This is Sally Field's movie. Her performance - hyperbole completely aside - is peerless, one of the major achievements by an actress in the movies of any place and of any time. ”

– The Globe and Mail


Hidden Figures

Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer, Mahershala Ali

Guest Speaker: Haydee Lindo, Williams College Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Hidden Figures tells the incredible untold story of Katherine Jonson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson — brilliant African-American women working at NASA in the 1960s who served as the brains behind the launch into orbit of astronaut John Glenn. Before the advent of computers as we know them today, “computers” were people who did all of the math necessary to plan, build, and design all that is involved in a outer space travel. Unheralded at the time, this visionary trio is now inspiring new generations across all genders and racial lines.

  • Director: Theodore Melfi
  • Rating: PG
  • Runtime: 2 hours 7 minutes
  • Genre: Drama

“A dazzling piece of entertainment and a window into history. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe all give superb, luminous performances: Watching them is pure pleasure. ”

– Time

This project has been supported by a grant from the Fund for Williamstown of the Berkshire Taconic Community.