February 1st 2013. Pick Of The Day.

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At last! My mortal enemy January rots in the festering pit of New Year's hell it so richly derserves! Which means we are that much closer to the Oscars, March Madness and baseball! Adios, Bergman month...

However, we must first contend with the still daunting weather of February. The big mitigating factor on our side is a month chock full of classic cinema goodness. So while I prep the monthly overview let's focus on this first day of the year's second month. And it's a good one.

The Film Forum serves up day one of a week long screening of THE LITTLE FUGITIVE, the first cinematic collaboration from photography greats Morris Engle and Ruth Orkin, who employed the tactics of the Italian Neo-Realists in the service of a very New York story. A young boy is tricked into thinking he commited a murder, and flees to the crowded anonymity of Coney Island to escape punishment. This flick serves as a perfect exclamation point to their recently completed New Yawk New Wave fest, which celebrated the once cinematically prominent coast's reinvention in the postwar era as a hotbed of film experimentation and innovation. Star Richie Andrusco and daughter of the filmmaking team Mary Engel will be in attendance for the 6pm and 7:40pm screenings tonight. But not my Pick.

Billy Wilder's sardonically satisfying adap of Agatha Christie's WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION screens its last this day as part of MOMA's Auteurist History of Film series. Marlene Dietrich spins webs that Charles Laughton haughtily unravels with equal speed. Tyrone Power tries to keep pace. Elsa Lanchester is groomed. Excellent, but not my Pick.

Ahnuld is BACK for the Nitehawk Cinema's midnight screening of THE TERMINATOR, one of the defining works of 80's action cinema. I'll be back for the beer and tater tots. Just not tonight.

Midnight at IFC Center revels in the cult funkiness of the 70's, as they screen the classic riff-fest AIRPLANE! and the questionable but championed first remake of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. One is an absurd exercise in 50's film spoofery with many quotable lines we employ to this day, and the other is AIRPLANE! Neither qualify as my Pick today. I'm reserving my Pick for a film I once loved, grew out of and can't really recommend heartily anymore, except under certain circumstances and when nothing else remarkable is on the menu, and ultimately in deference to the status this film holds and has held pretty much from its release date to this day. I can't stand in the way of this much Cinegeek love, and maybe a certain broom handler should've heeded the same advice. Read on.

To recount the history of the source material or the film production, or to delve into the influence it has had on filmmaking in its wake and 20th century psychotherapy in particular would be to trod on ground exhaustively travelled. All I can offer to solicit asses to fill the seats for tonight's screening is as follows; the HD projection will look dazzling, the guest speaker is a renowned psychoanalyst, and booze is not merely offered but pushed on ya in order to attend. Ruby slippers, melting witches and flying monkeys all before you even slug your first drink! Goddam there is no place like home.

THE WIZARD OF OZ screens at the Rubin Museum tonight at 9:30pm. Price of a drink gets you a ticket to the screening. How cool is that? Oh we love the old one...

The Drill; follow me on Twitter @NitrateStock! Like the page at Facebook.com/NitrateStock!Be safe and sound and make sure the next guy is too, Stockers! Back tomorrow with Saturday's Pick! February overview coming this weekend! Pitchers and catchers in 10 days, Suckahz! Excelsior!


-Joe Walsh