FAQ Guide to Ragtag Classic Movies

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Ragtag Classic Movies is a thematic strand that exclusively programs classic cinema. This strand aims to foster a dedicated cinematic space for the classics that have been heralded as important for film history and moviegoing culture.

How is a strand different from a series? 
While series at Ragtag Cinema also have thematic focuses, the films programmed in those series are only connected to that particular series, such as in our Show Me Series. At Ragtag, a “strand” has a thematic focus that can either be programmed exclusively for that strand or can be applied to films in other series to signal to classic film lovers that this is a film for them to see. 

How does Ragtag Classic Movies determine what is a classic? 
Defining something as a classic is a subjective process that is supported by cultural criticism, dominant culture, and history. There are variations of classics for cinema, such as cult classics, that emphasize how audiences hold a positivist view of a film in contrast to how industry and criticism during its release had negative response to the film. For Ragtag Classic Movies, this strands sits somewhere between how audiences have assigned cultural value to older films (pre-1980) and how film criticism, academia, and industry have determined what in the long archive of cinema warrants continued viewing through home video releases, restorations, exhibitions, monographs, and more. Additionally, this strand aims to expand the scope of the “classic” by including selections from the foundations of National Cinemas outside of the white, Western world. In short, Ragtag Classic Movies determines what is a classic from our Ragtag Regulars, industry & scholarship, and my viewpoint as Ragtag’s programmer. 

It’s still unclear to me. What are some examples of classics?
Godzilla (1954), Metropolis (1927), Imitation of Life (1934), East of Eden (1955), Shaft (1971), Pather Panchali (1955), Dance, Girl, Dance (1940) and more!

How can I provide my input on the programming of Ragtag Classic Movies? 
Comment below this post with your ideas! Or submit a suggestion on our website.

What’s special about Double Indemnity? What makes it a classic?
While classic film fans might think about watching film noir for the aptly-named Noirvember in November, film noir can be watched anytime of the year and Double Indemnity celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2024. Released in 1944, nominated for seven Academy Awards, and directed by European émigré turned Hollywood screenwriter-director Billy Wilder, Double Indemnity is often regarded as one of the exemplary examples of the film noir style. Film noir refers to a period of 1940s and 1950s American filmmaking that across a range of genres–crime/gangster, romance, social issue film–focused on character with cynical outlooks and was defined by a visual look that relied on black-and-white imagery and low-key lighting that emphasized shadows and contrast. The style of film noir features many character archetypes, most notably the femme fatale, a beautiful woman who brings destruction and mayhem to anyone she becomes romantically or sexually involved with. In Double Indemnity, as soon as Barbara Stanwyck as the femme fatale Phyllis Dietrichson appears on screen, it’s no wonder that poor Walter Neff cannot help but fall into her scheme. When I think about this film, I always remember how the camera films how Stanwyck as Phillyis looks at others. It is a gaze that stays with you long after you’ve seen the film. 

Double Indemnity screens at Ragtag Cinema Sunday May 19, 2024 at 1PM. You can buy tickets here