Tom Whiteside's continuing re-imagination of cinema provides one of the Triangle's great opportunities to become smarter, with no lack of entertainment value. His longstanding Durham Cinematheque "Movies in the Park" series continues with a program entitled "Cured? A New/Old Look at Tobacco" that sparks thoughts of tradition, science, death and money. The highlight is a 17-minute portion of the 1939 film Tobacco Land U. S. A., which was shot entirely in Durham and features scenes of Liggett & Myers facilities as well as a bit of a UNC-Duke football game.
Tonight's film program cuts its history with irony: Whiteside remixes parts of educational films about smoking as well as vintage television commercials for tobacco products that haven't been aired since they were banned from the airwaves in the early '70s. The 1964 film Blind Gary Davis, about a Durham street musician who played in tobacco warehouses from 1920 to 1935, closes the program. The 9 p.m. show is outdoors, so bring chairs or a blanket. Admission is free, though the hat will be passed. —Chris Vitiello