Leading up to the presidential election in November, the Coolidge Corner Theater Breakfast Film Club will present six timely films on the subject of U.S. politics through the decades in a series called “Demagogues and Democrats.” The films are meant to raise important issues and are guaranteed to resonate, provoke thought, and stimulate conversation.

Instructor Kaj Wilson, former Artistic Director of The Boston Jewish Film Festival and Film Editor at The Improper Bostonian, will lead the discussions and breakfast will be provided. Each screening is preceded by an eye-opening introduction and followed by a lively discussion.

A Face in the Crowd
Thursday, September 29 at 10am

Andy Griffith gives an unforgettable performance as “Lonesome” Rhodes, a charismatic, tell-it-like-it-is drifter whose meteoric rise to national fame unleashes his egomania and involves him in presidential politics. Sound familiar? Also starring Patricia Neal and Walter Matthau with a screenplay by Budd Shulberg. (1957), dir. Elia Kazan (126 min.)

Gabriel Over the White House
Thursday, October 6 at 10am

Made during the depths of the Depression, backed by William Randolph Hearst, and released soon after Franklin Roosevelt’s inauguration, this fascinating, controversial film features Walter Huston as POTUS Judson Hammond, an ineffective party hack who undergoes a conversion after a near-fatal car crash. Has he transformed into an FDR or a fascist? (1933), dir. Gregory La Cava (102 min.)

Medium Cool
Thursday, October 13 at 10am

At the start of the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention, TV cameraman  (Robert Foster) uncovers a media scandal involving the FBI.  Combining fiction with cinéma vérité-style documentary footage, first-time director and legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler captures the late 60s Zeitgeist when the country was being torn apart by issues of race, poverty and war.  (1969), dir. Haskell Wexler  (111 min.)

The Times of Harvey Milk
Thursday, October 20 at 10am

Winner of the 1984 Academy Award for Best Documentary, the film is a powerful and inspiring portrait of charismatic human rights activist Harvey Milk, California’s first openly gay elected official, who, along with San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, was assassinated by fellow SF Board of Supervisors member Dan White.  (1984), dir. Rob Epstein  (90 min.)

Thursday, October 27 at 10am

That incubator of democracy, better known as high school, is the setting of this wicked satire. A popular social studies teacher (Matthew Broderick) sets about to thwart ambitious over-achiever Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) in her run for student council president. Hillary Clinton is often compared to cultural icon Tracy Flick. A fair comparison? (1999), dir. Alexander Payne (103 min.)

In the Loop
Thursday, November 3 at 10am

A hilarious, beyond irreverent black comedy about U.S. and U.K. relations and the machinations of politicians, military brass, and spin doctors leading up to the decision to invade Iraq. Director Armando Iannuci is also the showrunner for HBO’s Veep, which some White House staffers claim is the only TV show about the Beltway that gets it right. Starring Peter Capaldi and James Gandolfini.  (2009), dir. Armando Iannucci  (106 min.)

Registration Fee: $120 for Coolidge members; $150 for non-members.  Screenings are for registered participants only.  Tickets will not be sold for individual films. To register, go to their website.