Film series continues with ‘The Swimmer’ |

Film series continues with ‘The Swimmer’

The Churchill Arts Council’s series of films starring Burt Lancaster will continue tonight in the Barkley Theatre at the Oats Park Art Center with a screening of the 1968 film, “The Swimmer.”

It is the story of a summer day when Ned Merrill suddenly appears at the backyard swimming pool of a neighbor. After a drink or two, he learns that several new pools have been constructed in the area and that it might be possible to swim his way home through the pools.

At each stop along the way, we learn a little more about Ned’s life, which is not what it appears to be.

The film is a little-known classic that has developed a cult following. Film critic, Leonard Maltin, has noted that it was a “fascinating, vastly underrated film,” and Roger Ebert also called it a “brilliant and disturbing” work.

Frank Perry directed the movie. He also directed several other cult classics such as his version of Thomas McGuane’s “Rancho Deluxe,” the film version of Joan Didion’s classic novel “Play It As It Lays,” “Mommie Dearest” and “Diary of a Mad Housewife.”

The movie is based on a short story by John Cheever that originally appeared in The New Yorker and, in addition to Lancaster, the film features Janet Landgard, and Janice Rule with a cameo appearance by Joan Rivers.

Tickets — $7 for CAC members, $10 for non-members — will be available for purchase in the Center’s Art Bar beginning at 6 p.m. and the film will begin at 7 p.m.

The third, and final, film in the series is “Atlantic City” from 1980, featuring Lancaster and Susan Sarandon, which will be shown on February 17.

The Arts Council’s annual fundraising dinner and silent auction, which features an eccentric array of artworks, crafts, books, weekend getaways and other goodies, is scheduled for March 4.

The event has been called the “Social Event of the Season” and raises funds to help present CAC’s activities in the coming year.

In addition to the silent auction, the event also includes wine and a gourmet dinner — fillet and lobster — catered by the Slanted Porch. This year’s theme is Steampunk and appropriate attire is encouraged.

Tickets are $80 per person, or $90 per person if you’d also like $20 worth of raffle tickets. Tables of 8 or 10 are available, but seating is very limited, so call Churchill Arts at 775-423-1440 for reservations.

Also coming up in March will be a reading with well-known poet, Daryl Chinn on March 11. We’ll have more information on this in the coming weeks.

Kirk Robertson covers the arts and may be reached at