Bryan Singer Film Retrospective Hosted by Marvin Reed at Library

Linda Arntzenius

A series of five films by Bryan Singer, who grew up in Princeton Junction and began making films in his teens while attending the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional High School South, will be screened at the Princeton Public Library beginning on Friday, March 31, at 7 p.m.

Marvin Reed, former mayor of Princeton Borough and friend of Mr. Singer's family, will introduce each film and lead a post-screening discussion. Mr. Reed acted as moderator when Mr. Singer visited the library last November as the inaugural speaker in the Christopher Reeve Lecture Series.

Friday's film, the first of the series, is Public Access, the story of a mysterious stranger who comes to a small town not unlike Princeton where he creates a public access TV show. It shared the Grand Jury Prize in the 1993 Sundance Film Festival.

Mr. Singer had worked on Public Access with his high-school classmate and childhood friend Christopher McQuarrie. They teamed up again for the film noir/action movie The Usual Suspects. Considered one of the "independent film finds" of 1995, the labyrinthine crime thriller has numerous plot twists and a cast headed by Kevin Spacey. Among the awards it garnered was the 1995 BAFTA Award for Best Film. Christopher McQuarrie won the Academy Award for Original Screenplay and Kevin Spacey won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. It will be screened Friday, May 5, at 7 p.m.

Apt Pupil, Mr. Singer's 1998 film based on a novella by Stephen King, is the story of a teenage boy who develops a morbid fascination with a Nazi war criminal. The film, which was scripted by another of Mr. Singer's childhood friends, Brandon Boyce, explores the nature of evil and stars Ian McKellen and Bruce Davison. It will screen Friday, June 9, at 7 p.m.

The series will continue on Friday, June 16 at 7 p.m. with X-Men, the special-effects-filled movie, based on the popular Marvel Comic book series. It was a box office smash in 2000 and stars Hugh Jackman. It won Mr. Singer the 2000 Saturn Award for Best Direction. The success of X-Men led to the 2003 summer blockbuster sequel X2: X-Men United, which is regarded by many as even better than the original. X2 will bring the series to a close on Friday, June 23, at 7 p.m. Mr. Singer, who describes himself as a self-taught director, specializes in dark movies about characters who are never what they seem. Born in 1965, he studied filmmaking at New York's School of Visual Arts and at the USC School of Cinema-Television in Los Angeles.

His latest film Superman Returns, starring Brandon Routh with Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor and Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane, was filmed last year in Australia and is scheduled to be released on June 30, 2006.

The Bryan Singer Film Retrospective takes place in the first floor Community Room of the Princeton Public Library. Admission is free. Special assistance is available for library customers with disabilities. Those with special needs should contact the library 48 hours before any program to arrange for accommodations. Call (609) 924-9529. For more information on library programs and services, visit www.princetonlibrary.org.

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