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Georgetown Goes All-D.C. for Sunset Cinema, Starting With ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’  

Georgetown is practicing the cinematic equivalent of farm-to-table for its new Sunset Cinema outdoor movie series, and it gets things started with maybe the most Georgetowny movie of all time, “St. Elmo’s Fire,” just in time for the film’s 30th anniversary.  

D.C. is replete with outdoor screenings, and some of them go with themes, such as NoMa Summer Screen’s “Dance, Dance, Dance” and the Golden Cinema series “All Worked Up.” Georgetown’s addition to the party, which starts on July 7 at Georgetown Waterfront Park at K and Water streets and Cecil Place NW, has a slate of films set in the nation’s capital and filmed in, or at least inspired by, Georgetown. Kicking things off on July 7 is “St. Elmo’s Fire,” Joel Schumacher’s 1985 Brat Pack classic, an ode to young college graduates (Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Emilio Estevez, many more) in Georgetown faced with the trauma of getting a life after matriculation. The screening roughly corresponds to the 30th anniversary, being marked worldwide by Generation X, no doubt.  

The following week, “State of Play,” the 2009 Kevin Macdonald movie about a grizzled Washington reporter, Russell Crowe, who teams up with a plucky blogger, Rachel McAdams, to investigate the death of a congressional aide. Crowe’s pal, a congresswoman played by Ben Affleck, is involved. Crystal City’s skeeviest hotel has a prominent cameo.  

On July 21, one of the reasons tourists think there is a Georgetown Metro stop screens — “No Way Out,” Roger Donaldson’s 1987 thriller starring Kevin Costner, Sean Young and Gene Hackman. The Costner-Young limo ride should make for a nice scene against the backdrop of this town. Also, look closely and you’ll see future Sen. Fred Dalton Thompson, who was still years away from being elected.  

The Coen Brothers nailed the silliness of Washington and its network of spies, has-beens and weirdos in their 2008 “Burn After Reading.” While the movie was a sort of sorbet to their previous year’s super heavy “No Country for Old Men,” the Coens’ depiction of strivers and homeland insecurity in the capital was a spot-on entertainment, with John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Tilda Swinton providing star power. Check it out on July 28.  

The next week, Aug. 4, is TBA. Put on your thinking caps to round out the series. “The Exorcist” comes to mind, it being set and filmed almost entirely in Georgetown and featuring a hero who is a priest at the Jesuit institution. Plus, it’s the only movie that left behind a landmark, the Exorcist Steps.  

Kudos to the Georgetown Business Improvement District for picking not just D.C. movies, but mostly R-rated ones as well.


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